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me ascend up into heaven bodily, where I'was before? Will not that convince you of the truth of my having come down from heaven? Will it not shew you likewise, that I never intended you should eat my flesh in a corporeal manner ? 63. It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profireth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life: when I spake of your eating my flesh, I did root mean it in a literal sense. So used, my flesh would be of no advantage at all to any man. But I meant your believing the doctrines, to reveal which I was made flesh, by taking upon me the human nature. So that more properly it is niy Spirit that giveth life to men and maketh them immortal. For the words that I speak to you, the doctrines that I preach, proceed from my Spirit, and ate the food of your souls, consequently the means of your life. To some of you however my doctrine will be ineffectual, because you do not believe it, and perhaps are desirous to pervert it, that you may have a pretence to forsake me. 64. But there are some of you that befieve not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. He knew the inward disposition of every particular person that heard him, and foresaw which of his disciples would be so base as to betray him. 65. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father: because I know perfectly the inward frame of your minds, therefore I told you that no man can believe on me, except an opportunity of knowing the evidence of my mission, a capacity to judge of it, and such a hearty love of the truth as will prompt him to use the means proper for discovering it, and when discovered, dispose him cheerfully to receive it, are given him of my Father. The words of this verse, with those mentioned ver. 37. are our Lord's own paraphrase of that difficult expression, ver. 44. “ No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him :" wherefore the explication given of it above must be just. This sermou was in all its different branches so offensive to the Jews, that many of them who till now had been our Lord's disciples, finding by the general strain of it, that their ambitious, Carnal views were to be utterly disappointed, they went out of the synagogue in a passion, and never came to hear him more. 66. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him: Jesus perceiving this defection to be very general, asked the twelve if they were going to leave him with the rest. 67. Then suid Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. In allusion to and acknowledgement of what Jesus had said concerning his flesh, verse 63. namely, that it was the bread of life, a truth which had stumbled the apostate disciples, but which Peter believed, because he
rightly rightly understood it to signify the doctrine, word, or scheme of religion which Jesus taught in the flesh, and which alone can make a man happy here, and bring him to the possession of eternal life hereafter, the great end of all religion. This implicit faith in the whole of our Lord's doctrine, Peter rightly founded upon his faith in him as the Messiah. Thou hast the words of eternal life. 69. And. (xxs, for) we believe, and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. 70. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? The opinion of my character and mission which thou hast expressed in thine own name, and in the name of thy brethren, is just. However I am sensible that you art not all agreed in this confession. For one of you is a devil, i. e, so very bad a man, that he will betray me. It is true, I made choice of this very person equally with the rest, to be my apostle and companion. But from what I now tell you will happen, I hope you are convinced that I did not pitch upon so unworthy a person, through ignorance of his wicked disposition. I was intimately acquainted with the characters and dispositions of all of you, and in my choice of you, had it in view to make each of you assist me according to his qualities, whether good or bad, in carrying on the grand design I am come to execute. By this argument, there. fore, you may likewise know that I am Messiah, the Son of the living God, and that your faith in me is well founded. 71. * He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon : for he it was that should betray him, being one of the Twelve: he meant Judas Iscariot, though he did not at this time think fit to name bim. To conclude, by declaring that he had knowingly made choice of a traitor to be one of the twelve who constantly attended him, he insinuated that in his most retired hours and secret actions, he was not afraid of the eyes of his enemies. Wherefore, having initiated a person of his character into all the mysteries of his fellowship, no man can suspect that he was carrying on a plot to deceive the world; for if he had, Judas, when he deserted him and betrayed him to the priests, would not have failed to discover the imposture.
Ver. 71. He spake of Yuas.] He called Judas a devil, because he was to be an apostate and traitor. So likewise in rebuking Peter, who had expressed an urter aversion to his suffering at Jerusalem, he called him Sators on account of that one act, by which he opposed the great design of his coming into the world. Wherefore he might much more give Judas the name of devil, who resembled Satan so nearly in the wickedness of his dispositions and actions. \ LXIII. Jesus leaves Capernaum, and goes up to the passover.
