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26 Even so, Father, for so it me of my Father; and no man seemed good in thy sight.
knoweth the Son, but the Father ; 27 All things are delivered unto neither knoweth any man the
ble themselves and become like little ing that he who loves us will not harm children. Matt. x. 42 ; xviii. 3, 4; us. Though clouds and darkness surJohn xxi. 5. He doubtless used the round his throne, and conceal his purterm babes here in reference to his dis- poses, we may joyfully believe that ciples. The general idea is, that the righteousness and judgment are the truths and principles of the gospel, or habitation of his throne, and that all his the reign of grace, had been concealed dispensations shall be consistent with from those who esteemed themselves his own character. Ps. xcvii. 2. We to be wise, and were reverenced by the may, in such cases, adopt the language multitude for their wisdom, and had of our Lord, and with cheerful and conbeen made known to the disciples, who fiding hearts say, “Even so, Father, for were ignorant of what the world calls so it seemed good in thy sight.” wisdom, and were held in utter con 27. All things. Some understand tempt, as babes in knowledge, by this in an unlimited sense, as embracthose who had made greater acquisi ing the whole universe; others suppose tions of worldly science.
it indicates only those things which The language of this verse is liable were necessary to the accomplishment to be misunderstood. It seems to im- of our Lord's mission. While I would ply that Jesus thanked God that the not say that underived supreme power wise did not know the truth. The was possessed by the Lord Jesus, phrase is idiomatic, and must be so neither would I hesitate to believe that interpreted. An instance of the same he possessed any and all authority not idiom occurs, Rom. vi. 17. The mean- inconsistent with the declaration of the ing is this; I thank thee that, having apostle, 1 Cor. xv. 27. He certainly hidden these things from the wise and claimed power and authority over all prudent, thou hast revealed them unto men. John xvii. 2. The apostle refers babes. So in the other case; the apos. I to the same
declares that, tle does not thank God that his breth- although the purpose for which Jesus ren had been servants of sin; but that, had declared he had received such having been such, they had been con- power had not yet been actually comverted and become obedient to the pleted, yet means had been applied, truth.
which in due time should produce the 26. So it seemed good in thy sight. intended result. Heb. ii. 8, 9. And in Jesus here declares that God's way is regard to his other qualifications for the best way. While this is some- the full execution of his mission, there times the only consideration which can certainly was no lack. John iii. 34, 35; satisfy us in regard to the events which Eph. i. 20—23. [ Are delivered unto appear undesirable and disastrous, it me of my Father. Or, by my Father. is always a satisfactory consideration, However much power Jesus possessed, when properly realized. Our reason, he acknowledged that he received at best, is feeble and short-sighted. from his Father. And so long as we beIt is often impossible for us to per- lieve this, and acknowledge the Father ceive why God does thus, rather than as supreme, we need not scruple to otherwise. We may imagine reasons, admit that the Son was endowed with in some cases; in others, we are ut- power, and wisdom, and grace, to any terly in the dark. But when we re-conceivable extent, short of infinite. member that the Lord of heaven and No man dishonors the Father, by earth, the Disposer of all events, is our highly honoring the Son; the danger Father; that he is good, and loves us lies in withholding such honor. John more truly and affectionately than we v. 23. 1 No man knoweth the Son, but love our children; and that he thus the Father. No one except God fully orders events because it seemeth good comprehended the character, and digin his sight to do so; we may con- i nity, and intentions, of the Son. Even fidently trust that no real harm shall the disciples did not, at that time nor result to us. We may cheerfully meet for a long period subsequently, attain the events of God's providence, trust- I such knowledge. Much less the un.
Father, save the Son, and he to: 29 Take my yoke upon you, and whomsoever the Son will reveal learn of me: for I am meek and him.
lowly in heart; and ye shall find 28 I Come unto me, all ye that rest unto your souls. labor, and are heavy laden, and I 30 For my yoke is easy, and my will give you rest.
burden is light. believing world. Yet Jesus was not 29. Take my yoke upon you, &c. A alone; the Father was with him, un- common figure of speech, indicating derstood his whole character, and com- subjection. The yoke is an instrument forted and assisted him. T Neither | by which oxen are attached to each knoweth any man the Father, save the other in labor. Yoke is used in the Son, &c. God manifested himself in Scriptures, as an emblem of bondage or nature, so that something might be slavery under taskmasters; Lev. xxvi. known of his attributes. He made 13; punishment; Lam. i. 14 ; affliction further manifestations of himself in the or disappointment; Lam. iii. 27; politrevelation to his chosen people by Mo- ical law; 1 Kings xii. 4; divine law; ses and the prophets. Yet a more full Jer. v. 5; ceremonial law, Acts xv. 10; display of his character was reserved to Gal. v. 1. “The taking the yoke is a be exhibited in the teaching and con- Judaical phrase, their doctors 'speaking duct of his Son. To him the Father frequently of the yoke of the law, the made known his purposes and his ten- yoke of the commandments, and the der regard for all his children, and yoke of the kingdom of heaven, which commissioned him to make revelation is Christ's yoke." — Whitby. The meanthereof to the world. But none can ing here is, acknowledge my authority; attain that knowledge, except through submit yourselves to my guidance ; the revelation of the Son.
