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Acts xxii. 3.
38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered
into a certain village: and a certain woman named m John xi. 1: m Martha received him into her house. 39 And she had a n Luke viii. 35. sister called Mary, which also sat at j Jesus' feet, and
heard his word. 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things : 42 but one thing is needful :
j read, with many ancient authorities, the Lord's. and clothe us : Gal. iii. 21 (Trench remarks inserted in it, throw light on it from what that the Church, by joining the passage we know from other sources. And I Gal. iii. 16—23 as Epistle, with this Para- believe most readers will agree with me ble as Gospel for the 13th Sunday after in taking these for the sisters of Lazarus, Trinity, has stamped this interpretation and the village for Bethany. 38.] as with her approval):-in the good Sama they went need make no difficulty-the ritan, Him of whom it was lately said, whole of the events related in this section “ Say we not well that thou art a Samari. of the Gospel are allotted, as in the widest tan, and hast a devil ?” (John viii. 48)— sense they belonged, to the last journey of who came to bind up the broken-hearted, our Lord from Galilee, which ended in the to give them the oil of joy for mourning triumphal entry into Jerusalem ;-see note (Isa. Ixi. 1 ff.);-who for our sakes be on ch. ix. 51 ff. Jesus, as we know that came poor, that we through His poverty He afterwards did, so now probably, when might become rich : who, though now gone at Jerusalem (at the feast of Dedication), from us, has left with us precious gifts, and abode at Bethany. He loved'-(only charged His ministers to feed His lambs, used in this sense by John with regard to promising them, when the chief Shepherd this family and to himself)-Martha and shall appear, a crown of glory that fadeth Mary and Lazarus—and this word implies not away (1 Pet. v. 2, 4). Further perhaps surely hospitality and intercourse. it is well not to go ;-ór, if we do, only in a certain woman] It does not follow that our own private meditations, where, if we Martha was a widow; the incident brings have the great clue to such interpretations, out the two sisters, and therefore no knowledge of Christ for ourselves, and others are mentioned. She may have had a sound mind under the guidance of His a husband or a father living. At all Spirit, - we shall not go far wrong. But events, it is a consistency belonging to minutely to allegorize, is to bring the sound real life, that we find the same person spiritual interpretation into disrepute, and prominent in the family in John, as here. throw stumbling-blocks in the way of
39.] It does not appear that the many, who might otherwise arrive at it. meal had begun; far rather is it likely
38—42.] ENTERTAINMENT OF Our that Martha was busy about preparing it. LORD AT THE HOUSE OF MARTHA AND Mary sat at the Lord's feet, as His disciple, MARY. It surely never could be doubted while He was discoursing. 41, 42.] who this Martha and Mary were, nor The repetition of her name indicates re. where this took place, - but that the bar. proof. thou art careful (it is the same monizing spirit has so beclouded the sight word as that in Matt. vi. 25, &c., and there of our critics. Bengel believes them not rendered “ to take anxious thought”) to be the sisters of Lazarus, but another expresses the inner anxiety :- troubled, Martha and Mary somewhere else ;-and the outer bustle and confusion. one this in spite of the deep psychological thing] Perhaps we should not express the identity of characters which meets us in two words more definitely, for fear of John xi. xii. Greswell, still more narrowing the wide sense in which they strangely, believes the persons to be the are spoken. I can hardly doubt that our same, but that they had another residence Lord, in the first and most obvious meanin Galilee. I shall, as elsewhere, take the ing indicated that simpler preparation text in its most obvious and simple inter. would have been all that was needful, but pretation, and where nothing definite is the many leads to the one, and that to the
and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
XI. 1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, a Our Father [k which art in heaven], Hallowed be thy - Matt. vi. 9. name. Thy kingdom come. [k Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.] 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive
komit : see note. good part, the “one” being the middle ing of prayer, to omit it;-wben asked by term of comparison between the natural His disciples to teach them to pray, He “many” and the spiritual “good part.” was not likely to depart from the forin So that the whole will imply-only within once given them. Such are ordinary pro. the circle of Christ's disciples, those who babilities, antecedent to every question act from love (mistaken or otherwise) to affecting the two Gospels : and those critics Him-much as John vi. 27,--and will set who throw aside all such, are far more before us the bread which perisheth on prejudiced in reality, than those who allow one hand, and that which endureth to them full weight. “The peculiar and everlasting life on the other. The good ,abridged form in Luke,” says Meyer, “is portion is the one thing which is needful a proof that the apostolic Church did not -see John vi. 53,- the feeding on the use the Lord's prayer as a form.” Rather, bread of life by faith ; which faith cometh we may say, a proof of the fidelity with by hearing, and hearing by the word of which our Evangelist reproduced his ori. Christ, which Mary was now receiving into ginal reports, not correcting them, as her soul, and which (John vi. 54) shall others after him did, to suit the forms never be taken away, but result in ever- most probably in use. If the apostolic lasting life. The two types of charac- Church did not use the Lord's Prayer as a ter have ever been found in the Church; form,- when did its use begin, which we botb, caring for Him, and for love to Him find in every known Liturgy? 1.] doing what they do: but the one busy and as John also . ... of this fact we know restless, anxious, and stirring; the other nothing beyond the allusion here. quiet and humble, content to sit at His 2.) When je pray say .... more definite feet and learn. We see here which of the than “after this manner pray ye....”in two He praises. But on the other hand Matthew. On the prayer itself, see notes we must not derive any argument hence on Matt. vi. 9-13. The clauses printed against an active Christian life of doing in brackets in the text could hardly by good : this is, in fact, to sit at His feet any possibility have been omitted by any, and learn- to take His yoke on us, and had they ever formed a part of it. The learn of Him. It is the bustling about shorter form, found in the Vatican, the the many things of which there is no need, most ancient of all our MSS., and in which is blamed; not the working out the the recently published Sinaitic MS., was fruits of the Spirit, which are needful, the original one: then the copyists inbeing parts themselves of the good part. serted the clauses which were not found
CHAP. XI. 1–13.] JESUS TEACHES here, taking them from St. Matthew. THE DISCIPLES TO PRAY. The locality That this, and not the converse process, and time of the following incident are must have been the one followed, is evialike indefinite. The only limits are dent to any one who considers the mat. those of the great journey which is the ter. Stier's argument, that our text has subject of this section. There is no reason not been conformed to Matthew, because for supposing this to be the only occasion the doxology has never been inserted here, on which the Lord delivered this prayer to seems to me to tend in quite another direcHis disciples. In the Sermon on the tion : the doxology was inserted there, beMount, it stands in close connexion with cause that was the form in general liturgiwhat goes before ;- and here also. In so cal use, and not here, because this form weighty a summary of His teaching as was never used liturgically. 3.] that was, He was not likely, when speak literally .... for that day's need, or, for
every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation [1; but deliver us from evil]. 5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves ; 6 for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him ? 7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the
door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I bch. xviii. 1, cannot rise and give thee. 8 I say unto you, . Though he
will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet
because of his m importunity he will rise and give him as c Matt. vii, 7:, many as he needeth. 9 C And I say unto you, Ask, and it x1.24. Juhes shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it
shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11 d If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent ? 1 omit : see note.
m render, shamelessness.
d Matt. vij.o.
