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A leper cleansed.
42 thou clean." And as soon as he had spoken immediately the leprosy departed from the man, 43 and he was made clean. And he strictly char44 ged him, and immediately sent him away; And saith to him, "See thou say nothing to any man: but go, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses 45 commanded, for a testimony to them." But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to spread abroad the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
-A. D. 31. Christ healeth one sick of the palsy, calleth Matthew, and eateth with publicans and sinners.
And he entered again into Capernaum after some days; and it was reported that he was in
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER I. 1. We are taught the dignity of our Lord, as being the subject of promise and prophecy. Of him the prophets frequently spoke, and to his person and works they bore witness. The Father spoke in and by them: "Behold I send my messenger before thy face, &c." How animating to believers of old to hear of Messiah's approach; to be informed, that the Lord whom they sought, even the messenger of the covenant, should soon come to his temple! And how delightful should be the news to us, that he has come, as the messenger of mercy. However mean his state and outward appearance, he was the king of Israel; and to do honour to him John was sent to prepare his way, by preaching repentance and proclaiming that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.
2. We learn that our Lord as man had the innocent infirmities of nature, and was tempted as we are. He no sooner entered on his ministry than he had to experience the fiery darts of the enemy; but in that conflict he overcame, and set an example to his followers to resist the devil, and he will flee from them. Though in a solitary
40-45. There came a leper.
Comp. Matt. viii. 2. & notes, Luke v. 12. That is, Capernaum. He could not enter it for the crowds that came to see him, without exposing himself more than he judged proper.
CHAP. II. 2. Spoke the word, &e. That is, the word of God, or of the kingdom,' as the gospel is called, Matt. xiii. 19.
3. One sick of the palsy. Matthew only relates the miracle, without noticing the circumstance of their going upon the roof, &c. Chap. ix. 2—8. Luke agrees with Mark: Chap. v. 18-26.
A paralytic healed. a house. And immediately many were gather- 2 ed together; so that there was no room to contain them, no, not even about the door; and he spoke the word to them. And they came to 3 him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was borne by four. And when they could not come 4 near to him because of the multitude, they removed the covering where he was: and when they had taken it up, they let down the couch on which the sick of the palsy lay. When Je- 5 sus saw their faith, he said to the sick of the palsy, "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." Now 6 some of the scribes were sitting there, and reasoning thus in their hearts, "Why doth this 7 man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but one, that is God?" And immediately 8 when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said to them,
Why reason ye thus in your hearts? Whe- 9
4. Removed the covering, &c. Pearce, from the construction of the Jewish houses, supposed that the friends of the paralytic, seeing that they could not bring him to Jesus through the crowd, went up the outside stairs to the roof, but finding the door, which was a part of the roof or covering, and which led to an inuer-staircase, fastened, they pulled up or removed this, and then descended into the room where Jesus was. Dr. Shaw supposes that our
desert, where no eye but that of his Father was upon him, he yielded not to any allurement; though dwelling among wild beasts, and feeling the strong cravings of hunger, he was not induced to work a miracle. for his own support, at the suggestion of the enemy. When he had repelled the enemy, angels came and ministered to him as their Lord. 3. In the calling of the apostles, and the miracles he wrought, we have the strongest evidences of his power, compassion and love. Such was his word that Simon and Andrew immediately forsook their nets and followed him; and so did James and John. Demons acknowledged him to be the Holy One of God; and diseases of every kind fled at his word. Well might the people be amazed! It had never been so seen in Israel. How diligent was he in his labours of love and mercy! He went through the towns of Galilee preaching the glad tidings of his kingdom. No application to him was rejected. The poor leper sought relief and obtained it. O then let us look to him that we may be saved from the maladies of our souls, and obtain health, holiness, and happiness.
Lord was in the area or court, and that they carried him up the outside stairs to the roof, and went on the roof near to the place where Jesus was teaching, and removing a part of the parapet wall, they let down the couch. Either of these methods might be adopted, and ignorance only of the oriental houses could lead any one to consider this account as invalidating the divine authority of the gospel. It is certain that σrryŋ means a covering of any kind, as well as a roof; and a late ingenious Critic conceived it probable that the court might be covered with a kind of awning, fastened to the balustrade or parapet-wall, and that the removing of this is only intended.
Thy sins are, &c. See notes, Matt. ix. 2—8.
