Images de page
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

49 I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if, it be already kindled ?

50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

51 "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division:

52 P For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

produced by preaching the Gospel.

out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower;

and so it is.

1

55 And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass.

56 Ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky and of the earth; but how is it that ye do not discern this time? 57¶Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right? 58 When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him! lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into 59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid

53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son
against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the
daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her
daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-prison.

in-law.

54 And he said also to the people, 4 When ye see a cloud rise the very last mite.
k Verse 51-1 Matt. 90.22 Mark 10 8-m Or, pained.-n Matt, 19.34.
-o Mic. 7. 6. John 7 43, & 9, 16. & 10.19.

Verse

few stripes, shall be punished only for the abuse of the knowledge they possessed. See at the end of the chapter.

49. Iam come to send fire] See this subject largely explain ed on Matt. x. 34, &c. From the connexion in which these words stand, both in this place and in Matthew, it appears as if our Lord intended by the word fire, not only the consuming influence of the Roman sword; but also the influence of his own Spirit in the destruction of sin. In both these senses this fire was already kindled: as yet, however, it appeared but as a spark, but was soon to break out into an all-consuming flame. 50. But I have a baptism] The fire, though already kind led, cannot burn up till after the Jews have put me to death: then the Roman sword shall come, and the spirit of judgment, burning, and purification, shall be poured out.

51. To give peace] See Matt. x. 34.

52. Five in one house divided] See on Matt. x. 35, 36. 54. A cloud rise] See on Matt. xvi. 2, 3.

56. This time? Can ye not discover from the writings of the prophets, and from the events which now take place: that this is the time of the Messiah, and that I am the very person foretold by them?

57. And why-judge ye] Even without the express declarations of the prophets, ye might, from what ye see and hear yourselves, discern that God has now visited his people in such a manner as he never did before.

58. When thou goest with thine adversary] This and the next verse are a part of our Lord's sermon upon the mount. See them explained Matt. v. 25, 26. St. Luke is very particular in collecting and relating every word and action of our blessed Lord, but seldom gives them in the order of time in which they were spoken or done. See the Preface to this Gospel.

Give diligence] Aos ɛpyaσiav, give labour, do every

p Matt, 10, 359 Matt, 16, 2-r Prav. 25. 8. Matt. 5. 25. See Pon. 32 € .38. 6. See Mark [2.42.

thing in thy power to get free before a suit commences. The officer] ПpakTwp properly signifies such an officer as was appointed to levy the fines imposed by the law for a vio lation of any of its precepts. See Kypke.

59. Till thou hast paid the very last mite.] And when can this be, if we understand the text spiritually? Can weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, pay to divine justice the debt a sinner has contracted? This is impossible: let him who

readeth understand.

The subject of the 47th and 48th verses has been greatly misunderstood, and has been used in a very dangerous manner. Many have thought that their ignorance of divine things would be a sufficient excuse for their crimes; and that they might have but few stripes, they voluntarily continued in ig. norance. But such persons should know that God will judge them for the knowledge they might have received, but refused to acquire. No criminal is excused, because he has been ignorant of the laws of his country, and so transgressed them, when it can be proved that those very laws have been published throughout the land. Much knowledge is a dan. gerous thing, if it be not improved; as this will greatly aggravate the condemnation of its possessor. Nor will it avail a person, in the land of light and information, to be ignorant, as he shall be judged for what he might have known, and, per haps in this case, the punishment of this voluntarily ignorant man will be even greater than that of the more enlightened; because his crimes are aggravated by this consideration, that he refused to have the light, that he might neither be obliged to walk in the light, nor account for the possession of it. So we find that the plea of ignorance is a mere refuge of lies, and none can plead it who has the book of God within his reach; and lives in a country blessed with the preaching of the Gos pel of Jesus Christ.

CHAPTER XIII.

Christ preaches the necessity of repentance, from the punishment of the Galileans massacred by Pilate, 1-3. And by the death of those on whom the tower in Siloam fell, 4, 5. The parable of the barren fig-tree, 6-9. Christ cures a woman who had been afflicted eighteen years, 10-13. The ruler of the synagogue is incensed, and is reproved by our Lord, 14-17. The parable of the mustard-seed, 18, 19; of the leaven, 20, 21. He journeys towards Jerusalem, and preaches, 22. The question, Are there few saved? and our Lord's answer, with the discourse thereon, 23-30. He is informed that Herod purposes to kill him, 31, 32. Predicts his own death at Jerusalem, and denounces judgments on that impénitent city, 33–35. [A. M. 4033. A. D. 29. An. Olymp. CCII. 1.]

HERE were present at that season some that told him of | 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and that dwelt in Jerusalem ?

The Galflang, whose blood Filate had mingled with their slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all ne

sacrifices.

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were bsinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?

c

3 I tell you, Nay: but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

a Acts 5.37. Ch.23 6-12.-b John 9.2. Acts 28.4.-c Eccles 9 2. Rom 2.8, 9

5 I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard: and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

& 11.22 -d Or, debtors. Matt. 18.94. Ch.11.4.-e Isa. 5.2. Matt. 21.19.

