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meant to insinuate, that her brother's resurrection was not to be expected, considering the state he was in. Wherefore, John xi. -40. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldst believe, thout shouldst see the glory of God? i. e. an instance of the great power and goodness of God, in thy brother's resurrection. 41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. On many occasions, Jesus had publicly appealed to his own miracles as the proofs of his mission; but he did not ordinarily make a formal address to his Father before he worked them; though to have done so, would have shewed from whence he derived his authority. Nevertheless, being about to raise Lazarus from the dead, he prayed for his resurrection, to make the persons present sensible that in working his miracles he acted by the assistance, not of devils, as his enemies maliciously affirmed, but of God; and that this miracle in particular, could not be effected without an immediate interposition of the Die vine power. The evangelist, it is true, does not say directly ei. ther ihat Jesus prayed, or that he prayed for this end. But the thanksgiving which he tells us he offered up, implies both. And Jesus lift up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thous kast heard me. 42. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by, I said it, that they may believe that thou hust sent me: I did not pray for my own sake, as if I had entertained any doubt of thine impowering me to do this miracle, for I know that thou hearest me always; but I prayed for the people's sake, to make them sensible that thou lovest me, hast sent me, and art continually with me. By this prayer and thanksgiving, therefore, Jesus has insinuated, that his own resurrection from the dead is an infallible proof of his divine mission; no power inferior to God's being able to accomplish a thing of this kind. 43. And when he had thus spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. The dead man heard the voice of the Son of God, and came forth immediately. For he did not reviye slowly, and by degrees, as the dead child did which was raised by the prophet Elisha. But the effect thus instantly following the command, plainly shewed whose the power was that revived the breathless clay. If the Lord had not intended this, instead of speaking, he might have raised Lazarus by a secret inward volition. Because the people present were not so much as dreaming of a resurrection, they must have been surprised when they heard our Lord pray for it. The cry, “ Lazarus, come forth," must have astonished them more, and raised their curiosity to a prodigious pitch. But when they saw him spring out alive, and in perfect health, that had been rotting in the grave four days, they could not but be agitated with many different passions, and overwhelmed with inexpressible amazement. John xi. 47. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and fort with grive shihes, (see on Matt. xxviii, 5. $ 149.) and his face was bound a out with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let hiin go. It would hire been the least part of the miracle, had Jesus made the rollers wherewith Lazarus was. bound, unloose themselves from around his body before he came forth. But he brought him out just as he was lying, and ordered the spectators to loose him, that they might be the better convinced of the miracle. Accordingly, in taking off the grave, clothes, they had the fullest evidence both of his death and resurrection. For on the one hand, the manner in which he was swathed, (see on John xix. 40. $ 116.) must of itself have kill.. ed him in a little time, had he been alive when buried ; consequently, it demonstrated, beyond all exception, that Lazarus was several days dead before Jesus called him forth. Besides, in stripping him, the linen might offer, both to their eyes and smell, abundant proofs of his putrefaction, ver. 39.) and by that means convince them that he had not been in a deliquiuin, but was really departed. On the other hand, by his lively countenance appearing when the nakpin was removed, his fresh colour, his active vigour, and his brisk walking, they who came near him and handled him, were made sensible that he was in perfect health, and had an opportunity to try the truth of the miracle, by the closest examination.
ed as his friends were carrying him out to burial. But when Jesus recalled Lazarus to life, he had been in the grave no less than four days; and therefore, according to our way of apprehending things, his resurrection was the greatest of the three. As Peter Chrysologus observes," the whole power of death was accomplished upon him, and the whole power of the resurrection shewed forth in him."
Considering the nature and circumstances of this great mira.. cle, it ought to have silenced the peevishness of cavilling, might have overcome the obstinacy of prejudice, and should have put to shame the impudence of malice, Wherefore, we cannot help being surprized to find, that the cry, “ Lazarus, come forth,” did not produce, on all the people present, an effect some way similar to that which it had on Lazarus. It raised him from the natural death, and might have raised the stupidest of the spectators from the spiritual, by working in them the living principle of faith.
Every reader must be sensible, that there is something income paribly beautiful in the whole of our Lord's behaviour on this occasion. After having given such an astonishing instance of his power, he did not speak one word in his own praise either directly or indirectly. He did not chide the disciples for their unwill-. ingness to accompany himn into Judea. I did not rebuke the
Jews for having in former instances maliciously detracted from the · lustre of his miracles, every one of which derived additional cre
dit from this incontestable wonder. He did not say how much they were to blame for persisting in their infidelity, though he well knew what they would do. He did not insinuate, even in the most distant manner, the obligations which Lazarus and his sisters were laid under by this signal favour. He did not upbraid Martha and Mary with the discontent they had expressed, at his having delayed to come to the relief of their brother. Nay, he did not so much as put them in mind of the mean notion they had entertained of his power; but always consistent with himself, he was on this, as on every other occasion, a pattern of perfect humility, and absolute self-denial.
