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29 Are not two sparrows sold for a 'farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. .
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. • It is in value half-penny farthing, in the original, as being the tenth part of the Roman penny.
p 2 Sam. xiv. 11; Acts xxvii. 34.
truly killed as the body, which also at the power, so short the arm of your most poresurrection shall bave its life, sensation, tent adversary : but this is not the only and activity more perfectly restored. It reason why you ought not to fear these is only upon the basis of the soul's im- wrathful and tyrannous men; even the mortality, that a true courage in the way limited power they have they cannot of duty can be built: well might he be exert independently of the divine permisexcused from suffering for any truth, who sion. Their hearts and hands are grasped has no hope beyond the present life. by an invisible but superior control; and “ That man,” says Epictetus, “ deserves neither in their own time, nor in their own to be terrified, atus est pobeobar, who manner, can they injure or destroy you. has not learned that he himself is not Either they shall be entirely restrained flesh and bones, but that his proper self from injuring you at all, or, when left to is that which uses these, and suitably em- follow the impulses of their own bad pasploys them.”
sions, all results are still under the conDestroy both body and soul in hell.— The trol of God. Till your work is done, or meaning is not that the punishment of till your sufferings shall be for his glory bad men in a future life is annihilation; and your own advantage, they rage only for the word is often used to express in a chain which they cannot break. This continuance in a state of wretchedness, is supported by a general illustration apas Matt. xv. 24; and, whatever more mo- plicable to the trust and comfort of dern Rabbins may have thought, the Christ's true disciples, beyond the immeutter destruction of the souls of the diate occasion which called it forth. wicked in a future state was not the Sparrows are mentioned as representing opinion of the Jews of our Lord's age, the smallest and most insignificant class except of the Sadducees, who, being ma- of birds, of so little value that two were terialists, made no distinction between sold for a farthing, an assarium, about the soul and the body. We have, on this three of our farthings; yet so minute and point, the sentiment of Philo: “Men universal is the providence of God, that think that death is the end of their nothing to which he has given life dies troubles, whereas it is only the beginning but by his permission. As in the sermon of them. It is the lot of the wicked that on the mount God is represented as they live in death, and suffer as it were caring to provide the fowls of heaven with continual death."
food, so here he is introduced as reguVerses 29—31. Are not two sparrows lating the production and the extinction old for a farthing ? &c.—This passage of the life of every individual, however forcibly and affectingly declares the pro- small and contemptible. The argument vidence of God as the foundation of an then arises from the less to the greater : assured trust on the part of the disciples, ye are of more value than many sparrows ; even in the most perplexed and dangerous and the is life of an individual bird cannot cucumstances. The connexion of the perish without your Father, how much argument with what precedes is, “ Fear less the life of a human being, the life of not them that kill the body, but are not a ransomed child of God, the life of a able to kill the soul ;" so limited is their man sent forth on the greatest work upon
32 : Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
q Luke xii. 8.
earth, to proclaim salvation, and that un- dividual trust must be expunged from der God's special commission, as his own religion, and with them religion itself ambassador ! Nor is the notice and care must lose the great foundations upon of God directed to individual persons which it rests. These then are the noble only, but to whatever concerns that indivi- views which are opened to us by the Didual, however minute: the very hairs of vine Teacher. God regulates every thing, your head are all numbered. This mode of however minute, without degradation to expression appears to be taken from 1 Sam. his glorious majesty, and without embarxiv. 45 : “And the people said, Shall Jo- rassment to his infinite intelligence. He nathan die?—God forbid: as the Lord governs absolutely without violence to liveth, there shall not one hair of his head the moral freedom of accountable beings, fall to the ground ;” that is, he shall not and their contending volitions wondersustain the least conceivable injury. The fully but certainly work out his purposes ; very brightness of this revelation of the
