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11 But he said unto them, which have made themselves All men cannot receive this eunuchs for the kingdom of saying, save they to whom it is heaven's sake. He that is given. able to receive it, let him receive it.
12 For there are some eunuchs, which were SO born 13 Then were there brought from their mother's womb: unto him little children, that and there are some eunuchs, he should put his hands on which were made eunuchs of them, and pray and the discimen and there be eunuchs, ples rebuked them.
stances, short of the crime specified by the Saviour, can justify the sundering of the bond, it would be well not to enter into the state of marriage. The disciples spoke thus, under the influence of notions and practices that prevailed among the Jews. The true view of the marriage state was not commonly entertained among them; and nearly all were in the habit of regarding a person's supposed convenience as sufficient to justify a divorce. Having grown up in the midst of practices proceeding from such a sentiment, it is not to be wondered at, that the disciples hastily spoke of the marriage state, as represented by Jesus, rather in the light of an uncomfortable restraint, a species of bondage, which it would be well to
referred to, may be profitably read in this connection.
REMARK. We see the happy influence of the gospel on the marriage relation. It has brought back the in stitution to its original state and design. It defends the rights and privileges of wives as well as of husbands. By the experience of Christian countries, as contrasted with other countries, it is also shown that the original character of the institution, thus restored by the gospel, is most happily adapted to the moral improvement and happiness of the human race; and that a departure from this original character is fraught with evils, personal, domestic, and civil. How grossly do persons offend against the best interests of the human race, who in any way disparage the institution of marriage, or slight the restraints and the privileges for which the Creator intended marriage!
13. Little children. The term is a general one, not pointing out children of any particular age. In Mark 10: 13, the expression is, young chil
11, 12. All men cannot receive this saying. The remark which the disciples had made, the Saviour said, is contrary to the nature of man; and there are but few in reference to whom their remark can properly be made. In reference to the great mass of men, the marriage state grows out of the very principles and propensities implanted in their nature by the Cre-dren; but in the original, the word is ator. Still there are individual cases the same as in Matthew. In Luke of exception, and if a person has rea- 18: 15, we read, "they brought unto son to regard himself as among these him also infants." There a different cases of exception, and is, in a judi- word is used. It is, however, a word cious manner, disposed to act on the not restricted to the period of infansaying of the disciples, he is at lib-cy, as appears from examining 2 Tim. erty so to do. For the kingdom of 3: 15, "from a child thou hast known heaven's sake; that is, as we say, for the holy Scriptures;" the word transthe sake of the cause of Christ, for the lated child, in the Epistle to Timothy, promotion of true religion. 1 Cor. 7: being the same as that which is trans32. The chapter in the Epistle just lateď infants in Luke. || Brought un
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Mas
15. He laid his hands on them. Mark (10: 16) adds, "he took them up in his arms, and blessed them." Examine, as parallel passages, Mark 10: 13-16. Luke 18: 15-17.
to him. The word bring is, in or- very occasion. The kingdom of heaven dinary use, applied to children who here means the Messiah's dispensawalk by our side, as well as those tion; and the sentiment uttered by who are carried in the arms. It is our Lord is, that the spirit of little not important for us, in order to un-children is that which must be posderstand this passage, or for any prac-sessed by his disciples; that without tical purposes, to know of what age this spirit no one can enjoy the blessthese children were. They were ings of his dispensation. How suitchildren of a tender age. That he able, then, that he should regard should put his hands on them. The with peculiar fondness, little children laying of hands on a person was sig- brought to him for his benediction! nificant of pronouncing on him, or seeking for him, a blessing. See Gen. 48: 14. Matt. 9: 18. Mark 16: 18. And pray; pray for a blessing on the children. The Jews, from the earliest period, thought very highly of such an act, performed by a venerable and pious man, especially a prophet, or a religious teacher. They believed that blessings thus pronounced would be efficacious as to the future welfare of children. A benediction pronounced by Jesus, and prayer for the children by him, were sought on the occasion here spoken of. || The disciples rebuked them; that is, those who brought the children. The disciples, perhaps, wished to continue their inquiries on the subject of which they had just been speaking; and they regarded it as quite unsuitable, that for the sake of little children, and for merely gratifying the feelings of some parents, they should be interrupted in the midst of an important conversation.
