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Jesus foretels his death.
I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with 14 me for a denarius? Take what is thine, and depart for it is my will to give to this last even as 15 unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what Is thine eye evil, beThus the last shall be first, Thus the last shall be first, and the first last; [for many are called, but few are chosen."]
I will with mine own? 16 cause I am good?"
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by the way, and 18 said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man shall be delivered up to the chief priests and Scribes, who will 19 condemn him to die, And will deliver him up to the Gentiles, that they may mock, and scourge, and crucify him: but the third day he shall rise again."
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came near to him, together with her sons, doing homage to him, and asking a certain thing of 21 him. And he said to her, "What desirest thou?" She saith to him, "Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom." 22 And Jesus answered and said, "Ye know not what ye ask. Can ye drink of the cup, of which I am about to drink?" They say to him, "We 23 can." Then he saith to them, "Ye shall indeed drink of my cup; but to sit on my right hand,
CHAP. XX. 22. ° and to be baptized with the baptism that I am REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XX. 1. From the parable of the householder, we learn that it is our duty to labour, and not to sit
13. Companion. Campbell has observed, that here the poverty of our language obliged translators to use the word friend, for the two Greek words Φίλος aud εταιρος. The former denotes always affection and regard; the latter does not. The latter was employed as a civil compellation to strangers and indifferent persons, It is the word which is used here, and Chap. xxii. 12, and it was given by our Lord to the traitor, Judas: Chap. xxvi. 50. I have followed Newcome's marginal version.
15. Is it not lawful, &c. It would be improper to apply this to the future state, for then men will receive according to what they have done, whether it be good or bad; but in this life it is evident that the favours of divine providence and grace are distributed in righteous sovereignty.—Is thine eye evil, That is, envious. Here is an evident reference to that malignant aspect which is generally the attendant of a selfish and envious temper.
16. For many are called, &c. This clause is wanting in a few manuscripts, and in the Coptic version, Pearce conjectures, that it has been added from the parable, xxii. 14. Wakefield omits it; and it does not seem suitable to the connexion and scope of this parable. I have marked it as doubtful. See Pearce,
He restores sight to the blind.
or on my left, is not mine to give, unless to those for whom it is prepared by my Father." And when the ten heard this, they were moved 24 with indignation against the two brethren. But 25 Jesus called them unto him, and said, "Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles have dominion over them, and the great ones exercise authority upon them. It shall not be so among 26 you; but whosoever desireth to be great among you, let him be your servant; And whosoever 27 desireth to be chief among you, let him be your slave: Even as the Son of man came not to be 28 served, but to serve, and to give his life a ran- ! som for many."
And as they went out from Jericho, a great 29 multitude followed him. And, behold, when 30 two blind men, who were sitting by the wayside, heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, saying, "Master, son of David, have pity on us." And the multitude charged them 31 to be silent; but they cried the more, saying, "Master, son of David, have pity on us." Then Jesus stood still, and called them and 32 said, "What desire ye that I should do for you?" They say to him, Master, that our 33 eyes may be opened." So Jesus had compas- 34 sion on them, and touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
19. And will deliver, &c. To Pilate and his soldiers. This is the third plain declaration which Jesus made to his disciples about his death. See Chap. xvi. 21. xvii. 22.
21. What desirest thou. Newcome thought it probable that Simon, James and John were strongly impressed with our Lord's words, Chap. xix. 8. Thus they still thought his kingdom was to be a temporal one.
22, 23. In both these versions, Griesbach omits the clause, And to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with.' Grotius and Mill had before done so ; but Wetstein considered them genuine. Campbell also retains them. It is of little importance whether they be retained or omitted, as they only express by another metaphor the sense of the first clause. For the metaphor of drinking the cup, for suffering affliction, comp. Chap. xxvi. 39. and Ps. ix. 6. lxxv. 8. Isa. v. 17. Jer. xxv. 15, &c. These sons of Zebedee afterwards drank deep of the cup of affliction, compare Acts xii. 2. Rev. i. 9.
