Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat…
We have before us the figure of a merchant selling his wares, and crying like a chapman in the market, "He!" To attract attention he calls aloud, "Come! Come! Come!" three several times; and he adds to this the cry of "Buy! Buy!" Shall the Great King thus liken Himself to a trader in the market earnest to dispose of his goods? It is even so, and I therefore call upon you to admire the mercy of the Lord. In the fifty-third and fifty-fourth chapters this Divine Merchantman has been spreading out His wares. What treasures they are!
I. A DESCRIPTION OF THE BUYER. It is the portrait of a poor, penniless, broken-down creature reduced to the extremity of want: "He that hath no money. Of course, by this is meant the man who literally has no money. Having nothing, you may yet possess all things. But we understand the reference of the text to be mainly spiritual, and so the portrait here is that of a man who has no spiritual money, no gold of goodness, no silver of sanctity.
1. His fancied stock of natural innocence is spent.
2. He thought that he had accumulated some little savings of good works; but his imaginary righteousness turns out to be counterfeit.
3. He is in a still worse plight, for he is also too poor to get anything; the procuring power is gone, for he has "no money " that is to say, nothing wherewith he can procure those good things which are necessary to salvation and eternal life.
4. Moreover, his stock with which to trade is gone. Money makes money, and he that has a little to begin with may soon have more; but this man, having no stock to start with, cannot hope to be rich towards God in and by himself. No money!
(1) Then, he cannot pay his old debts. His sins rise up before him, but he cannot make amends for them.
(2) Moreover, he cannot meet his present expenses.
(3) He cannot face the future.
(4) The only hope for a man who has no money must he outside himself.
II. THE SELECTION OF THE BUYER. It is a strange choice, and it leads to a singular invitation, "He that hath no money; come, buy, and eat." What is the reason?
1. These need mercy most.
2. This character is chosen because he is such a one as will exhibit in his own person the power of Divine grace.
3. The Lord Jesus delights to make evident the freeness of His grace.
4. He is the kind of man that will listen. A wretched sinner jumps at mercy like a hungry fish leaping at the bait.
5. Such an empty, penniless soul, when he does get mercy, will prize it and praise it. He that has been shut up in the dark for years values the light of the sun. He that has been a prisoner for months, how happy he is when the prison doors are opened, and he is at liberty again! Let a man once get Christ, who has bitterly known and felt his need of Him, and he will prize Him beyond all things.
III. THE INVITATION. The man who has no money is to come, buy, and eat. It looks odd to tell a penniless man to come and buy, does it not? and yet what other word could be used? Come and buy, has a meaning of its own not to be otherwise expressed. In buying there are three or four stages.
1. Desiring to have the thing which is exhibited.
2. This means next, to agree to terms.
3. When the terms are carried out, the buyer appropriates the goods to himself.
4. But the text says, "Buy, and eat, as much as to say, make it yours in the most complete sense. If a man buys a loaf of bread it is his: but if he eats it, then all the lawyers in the world cannot dispute him out of it — he has it by a possession which is not only nine points of the law, but all the law. Christ fed upon IS ours beyond all question.
IV. By way of ASSURANCE, to show that this is all real and true, and no make-believe.
1. It is not God's way to mock men. He hath Himself declared, " I said not unto the seed of Jacob, seek ye My face in vain."
2. God is under no necessity to sell His benefits. He is not impoverished: He is so rich that none can add anything to His wealth.
3. There is no adequate price that we could bring to God for His mercy.
4. Remember that Jesus must be meant for sinners, for if sinners had not existed there never would have been a saviour.
5. It must be true that God will give these blessings to men who have no merits, and will bestow them as gifts, because Jesus Himself is a gift.
6. Beside that, Christ is all.
7. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is blessedly free from all clogging conditions, because all supposed conditions are supplied in Christ Jesus.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.