14. For of such is the kingdom of heaven; of persons resembling little children, that is, in their prevalent traits of character, love and submission to parents, and modest, humble temper. See 18: 3. That the Saviour spoke of the childlike disposition, as that required in the new dispensation, and not of children, as children, being actually included in the number of his people, is obvious from the manner in which Mark (10: 15) and Luke (18: 17) speak on this
NOTICE the condescension of Jesus. He honored the promptings of natural affection in those who sought his blessing in behalf of their children. He did not treat children as unworthy of his regard, but looked on them with pleasure, as manifesting some of the lovely traits of character which true religion inspires. See 1 Cor. 14: 20. He also knew how to estimate the value of good impressions made on the heart at an early period, and would not miss an opportunity of doing good, which those children might remember for years. A worthy example for us. Let us highly prize the simplicity and modesty of childhood, beware of neglecting "little ones," for whom the Saviour showed a tender regard, and feel that time spent in seeking the welfare of chil dren is well bestowed. Let us examine whether we have a childlike disposition towards God; humble, submissive to his will, feeling towards him as the author of all our mercies.
16. One came. From the 20th verse, we learn that he was a young man. From Luke 18: 18, we also learn that he was a ruler; what of fice, if any, he sustained, we are not informed. The word ruler was ap
ter, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no
murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honor thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
plicable to the rulers of synagogues, but to God; and hence it ought not to the members of the Sanhedrim, to be applied to one who is acknowland to other persons of distinction. edged only as a religious teacher. Good Master. The Pharisees were He wished, too, to make a marked fond of being addressed by such titles, difference between himself and the for they made pretensions to high haughty Pharisees. The true characmoral worth, and to eminence as re-ter of Jesus was not known by this ligious teachers. The word rendered man; and the epithet which he emmaster, properly means teacher. This ployed was only intended as a flatteryoung man addressed the Saviour ing or respectful term, such as was with the same pompous title that he customary in addressing the Rabbins. would have used in speaking to a || Into life; eternal life. || Keep the Jewish doctor of the law. What commandments. The Saviour shaped good thing shall I do? He seems to his reply in such a manner as ultihave thought that some particular act mately to expose to the young man's or acts of obedience were preemi- own view his deficiencies, and his nently pleasing to God, so as to se- need of something for salvation difcure his regard. He did not think of ferent from what he had heretofore the state of the heart, as what God supposed. At the same time, he looks at. This tendency of his mind exhibited the true principle which was cherished, if not produced, by regulates the bestowal of divine favor. the doctrine of the Pharisees, that Obedience to God's commands, unsome of the commands of God are failing and universal, will secure his light, and can be dispensed with; approbation. This rule is, indeed, while others are of a more weighty properly speaking, applicable only to character, and must not be disregard- those who have never sinned. Still, ed, the performance of which will it is a true principle, to the spirit of certainly secure to man his favor. which faith in the Saviour brings us; What are the particular things, then, and the statement of which, in the the young man asked, which you con- case of the young ruler, was most sider as of so weighty a character as happily adapted to lead him to a con
the sight of God.
to secure the blessing of eternal hap-viction of his being utterly deficient in piness? On the division of the divine commands into important and unimportant, see 5: 19; also 22: 36.
17. Why callest thou me good? The young man had addressed the Saviour as a religious teacher, or Rabbi; and given him such a title as the doctors of the law and others, in their vain glory, were glad to receive. Jesus disapproved of applying such an epithet, in its proper meaning, to any 14
18, 19. Compare Ex. 20: 12-16. Lev. 19: 18. The Saviour either mentioned these commandments as specimens of all the commands of God, or as sufficiently adapted, though relating only to duties between man and man, to detect the deficiency of the young man's righteousness.
20. What lack I yet? what deficiency yet remains? what thing
21 Jesus said unto him, If | heard that saying, he went away thou wilt be perfect, go and sorrowful: for he had great possell that thou hast, and give sessions. to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven come and follow me.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
