Page images
[blocks in formation]

(R) Ver. 18-38. The woman cured of a complaint of twelve years' standing. The ruler's daughter raised. Two blind men and a dumb demoniac cured.-While Jesus was engaged in conversation at the house of Matthew, Jairus, ruler of the synagogue, came and worshipped him. This might, indeed, be nothing more than the usual token of respect to men of rank and consequence; his request, however, shows that he had the highest opinion of Christ's saving power; for though he thought that his daughter was "even now dead," he says, "Come and lay thy hand on her, aud she shall live." In regard to faith so eminent, Jesus and three of his disciples immediately depart for the ruler's house. He is stopped by the way, however, for a few moments, by another applicant, whose faith seems to have been even more extraordinary; for she was firmly persuaded, that if she did but touch" the hem (or fringe) of his garment," she should receive a cure; and she thought, perhaps, thereby to save her own delicacy, and avoid the observation of the crowd. Jesus, however, wished to do honour to faith so eminent; and, while she shrank from public notice behind him, he turned round, and in the kindest manner said, " Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole." She accordingly received an immediate and permanent cure. Such is the power and grace of Christ!

Before Jesus and his disciples could arrive at the ruler's house, the fatal event had taken place, and, according to custom, "the minstrels" had been sent for, and the funeral lamentations were begun. Im mediately, however, on our Lord's entrance, these troublesome people were expelled; but not before they had expressed their coutempt and scorn for the divine visitant, when be assured them the maiden was not dead, but sleeping; meaning, no doubt, as in the case of Lazarus, that he would raise her from the dead. (See John

xi. 11.) He did so, and the fame of this miracle brought others to request the exertion of his saving power.

Among these, two blind men (probably beggars) accosted Jesus as "the Son of David," and as he (doubtless to try their faith) did not stop to speak to them by the way, they followed him into the house whither he went; and professing their confidence in his healing power, had their eyes opened. But here we may remark, that in this, as in the preceding and many other instances, he charged them to "let no man know it." The object of this could not be, to make a secret of the miraculous power with which he was endowed, for that was the evidence of his divine character and mission; but in this, as in some other cases, it should seem that the fame of his miracles drew such multitudes around him, as not only to deprive him of opportunities of retirement for the purposes of devotion, but even to interrupt his public preaching. (See Mark i. 32-38.) It may be added, that Jesus never sought popularity for its own sake, and had no desire needlessly to provoke his enemies.

His caution was, however, of no avail. His miracles continued to increase his popularity, and at the same time (such is the depravity of human nature!) to augment the opposition of his enemies. An instance of this nature closes this eventful chapter. Among other objects of benevolence, a deaf and dumb man, whose disorder is attributed to the influence of a demon, received a cure, and all the people marvelled, saying, "It was never so seen in Israel!" But the Pharisees, on the other hand, though they did not deny the fact, attributed it to magic, saying, "He casteth out demons through the prince of the demons; that is, Satan. This charge we shall find repeated farther on; and as our Lord there condescends to refute it, we shall thither defer our remarks upon it. (See on chap. xii. 24, &c.)


CHAP. X. Ver. 2. Twelve apostles - the term Apostle literally means, a person sent upon some errand, and is in its derivation equal to Missionary: the Apostles, however, if Missionaries, were in the first instance, Home-missionaries. But the sacred

writers usually confine the term to the twelve, and to St. Paul.

Ibid. Peter-commonly called Simon Peter.James this name in Greek is Jacob, the same as that of the Patriarch.

[blocks in formation]

who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus;

4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

9 Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,

10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.

11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go


12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.

13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.


[their mission.

15 Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;

18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. (S)

24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

25 It is enough for the disciple that


(S) Ver. 1-23. Jesus chooses twelve A

postles, and gives them their commission.— "The distinguishing feature of the Chris.


Ver. 3. The Canaanite - Campbell, "The Canaanite." Some think the Greek word imports an inhabitant of Cana of Galilee; not a descendant of CaDaan, the grandson of Noah. Others suppose it to be a Syriac word, equivalent to Zelotes, Luke vi. 15. -Lebbeus also called "Jude," and author of the Epistle.

