Page images
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


Now when it was evening, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself 58 also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate 59 commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped


REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XXVII. 1. We learn the He had power of conscience. from what is related of Judas. been with and seen our Lord in the hours of privacy; and had be been guilty of any thing wrong he must have known it, and from his disposition would have availed himself of it for his own justification. But when he reflected on his own deed he had no one circumstance to alleviate the enormous guilt of it; and he became a terror to himself. He had betrayed an innocent and holy person, to gratify his own covetousness, but when his conscience was aroused he could not enjoy the wages of his unrighteousness. He so far repented as to confess his guilt, and to restore those pieces of silver which did but remind him of it and alas! how dreadful his end! No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. O that we may never feel the stings of

they should be polluted.—Of the saints. Probably some of our Lord's disciples who had lately died, and who were well known: Acts ix. 41.

53. And they came out, &c. Our Lord was the first fruits of those that slept, and they who now arose, as some think, were not again subject to death. They appeared to many, to many who had known them while living; and it is thought by many to be highly probable, that these saints ascended to heayenly bliss, as an earnest that all such shall ascend, and enjoy eternal life, through our Lord and Saviour.

54. This was the Son of God. I think that the centurion could not be ignorant of what our Lord had so often said of himself, that he was the Son of God; and that under the impression which these awful events had made on his mind, he speaks not as a heathen polytheist, but as admitting the claim which our Lord had made to be just. Unless we admit this, we should render, "the Son of a God," as Campbell has done.

56. Mary Magdalene. That is, Mary of Magdala; so called from the town where she had lived.- -Mother of James, &c. See Note on Chap. xiii. 55.-Mother of the sons, &c. Mark calls her Salome, mother of James and John, Chap. iv, 21. Mark xv, 40.


When it was evening, &c. It was the custom of the Jews to bury VOL. III. PART XIX. H


Sepulchre secured.

it in a clean linen cloth; And laid it in his own 60 new sepulchre, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And Mary Mag- 61 dalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.


Now on the morrow, which followed the day 62 of preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees came together to Pilate, Saying, "Sir, we 63 remember that this deceiver said, while he was was yet alive, After three days 1 will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made 64 sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night and steal him away, and say to the people, He is risen from the dead' so the last deceit will be worse than the first." Pilate said 65 to them, to them, "Ye, have a guard; go, make it as secure as ye know how.". So they went, and 66 secured the sepulchre by sealing the stone, and posting the guard.







such a conscience as drove Judas to self-destruction; but may we have an approving, peaceful one, which may bear testimony to our uprightness and sincerity.

2. We see with what dignity our Lord conducted himself before Pilate. He made no reply to the repeated false charges of his enemies; but when Pilate asked him, Thou art the king then? He readily answered that he was. This was that good confession to which the Apostle alludes, 1 Tim. vi. 13. But while he claimed the rank, honour and dignity of a king, he showed the meekness, submission and humility of one come to save that which was lost. Now he is exalted to the throne. He is king of kings, and Lord of Lords. Kiss this chosen king, lest he should be angry. Happy are all they that trust in him.

[merged small][ocr errors]

62. Now on the morrow, &c. That is, on the Saturday, the Jewish sabbath. The Friday is called the day of preparation," because it was the day before the sabbath, aud it was that year the day of the Passover.

63. After three days, &c. That is, in three days, or on the third day.. So we find the words, after three days, to signify, on the third day,' Chron.. x. 5, compared with verse 12, and 1 Sam. xx. 12, comp. with verse 19.- -I will rise, &c. Our Lord had sometimes obscurely foretold his resurrection to the Jews, John ii. 19, Matt. xii. 40. They now recollected this, and to prevent any pretence of it, applied to Pilate to secure the sepulchre.

65. Ye have a guard During the Passover a cohort of Roman soldiers were posted at the gate of the temple, to quell any tumult that might arise; and from these some were selected to guard our Lord's sepulchre, so that no art or imposture could be used.


