« السابقةمتابعة »
were better for him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones; pointing perhaps to the multitude, whom the Pharisees were endeavouring, by the whole of their conduct, to lead into the crime of rejecting the gospel. He spake likewise concerning a quarrelsome temper in his servants, but especially in the ministers and teachers of religion, insinuating that many grievous temptations to sin arise from thence ; temptations both to the persons who are injured by that temper, because injuries beget injuries, and to those who are witnesses of the injury, encouraging them to venture on the like evils. But he prescribed a seasonable and prudent reprehension of the fault, accompanied with forgiveness on the part of the person injured, as the best means of disarming the temptations that may arise from such a disposition. Luke xvii. 3. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I report; thou shalt forgive him. See on Matt. xviii. 21.074. Sentiments of this kind delivered immediately after our Lord had been aifronted by the falsest teachers for inculcating the purest doctrine, prove how truly he forgave them all the personal injuries they committed against him, throw a beautiful light on the few severe things he said of them in the course of his ministry, and are powerful recommendations of that amiable virtue, the forgiveness of inju. ries. This kind of discourses, however, being opposite to the common notions concerning the Messiah and his followers, staggered the faith of the disciples a little. They began to fear that Jesus, who talked in such a manner, was not the person they had hitherto taken him to be. They prayed him therefore to increase their faith, meaning perhaps that he should put an end to their doubts by erecting his kingdom speedily, and distributing the rewards they were expecting for their services. Or we inay take the word faith in its ordinary sense, for the true principle of virtue, which the disciples desired their Master to strengthen in them, because the duty he had recommended was extremely difficult. 5. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase cur faith. 6. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard-seed, * ye might say unto this sycamine-trec, Be thou plucked up by the rot, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you : If ye had the smallest degree of true faith, it would overcome all temptations, even those, the conquering of which may be compared to the plucking up of trees, and planting them in che ocean, that is, compared to things impossible.
kimself knows it to he innocent. For the difference of the persons who are apt to be affected by our example, greatly alters the case of ollenver, and our behaviour with relation to them.
* Ver. 6. Te night say, &c.] Some taking this example, hr which the efficacy of faith is iliustrated, in a lite: al sense, liave suprocenat tie apor iles desired jesus to increase their faith of working miraits. But the expression is proverbial, signifying not the working of miracles, but the doing of things extremely difficult. Sec another proverb t.sme kindla Mati. xvii. 20. 73.
Having thus spoken, Jesus returned to his subject, telling the apostles that after they had done their utmost, to discharge the whole duty incumbent on them as God's servants sent forth to seek and save lost souls, they were not to imagine that they merited any thing thereby. And to make them sensible of the justness of his doctrine, he bade their consider in what manner they received the services of their own dependents. They reckoned themselves under no obligation to a servant for doing the duty
their Master did not reckon himself indebted to them for their services. And therefore instead of valuing themselves upon what they had done, and expecting great rewards for it, it became them, after having p«rformed all that was commanded them, to say, that they had done nothing but their duty. Luke xvii. 7. But which of you having a servant ploughing, or feeding cattle, will
sit down to meat 8. And will not rather say unto him, Make ready where with I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me till I have eaten and drunken; and after word thou shalt eat and drink? 9. Doth he thank that servant, because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. 10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do. His discourse concerning the true use of riches, and the right manner of discharging their duty as God's
servants sent forth to seek and save lost sinners, our Lord conclud. á ed in this manner, knowing the frame of mind his disciples were
in. He saw their faith begin to stagger, because the expected rewards were deferred, and little encouragement was given them to think that they would ever be bestowed. Perhaps likewise he knew, that they were somewhat infected with the leaven of the
Pharisees, who having an high opinion of their own righteous: ness, zealously maintained the doctrine of the merit of good
works, together with the possibility of a man's performing more than was commanded him, that is, the possibility of performing works of supererogation. Or though the disciples were free from these errors, Jesus on this occasion might see fit to con demn them, because he foresaw that in his own church they would creep in, spread widely, and be productive of many huriful consequences.
♡ XCVIII. Jesuis is called into Judeo to cure Lnzarus. His mi
nistry in Perea ends. See y 84. John xi. 1,-16. . ABOUT this time a friend of Christ, named Lazarus, fell sick at Bethany, a village about two miles from Jerusalem, but at a great distance from the place where our Lord now was, in the country. beyond Jordan. John xi. 1. Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2. * It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Lizarus' sisters observing that his sickness was of a dangerous kind, thought proper to send word of it to Jesus; for they firmly expected, that he who had cured so many Strangers, would willingly come and give health to one whom he loved so tenderly. 3. Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard this, he answered that the sickness of Lazarus would not be the means of his death, but was designed as an occasion of manifesting the power of God, and of confirming the doctrine and mission of the Son of God. - 4. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5. Now Jesus loved Martha, and ker sister, and Lazarus, on account of their unfeigned piety to. wards God, their friendship and affection towards one another, and their faith in him as Messiah; ver. 27. $ 100. 6. When lie had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the sume place where he was. The evangelist mentions the love which Jesus bare to Mary, and her sister, and Lazarus, before he informs us how that after receiving their message he staid two days without stirring from the place where he was. His design in this might be, to insinuate that Christ's lingering so long after the message came, did not proceed from want of concern for his friends, but happened according to the counsels of his own wism dom. For the length of time which Lazarus lay in the grave, put his death beyond all possibility of doubt, and removed every
Ver2. It was that Mary, &c.) Because the evangelist characterizes. Mary the sister of Lazarus by her action of anointing the Lord's feet, Grotius imagines that the three anointings mentioned in the gospels were one and the same. But the answer is obvious. John having mentioned one anointing only unto all who read his history, she is suficiently known by that character. Yet if one should say, that the evangelist does not mean to distinguish her from the other Marys, he would perhaps speak the truth. Because, to have called her the sister of Lazarus was sufficient for that purpose. Her anointing Jesus is mentioned on this occasi in, only to make the reader consider how much and tenderly she loved the Lord, who douHly repaid all the kindnesses to at were shewed hiin, as in this very in., stance, notwithstanding he did not immediately on receiving the sister's message go into Judea, but abode two days in the same place w.bere be was.