NOTES.-Verse 1. At that season] At what time this hap-debtors to the law, or rather to that divine justice from which pened is not easy to determine; but it appears that it was now a piece of news which was told to Christ and his disciples for the first time.

Whose blood Pilate had mingled] This piece of history is not recorded (as far as I find) by Josephus: however, he states that the Galileans were the most seditious people in the land: they belonged properly to Herod's jurisdiction, but as they kept the great feasts at Jerusalem, they probably, by their tumultuous behaviour at some one of them, gave Pilate, who was a mortal enemy to Herod, a pretext to fall upon and slay many of them and thus perhaps sacrifice the people to the resentment he had against the prince. Archelaus is represented by Josephus as sending his soldiers into the temple, and slaying 3000 men while they were employed in offer ing sacrifices. Josephus, War, b. ii. c. 1. s. 3. and ii. c. 5. Some suppose that this refers to the followers of Judas Gaulonites, (see Acts v. 37.) who would not acknowledge the Roman government, a number of whom Pilate surrounded, and slew while they were sacrificing in the temple. See Josephus, Antiq. lib. 18. but this is not very certain.

4. The tower in Siloam) This tower was probably built over one of the porticoes near the pool, which is mentioned John ix. 7. See also Neh. iii. 13.

Debtors,] opellerai, a Jewish phrase for sinners. Persons professing to be under the law, are bound by the law to be obedient to all its precepts; those who obey not are reckoned

the law came. A different word is used when speaking of the Galileans; they are termed apaprwhot, as this word is often used to signify heathens; see the notes on chap. vii. 37. it is probably used here in nearly a similar sense. "Do ye who live in Jerusalem, and who consider yourselves peculiarly attached to the law, and under the strongest obligations to obey it; do ye think that those Galileans were more heathen ish than the rest of the Galileans, because they suffered such things? No. It was not on this account that they perished both these cases exhibit a specimen of the manner in which ve shall all perish, if ye do not speedily repent, and turn to God.” 5. Ye shall all likewise perish.] Loovrws, operos, in a like way, in the same manner. This prediction of our Lord was literally fulfilled. When the city was taken by the Romans, multitudes of the priests, &c. who were going on with their sacrifices, were slain, and their blood mingled with the blood of their victims; and multitudes were buried under the ruins of the walls, houses, and temples. See Josephus, War, b. vi. ch. iv. v. vi. and see the notes on Matt. xxiv.

It is very wrong to suppose that those who suffer by the sword, or by natural accidents, are the most culpable before God. An adequate punishment for sin cannot be inflicted in this world; what God does here, in this way, is in general, 1st. Through mercy to alarm others; 2. To show his hatred to sin; 3. To preserve in men's minds a proper sense of his providence and justice; and, 4. To give sinneis, in one or two

The woman healed.

7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig-tree, and find none: rut it down; why cumbereth it the ground

8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it.

9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

10% And he was teaching In one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

11 And behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of in-
firmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in
nowise lift up herself.

12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said
unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was
made straight, and glorified God.

14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation,
because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day; and said
unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to
work: in them therefore come and be healed, and b not on the
sabbath day.

15 The Lord then answered him and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?

16 And ought not this woman, k being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

If Mark 16. 18. Acts 9. 17. Ex. 20. 9.-h Matt.12. 10. Mark 9.2. Ch.6.7.& 14.3. iCh. 14. 5- Ch. 19.9-1 Matt. 13.1. Mark 4.30-m See Matt. 43. 33.-n Matt. 9.35 Mark & 6-02 Esd.8.1, 3-p Matt. 7. 13.

particular instances, a general specimen of the punishment that awaits all the perseveringly impenitent.

6. A certain man] Many meanings are given to this parable, and divines may abound in them; the sense which our Lord designed to convey by it, appears to be the following. 1. A person, TIS, God Almighty. 2. Had a fig-tree, the Jewish church. 3. Planted in is vineyard, established in the land of Judea. 4. He came seeking fruit, he required that the Jewish people should walk in righteousness, in proportion to the spiritual culture he bestowed on them. 5. The vine-dresser, the Lord Jesus, for God hath committed all judg. ment to the Son, John v. 22. 6. Cut it down, let the Roman sword be unsheathed against it. 7. Let it alone; Christ is represented as intercessor for sinners, for whose sake the day of their probation is often lengthened; during which time he is constantly employed in doing every thing that has a tendency to promote their salvation. 8. Thou shalt cut it down: a time will come, that those who have not turned at God's invitations and reproofs, shall be cut off and numbered with the transgressors.

The parable of the mustard seed, &c.

17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries
things that were done by him.
were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious

181 Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like ?
and whereunto shall I resemble it?

19 It is like a grain of r ustard-seed, which a man took, and
cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and
20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom
the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
of God?

21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three
m measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

22" And he went through the cities and villages teaching, and
journeying towards Jerusalem.

