Whatever a man’s past life may have been, there is hope and a remedy for him in Christ.  If he is only willing to hear Christ’s voice and follow him, Christ is willing to receive him at once as a friend and to bestow on him the fullest measure of mercy and grace.  The Samaritan woman, the penitent thief, the Philippian jailer, the publican Zacchaeus, are all patterns of Christ’s readiness to show mercy and to confer full and immediate pardons.  It is His glory that, like a great physician, He will undertake to cure those who are apparently incurable and that none are too bad for Him to love and heal.  Let these things sink down into our hearts.  Whatever else we doubt, let us never doubt that Christ’s love to sinners passes knowledge and that Christ is as willing to receive as He is almighty to save. – J. C. Ryle (1816-1900), commenting on John 4.19-26.


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