[blocks in formation]


A. D. 33. Our Lord's resurrection; he appeareth to certain women, then to his disciples and sendeth them to preach and baptize in his name. `


AFTER the sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, came Mary Magdalene 2 and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there had been a great earthquake; for Now as they were going, behold, some of the 11 an angel of the Lord had descended from trea-guard came into the city, and told the chief

ven, and had come and rolled back the stone 3 from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white 4 as snow; And for fear of him the guards trem5 bled, and became as dead men. But the angel spoke and said to the women, Fear not; for

priests all the things which had been done.
And when they had assembled with the elders, 12
and had taken counsel, they gave much money
to the soldiers, Saying, “Tell the people, that his 13
disciples came by night, and stole him away while
we slept. And if this come to the governor's 14
ears, we will prevail on him, and secure you."
So they took the money, and did as they were 15
taught; and this report is spread abroad among
the Jews until this day.

I know that ye seek Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. 7 Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And

go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have 8 told you." And they quickly went out of the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and ran to bring his disciples word.

3. We here also learn the greatness of our Lord's sufferings. He was exempted from no species of insult which malice, envy and misguided zeal could invent. Crowned with thorns, clothed in scarlet, a reed, put into his hand as a sceptre; the rabble kneeling, and crying


Hail, king of the Jews; and yet Pilate had borne witness to his innocence. He who was wisdom itself was treated as a fool; and he in whom virtue dwelt was condemned as a criminal. He was spit on as the most contemptible of men, and his face more marred than that of other men; and yet was the most honourable person, because the most righteous that ever lived. He who had done no evil, and in

CHAP. XXVIII. 1. After the sabbath, &c. That is, after that Satur day had ended, and during the night these women had prepared ointments to embalm the body of Jesus. For the sense of op see Schleus. and Whitby John says, "when it was yet dark," the day Lake, “very early in the morning."

-As it began to dawn, &c. just breaking; and Mark and 2. A great earthquake. Pearce renders, "a great commotion," and supposes that it had been in the air; and so Wakefield. The word will cer tainly bear this version, but as the other is the most usual, I retain it.

5. And an angel, &c. Luke speaks of two men or angels, xxiv. 4, 23.; and from John xx. 1, &c,, it appears that Mary had gone back to Jerusalem to inform Peter and John, that the body of Jesus was not in the sepulchre, and that Peter and John had come and seen it to be true, and had also gone back; and that Mary Magdalene having returned the angel or angels appeared and spoke as is here related.

He appears to his disciples;

And [as they went to tell his disciples,] be. 9: hold, Jesus met them, saying, “Hail." And they came near and took hold of his feet, and did homage to him. Then said Jesus to them, 10 "Be not afraid; go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see


7. into Galilee. Our Lord had many disciples in that country which was so much the scene of his preaching and miracles. See ver. 10, 16.

9. As they went, &c. Some good manuscripts want the words included

Then the eleven disciples went away into 16 Galilee, to a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they 17 did homage to him; but some had doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 18

whom was no guile, was thus treated, and a robber, and a murderer
preferred to him.
preferred to him. Instead of those Hosannas which were his due, the
senseless multitude made the air to ring with, Crucify him, crucify him.
Amidst all this scene no word escapes from our Lord unbecoming his
character. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, meek and gentle;
and as a lamb was sacrificed for us. He died for our sins according to
the scriptures; and hence remission is preached in his name. While
he was suffering what testimonies were given to hisp erson, the veil
rent, the earth shaking, and darkness covering the land. May all
trust in him, and enjoy the blessings of his passion and triumphs.

in brackets, as well as many of the versions; and the sense is complete without them, being implied in the preceding verse.--Jesus met them. Before they had gone out of the garden in which the sepulchre was: Joh. xx. 15.

11. Now as they were going, &c From the garden to Jerusalem, to tell the disciples that they had seen the Lord, and that he had ordered them to go iuto Galilee.

