Matthew 8:11
I say to you that many will come from the east and the west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
The Leper and the CenturionMarcus Dods Matthew 8:1-13
A Soldier's FaithW.F. Adeney Matthew 8:5-13
The CenturionJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 8:5-13
The Centurion's ExampleP.C. Barker Matthew 8:5-13
Bigotry Must not Limit the Number of the SavedJay.Matthew 8:11-12
Heaven and HellC. H. Spurgeon.Matthew 8:11-12
Hen Then ConvertsMatthew 8:11-12
The Children of the KingdomJ. GarbettMatthew 8:11-12
The ConnectionA. Tucker.Matthew 8:11-12
The Extent If God's FamilyJ. W. Cunningham, M. A.Matthew 8:11-12
The Heavenly StateH. Melvill, B. D.Matthew 8:11-12
The Wonderful MMatthew 8:11-12

That upon which the Son of God fastened. as worthy of admiration was not the centurion's benevolence, nor his perseverance, but his faith. And so speaks the whole New Testament, giving a special dignity to faith. Our Lord found something unusual in this man's faith, which he contrasts with the faith he had already observed. Evidently this man had risen above the common ides or' faith, as a sort of magical influence, which required some personal touch, or the working of some charm, to the idea of a delegated power, depending only on the will of him who possessed it. The centurion's expectation of instant obedience to his lightest command enabled him to believe that Christ had a similar power and authority in relation to disease. Consider the requirement of faith.

I. THE PRIMARY DEMAND OF THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IS FAITH. Illustration in our Lord's demand from all those whom he healed. This is sometimes very evident; it is always present, though needing to be searched out. The first demand of Christianity may seem to be love; it is only love because love carries and enshrines faith.

II. THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE LORD JESUS ARE NOW THE OBJECTS OF FAITH. Just as the word of Jesus was for the centurion. He believed the word Jesus had spoken, and acted on the belief. The life and death of Jesus

(1) reveal God, and ask me to believe that he is Love;

(2) reveal me, and ask me to believe that I am a sinner;

(3) reveal the glory and grace of Jesus as God's Son and my Saviour.

III. CONVERSION IS FAITH IN THE WORD OF GOD, WHICH JESUS IS. The strength and happiness of Christian life come from believing and obeying the word which the living Jesus speaks. "God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son."

IV. FAITH IS A REAL AND PRACTICAL POWER IN COMMON HUMAN CONDUCT. "We trust our senses; and that though they often deceive us. We trust men; a battle must often be risked on the intelligence of a spy. A merchant commits his ships, with all his fortunes on board, to a hired captain, whose temptations are enormous. Without this principle society could not hold together for a day. It would be a mere sand-heap. Such, too, is religious faith; we trust on probabilities; and this though probabilities are often against us."

V. FAITH IS THE LINK GOD HAS APPOINTED TO ATTACH US TO HIMSELF FOR SALVATION AND STRENGTH. F.W. Robertson says, "Faith is that which, when probabilities are equal, ventures on God's side, and on the side of right; on the guarantee of a something within which makes the thing seem to be true because it is loved." - R.T.

Many shall come from the east and west.
I. THAT THE NUMBER OF THE SAVED SHALL BE GREAT. "Many." Might expect the contrary from aspect of society. God has secret servants.


III. THAT ALL THESE PERSONS SHALL BE UNITED IN HEAVEN IN SOCIETY. "Sit down together." The happiness of heaven will not be solitary; it will not be without union.

IV. THIS CHANGE TAKES PLACE IN HEAVEN. Must not take earthly conceptions of this celestial state; it is a state connected with God.


1. Rest. "They shall sit down."

2. Sovereignty. They shall sit on thrones as kings.

(J. W. Cunningham, M. A.)

Christ receives applications from all sorts of characters. The centurion — conscious of personal unworthiness — concerned for his domestics — unbounded confidence in the capacity of Christ.

