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Christ endeth his discourse
forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth bad fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth 18 bad fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Every tree that bringeth not forth good 19 fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.) Where- 20 fore by their fruits ye shall know them.
"Not every one that saith to me, Master, Mas- 21
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and yeter, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. 8 you. For every one that asketh receiveth; Many will say to me in that day, Master, Master, 22 and that seeketh findeth; and to him that have we not taught in thy name? and in thy 9 knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is name cast out demons? and in thy name done there among you, who, if his son ask bread, will many wonderful works? But I will then de- 23 10 give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will clare to them, I never knew you; depart from 11 give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, me, ye that work' iniquity. know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven, give good things to those who ask him; 12 In all things, therefore, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so unto them; for this is the law and the prophets.
"Whosoever therefore heareth these words of 24 mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house upon a rock; And 25 the rain descended, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock, And whosoever heareth these words of mine, and 26 doeth them not, shall be likened to a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand; And 27 the rain descended, and the streams came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell and the fall of it was great.' And it 28 came to pass, when Jesus had ended these words, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching; For he taught them as having authority, and not 29 as the Scribes.
Encouragements to prayer.
hypocrite, first take the beam out of thine own eye; and then thou wilt see clearly to take the splinter out of thy brother's eye.
"Give not that which is holy to the dogs, lest they turn again and tear you; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet.
"Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad the way, that leadeth to destruc14 tion, and many are they who enter by it. "How" strait is the gate, and narrow the way which leadeth to life, and how few are they who find 15 it! But beware of false teachers, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are 16 ravenous wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs 17 from thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VII. 1. Our Lord inculcates a spirit of candour and charity. He, who is truly sensible of his own
only was to eat. The meaning is, that some persons are so obstinate, and so brutish, that they will persecute those who attempt to instruct and reform them. 7-11. Some would confine what is here said to the disciples. I cannot but think, that these encouragements belong to all christians; and the appeal to parental affection, (notwithstanding human depravity,) and the inference drawn from it, strongly, and to me evidently prove it.
12. The law, &c. Nothing can be more clear than that this clause means, that this is what the law and the prophets inculcate, regarding several duties. Propriety requires this limitation.
13. Strait gate. By a gate the Jews understand that which leads men into the sense and knowledge of any doctrine. Comp. Acts xiv. 27. 1 Corin. xvi. 9. and Colos. iv. 3.
14. How strait, &c. The reading here followed is doubtless genuine, and as Wetstein remarks, expresses admiration.
15. False teachers.
When the term porns is used in the plural
14. Mss. Griesbach.
faults, and penitent for them, will be ready to think better of others than of himself; and instead of condemning others, for their frailties,
with the article, and refers to those of former times, it means prophets in the strictest sense. On most other occasions it denotes a teacher of religious truths, and the compound, a false teacher. Pearce has proved that the Greeks used the noun and the verb in the same sense. False teachers, instead of explaining and establishing the truth, and direeting their hearers to the strait gate, and conducting them in the narrow way, would lead them into errors in sentiment, and into unholy and sinful practices.
19. Wakefield would reject this verse as interrupting our Lord's reasoning, and as inserted from Chap. iii. 10. All the versions and manuscripts contain it; and our Lord repeats the words which the baptist had used: Chap. iv. 17. This awful admonition is thrown in very naturally, and if included in a parenthisis, is in the style of our Lord.
21-23. From these verses it is clear that some who received the gifts of the spirit, were in reality wicked men, and workers of iniquity. Though
A leper cleansed.
A. D. 31. Christ cleanseth the leper, healeth the centurion's servant, Peter's mother-in-law and others; showeth how he is to be followed, stilleth a tempest, and expelleth demons.
Now when Jesus had come down from the 2 mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper, and did him homage, saying, "Master, if thou wilt, thou canst make 3 me clean." And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be thou made clean!" And immediately his leprosy was made 4 clean. And Jesus saith to him, "See thou tell no man; but go, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.'