12-15. Gave much money, &c. This conduct and the incoherent tale can only be regardea as designed to mislead the multitude. The punishment for a soldier on guard sleeping, was most probably death, as Josephus saith, that this was inflicted not only for quitting their ranks, but for small neglects of duty. Hence the chief priests promise to procure their safety, if they would say as they were bidden.

17. But some had doubted. It is probable that it was in Galilee where our Lord was seen by above 500 brethren at once, 1 Cor. xv. 6. ; and if so, there is no need to think that any of the apostles doubted, but rather some of these brethren. Matthew cannot refer to Thomas; for what is said of him took place at Jerusalem, and not in Galilee.

Commission to ministers,


and gracious promise.

"All power is given unto me in heaven and in || Spirit; Teaching them to observe all things 20 19 earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, all nations, baptizing them into the name of I am with you always, even unto the end of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy the world." Amen.

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XXVIII. 1. The resurrection of our Lord is an event which should be thankfully acknowledged and constantly celebrated, especially on his own day. This is the day the Lord hath made; we will be glad and rejoice thereon. This is the day, the birth-day of our hopes. Now is the justice of God satisfied, or this prisoner had never been released. Now is the reproach of the cross wiped away, and turned into triumph and glory. If Jesus, to accomplish our redemption, died upon the cross, after having been treated with every indignity, by his resurrection, he showed that he had power to lay down his life and to take it again; and that he was mighty to save.

2. We see that the precautions taken to prevent any collusion, were overruled to afford the strongest evidence of the fact of his resurrection. The sepulchre was sealed, a huge stone rolled to the door of it-guards placed to defend it; but the appearance of the angel disarmed the guards, the earthquake probably rolled away the stone, and the door of the sepulchre was opened. Then Jesus rose,

19. Make disciples. Most critics thus render, which is the most literal version, and prevents the tautology, teach all nations-teaching them. The sense is, that they were to use the means which they possessed 'to make disciples.'--Baptizing them, &c. When made disciples, as the initiatory rite of christianity, they were to be baptized into the name, belief or profession of the Father, &c. Comp, I Cor. i. 13.; x. 2, with Acts viii. 16.; x. 48.; xix. 5. 20. To observe all things, &c. Had the teachers of christianity observed this rule, happy would it have been for mankind; but alas! how many

[ocr errors]

removed the linen in which he had been wrapped, and the napkin, and went out of the sepulchre, and appeared to many, for the space of forty days. This great article of our faith is established on the strongest and clearest evidence; and we may joyfully say, now is Christ risen and become the first fruits of them that slept; and we, in conformity to his example, should die to sin, and rise and walk in newness of life.

3. We ough tto rejoice that our risen Lord has all power given unto him in heaven and on earth, for the purpose of accomplishing the designs of his death. He hath dominion over all things, and as the head of the church he sent forth his servants to proclaim salvation in his name, among all nations. They were to preach the glad tidings to sinners of all ranks, and to make disciples of all nations. His kingdom was not to be confined to the Jews, but to be set up in, and its blessings imparted to, all nations upon earth. Thanks be to his name that the gospel has come to us; that its ordinances are administered, and that through faith in his name, we enjoy the blessings of his kingdom here and shall enjoy the happiness promised in his future kingdom of glory.

things have they observed which our Lord never commanded.——With you always, &c. Whitby well observes, that this cannot apply to the apostles only, but to the teachers of the gospel all days to the end of the world. Some render, end of the age, and refer to the end of the Jewish state; but Newcome more justly to the end of the gospel dispensation, which is the same as the end of the world. Till then the church shall be favoured with the presence, assistance and protection of the Saviour; and this is her security, privilege and glory.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


THE second Narrative of our Lord is the work of Mark, who was an Evangelist; and according to ancient testimony attended Peter in his journeys and ministry, as Timothy and Titus did the apostle Paul. He is supposed to be the person whom Peter calls his son, that is, a convert to the christian faith, 1 Pet. v. 13. His knowledge of the doctrines and miracles of our Lord must have been derived from the information of Peter, and of others who had heard our Lord's discourses, and been witnesses of his miracles; and it is probable it had the approbation of Peter. He relates the miracles of Jesus with particularity; but rarely gives us his discourses. Like Matthew he simply states facts, and leaves the reader to reflect on them, and make the proper inferences. For a more full account, see Introd. Vol. 1. p. 4, &c.


