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curiosity, did not delay, but accompanied her instantly, wishing no doubt that her news might prove true. 28. The woman then left her water-pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29. Come, see a man which hath told me all things that ever I did is not this the Christ? 30. Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
While these things were doing, the disciples set the meat which they had brought, before their master. But he did not mind it, though he then stood very much in need of refreshIt seems he was wholly intent on the duties of his mission, preferring them to his necessary food. Hence, when his disciples entreated him to eat, he told them, he had meat to eat which they knew nothing of, meaning the satisfaction he was about to receive from the conversion of the Samaritans. 31. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know nthing of-The disciples, understanding his word in a natural sense, asked one another, whether in their absence any person had supplied him with provisions. 33. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat?34. Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. I have greater satisfaction in doing the will of God, than in any sensual enjoyment whatever.
By this time the Samaritans, to whom the woman had spoken concerning Jesus, appeared on the road, and being in a fit disposition to believe, Jesus stretched out his hands towards them, and thus addressed his disciples. 35. Say not ye, * There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest. "Say not ye," &c. is a proverbial expression taken from the time that commonly intervenes between sowing and reaping, and signifies, that after having used the means of procuring a thing, the effect must not be expected to follow all of a sudden, but must be waited for with patience. Our Lord told his disciples, that in the present case they could not apply that proverb, because if they would lift up their eyes, they would see the fields white already to harvest, would see a multitude coming in a fit disposition to believe, notwithstanding the seed had been sown but an hour or two before; so that he had
• Ver. 35. There are yet four months and then cometh harvest.] From these words, Sir Isaac Newton infers, that the journey through Samaria happened in autumn. But though his opinion be true, (see Prel. Obs. II.) His interpretation of this text is not solid. In Judea the barvest always began at the passover, the sheaf of first-fruits being offered on the second day of that solemnity. Wherefore, as the passover happened commonly in the end of March, or the beginning of April, if Jesus spake the words un der consideration four months before harvest, it was not autumn, but the beginning of December, when he travelled through Samaria.
what was his proper food to eat, a convenient opportunity of doing the will of him that sent him, and of finishing his work. And, as they laboured together with him in this spiritual harvest, to encourage them, he put them in mind of the reward. 36. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal. In the original it is, And he that reapeth and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: he that conducts others into heaven, alluding to the gathering of reaped corn into barns, such a person receiveth wages, that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together; namely, in the reward bestowed on them, the pleasure of which will be increased by their joint participation of it.-37. And herein is that saying true, one soweth and another reapeth. The common proverb may be applied to the present case; for, 38. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour-he meant no labour of sowing: other men laboured-namely, in sowing the seeds of piety and virtue among the Jews, and thereby exposed themselves to great persecutions; he meant the prophets of old-And ye are entered into their labours: ye are employed to reap that which they with great difficulty sowed, for ye are gathering into the kingdom of heaven those who by the writings of the prophets having been imbued with a sense of piety and virtue are prepared for entering into it. This application of the proverb, one soweth and another reapeth, does not imply any discontent in the persons who sow without reaping, as it seems to do in common use; for the sower and the reaper are represented as rejoicing together in the rewards of this spiritual husbandry. It seems many of the Samaritans had been so struck with the account which the woman gave of Jesus, that they be lieved him to be the Messiah on her testimony. Accordingly, being come to him, they begged him to take up his residence in their city. Jesus, in compassion to their wants and desires, complied so far as to stay with them two days, during which time what sermons he preached were attended with great power, as appeared by their success; for they brought many of the Sycharites to believe on him as Messiah. 39. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him, for the saying of the woman which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them; and he abode there two days. 41. And many more believed because of his word. 42. And said unto the roman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying, for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
§ XXIII. Jesus goes to Cana, where he cures a nobleman's son that was lying sick in Capernaum. Matt. iv. 12. Mark i. 14, 15. Luke iv. 14, 15. John ív. 43--54.