learn my precepts and obey them. 28. Come unto me. Become iny | Thus shall you obtain the promised disciples, as in ver. 29. "To come to rest, and relief from the bondage which Christ, in the phrase of the New Testa- you have hitherto endured. T For I ment, is to believe in him, and become am meek and lowly in heart. "Or, I one of his disciples. Thus, he that am of a lowly spirit. That is, the temcometh to me shall not hunger, John vi. per of my doctrine is meek and mer. 35, is in the following words expounded ciful. This character of Jesus Christ thus, he that believeth in me shall not is opposed to cruelty, to the pride and thirst.–Thus when our Saviour had haughtiness of the Pharisees, who daily complained of the Jews, that on him rendered the yoke of the law more inwhom God had sent they would not be-tolerable by their traditions, and who lieve, John v. 38, he, ver. 40, changeth despised the humble and the meek. the phrase thus, You will not come unto | See Matt. xii. 19, 20; xxiii. 4,7."me, that you might have life."— Whitby. Beausobre and L'Enfant. His yoke 1 All ye that labor, &c. Allusion is was less burdensome and his governhere probably made to the condition of ment more mild than that of the Pharithe Jews who were burdened severely sees and scribes, because he was not, by the ceremonial law,-especially as like them, haughty and oppressive, a that law was expounded and adminis- despiser of the lowly, John vii. 49; but tered by the ecclesiastical authority of was full of mercy and tenderness tothat age. See Matt. xxiii. 4; Acts xv. wards the oppressed and the down10. In this and the two subsequent trodden. With them he made himself verses
ssures them that, by familiar, and subjected himself to rebecoming his disciples, they should proach for noticing them and laboring escape these burdens and obtain rest; for their good. He sought to make for his requirements were not burden- them happy, by making them virtuous, some. It is doubtless true, also, that and by inspiring them with confidence all who truly believe and trust in him in their heavenly Father. He required shall obtain relief from other burdens, no service of them, except such as difrom doubt and despondency, from im- rectly tended to the advancement of moderate grief, and, most of all, from their own happiness, and such as would sin and its miseries: in regard to all fill their hearts with peace and quietthese, they shall find rest to their souls. I ness. By obedience they should find rest.
CHAPTER XII. | and his disciples were a hungered,
and began to pluck the ears of T that time Jesus went on the corn, and to eat. sabbath-day through the corn, 2 But when the Pharisees saw
30. For my yoke is easy, &c. " That rubbed the ears of corn in their hands. is, the services that I shall require are Luke vi. 1. This would be natural, if easily rendered. They are not hurden- it were wheat or barley, to separate the some, like all other systems of religion. grain from the chaff; but the husks of So the Christian always finds them. | corn are removed by stripping, not by In coming to him, there is a peace that rubbing. And did eat. It is evident passeth all understanding; in believing that they ate, merely to appease hunger; in him, joy; in following him through for they seem to have eaten the grain in evil and report, a comfort which its raw state, without cooking. Wheat, the world giveth not; in bearing trials, thus eaten, is palatable, but would not and in persecution, the hope of glory; be very tempting to an epicure who and in keeping his commandments, desired merely to please his appetite. great reward." - Barnes. Truly, then, Although the corn was not the property his yoke is liberty; 2 Cor. iii. 17; Gal. of the disciples, yet they were justifiav. i ; and his burden, the source of ble in plucking and eating it; for by an spiritual happiness. May we study his express provision of the Jewish law, a precepts and obey them, or bear his hungry man was permitted to take of yoke and serve him, that we may enjoy his neighbor's fruit so much as would the blessing. Jas. i. 25.
satisfy his hunger. He might eat his CHAPTER XII.
fill, at his own pleasure ; but he might
| not carry away fruit to be eaten at 1---8. The parallel places are Mark another time. Deut. xxiii. 24, 25. ii. 23-28, and Luke vi. 1-5.