26. It shall not be so among you. Hence it is clear that these disciples did not understand our Lord's words to Peter, Chap. xvi. 18, as giving him any peculiar prerogative; so this language of Christ concludes as strongly against it.
Christ entereth Jerusalem.
A. D. 33. Christ rideth into Jerusalem on an ass' colt, and cast out of the temple, the buyers and sellers.
AND when they drew near to Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, to the mount of 2 Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying to them, "Go into the village over against you, and immediately ye will find an ass tied, and a colt with her loose them and bring them to me. 3 And if any one say aught to you, ye shall say, The Master hath need of them: and immediately 4 he will send them." Now all this was done, that what was spoken by the prophet might be 5 fulfilled, "Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and riding upon an ass, even a colt, the foal of an 6 ass." And the disciples went, and did as Jesus 7 commanded them, And brought the ass and
2. We see how odious a murmuring spirit, and an envious dis position are. The servants who complained because the householder did not give them more than those who had laboured for a shorter period, were justly rebuked. They were reminded that no injury was done to them, and that he only exercised that right which every man possesses, of doing what he pleased with his own. Thus God in righteous sovereignty displays his favour to whom, and in what manner he pleases, without the least injustice to others. He calls one to the knowledge of himself at the eleventh hour,' and rewards him in the same
CHAP. XXI. 1. To Bethphage. This was a village without the walls of Jerusalem, on mount Olivet, inhabited by priests; and its boundary was conterminous with Bethany on the one hand, and Jerusalem on the other.
2. An ass. This was commonly used in Judea, and magistrates and those of the royal family formerly rode on asses: Judg. v. 10. and 2 Sam. xvi. 2. 3. And if one, &c. Our Lord knew the man, as well as the ass and the colt; and he might be one of his disciples.
5. Tell ye the, &c. See Zech. ix. 9. This prophetic description of the person of Messiah, was both true and beautiful; and was now literally fulfilled.
7. And he sat thereon. They put their mantles both on the ass and on the colt; but Jesus rode on the latter, as had been predicted, and as the other Evangelists relate. So thereon can only refer to the mantles.
The people shout hosannas. the colt, and put on them their mantles, and he sat thereon. And a very great multitude spread 8 their mantles in the way; and others cut down branches from the trees, and strewed them in the way. And the multitudes who went before 9 and who followed, cried, saying, "Hosanna to the son of David; blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest." And when he had come into Jeru- 10 salem, the whole city was moved, saying, "Who is this?" And the multitudes said, 11 "This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth in Galilee."
8. Spread their mantles, &c. This was designed to do him honour, and was done for Jehu, when the officers made him king: Kings ix. 13. When Cato returned to Rome they spread their mantles in the way; which Plutarch says was a honour then done only to a few emperors; and when
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and 12 cast out all those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of those who sold doves, And saith to them, "It is written, My house 13 shall be called the house of prayer;' but ye
degree as another called at the first. Let us acknowledge his right to do this, and let not our eye be evil because he is good. Instead of repining at this exercise of love and grace, we should labour after that unfeigned love of the brethren, which will teach us to behold the favours conferred on them with joy.
3. We see in the request of the mother of the sons of Zebedee, and in the anger of the other disciples, what mistaken notions they entertained of our Lord's kingdom. They were looking for a worldly kingdom, and ambitious to enjoy pre-eminence in it. Justly did our Lord say to them, Ye know not what ye would ask ; and how kindly did he correct their mistakes, and check their rising ambition, by teaching them that in his kingdom, the precedence would be given to those who were lowest and most unambitious, Have we not need of the same instruction? Let us, like the blind men, earnestly request that our eyes may be opened; that we may understand the spiritual nature of the gospel, and may enjoy its special blessings.
Xerxes passed the Hellespont, they strewed the way with myrtle branches, according to Herodotus. The miracle of raising Lazarus occasioned the people thus to act: John xii. 18.
