24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
24 Verse 24. I am not sent but unto the lost sheep] By the Divine
appointment, I am come to preach the Gospel to the Jews only.
There are certain preachers who should learn a lesson of important
instruction from this part of our Lord's conduct. As soon as they
hear of a lost sheep being found by other ministers, they give all
diligence to get that one into their fold: but display little
earnestness in seeking in the wilderness for those that are lost.
This conduct, perhaps, proceeds from a consciousness of their
inability to perform the work of an evangelist; and leads them to
sit down in the labours of others, rather than submit to the
reproach of presiding over empty chapels. Such persons should
either dig or beg immediately, as they are a reproach to the
pastoral office; for, not being sent of God, they cannot profit
The wilderness of this world is sufficiently wide and
uncultivated. Sinners abound every where; and there is ample room
for all truly religious people, who have zeal for God, and love
for their perishing follow creatures, to put forth all their
strength, employ all their time, and exercise all their talents,
in proclaiming the Gospel of God; not only to the lost sheep of
the house of Israel, but to a lost WORLD. Nor can such exertions
be unsuccessful. There the pure truth of God is preached, many
will be converted. Where that truth is preached, though with a
mixture of error, some will be converted, for God will bless his
own truth. But where nothing but false doctrine is preached, no
soul is converted: for God will never sanction error by a miracle
of his mercy.