I. THE EXULTING PROPHECY. Implies that God is no respecter of persons (Isaiah 45:6; Isaiah 59:19; Malachi 1:11); that many shall be saved; that heaven is an exalted state of felicity, rest, and social intercourse, etc. (Chronicles 25:10; 26:29; Luke 14:15; Luke 22:30: Revelation 19:7-11). Loyal submission to the King, enjoyment of His presence, admiration of His glories; laud and magnify His name.

II. THE AGENCY BY WHICH IT SHALL BE EFFECTED. Manifold — chiefly by the preaching of the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:21); adapted — to every stage of human society, to every order of mind, and to every moral condition; efficient — the power of the Holy Ghost, awakening, convicting, etc. (1 Thessalonians 1:5, &c.). "All the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God."

(A. Tucker.)

The readiest way in the world to thin heaven, and replenish the regions of hell, is to call in the spirit of bigotry. This will immediately arraign, and condemn, and execute all that do not bow down and worship the image of our idolatry. Possessing exclusive prerogatives, it rejects every other claim — "Stand by, I am sounder than thou. The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we!" How many of the dead has this intolerance sentenced to external misery, who will shine like stars in the kingdom of our Father! How many living characters does it not reprobate, who are placing in it all their glory! No wonder, if under the influence of this consuming zeal, we form lessening views of the number of the saved: "I only am left — yes, they are few indeed, if none belong to them who do not belong to your party — that do not see with your eyes — that do not believe election with you, or universal redemption with you — that do not worship under a steeple with you, Grin a meeting-house with you — that are not dipped with you, or sprinkled with you! But hereafter we shall find that the righteous were not so circumscribed.


Mosheu, an African chief, visited Dr. Moffat at Kuruman. The missionary availed himself of the opportunity to speak of the "one thing needful," but without apparent effect. After some time Mosheu repeated his visit to Kuruman, bringing with him a very large retinue. He was agonizing to enter the kingdom of God. "When first I visited you," he said to Dr. Moffat. "I had only one heart, but now I have come with two. I cannot rest; my eyes will not slumber, because of the greatness of the things you told me on nay first visit."


1. It is a land of rest — "sit down."

2. The good company they sit with, "Abraham and Isaac." etc.

3. Man? I shall come. I have no wish for a small heaven; many mansions.

4. Where they come from — from all places and classes, even the most hopeless.

5. The certainty "shall."


1. Those noted for externals in religion.

2. The children of pious fathers and mothers.

3. They are to be cast out. Where to?

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

1. Many, will be there. What are " many " in the Divine authentic? Must not lower the standard of admission.

2. The imagery that of a banquet, the attitude assigned to the assembly. Nest and repose after labour and conflict.

3. The celestial citizens are to know one another, else it would little avail to sit down with Abraham, etc. The meeting-place of generations.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

The Countess of Huntingdon used to say, "She thanked God for the wonderful letter M, for it turned 'any' into 'many;' thus the Word of God reads, 'Not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble are called' (1 Corinthians 1:26), therefore she could be found amongst the 'not many.'" The wonderful "M" shows forth the extent of God's grace. Man does not enter heaven by virtue of his poverty or his riches, sufferings or rejoicings, morality or immorality, but by virtue of the atonement and the shedding of the precious blood of Christ. None can rightly say, "I have had so much trial and trouble down here that I am sure God will provide a place for me;" nor can they say, "I am so noble, and have such power in this world that I surely must have a place above." God is no respecter of persons. All, whatever their station or circumstances, find but one entrance into eternal glory, even through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — the only door, the one way, by which alone any can. be saved,


1. God was in an especial manner their King. He revealed Himself as their King and Saviour. He fought against their enemies.

2. As a king He laid down laws which they were to follow.

3. They were not only subjects of the kingdom; they were to be children of it.

4. The justice of that sentence, which, after their ejection, deprived the children of the kingdom of their glorious inheritance.


1. They were withdrawn immediately from that which is light even on earth — the enjoyment of God's grace, and the enlightenment of His Holy Spirit. This was outer darkness of soul.

2. They were driven into the darkness of sorrow and affliction.

III. THE CAUSE why this happened — their unbelief. We are now the children of the kingdom; have God's laws written in our hearts.

(J. Garbett)

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