that day. 4.7 for we also . ... ex- ment of domestic life here given us. The pressed here more strongly than in Mat. door is · barred, not only shut;' there is thew, as the plea for the exercise of the trouble of unbarring it: the father the divine forgiveness to us,- for it is and children are in bed (observe how in our own practice also to forgive : but all the parables which place the Father, or notice the difference-there is no sin in the Husband, before us, the Mother, or the this second case, between man and man, Bride, does not appear); and he cannot only the ordinary business word of this (i. e. will not, cannot from being overworld. 5.] Now follows a parable on come by reluctance) rise and give to him. .continuing instant in prayer, of the same
8.7 The word is too mildly ren. nature as that in ch. xviii. 2. ff. In both dered in the A. V. by importunity. It parables, the argument is that called should be, as in margin, shamelessness. i à fortiori ;' “if selfish man can be won It is presupposed here that the postulant by prayer and importunity to give, and goes on knocking and asking. 9.] unjust man to do right, much more cer. What follows is in the closest connexion. tainly shall the bountiful Lord bestow, and and will not bear the idea that it is transthe righteous Lord do justice,” Trench; ferred here merely as being appropriate. who further remarks, that here interces. The asking, seeking, knocking, all answer sory prayer is the subject of the parable; to the features of the parable. 10.] there, personal. And, that we must re declares to us not merely a result observ. member that all reluctance on the part able here among men, (in which sense it is of God to answer our prayers is not real, not universally true,) but a great law of but apparent only, and arises from deeper our Father's spiritual Kingdom : a clause reasons working for our good : whereas out of the eternal Covenant, which cannot the reluctance in these two parables is be changed. 11-13.) Our Lord sets real, arising from selfishness and contempt forth the certainty of our obtaining the of justice. 6. in his journey] In the Holy Spirit, (the unspeakable gift, in East it was and is the custom to travel which all other good gifts are included,) late at night, for coolness sake. Why from our Father, by another à fortiori' three loaves does not appear. I forbear to argument, drawn from the love of earthly give the allegorical interpretations of the parents, so far less careful and tenderly number, which abound : the significance wise than He is over His children. of the thing asked for, see below on ver. For the rest, see notes on Matt. vii. 7 ff. 13. 7.] We have an interesting frag. The egg and scorpion are added here.
12 or if he shall ask an egg, will he n offer him a scorpion ? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall ° your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?
14 e And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. e Matt. ix. 32: And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake ; and the P people wondered. 15 But some of
n render, give: the word is the same as above.
The serpent and scorpion are the positively is quite impossible to carry the hypothesis mischievous : the samples, ch. x. 19, of the throughout this section of St. Luke's “power of the enemy :"—the stone, that Gospel : and when it has been once given which is simply unfit for food. So that up, a considerable difference is made in the God's answers to our prayers consist of way of regarding the various narrations. neither useless nor mischievous things, On the side of which Evangelist the strict but of His best gift-His Holy Spirit-in accuracy lies, it is next to impossible for all the various and fitting manifestations us now to decide. I am inclined to think of His guidance, and consolation, and that the section from ch. xi. 14-xi. 53 (or teaching, in our lives. This is because rather perhaps 59) is a connected whole, this takes of and imparts to us by leading er, at all events, is intended to form such. us continually to Him who is) the “ bread ” But then the whole is introduced (ver. of the parable;- the father of the family” 14) without any mark of connexion with is the Father from Heaven, with whom the preceding, and terminated as abruptly. however the night is as the day, who never On the other hand, the narrative in Mat. slumbers nor sleeps. It has been noticed thew is introduced by his usual “ Then" how by the hungry traveller coming to following upon a very general descripthe man, may be imported, in the depth tion of a retirement of our Lord, and of the parable, the awakening in a man's His being pursued by multitudes, all of own soul (which is so precious to him) whom He healed; but whether the mul. of that hunger which he has nothing to titudes are the same, and the “then” satisfy, and which none but God can meant to specify that this incident ocsatisfy. The reader may, as in the fore- curred then and there, is by no means going parable, follow out this clue for him certain. Nor is the close of the section self (provided it be done soberly) with (xii. 50) bound very closely to xiii. 1, which much interest and profit.
Notice commences “ In that day” (not as the that when we address God (Matt. vi. 9), A. V., see margin), and can hardly be said He is “ Our Father (which is) in heaven” with certainty to define the very same - when He answers us, He is the Father natural day. We may observe that the from heaven. In the former case, we go attendant circumstances, as introduced and up into Him and His abode; in the latter closed in Mark jïi. 20; iv. 1, are equally He comes down to us.