but no general arrangement can render doctrine of a particular providence has his special interposition impracticable, dazzled the eye of mere human philoso- since all is foreseen and all provided for. phy. A general providence it may often The true disciple may therefore fully admit; but not this condescension of the “trust in his mercy :” God himself takes Divine Being to particulars. The true his cause into his hand, orders his reason, however, is, that, with all its pre- steps, weighs out his blessings and his tence to high and noble views of God, it, afflictions, wards off his dangers, controls in fact, grovels in low and unworthy con- his enemies, disposes all the events of ceptions of his wisdom and power; and it life into a coure of hallowing discipline, knows nothing of his love, his peculiar and never permits him to fall into the love to those who trust in him. But, hands of an enemy except when by that even in right reason, the care of the whole means some good to the church, and some necessarily implies the care of all the benefit to the suffering disciple himself, are parts, however minute ; and if it was not to be accomplished by it ; so that, even beneath God to create the smallest objects, then,“ he maketh the wrath of man to it can never be thought below him to pre- praise him.” This may often take place serve and order them. Nor ought the by an inscrutable process; but the result allegation, that God has established ge- is certain. neral laws, to be suffered to obscure in Verse 32. Confess me, &c.—To confess our minds the great truth which these Christ is openly to acknowledge our faith words of Christ contain. These general in him, and publicly to observe the rules laws depend for their efficiency upon his and ordinances of his religion. Quodores continued agency; for natural things have properly signifies, to use the same lanno powers which they derive not from
guage or words as another; and hence, him; and these they cannot exercise inde- says Wahl, in the New Testament, by pendently of him ; or even that general implication, “to profess the same things government of the world which is con- as another, to admit what another proceded would be put out of his hand. Ordi- fesses.” He, therefore, who publicly and narily, there is in God what has been courageously confesses Jesus to be what called an ACQUIESCENCE in a common he professed to be, that is, the Christ, course of events, or rather his power or- and acts suitably to that belief, him will dinarily works in an observable regular Christ publicly confess to be what he himmanner; but there is also INTERPOSITION self professes to be ; that is, a true disciple as well as acquiescence, or prayer and in- of Christ. See the note on Luke xii. 8.
33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34 • Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance + against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 u He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 ' And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. r Mark viii. 38 ; Luke ix. 26; 2 Tim. ii. 12.
v Matt. xvi. 24; Mark viii. 34; Luke ix. 23.
3 Luke xii. 51.
t Micah vii. 6.
u Luke xiv. 26,
Verse 34. To send peace, but a sword. sioned great strife against himself among -Those who refer this to the Roman the exasperated rulers.
Attention to sword, which, about forty years after these peculiarities in the style of speaking Christ's ascension, desolated Judea, for- which obtained among the Hebrews, is cibly break off the words from their con- absolutely necessary to a right interpretanexion. From the persecutions which tion of many passages; and, for want of it, our Lord predicted should be excited some very false conclusions have been against his religion, he proceeds to de- drawn from the texts in which they occlare the dissensions of which, through the To apply this to our Lord's words : guilty passions of men, it should be the the end of Christ's coming was unquesinnocent occasion ; a prophetic declara- tionably to establish peace on earth ; but tion equally remarkable as the former, because sharp dissensions, and the alienaand an effect which had no exact parallel tion of friends and families, have often been
the previous history of man; so that, to the result, through the violent enmity of foretel this, as the consequence of the in- the carnal mind to truth and holiness, he troduction of a religion of pure benevo- represents himself, according to the orilence and charity, could only result from ental mode of speaking, as having sent, a certain prescience of the future. As to not PEACE, but a sword, and as setting a the mode of expression used, it is to be man at variance with his father, Sc. observed, that in the Hebrew idiom one Verse 38. That taketh not his cross and is said to do that which he is the occa- followeth, &c.—There is an allusion here sion of being done, however undesigned to the custom of the Romans, who comby him, nay, though directly contrary to pelled those who were to be crucified to his intentions. Thus Isaiah is command- bear the cross on which they were to sufed to “make the heart of the people fat, fer to the place of execution ; but, as cruand their ear heavy,” because the mis- cifixion was not a Jewish punishment, sion on which he was sent would have and even if the power of life and death that effect, through the criminal obstinacy had now been taken away from the Je:vs of his hearers ; and Jeremiah calls him- by the Romans, this was but a recent self “a man of strife and contention to event, it can scarcely be thought that the whole land,” because the delivery of they had become so familiar with it as his exhortations and reproofs had occa
to take the cross " should have al
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40 * He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. w John xii. 25.
x Luke x. 16; John xiii. 20.