9. Hosanna, &c. Comp. Ps. cxviii. 24-26. The Hebrew signifies 'Save now, or be saved I pray.' Acclamations of this kind are always of the nature of prayers or ardent wishes; and Hosanna to the son of David, is equivalent to 'God preserve the son of David;' and what follows signifies, 'Prosperous be the reign of him that cometh in the name of the Lord.'
12. Temple of God. The outer-court is meant, where only this traffic was carried on. The money-changers' were persons who supplied foreign Jews with the shekel of the sanctuary, for foreign coin, and who made great gain by this exchange.
13. A den of robbers. Many dens or caves were occupied by robbers, who plundered all that they met with, and our Lord's comparison conveys a severe reproach to the Jews. Our Lord's interference may be attributed to divine agency, and to a consciousness in the Jews, that by such practice the temple was profaned.
14 have made it a den of robbers." And the blind and the lame came near to him in the temple, and he healed them.
And when the chief priests, and the Scribes saw the wonderful things which he did, and heard the children crying in the temple, and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David ;" they 16 were moved with indignation, And said to him, "Hearest thou what these say?" And Jesus saith to them, "Yes; have ye never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast 17 perfected praise?" And he left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and he lodged there.
Now in the morning as he returned into the 19 city, he was hungry. And when he saw a figtree on the way-side, he came to it, and found nothing on it, but leaves only, and said to it, "Let no fruit ever hereafter grow on thee." 20 And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they wondered, saying, "How soon is the fig-tree withered away! 21 Jesus answered and said to them, "Verily I say to you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do what hath been done to the figtree, but also if ye shall say to this mountain, to this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; 22 it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
And when he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came near to him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who 24 gave thee this authority?" And Jesus answered and said to them, "I also will ask you one
Hearest thon, &c. These chief-priests thought that our Lord ought to have reproved these little ones for their acclamations; but he justified their conduct, by appealing to the language of the Psalmist, Ps. viii. 2. See Note there.
17. Bethany. This was fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem; and most probably he always took up his abode with Lazarus and his sisters: John xi. 18. 18-22. He was hungry, &c. Comp. Mark xi. 12, 20. The miracle was striking, and might be intended to warn unfruitful professors of their doom. What follows, seems peculiarly to relate to the Apostolic times.
Parable of the two sons.
thing, which if ye tell me, I in like manner will tell you by what authority I do these things. Whence was the baptism of John? from heaven, 25 or from men ?" And they reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, from heaven; he will say to us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we say, From men; we fear the 26 people; for all account John a true prophet." And they answered Jesus, and said, "We can- 27 not tell." And he said to them, "Neither tell you by what authority I do these things." "But what think ye? A cerain man had two 28 sons; and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work to day in my vineyard.' He answered 29 and said, 'I will not:' but afterwards he repented and went. And he came to the second, and 30 said in like manner. And he answered and said, I go, sir;' but went not. Which of the two 31 did the will of his father?" They say to him, "The first." Jesus saith to them, "Verily I say to you, that the publicans and the harlots go before you into the kingdom of God. For John came to you in the way of righteous- 32 ness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him, yet, when ye had seen this, ye did not afterwards repent so as to believe him.
21. To this mountain, &c. Our Lord most probably referred to mount Olivet, which might be in sight; but I consider the expression figurative, and only to mean that they would be able to overcome the greatest difficulties. 23. Doest thou these things. They refer to his public entry into Jeru
"Hear another parable. There was a certain 33 householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it around, and digged a wine-press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country. And when the vin- 34 tage drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it. And the husbandmen took his servants, and 35 beat one, and stoned another, and killed ano
salem, his driving the sellers and buyers from the temple, his miracles wrought there, and his teaching the people.
25. Whence was the baptism, &c. This question was very proper, as the true answer to it would be in fact an answer to that put to our Lord. If John was a prophet and acted by a divine commission, then the testimony he bore to Christ, showed that he also had divine authority for what he did. Their reasonings on this subject manifest their perplexity.
