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Who is chief among the disciples of
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A.M. 40. to be much displeased with James and went out of Jericho with his disciples
42 But Jesus called them to him. and saith unto them, Ye know that they which bare accounted to rule over the Gentiles, exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.
43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 46
47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me!
48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me!
49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.
50 And he, casting away his garment, rose,
And they came to Jericho: and as he and came to Jesus.
Luke 22. 25.-- Or, think good.. - Matt. 20. 26, 28. ch. 9. 35. Luke
John 15. 14. Phil. 2. 7.
Matt. 20. 28. 1 Tim. 2. 6. Tit. 2. 14f Matt. 20. 29. Luke 18. 35.
Verse 46. Blind Bartimeus] bar in Syriac signifies son. It appears that he was thus named because Timeus, Tulmeus or Talmai, was the name of his father, and thus the son would be called Bar-talmeus, or Bartholomew. Some suppose vios Tipatov the son of Timeus, to be an interpolation. Bartimeus the son of Timeus, o TUCλos, THE blind mun. It was because he was the most remarkable, that this Evangelist mentions him by name, as a person probably well known in those parts.
Verse 50. And he, casting away his garment] He cast off his outward covering, a blanket, or something of the kind, which kept him from the inclemency of the weather; that he might have nothing to hinder him from getting speedily to Christ. If every penitent were as ready to throw aside his self-righteousness and sinful incumbrances, as this blind man was to throw aside his garment, we should have fewer delays in conversions than we now have; and all that have been convinced of sin would have been brought to the knowledge of the truth. The Reader will at least pardon the introduction of the following anecdote, which may appear to some as illustrative of the doctrine grounded on this
among truly religious people.) Among other things they were led to enquire how long each had known the salvation of God; and how long it was after they were convinced of their sin and danger, before each got a satisfactory evidence of pardoning mercy. The white man said, "I was three months in deep distress of soul, before God spoke peace to my troubled, guilty conscience." "But it was only a fortnight," replied the negro, " from the time I first heard of Jesus, and felt that I was a sinner, till I received the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins." "But what was the reason,” said the white man," that you found salvation sooner than I did?" "This is the reason," replied the other, “you white men have much clothing upon you, and when Christ calls, you cannot run to him'; but we poor negroes have only this, (pointing to the mat or cloth which was tied round his waist) and when we hear the call, we throw it off instantly, and run to him."
Thus the poor son of Ham illustrated the text without intending it, as well as any doctor in the universe. People who have been educated in the principles of the Christian religion, imagine themselves on this account, Christians; and when convinced of sin, they find great difficulty to come as mere sinA great revival of religion took place in some of the Ame- ners to God, to be saved only through the merits of Christ. rican States, about the year 1773, by the instrumentality of Others, such as the negro in question, have nothing to plead some itinerant preachers sent from England. Many, both but this, we have never heard of thee, and could not belleve in whites and blacks were brought to an acquaintance with God, thee of whom we had not heard; but this excuse will not avail who bought them. Two of these, a white man and a negro, now, as the true light is come-therefore they cast of this meeting together, began to speak concerning the goodness of covering, and come to Jesus. See this miraculous cure exGod to their souls (a custom which has ever been commonplained at large on Matt. xx. 29–34.
A.M. 4033. 51 And Jesus answered and said un
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for an ass and her colt.
52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy A.M. 403, way; 'thy faith hath made thee whole.
A Olymp. to him, "What wilt thou that I should
to him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.
A. D. 29. An. lymp. CCII. 1.
Matt. 20. 32, 34. Luke 7. 22.
Matt. 9. 22. ch. 5. 34.- — Or, saved thee.
Verse 51. Lord, that I might, &c.] The Codex Beza, and some copies of the Itala, have Kugiɛ gaßße, O Lord, my teacher. Verse 52. Followed Jesus in the way] Instead of w Inoou, Jesus, several eminent critics read av, him. This is the reading of ABCDL. fourteen others; Coptic, Æthiopic, Armenian, latter Syriac in the margin, two Persic, Vulgate, all the Itala, and Origen, once. JESUS is the common reading, but this sacred name having occurred so inmediately before, there could be no necessity for repeating it here, nor would the repetition have been elegant.
This very remarkable cure gives us another proof, not only of the sovereign power, but of the benevolence of Christ: nor do we ever see that sovereign power used, but in the way of || benevolence. How slow is God to punish! how prone to spare! To his infinite benevolence can it be any gratification to destroy any of the children of men? No! We must take great heed not to attribute to his sovereignty, acts which are inconsistent with his benevolence and mercy. I am afraid this is a prevailing error; and that it is not confined to any religious party exclusively.
Christ rides triumphantly into Jerusalem, 1-11. The barren fig-tree cursed, 12-14. He cleanses the temple, 15-17. The scribes and chief-priests are enraged, 18. Reflections on the withered fig-tree, 19-23. Directions concerning prayer and forgiveness, 24-26. The chief-priests, &c. question him by what authority he did his works, 27, 28. He answers, and confounds them, 29-33.