And when Jesus had entered into Capernaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 And saying, "Master, my servant lieth at home 7 sick of the palsy, grievously afflicted." And Jesus 8 said to him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion auswered and said, "Master, I am not 1 worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant will be
2. Let us admire the promises here given. Under a sense of our necessities, let us ask that we may receive; seek that we may find, and knock that the door of mercy may be opened to us. When we feel the operation of parental tenderness toward our offspring, let us consider it as the emblem and proof of our heavenly father's tenderness and readiness to pity, help, and relieve us.
A centurion's servant healed.
healed. For I also am a man under authority, 9
And when Jesus came into Peter's house, he 14
When the evening had come, they brought 16
he will be disposed to make every allowance, and to leave them to the 3. Let us not mistake the nature of religion. It does not consist mercy of God. How justly are those denominated hypocrites, who in profession, or in the possession of gifts; but in the genuine knowledge are eagle-eyed in discovering, censuring, and spreading the least and practice of divine truth. We must strive to enter in by the faults of others, but are conscious of, or are guilty of attempting to hide strait-gate of self-denial, and walk in the narrow, holy path, if we their own greater and more aggravated faults. Let us do to others as would enter into life. Our Lord does not consider himself honoured we would, &c. by words, but by deeds. Holy actions are the genuine fruits of that faith and love which he requireth; and happy the man who abounds in them. Amid the storms and tempests of life and death he will be secure; his hope firm, and his soul safe; but the hypocrite, the profane professor, will then find the vanity of his hopes, and experience the most awful destruction. The righteous hath hope in his death, but the hope of the hypocrite perisheth.
they professed the name, and taught the doctrine of our Lord, yet he never approved of them.
29. Having authority, &c. There was seriousness, dignity, and majesty in his manner of teaching.
CHAP. VIII. 2. Clean. The Leper was legally unclean: Levit. xiii. 44. and Numb. v. 2,
3. Touched him. To show whence the power of healing proceeded. Our Lord thus contracted legal uncleanness; but miraculous works were exempt from ritual precepts.
4. Offer the gift. See Levit. xiv. 4. This was to be done for a testimony that the cure was perfected, and that the priests, the judges of the cure, might be witnesses of it.
5. A centurion, &c. Comp. Luke vii. 3,-10. As the centurion was a Gentile, though a worthy man, it is probable that as the Jews would not eat with him, he conceived that he was not worthy of the honour of a personal visit from so great a prophet as our Lord. He argues in the following verses
from the less to the greater, and if he could command, and be obeyed, much
16. The evening had come, &c. The preceeding day was the sabbath, on which the Jews did not think it lawful to carry out their sick, or even that miracles should be wrought,
Christ stilleth a tempest.
to him many that had demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were 17 sick So that it was fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, "Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses."
Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the 19 other side of the lake. And a certain Scribe came, and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow 20 thee whithersoever thou goest." And Jesus saith to him, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have roosts, but the Son of man hath not 21 where to lay his head." And another of his disciples said to him, "Master, suffer me first to go 22 and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead." And when he had entered into a ship, his 24 disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest, in the sea, so that the ship was covered with the waves; but he was 25 asleep. And his disciples came near, and awoke him, saying, "Master, save us! we per26 ish!" And he saith to them, "Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?" Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was
CHAP. VIII. 28. Mss.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VIII. 1. Let the healing of the leper remind us of the leprosy of sin, and the power of the Saviour to remove it. Such was his compassion, that no appeal was ever made to him in vain. The leper did not question his power, but seems doubtful of his willingness. Master, if thou wilt, &c. The answer shows that Jesus was as willing as he was able. Let us keep this in mind, and apply to him who is a very present help in time of need.
2. In the centurion, we have an example of an affectionate master, and of a faith great and distinguishing. It reflects honour on the sensibility, sympathy, and compassion of his heart, that the favour he sought was not for himself, but for a servant. From the obedience paid to his will, by those under him, he inferred the power of Jesus. He had only to speak the word, and the centurion believed his servant
17. Our infirmities, &c. See Note, Isa. liii. 4. Peter in his first Epistle, Chap. ii. 24. refers to Isa. liii. 13.
19. Pearce remarks this, as the first instance of a Scribe offering to follow Jesus; and from the answer he received, it is probable he soon went away. 21. And bury my father. He meant that he would, after his father's death aud burial, become our Lord's constant follower.
