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Conversations of Jesus.
2 yond Jordan. And great multitudes followed him; and he healed
them there. 3 The Pharisees also camè unto him, tempting him, and saying unto
him: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause ? 4 And he answered and said unto them: Have ye not read, that he,
some one else? Again, as we are from taking by the inhospitality of told to imitate the Divine conduct the inhabitants, Luke ix. 52, 53, but in this particular, we must, accord- by the more circuitous route through ing to the above doctrine, exact the the Peræa so called, -according to full debt from our fellow-men; never Mark, “ the farther side of Jordan,” forgive a transgression against our- and, as Matthew has it, “beyond selves, until our justice, or revenge, Jordan.” be appeased; in fact, imitate the in 3. To put away his wife for every exorable creditor. Who does not cause. For any cause shudder at such conclusions, which whatever. It is probable, that this, are the direct inferences from this like other questions proposed by the prevalent corruption of Christian- Pharisees, was asked, not for the ity?
sake of information, but to involve
Jesus in difficulty. Two celebraCHAP. XIX.
ted schools existed at this time 1–9. Parallel to Mark x. 1–12. among the Jews, called by the
1. He departed from Galilee. He names of two great teachers, Hillel did not visit Galilee again, till after and Shammai, which held different his resurrection. We are told by views upon the dissolution of the Luke, that he now “steadfastly set marriage relation; that of Shamhis face to go to Jerusalem," as if he mai contending that divorce was unsummoned up courage for his ap- lawful, except in the single case of proaching fate.-Coasts of Judea, infidelity in the connexion, whilst beyond Jordan. An obscurity rests that of Hillel, more lax, permitted upon this sentence, which has long the union to be severed on any perplexed the learned. For Judea trivial ground, as that of dislike or proper did not extend east of the discontent. Deut. xxiv. l. The Jordan, or include the Peræa, or answer of Jesus they supposed that region beyond the Jordan. It could not be framed without expohas been suggested that “ beyond sing him to the odium of one or the Jordan," or the Jordan, properly other of these parties. From verse speaking, should be rendered, upon 10, we infer that these questioners or by the side of the Jordan. John belonged to the school of Hillel. i. 28. But the more probable ex 4. But the usual wisdom of Jesus planation is, that he came into Ju- did not desert him. He refers them, dea, from Galilee, not by the direct beyond the quibbling and jargon of and customary route through Sa- the schools, to the authority of the maria, which he had been prevented Great Lawgiver, and the purpose of
which made them at the beginning, made them male and female; and said: “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and 5 shall cleave to his wife ; and they twain shall be one flesh”?' Where- 6 fore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. -They say unto him: Why 7 did 'Moses, then, command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them': Moses, because of the hard- 8 ness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives; but from
God, who made the sexes, and in 7. They objected to this reasonstituted marriage as a connexion ing, that Moses, in his law, permitnot to be dissolved for any slight ted divorces. Deut. xxiv. 144.cause. Gen. i. 27, ii. 21, 22. “God Command to give a writing, &c. created at first no more than a sin- The command of Moses related not gle pair, one of each sex, whom he to the putting away, which he perunited in the bond of marriage, and mitted for the reason stated in the in so doing exhibited a standard of next verse, but to the giving of a that union to all generations.”. bill of divorce. Male and female. Rather, a male 8. Because of the hardness of your and a female.
hearts. On account of your intrac5. And said. The nominative table disposition, referring to the to this verb is doubtful. It may be Jewish people in general. We here God, or Moses, or the Scripture, or have an explicit admission, that the verb may be impersonal.- For some laws and customs among the this cause.
On account of the di- chosen people were in themselves vine purpose, in making them of imperfect, but were necessary, in different sexes.-Twain. Two. The that peculiar and semi-barbarous binding tepure of the relation is il- period. Had the Jews not been per lustrated by the two facts, that the mitted to put away their wives in most intimate and early connec many cases, they might have treated tions, as the filial and fraternal ones, them with great cruelty, and even are given up for this new one ; and put them to death.
Thus civil that two persons thus joined become laws, in all periods, present po peras one flesh, one person, one soul, fect standard of right, but are nehaving like privileges and rights. cessarily mixed with imperfections The inference is, then, that no triv- in their accommodation to the age ial cause should sunder such a riv- and the people. The civil regulaeted union.
tions of the great Hebrew legisla6. Hath joined together. The verb tor, in this respect, shared the comin the original signifies yoked to mon fate of all political institutions. gether, by a metaphor taken from They were, for the time, best suited the yoking of oxen.