Verse 1. He sendeth-two of his disciples] This was done but a few days before the pass-over. See our Lord's entry into Jerusalem illustrated, on Matt. xxi. 1-17.
Verse 2. Whereon never man sat] No animal was allowed to be employed in sacred uses, even among the heathen, that had previously been used for any domestic or agricultural purpose; and those which had never been yoked, were considered as sacred. See several proofs of this in the note on Numb. xix. 2. and add this from Ovid:
Bos tibi, Phabus ait, solis occurret in arvis,
The Delphic oracles this answer give:
Verse 3. And straightway he will send him hither.] From the text, I think it is exceedingly plain, that our Lord did not beg, but borrow the colt; therefore the latter clause of this
verse should be understood as the 'promise of returning him. Is not the proper translation the following? And if any one say to you, why do ye this? Say; The Lord hath need of him, and will speedily send him back hither-και ευθέως αυτόν αποτέλλει wdt. Some eminent critics take the same view of the passage. Verse 6. And they let them go.] Having a full assurance that the beast should be safely and speedily restored.
Verse 10. In the name of the Lord] Omitted by BCDLU. some others, and several Versions. Griesbach leaves it out. Hosanna in the highest !] See on Matt. xxi. 9.
Verse 11. When he had looked round about upon all things] He examined every thing-to see if the matters pertaining to the divine worship were properly conducted-to see that nothing was wanting-nothing superfluous.
to thy grave in FULL AGE, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season; xara xalgov, in the time in which it should be reaped.
When our Lord saw this fig-tree by the way-side, apparently flourishing, he went to it to gather some of the figs-being on the way-side, it was not private, but public property; and any traveller had an equal right to its fruit. As it was not as yet the time for gathering-in the fruits, and yet about the time when they were ready to be gathered, our Lord with propriety expected to find some. But as this happened about five days before that pass-over, on which Christ suffered, and the pass-over that year fell on the beginning of April, it has been asked, "how could our Lord expect to find ripe figs inthe end of March?" Answer, Because, figs were ripe in
And now the eventide was come] The time in which he Judea as early as the pass-over. Besides, the fig-tree puts usually left Jerusalem, to go to Bethany.
forth its fruit first, and afterwards its leaves. Indeed this tree in the climate which is proper for it, has fruit on it all the year round, as I have often seen. All the difficulty in the text may be easily removed by considering that the climate of Judea is widely different from that of Great Britain. The summer begins there in March, and the harvest at the passover, as all travellers into those countries testify: therefore as our Lord met with this tree five days before the pass-over, it is evident, 1st. That it was the time of ripe figs; and 2dly. That it was not the time of gathering them, because this did not begin till the pass-over, and the transaction here mention-
Verse 13. For the time of figs was not yet.] Rather, For it was not the season of gathering figs yet. This I am fully persuaded is the true sense of this passage, ou yag ny xaigos ouxwv. For a proof that xaigos here signifies the time of gathering the figs, see the LXX. in Psal. i. 3. He bringeth forth his fruit, #y nagw autov, in his season; i. e. in the time in which fruit should be ripe, and fit for gathering. See also Mark xii. 2. And at the season, tw xaigw, the time of gathering the fruits of the vineyard. Matt. xxi. 34. When the time of the fruit drew near; ¦ naigos Twv xagy, the time in which the fruits were to be gathered, for it was then that the Lord of the vine-ed, took place fine days before. yard sent his servants to receive the fruits; i. e. so much of them as the holder of the vineyard was to pay to the owner by way of rent; for in those times rent was paid in kind.
To the above may be added Job v. 26. Thou shalt come
For farther satisfaction on this point, let us suppose, I That this tree was intended to point out the state of the Jewish people. 1. They made a profession of the true religion. 2. They considered themselves the peculiar people of God, and
The importance of faith in God.
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¶ g 20 And in the morning, as they A. M.403. passed by, they saw the fig-tree dried up from the roots.
21 And Peter calling to remembrance, saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig-tree which thou cursedst is withered away.
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, h Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whoso
written, My house shall be called of all na-ever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou retions, the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.
moved, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, those things which he saith shall come to pass; and sought how they might destroy him: for he shall have whatsoever he saith. they feared him, because all the people was as- 24 Therefore I say unto you, * What things tonished at his doctrine. soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye 19 And when even was come, he went out of receive them, and ye shall have them. the city. 25 And when ye stand praying,
despised and reprobated all others. 3. They were only hypocrites, having nothing of religion but the profession, leaves,|| and no fruit.
Verse 15. And they come] Several MSS. and Versions have #zhw, again. This was the next day after our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, for on the evening of that day he went to Bethany and lodged there, ver. 11. and Matt. xxi. 17. and returned the next morning to Jerusalem.