22. The dead bury, &c. Those spiritually dead, bury those naturally dead. The term dead, is used in its natural and figurative sense. 26. A great calm. The surface of the sea became still and smooth, as Boon as the wind was laid. This shows the full force of the miraculous power
He cureth two demoniacs.
a great calm. But the men wondered, saying, 27 "What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!"
And when he had come to the other side into 28 the country of the Gadarenes," there met him two who had demons, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no man could pass by that way. And, behold, they cryed out, saying, 29 "What hast thou to do with us, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" Now there was feeding at a 30 distance from them, a great herd of swine. So 31 the demons besought him, saying, "If thou cast us out, send" us into the herd of swine." And he said unto them, "Go." And when they 32 had come out, they went into the herd of swine; and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and perished in the waters. And those who kept 33 them fled; and went away into the city, and told every thing; and what had been done to those who had the demons. And, behold, the 34 whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their borders.
29. Jesus. Griesbach. 3. ▾ Mss.
would be healed. Well might Jesus commend such a noble instance of faith; and foretel how many remote Gentiles would be admitted to his kingdom; while the unbelieving race of Abraham, would abide in the outer darkness.
3. What kind of man is this! said the astonished disciples. Jesus had called himself the son of man, who had not where to lay his head. This is indeed humble language for one whom the winds and the waves obeyed. He refers to Dan. vii. 13. Comp. Matt. xxvi. 64. Who can view him in the form of a servant, and in the likeness of sinful man, yet, exercising such amazing power, without crying out, My Lord! and my God! Let us follow him with constancy, and without reserve! and say to him, as sinners, Save Lord, or we perish! In thee only do we confide.
Christ cureth the palsy
A. D. 31. Christ cureth one sick of the palsy, calleth Matthew, and eateth with publicans; he defendeth his disciples, cureth the bloody issue, raiseth the daughter of Jairus.
AND he went into a ship, and passed over, and 2 came to his own city. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith, said to the sick of the palsy, "Take courage, son; thy 3 sins are forgiven thee." And, behold, some of the Scribes said within themselves, This man 4 blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts 5 said, 66 Why think ye evil in your hearts? For which is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven ; forgiven; 6 or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go to thy 7 house." And he arose, and departed to his own 8 house. But when the multitudes saw it, they wondered, and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
9 And as Jesus thence passed on, he saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receipt at the receipt of custom; and be saith unto him, "Follow me." And Matthew rose up, and followed him.
And it came to pass, as Jesus was at meat in the house of Matthew, behold, many publicans and sinners came and placed themselves at table 11 with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, "Why doth your teacher eat with publicans and sinners?" 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said to them, "They that are well need not a physician, but 13 they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, 'I desire mercy rather than sacri
and healeth the bloody issue. fice' for I am come to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Then came to him the disciples of John, say- 14 ing, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but thy disciples fast not?" And Jesus said to 15 them, "Can the companions of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with 4. them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then they will fast. No man putteth a piece 16 of undressed cloth to an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and a worse rent is made. Nor do men 17: put new wine into old skin-bottles; otherwise the skin-bottles burst; and both the wine is spilled and the skin-bottles destroyed; but they put new wine into new skin-bottles, and both are preserved."
5, 6. Which is easier, &c. To bestow forgiveness, or to display supernatural power. Both are alike proofs, that Jesus was God as well as man; or else he would have been guilty of blasphemy.
9. Named Matthew. The scene of this transaction was at Capernaum, where Christ had taught and performed many miracles; and it is probable
While he spoke these things to them, behold, 18: there came a certain ruler, and did him homage, saying, "My daughter is by this time dead ; but come and lay thine hand upon her, and she will revive." And Jesus arose, and followed him; and 19 his disciples also went. And, behold, a woman, 20 who having had an issue of blood twelve years, came behind, and touched the border of his garment; For she said within herself, If I can but 21 touch his garment, I shall be made well. But 22 when Jesus turned about, and saw her, he said, "Daughter, take courage; thy faith hath made thee well." And the woman was made well from that hour.
And, when Jesus came into the ruler's house, 23 and saw the minstrels and the people making a mournful noise, He said to them, "Give place; 24 for the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." And
that Matthew had previously known his character, doctrine, and mighty works.