28-32. Go before you, c. The application of the parable is at once pointed and proper. The chief-priests pretended to do the will of God; but our Lord shows them their sin and impenitence. The worst of characters were awakened to a sense of their guilt and danger, and pressed into the kingdom of God, but they were unaffected and persisted in their own evil ways. 33. Digged a wine-press, &c. Harmer has brought many proofs that
36 ther: Again, he sent other servants more than the first; and they did to them in like manner. 37 But last of all he sent to them his son, saying, 38 They will reverence my son.' But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, "This is the heir; come, let us kill him, 39 and let us seize on his inheritance.' And they took him, and cast him out of the vineyard, 40 and slew him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard cometh, what will he do to those 41 husbandmen ?" They say to him, "He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, who will render him the fruits in their seasons,' 42 Jesus saith to them, "Did ye never read in the scriptures,The stone which the builders rejected, is become the chief corner stone? This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our 43 eyes." Therefore I say to you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XXI. 1. In general we read of the opposition and insults our Lord received; but here we find him entering Jerusalem in triumph; thousands attending him, and giving every demonstration of unfeigned attachment. The air rung with Hosannas! He was justly regarded as the son of David, the heir of his throne, and as now about to set up a new kingdom. Every one wished him success. But alas! while they were fulfilling scripture, they understood not the nature of his kingdom! May we understand it, and our prayer be, that the kingdom of our Lord may prosper. May the north give up a swarm of subjects to it; and may the south not keep back any of her swarthy sons O may the kingdoms of the world be the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ!
2. We see the scribes and priests envied the honour done him, and as they could not deny his miracles, they ask by what authority he did them. How unnecessary such a question? for could any do the works which he did unless God was with him! Had they believed the testimony of John, or paid due regard to his baptism, they would have
it was and is the practice in various countries in the east, to dig their winepresses in the ground, and line them with stone-work.A tower. For defence against robbers. Comp. Isa. v. 1, and Note there.
35. Killed another. I have transposed this clause with Campbell; and I cannot but think this is the genuine order of the words.
38. This is the heir, &c. Our Lord clearly refers to himself; and this circumstance shows the goodness and love of God, who did not spare, but gave his only Sou to be crucified for us.
39. Cast him out of, &c. This, some think, refers to our Lord's crucifixion out of Jerusalem.
41. They say to him, &c. That this reply was made by some of the Jewish rulers, or by some of our Lord's hearers, is probable from this answer;
and their just punishment.
And 44 to a nation bringing forth the fruits of it. whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be bruised; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will crush him to pieces." And when the chief 45 priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, But 46. they perceived that he spoke of them. when they sought to apprehend him, they feared the multitudes, because they accounted him a prophet.
1. wanting in some Mss.
known that Jesus was the Lord Jehovah, who was coming to his temple, and whose forerunner John was. They would have exercised repentance, and would have been the first to enter his kingdom. Thanks be to God that Jesus is a merciful king, and that publicans and sinners may become his happy and holy subjects.
3. From the parable of the householder who planted a vineyard, and let it to husbandmen, we learn the wickedness of men, and the patience and love of God. patience and love of God. We have all some part of this vineyard to improve, or some advantages to know and serve him. We who enjoy the gospel, have particular reason to say, The lines are fallen to us in pleasant places.' How unreasonable and ungrateful shall we be; yea and how miserable too, if we withhold the fruits which he expects; if we slight the messengers by whom he demands them; and by impenitence and unbelief, renew the slaughter of the son of God, by justifying those who put him to death. Let us then regard the Lord Jesus, as the gift of the father's love; and by submission and holy obedience, show that our faith is unfeigned.
but others who understood the design of the parable, said, 'God forbid :' Luke xx. 16.
Ps. cxviii. 22. See Note there.
42. The stone which, &c. 43. Kingdom of God, &c.
This was a clear prediction of the rejection of the Jews, and of the calling of the Gentiles.