8. Perceived in his spirit, &c. Campbell renders, 'knowing in himself, and contends that this gives the sense more explicitly, as the words denote a knowledge peculiar to our Lord. I acknowledge that they evidently suggest that our Lord knew the thoughts of men's hearts, and that he was inwardly conscious of what was passing in their minds; but I think that the literal ren
ther is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, 10 and take up thy couch, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of 11 the palsy,) I say to thee, Arise and take up 12 thy couch, and go to thy house." And immediately he arose, took up the couch, and went forth before them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, "We never saw any thing like this."
And again he went forth by the side of the lake; and all the multitude came to him, and 14 he taught them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alpheus, sitting at the receipt of custom, and said to him, "Follow me." And 15 he arose and followed him. And it came to pass, that as Jesus was at meat in Levi's house, many publicans and sinners placed themselves at table with Jesus and his disciples: for there 16 were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said to his disciples, "How is it that he eateth and drinketh with 17 publicans and sinners?" When Jesus heard this, he saith to them, "They that are well "They that are well have no need of a physician, but they that are sick: I came to call, not the righteous, but sinners [to repentance.]
Now the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast; and they come and say to him, "Why do the disciples of John and of the
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 11. 1. We may collect that our Lords manner of teaching was peculiarly impressive, from the eagerness of the people to hear him. They assembled in crowds,
dering yields this sense, and for this reason I have adhered to it. Wakefield renders, knowing at once in his own mind;' and Pearce explains, by his spirit, the divine spirit that dwelt in him. He refers to John iii. 34. Acts i 2.; x. 38. As a man our Lord was richly furnished with the gift of the spirit, but the words do not seem to me to admit of this turn. Perceiving or knowing in or by his spirit, must signify inward consciousness; and if this cannot be attributed to his spirit as a man, there is no way to account for it, but by admitting that it is a proof of his divinity.
10. To forgive sins. Pearce observes, that the Jews having said in their hearts, ver. 7, Who can forgive sins, but one, that is God?' Jesus by affirming that he had power to forgive them, did in effect lead them to conclude that he claimed to be God; which, we may justly suppose, he would not have done, if he had not a right to that claim.
13-17. And again he went,&o. Comp. Matt. ix. 9-13.
Vindicateth his disciples.
Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?" And 19 Jesus said to them, "Can the companions of the bridegroom fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will 20 come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days. No one seweth a piece of undressed 21 cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and a worse rent is made. And no one putteth new 22 wine into old skin-bottles; else the new wine bursteth the skin-bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the skin-bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new skin-bottles.
And it came to pass, that he went through 23 the corn fields on the Sabbath; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said to him, “Behold, 24 why do they on the Sabbath that which is not lawful?" And he said to them, "Have ye 25 never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in 26 the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the presence-bread which is not lawful for any to eat but for the priests; and gave also to those who were with him?" And he said to them, 27 "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is 28 Lord also of the sabbath."
when they knew where he was. Nor did he amuse them with vain and empty declamation, or with discussing abstruse speculative subjects; but preached the word of the kingdom with all simplicity and
14. Levi the son of, &c. It has been generally thought that Levi is only another name for Matthew, as what that Evangelist relates contains the same particulars we have here. Others have contended that they are different persons. See Michaelis's Anmerkung.
17. To repentance. Griesbach has rejected these words on the authority of many Mss. and versions; but as they are found Luke, v. 32, without any diversity of reading, and as the sense seems incomplete without them, I have admitted them with a mark as of doubtful authority. Wakefield retains this reading.
The withered hand restored.
A. D. 31. Christ healeth the withered hand; chooseth his apostles, and refutes the blasphemy af the scribes, ascribing his miracles to Beelzebub.
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there who had a withered 2 hand. And the Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath; that 3 they might accuse him. And he saith to the man who had the withered haud, "Stand forth." 4 And he saith to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath, or to do evil? to save life, or to 5 kill?" But they were silent. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith to the man, "Stretch forth thy hand." And he stretched it forth; and his hand was restored. 6 And the Pharisees went out, and immediately ! took counsel with the Herodians against him, 7 how they might destroy him. But Jesus withdrew with his disciples towards the lake; and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, 8 and from Judea, And from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond the Jordan;
faithfulness. His discourses were adapted to the understanding of his hearers, and were alike addressed to their reason and consciences; and hence the attention they paid, and the interest they felt in what he said. How should we be affected in reading his discourses? They are not only the words of truth and soberness, but they are spirit and life.
2. While we admire the faith of those who brought the paralytic, let us adore the power, compassion and love of the Saviour. He did not consider their earnestness and conduct as improper, or as an unreasonable intrusion, but knowing their faith, he immediately cured the paralytic. Still he is the same, and has the same power to save, not only from diseases and death, but from sin and hell; and every believer shall experience in the noblest sense, that Jesus has power to forgive sins. He is exalted as a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance and remission of sins; and whosoever shall call on the name of
the Lord shall be saved.
