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19 cured from that
hour. - Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, 20 and said: Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto
them: Because of your unbelief. For verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain:
Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove; and nothing shall 21 be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by
prayer and fasting. 22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them: The Son 23 of Man shall be betrayed into the hands of men, and they shall kill .
by no common means; for it usu 21. This kind goeth not out, &c. ally required a continued medical Some suppose the signification to treatment.
be, that this kind of demons, or of 19. To Jesus apart. According beings, cannot be dispossessed withto Mark ix. 28, in the house. The out unusual spiritual exercises; but disciples, like most transgressors, no mention had been made, in this little suspected that their difficulty conversation, of demons, or that and failure arose from any personal this kind of niracles cannot be deficiency. The question they ask performed without extra«rdinary carries the idea that they had made preparation. Other commentators an attempt to cure the child, but suppose an allusion to be made to had not succeeded.
faith, of which they had just been 20. Because of your unbelief. Or speaking. For where that faith rather, want of confidence and trust. was possessed even in the smallest Perhaps the violence of the dis- degree, as a grain of mustard seed, ease, perhaps the skeptical ques- all miracles were alike easy, even tionings of the Scribes, had shaken to the rooting up of trees and mountheir assurance.–Faith as a grain tains, and hurting them into the of mustard seed. Understood by sea, and all demons and diseases some as meaning a living, grow- could be equally well expelled. ing faith, such as might be illus- This kind of faith emanated not trated hy the vegetable kingdomn. but by fasting and prayer, by the Mat. xiii. 31, 32. But others take the most diligent use of the means of sense to be, If you have the small- devotion, and spiritual life.-This est genuine faith, you can do all verse is left out by Wakefield, and things; for the orientals frequently Adam Clarke “strongly suspects it use the mustard seed as an emblem to be an interpolation,” as it is wantof what is extremely small. Mark ing in some of the earliest manuxi. 22. Luke xvii. 6.— Ye shall say scripts and versions. unto this mountain, &c. A hyper
22–23. Parallel to Mark ix. 30 bolical and proverbial phrase, de- -32, and Luke ix. 43–45. noting the greatest power.
1 Cor. 22. Abode in Galilee. Whilst xiji. 2. The least true faith would they were travelling or moving enable them to perform the nighti-. about in Galilee.-Shall be betrayed. est wonders. The Jews were ac- Better, delivered up, without refercustomed to call those teachers emi ence to the niode in which it would nent for their virtues and genius, be done. It is so rendered in Maik rooters
ир, removers of mountains, as and Luke. We learn from Mark descriptive of their power.
that Jesus was at this time living as
bim; and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received trib- 24 ute money came to Peter, and said: Doth not your master pay tribute ? He saith: Yes. And when he was coine into the house, Jesus pre- 25 vented him, saying: What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute ? of their own children, or of strangers ? Peter saith unto him: Of strangers. - Jesus saith unto 26 him: Then are the children free. Notwithstauding, lest we should 27
far as possible in retirement. His collected the contributions for the mind seems to have been much oc- services of the temple, in the paycupied with the thoughts of his ment of its necessary expenses for impending death. This was the sacrifices and other things. Ex. second time that he had mentioned xxx. 13. Neh. x. 32. It was an this distressing subject. It is ob- annual tribute of half a shekel, servable, that this prediction was levied on all Jews twenty years old made while Jesus was yet in Gali- and upwards. The Greek word lee in security, before he went up translated tribute expresses the suin, to Jerusalem and was subject to two drachms, amounting to about the dangers that there surrounded twenty-eight cents of our money. him. What a fortitude must his This tax is supposed to have have been, that he could with such been in some degree a voluntary calmness anticipate and speak of one, which would account for the the sufferings which he so clearly question put to Peter respecting his foresaw! The common associa- Master's paying it. tjops entertained of Jesus do him 25. The impetuous disciple aninjustice. They invest him chiefly swered in the affirmative before with the character of meekness consulting Jesus.- Prevented. Forand inoffensiveness, qualities in- merly meaning, according to its dedeed which he possessed in an rivation, to go before, or, to anticieminent degree, but which were pate. Jesus anticipated Peter.balanced by the purest heroism ever What thinkest thou. It would seem seen amongst men.
that Jesus would delicately remind 23. They were exceeding sorry. Peter that he had given an answer We learn from the other Evange without his authority.-Strangers, lists that the disciples did not un- i. e. those not related to the king, derstand bis prediction, and were or members of his family. afraid to ask for an explanation. 26. Then are the children free. Their grief, therefore, was aggrava. He had, by his question, led Peter ted by the indefiniteness of the ap to acknowledge the fact on which proaching danger. The dark and his conclusion was grounded. His unwelcome subject conjured up argument was, that, as earthly kings appalling images of fear and terror. exempted their sons from paying
24. Capernaum. The place where tribute, so he, being the Son of he abode.—They that received trib God, was, on the same ground, reute money. Supposed to be not leased from the obligation of paythose who collected the taxes paid ing tribute for the temple of God. to the Romans, but persons who The temple was God's palace.
offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Instructions of Jesus. T the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying: Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven ? And Jesus called a little
Jesus, as his son, was accordingly benefit. But it may be remarked free from paying a tax for its ser that Peter shared the advantage vice.
with his Master, and that Jesus was 27. Lest we should offend them. pot individually benefited except Jesus ever manifested a spirit of in a very small degree, and that in a prudence. He would avoid giving case in which he might have pleadany unnecessary offence, setting ed exemption. The miracle was thus an example of caution, and also calculated for other ends. It teaching us that it is better to waive would impress Peter, the other disour privileges and yield our rights ciples, and the tax-gatherers, with than to insist upon them to the pre a new proof of the divinity of Jejudice of the cause of truth. Some- 'sus, whose power thus extended thing is to be conceded to the cap- into the depths of the sea, and over tiousness of men. We should seek the animal kingdom. It would also to be blameless and irreproachable, serve to enforce upon them and as was the Author and Finisher of upon all men the obligation of our faith. If Jesus had not paid obeying the laws of the government the tribute, an occasion would have under which they live, of “subbeen furnished, of which his ene- mitting to every ordinance of man mies would not have failed to take for the Lord's sake,” and of conadvantage, to say that he despised tributing to the support of the pubthe temple and the worship of lic institutions of religion. God, and thus cause them still more obstinately to reject him as the Mes
CHAP. XVIII. siah.- A piece of money.
In the 1-5. Parallel to Mark ix. 33–37, original a stater, a Roman silver and Luke ix. 46–48. coin, of the value of one shekel in 1. At the same time. This conthe Jewish currevcy, four drachms nects it in general with the precein the Grecian, and about fifty-six ding events.--Came the disciples cents in our own, and therefore suf- unto Jesus. Here is a slight disficient to pay the tribute of two per- crepancy, which is capable of being sons.—Here was a miracle either explained, and which is of value as of knowledge, or of power, or both. showing the individual authority Jesus knew that a certain fish with and truthfulness of the writers. the money would first come to Pe- Matthew states that the disciples first ter's hook, or caused that it should asked Jesús; Mark, that he first infirst come. It has been objected quired of them the subject of their that the miracle was wrought for dispute by the way, and that they a trifling object, and for Jesus' were silent through shame. Dif
child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said : Verily I 3 say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore 4 shall humble bimself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my 5 name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones 6 which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged
ferent periods in the conversation mility. Pointing to the child, he are referred to, one taking it up at said: There is your
model ; if you one point, and the other at another. do not "fling away ambition," and -Who is the greatest. It has been become like him, so far from having conjectured that what led to this lofty stations in my kingdom, you rivalry was the approbation shown cannot even become members of it to Peter, Mat. xvi. 17, 18, and the at all. The unambitious, unenvying, privilege granted to him, with James and docile temper of childhood stood and John, of being present at the in direct contrast with the worldly raising of the ruler's daughter, and aspiring spirit of the disciples. Luke viji. 51, and at the scene of Mat. xix. 14, xx. 26, 1 Cor. xiv. 20. the transfiguration, Mat. xvii. 1, 4. The same is greatest. He, which awakened envy in the other whose disposition approaches the disciples. Jesus, in announcing his nearest to a simple, childlike spirit, death, although he had filled them shall be the most eminent of my with foreboding apprehensions, had disciples, and shall share first in also excited their ambition by the the advancement and glory of my predictions of his glory. For they kingdom. probably supposed he would estab 5. Shall receive one such little Jish his kingdom after he was raised child. Or, receive with honor and from the dead. Acts i. 6. They affection one whose character is disputed which should hold the like that of this little child, in its highest place in his kingdom, should innocence' and · humility. The occupy the first station in his tem- Syriac version reads, “ one that is poral government. Their hearts' as this child."-In my name. For were puffed up with ambition.
my sake, or as my disciple. Mat. 2. Called a little child, &c. To xxv. 40. He before praised the make a deeper impression, he humble; he now comiends those would give them a lesson of hu- who respect and love them, as mility in the most touching man- showing marks of esteem to himner by a symbolical action, a com self. mon inode of instruction in the 6–9. Parallel to Mark ix. 41east, of which there are instances 48. in John xiii. 4, xx, 22, Acts xxi. 6. Whoso shall offend, i. e. cause 11, Rev. xviji. 21. Tradition re to offend, or ensnare. One of these lates that this child was Ignatius, little ones. This obscures the sense; afterwards a celebrated Father and which is, one of the lowly, humMartyr of the church, but it is very ble followers of Jesus, as is shown uncertain.
by the next words.Which believe 3. Be converted, &c. i. e. changed in me. Or, as expressed in Mark, from the state of ambition to bu- that “ belong to Christ.” There is no
about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences! For it must needs be that
offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 8 Wherefore, if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast
them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed,
rather than, having two hands, or two feet, to be cast into everlasting 9 fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee;
it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than, having 10 two eyes, to be cast into hell-fire. -Take heed that ye despise not
one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their an11 gels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For
reference to age.-Millstone. The fences. Rendered temptations in original is supposed to mean, not the Ethiopic version, i. e. causes of one of the smaller stones turned by sin.-It must needs be. Such is the hand, usually by females, but a constitution and condition of man, large one propelled by asses or that it is to be expected that there mules, the upper millstone. The will be sin. Taking men as they punishment of drowning here de- are, we are to look for offences and scribed was common amongst the snares. Free agency will be abusSyrians, and other nations of the ed; but that does not excuse the east, though it is said not to have individual transgressor, for he is existed among the Jews. Persons responsible for the sin he commits, were sometimes rolled up in sheets the evil he causes to others as well of lead, or tied to stones, thrown as to himself. into the water, and drowned. The 8, 9. See note on Mat. v. 29, 80. passage signifies, It were better for Causes of offence come from ourhim to die, or suffer the worst pun- selves, as well as from others. But it ishment, than to cause an humble be- is better to renounce the most cherliever in me, a babe in Christ, to ished indulgences and sins, though apostatize and fall.—Yet how ma it be like dismembering the hand ny are made to fall froin virtue and or the eye, rather than persist in hope by the scandalous lives, the them at the risk of the most terrihypocritical professions, the cor ble consequences, imaged here by rupt doctrines, and the supersti- everlasting fire. We must deny tious practices of the so called ourselves the inferior gratifications Christian world! Let Jew, and of a sensual nature, if we would Mahometan, and Pagan, and Infidel possess the purest pleasures of the declare; who have been repelled spiritual life, and escape the flames from the Great Master on account of an accusing conscience.-T. of the absurdities, and inconsisten- enter into life halt or maimed. These cies, and abominations of his dis- figures are not to be pressed too ciples, and who must rise up as far, but regarded as adornings of condemning witnesses against them the comparison. at the bar of heaven.
10. One of these little ones, i. e. 7. Woe. Rather, alas. An ex one of my humble, childlike discipression of concern and sorrow, ples. Jesus reverts to the topic in rather than of denunciation. Of. verse 6.-Their angels do always