10. And sinners. Matthew humbly adopts the usual language of the Jews. With like humility he calls himself the publican: Chap. x. 3.
13. Mercy rather, &c. See Hos. vi. 6. This reasoning is conclusive; and sufficiently justified our Lord, in endeavouring to instruct, and bring sinners to repentance.
15. They will fast. They will be induced to this from their trying circumstances, and according to the common custom.
16, 17. No man putteth, &c. As it is not fit to put a piece of unfinished cloth to an old garment, or new wine into old skin-bottles; so it would not be fit, or proper, to impose on my disciples rigorous discipline, which they are not able to bear.
20. Border, See the Note, Numb. xv. 17. and comp. Deut. xxii. 12.
Christ raiseth one dead
25 they derided him. But when the multitude were sent out, he went in, and took her by the hand, 26 and the damsel arose. And the fame of this went abroad into all that country.
And as Jesus thence passed on, two blind men followed him, crying out and saying, "Thou son 28 of David, have pity on us." And when he had come into the house, the blind men came near to him and Jesus said to them, "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" They said to him, 29" Yea, Master." Then he touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith be it done unto 30 you." And their eyes were opened; and Jesus strictly charged them, saying, "See that no man 31 know it." But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that country.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER IX. 1. What an Almighty Saviour have we. He knows the thoughts of men, forgives their sins, opens the eyes of the blind, and raises the dead, with the majesty and authority of God! Nothing is too hard, nothing too great, for him to do. How cheerfully should we confide in him!
2. How condescending was Jesus. He called Matthew the publican; and was ready to receive sinners, that he might instruct and save them. High and low, rich and poor, are welcome to him.
23. Saw the minstrels, &c. See Introd. Vol. 1. p. 62.
24. Not dead, but, &c. This is not a lasting death; but, as it were, a short sleep. Jesus knew what he was about to do,
and sendeth forth the Apostles.
lages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the glad-tidings of his kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease [among the people.] And when he saw the multitudes, he 36 was moved with compassion for them, because they were scattered and neglected, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he to his 37 disciples, "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore, the 38 Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest."
27. Son of David. This is the first time this title is given to Christ, except by the angel before his birth: Luke i. 32. By this title he was acknowledged to be the Messiah: 2 Sam. vii. 13, 16. Ps. lxxxix. 4, 26, 29. 30. See that no man, &c. See Chap. viii. 4. Jesus avoided all ostentation in-performing miracles, and forbad them to be published, that he might not excite the jealousy of his enemies.
35, 36. As these verses naturally introduce the calling and mission of the twelve apostles, I join them to the 10th Chapter. ·
And when he had called to him his twelve 1 disciples, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every malady. Now the names of the twelve 2 apostles are these; The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and 3 Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus ; Simon the 4 Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, he who delivered him
up. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and com- 5 manded them, saying, "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; But go rather to the lost sheep of 6 the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, say- 7 ing, The kingdom of heaven draweth near. Heal 8 the sick, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons;
8. raise the dead. Griesbach.
None ever did, or ever will, put their trust in him in vain. The weakest faith he will reward with a blessing; much more that strong faith, which puts such honour on his power, grace, and faithfulness.
3. How blind by prejudice must they have been, who could witness the miracles of our Lord, and yet consider him a blasphemer. While to such persons Jesus proved, and ever will prove, a stumblingblock; to the humble, obedient disciple, he will be the object of admiration, confidence, and joy.
36. Scattered and neglected. I follow Campbell, who has supported this version, after Elsner and others, as most suitable to the context. So Wakefield and Doddridge render.
CHAP. X. 2. Simon called. The four apostles here mentioned are said to be the first called: Chap. iv. 18-21.
3. Lebeus. Called also Judas, the son of James: Luke vi. 15, 16. He wrote the short Epistle, inscribed with his name.
4. Canaanite. Some suppose him to be thus called, as being a native of Cana, in Galilee, which is the most probable opinion.Iscariot. A man of Kerioth: John xiv. 22. The apostles are probably mentioned, two and two, as they were sent: See Mark vi, 7.-Delivered him up. This is the real