Multitudes follow him.
and they about Tyre and Zidon, a great multitude, when they had heard. what great things he did, came to him. And he spoke to his dis- 9! ciples, that a small ship should attend on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him. For he had healed many; so that as ma- 10 ny as had grievous diseases pressed upon him that they might touch him. And unclean spi-, 11 rits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God," But he strictly charged them that they should 12 not make him known.
26. Abiathar the high-priest. Ahimelech was high-priest when David went to Noh, 1 Sam. xxi, 12.; but Abiathar might officiate for his father on that occasion; and as he only escaped the sword of Saul, and was high priest during David's reign, he is mentioned in preference to his father.
CHAP. III 1. And he entered again, &c. Comp. Chap. i. 21. This was on another sabbath, Luke vi, 6.
2. Pharisees watched him. Matthew says, "They asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?" They might do this after that Jesus had bid the man stand forth; and our Lord might reply as in Matthew, as well as what Mark relates.
And he goeth up a mountain, and calleth to 13 him whom he would: and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, that they might be 14 with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have the power of healing 15 diseases and casting out demons. And these were 16 they; Simon whom he had surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the 17 brother of James, these he surnamed Boanerges, that is, Sons of thunder; And Andrew, 18 and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alpheus.
3. With what propriety did our Lord answer the insinuating inquiry, and refute the cavils of the scribes and pharisees: "How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners" They tacitly accuse him who was holy and harmless, with countenaneing such characlers; but where should the physician be but with the sick? Will those who are either really well or think themselves so send for him or go to him? It is good news to sinners that Christ came to call them to repentance. The Pharisees fasted, observed the traditions of the elders, and thought themselves righteous; and hence they blamed our Lord's disciples for plucking an ear of corn on the sabbath. O let us guard against their spirit, and remember that the sabbath was made for man, for his advantage and happiness, and let us improve it by spiritual exercises for the divine glory. In this way its original design will be answered; and it will be a prelude of future rest and happiness.
4. To do good or evil, &c. To do evil and to kill, means, not to do good, not to save, when we can; otherwise there could have been no question about the lawfulness.
6. Herodians. See note, Matt. xxii. 16;
10. Grievous diseases. Such as was the woman's bloody issue. Chap. v. 25. xxix. 34
14. Appointed twelve. This appointment consisted in his imparting to them spiritual gifts, as it follows. Campbell renders, 'he selected twelve;' which, though implied in the word, is not the literal sense.
18. Thaddeus. See note, Matt. x. 2.
Blasphemy against the
Holy Spirit not to be forgiven.
19 and Thaddeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And | blasphemies wherewith soever they may blasJudas Iscariot, who also delivered him up.
pheme; But he that shall blaspheme against 29
And they went into a house; aud the multitude cometh together again, so that they could 21 not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him; for they said, "He is beside himself." 22 But the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince 23 of the demons he casteth out demons." And he called them to him, and said to them in para24 bles, "How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that 25 kingdom cannot stand. And if a household be divided against itself, that household cannot 26 stand. And if Satan rise up against himself,
and be divided, he cannot stand, but must have 27 an end. No man can enter into a strong man's house, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man; and then he may plunder 28 his house. Verily I say to you, All other sins may be forgiven to the sons of men, and the
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER III. 1. From the example of our Lord we are taught to observe and keep holy the sabbath. Stated times are necessary for the purpose of social worship; and those times should be religiously regarded. The Jews had their synagogues, where the law and the prophets were read every sabbath; and to some one of these Jesus and his disciples constantly resorted. And how often did he on these occasions explain what was read, and touch the hearts of his hearers by his simple eloquence, and the power of that truth which he delivered. Happy were they that heard him; who attended where he was the preacher, and who received the word as it fell from his lips. When assembled to worship, though our Lord is not the preacher, we have the promise of his presence with us; and he can and does bless the preaching of his Gospel for the edification of his people.
