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ch. xii. 40. Rom. xiii, 8, &c. Gal. v. 14.
ask him ? 12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them : ' for * Leavite 7.8. this is the law and the prophets.
13 u Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the u Luke xili. 21. gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 v t Beware Reut.xli. 1, of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, Micah li. 5. but inwardly they are w ravening wolves. 16 x Ye shall Xlet. il. 1, know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of act thorns, or figs of thistles ? 17 Even so every good treebringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth
t Some MSS. read, But beware.
v Deut. xiii. 1,
xxiii. 10. Micah iii. 5. 2 Cor. xi. 14.
&c. W Acts xx. 20.
x ch. xii. 33.
“ Pythagoras said this, Plato said it. ... why the way to destruction is so broad, Well, if any of them is found to have is because so few find their way into the said a thing which Christ also said, we narrow path of life. This is not merely an congratulate him, we do not follow him. arbitrary assignment of the because, but But, it is said, he came before Christ. there is a deep meaning in it. The reason So then, if a man speaks truth, he is why so many perish is not that it is so to be esteemed prior to truth itself.” ordained by God, who will have all to come
Therefore is the inference indeed to the knowledge of the truth,--but befrom the preceding eleven verses, but im- cause so few will come to Christ, that they mediately from the give good things to may have life ; and the rest perish in their them that ask him, just said,--and thus sins. See notes on ch. XXV. 41. closing this section of the Sermon with a strait] literally, restricted, -crushed in, lesson similar to the last verse of ch. v., in breadth. 15.] 'The connexion is,which is, indeed, the ground-tone of the strive to enter &c. : but be not misled by whole Serinon — Be ye like unto God.” persons who pretend to guide you into it,
even so, viz. after the pattern of all but will not do so in reality. These things whatsoever: not those things false prophets, directly, refer to those who themselves, because what might suit us, were soon to arise, to deceive, if possible, might not suit others. We are to think even the very elect, ch. xxiv. 24; and what we sbould like done to us, and then indirectly, to all such false teachers in all apply that rule to our dealings with ages. in sheep's clothing] There may others: viz. by doing to them what we be allusion to the prophetic dress, ch. iii. 4; have reason to suppose they would like but most probably it only means that, in done to them. This is a most important order to deceive, they put on the garb and distinction, and one often overlooked in the manners of the sheep themselves. interpretation of this golden maxim. 16.] The fruits are both their corrupt
13-27.] THE CONCLUSION OF THE DIS. doctrines and their vicious practices, as COURSE :-setting forth more strongly and contrasted with the outward shews of personally the dangers of hypocrisy, both almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, their in being led aside by hypocritical teachers, sheep's clothing to deceive. See James iii. and in our own inner life.- The gate 12; ch. xii. 33, 34. 17. a corrupt stands at the end of the way, as in the tree See also ch. xiii. 48. From these remarkable parallel in the Table of Cebes; two verses, 17, 18, the Manichæans de“Do you see a certain small door, and a fended their heresy of the two natures, certain path in front of the door, which good and bad : but Augustine answers is not much frequented, but only a few them, that such cannot possibly be their walk in it? ... this is the way which meaning, as it is entirely contrary to the leads to true discipline.” 14.] because whole scope of the passage (see for example gives a second reason, on which that in ver. 13), and adds. “A bad tree then can. ver. 13 depends : strive, &c., for broad is, not bear good fruit : but it may, from bad, &c., because narrow is, &c. The reason become good, in order to the bearing good
and parallel. John xv.2, 6.
James i. 22.
a Num, xxiv. 2,
&c. John xi. 61. 1 Cor.
27 2 Tim.
ii. 10. c Ps. v.5: vi. 8.
forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil
fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. y ch. iii. 10
1. 19 y Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
ye shall know them. 2 Not every one that saith unto me, z ch. sem., Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but Rom.11.13. he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we
* not a prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name have cast xiii. 2.Cor. out devils ? and in thy name done many wonderful works? b ch. sav. 14,23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you :
".depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore ch. xiv. 1.° whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them,
u I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 and the rain descended, and the floods
u Our earliest MSS. read, shall be likened. fruit.” On the other hand, these verses belief, and been the object of our confes. were his weapon against the shallow Pela- sion of faith. prophesied] i.e., as so gian scheme, which would look at men's often in N. T., preached, not necessarily deeds apart from the living root in man foretold future events. See 1 Cor. xii. 10, out of which they grew, and suppose that and note. On cast out devils, see note on man's unaided will is capable of good. ch. viii. 32. 23.] See Luke xiii. Trench, Serm. on the Mount, p. 150.