44. Shall full on this, &c. Be offended at me in my humiliation, shall suffer for it; but after my elevation to my throne, if any persist in rejecting me, they will be destroyed as if overwhelmed by a huge stone.
CHAP. XXII. 3. Who were invited. The Jews had been invited by the preaching of the Baptist; and from his testimony to Jesus, they ought to have expected the marriage-feast, and been ready to come.
4. Other servants, &c. This may refer to the labours of the Apostles,
Parable of the marriage feast.
have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready; come 5 to the marriage-feast. But they made light of it, and went away, one to his farm, another to 6 his merchandise: And the rest took his servants, and treated them shamefully, and killed 7 them. But when that king heard of it, he was wroth; and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. 8 Then he saith to his servants, The marriagefeast is ready, but those who were invited were 9 not worthy. Go, therefore, into the highways, and as many as ye find, invite to the marriageI feast.' So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good; and the marriagefeast was filled with guests.
11 "And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not on a 12 marriage-garment: And he saith to him, Companion, how camest thou in hither not having on a marriage-garment?' And he was 13 speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into the outer darkness; there 14 shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' For many are called, but few chosen."
Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might ensnare him in discourse. 16 And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in
after our Lord had suffered. They were commissioned to make the first tenders of the gospel to the Jews; to preach remission of sins in Christ's name,' beginning at Jerusalem...
7. Sent forth his armies, &c. The sins of the Jews in crucifying our Lord, in rejecting the gospel confirmed by so many miraculous testimonies, and in persecuting the apostles and disciples, were to be at length punished by the destruction of these murderers. Our Lord predicts the coming and conquest of the Roman armies.
The Sadducees refuted.
truth, and carest not for any man: for thou re-
10. Went out into the high-ways. We have here a clear prediction of the calling of the Gentiles. In this representation there is a reference to oriental customs. Comp. Prov. ix. 2, 3. Harmer has produced several instances of such a custom; 'An Arab Prince will often dine in the street before his door, and call to all that pass, even beggars, to come and sit at table.' Here persons of various characters are invited, and come to the feast, both bad and good.
11-14. Had not on a marriage-garment. This guest was guilty of the most contemptuous behaviour, because the Master of the feast himself furnished such garments, which were usually white robes. Hence, when interrogated why he had not one, he was speechless. He could not say, None was proVOL. III. PART XIX. F
The same day came to him the Sadducees, 23 who say that there is no future life, and asked him, Saying, "Teacher, Moses said, 'If 24 one die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed to his brother.' Now there were with us seven brethren; and 25 the first, when he had married a wife, died; and, having no issue, left his wife to his brother: In like manner the second also, and the third, 26 unto the seventh. And last of all the woman 27 also died. Therefore, at the resurrection, whose 28 wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her." Jesus answered and said to them, "Ye 29 err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For at the resurrection, they neither 30 marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But concerning the 31 resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that
vided.' The reason was, he would not have one; and he was therefore justly, cast into the outer darkness, This strongly intimates that some would embrace the invitations of the gospel so as to show some regard to it, and yet they would not comply with its requisitions in such a manner, as finally to partake of its rich and unspeakable blessings; for though many are invited, · yet few chosen; few that will be finally approved.'
16. Herodians. Partizans of Herod Antipas, Tetrarch of Galilee, and therefore friends to the Roman interest. The Pharisees joined them on this occasion, though they were opposed to them in opinion on the subject of the lawfulness of paying tribute to Cæsar.
18. Ye hypocrites. Campbell softens this term, and renders, dissemblers; and no doubt but this sufficiently expresses the sense, as regards their religious profession, really hypocritical;' I have retained the term.
21. Render to Casur, &c. See Introd. Pt. 2. Chap. ix. Sect. 1. It is obvious that our Lord's answer was unusual and unexpected. They were not only silenced, but wondered greatly at it.
23-28 The Sadducees, &c. For their opinions, See Introd. Pt. 3. Chap. vii. Sect. 5; and Comp. Deut. xxv. 5. No future life. For the vindication of this version, See Campbell's Note..