Indeed, in to the wants of the Jewish nation, some countries, a yoke or chains are but destined to be outgrown and suput upon the newly married couple, perseded by a jurisprudence more as emblems of their close connec- nearly in accordance with immutable tion. Jesus declares that the mar- right. In saying that " from the beriage bond is sanctioned by God, ginning it was not so,” Jesus asserts and not to be lightly sundered by that the original purpose, in the Dihuman caprice or folly.
vine establishment of the relation,
9 the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, whosoever shall
put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another,
committeth adultery; and whoso marrieth her which is put away 10 doth commit adultery. His disciples say unto him: If the case of 11 the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto
them: All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is 12 given. For there are some eunuchs which were so born from their
mother's womb; and there are some eunuchs which were made eupuchs of men; and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive
it, let him receive it. 13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should
was, that'it should be perpetual. ural constitution, or other causes, to The influence of his religion has marry. 1 Cor. vii. 7. given, wherever it has gone, new 12. Were so born. Those who sanctity to marriage, and thus ele were indisposed to marriage from vated woman and home.
their birth. -Which were made, &c. 9. I say unto you. There is in The word eunuchs is here used these words a lofty tone of unbor- in its literal sense; but in the rowed and original authority, as if previous and subsequent places he were speaking from heaven, and figuratively.--Which have made not of himself. See note on Mat. themselves, &c. Who have, from v. 32. Luke xvi. 18. According choice, from religious motives, for to Mark, these words were uttered the sake of promoting God's kingin private, to the disciples, after dom, by their greater exemption they had retired from the crowd. from private cares, abstained from A divorce is permitted by Christ in marriage. No personal violence is the single case of conjugal unfaith- spoken of here. It is supposed that fulness.
reference was made, in this clause, 10. If the case of the man be so with to the Essenes, who voluntarily his wife, &c. If such be the condi- lived in celibacy.-Able to receive it. tion of the husband with his wife. Referring to the words above, in The disciples talked as Jews, full of verse 11. Let him who can live the notions of their times. If, said without marriage, if such be his they, marriage has this binding ten- preference, live without it. No peure, it is better to remain single. It culiar holiness is here attached to is a striking proof of the truth of an unmarried life by Jesus. the Gospels, that there is no con 13–29. Parallel to Mark x. 13 cealment of the errors, and follies, 30. Luke xviii, 15–30. and sins of the Apostles; but they 13. That he should put his hands are depicted just as they were, ob on them, and pray. It was customtuse and blinded, but honest. ary among the Jews, to lay the
11. All men cannot receive this hands on a person's head, in whose saying. All cannot practise this behalf a prayer was offered. Gen. saying, and abstain from marriage. xlviii. 14. 2 Kings v. 11. This is
-Save they to whom it is given. Or, one of the most beautiful passages who are disinclined, from their nat in our Saviour's history. Though
put his hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said: Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto 14 me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on 15 them, and departed thence.
And, behold, one came and said unto him: Good Master, what good 16 thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him: 17
occupied with healing the sick, And shield its first bloom from unboly air; preaching to the multitude, disci- Owning, in each young suppliant glance, the sign
Of claims upon á heritage divine.” pliving his followers, and, chief of all, with the fearful anticipation of his
What opinion our Saviour enterhastening fate at Jerusalem, he yet tained of human nature is evident had time and affectionate thoughts from the benediction here proto bestow on those little inno- nounced upon it in its infantile,
Could be cents, that were the purest images ynsophisticated state. of his divine kingdom. But the have believed that those tender bedisciples, perhaps impatient under ings were originally and totally dethe interruption, or deeming it be- praved in their nature, when he peath their Master's dignity to no
ibus held them up as the types of tice and caress children, repulsed his spiritual kingdom? Far from it. them. They may have been stim 15. Laid his hands on them. Mark ulated the more to this harshness, has more: “ Took them up in his from the lesson, which had been arms, put his hands upon them, before deduced from childhood, and blessed them.” This action reagainst their ambition. Mat. xvii. vealed the amiable and affectionate 2. The sight of children had be- disposition of Jesus. come distasteful.