23 T Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be sa
ved ? And he said unto them,

24 P Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for 9 many, I say unto
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath
you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall
shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock
answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in
thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But be shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye
are: depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye
q See Jonn 7.34.& 8.21. & 13.33. Rom.9. 31.-r Psa. 22.6. Isa. Co. 6-8 Matt. 25.
10- Ch.6.46.-u Matt, 7.23. & 2.12.-v Mait. 7.21, & 25.41. Ver. 25.-w Psa.6.8
Matt. 25.41.-x Matt.8. 12 & 13.42. & 24.51.-y Matt, B. 11.

called her to him. Her heart and her distress spoke loudly,
her health restored, and his eye affected his heart. 2. He
though her lips were silent; and as she was thus calling for
Jesus laid his hands on her. The hand of his holiness ter-
help, Jesus calls her to himself that she may receive help. 3.
rifies, and the hand of his power expels the demon. Ordi.
nances, however excellent, will be of no avail to a sinner,
unless he apprehend Christ in them. 4. Immediately she was
made straight, ver. 13. This cure was, 1. A speedy one-it
was done in an instant. 2. It was a perfect one-she was
made completely whole. 3. It was a public one-there were
many to attest and render it credible. 4. It was a stable and
permanent one-she was loosed, for ever loosed from her in-
firmity. 5. Her soul partook of the good done to her body-
she glorified God. As she knew before that it was Satan who
had bound her, she knew also that it was God only that could
loose her; and now, feeling that she is loosed, she gives God
that honour which is due to his name.

[graphic]

III. The conduct of the ruler of the synagogue on the oc casion. 1. He answered with indignation, ver. 14. It would 7. Behold, these three years] From this circumstance in the seem as if the demon who had left the woman's body, had parable, it may be reasonably concluded that Jesus had been, got into his heart. It is not an infrequent case to find a perat the time of saying this, exercising his ministry for three son filled with rage and madness, while beholding the effects years past, and, from what is said in verse 8, of letting it alone of Christ's power upon others. Perhaps, like this ruler, he This year also, it may be concluded likewise that this parable pretends zeal and concern for the honour of religion: "these was spoken about a year before Christ's crucifixion; and if preachings, prayer-meetings, convictions, conversions, &c. both these conclusions are reasonable, we may thence infer are not carried on in his way, and therefore they cannot be of that this parable was not spoken at the time which appears God." Let such take care, lest while denying the operation to be assigned to it: and that the whole time of Christ's pub- of God's hand, they be given up to demonic influence. 2. Tie ministry was about four years. See Bishop Pearce. But He endeavours to prevent others from receiving the kind help Men of this character, who have extensive influence over the it has already been remarked that St. Luke never studies of the blessed Jesus-He said unto the people, &c. ver. 14. chronological arrangement. See the Preface to this Gospel. Why cumbereth it the ground?] Or, in other words, why poor, &c. do immense harm: they often hinder them from should the ground be also useless. The tree itself brings forth hearing that word which is able to save their souls. But for no fruit; let it be cut down that a more profitable one may be this also, they must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. planted in its place. Cut it down. The Codex Beza has Reader, hast thou ever acted in this way? 3. Jesus retorts added here, depn Tnu ağvny, bring the axe and cut it down. his condemnation with peculiar force: ver. 15, 16. Thou hyIf this reading be genuine, it is doubtless an allusion to Matt. pocrite-to pretend zeal for God's glory, when it is only the 10. Now the are lieth at the root of the trees; if the wri-workings of thy malicious, unfeeling, and uncharitable heart. bath day? and wouldst thou deprive a daughter of Abraham, ter has added it on his own authority, he probably referred to Wouldst thou not even take thy ass to water upon the Sabthe place above-mentioned. See the note on the above text. 4. His adversaries were (one of thy own nation and religion,) of the mercy and goodness of God upon the Sabbath? Was not the Sabbath instiashamed, ver. 17. The mask of their hypocrisy, the only cotuted for the benefit of man? vering they had, is taken away; and now they are exposed to the just censure of that multitude whom they deceived, and from whom they expected continual applause. 5. His indignation and uncharitable censure, not only turn to his own confusion, but are made the instruments of the edification of the multitude-they rejoiced at all the glorious things which he did. Thus, O Lord! the wrath of man shall praise thee, and the remainder thereof thou shalt restrain. A preach18, 19. The kingdom-is like a grain of mustard-seed] er will know how to apply this subject to general edification. See on Matt. xiii. 31.

11. A woman which had a spirit of infirmity] Relative to this subject three things may be considered. I. The woman's infirmity. II. Her cure. And, III. The conduct of the ruler of the synagogue on the occasion.