25—27. will I profess (more pro20. ye shall know them The original has perly, confess) is here remarkable, as a more force; 'ye shall thoroughly know statement of the simple truth of facts, as them : see 1 Cor. xiii. 12. 21.] The opposed to the false colouring and selfdoom of the hypocritical false prophets deceit of the hypocrites – I will tell them introduces the doom of all hypocrites, and the plain truth. I never knew you, brings on the solemn close of the whole, in i.e. in the sense in which it is said, John which the hypocrite and the true disciple x. 14, “ I know my sheep (lit. the things are parabolically compared.- Observe that that are mine), and am known by them." here the Lord sets Himself forth as the Neither the preaching Christ, nor doing Judge in the great day, and at the same miracles in His Name, is an infallible sign time speaks not of “my will,” but “the of being His genuine servants, but only will of my Father :' an important and the devotion of life to God's will which this invaluable doctrinal landmark in this very knowledge brings about. 24. these opening of His ministry in the first Gospel. sayings of mine] more probably, these The context must rule the meaning of such sayings from me: see Acts i. 4, ye have wide words as saith. Here it is evidently heard of (from) me. The expression, these used of mere lip homage ; but in “no man sayings, seems to bind together the Sercan say that Jesus is the Lord,” 1 Cor. mon, and preclude, as indeed does the xii. 3, the “saying” has the deeper mean whole structure of the Sermon, the suping of a genuine heartfelt confession. To position that these last chapters are seek for discrepancies in passages of this merely a collection of sayings uttered kind implies a predisposition to find them: at different times. I will liken] and is to treat Holy Scripture with less Meyer and Tholuck take this word to than that measure of candour which we signify, not 'I will compare,' but I give to the writings of one another. will make at that day like.' But it 22. in that day) perhaps refers to ver. 19: is, perhaps, more in analogy with the or it may be the expression so common in usage of the Lord's discourses to underthe prophets of the great day of the Lord: stand it, I will compare: soch. xi. e. g. Isa. ii. 20; xxv. 9 al. fr. So the Jews 16: Luke xiii. 18. 25.] This simicalled the great day of judgment “that litude must not be pressed to an alleday." in thy name] perhaps better by gorical or symbolical meaning in its dethy name, that name having filled out our tails, e.g. so that the rain, floods, and
fa la tot
vi. 2. Luke
came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, a the people d ch will. b!
Ich. xiii. 54.
Mark i. 22: were astonished at his doctrine: 29 for he taught them as 11:32. Jokin one having authority, and not as w the scribes.
VIII. 1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, V render, the.
W read, their. winds should mean three distinct kinds of chapter), as it were, a solemn procession of temptation ; but the Rock, as signifying miracles, confirming the authority with Hin who spoke this, is of too frequent use which our Lord had spoken. 2.7 This in Scripture for us to overlook it here: same miracle is related by St. Luke withcf. 2 Sam. xxii. 2 [Ps. xviii. 2], 32, 47; out any mark of definiteness, either as to xxii. 3: Ps. xxvii. 1; xxxi. 2, al. fr.; time or place,-“ And it came to pass, lxi. 2: Isa. xxvi. 4 (Heb.); xxxii. 2; xliv. 8 when he was in a certain city ..." In (Heb.): 1 Cor. x. 4, &c. He founds his this instance there is, and can be, no doubt house on a rock, who, hearing the words that the transactions are identical : and of Christ, brings his heart and life into this may serve us as a key-note, by which accordance with His expressed will, and is the less obvious and more intricate harmo. thus by faith in union with Him, founded nies of these two narrations may be aron Him. Whereas he who merely hears ranged. The plain assertion of the account His words, but does them not, has never in the text requires that the leper should dug down to the rock, nor become united have met our Lord on His descent from the with it, nor has any stability in the hour mountain, while great multitudes were of trial. In the rock,--the sand, following Him. The accounts in St. Luke the articles are categorical, importing and St. Mark require no such fixed date. that these two were usually found in the This narrative therefore fixes the occur. country where the discourse was deli. rence. I conceive it highly probable that vered ;-in the rain, the floods, the winds, St. Matthew was himself a hearer of the the same, implying that such trials of the Sermon, and one of those who followed stability of a house were common. In our Lord at this time. From St. Luke's the whole of the similitude, reference is account, the iniracle was performed in, or probably made to the prophetic passage rather, perhaps, in the neighbourhood of, Isa. xxviii. 15–18. 27. great] All some city : what city, does not appear. the greater, because such an one as here As the leper is in all three accounts related supposed is a professed disciple-hearing to have come to Jesus (" And behold” imthese sayings--and therefore would have plying it in Luke), he may have been outthe further to fall in case of apostasy. side the city, and have run into it to our
29.] Chrysostom's comment is, “For Lord. a leper] The limits of a vote He did not say what He said on the allow of only an abridgment of the most authority of others, quoting Moses or the important particulars relating to this disprophets, but every where alleging Him. ease. Read Leviticus xiii. xiv. for the self to be the One who had the power. Mosaic enactments respecting it, and its For when giving the law, he ever added, nature and symptoms. See also Exod. iv. • But I say to you,' shewing that He him- 6: Num. xii. 10: 2 Kings v. 27; xv. 5: self was the Judge."
