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And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: 22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. 23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. 28 Now learn a parable of the figtree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: 29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. 30 Verily I say unto you, That this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
"The brother shall betray,' &c. The brother shall give up in a treacherous manner his brother to be put to death, on account of his attachment to Jesus. Through fear, in the hope of reward and the hatred of the gospel, he will overcome all the natural ties of brotherhood, and give up his own kindred to be burnt or crucified. Perhaps nothing could more clearly show the dreadful evil of those times, as well as the natural opposition of the heart to the religion of Christ. On the house-top.' See Matt. ix. 1—8.
32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray for ye know not when the time is.
"Neither the Son.' This passage has no more difficulty than that in Luke ii. 52, where it is said that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. He had a human nature. He grew as a man in knowledge. As a man, his knowledge must be finite. As a man, he often spoke, reasoned, inquired, felt, feared, read, learned, ate, drank, and walked. All these imply that he was a man ; and that, as a man, he was not infinite.
34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
'Who left his house.' The word 'house' often means family. Our Saviour here represents himself as going away, leaving his household, the church, assigning to the apostles, and all his servants, their duty, and leaving it uncertain when he would return. As his return was a matter of most consequence, and as the affairs of his kingdom were intrusted to them, just as the affairs of a house to servants, when the master was absent: so it was of vast importance that they should be faithful at their post: defend the house from danger, and be ready for his return. "The porter.' The door-keeper. To the door-keeper was intrusted, particularly, the faithful care of the house, whose duty it was to attend carefully on those who came, and those who left the house.
35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning:
'Watch ye. Be diligent, faithful, and waiting for the return of your Lord who will come at an unexpected hour, 'Master of the house.' Denoting here the Lord Jesus. At even or at midnight, or,' &c. This refers to the four divisions into which the Jews divided the night.
36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 'Find you sleeping.' Inattentive to your post, neglecting your duty, and unprepared for his coming.
37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. 'All, Watch.' This command was proper, not only for those who were expecting the calamities that were soon to come upon the Jews, but for all. The Son of man may come at any moment, and we should, therefore, be ready. If we are his friends, if we have been renewed and pardoned, if we have repented of our sins, and believed on him, and are leading a holy life-we are ready. If not, we are unprepared, and soon, probably while we are not expecting it, the cold hand of death will be laid on us, and we shall be hurried to the place where is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. O how important it is to be ready, and to escape the awful sufferings of an eternal hell!
1 AFTER two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and
put him to death. 2 But they said, Not on the feastday, lest there be an uproar of the people.
See this passage explained in notes on Matt. xxvi. 1—16. 'And of unleavened bread.' So called because at that feast no other bread was used but that which had been made without leaven or yeast. By craft. By subtilty (Matt.), that is, by some secret plan that would secure possession of him without exciting the opposition of the people.
3 And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman haying an alabaster-box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6 And Jesus said, Let her alone: why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good but me ye have not always. 8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. 10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
Ointment. This was a perfume: it was used only to give a pleasant odour: it was liquid. 'Of spikenard.' The nard from which this perfume was made, is a plant of the East Indies, with a small slender stalk, and a heavy, thick root. The best perfume is obtained from the root. And she brake the box. This may mean no more than that she broke the seal of the box, so that it could be poured out. Boxes of perfumes are often sealed, or made fast with wax, to prevent the perfume from escaping. Three hundred pence.' About nine pounds, thirteen shillings. 'She hath done what she could.' She hath showed the highest attachment in her power; and it was a sufficient argument against
there being any real waste, that it was done for the honour of Christ.
12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? 13 And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water follow him. 14 And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the good man of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? 15 And he will show you a large upper-room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. 16 And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them and they made ready the passover.
See Matt. xxvi. 17-19. 'They killed the passover.' The paschal lamb, which was slain in keeping the passover. 'Ge and prepare.' Go and prepare a lamb; have it roasted, and properly prepared with the usual things to eat with it. "The city.' The city of Jerusalem. They were now in Bethany, about two miles from the city. A man bearing a pitcher of water.' Such a thing could not have been conjectured. If Jesus knew a circumstance like that, then he, in the same way, must have known all things. Then he sees all the actions of man: hears every word, and marks every thought. Then the righteous are under his care, and the wicked, much as they may wish to be unseen, cannot escape the notice of his eye. The good man of the house." This signifies simply the master of the house. The guest chamber.' A chamber for guests or friends-an unoccupied room. 'A large upper room.' The word used here denotes the upper room devoted to purposes of prayer, repose, and often of eating. See note, Matt. ix. 1-8. 'Furnished and prepared.' Literally, spread and ready. Spread with a carpet, or with couches, such as were used in eating. See note, Matt. xxiii. 6.
17 And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. 18 And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. 19 And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I 20 And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. 21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written
of him but wo to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. 22¶ And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. 23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. 24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. 25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. 26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. 28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. 29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. 30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. 31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
See the passage explained in Matt. xxvi. 20-35.
More vehemently? More earnestly, more confidently.
32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
See notes on Matt. xxvi. 36-46. 'Abba.' This word denotes 'father.' It is a Syriac word, and is used by our Saviour as a word denoting filial affection and tenderness. See Rom. viii. 15.