The woman's infirmity. 1. What was its origin? SIN. Had this never entered into the world, there had not been either pain, distortion, or death. 2. Who was the agent in it? Batan; ver. 16. God has often permitted demons to act on and in the bodies of men and women; and it is not improbable that the principal part of unaccountable and inexplicable disorders, still come from the same source. 3. What was the arure of this infirmity 1 She was bowed together, bent down to the earth, a situation equally painful and humiliating: the violence of which she could not support, and the shame of which she could not conceal. 4. What was the duration of this infirmity? Eighteen years. A long time to be under the constant and peculiar influence of the devil. 5. What was the effect of this infirmity? The woman was so bowed together, that she could in no case stand straight, or look toward

21. Like leaven] See this explained, Matt. xiii. 33.

22. Journeying towards Jerusalem.] Luke represents all that is said, from chap. ix. 51. as having been done and spothe note on chap. ix. 51. and xii. 58. and see the Preface. ken while Christ was on his last journey to Jerusalem. See

23. Are there few that be saved?] A question either of im pertinence or curiosity, the answer to which can profit no man. The grand question is, Can I be saved? Yes. How? strive earnestly to enter in through the strait gate-aywvi 219 Ceole, agonize-exert every power of body and soul-let your salvation be the grand business of your whole life.

Christ predicts the destruction of

ST. LUKE.

shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

30 And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, say ing unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence; for Herod will kill thee.

32 And he said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Behold, I

Matt. 19.30. & 2), 16. Mark 10.31-a Heb. 2. 10-b Matt. 23.37.- Lev. 26.31, 22. P69 25 Isa. 1.7. Dan. 9. 27. Micah 3.12

24. Many will seek] They seek-wish and desire; but they do not strive: therefore, because they will not agonize -will not be in earnest, they shall not get in. See this subject more particularly explained on Matt. vii. 13, 14.

25. And hath shut to the door] See the notes on Matt. vii. 22, 23. and xxv. 10, 11--41.

28. Abraham, and Isaac, &c.] See on Matt. viii. 12. where the figures and allusions made use of here are particularly explained.

29. They shall come] That is, the Gentiles in every part of the world, shall receive the Gospel of the grace of God, when the Jews shall have rejected it.

30. There are last which shall be first] See on Matt. xix. 30. 31. Depart hence, &c.] It is probable that the place from which Christ was desired to depart was Galilee or Perea; for beyond this, Herod had no jurisdiction. It can scarcely mean Jerusalem, though it appears from chap. xxiii. 7. that Herod Antipus was there, at the time of our Lord's crucifixion. Herod will kill thee.] Lactantius says, that this Herod was the person who chiefly instigated the Jewish rulers to put our Lord to death: Tum Pontius, et illorum clamoribus, et Herodis tetrarchæ instigatione, metuentis ne regno pelleretur, victus est:-fearing lest himself should be expelled from the kingdom, if Christ should be permitted to set up his. See LACT. Inst. Div. lib. 4. c. xviii. and Bishop Pearce on Luke xxiii. 7. 32. Tell that for] Herod was a very vicious prince, and lived in public incest with his sister-in-law, Mark vi. 17. if our Lord meant him here, it is hard to say why the character of fox, which implies cunning, design, and artifice, to hide evil intentions, should be attributed to him, who never seemned studious to conceal his vices. But we may suppose that Christ, who knew his heart, saw that he covered his desire for the destruction of our Lord, under the pretence of zeal for the law, and welfare of the Jewish people. A fox, among the Jews, appears to have been the emblem of a wicked ruler, who united cunning with cruelty; and was always plotting how he might aggrandize himself, by spoiling the people. See a quotation in Schoettgen.

Jerusalem, and the tempe.

cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.

33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to-morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. 34 b O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, 4 Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. d Psalm 69. 21. & 118. 26. Iss. 1. 7. Matt. 21. 9. Mark 11. 10. Chapter 19 3 John 12. 13.

to complete. Hence, in reference to our Lord, the word im plies his dying: as the plan of human redemption was not finished till he bowed his head and gave up the ghost on the cross, see John xix. 30. where the same word is used. It is used also in reference to Christ's death, Heb. îi. 10. v. 9. see also Acts xx. 24. and Heb. xii. 23. The word finish, &c. is used in the same sense both by the Greeks and Latins. See KYPKE.

33. I must walk, &c.] I must continue to work miracles, and teach for a short time yet, and then I shall die in Jerusa lem: therefore I cannot depart according to the advice given me, (ver. 31.) nor can a hair of my head fail to the ground til my work be all done.

To-day and to-morrow, &c.] Kypke contends, that the proper translation of the original is, I'must walk to-day and to morrow IN THE NEIGHBOURING COASTS: and that exopten is often understood in this way: see Mark i. 28. and his notes there. That Christ was now in the jurisdiction of Herod, as he supposes, is evident from ver. 31. that he was on his fast journey to Jerusalem, ch. ix. 51. that he had just passed through Samaria, ch. ix. 52, 56. that as Samaria and Judea were under the Roman procurator, and Perea was subject to Herod Antipas, therefore he concludes that Christ was at this time in Perea; which agrees with Matt. xix. 1. and Mark x. 1. and Luke xvii. 11. He thinks if the words be not under stood in this way, they are contrary to ver. 32. which says, that on it Christ is to die, while this says he is to live and act. Perish out of Jerusalem] A man who professes to be a prophet, can be tried, on that ground, only by the grand sanhedrim, which always resides at Jerusalem: and as the Jews are about to put me to death, under the pretence of my being a false prophet, therefore my sentence must come from this city, and my death take place in it.

34. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem] See the notes on Matt. xxii. 37-39. where the metaphor of the hen is illustrated from the Greek Anthology.

35. Your house] 'O oikos, the temple-called here your house, not my house--I acknowledge it no longer, I have abandoned it, and will dwell in it no more for ever. So he said, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 17. when he delivered the temple into the hands of the Chaldeans-the house of YOUR sanctuary. A similar form of speech is found Exod. xxxii. 7. where the Lord said to Moses, THY people, &c. to intimate that he acknowMatt. xxiii. 21, 38. But some think that our Lord means not the temple, but the whole commonwealth of the Jews.

The following observation from the judicious Bishop Pearce, deserves attention. "It is not certain," says he, "that Jesus meant Herod here: he might only have intended to call that man so, from whom the advice of departing came; (whether from the speaker himself, or the person who sent him :) for it is probable, that the advice was given craftily, and with de-ledged them no longer for his followers. Fee the notes on sign to frighten Jesus, and make him go from that place."

To-day and to-morrow] I am to work miracles for two days more, and on the third day I shall be put to death. But it is probable that this phrase only means, that he had but a short time to live, without specifying its duration.

Perfected. Or, finished, reλecopa. I shall then have ac complished the purpose for which I came into the world, leaving nothing undone, which the council of God designed me

The principal subjects in this chapter, may be found con sidered at large, on the parallel places in Matthew and Mark, to which the reader is referred. As to the account of the woman with the spirit of infirmity, which is not mentionej by any other of the evangelists, see it largely illustrated in the notes ou ver. 10, &c.

CHAPTER XIV.

Christ heals a man ill of the dropsy, on a Sabbath day, 1-6. He inculcates humility by a parable, 7-11. The poor to be fed, and not the rich, 12-14. The parable of the great supper, 15-24. How men must become disciples of Christ, 25-27. The parable of the prudent builder, who estimates the cost before he commences his work, 28-30. And of the provident king, 31, 32. The use of these parables, 33. The utility of salt, while in its strength and perfection; and its total uselessness when it has iost its savour, 31, 35. [A. M. 4033. A. D. 29. An. Olymp. CĈII. 1.]

A

ND it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.

2 And behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.

n Job 5. 13,15. Pss. 37.32 & 140, 5. Jer. 20. 10. Mark 3.2. Luke 6.7. & 11.37. NOTES-Verse 1. Chief Pharisees] Or, one of the rulers of the Pharisees. A man who was of the sect of the Pharisees, and one of the rulers of the people.

nour.

To eat bread on the Sabbath day] But why is it that there should be an invitation or dinner given on the Sabbath day Answer. The Jews purchased and prepared the best viands they could procure for the Sabbath day, in order to do it ho See several proofs in Lightfoot. As the Sabbath is is tended for the benefit both of the body and soul of man, it should not be a day of austerity or fasting, especially among the labouring poor. The most wholesome and nutritive food should be then procured if possible; that both body and soul may feel the influence of this divine appointment, and give God the glory of his grace. On this blessed day, let every an eat his bread with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God. In doing this, surely there is no reason that a inan should feed himself without fear. If the Sabbath be a

3 And Jesus answering spake unto the Lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?

4 And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go;

5 And answered them, saying, "Which of you shall have an b Matt. 12. 10.-e Exod. 13. 5. Deu. 24. Ch. 13. 15.

festival, let it be observed unto the Lord, and let no unneces sary acts be done; and avoid that bane of religious solemnity, giving and receiving visits on the Lord's day.

They watched him] Or, were maliciously watching, rapeTnpowμeval-from rapa, intens, or denoting ill, and ipso, to observe, watch. Raphelius, on Mark iii. 2. has proved from a variety of authorities that this is a frequent meaning of the word :--clam, et insidiose ofsertare quid alter, agat-to ob serve privately and insidiously what another does. The cou text plainly proves that this is the sense in which it is to be taken here. The conduct of this Pharisee was most execru ble. Professing friendshipand affection, he invited our blessed Lord to his table, merely that he night have a more favourable opportunity of watching his conduct, that he might accuse

and take away his life. In eating and drinking, people feel generally less restraint than at other times, and are apt to converse more freely. The man who can take such an ad

Parable of the

CHAPTER XIV.

great supper

ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him (The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and out on the sabbath day 3

6 And they could not answer him again to these things.
71 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden,
when be marked how they chose out the chief rooms; raying
unto them,

8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not
down in the highest room, lest a more honourable man than
thou be bidden of him;

9 And he that bade thee and him, come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest

room.

10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.