Ver. 7. As ye go, Preach Doddr. and Campbell, "Proclaim." It is the office of a herald that is here alluded to.

Ver. 8. Raise the dead- this member of the sentence is omitted in many ancient MSS, and some versions: it is therefore rejected by Wetstein, Griesbach, and Campbell, but retained by Whitby, Doddr. &e. There is no instance on record of the Apostles raising any dead person till after the day of Pentecost.

Ver. 9. In your purses - Gr, Zones, or girdles, the folds of which usually formed their purses.

Ver. 10. Neither two coats, &c.-Camp. extends the word two in the first clause to the following articles, and renders the sentence, "Nor two coats, nor two pair of shoes," &c. Perhaps the most correct English version would be, "No change of coats, or shoes, or staves;" that is, nothing unnecessary for their journey, which was to be short, and in haste. Comp. Exod. xii. 11.-Worthy of his meat-Camp. "Of his maintenance."

Ver. 12. Salute it-the usual salutation was a salam; i. e." peace be unto this house!" Such is the custom in the East to this day.

Ver. 18. Against them-Hamm. and Doddr. "To


[blocks in formation]

he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

26 Fear them not, therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

28 And fear not them which kill


the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

EXPOSITION-Chapter X. Continued.

tian church (says Mr. Ward), as it came from the forming hand of its founder, was unquestionably missionary." Jesus was the sent of the Father; and he sent forth Apostles, or Missionaries, to evangelize Judea. These primitive missionaries were endowed with the power of working miracles, and of healing all manner of diseases; but the gift of tongues appears to have been reserved for the day of Pentecost, when their commission was extended "unto all the world." At present, their message was "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" only they were not allowed to go unto either the Gentiles or the Samaritans.

They were also not suffered to make any provision for their journey; nor, except in necessary food and clothing, to receive any reward: Freely ye have received; freely give." One part of their directions is peculiar: "Into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till ye go thence." The worthiness here referred to, is evidently that of character: they were to enquire for persons of repute for piety, benevolence, and hospitality, and then receive their offered kindness; not wandering from house to house, with idle curiosity, but saluting them with words of peace, and imploring on them all its blessings. But if any refused to admit them, all the resentment they were allowed to show, was the shaking the dust from off their feet: an awful witness against them in the day of judgment.

Our Lord now warns his disciples

of the treatment they must expect to meet with from the world, and how to comport themselves under it. They were "as sheep among wolves," and must expect to be treated with injury and outrage. They were allowed, however, to exercise prudence, to avoid the snares laid for them by their enemies, but they must not retaliate the injuries received. They may be "wise as serpents," but they must also be "harmless as doves." Without wisdom (or with but a very small portion of it) they may be Christians, but not without" innocence," or moral purity of conduct. This, united with wisdom and prudence, does honour to the Christian name.

But in this address of our Lord to his disciples, he refers particularly to the case of persecution, of which he candidly warns them; and, instead of promising them exemption, assures them of direction and support. They shall be hated, accused, betrayed, martyred, "but he that endureth to the end, shall be saved." In the mean time, they are not to provoke persecu tion; but rather to avoid it, when it can be done without injury to their Master's cause. Yet when they fly, it must not be to seek inglorious ease, but rather to spread the news of salvation from place to place; for such was the extent of their itinerating labours, that they would scarcely be able to visit every part of Judea before the Son of man should come, and visit the nation with the most awful judgments.


[blocks in formation]

apply in a peculiar manner to that country, where the gospel met, in the first instance, with the most inveterate opposition from those for whose salvation it was peculiarly designed. It is the gospel of peace; but men war against it.

Ver. 38. That taketh not his cross-alluding to criminals being compelled to bear their own cross, as was our Saviour in the first instance. John xix. 17. Ver. 41. A prophet- that is, a messenger from God, whether under the Old Testament or the New.

Whom Christ]


33 But whosoever shall deny nie before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her motherin-law.

36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

[will acknowledge.

40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward.

