Luke 14:16

Robert Hawker

"A certain man made a great supper, and bade many."–Luke xiv. 16.

Is not this certain man designed to represent the Father of mercies, and God of all grace? And is not the great supper intended to set forth the full, generous, free, and plentiful feast made for poor sinners by Jesus Christ in his gospel? My soul! thou art invited, for the message of grace is to the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. Jesus keeps a noble house, and it is an open house. The evening is come -the hour of supper is arrived: arise then, and accept the invitation. Behold, Lord, I am come! And now what are the spiritual delicacies of thy table? First, methinks I hear the generous Lord proclaim a hearty welcome. And it is a sweet thought for my poor soul to cherish, that in whatever heart Jesus is welcome, that heart is welcome to Jesus; for as a poor hungry sinner needs a full Saviour, so a full Saviour needs a poor empty sinner to give out of his fulness upon, and grace for grace. Neither is a poor sinner more happy in receiving Jesus, than Jesus is glorified in receiving a poor sinner. "The Lord waits to be gracious." And what are the viands at his table? "The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Here then, I find the whole of the blessed feast. Here is Jesus himself, the bread of life, and the water of life, whose flesh is meat indeed and his blood drink indeed. Here are pardon, and mercy, and peace; here is strength to help in every time of need; all grace treasured up for his people in himself, and now to be imparted as their several circumstances require. Moreover, the King himself is to come to his table. I could not be mistaken in his voice. He saith, "I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse. I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey. I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, 0 friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly, 0 beloved!" What doth our Jesus mean by "his myrrh with his spices?" Doth he mean the preparing the souls of his guests for this banquet, by enduing them with the spirit of repentance and faith? or is it to set before them his own sufferings and death, "by whose stripes they are healed?" In either sense, blessed be my bountiful Lord! he is himself the provider; it is his table, and he himself furnisheth the whole of it. He is the substance, the life, the ways the means, the end, the first and the last of all; it is all his own, and of his fulness do we all receive. And, dearest Lord! art thou pleased with thy guests, when they come at thine invitation, under a deep sense of want, earnestly desiring to partake of thy bounty, approaching under the sweet leadings of thy Holy Spirit, and clothed in the wedding-garment of thine own righteousness? Oh, thou bountiful Lord! how blessed are they that sit in thine house, they will be continually praising thee! Now, my soul, thou hast eaten, and art full; arise from the holy table as one fed and filled with the Spirit; bless the kind master of the feast, and give thanks, crying out with holy Simeon, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

Robert Hawker

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