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our Lord's disciples, had they understood and applied this prediction which was built upon the ancient prophecies, in a proper manner; but they were so ignorant in the scriptures, that they had no idea of what he meant : And they understood none of these things : and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
But the sons of Zebedee were so ignorant, that they thought their Master, by his telling them that he would rise again from the dead, meant that he would then erect his empire ; and, accordingly, begged that he would confer on them the chief posts in his kingdom, which they expressed, by desiring to be seated, the one on his right hand, and the other on his left, in allusion to his placing the twelve apostles upon twelve thrones, judging the tribes of Israel.
Ever since our Saviour's transfiguration, the sons of Zebedee had conceived very high notions of his kingdom and possibly of their own merit also, because they had been admitted to behold that miracle; but JESUS told them, they were ignorant of the nature of the honor they requested ; and since they desired to share with him in his glory asked them, if they were willing to share with him also in his sufferings; . Ye know not what ye ask. Are
able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with ? Mat. xx. 22. The two disciples, ravished with the prospect of the dignity they were aspiring after, replied without hesitation, that they were both able and willing to share any hardship their Master might meet with in the way to his kingdom. To which he answered, that they should certainly share with him his troubles and afflictions : but that they had asked a favour which was not his to give : Yo shall drink, indeed, of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with : but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.'
The indignation of the rest of the disciples being raised by this ambitious request of the two brothers, and thinking themselves equally deserving the principal posts in the Messiah's kingdom, they were highly offended at the arrogance of the sons of Zebedee. Jesus, therefore, in order to restore harmony amongst his disciples, told them, that his kingdom was very different from those of the present world ; and that the greatness of his disciples did not, like that of secular princes consist in reigning over others in an absolute and despotic manner : Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you : but whosoever will be great among you let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant; even as the. Son of man came not to be administered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jests, being arrived at Jericho, giveth sight to two
blind men near that Place; He visiteth Zaccheus the Publican, and delivers the Parable of a Nobleman who left Money with his Servants to trade with in his Absence : The Rulers give orders to apprehend him: Being arrived at Bethany, Mary anointeth his Feet : Judas murmureth at the Cost. CHRIST rideth into Jerusalem upon an Ass, amidst the acclamations of the multitude, and weepeth over the
OUR Lord with his disciples, and the multitude that accompanied him, being now arrived at Jericho, in their way to Jerusalem, a famous city of Palestine, and the second in the kingdom. Near this town Jesus cured two blind men, who sat by the road begging, and expressed their belief in him, as the Messiah: • Andas they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David. · And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord thou Son of David.' Matt. xx. 29, 30, 31.
The Son of God stood still at this importunate re. quest of the two men, and called them to him, that, by their manner of walking, spectators might be convinced that they were really blind. As soon as they approachcd him, he asked them, what they requested with such earnestness? To which the beggars answered, that they might receive their sight: What will ye that I shall do unto you? They say, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. This request was not made in vain : their compassionate Saviour touched their eyes, and immediately they received sight, and followed him, glori
fying and praising God. After conferring sight on these beggars, Zaccheus, chief of the publicans, having often heard of the fame of our Lord's miracles, was desirous of seeing his person ; but the lowness of his stature prevented him from satisfying his curiosity, he ran before, and climbed up a sycamore tree to see him; for he was to pass that way. As Jesus approached the place where he was, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zaccheus, make haste and come down ; for to-day I must abide at thy house. Luke xix. 5.
At which condescension of our Lord, the publican expressed his joy, carried him to his house and shewed him all the marks of civility in his power. But the people when they saw he was going to the house of a publican, condemned his conduct, as not conformable to the character of a prophet. Zaccheus seems to have heard these unjust reflections; and, therefore was unwilling to justify himself before JESUS and his attendants: And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor'; and if I have taken any thing from any man, by false accusation, I restore him four fold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to thy house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
Further to convince the people that he acted agreeilble to his character, in keeping company with publicans and sinners, our Lord told them, that the true intention of his coming was to recover those who had wandered from the paths of virtue, and restore them to the rightful owner: The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost. While Jesus continued in the house of Zaccheus the publican, he spake a parable to his followers, who supposed, at his arrival in the royal city, he would erect the long-expected kingdoin of the Messiah ; ' A certain nobleman,' said he, went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delive ered to them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent å message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, say. ing, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, be thou also over five cities. And another came saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin : for 1 feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layest not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: where. fore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given"; and from him that hath not even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.'
We have the characters of three sorts of men in this parable delineated by our blessed Saviour himself; namely, the true disciples of the Messiah, the hypocrites, and the openly prophane : and the treatment these servants met with, represents the final sentences that will be passed upon them by the awful Judge of