Hence the infidel taunt, that the disci1. At that time. At or about the ples stole corn, and their Master justitime when the events occurred, which fied their conduct, only betrays ignoare recorded in the foregoing chapter.rance of Jewish laws and customs. Luke fixes the time more definitely, The Pharisees did not allege that taking though somewhat obscurely, calling it the corn was sinful. They objected "the second Sabbath after the first "only to its being done on the SabbathLuke vi. 1. See the note there. I Sub- day, as they considered it a forbidden buth-day. The Jewish Sabbath corre- | labur. sponded with our Saturday. The early 2. Thy disciples do that which is not Christians uniformly regarded the first lau ful, &c. This is one of the many day of the week more highly than the insiances in which the Pharisees alleged seventh, because on the morning of the that our Lord was a Sabbath-breaker. first day, our Saviour rose from the For although the charge was ostensibly dead, and fully confirmed the glorious made against the disciples, yet it was doctrine of life and immortality. Hence evidently designed to operate against Christians now devote the first day of him, he' being considered responsible the week to religious and spiritual uses; for the conduct of disciples under his while the Jews, in obedience to the instructions. The Jewish law prohibMosaic law, continue to honor the ited servile labor on the Sabbath, on pain seventh, or Sabbath, and keep it holy. of death. Exo. xx. 10; xxxv. 2, 3;
T Corn. Indian corn, to which we Numb. xv. 32–36. The expounders now almost exclusively appropriate this of the law, as their manner was, carried name, was not known in Judea. Indeed, I this prohibition even to a ridiculous it was not known in any portion of the extremity. Maimonides, quoted by civilized world, until after the discovery Lightfoot, applied it thus: "He that of America. But in England, when the reaps on the Sabbath, though never so Bible was translated, it was customary, little, is guilty. And to pluck the ears as it now is, to apply the general name of corn is a kind of reaping; and whoof corn to various kinds of grain; such soever plucks anything from the springas wheat, rye, barley, oats, &c. It is ing of his own fruit is guilty, under the generally supposed that wheat or barley name of a reaper.” Another, quoted by is here meant. Luke says the disciples Beausobre, reasoned thus: “It is for
it, they said unto him, Behold, thy 4 How he entered into the house disciples do that which is not law- of God, and did eat the shew-bread, ful to do upon the sabbath-day. which was not lawful for him to
3 But he said unto them, Have eat, neither for them which were ye not read what David did when with him, but only for the priests? he was a hungered, and they that 5 Or have ye not read in the were with him ;
law how that on the sabbath-days
bidden to reap, and it is forbidden to every Sabbath, on a table in the tabergather the ears of corn, because that is nacle, before the divine presence; after a sort of reaping. It is not lawful to remaining there one week, they were to SOW; and therefore neither is it to walk | be removed in ground newly sown, because the seed and by none other. These were called may stick to the feet, and so be carried the shew-bread. See Lev. xxiv. 5—9. from place to place, which is in some Such was the food procured by David, sort sowing." Upon such principles of by permission of the priest, to appease interpretation, they alleged that the the hunger of himself and his companplucking and eating a few handsfull of ions; thus violating the law which corn, to appease hunger, though lawful | allowed none but priests to eat this conin itself, was a crime punishable by secrated bread. Yet the Jewish doctors death, because done on the Sabbath justified the conduct of David, because day. They must have found it difficult he did this to preserve life. They even to discover anything improper in our allowed that the occasion would have Lord's conduct, or they would not have justified a still greater transgression. resorted to such a pitiful charge as | The Rabbins interpreted the phrase,
yea, though it were sanctified this day in 3–8. Jesus repelled the charge of the vessel, 1 Sam. xxi. 5, thus: “It is a Sabbath-breaking, by several argu- small thing to say, that it is lawful for ments. He showed them, by the exam- us to eat these loave
before the ple of David and of the priests in the Lord, when we are hungry; for it would temple, that their charge was inconsis- be lawful to eat this very loaf, which is tent even with their own views of pro- now set on, which is also sanctified in priety; and then, by referring to the the vessel, (for the table sanctifieth :) it great object for which the Sabbath was would be lawful to eat even this, when instituted, he exhibited further evidence another loaf is not present with you to that his disciples were guiltless. See give us, and we are so hunger-bitten." Mark ii. 27.
