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be relieved from pain on the Sabbath-day ? The Jews never forgave Jesus for what they called breaking the Sabbath. They persecuted Him, and often tried to kill Him. You must not suppose, dear children, that Jesus meant to allow of our doing our own ways or taking our own pleasure on God's day. That must not be done; but we may perform acts of kindness and mercy, and we may do things which are needful for the body, if these could not have been done the day before. All who love the “ Lord of the Sabbath,” the Lord Jesus Christ, will try to manage so that the day may be quite given up to his service, and it will help to remind them of that sweet and eternal Sabbath which they hope to spend in heaven with Him.
You have heard how Jesus cured all manner of sickness, and now I must tell you something more wonderful still. Jesus was one day walking to a city called Nain. Just as He came to the gate of the city,
He met the body of a dead man, which was being carried to the grave. The poor mother was walking behind, weeping bitterly. She had lost her husband, and now her only earthly comfort was taken from her. Her neighbours felt so much for her that many of them came with her. Do you think Jesus could see this sad sight without speaking a kind word to the poor mother? Oh! no.
He had compassion on her, and said, “Weep not. But that was not all. He went near, and touched the bier, and they that carried it stood still. Then said Jesus, “Young man,
unto thee, arise." What do you think the poor mother must have felt when she saw her dear son sit up and begin to speak ? Her heart must have leaped for joy. The people who saw it felt a great fear come over them. They said that God had visited his people ; and so indeed He had, for Jesus was “very God” as well as man.
JESUS SHOWING MERCY.
AND now, dear children, I have a very sweet story to tell you of our dear Saviour. You will see that He was not only kind and gracious to those who were sick in body, but to those who felt themselves to be sinners, and grieved on account of sin. I told you that the Pharisees thought themselves very good—better than all other people. A Pharisee, named Simon, asked Jesus to dine with him. A poor woman, who had once been a great sinner, heard that Jesus was there. She felt her sinfulness, and longed to be forgiven. She knew that Jesus could forgive her, and this made her heart so full of love to Him that she tried to think how she could show her love.
She had a beautiful box of alabaster. This
a is a very fine white marble, very costly. This box she filled with ointment, and took it with her into the room where Jesus sat at meat. It seems very strange to you that she should have been admitted into the room. The customs of people in Eastern countries are very different from ours. It is common, even now, for strangers to go into the room where persons are dining, and to sit down on seats near the wall. No one takes any notice of them. People did
. not then sit as we do at meals, but lay on couches, with their elbow resting on the table, and their feet turned outwards. This poor woman came behind Jesus. And what did she do there? She stood weeping, washing the Saviour's feet with her tears, wiping them with the hair of her head, kissing them, and anointing them with the ointment. Jesus knew what she was doing, but He did not for some time appear to take any notice of her. Simon, too, saw
her, and wicked pride rose up in his heart. He said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known that this woman is a sinner." Simon only said this to himself; and yet, mark, Jesus knew what was passing in his heart. He showed Simon how wrong he was by a sort of little story. Tủere were two men, who both owed some money to the same person. One owed him five hundred pence, the other owed him only fifty. Neither of them had anything to pay, and the kind man to whom they owed the money freely forgave them both. Jesus asked Simon which of the two would love him most. Simon answered, “I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.” Jesus then explained to him that the reason this poor woman showed him so much love was, that she felt she had so many sins to be forgiven. Can you not imagine her joy when Jesus turned to her and said, “Thy sins are forgiven”? I think she would scarcely