Verse 16. Should carry any vessel] Among the Jews the word
keli, vessel, had a vast latitude of meaning, it signified arms, Jer. xxi. 4. Ezek. ix. 1. clothes, Deut. xxii. 5. and instruments of music, Psal. lxxi. 22. It is likely that the Evan
II. That our Lord's conduct towards this tree is to be considered as emblematical of the treatment, and final perdition which was to come upon this hypocritical and ungodly nation. 1. It was a proper time for them to have borne fruit: Jesus had been preaching the doctrine of repentance and salvation among them for more than three years; the choicest ixfluences of heaven had descended upon them, and everygelist uses the Greek word nog in the same sense, and by it thing was done in this vineyard that ought to be done, in points out any of the things which were bought and sold in order to make it fruitful. 2. The time was now at hand in the temple. which God would require fruit, good fruit, and if it did not produce such, the tree should be hewn down by the Roman
Therefore, 1. The tree is properly the Jewish nation. 2. Christ's curse, the sentence of destruction which had now gone out against it; and 3. its withering away, the final and total ruin of the Jewish state by the Romans. His cursing the fig-tree was not occasioned by any resentment at being disap-tains, pointed at not finding fruit on it, but to point out unto his disciples, the wrath which was coming upon a people who had now nearly filled up the measure of their iniquity.
A fruitless soul that has had much cultivation bestowed on it, may expect to be dealt with as God did with this unrightepus nation. See on Matt. xxi. 19, &c.
Verse 17. And he taught them] See on Matt. xxi. 12. Verse 19. He went out of the city.] To go to Bethany. Verse 22. Have faith in God.] EXITE TI ou is a mere hebraisin have the faith of God, i. e. have strong faith, or the strongest faith, for thus the Hebrews expressed the superlative degree; so the mountains of God mean exceeding great mounthe hail of God exceeding great hail, &c. Verse 25. When ye stand praying] This expression may mean no more than, When ye are disposed, or have a mind to pray, i. e. whenever ye perform that duty. And it is thus used and explained in the Koran, Surat. v. ver. 7. See on Matt. xxi. 20-22. But, the Pharisees loved to pray standing, that they might be seen of men.
Verse 26. At the end of this verse, the 7th & 8th verses of Matt. vii. Ask and ye shall receive, &c. are added by M. and
sixteen other MSS..
The 26th verse is wanting in BLS. seven others, some editions, the Coptic, one Itala, and Theophylact.
Verse 27-33. See on Matt. xxi. 23-27.
Verse 32. They feared the people] Or rather, We fear, &c. Instead of Bouro, they feared; the Codex Beza, seven others, latter Syriac, Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Vulgate, and all the Itala, read Coßovμe, or foßoufa. The common reading appears to me quite improper.
WE fear the people. Ear, if, before wμ, we shall say, omitted by ABCEFGHLS. and more than fifty others. Bengel leaves it out of the text, and puts a note of interrogation after E avgw; and then the whole passage reads thus: But shall we say, Of men? They feared the people, &c. This change renders the adoption of over, we fear, unnecessary. Several critics prefer this mode of distinguishing the text.. How ever the critics may be puzzled with the text, the scribes, chief priests, and elders were worse puzzled with our Lord's question. They must convict themselves or tell a most palpable falsehood. They told the lie, and so escaped for the present. 1. Envy, malice, and double-dealing have always a difficult
our Lord concerning his authority.
me, and I will tell you by what au- A. M. 4033. thority I do these things.
30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
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31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying,, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?
32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed..
33 And they answered and said unto Jesus,. We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith. unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things..
Or, thing. Matt. 3. 5. & 14. 5. ch. 6. 20.
part to act, and arc ultimately confounded by their own projects, and ruined by their own operations. On the other hand,. simplicity, and sincerity are not obliged to use a musk, but always walk in a plain way.
2. The case of the barren fig-tree which our Lord cursed, has been pitifully misunderstood and misapplied. The wholeaccount of this transaction, as stated above, I believe to be correct; it is so much in our Lord's usual manner, that the propriety of it will scarcely be doubted. He was ever acting. the part of the philosopher, moralist, and divine, as well as that. of the saviour of sinners. In his hand, every providential occurrence and every object of nature, became a means of in-struction: the stones of the desart, the lilies of the field, the fowls of heaven, the beasts of the forest, fruitful and unfruit ful trees, with every ordinary occurrence, were so many grand texts, from which he preached the most illuminating and impressive sermons, for the instruction and salvation of his audience. This wisdom and condescension cannot be sufficiently admired.. But shall the example of the fruitless fir tree, be lost on us as well as on the Jews? God forbid! Let' us therefore take heed, lest having been so long unfruitful, God should say, Let no fruit appear on thee hereafter for ever! and in consequence of this, we wither and die away!
The parable of the vineyard let out to wicked husbandmen, 1—12. The Pharisees and Herodians question him about paying tribute to Cæsar, 13-17. The Sadducees question him about the resurrection, 18-27. A scribe questions him concerning the chief commandment of the law, 28-34. Christ asks the scribes why the Messiah is called David's son, 35-37. He warns his disciples against the scribes, 38-40. Of the widow that cast two miles into the treasury, 41-44.