2 Chron. xxvi. 19, 21. The whole ordiCHAP. VIII. 1-4.] HEALING OF A nances relating to leprosy were symbolical LEPER. Mark i. 40–45. Luke v. 12–14. and typical. The disease was not contaWe have now in this and the following gious : so that the view which makes them
thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus
saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, mere sanitary regulations is out of the ques. (Deut. xxiv. 9), and other passages, point tion. The fact of its non-contagious nature out this plague as a peculiar infliction has been abundantly proved by learned from God. - The Jews termed it the men, and is evident from the Scripture finger of God,' and emphatically “The itself: for the priests had continually to stroke. They said that it attacked first be in close contact with lepers, even to a man's house; and if he did not turn, handling and examining them. We find his clothing; and then, if he persisted in Naaman, a leper, commanding the armies sin, himself. So too, they said, that a of Syria (2 Kings v.1); Gehazi, though a man's true repentance was the one conleper, is conversed with by the king of dition of his leprosy leaving him.” Trench, Israel (2 Kings viii. 4, 5); and in the p. 216. The Jews, from the prophecy Isa. examination of a leper by the priest, if a siii. 4, had a tradition that the Messiah man was entirely covered with leprosy, he should be a leper. worshipped him] was to be pronounced clean (Levit. xiii. "falling on his face,” Luke v. 12; “kneel. 12, 13). The leper was not shut out from ing to him," Mark i. 40. These differences the synagogue, nor from the Christian of expression are important. See beginchurches. Besides, the analogy of the ning of note on this verse. Lord] Not other uncleannesses under the Mosaic law, here merely a title of respect, but an exe. g. having touched the dead, having an pression of faith in Jesus as the Messiah. issue, which are joined with leprosy (Num. “This is the right utterance of Lord,' v. 2), shews that sanitary caution was not which will never be made in vain.” Stier. the motive of these ceremonial enactments, When Miriam was a leper, “ Moses cried but a far deepcr reason. This disease was unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, () specially selected, as being the most loath God, I beseech thee,” Num. xii. 13. some and incurable of all, to represent the 3. touched him] He who just now exeffect of the defilement of sin upon the once pansively fulfilled the law by word anel pure and holy body of man. “Leprosy commands, now does the same by act and was, indeed, nothing short of a living death, deed: the law had forbidden the touching a poisoning of the springs, a corrupting of of the leper, Levit. v. 3. It was an act all the humours, of life; a dissolution, little which stood on the same ground as the by little, of the whole body, so that one healing on the Sabbath, of which we have limb after another actually decayed and so many instances. So likewise the profell away.” (Trench on the Miracles, phets Elijah and Elisha touched the dead p. 213.) See Num. xii. 12. The leper was in the working of a miracle on them the type of one dead in sin : the same em- (1 Kings xvii. 21 : 2 Kings iv. 34). The blems are used in his misery as those of same almighty power which suspends mourning for the dead : the same means of natural laws, supersedes ceremonial laws. cleansing as for uncleanness through con- Here is a noble example illustrating nexion with death, and which were never His own precept so lately delivered, 'Give used except on these two occasions. Com- to him that asketh thee. Again, we can pare Num. xix. 6, 13, 18, with Levit. xiv. hardly forbear to recognize, in His tonching 4–7. All this exclusion and mournful the leper, a deed symbolic of His taking on separation imported the perpetual exclusion him, touching, laying hold of, our nature. of the abominable and polluted from the The same remarkable word is used in the true city of God, as declared Rev. xxi. 27. Greek in Luke xiv. 4, "and taking hold And David, when after his deadly sin he of him, he healed him," and in Heb. ii. 16, utters his prayer of penitence, *Purge me “He taketh not hold of angels, but he with hyssop, and I shall be clean,' Ps. li. taketh hold of the seed of Abraham.” 7, doubtless saw in his own utter spiritual 4. See thou tell no man] Either uncleanness, that of which the ceremonial (1) these words were a moral admonition, uncleanness that was purged with hyssop having respect to the state of the man was the type. Thus in the above-cited (““ teaching him not to boast and seek instances we find leprosy inflicted as the admiration,” as Chrysostom), for the inpunishment of rebellion, lying, and pre- junction to silence was not our Lord's sumption. “I put the plague of leprosy uniform practice (See Mark v. 19, || L.), in an house' (Levit. xiv. 34), · Remember and in this case they were of lasting what the Lord thy God did to Miriam' obligation, that the cleansed leper was not
shew thyself to the priest, and 4 offer the gift that Moses a Levit. xiv. 3, commanded, for a testimony unto them.