Mark vi. 54. The evangelist Mark, after having described the miracles performed by Jesus at Capernaum upon the sick, who were brought
to him in consequence of the messages which the inhabitants of the land of Gennezareth sent on his arrival from the desert of Bethsaida, into all the neighbouring region, proceeds to give the history of a multitude of miracles performed in other towns and villages. Mark vi. 56. And whither soever he entered, into vila lages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch, if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole. It seems Jesus now made a long journey, in which he visited many different villages, cities, and countries. This could be no other than his journey to the passover, which the evangelist John says was nigh when the miracle of the loaves was performed, John vi. 4.
On' ....THIRD PASSOVER.
, That the third passover in our Lord's ministry happened about this time, appears from what John tells us in his history of the miraculous dinner, chap. vi. 4. And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. According to Sir Isaac Newton's scheme of the harinony, this is the fourth passover in our Lord's ministry. And because John says, chap. vij. 1. After these things, viz; the miracle of the loave, and the conversation in the syna. gogue of Capernaum, Jesus walked in Golilee, for he would not walk in Jesury, because the Yews sought to kill bini, Sir Isaac thinks he did not celebrate this passover at Jerusalein. And it must be owned, that the evangelists do not say expressiy, that Jesus went up to it. Nevertheless, if we may judge of him from the religious regard which he constantly shewed to all the divine institutions, and from his behaviour on other occasions of a like na. ture, we may safely believe that he went, not only to this, but to all the feasts which the Jewish males were obliged by law to attend, Deut. xvi. 16. See also Numb. ix. 12. where he who was in a capacity, and did not keep the passover, is ordered to be cut off from his people. Besides, if I mise take not, Mark, as was mentioned above, insinuates that our Lord went to Jerusalem on this occasion ; for his words which fall in here, may be considered as the history of that journey, vi. 56. And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or countrys they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch, if it were but the border of bis garment: and as many touched him quere made whole. See on John vi. 45. This conjccture sei me to be favoured by John likewise ; for that evangelist have ing related what happened at Capernaum, in consequence of the mira. culous diriner, audis, chap. vii. 1. Afrer these things Yesus walked in Galilee, for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Yews sought to kill bim. This I suppose implies, that after the miraculous dinner Jesus had been in Jewry, where an attempt was made upon his life, which made it dangerous for him to continue there any longer at that time. But if any attempt was made upon our Lord's life in Jewry about this time, no scene was so fit for it as Jerusalem, no time so proper as the passover which happened during this period, and no actory so likely to be engaged in it as the Jews, the haughiy priests, Pharisces and doctors, who were all assembled at the feast. Perhaps Christ's disciples also, who were offended by the sermon in the synagngue of Capernauin, had joined his enemies in the metropolis when they caine up to the feast, and incerised them anew by rehearsing, with the usual aggravations of fame, the miracle of the loaves, performed to the conviction of every individual present. The commentators indeed have supposed that in the passag quoted, John alludes to what happened at the preceding passover, on occasion of the cure of the infirm man who lay in
one one of the porticos of Bethesda. And in support of their opinion, they produce Christ's sermon at the feast of tahernacles, wherein he reprimanded the Jews for having attempted to kill him, because he had cured that infirm person on the Sabbath. They likewise produce the counsel which his brethren gave him before that feast, to shew himself in public, and the disputes of the Jews, occasioned by his not appearing there so soon as was expected. All which circumstances they think are more proper, on supposition that Jesus was not at the third passover. But to the first argument it may be replied, that it does not follow that the reprimand given to the Jews at the feast of tabernacles, that that was the first time Jesus had been in Jerusalem after performing the miracle on the man in Bethesda, The reprimand was proper then, even though it had been often given before, As for the second argument, it will no more prove that Jesus was absent from this feast, than it will prove that he was absent from all the precedent ones. And as for the argument drawn from the disputes of the Jews, if I am not mistaken, it establishes rather than overturns the opinion proposed, because these debates necessarily imply, that Jesus had attended every occasion of this kind hitherto. The reason is, if he had been absent from any of them, the Jews would not have disputed his character, but without other proof would have condemned him as an impious person, who despised the most sacred institutions of their religion. From these debates, therefore, we may fairly conclude, that Jesus went regularly every year to the three great festivals, though ncither Matthew, nor Mark, nor Luke, have said directly that he was at any of them, excepting the passover at which he was crucified. See the second Preliminary Observation.