ready become proverbial for the endur- speaking often adopted by our Lord, esance of sufferings. The notion of Gro- pecially when he uses strong antitheses ; tius, that the Jews had the phrase from and which gives them so great a force. the Persians, who used that punishment, The term Life is manifestly used in two can scarcely be adınitted, because it was senses, both for the animal life, and the long since the Persians had had any power immortal soul : "he that findeth or saveth in Judea, and even then the Jews were his bodily life by cowardly desertion of permitted to use their own laws and cus- my cause, shall lose his life," or soul, that toms. The words of our Lord had pro- is, the felicity of the immortal principle in bably a prophetic reference to the man- man; and he that loseth his bodily life for ner of his own death, and had a meaning my sake, shall find or save his life, that is, therefore which was to be hereafter more his soul, which shall be raised to the fully explained. He was to take his cross, blessedness of a higher and future life. and endure this barbarous Roman pun. The paranomasia in this instance was faishment; and he here declares, that every voured by the original word \uxn, which one who is not willing to follow him in signifies both life and soul, as also does this respect, that is, to die for the truth, the Syriac word. It is a somewhat is not worthy of him, that is, not worthy striking remark of Tertullian, with reof him as his Lord and Master, or to be ference to our Lord's phrases, to save life, called his disciple. The cross stands for and to lose it for his sake, that the heaDEATH, in its most frightful and ignomi- then judges, when they would persuade a nious forms, but includes all other minor Christian to renounce his faith, made use sufferings to be endured for the truth; of these terms, Serva animum tuam, "Save but it is ridiculous to apply this phrase your life;" and, Noli animam tuam perdere, of taking up the cross, as is often done, ‘Do not throw your life away." to express subinission to some little mor- Verse 41. A prophet in the name of a tification of our will, or to some duty not prophet.--That is, to receive a Christian quite agreeable to our views and feelings. teacher in the name of, or in consideration By a careless habit of using the language of his being a Christian teacher, a servant of scripture, the force of many important of Christ, and a publisher of his mespassages of scripture is silently under- sages, and not merely from common hosmined.
pitality, or personal friendship, or for his Verse 39. He that. findeth his life, &c.— parts and eloquence; but, as it is expressed To find and to lose here signifies the same in the preceding verse, receiving Christ as to save and to lose. Hence in Prov. himself in and by him who represents xxix. 10, we read, the just shall seek Christ as his ambassador. He shall rehis soul;” shall seek it successfully ; that ceive a prophet's reward ; a reward proporis, shall find it: in other words, shail sare tioned to the office which is held by him or preserve it. We have here another who is received, and which he that reinstance of that enigmatical manner of ceives honours. There is here, no doubt,
42 y And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these Jittle ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
2 John sendeth his disciples to Christ. 7 Christ's testimony concerning John. 18 The
opinion of the people, both concerning John and Christ. 20 Christ upbraideth the unthankfulness and unrepentance of Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum : 25 and praising his Father's wisdom in revealing the gospel to the simple, 28 he calleth to him all such as feel the burden of their sins.
1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
2 . Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, y Mark ix. 41.
a Luke vii. 18.
an allusion to the special benefits con- ceptable gift to the thirsty traveller in ferred upon several persons mentioned in those countries, and often not easily to the Old Testament, who received the be procured but by the benevolence of prophets in ancient times; as the hostess hospitable persons. Yet where water was of Elijah, whose barrel of meal did not abundant, as in cities, it was a present of waste, and whose cruse of oil did not fail, small value. Some poor persons indeed until the famine of the land ceased; and might have no more to give; yet, being the two instances in which the deceased offered in the name of a disciple, verily I children of those who entertained pro say unto you, it shall in no wise lose its rephets were restored to life, one by Elijah, ward. In the Talmud it is said, that the other by Elisha. Similar rewards are whoever entertains a man well instructed not intended; but still great rewards in the law, and causes him to eat and either in time or eternity, and sometimes drink, shall be more blessed than the in both.
house of Obed Edom was for the ark's A righteous man.—That is, a private sake; for the ark neither ate nor drank Christian who bears not the office of a with him. This as well as many other minister of Christ. In the early times sayings, similar to those of our Lord, we especially, it was necessary for Christians may again remark, were in all probability to practise a liberal hospitality towards borrowed from the New Testament, with each other, by opening their houses to which the wise men among the Jews in believing travellers, lest they should be former times were
very conversant. exposed to mix with idolaters. To such Thus they have imitated the words of acts Christ promises a blessing, provided Christ in verse 29 of this chapter, saying, every such righteous man be received as a “A bird without God does not perish; righteous man; that is, in respect of his much less, a man: a bird without God faith in Christ, and his relationship to does not fly away; much less, the soul of him as one of his disciples. Even should a man;" with many other instances. he prove a hypocrite, yet being received Our Lord here calls his disciples his little as a sincere disciple of Christ, the host ones, Ol ulkgoi, referrring either to the shall not lose his reward.
humble condition of the disciples, as Verse 42. A cup of cold water. -An ac- Beza thinks; or, probably, as Kuinoel