صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

But he that doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons *."

CHAPTER XII.

The period was fast approaching, which embraced the last great scene of Christ's ministry +. Therefore, “his time being now come,” he no longer refused to declare himself openly, and to

admit the honors and acclamations of the people. * Six days before the passover he came, as on former

occasions, to lodge at Bethany, in order to be near Jerusalem. And at Bethany he was entertained at dinner by one Simon I, distinguished by the name of “the leper,” probably because he may formerly have been cured of a leprosy by Jesus; and Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead,

was one of them that sat at table with him." Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, were likewise there, and shewed every mark of their love and gratitude to their Lord, for his late

[ocr errors]

* Col. iii. 20, 23, &c.

† See Appendix, No. IV. I Matt. xxvi. 6. Mark xiv. 3.

mercies towards them. Martha, we are informed, served at table, as she had done also on a previous occasion *; for this, as well as some other servile offices, might perhaps not unusually be performed by women of condition, as it is now in some parts of Asia and Africa, in token of their submission and affection. “Then Mary took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” People at that time used not to sit at their meals, as we do now, but to recline on couches, in such a manner, that the body of the first lay behind the second, and the head of the second came even with the breast of the first, their legs being supported on the hinder part of the seat. In this situation, it is easier to conceive how Mary should anoint the feet of Jesus (as it is said by St. John), than his head (according to St. Matthew and St. Mark). But, I conclude, that both took place; which might very well be, if Jesus occupied the “uppermost place” of the couch ; so that nobody lay behind him. St. Luke has likewise recorded an instance of a woman, who, while Jesus sat at meat in the house of a cermight call down the vengeance of the Romans, and cause them to be driven from their country, therefore “from that day forth they took counsel together to put him to death.”

* Luke x. 40.

It is a maxim which cannot be too strongly inculcated, that “we should never do evil that good may come.” Were an impending calamity ever so near, or ever so great, or ever so certain, it is never, upon any occasion, to be shunned by doing what we know to be wrong. In fact, the calamities we apprehend are often found eventually to be no calamities at all, or are overbalanced by greater good, or may be averted by God's providence, or at the worst may be born as trials, and converted into graces “by charity, and service, and faith, and patience *.possible case it is our duty to do what is right, and we may safely leave the issue to him, in whose hands are the issues of life and death. But men are apt to assume to themselves a power, which they do not possess, and to say, “I have done it, and my right hand hath gotten me the victory;" and know not that “they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked +,” and that it is God who giveth to all men severally as he will. * Rev. ii. 19.

+ Ibid. iii. 17.

In every

Ver. 49. In the council that was held by the chief priests and pharisees upon this occasion, the apostle has related a circumstance singularly illustrative of the operation of inspiration. For Caiaphas, we are told, being the high priest that year, and therefore endowed with a fuller communication of the Divine Spirit, by the influence of that Spirit was prompted to utter a sentence highly prophetic of the redeeming sacrifice of Christ; and that, without himself intending it, or even being conscious of it; but conceiving that he was only in his own words giving utterance to his own sentiments of the expediency of putting Jesus to death. It is thus that men, while they are permitted freely to follow their own inventions, and to declare their own minds, are, at the same time, instruments in the hands of God, to fulfil his purposes, and promote the general designs of his overruling providence. Let every man therefore“ with quietness work, and eat his own bread, and not be weary in well-doing*.” “For this is well pleasing unto the Lord - And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of inheritance; for ye serve the Lord. But he that doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; and there is no respect of persons *.”

* 2 Thess. iii. 12.

CHAPTER XII.

A

The period was fast approaching, which embraced the last great scene of Christ's ministry t. Therefore, “his time being now come," he no longer refused to declare himself openly, and to admit the honors and acclamations of the people. Six days before the passover he came, as on former occasions, to lodge at Bethany, in order to be near Jerusalem. And at Bethany he was entertained at dinner by one Simon I, distinguished by the name of “the leper," probably because he may formerly have been cured of a leprosy by Jesus; and Lazarus, who had been raised from the dead,

was one of them that sat at table with him.” Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus, were likewise there, and shewed every mark of their love and gratitude to their Lord, for his late

* Col. iii. 20, 23, &c.

† See Appendix, No. IV. Matt. xxvi. 6. Mark xiv. 3.

« السابقةمتابعة »