ģLXIV. In Galilee, the Pharisees blame the disciples for eating with
unwashed hands. Jesus reproves the Pharisees for their superstition, Mat. xv. 1,--20. Mark vii, 1,423, John vii. 1.* .-,
BECAUSE our Lord could not with safety remain long in Judea, he departed for Galilee as soon as the passover was ended. It seems the Pharisees had made another attempt upon his life at this passover. John yii. I. After these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews, the great men in Jerusalem, sought to kill him. See on the third passover, $ 63. This attempt proved equally unsuccessful with that made on his life at the second passover. Yet the Pharisees did not desist. They rather became more keen to have him destroyed. Accordingly they dispatched some of their number, inhabitants of Jerusalem, after him into Galilee, not to oppress him by violent methods, for in that country he was among his friends, but if possible to incense the people against him. Mark vii. I. Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the Scribes, which came from Jerusalem. These emissaries, therefore, followed him from place to place, and looked on every thing he did with an evil eye; but to no purpose. At last they ventured to attack him, for allowing his disciples to transgress the tradition of the elders, by eating with unwashed hands, thinking that it was an heinous offence, and that he encouraged them in it. 2. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled (that is to say, with unwashen) hands, they found
the pe agains
fault. The law of Moses required external cleanness as a part of religion, not however for its own sake, but to signify with what-carefulness God's servants should purify their minds from moral pollutions. Accordingly these duties were prescribed by Moses in such moderation as was fitted to promote the end of them. But in process of time they came to be multiplied pro digiously. For the ancient doctors, to secure the observation of those precepts that were really of divine institution, added many commandments of their own as fences unto the former; and the people, to shew their zeal, obeyed them. For example, because the law, Lev. xv. 11, şaith, « Whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, (and hath not rinsed his hands in water) he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until. the even," the people were ordered to wash their hands carefully, and to bathe themselves immediately on their return from places of public concourse, and before they sat down to meat, lest by touching some unclean person in the crowd, they might have de filer themseives. The Pharisees, therefore, being very zealous in these teifles, would eat at no time, unless they washed their hands with the greatest care; and when they came from the market-place, they would not sit down to table, till they had first bathed themselves. See the note on John ii. 6. 19. From this source came that endless variety of purifications not prescribed in the law, but ordained by the elders, such as the washing of cups and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables, not because they were dirty, but from a principle of religion, or rather of superstition, Mark vii. 3. For the Pharisees and all the Jews, * except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4. And when they come from the market, except they wash (E&#TITUTEI, dip themselves) they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups and pots, and of brazen vessels and tables. Having the highest opinion of the importance of these institutions, the Pharisees did not doubt but our Lord, by authorising his disciples to neglect them, would expose himself to universal censure, as one who despised the most sacred services of religion ; services to
Ver. 3. Except they wash their hands off.) my pen turpina artan except they washed with their fit. Theophylart translates it, unless they ruashed up to their elbow, affirming that soyun denotes the whole of the arm, from the bending to the ends of the fingers. But this sense of the seerd is air gether unusual. For xum/ky properly is the hand, with the fuerors contracted into the palm, and made round. 7 heophylact's trad. slation, however exhibits the evangelist's meaning. For the Jews. when they wa hed eld up their hands, and contracting their fingers, received the water that was poured on them by their servants, (who had it for a part of their office, 2 Kings iii u.) till it ran down their aruns, which they washed up to their elbows. To wash with the fist, therefore, is to wash with great care.