22 But when the young man yet is there which I must perform, so as to complete the whole circle of duty?
man was most wisely adapted to the young man's professions and circumstances. Professing to have been habitually conformed to the com mands which the Saviour had repeated, and being a person of much wealth, it would have been a suitable manifestation of his spirit of love and obedience, to renounce worldly gain through a preference for heavenly treasure, and to seek, in a very special manner, the alleviation of human suf
21. If thou wilt be perfect; that is, complete in every respect; if thou wilt be without deficiency. The word perfect, as used by the Saviour, was meant to meet the inquiry, What lack I, what deficiency still remains? Go and sell that thou hast, &c.; dispose of thy earthly possessions for the benefit of the suffering; cherish the spirit of impartial love to thy fellow-fering. In his case, the requisition men, and of the renunciation of earth- was a wisely-adapted test. To a perly good. Compare Luke 11: 41. 12: son in different circumstances, and 33. 1 Tim. 6:17, 18. || Follow me; making a different profession, some become my disciple. Mark adds (10: other test might have been more suita21), as what the Saviour said to the ble. But in no other way could the young man, "take up the cross; "real character of this person, as seen that is, submit to self-denial, be ready by Omniscience, be made manifest to to endure evils on account of attach- himself. ment to my cause. See Matt. 10: 38. Mark also observes previously to mentioning this reply of our Lord, that Jesus loved the young man; that is, was pleased with his amiable character, and felt a tender regard for him.
22. He went away sorrowful. The self-denying course which the Saviour enjoined, appeared too hard; and the young man turned away. The terms on which eternal life was now promised to him, required such a sacrifice as he was not disposed to make; and he was filled with sorrow, for he loved his wealth inordinately. Though he wished for happiness in the future world, yet he did not so love heavenly good as to be willing to sacrifice his present convenience and ease, out of regard to heavenly good. Thus the Saviour detected the absence of supreme love to God, and of true love to man; and showed him that he loved this world more than heaven, and himself more than his neighbor.
From the case of this young man, let us LEARN,
1. That external correctness and morality are insufficient to secure our salvation.
2. That the love of the present. world is ruinous to our eternal interests. Compare 1 John 2: 15-17.
3. That a decided preference of heaven to earth, and the spirit of selfdenial, of readiness to endure privations out of regard to the honor of God and to the welfare of men, are necessary in order to please God.
4. That nothing can supply the lack of true religion. Without this, there cannot be complete goodness of character.
23. The Saviour, employing the occasion which had presented itself for instruction, proceeded to speak very freely on the dangers connected with worldly possessions. Shall hard
Our Lord's treatment of this youngly enter, &c.; can with great diffi
things are possible.
24 And again I say unto is impossible; but with God all you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
27 Then answered Peter, and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this
culty, or scarcely, become a subject of the new dispensation, and attain its honors and bliss in the coming world. Compare 13: 22. 1 Tim. 6: 9, 10. Jesus more fully explained this declaration by adding, as Mark relates (10:24), "How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!"
24. This verse repeats, in a more emphatic manner, the same sentiment as is contained in the preceding verse. It is easier for a camel, &c. This was a proverbial manner of expressing the utmost difficulty and the greatest improbability.
28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when
riches and righteousness, "treasure in heaven," even at the expense of all earthly wealth. Compare 13: 22.
27. We have forsaken all. In the 21st verse, Jesus had enjoined upon the young man to part with his earthly possessions in order to benefit the poor. Peter, recalling this part of the Saviour's remarks, inquired what blessings would be bestowed on the disciples, as a consequence of their obedience to him. They had abandoned their secular calling, and had become his constant attendants, wholly devoted to his service.
28. Jesus assured the disciples, that in the coming world they would have an abundant recompense, and would be signally honored as sustaining a very intimate relation to him. In the regeneration. These words are here obscure. But a careful exami
25. Amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? From their knowledge of their own hearts, and their observation of others, the disciples perceived that men who were not rich, were desirous to become so, and were very much occupied in mat-nation of the connection, and of the ters pertaining to their worldly con- meaning which the original word dition. translated regeneration bears elsewhere, removes the difficulty. The
26. With men this is impossible. Jesus readily acknowledged that pow-word regeneration, here, does not mean er superior to man's is necessary in that great change in the character, order so to affect the human heart, that of which Jesus spoke to Nicodemus salvation may be secured. So many (John 3: 3), and of which Paul speaks allurements do wealth and worldly in the Epistle to Titus (3:5). It reavocations present, and so liable are fers to that new and glorious state we to be unduly engaged in the cares which will be the consummation of of the present life, that we are in im- the Messiah's administration; that reminent danger of neglecting our spir- establishment of holiness and happiitual interests. Without a counteract- ness, to effect which the Saviour came ing influence from above, the desire into the world; the state of glory, in of riches" drowns men in destruction short, when the Messiah shall have and perdition." Let us watch against gathered around him in heaven all his the love of this world, and constant- redeemed people, and shall appear ly pray God to bestow on us durable conspicuously as the King of the new