indeterminate. I therefore leave the dif. 14-36.] ACCUSATION OF CASTING OUT ficulty where I found it, and where I beDEVILS BY BEELZEBUB, AND DEMAND OF lieve it will ever remain, during our preA SIGN FROM HEAVEN, OUR LORD'S sent state of imperfection : only observing, DISCOURSE THEREUPON. Matt. xii. 22– that the important incident and discourse 45. Mark iii. 23–30. The reasonings of Mr. grounded on it are no way thereby in. Greswell to shew that St. Luke relates an validated in authority. It seems to have entirely different incident from St. Matthew been a portion of the evangelic history, and St. Mark, able and well conducted as the position of which was not exactly and they are, fail to carry conviction to my mind. satisfactorily fixed; of which there have The marks of identity are too many and been already some instances (see ch. ix. striking to be mistaken ; and on the plan 57-62), and there are, as will be seen, of discrimination which he has adopted, yet more as we proceed. 14.] dumb I am persuaded that we might prove four -and blind, Matthew, ver. 22, where see distinct Crucifixions and Resurrections to notes on all the common matter. have happened just as easily. Besides, it 15. some of them] No inference can here
Mark iii. 24. i John ii. 25.
Mark ili, 27.
1 Matt. ix. 84: them said, 'He casteth out devils through 9 Beelzebub the 8 Matt. xii. 38: chief of the devils. 16 And others, tempting him, 8 sought h Matt. xii. 25. of him a sign from heaven. 17 h But he, i knowing their i John ii. 25. thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against
itself is brought to desolation ; and a house divided against a house falleth. 18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand ? because ye say that I cast out devils through 9 Beelzebub. 19 And if I by 9 Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast
them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20 But if k Exod. viii. Ik with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the 1 Matt. xii. 29. kingdom of God is come upon you. 21 | When ra strong
man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace : m Isa. 1111, 12. 22 but m when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and
overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein n Matt. xii. 30. he 8 trusted, and divideth his spoils. 23 n He that is not
with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with 9 in the original, Beelzebul.
r render, the. 8 render, had trusted. be drawn that these persons were not rather than in comparison with himself. Pharisees (as Greswell has done), and con.
The strong man is the adversary, sequently that the charge proceeded from Satan; his palace this present world, a different quarter.
16.] This is John xii. 31 ; xiv. 30; xvi. 11. His goods not mentioned here by St. Matthew, but or tools, or spoils,--are the sons of men,further on in the discourse, ver. 38. No 2 Tim. ii. 26; 1 John v. 19 (margin). distinction can be drawn, as Greswell has With these is he clothed and armed, or done, for the purpose of maintaining that rather with their evil capacities, which he the two incidents were distinct, between furbishes and brightens for his use : with “ a sign” and “ a sign from heaven :" for this whole armour of the devil, compare (1) our Lord answers the demand in both by way of contrast, the “ whole armour of places by the same reply, the sign of Jonas; God," Eph. vi. 11-20. Without these see also Matt. xvi. 1-4; and (2) the or arms and tools he would be powerless : dinary Jewish idea attached to a sign the evil one must have evil men-some. would imply from heaven : see notes on thing receptive of evil-to work upon. Matt. xvi. 1. 17.] knowing their But these the Stronger than he takes from thoughts : so Matthew also, ver. 25. him, and divides his spoils, Isa. liii. 12. 20. with the finger of God)" by the Spirit He divides his spoils--turns to His own of God,” Matthew. No distinction can use and that of His followers all that good be established, as Greswell attempts. The which the enemy had corrupted into evil. one expression explains the other. What
The Stronger had already come was done (Hebraistically speaking) by the into the strong man's house - the Saviour, finger of God, was done by the Spirit of into the world—and was robbing him of God. We have much greater variations his captives, and making them into His than this in sayings demonstrably the own disciples-e. g. Mary Magdalene and same. 21.] This parabolic sentence others : but the work was not fully comis in close connexion with many prophetic pleted yet, till the Lord, by and in His death, sayings, Isa. xl. 10 marg., liïi. 12, and most overcame him that had the power of death, pointedly Isa. xlix. 24, 25. It will be re- i.e. the devil. And that His great victory inembered that the Baptist called the is still proceeding ;--He is still taking from Lord by this name, a stronger, or one who him one and another,-rescuing the sons is mightier-placing after it, it is true, of men by the power of His Gospel, till “than 1,” but still using it as indicative the end, when He shall (Rev. xx. 1 ff.) bind of the Almightiness of the Son of God, him in the abyss; and though he be