16. One came. He was a young 14. A similar sentiment is taught man, verse 20, and a ruler, Luke in Mat. xviii. 5.—Of such is the king. xviii. 18. He approached Jesus dom of heaven. The kingdom of with the signs of the greatest' resheaven is composed of such as have pect, kneeling to him, Mark x. 17. a childlike simplicity, affection, and His motive was good, and he propurity. Mark writes, that Jesus posed the greatest of questions, was much displeased” that his dis- What he should do to have eternal ciples rebuked them.—Children life. Probably he had been concan no more be carried to receive founded by the instructions of the the Saviour's benediction, as in olden Jewish doctors, in their subtleties, time, but they may be taken to the and division of the commands of altar and baptismal font of his reli- God, calling some lighter and some gion, to be dedicated, in all their weightier. Hence, he asks,“ What loveliness, to his service.
good thing shall I do?" His address, “ Happy were they, the mothers, in whose
“Good Master," or Teacher, was the sight
common title of the day, in speakfair children! hallowed from that hour ing to religious instructers. We By your Lord's blessing! Surely thence a shower of heavenly beauty, a transmitted light,
learn that the doctrine of immortalHung on your brows and eyelids, meekly bright, ity was not unknown to him, as he Through all the after years, which saw ye move Lowly, yet still majestic, in the might,
inquires how he might gain its T'he conscious glory, of the Saviour's love ! blessedness. And bonored be all childhood for the sake
17. Jesus first discards these Of that high love! Let reverential care Watch to behold the immortal spirit wake, empty titles, according to the direc
Why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, that is, God. 18 But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He srith
unto him: Which? Jesus said: “ Thou shalt do no murder; Thou shalt 19 not coinmit adultery; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bear false
witness; Honor thy father and thy mother;" and: “Thou shalt love 20 thy neighbor as thyself.” The young man saith unto hiin: All these 21 things have I kept from my youth up; what lack I yet? Jesus said
unto him: If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give
to the poor; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come and 22 follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went 23 away sorrowful; for he had great possessions. -Then said Jesus tion given to his disciples. Mat. As means comparatively, not absoxxiji. 8.-Why callest thou me good, lutely like. &c. According to the reading of 20. Kept from my youth up. RathGriesbach, Why askest thou me con er, from my childhood up; for he cerning good? One is good. But was yet a young man, He thought in Mark the text remains unaltered. well of himself, but yet felt the want In this passage, Jesus asserts that of something more, and, with the God alone is good, originally, ab- spirit of inquiry, rather than of solutely, and perfectly, thus dis- boasting, he asked, What lack I yet ? claiming his own title to such a From Mark we learn, that Jesiis, character as many of his disciples when he heard this evidence of his have attributed to him, that of un- exemplary life," beboldling bim, lovcreated perfection. The word God ed hjin,” but said, “ One thing ihou is of Saxon or Teutonic derivation, lackest.” and signifies the Good, the essen 21. If thou wilt be perfect, &c. If tially, infinitely Good Being. The thou wilt attain to the very highest young man hoped, perhaps, to se- spiritual excellence, and be comcure his salvation), by observing some plete in character, greater sacrifices new rite or command which Jesus
are required. Renounce the gratimight enjoin. But the Saviour re fications of wealth, distribute your ferred him to God, as the sum of all property amongst the destitute, and excellence, and to his command- thus attain leisure froni worldly conments, as the way of life eternal. cerns to serve as my disciple in
18, 19. Which? This question preaching the Gospel, and thou shows that he wished to fix on shalt possess a richer treasure in some particular one as of saving heaven than any earthly fortune. efficacy. Have we not here an in- No more was required of bin in stance of a desire that has appeared selling all that he had, than of the jn all ages, of doing some other persons whom Jesus had callthing to save the soul, rather than ed to be his attendants and Apostles, of complying with the whole circle except that his estate was larger. of God's laws ?-Thou shalt do no Matthew left all, Luke v. 28, and murder, &c. Ex. xx. 12–16. Lev. Peter says the same of the whole xix. 18.' The Saviour here gives company, verse 27. specimens of the commandments, 22. Went away sorrowful. A rather than enuinerates all that were graphic stroke of the Evangelist's essential.-Thy neighbor as thyself. pencil. The young man had been