11 For whosoever exaltetli himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee.

13 But when thou makest a feast, call f the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:

14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. 15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.

16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great sup. per, and bade many;

17 And isent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.

18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. 4 Prov. 25.6, 7- Job 22.29. Pra. 18 27. Prov 29.26. Matt. 23, 12. Ch. 18 14. James 1.6, 1 Pet. 5. 5- Neh.8.10, 12. Tob.2.2. & 4.7-g Rev. 19.9.-h Matt 22.2Prev. 9. 2, 5.

vantage over one of his own guests, must have a baseness of soul and fellness of malice, of which, we would have thought, for the honour of human nature, that devils alone were capable. Among the Turks, if a man only taste salt with another, he holds himself bound in the most solemn manner never to do that person any injury. I shall make no apology for inwerting the following anecdote.

A public robber in Persia, known by the name of Yacoub ibn Leits Saffer, broke open the treasury of Dirhem, the governor of Sistan. Notwithstanding the obscurity of the place, he observed, in walking forward, something that sparkled a little: supposing it to be some precious stones, he put his hand on the place, and taking up something, touched it with his tongue, and found it to be salt. He immediately left the treasury, without taking the smallest article with him! The governor finding in the morning that the treasury had been broken open, and that nothing had been carried off, ordered it to be published, that, "Whoever the robber was, who had broken open the treasury, if he declared himself, he should be freely pardoned, and that he should not only receive no injury, but should be received into the good graces of the governor." Confiding in the promise of Dirhem, Yacoub appeared. The governor asked him, How it came to pass, that after having broken open the treasury, he took nothing away? Yacoub related the affair as it happened, and added: I believed that 1 was become your FRIEND in eating of your SALT, and that the LAWS of that friendship would not permit me to touch any thing that appertained to you." D'Herbelot, Bib. Orient. p. 415. How base must that man be who professes Christianity, and yet makes his own table a snare for his friend.

2. The dropsy] 'Yopwnikós, dropsical; from vdwp, water, and , the countenance, because in this disorder the face of the patient is often very much bloated. Probably the insidious Pharisee had brought this dropsical man to the place, not doubting that our Lord's eye would affect his heart, and that he would instantly cure him: and then he could most plausibly accuse him for a breach of the Sabbath. If this were the case, and it is likely, how deep must have been the perfidy and malice of the Pharisee!

They held their peace] They could not answer the ques tion but in the affirmative; and as they were determined to accuse him, if he did heal the man, they could not give an answer but such as would condemn themselves, and therefore they were silent.

5. An ass or an or] See on chap. xiii. 15.

I must needs go and see it: Ipray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and 1
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore 1
go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.

cannot come.

21 So that servant came, and showed his lord these things.
Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring
Then the master of the house being angry, said to his servant,
in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
manded, and yet there is room.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast com-

23 And the lord said unto the servant Go out into the high
ways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house
may be filled."

24 For I say unto you, k That none of those men which were
bidden, shall taste of my supper.

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he
turned, and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and
"yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters,
me, cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after

28 For P which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not
down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient
to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31 Or what king going to make war against another king, ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twensitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ty thousand?

k Matt. 21. 43. & 22. 8.

Acts 13. 46.-1 Deu. 13, 6, & 33. 9. Matt. 10.37.-m Rom. 9. 13-n Rev. 12. 11.- Matt. 16. 24. Mark 8.31. Chap. 9. 23. 2 Timothy 3.12p Prov. 24. 27.

up higher: but do not take the uppermost seat, lest they say unto thee, come down; for it is better that they should say unto thee, go up, go up than that they should say, come down, come down. See Schoetigen.

11. For whosoever exalteth himself, &c.] This is the unand giving grace, honour, and glory to the humble. changeable conduct of God: he is ever abasing the proud,

12. Call not thy friends, &c.] Our Lord certainly does not mean that a man should not entertain, at particular times, his friends, &c. but what he inculcates here is charity to the poor: and what he condemns, is those entertainments which are given to the rich, either to flatter them, or to procure a similar return; because the money that is thus criminally laid out, properly belongs to the poor.

14. For they cannot recompense thee] Because you have done it for God's sake only, and they cannot make you a recompense, therefore God will consider himself your debtor : and will recompense you in the resurrection of the righteous. There are many very excellent sayings among the Rabbins on the excellence of charity. They produce both Job and Abraham as examples of a very merciful disposition." Job, say they, had an open door on each of the four quarters of his house, that the poor, from whatever direction they might come, might find the door of hospitality open to receive them. But Abraham was more charitable than Job, for he travelled over the whole land in order to find out the poor, that he might conduct them to his house."

15. That shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.] This is who imagined that the kingdom of the Messiah should be spoken in conformity to the general expectation of the Jews, wholly of a secular nature. Instead of aprov, bread, EKMS V. more than one hundred others, with some Versions and Fathers, read apisov, a dinner. This is probably the best. reading, as it is likely it was a dinner at which they now sat: and it would be natural for the person to say, happy is he who shall dine in the kingdom of God. It does not appear that there was any but this person present, who was capable of respiritual reference. lishing the conversation of our Lord, or entering at all into its

16-24. A certain man made a great supper, &c.] See a similar parable to this, though not spoken on the same occasion, explained, Matt. xxii. 1-14.

