« PreviousContinue »
that cometh in the name of the [This is Jesus, the prophet of Lord; Hosanna in the high- Nazareth of Galilee.
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is
11 And the multitude said, quent. In Mark 11: 9, the expression is slightly varied, thus: "Blessed be the kingdom." But, clearly, the same idea is expressed. || Hosanna in the highest; that is, save now in the lofty heaven; equivalent to, Save now, thou who dwellest on high, thou Supreme Majesty of heaven. Perhaps, however, the word Hosanna was not always used with a reference to its etymological meaning, and might have come to signify merely praise or glory; and then the idea intended might have been, Glory be to God among the heavenly hosts. Compare the acclamation in Luke 19:38.
12 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves; of all other articles that were needed for the sacrifices and offerings of every kind. It was also a convenience for those who came to worship, to be able thus to provide themselves with the materials required. What was intended, however, at first for accommodation, was perverted into an occasion of gain and extortion. Another evil connected with the trafficking was, the noise and confusion attendant on such occupations, and these, doubtless, needlessly multiplied. || Tables of the money-changers. Each adult Jew was required to pay a halfshekel yearly for the support of the temple; and this must be paid in Jewish money. Donations, also, to the treasury, were to be made in 11. Jesus the prophet. By the ap- Jewish money. But Palestine was pellation the prophet, the divinely-under the dominion of the Romans, commissioned teacher, he had been more generally known heretofore. Him who had been spoken of as the prophet, belonging to Nazareth in Galilee, now (v. 9) they announce to be the Messiah. The Messiah had been foretold, also, as a prophet, a great religious guide, and revealer of God's will. See Deut. 18: 15.
10. All the city was moved; there was a general excitement.
12, 13. Matthew's account of the cleansing of the temple appears to be given in a way of anticipation; as we learn from Mark 11: 12-15, that the act took place on the day after the entry into Jerusalem. The evangelists are not exact, always, in noting the precise order of events; and in this instance, Mark is more particular than Matthew. || That sold and bought in the temple. The temple had a great variety of apartments and open spaces, or areas; and among the rest, one that was suitable for the acommodation of animals, and the sale
and for the ordinary purposes of traffic, the Roman coin was in use; and Jews, wherever they were dispersed, were under the necessity of using the Greek and Roman currency, which prevailed. When, therefore, they came to Jerusalem to pay their annual tax, and make presents for the service of the temple, their Greek and Roman money must be exchanged for Jewish.
Hence the money.
changers, or brokers, found employment. Besides, they doubtless furnished themselves with a supply of small coin, to accommodate those who might have brought with them only larger coin. In making the necessary exchange, the moneychangers practised extortion; and constantly violated the principle enforced in Deut. 23: 19, 20.ˆ Jesus could not but regard them with a holy indignation. || Doves. It was allowed to the poor, that they might
13 And said unto them, It is | dren crying in the temple, and written, My house shall be called saying, Hosanna to the Son of the house of prayer: but ye David! they were sore dishave made it a den of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
15 And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the chil
offer doves in sacrifice. See Lev. 5: 7. 12: 8.
16 And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea: have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
people knew that the traffic was constantly, in numerous respects, an unrighteous and oppressive business. On a former occasion, Jesus had, in a similar manner, shown his disapprobation of the buying and selling in the temple. John 2: 13—17.
13. It is written; in Is. 56: 7. See also Jer. 7: 11. By forming a sentence from the language of these two passages, Jesus expressed his very deep sense of the desecration of the temple by its being made a place of pecuniary emolument, and particu-parison with Luke 19: 39, 40, that larly of unrighteous gain.
14-16. It is probable, by a com
what is related in these verses, took The departing of the traders from place on the day of the Saviour's er the temple, at the command of Jesus, tering the city and the temple, and will be explained by referring to the the day before the cleansing of the circumstances of the case. He had, temple. Have ye never read; in Ps. the day before, been, so to speak, es- 8: 2. || Thou hast perfected praise. corted into the city, amid the accla- The idea would be better expressed mations of the populace, as the Mes- by the words thou hast appointed siah, their promised king, and all the praise. The language in the psalm feelings of the populace were in his is slightly different; but the idea is favor. It was regarded as the proper there the same as is here expressed office of the Messiah, to remodel ex- by the Saviour. The psalmist apisting institutions, to establish new pears to have declared, that God had, laws, and in various ways to effect a in the works of creation and provinew order of things. The people, dence, made such a manifestation of then, would regard him as acting in his glorious character, that even babes his appropriate character; and many might discern it, and praise him for of the traders, doubtless, would be it; and thus God is said to have apstruck with awe at the appearance of pointed or prepared praise, inasmuch one who had been thus publicly dis- as he had performed a work which tinguished by the people, and who laid a foundation for praise. The had the reputation of singular devo- Saviour applied this thought to the tion to the cause of piety. Their con- present occasion; as much as to say, sciences, too, doubtless, reproached If even children are spoken of in the them for the many wrong practices Old Testament as giving praise for of which they were guilty; and com- the work of creation, much more, in pelled them, however reluctantly, to view of the Messiah's having come, obey one who appeared thus burn-ought there to be praise from chiling with a true zeal for the honor of dren, from young as well as from God, and as acting by divine authori- old. Compare Luke 19: 40. ty. Besides, the traders knew and passages parallel to the verses thus felt, that they could obtain no coun- far considered, see Mark 11: 1-11, tenance from the people, should they 15-17. Luke 19: 29-48 John 12: have attempted resistance. The 12-19,
17 And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there.
18 Now in the morning, as he returned into the city, he hungered.
19 And when he saw a figtree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig-tree withered away.
17. Bethany; a village about two miles distant from Jerusalem, and which was a frequent and favorite place of resort for Jesus, while in this part of the country. See on verse 1; and compare John, 11th chapter. Mark (11:11) mentions this instance of retiring to Bethany. It is also probably referred to in John 12: 36.