See Lightfoot. From an allusion in 3. Have ye not read what David did, ver. 6, it is generally supposed that this &c. The circumstances of this trans- transaction occurred on the Sabbath ; in action are recorded, 1 Sam. xxi. 3-6. which case, there was a profanation David, with a small company, was both of the day and of the consecrated fleeing before an enemy. He was hun- food. Our Lord's argument, then, was gry. And to procure needful suste- this: While you justify David in vionance, he adopted a course which the lating the law, in a case of necessity, Pharisees justified, though it was a why do you condemn my disciples for more direct violation of the law, than a similar violation, in similar circumwas that for which they condemned the stances? Their labor, such as it was, disciples.
| must be regarded not as servile, but a 4. How he entered into the house of work of necessity. God. From the record of this trans. 5. In the law. That is, in the law action, it does not distinctly appear of Moses. Priests in the temple prowhether David entered the house ; that fane the Sabbath, and are blâmeless. is, the tabernacle, for the temple was the law prohibited the performance of not then erected. But in some place any servile labor on the Sabbath, and he met the priest, made known his pronounced it a profanation. Yet by wants, and obtained relief. Shew- requisition of the same law the priests bread. Or, bread of the presence. By performed such labor, in the killing of the
as required that twelve | beasts, and preparing them for burntloaves of new bread should be placed, offerings and sacrifice. Lev. ch. i.
it was re
the priests in the temple profane | this meaneth, I will have mercy, the sabbath, and are blameless ? and not sacrifice, ye would not
6 But I say unto you, that in have condemned the guiltless. this place is one greater than the 8 For the Son of man is Lord temple.
leven of the sabbath-day. ✓ But if ye had known what 9 And when he was departed Numb. xxviii. 9, 10. The Jews were on Matt. ix. 13. The meaning is, that sensible that this kind of labor was for- God values holiness of heart and pure bidden in general terms, though com- righteousness, more highly than outmanded in particular. The Jerusalem ward obedience to ceremonial or ritual Talmud says, that “the servile work, / laws. Sacrifices, not accompanied by which is done in the holy things, is not proper dispositions of heart, were by no servile. The same works, which were means acceptable; but in all places, a done in the temple on other days, were hearty reverence and love, together done also on the Sabbath ;” and Mai- with righteous conduct, were approved. monides, that “there is no sabbatism at Prov. xv. 8; Acts x. 35. If the Jews all in the temple.” See Lightfoot. | had realized this fact, they would not The argument is,-if the priests may have condemned his disciples for a profane the Sabbath, by performing necessary violation of a ritual law, if such labor as is positively forbidden in indeed they had violated it; but would general terms, in order to obey the rather have taken shame to themselves ritual law, why do you condemn my for their own violation of the weightier disciples for the slight labor of plucking matters of the law. Such seems to be a few ears of grain, and rubbing them the point of his argument. “In comto separate the chaff, when they do it paring the parts of religion and the merely for self-preservation, and to obligation of duties together, those allay their hunger. See a similar argu- duties which are of moral and natural ment, John vii. 23.
Tobligation are most valued by God, and 6. Greater than the temple. In the ought to take place of those which original, the adjective is neuter, and the are positive and ritual.”—Tillotson. phrase would be properly translated, in 8. The Son of man is lord even of this place is something greater than the the Sabbath-day. The meaning of this temple. Yet I doubt not that Jesus declaration is similar to what is imhere referred to himself, by this modest plied in ver. 6. It is an assertion that expression. An instance of the same ihe Messiah, one of whose titles was Son kind occurs in ver. 41, 42. According of man, was lord of the Sabbath, and to his usual custom, when addressing had authority to determine what might Jews, he rather hinted than asserted his and what might not be done on that Messiahship. He refrained from any day. Yet, even here, he did not dipositive declaration of the fact, but pre- rectly assert that he was the Messiah; sented the mos
evidence, leaving nor do the Jews seem to have so underthem to judge even of themselves what stood him. They neither saluted him was right. If the Jews had acknowl- as the Messiah, nor reviled nor atedged him as the Messiah, they must tempted to injure him, as on other ochave admitted his right to alter, or even casions, on the ground of his assuming abrogate, the laws of Moses. And too much power and dignity. Yet was probably he designed this as a hint that, he truly Lord of the Sabbath; and his although the act of his disciples might power has been acknowledged by al. be construed as a violation of the law, most all Christians, by conforming to yet his permission was their sufficient the change, which they believe was warrant for so doing. He was greater indicated by his spirit, both of the day than the temple, in many respects; in itself, from the seventh to the first of the temple, the presence of God was the week, and of its appropriate obserindicated by a cloud ; but he was the vances, from physical rest to spiritual brightness of the Father's glory and the activity, from offering bulls and goats, express image of his person, Heb. i. 3; which could not take away sin, to the and in him dwelt all the fulness of the sacrifice of pure hearts offered in spirit Godhead bodily. Col. ii. 9.
and in truth, which benefits the wor7. Mercy and not sacrifice. See note shipper while it honors God.