23. Compel them to come in] Avayκasov, prevail on them by the most earnest entreaties. The word is used by Matthew, chap. xiv. 22. and by Mark, chap. vi. 45. In both which 1. They chose out the chief rooms] When custom and law places, when Christ is said, avaykačev, to constrain l.is discihave regulated and settled places in public assemblies, a man ples to get into the vessel, nothing but his commanding or who is obliged to attend, may take the place which belongs to persuading them to do it, can be reasonably understood. The to prevail on by prayers, counsels, entreaties, &c. See seve him, without injury to himself or to others; when nothing of Latins use cogo, and compello, in exactly the same sense, i. e. this nature is settled, the law of humility, and the love of order, are the only judges of what is proper. To take the high-ral examples in Bishop PEARCE, and in KYPKE. No other kind est place when it is not our due, is public vanity: obstinately of constraint is ever recommended in the Gospel of Christ: to refuse it when offered, is another instance of the same vice, every other kind of compulsion is antichristian, can only be though private and concealed. Humility takes as much care submitted to by cowards and knaves, and can produce no26. And hate not] Matthew, chap. x. 37. expresses the true to avoid the ostentation of an affected refusal, as the open thing but hypocrites. See at the end of the chapter. seeking of a superior place. See Quesnel. In this parable our Lord only repeats advices which the rabbins had given to meaning of this word, when he says, he who loveth his father their pupils, but were too proud to conform to themselves. and mother MORE than me. In chap. vi. 24. he uses the word hate 221 Rabbi Akibi said, Go two or three seats lower than the place in the same sense. When we read, Rom. ix. 13. Jacob have I lo 20* that belongs to thee, and sit there till they say unto thee, goved, but Esau have I hated, the meaning is simply, I have loved

[blocks in formation]

Jacob-the Israelites; more than Esau-the Edomites: and that this is no arbitrary interpretation of the word hate, but one agreeable to the Hebrew idiom, appears from what is said on Gen. xxix. 30, 31, where Leah's being hated is explained by Rachel's being lored more than Leah. See also Deut. xxi. 15-17. and Bishop Pearce on this place. See also the notes on Matt. x. 37.

27. Doth not bear his cross] See on Matt. x. 33. xvi. 24. 28. To build a tower] Probably this means no more than a dwelling-house, on the top of which, according to the Asiatic manner, battlements were built both to take the fresh air on, and to serve for refuge from, and defence against an enemy. It was also used for prayer and meditation. This parable represents the absurdity of those who undertook to be disciples of Christ, without considering what difficulties they were to Iseet with, and what strength they had to enable them to go through with the undertaking. He that will be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, shall require no less than the mighty power of God to support him; as both hell and earth will unite to destroy him.

draw near to hear our Lord.

34 Salt is good but if the salt have lost his savour, where. with shall it be seasoned?

35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Mark 9. 50.

in the wrong, they may learn to add falsehood and villany to error. How glorious a prize! especially when one considers at what an expense it is gained. But,

"4th. Persecution tends to produce much mischief and con. fusion in the world. It is mischievous to those on whom it falls; and in its consequences so mischievous to others, that one would wonder any wise princes should ever have admitted it into their dominions, or that they should not have iminediate. ly banished it thence; for even where it succeeds so far as to produce a change in men's forms of worship, it generally makes them no more than hypocritical professors of what they do not believe, which must undoubtedly debauch their characters; so that having been villains in one respect, it is very probable that they will be so in another; and having brought deceit and falsehood into their religion, that they will easily bring it into their conversation and commerce. This will be the effect of persecution where it is yielded to, and where it is opposed, (as it must often be by upright and con scientious men, who have the greater claim upon the protec tion and favour of government,) the mischievous consequen 33. Whosoever he be of you] This seems to be addressed par ces of its fury will be more flagrant and shocking. Nay, per. ticularly to those who were then, and who were to be preach-haps where there is no true religion, a native sense of honour ers of his Gospel; and who were to travel over all countries, in a generous mind may stimulate it to endure some hard. publishing salvation to a lost world. ships for the cause of truth. 'Obstinacy,' as one well ob. serves, may rise as the understanding is oppressed, and con. tinue its opposition for a while, merely to avenge the cause of its injured liberty.'

34. Salt is good] See on Matt. v. 13. and Mark ix. 51. On the subject referred to this place from ver. 23. Compel them to come in, which has been adduced to favour religious persecution; I find the following sensible and just observations in Dr. Dodd's notes.

"1st. Persecution for conscience sake, that is, inflicting penalty upon men merely for their religious principles of worship, is plainly founded on a supposition that one man has a right to judge for another in matters of religion, which is manifestly absurd, and has been fully proved to be so by many

excellent writers of our church.