18. In the morning; that is, the next morning; which was the morning of the day on which he drove out the traders from the temple.
19. In the way; on the side of the road, not within a private enclosure. The tree was a barren one; not only then destitute of fruit, but never having borne any. Mark (11: 12-14) gives a more particular account of the circumstance here related; and, as completing the account of this day's proceedings, mentions, in vs. 18, 19, the wish of the scribes and chief priests to seize Jesus, and his again retiring, in the evening, from the city. Presently. This word is here to be understood in a general sense, equivalent to our word soon. Mark relates more particularly (11: 20), that the disciples noticed the tree's being withered from the roots on the following morning. In animated narration, and in conversation, we often use such words in a similar manner; meaning to express a very short time. 21. If ye have faith. Jesus frequently showed a desire to inculcate on his disciples the importance of faith; that is, unwavering confidence
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig-tree, but also, if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done.
in God, when we pray to him. He made use of the present occasion for that purpose. Unto this mountain. For a similar method of representing the power of faith, see Matt. 17: 20. By stating a very strong case, our Saviour meant to be understood as saying, that confidence in the divine power is peculiarly acceptable to God, and that God will most favorably regard and answer prayer which proceeds from this spirit of confidence in him. Mark, in relating this conversation, uses language which shows that our Saviour spoke with reference to prayer in general, and not merely to what might be offered by the apostles. He says (11: 23), "Whosoever shall say," &c. He also adds another trait in the character of acceptable prayer (11: 25, 26), namely, the spirit of forgiveness. On this point, compare Matt. 6: 14, 15. 18: 21-35. The very extensive promise which our Lord here made to believing prayer, must not, of course, be contemplated without reference to the will and the glory of God. He must be the judge respecting our petitions; and we must confide not only in his ability to grant our requests, and his kind disposition to gratify our desires, but also in his knowledge and wisdom, as determining what ought to be done.
In all our prayers, we ought to exercise unlimited and unwavering confidence in the power, love, and wisdom of God. Prayers offered in such a spirit, will be pleas.
22 And all things whatso- | ever ye shall ask in prayer,
ing to him; and such prayers he will
concede to him the right, in all cases, of determining what would be for the best? Such a view as this relieves the subject of prayer from many difficulties which some persons feel; and shows that praying in faith means praying with confidence in God, and with hearty submission to God, rather than with an unqualified belief that the precise objects of our prayer shall be granted.
22. And all things whatsoever, &c. The remarks on the preceding verse present the cautions necessary to a right perception of the meaning of this verse. Mark says (11: 24)," Believe that ye receive them;" that is, believe that ye shall receive them. The present tense is here used for the future, as is not unfrequent. The idea is, Place implicit confidence in God, and let no doubt respecting his power, love, and wisdom, wither your hearts in approaching him; for to approach God without confiding in him, with an unconfiding, doubting, suspicious frame of mind, is not filial, is not becoming our relation to God, and reflects dishonor upon him. When our Lord says, Believe that ye receive [that is, shall receive] them, we must of course understand him in a manner adapted to the nature of the case. was enjoining the duty of exercising entire confidence in God, of banishing that doubting, vacillating state of mind which would arise from a fear that God has no particular regard for his children, that he is capricious, or that he can in any way be hindered from manifesting his love to us.
If God has made any particular promises to us, we must not dishonor him, nor distress ourselves by fearing that he will fail of accomplishing his promise. If the matter respecting which we pray, be not one of specific promise, we must not dishonor God nor distress ourselves, by any derogatory views of the divine power, or love, or wisdom; but must pray to him in a spirit of childlike confidence, believing implicitly that he has power adequate to accomplish our request,
believing, ye shall receive.
Examine, as passages parallel to this, respecting the fig-tree and prayer, Mark 11: 12-14, 20-26.
From the account of the fig-tree, let US LEARN the danger connected_with| being unprofitable servants. Every man ought to live according to the will of God, and thus render service and honor to him. But if we fail thus to serve God, we must expect
In regard to PRAYER, we have great encouragement to pray with the strongest confidence in God. To see the greatness of this privilege, compare the happiness of a true Christian, who, as a child of God, can commit all his affairs to the wisdom and love of his almighty Father in heaven, either with the indifference
doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you or with the disquietude of a person who feels not his spiritual wants, and cannot devolve his cares on Jehovah. Or, compare the Christian with a poor heathen, who knows no better a god than the lifeless block which man's hands have fashioned. Compare these several persons together, when in circumstances of distress, and when approaching the eternal world.
23. And when he was come into the temple. The conversation respecting the fig-tree took place between Jesus and the disciples, on the way to Jerusalem (see Mark 11: 27); when they had arrived, they went to the temple. The manner of Jesus' entering the city a short time before, his vindicating of the sanctity of the temple, his teaching there, and the various works which he had performed, gave him much celebrity, and excited the chief priests and other distinguished men to jealousy. Hence they came to him to make inquiries, and, doubtless, with an attempt to insnare him in what he might say. Being the principal men of the nation, they doubtless belonged to the Sanhedrim, the greatest tribunal, and were plotting for his condemnation and death. || By what authority, &c. Jesus had not been authorized by the Sanhedrim; and to that body it appears to have belonged to watch over the religious affairs of the nation, and to decide questions pertaining to their religious state. As they had not commissioned him, nor countenanced him, they asked, by what right he was acting; expecting, doubtless, that he would give a direct reply of such a sort as would furnish them a handle against him.
24. Jesus answered. He replied not in a direct manner, but by asking them a question of a similar charac