A. D. 27. The office of the baptist; Jesus baptized, tempted, begins his mi'nistry and works many miracles.


1 THE beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, 2 the son of God. As it is written in the prophets, "Behold I send my messenger before thy face, 3 who shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the desert; Prepare ye the way of the Lord make his paths straight." 4 Thus came John baptizing in the desert and preaching the baptism of repentance for the re5 mission of sins. And all the land of Judea, and all they of Jerusalem went out to him and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing 6 their sins. And John was clothed with camel's

[ocr errors]

CHAP. I. 1. The beginning of, &c. With other critics, I consider this verse as the title or inscription; and that the fourth verse contains the reddition to the second.

2. in the prophets Some manuscripts and versions read, in the prophet Isaiah,' and others, in the prophet;' but as many support the text, I adhere to it, especially as it agrees with what follows, where we have quotations from two prophets. Newcome, who adopts the reading, 'in the prophet Isaiah,' is obliged to suppose, without any authority, that the first quotation from Malachi is an early interpolation. Behold, I send, &c. This is quoted in the same manner, Matt. xi. 10. and Luke vii. 27, and applied to John. See Mala. iii. L. The words, πρὸ πρόσωπο σου and έμπροσθέν σου, are probably merely explanatory of the 5 of the prophet. The latter words are omitted in mss. both in Mark and Luke, as well as here; but as they make no difference in the sense, I have retained them.


8. With water, &c This sense of the preposition is supported by Chap. v. 2. Luke xiv. 31. Heb. ix. 25. Jude 14. ; and in this sense it is often used by Zenophon and other Greek writers. That it must here denote the element which was applied in administering baptism, I conceive is plain from what

hair, and with a leathern girdle about his loins; and he ate locusts and wild honey. And he pro- 7 claimed, saying, "One mightier than I cometh after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed 8 have baptized you with water; but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus 9 came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately 10 going up from the water, he saw the heavens rent, and the Spirit, as a dove, descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, Il saying, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And immediately the spirit 12 sendeth him forth into the desert. And he was 13

follows; for John could not mean that our Lord would baptize in the Holy Spirit, or into the name of the Holy Spirit, but that he would pour out upon his disciples the Holy Spirit.

9. In the Jordan. It is not improbable that our Lord and others whom John baptized went down to the water; and, if within its banks, (for the Jordan at some seasons of the year overflowed,) they might be said to be in the Jordan without going into the water at all. As the preposition is used for GUT, so it is for a, and like the Hebrew – must be rendered in many places to, ut. Comp. Chap. v. 30. Luke i. 17.; xxiii. 42. Rom. viii. 34.

10. The heavens rent. Campbell renders, "The sky part asunder." The aerial heavens are intended; the clouds seemed to be reut, while the Holy Spirit descended, perhaps in some bright and luminous appearance, hovering as a dove, and then lighting upon Christ.

11. Thou art my, &c. Matthew says, 'This is my beloved son.' Luke agrees with Mark in the first clause, but in the latter instead of 'in whom I am well pleased,' Luke has, in thee I am, &c. These little variations in relating the same fact are natural, and show that the Evangelists did not copy one from another.