42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (T)


AND it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,


(T) Ver. 24-42. Encouragement under persecution. In the former part of this chapter, our Lord has been warning his disciples to expect persecution: here he offers several reasons to animate and support them under it. 1. "The disciple is not above his master:" it is surely enough if he fare as well. If they call the master Beelzebub, is it wonderful if they cast the same reproach upon his followers? If he who was without fault, and "in whose mouth was no guile," be subjected, not only to reproach, but pains and death also, surely it is not to be wondered that sinful men (as we all are) are called to drink the same cup of anguish. 2. Remember, that the utmost which men can do, affects the body only; they cannot reach the soul; to risk, therefore, the divine displeasure, in order to escape the anger of men, is folly in the extreme. 3. We are all and always under the immediate eye and care of God, "Who sees with equal eye, as God of all, A monarch perish, or a sparrow fall." Even "the hairs of our head are all numbered" by that wisdom which cannot possibly overlook an atom in creation. 4. All our actions must be brought into judgment before God. If we deny Christ before men,


and repent not, most assuredly will he deny us before his heavenly Father. 5. The nature of the gospel dispensation implies the necessity of persecution. It must needs be that offences come. (Matt. xviii. 7.) The very proclamation of mercy to mankind, enkindles all the evil passions of wicked men and "unclean spirits." When Jesus holds out the sceptre of mercy, Satan draws the sword of persecution; and it is in vain to hope, by trimming and prevarication, to avoid it: for, 6. He that thus attempts to preserve his life, risks the salvation of his soul; while, on the other hand, whosoever loses his life in this world for Christ's sake, shall surely find it in the world to come. 7. Persecution, in one form or other, is necessary to the completion of the Christian character: for he that" doth not take up his cross and follow me (says the Saviour), is not worthy of me," or fit to be ranked among my disciples. Lastly, whatever is done to Christ's disciples in his name, is done to himself, and will as such be recompensed at the last great day, when "every man shall be rewarded according to his works ;" and when " a cup of cold water," trifling as the boon may seem to us, if given in Christian charity, shall by no means be forgotten.


CHAP. XI. Ver. 2. When John had heard.--John was at this time in prisou, and soon after suffered for

the freedom and fidelity with which he reproved Herod, as we shall hereafter see.

Jesus bear's]


3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.

9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

10 For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there


[testimony to John, hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.

15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows,

17 And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children. (U)

20 Then began he to upbraid the


(U) Ver. 1-19. John sends two disciples to visit Jesus, who bears testimony concerning John. When the Baptist heard, iu prison, the miraculous works of Jesus, he deputed two of his disciples to visit him, and to inquire into his character and mission; not for his own satisfaction, we may believe, for he had been certified by a voice from heaven that Jesus was indeed the Son of God; but for theirs, that they also might be satisfied. Instead of returning to John a verbal answer, Jesus de-

sires them simply to relate what they saw, and to take John's opinion as to the proper inference they should draw. When, however, John's disciples had returned back to their master, Jesus began to speak to the Jews of his extraordinary character: "What went ye into the wilderness to see?" Was it a reed shaken by the wind? Had that been his character, he would not have been now confined; for it was on account of his fidelity and firmness that Herod had shut him up in prison. Was it to see a man of delicate habits, and deli

NOTES-Chap. XI. Con.

Ver.3. Bethat should come-namely, the Messiah. See chap. iii. 11.

Ver. 5. The poor have the gospel preached to them-a circumstance little less singular than the miracles which Jesus wrought; for neither Rabbins nor philosophers ever condescended to teach the lower classes.

Ver. 6. Offended in me - Doddr." Scandalized (or stumbled) at me." The same Messiah who was promised as the foundation-stone of his church, was also predicted as a stambling-stone to those who rejected him through unbelief. See ch. xxi. 44. Ver. 8. A man clothed in soft raiment- An effe.

minate courtier, accustomed to fawning and flattery. You may expect to find such persons in palaces, not in a wilderness." Wesley.

Ver. 12. Suffereth violence-Marg. "Is gotten by force, and they that thrust men, take it by force.”

Ver. 15. He that hath ears, &c. - that is, "Let those who are disposed to learn, attend." See Deut. xxix. 4; Ezek. xii. 2. It is a kind of proverbial expression.

Ver. 17. We have mourned--Camp. "Sung mournful songs." Compare chap. ix. 23, and Note.

Ver. 20. He began to upbraid.--This is the first time he had done so. At first they received him joy.


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »