صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

he had received in Jericho of the miracle performed on the blind beggars; for the news of so extraordinary a transaction would be quickly spread abroad. Luke xix. 5. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said unto him, Zaccheus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house. Jesus had never seen him before, yet he called him by his name, and by what he said, insinuated that he knew his house was farther on in the road. 6. And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully: expressed his joy at the Lord's condescending to visit him, by shewing him all the marks of civility in his power. 7. And when they saw it, when the multitude saw him enter the house of Zaccheus, they all murmured, saying that he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. Perhaps they spake so loud that Zaccheus heard them, which was the reason that he justified himself before Jesus and his attendants, immediately upon their coming in. 8. And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, * Behold, Lord, the half of my goods, probably

he meant his income, I give to the poor; and if I have taken | any thing from any man by false accusation, he meant unjust ex

action of the taxes, for es uxoPartnou, as Heinsius has shewed, may very properly signify any kind of oppression, especially under the pretence of law; see LXX. Eccles. iv. I. v. 8.-restore him four-fold. One great reason of the odium which followed the occupation of a publican, was the injustice which such per. sons practised in the exercise of their office. Wherefore, the declaration which Zaccheus now made, was a fit vindication of his

own

* Ver. 8. Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I bave taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.) We may either take this as a declaration of what Zaccheus had been in use to do, agreeably to the force of his expressions, which run in the present tense, I give, I restore ; not in the future, I will give, I will restore; agreeably likewise to the testimony which Jesus honoured Zaccheus with, that he was a son of Abraham ; or we may take it as a declaration of his resolution, with respect to his future conduct, dating his conversion from this period. For even in this light, the declaration clears his character from the aspersion which the multitude charged him with, on account of his occupation, and shews the unreasonableness of their murmuring against Jesus, because he went into the house of a tax-gatherer. The reason is plain; he who, after giving the half of his goods to the poor, and making restitution of fourfold for all the injuries he committed, had a competency wherewithal to support himself and his family, must not have been guilty of many deliberaie acts of injustice. The evils of this kind he was chargeable with in the prosecution of his business, must have been the effects of ignorance and human frailty, rather than of a settled wicked disposition; and therefore he must have been a person of great probity and worth. Accordingly Jesus confirmed the account which Zaccheus gave of himself, hy declaring that he was a son of Abraham, not in respect of his descent only, but in respect of his faith and holiness, Salvation is come to this house, forsomuch as he also is the son of Abraham. That Zaccheus was a Jew appears from his name, which is the same with Zaccai. Ezra

[ocr errors]

own character, and shewed how unreasonable the prejudices were which the multitude entertained against him on account of his profession. Luke xix. 9. And * Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is the son of Abraham. Jesus, who knew the hearts of all men, confirmed the truth of what Zaccheus said concerning himself, by declaring in the hearing of all his guests, that he was the son of Abraham in respect of his faith and holiness, as well as in respect of his descent. Besides, as what Zaccheus said related to the execution of his office, it must have been a thing known to all who lived in that part of the country, and therefore his speaking of it 50 publicly, was a great proof of his sincerity. Farther, to convince the people that our Lord acted agreeably to his character in keeping company with publicans and sinners, he told them, that the great design of his coming into the world, was to save such. 10. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost: alluding to the parables of the lost sheep, lost money, and lost son, which he had lately delivered, to prove how agree. able it was to reason, to the duties of his mission, and to the will of God, that he should keep company with the worst of sinners, in order to recover them unto God, their rightful owner. And therefore, though Zaccheus had been really as bad a man as the multitude took him, and his vocation bespake him to be, Jesus was in the exercise of his duty, when he went to lodge with him.

$ CIX. The parable of the nobleman's servants. See $ 124.

Luke xix. 11,--28. LUKE xix. 11. And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was righ to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. Because his followers were accompanying him to the royal city, ió expectation that the kingdom of God would immediately appear, and with a resolution to assist him in erecting it, he spake a parable, wherein he shewed them their duty, described the true nature of the kingdom of God, and taught them, that it was not immediately to appear. The evangelist says, that, “ As they heard these things," namely, that salvation was come to Zaccheus' family, “ he added and spake a parable." From this we gather, that he spake the parable in Zaccheus' house. 12. He said therefore, a certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. A certain king's son, in order to be confirmed in his father's kingdom, went into a far country, to do homage unto a more powerful potentate, of whom he held it as a vassel. The allusion here, is to a custom which prevailed greatly in our Lord's time among the princes of the east. Before they ventured to ascend the throne, they went to Rome, and solicited the emperor's permission, who disposed of all the tributary kingdoins as he saw fit. The meaning of this part of the parable is, that before Jesus set up his kingdom he was to die, and to ascend into heaven. 13. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occu. py till I come. Before he departed, he called his ten house, hold slaves, (d885 izuts) and gave each of them a sum of money to be employed in trade till he should return. By the ten household slaves, we are to understand chiefly the apostles and first preachers of the gospel, to whom Jesus gave endowments fitting them for their work, and from whom he expected a due improvement of these endowinents, in the propagation of the gospel, This was their particular duty in the erection of the kingdom of God, about which they were now so solicitous. 14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over 15: His natural subjects hated him without a cause, as appears from the message which they sent to the potentate, from whom he sought what in latter times has been called investiture. For in that message they alledged no crime against him, but only expressed their ill-will towards him, by declaring that they would not have him to reign over them. This is a fit representation of the causeless opposition which the Jewish great men made to Jesus. The message which these citizens sent after their prince had no effect; he received the king. dom, and returned with full authority, which he exercised in calling his servants to account, and in munishing his rebellious subjects. So the opposition which the Jews made to our Lord's being made king, proved ineffectual. Having therefore all power in heaven and in earth given unto him after his death, he will return to reckon with his apostles, and ministers, and rebellious sube jects. Nay, he has returned already, and punished the Jews with a most exemplary punishment for resisting his government. Luke xix. 1. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be call. ed unte him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. So Jesus, both at the day of mens death, and at the general judgment, will make á strict inquiry into the use and improvement which all his servants, but especially the ministers of the gospel, have made of the talents and opportunities committed unto them., 16. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pourd'su "s The Hebrew manek and the Greek pasti, answering to it, was 2. sum of money weighing an hundred common shekels, each of: which was about the fourth part of an ounce. The pre there : fore in silver, was in value 6.5: 10:3; in gold it was equal to: £.95 $5$.as may be seen by comparing - 1 Kings X. 173 with w 2 Chrona ix. 16. where three manehs of gold, spoken of in the: history of the Kings, are expressed by three hundred shekels of gold. However, the value of the maneh was fluctuating, as we? learn from Ezek. xlv. 12. The first servant having been very, diligent and successful, was greatly applauded by his. lordwho rewarded him, by raising him to a considerable dignity in the kingdom which he had lately received. Luke xix. 17. And he said unto him, Well, thou goed servant ; because thou hast been : faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. In like manner, the faithful apostles and ministers of Christ, shall be * rewarded with great honour and authority in his kingdom. 18. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained froux pounds. The modesty of this and the former servant is remarkable. They do not say, that they themselves had gained the ten or the five pounds; but they say, “ Thy pound hath gained ten pounds," attributing their success not to themselvss, but to the gifts of his grace. 19. And he said likewise to him, Be thou alsa's ruler over five cities. This servant having been both diligent and : successful, though in an inferior degree, was approved and red warded accordingly; for his lord gave him authority over five cities. Thus, the least of Christ's faithful ministers and servants shall be rewarded with a proportionable share of the pleasures of his kingdom. 20. And another came, saying, Lord, behold here is thy pound which I have kept laid up in a napkin. 21. For I! feared thre, because thou art an austere man; thou takest up that: thou loyedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. This' is a proverbial description of an unjust rigorous character,: The 1 slothful servant, by applying it to his lord, aggravated his crime ii not a little. He impudently told him, that knowing his severe and griping disposition, he thought it prudent not to risk his money in trade, for fear he should have lost it; that he had hid: it in a napkin, in order to deliver it to him safe at his return; and that this was the true reason why he had not increased his talent as the others had dove theirs. Thus slothful ministers of religion, and pretended servants of Christ, will be ever ready to: throw the blame of their unfaithfulness on God himself. 92.0 And he saith, Out of thine oun mouth will. I judge thee, thick: wicked servant. Thou knowest, or rather, didst thou know, that 1. was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping. that I did not sow. See on Matt. xxv. 26. g 124. 23. Wherefore then gavest act thou my money into the bank, that at my cuma

i said

• Ver. 9. Jesus said unto hirn} The correction of the translation here, proposed by Elsner, is just ; 676 TEOS K!Tov, Yesus spade conserniig bim to the guests, as is evident from the spee h itself. liga; in this signification we have Luke xx. 19. They knew that he had spoke this parable, pos ay785, of ikem. Al365, Heb. i. 7. Kai 1905 785 Kyrends, and of the angeis be says. We have it likewise, Ileb. iv. 13. tpos av nusy o anyos, of whom we speak.

came

ing

ing I might have required mine own with usury? (our TOMU, with interest.) Thou hast been slothful in the highest degree; for if thou really hadst believed me to be the rigorous person thou sayest I am, thou certainly wouldst have been at the pains to lend out my money; a method of improvement of thy talent, which would have occasioned thee no trouble at all; thy excuse therefore is a mere pretence. In like manner, all the excuses which wicked ministers offer in their own behalf, shall at the bar of God stand them in no stead, whether they be drawn from the character which they affixed to God, or from his decrees, or from their own inability, or from the difficulty of his service, or from any other consideration whatever. Luke xix. 24. And he said to them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25. And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds. They who stood by, the officers of justice who waited on the king, though there was no occasion to give the pound to one who had so much already. Perhaps they thought it was more proper to give it to him who had only five pounds. But the king told them, they should do as he ordered, because it was agreeable to the rules of all wise administrations to bestow the most and greatest trusts on them, who by their fidelity in offices already enjoyed by them, have shewed that they best deserve them. 26. For 1 say unto you, that unto every one which hath, shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. The opportunities and ad. vantages which he enjoys, shall be taken from him, and given to such as improve those already bestowed on them. 27. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. Those who were guilty of rebellion against me, by doing all in their power to hinder my obtaining the kingdom, bring hither, and put them to death this instant. The Jews were Christ's enemies, who would not have him to reign over them; and for that crime he destroyed their nation.

Thus Jesus taught his disciples, that though they might imagine his kingdom was speedily to be erected, and that they were soon to partake of its joys, he was to go away, or die, before he obtained it ; and that they were to perform a long course of laborious services, before they received their reward. That having obtained the kingdom at his resurrection, he would return and reckon with his servants, to whom he had given ability, and opportunity for his work, and would treat them according to the fidelity they shewed in the trust committed unto them. Particularly, that he would execute vengeance on those, who, for his conversing familiarly with sinners, or for the difficulty or disagreeableness of his laws, or any other cause whatever, had refused to let him reign over them, or hindered the erection of his kingVOL. II.

Y y

dom

« السابقةمتابعة »