Jesus healeth many.

there in the desert forty days, tempted by Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels 14 ministered to him. Now after John was deliver: ed up to prison, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the glad tidings of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the

kingdom of God draweth near: repent and be16 lieve the glad tidings." Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they 17 were fishers. And Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you to be fishers of 18. men." And immediately they left their nets, 16 and followed him. And thence passing on a little further, he saw James the son of Zebedee,

saying, "What is this? what new doctrine is:
this? for with authority commandeth he even
the unclean spirits, and they obey him." And 28
immediately his fame spread abroad through all...
the region about Galilee. And immediately 29
they went out of the synagogue, and entered
with James and John into the house of Simon
and Andrew. Now the mother of Simon's wife 30
lay sick of a fever; and they immediately tell
him of her. And he came and took her by the 31
hand, and raised her up; and instantly the fe-
ver left her, and she ministered to them. When 32
the evening was come, and the sun set, they
brought to him all that were diseased, and those
that had demons. And all the city was gather- 33

and John his brother, who also were in a shiped together at the door. And he healed many 34 20 mending their nets. And immediately he called them and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went af21 ter him. And they went to Capernaum; and immediately on the sabbath he entered into the 22 synagogue, and taught. And the people were amazed at his doctrine; for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an 24 unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, "Ah! what hast thou to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us; I know who thou 25 art, the Holy One of God." And Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out 26 of him." And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him, and cried with a loud voice, he 27 came out of him. And they were all astonished, so that they reasoned among themselves,

that were sick of various diseases, and cast out
many demons; and suffered not the demons to 1
say, that they knew him. And in the morning, 35
rising up long before the dawn, he went out,
and departed into a solitary place, and prayed
there And Simon and those that were with 36
Simon followed after him. And when they had 37
found him, they said to him, "All men seek
thee." And he said to them, "Let us go into 38
the neighbouring towns, that I may preach there
also; for therefore am I come forth.” And 39
he preached in their synagogues throughout
all Galilee, and cast out demons. And there 40
came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneel-
ing down to him, and saying to him, “If thou
wilt, thou canst make me clean." And Jesus, 41
moved with compassion, put forth his hand,
and touched him, and saith to him, "I will; be

Simon, James, and John called.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


12. Sendeth him forth, &c. That the original word does not imply force, see verse 43. Matt. ix. 38. John x. 3, 4. Acts ix. 40. Comp. Matt. iv. 1. 13. Forty days. If the opinion of Michaelis be adopted that Jesus was led by the spirit into the great desert, in which the Israelites sojourned, these forty days may include the time spent in going there, beginning from his baptism, as well as the period he abode there, before the temptation commenced. This account of Mark strongly supports the opinion that our Lord was in that desert, which abounded with serpents and wild beasts.

13-20. After John was, &c. Comp. Matt. iv. 12–22. John i. 35–51. 21. They went to Capernaum. After having preached in the synagogue of Nazareth and being thrust out of that city, he went to Capernaum: Luke iv. 16 31. The next verse Matthew places at the end of the sermon on the mount, Chap. vii. 28, 29. On many occasions doubtless the people were astonished at what they heard and saw,

22-28. A man with an, &c. Comp. Luke iv. 33-37. Doddridge considers the account of this man as affording strong proof that those called de

moniacs were really possessed with demons; while others think that this case only proves that God made use of such men to proclaim the Messiahship of our Lord. See ver. 34.; iii. 11...

24. Ah! what hast thou, &e. For the sense given to is, see Schleus. In rendering the idiomatic words, rin xai co, I have followed Pearce and others. The same idiomatical words in the Hebrew, I have rendered right, Josh. xxii. 24, but wrong, 2 Sam. xvi. 10.; xix. 22, and 1 Kings xvii. 18, and 2 Chron. xxxv. 21. In the two first places it should be, “What have you to do with me, ye sons of Zeruiah?" And in the two last, "What hast thou to do with me?" I am now satisfied that the Greek will admit no other construction. 29-34, They went out of the, &c. Comp. Matt. viii. 14-17. Luke iv. 38-41.

32. Evening was come, &c. The reason why they brought the diseased persons to be healed in the evening, most probably was that the sabbath was ended.

35-39. And in the morning, &c. Comp. Luke iv. 42-44.

« PreviousContinue »