2. Let us guard against the temper of the scribes and pharisees. While they went to the synagogue with others, they did it with the worst intention. They attended and watched our Lord, that they might find something as a ground of accusation. They heard, not to receive instruction, but to cavil; they attended not to present the spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise, but to find matter to gratify the
21. They went out, &c. From some house in which they were in Caper. naum. He is beside himself, That is, he acts unreasonably; he is so intent on his ministry that he alike disregards his health and safety.' This reflection on our Lord's conduct by his friends is a testimony to his zeal, and unwearied exertions in doing good. I adhere to the usual sense of the text notwithstanding what Knatchbul, Pearce, and others have said; and for eritical reasons, see Campbell,
23. In parables, By parables are meant our Lord's allusions to the case VOL. III. PART XIX. Ι
And his mother and his brethren then came, 31 and, standing without, sent to him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said 32 to him, "Behold, thy mother and thy brethren and thy sisters without seek thee." And he 33 answered them saying, "Who is my mother, or my brethren?" And he looked round on 34 them who sat about him, and said, "Behold my mother and my brethren! my mother and my brethren! For whosoever 35 shall do the will of God, he is my brother, and my sister, and mother."
A. D. 31. The parable of the sower, and its explanation; parable of the seed growing secretly, and that of the mustard seed.
AND again he began to teach by the side of 1 the lake: and there was gathered to him a
malignant passions of their hearts. Our Lord's compassion for the afflicted moved him to heal them on the sabbath; as this was an act of mercy, and performed by a word, it should have awakened in every heart the feelings of love, gratitude, and admiration. Well might our Lord be grieved for the hardness of their hearts, who witnessed these works of mercy, and considered them as a violation of the sabbath, as if it were unlawful to do good on that day.
3. We may learn how dangerous it is to resist the evidence of truth, and to indulge in causeless anger and malice The scribes and pharisees could not deny the miracles which our Lord wrought. They were so numerous, and wrought in so public a manner that they were constrained to admit them; and had they reflected on their nature, as miracles of mercy, one would think, they must have concluded that the author of them was the God of mercy. But their malice led them to say of our Lord, He hath Beelzebub, &c. Malignity itself could go no farther; and while our Lord refutes their assertion, he more than intimates the greatness of their sin, and the everlasting punishment' which awaited them. How dreadful is the state of that man, who shall never have forgiveness! That it may not be thy state, reader, receive and obey the Lord Jesus.
Parable of the sower.
MARK IV. The parable explained. great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, || is sown, are such as have no sooner heard than and sat therein on the lake; and the whole mul2 titude was by the lake on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said 3 to them in his teaching, "Hearken; Behold 4 a sower went out to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some seed fell by the way-side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it 5 up. And some fell on rocky ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and 7 because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 But some fell on good ground, and yielded fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some 9 a hundred fold." And he said to them, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Satan cometh and taketh away the word that was
And he said to them, "Is a lamp brought to 21
And he said, "So is the kingdom of God, as 26 if a man should cast seed into the ground; And, 27 while he sleepeth by night, and riseth by day,
And when he was in private, they that were about him with the twelve asked him respecting 11 the parable. And he said to them, "To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to them that are without, all these 12 things are spoken in parables: So that they may see indeed but not perceive; and may hear indeed but not understand; lest they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven." 13 And he said to them, "Know ye not this parable? how then will ye know all parables?
CHAP. IV. 1-10. And again he began. Comp. Matt. xiii. 1-9. 11. To those that are without. To those who were not admitted to the intimacy and private instruction, with which the apostles and some other disciples were favoured.
12. So that they may see, &c. Comp. Matt. xiii. 14.; where the quotation from Isa. vi. 9. is more complete, and the reason why they saw indeed, but did not perceive, &c. is assigned: "For this people's heart is become gross, &c." No greater degree of light was afforded them because they hated the light, their deeds being evil.
15. In whom the word, &c. I adopt the reading of the Syr. and some mss. o., as here preferable; and I think supported by the close of the verse. Every translator must agree with Wakefield, that the construction of the original is extremely harsh and embarrassed. If we might read : σπορος instead of ỏ hoyos, the construction would be improved.
16, 17. And those in like, &c. In the 15th verse those must refer to the
24. ° and unto you that hear more shall be given. Griesb.
persons intended, and in this and the following to the grains or seeds sown. 18-20. And those, &c. Comp. Matt. xiii. 20-23.
21-23. Under a couch, &c. Such as the Jews reclined on at meals. See Luke viii. 16.—Been kept secret. These remarks had been made on another occasion, Matt. v. 15. Our Lord now repeated them in consequence of the explanation which he had given of the parable; intimating that his doctrine might be compared to a lamp set on a stand, and that every part of it was designed to be made known.
24. With what measure, &c. Consider what ye hear from me; for in proportion as ye attend to my doctrine, ye shall be blessed with improvement in the knowledge of it.
25. For he that hath, &c. Comp. Matt. xiii. 12, and Note; and Ch.
27. Sleepeth by night, &c. Comp. Matt. vii. 6, and Note. This kind of construction is common in the Hebrew. As vegetation is carried on by the