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October 22 Today’s Reading: Luke 13-14
“Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”
Why did our Lord speak as He did at this dinner party? Why did He do the things He did? Our Master’s purpose in His behavior and in His speech, here and always, was to teach and instruct us in very important spiritual things, to set forth the Gospel of God’s free grace in Him. Let me call your attention to some of the obvious lessons our Lord would have us learn from this passage.
The first thing to be learned from our Master here is the fact that the Son of God came into this world to seek, serve, and save poor, needy sinners, from whom He could never receive any recompense. Our Lord Jesus is the Savior of poor, sinners like you and me. Needy, like the man described in verse 2, who had the dropsy, you and I are poor, helpless, perishing sinners. We could do nothing for ourselves. We could not help ourselves. And no one else could help us, if they were so inclined. When the Lord first begins His work of grace in us, it is not because we want Him, or have come to Him, or have prayed for help. Not at all! This man apparently expected nothing from the Lord Jesus. There is no indication that he even looked at Him. But the Master took up the rich Pharisee’s invitation to dinner, because that poor man with the dropsy was there, for whom the time of mercy had come.
The second thing that is obvious here is the fact that in order to save such poor, needy sinners as we are, the Son of God took the lowest place among men. Humility is a gift of grace. The grace of God humbles men. But our Lord is not teaching this crowd to make themselves humble, that they might be exalted and recompensed in the Day of Judgment. Indeed, such self-serving humility is no humility at all, but a mere show of humility. Our Lord is describing true humility, His own (Philippians 2:1-11). His humility is exemplary. We ought to be of the same mind. But He is the pattern. His humility was voluntary. He humbled Himself unto the very lowest, not that He might be exalted, but for the love He has to us and to the glory of God. For that He has been exalted and shall be recompensed in the Day of Judgment (2 Corinthians 8:9; Isaiah 45:20-25; 53:9-12).
Resurrection and Judgment
The third thing our Redeemer teaches us here is that there shall be a Resurrection Day and a Judgment Day. Everything our Savior did in this world He did with eternity before His eyes. He lived in the constant awareness of eternity. Oh, may God give us grace to do the same!
We are immortal souls. We are all dying creatures, moving rapidly to the grave (2 Corinthians 4:17-5:11). There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and of the unjust, a resurrection of life and a resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29). There shall be a Day of Judgment, at which we shall all be recompensed for all that we have done forever (Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:11-15).
Let us live like men and women who believe in a resurrection and a life to come, and desire to be always ready for another world. So living, we shall look forward to death with calmness. So living, we shall take patiently all that we have to bear in this world. Trials, losses, disappointments, ingratitude will affect us little. We shall not look for our reward here. Knowing that all will be rectified in that great day, and that the Judge of all the earth will do right, we shall patiently await that day (Genesis 18:25).
But how can we bear the thought of a resurrection? What shall enable us to look forward to death, the resurrection, the judgment, and eternity without alarm? — Faith in Christ! Believing Him, we have nothing to fear. Our sins will not appear against us. The demands of God’s law will be found completely satisfied. We shall stand firm in that great day, and none shall lay anything to our charge (Romans 8:33). All whose names are written in the Book of Life, all who stand before God in Christ, washed in his blood, robed in his righteousness, shall be forever blessed. And the bliss and glory and blessedness heaped upon the saved in heaven shall be a just recompense, an exact recompense, and an everlasting recompense of Divine justice (Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16; 50:20).
There seems to have been one man in that crowd who heard and understood our Lord’s words. Perhaps everything recorded in this passage came to pass specifically because the Lord Jesus had come to this place, to this Pharisee’s house to seek and find this one sinner, whose time of love had come. Look at verse 15. — “And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.” I have found it so. Have you? — “Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”