suspicion of a fraud, and so afforded Jesus a fit opportunity of displaying the love that he bare to Lazarus, as well as his own almighty power, in his unquestionable resurrection from the dead. It is true, the sisters were thus kept a while in painful anxiety, on account of their brother's life, and in the conclusion were pierced with the sorrow of seeing him die. Yet they would think them. selves abundantly recompensed, by the evidence accruing to the gospel from this astonishing miracle, as well as by the inexpressible surprise of joy which they felt, when they received their brother again from the dead.
When the proper time of setting out for Bethany was come, Jesus desired his disciples to accompany him into judea. But they expressed some unwillingness to undertake the journey; not imagining that it was proposed on Lazarus' account, whom they supposed out of danger, because Jesus had said of his sickness, that it was not unto death. It seems, the attempts which the inhabitants of Jerusalem lately made upon their Master's life, had frightened them exceedingly. John xi. 7. Then after that saith he unto his disciples, Let us go into Judea again. 8. His discia ples say unto him, Moster, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? Jesus replied, that as the hours of the clay are appointed for the various works necessary to human life, and as he who travels in the day-time needs not be afraid of stumbling, because he has the sun, the light of this world, to shew him his way; even so, the man who has a season allotted him of performing God's work, and at the same time the light of the Divine call requiring him to engage in it, needs not be afraid of any danger he exposes himself to, in performing it, God, whom he serves, being always able to preserve him. 9. Jesus answer. ed, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the ligt of this werld. 10. But if a man walk in the night, he stumble!h, because there is no light in him : If any man undertakes God's work at an improper season, or without a call, he may justly be afraid of the danger he exposes himself to therely. 11. These things said he ; and after that, he saith unto them, Our friend, Lazarus, sleepeth: (see on Maik v. 40. $ 35.) but I go that I may awake him cut of sleep. The disciples understanding his words in a literal sense, replied, that they took his sleeping as a symptom of his speedy recovery; and bv saying so, insinuated that there was no need of their going into Judea on Lazarus' account. 12. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13. Howbeit, Jesus spake of his death; but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep: The real meaning of what Jesus said was, that Lazarus was dead, though his words were such, that the disciples understood him as speaking of patural sleep. 14. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15. And I am
glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe. I am glad for your sakes, that I was not in Judea before he died; for had I been there, and recovered him, your faith in me as the Messiah must have wanted that great confirmation which it shall receive by your beholding me raise him again from the dead. Nevertheless, for det, 'therefore, so the particle is used Acts X. 20. xxvi. 16.) let us go unto him. 16. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. Thomas thought, that by going into Judea at this time, Jesus endangered his life, and generously proposed, that, rather than forsake their Master, they should all lay down their lives with him.
Thus, as Dr Lardner has remarked, Jesus, who could have raised Lazarus from the dead without opening his lips, or rising from his seat, leaves the place of his retirement beyond Jordan, and takes a long journey into Judea, where the Jews lately attempted to kill him. The reason was, his being present in person, and raising Lazarus to life again before so many witnesses at Bethany, where he died and was well known, would be the means of bringing the men of that and future ages to believe in his doctrine, which is so well fitted to prepare them for a resurrection to :eternal life; an admirable proof and emblem of which he gave them in this great miracle. XCIX. Ten lepers are cured by Jesus in Samaria ; one of thema who was a Samaritan returns after his curt, and gives Jesus thanks for it. Luke xvii. 11,-- 19.
Their journey to Judea being now resolved upon, Jesus and his disciples departed. Luke says, he went to Jerusalem ; and that in his way he passed through Samaria and Galilee. It seems he crossed the Jordan nigh to where it issues out of the lake of Gennezareth, and so came into the lower Galilee; which to the south was bounded by Samaria, and to the east by the river, Joseph. Bell. iii. 2. From the lower Galilee Jesus came into Samaria, and from Samaria into Judea, and so to Bethany, taking Jerusalem in his way. Luke xvii. 11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that * he passed through the midst of Simaria and Galilee. 12. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him + ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off As le
• Ver. 11. He passed through the midst of Samaria, &c.] Because S ma. ria is first mentioned, Le Clerc would have the words, ding%sto dice usor Ecco pugions xats Caninaias, translated, “ He passed through between Samaria and Gallee;" that is, after crossing the Jordan, he travelled through the confines of the two countries, then turned into amaria. By adopting this translation, the time spent in the journey from Perea, will have been less than it could be, if he now made a tour through Galilee. t Ver. 12. Ten men, &c.] if it is asked, how so many leper3. caule toges