"2d. Persecution is most evidently inconsistent with that fundamental principle of morality; that we should do to others as we could reasonably wish they should do to us; a rule which carries its own deinonstration with it, and was intended to take off that bias of self-love, which would divert us from the straight line of equity, and render us partial judges betwixt our neighbours and ourselves. I would ask the advocate of wholesome severities, how he would relish his own ar guments if turned upon himself? What if he were to go abroad into the world among Papists, if he be a Protestant; among Mahometans, if he be a Christian 7 supposing he was to behave like an honest man, a good neighbour, a peaceable subject, avoiding every injury, and taking all opportunities to serve and oblige those about him; would he think that mere. ly because he refused to follow his neighbours to their altars or their mosques, he should be seized and imprisoned, his goods confiscated, his person condemned to tortures or death? Undoubtedly he would complain of this as a very great hard-by the Gospel, that it is most directly contrary to many of its ship, and soon see the absurdity and injustice of such a treat inent when it fell upon him, and when such measure as he would mete to others, was measured to him again.

3d. Persecution is absurd, as being by no means calculated to answer the end which its patrons profess to intend by it; namely, the glory of God, and the salvation of men. Now if it does any good to men at all, it must be by making them truly religious: but religion is not a mere name or a ceremo ny. True religion imports an entire change of the heart, and it must be founded in the inward conviction of the mind; or it is impossible it should be what yet it must be, a reasonable service. Let it only be considered, what violence and persecution can do towards producing such an inward conviction. A man might as reasonably expect to bind an immaterial spirit with a cord, or to beat down a wall with an argument, as to convince the understanding by threats and tortures. Persecution is much more likely to make men hypocrites, than sincere converts. They may perhaps, if they have not a firm and heroic courage, change their profession while they retain their sentiments; and supposing them before to be unwarily

Nay, 5th. The cause of truth itself must, humanly speak. ing, be not only obstructed, but destroyed, should perse. cuting principles universally prevail. For even upon the supposition, that in some countries it might tend to promote and establish the purity of the Gospel, yet it must surely be a great impediment to its progress. What wise Heathen or Mahometan prince would ever admit Christian preachers into his dominions, if he knew it was a principle of their religion, that as soon as the majority of the people were converted by arguments, the rest, and himself with them, if he continued obstinate, must be proselyted or extirpated by fire and sword 1 If it be, as the advocates for persecution have generally sup posed, a dictate of the law of nature to propagate the true religion by the sword; then certainly a Mahonetan or an idolater, with the same notions, supposing him to have truth on his side, must think himself obliged in conscience to arm his powers for the extirpation of Christianity; and thus a holy war must cover the face of the whole earth, in which nothing but a miracle could render Christians successful against so vast a disproportion in numbers. Now it seems hard to believe that to be a truth which would naturally lead to the extirpation of truth in the world; or that a divine religion should carry in its own bowels the principle of its own destruction. "But, 6th. This point is clearly determined by the lip of truth itself; and persecution is so far from being encouraged precepts, and indeed to the whole genius of it. It is condemned by the example of Christ, rho went about doing good; who came not to destroy men's lives, but to sure them: who waved the exercise of his miraculous power against his enemies, even when they most unjustly and cruelly assaulted him, and never exerted it to the corporal punishment, even of those who had most justly deserved it. And his doctrine also, as well as his examples, has taught us to be harmless as doves; to love our enemies; to do good to them that hate us; and pray for them that despitefully use and persecute us." From all this we may learn, that the church which tolerates, encourages, and practises persecution, under the pretence of concern for the purity of the faith, and zeal for God's glory; is not the church of Christ: and that no man can be of such a church, without endangering his salvation. Let it ever be the glory of the Protestant church, and especially of the church of England, that it discountenances and abhors all persecution on a religious account; and that it has diffused the same benign temper through that STATE, with which it is associated.

CHAPTER XV.

Publicans and sinners draw near to hear our Lord, at which the Pharisees are offended, 1, 2. Christ vindicates his conduct in receiving them by the parable of the lost sheep, 3-7. The parable of the last piece of money, 8-10; and the affect ing parable of the prodigal son, 11–32. [A. M. 4033. A. D. 29.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

An. Olymp CXCII. 1.]

And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it 1

e Mart. 18. 12.

NOTES-Verse 1. Publicans and sinners] Tedovat xat word implies. What mercy! Jesus receives sinners in the auaprotot, tar-gatherers and heathens; persons who neither most loving, affectionate manner, and saves them unto eterna believed in Christ nur in Moses. See the note on chap. vii.life! Reader, give glory to God for ever! 36. Concerning the tax-gatherers, see the note on Matt. v. 46. 2. Receiveth sinners] [Ipɔodexeral. He receives them cordially, affectionately-takes then to his bosom; for so the

4. What man of you] Our Lord spoke this and the follow ing parable to justify his conduct in receiving and conversing with sinners, or heathens.

« PrécédentContinuer »