JESUS, having finished his work in Sychar, went forward to Ga
lilee. John iv. 43. Now after two days he departed thence and went into Galilee. 44. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. He went a considerable way into Galilee, passing by Nazareth, his native city, on account of the prejudices which his townsmen entertained against him. Luke, speaking of this journey, says, iv. 14. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: that is, he went thither to work miracles and preach by the assistance of the Spirit; or in other words, to exercise his ministry: a character whereby this visit is distinguished from that which he made after his baptism, and which the three evangelists have omitted, because he did not till now begin his ministry in Galilee, which is the subject of their history. Matthew tells us, iv. 12. When Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee. The ministry of the Baptist being interrupted by his imprisonment, Jesus thought proper to succeed him in Galilee, (see Prelim. Observ. vii. chap. ii. 1, 2.) where, on his arrival, he preached, Mark i. 15. the gospel of the kingdom of God, saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel; The time is accomplished that was predetermined by the divine wisdom for erecting the Messiah's kingdom, even the kingdom of God, and of the saints, in which the Mosaical ceremonies shall be no longer obligatory, but righteousness alone shall be required from men. Wherefore repent ye and believe this doctrine. Luke iv. 14. And there went out a fame of him through all the region round about: the fame of the miracles which he performed in Jerusalem at the passover, and in Judea during the course of his ministry there, spread the more through Galilee that he was come, (sec John, ver. 45.) for at this time he had done only one miracle there, namely, the turning of water into wine. 15. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all: He spent a considerable time in Galilee, preaching for the most part in their synagogues, where was the greatest concourse of people, and on the Sabbath days, when they could attend his sermons without neglecting their worldly affairs. The effect of this first exercise of his ministry in Galilee was, that the excellency of the doctrines which he taught, and the greatness of the miracles which he wrought, made all the people admire and applaud him exceedingly. John likewise has informed us, that at his first coming into Galilee, he was received, i. e. acknowledged as Messiah, and followed as such. John iv. 45. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: they treated him courteously, and attended his ministry with a disposition to believe, having conceived a favourable opinion of him, by reason of the miracles they had seen him perform in Jerusalem during the passover. Soon after this, Jesus went to Cana, the town that had been
honoured with the miracle of water turned into wine. Here, a nobleman who had heard of his fame came to him from Capernaum, and intreated him to go down and heal a son of his who was extremely ill of a fever. John iv. 46. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there' was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. It seems the nobleman thought it necessary that Jesus should be personally present, if he had a mind to perform the cure.--Therefore, to reprove the weakness of the man's faith, Jesus said to him, 48. Except ye see the signs and wonders, will ye not believe? so the sentence may be translated.-49. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. The nobleman's anxiety for his son's recovery, and the knowledge which he had of his danger, hindered him from attending to what our Lord said. He therefore repeated his request, begging that Jesus would make haste, lest his son should be dead before he arrived.--50. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way, thy son liveth: Because Cana was a day's journey from Capernaum, and it was seven o'clock in the evening (ver. 52.) Jesus refused to go down, being able to work by his power effectually where he was not personally present. Nevertheless, he bade the nobleman depart, firmly persuaded that his son was well. Accordingly, believing what Jesus told him, he went away, and somewhere on the road, next day, he met his servants coming with the agreeable news of his son's recovery, to prevent him from taking the trouble of bringing Jesus down; and the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. 51. And as he
was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.-The nobleman immediately inquired of them, when his son began to grow better; for he was desirous to know, whether it happened at the very time Jesus had ordered that his son should be well. 52. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to mend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him; that is, left him all of a sudden, so that being restored to perfect health in an instant, the whole family knew that he was miraculously cured; and particularly the nobleman himself, who by the time of the cure, perceived that it happened the very moment that Jesus had pronounced it.-Wherefore, being not a little struck with the power and goodness of their benefactor, they all firmly believed him to be the Messiah. 53. So the father knew that it was at the same hour in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy so18 liveth; and himself believed, and his whole house. 54. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did when he was come out of Judea into Galilec.
XXIV. Jesus goes to Nazareth, but is rejected by his countrymen,
and expelled out of their town. Luke iv. 15,―30.
AT length, Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been educated. The evangelist mentions the circumstance of our Lord's education in Nazareth, to put his readers in mind that it was a place where Jesus could not but be well known, having lived there from his infancy. The Nazarenes knew all his relations, they remembered the manner of his education, and they were perfectly acquainted with his character. Wherefore, from their knowledge of him, they ought to have given him a favourable reception. But the wickedness of their disposition was such, that this very circumstance which should have conciliated their affection, they improved into an occasion of rejecting him, as we shall see anon. Luke iv. 16. And he came to Nazareth where he had been brought up-And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. The synagogue being the place of public worship, the evangelist by making this observation informs us, that Jesus never neglected attending on divine service. Besides, as the people on the sabbaths rested from their worldly occupations, and assembled for public worship, they had leisure and opportunity to receive his instructions. Wherefore, he always improved those occasions, by dis seminating the knowledge of salvation among the multitudes with cheerfulness. And stood up for to read. The reading of the
* Ver. 16. And stood up for to read, &c.] They who are acquainted with Jewish literature, know that the five books of Moses have long ago been divided in such a manner, that by reading a section of them every sabbath, the whole is gone though in the space of a year For though the sections or parashoth be fifty-four in number, by joining two short ones together, and by reading the last and the first in one day, they reduce the whole within the compass of the year. It is generally thought that Ezra was the author of these divisions, and that the Jews from his time read Moses publicly on the sabbaths, till Antiochus Epiphanes prohibited that part of their service on pain of death. Awed by the terror of so severe a punish ment, the Jews forbare reading their law for a time, and substituted in its place certain sections of the prophets, which they thought had some affinity with the subjects handled by Moses. And though more peaceable times came, in which they again brought the law into their worship, they continued to read the prophets, joining the two together, as is evident from Luke's account of the synagogue service. Acts xii. 15. And after the reading of the law and the prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them (Paul and Barnabas) saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exbertation for the people, say on. By the rules of the synagogue, any person whom the directors called up, might read the portion of scripture allotted for the service of the day. Cur Lord therefore read by the appointment of those who presided in the service. Vitringa, indeed, and Surenhusius imagine, that he did not officiate on this occasion in the low capacity of a reader, but as a teacher; alleging, that none of the circumstances which usually attended the reading of the law are to be found here: particularly it is not said that Jesus was called to read; nothing is spoken of the benedictions