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, 6 and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under
to make his healing a matter of boast 5–13.] HEALING OF THE CENTURION'S hereafter; or (2) they were a cautionary SERVANT. Luke vii. 1-10, where we have admonition, only binding till he should a more detailed account of the former part have shewn himself to the priest, in order of this miracle. On the chronological arto avoid delay in this necessary duty, or rangement, see Introduction. The cenany hindrance which might, if the matter turion did not himself come to our Lord, should first be blazed abroad, arise to his but sent elders of the Jews to Him, who being pronounced clean, through the ma- recommended him to His notice as loving lice of the priests; or (3), which I believe their nation, and having built them a to be the true view, our Lord almost uni- synagogue. Such variations, the concise .formly repressed the fame of His miracles, account making a man do by himself what for the reason given in ch. xii. 15—21, the fuller one relates that he did by another, that, in accordance with prophetic truth, are common in all written and oral narraHe inight be known as the Messiah not by tions. In such cases the fuller account is, wonder-working power, but by the great of course, the stricter one. Augustine, result of His work upon earth: see ch.. answering Faustus the Manichæan, who xii. 16–19. Thus the Apostles always wished, on account of the words of our refer primarily to the Resurrection, and Lord in ver. 11, to set aside the whole, only incidentally, if at all, to the wonders and used this variation for that purpose, and signs. (Acts i. 22-24; iii. 13--16.) makes the remark, so important in these These latter were tokens of power common days, “Does not our human custom furto our Lord and his followers; but in His nish abundance of such instances ? Shall great conflict, ending in His victory, He we read, and forget how we speak ? Could trod the winepress alone. shew thy we expect that Scripture would speak with self to the priest] Read Levit. xiv. 1-32. us otherwise than in our own manner ? " This command has been used in support On the non-identity of this miracle with of tbe theory of satisfaction by priestly that in John iv. 46 ff., see note there. confession and penance. But even then
5. centurion] he was a Gentile, see (Trench on the Miracles, p. 221, where ver. 10, but one who was deeply attached see instances cited) the advocates of it are to the Jews and their religion : possibly, constrained to acknowledge that Christ though this is uncertain, a proselyte of alone is the cleanser. It is satisfactory to the gate (no such term as “devout," observe this drawing of parallels between “fearing God,” is used of him, as comthe Levitical and (popularly so called) monly of these proselytes, Acts, x. 2 al.). Christian priesthood, thus completely shew.
6.] From Luke we learn that ing the fallacy and untenableness of the it was “a slave, who was precious to whole system; all those priests being types, him." The centurion, perhaps, had but not of future human priests, but of Him, one slave, see ver. 9. 8.] The cenwho abideth a Priest for ever in an un turion heard that the Lord was coming, changeable priesthood, and in Whom not Luke vii. 6, and sent friends to Him with a class of Christians, but all Christians, this second and still humbler message. are in the true sense priests unto God. He knew and felt himself, as a heathen,
a testimony unto them) A testi to be out of the fold of God, a stranger mony both to, and against them. The to the commonwealth of Israel; and thereman disobeyed the injunction, so that our fore unworthy to receive under his roof Lord could no more enter the city openly: the Redeemer of Israel.
9.] The see Mark i. 45.
meaning is, “I know how to obey, being