A miracle so remarkable, performed in the neighbourhood of the capital city, before a multitude of spectators, many of them enemies, could not but make a great noise, and upon different. persons must have had very different effects. John xi. 45. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him: The greatest part of the wite nesses present at the miracle, when they had seen it, believed Jesus to be Messiah. So incontestable a proof of his power and authority left them no room to doubt of his character. They knew that no impostor could perform any miracle; and so great an one as the resurrection of a person who had been in the grave four days, was a miracle worthy of Messiah himself. Willing therefore to know the truth, they yielded to the force of this evidence. Nevertheless, others of the eye-witnesses being illdisposed and prejudiced, remained in their unbelief still, and departed as firmly resolved to oppose Jesus as ever. Accordingly, they went and told the Pharisees what they had seen, in order that they might take such measures as would crush his growing reputation. 46. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, the chiefs of the sect who lived in the city, and told them zuhat things Jesus had done. The account which these men gave of Lazarus' resurrection, raised the indignation of the rulers to the highest pitch. They called a council forthwith, and after consultation, blamed one another for having suffered Jesus to go so long unpunished. But this miracle being too evident to be denied, as all his miracles indeed were, they did not, even in their most private conferences, say or insinuate to one another, that their displeasure and opposition proceeded from his passing false miracles upon the ignorant vulgar. They rather condemned him upon the truth and notoriety of his miracles; pretending, that they were designed to establish a new sect in religion, which might endanger not their church only, but their state. Thus though the Pharisees were his sworn enemies, they could not help giving him an ample testimony, even in full court. 47. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doth many miracles. 48. If
ve let him thus alone, all men will believe on him; and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation; (** rono, out temple; so the word is used, Acts vi. 14. XX228.) If we do not bescir ourselves to prevent it, the common people, astónished at his miracles, will certainly set him up for Messiah, and the Romans, on pretence of their rising in rebellion, will take away both our liberty and religion. They entered therefore into a resolution of putting Jesus to death at all hazards. But those politicians were taken in their own craftiness; for while they proposed, by killing Jesus, to avoid the destruction of their temi ple and city, the sin which they committed in killing the Prince of life, was so great, that God in his just indignation made the very people, whose resentment they proposed to avoid by this wicked measure, the instruments of his vengeance. He brought the Roman armies against them, who destroyed those murderers, and burnt up their city ; leaving in that dreadful catastrophe, an awful warning to all statesmen, to beware of prosecuting unjust measures on pretence of consulting the good of the nation whose affairs they direct. To return, the members of the Jewish council were not all unanimous in their resolution of putting Jesus to death. Some of them who were his disciples, (John xii. 42. particularly Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, urged the unlawfulness of what they proposed to do, from the consideration of his miracles and innocence. But the high-priest Caiaphas treated Christ's friends in the council with contempt, as a parcel of weak ignorant people, who were unacquainted with the nature of government, which, said he, requires that certain acts of injustice should not be scrupled at, when they are expedient for the safety of the state. John xi. 49. And one of them, named Ceia. phas, being the high-priest that same year, said unto them, ro know nothing at all, 50. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. Doubtless Caiaphas said this from a principle of hu. man policy; nevertheless the evangelist assures us that his tongue was directed at that time by the Spirit of God, in which respect he spake not of himself, but foretold that Jesus should die for the nation. 51. And this spake he, not of himself: * but being highpriest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nam tion: 52. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered. abroad. To conclude, the majority of the council having resolve
• Ver. 51. But he being high-priest, &c.] As God was wont anciently to communicate his oracles to the high-priest, clothed with the pontifical garments, so he inspired these words into Caiaphas, who now bare that of. fice, though he was not sensible himself of the inspiration, and meant what he said in a different sense from what God intended should be signified by
ed to put Jesus to death at all hazards, they consulted no longer upon that point, but from thenceforth deliberated only concerning the best method of effecting it. 53. Then from that day forth, they took council together for to put him to death. The evangelist does not tell us what the measure was which they pitched upon for this purpose ; only from the last verse of the chapter, it is highly probable that they agreed to issue out a proclamation against Jesus, promising a reward to any who would shew where he was, that they might take him. This was the reason why our Lord did not now go to Jerusalem, though he was within two miles of it, but returned to Ephraim, a city upon the borders of the wilderness, where he abode with his disciples, be, ing unwilling to go far away, because the passover at which he was to suffer approached. 54. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but went thence into a country near to the wilderness, inta * a city called Ephrain, and there continued with his disciples. > . Ver. 54. A city called Epbraim.] The situation of Ephraim has not yet been determined with certainty. All that John says of it is, that it stood in a country near to the wilderness, Perhaps he meant the wilderness, which is said to have gone up from Jericho to Bethel, Josh. xvi. I. For Josephus (Bell. v. 8.) mentions Ephraim as not far from Bethel. Eusehius, in his Onomastic upon the word Ayla (the ancient Ai) tells us, that Bethel lay in the road from Jerusalem to Sichem in Camaria, at the distance of twelve miles from Jerusalem. The saine author gays, that Ephraim was a large city, eight miles from Aelia (Jerusalem) toward the north. Jerom's copy of Eusebius, reads twenty miles in this passage. Sec Keland's Palestina Illustrata. ŚCI. At Ephraim Jesus foretells the destruction of the Jewish * state the first time; see $ 129. Also his own sufferings the
fifth time; see $ 73, 106. He delivers the porable of the unjust judge und injured widow. Luke xvii. 20,-37. xviii.
WHILĖ Jesus was in Ephraim, the Pharisees asked him when the kingdom of God, by which they meant Messiah's kingdom, was to commence. They had very grand notions of the extent of Messiah's kingdom, the number of his subjects, the strength of his armies, the ponip and eclat of his court, and were e.ger to have that glorious enipire speedily erected. Or being inveterate enemies of our Lord, they might ask the question in vierision, be-' cause every thing about Jesus was so unlike to the Messiah whom they expected. Luke xvii. 20. And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdim of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. 21. Neither shall they say, Lo here, or lo there; for behuld * the
* Ver. 21. The kingdom of God is within you.] The Greek phrase $70s Vol. II.