« AnteriorContinuar »
devil, for our Lord would hare noticed this circumstance: her mind seems to have been perfectly calm and serene, for she immediately on her recovery glorified God.
Some commentators suppose, that our Lord uttered at this time the parable of the grain of mustard-seed, and of the leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal. They are certainly very applicable to the occasion, and may b' read here with advantage, for all which oar Lord spake will bear repeated consideration *.
Whoever reads the history of our Lord, as recorded by the different Evangelists, will perceive that each of them sometimes gives an account of his delivering a parable, or discourse, similar to one that is recorded by another Evangelist as having passed on a different occasion. It is not improbable that our Lord, in giving general instructions, actually repeated the very same words; for we must remember, that all he said was dictated by perfect wisdom; and that those instructions, which to the hearers appeared to be nicely adapted to the present purpose, were not intended merely for them, btrf were designed for all persons in similar situations in every future age of the church, of the same dispositions and characters. By repeating his instructions therefore in the same words, with such variations only as the occasion might require, our Lord strongly enforced them; and shewed, that they were capable of extensive application, and intended for all whose circumstance? they might happen to suit.
* See Sect, xxiii.
JESUS WARNS HIS HEARERS OF THE DIFFICULTY AND IMPORTANCE OF ENTERING INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, &C
From Luke, Chap. xiiL
And he went through the cities and villages, teacru ing and journeying towards Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?
And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, opem unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence you are:
Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence y©u are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
And behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
Vol. V. Q And
And he said unto them, Go ye and tell that fox, Be. hold, I cast Out devils, and I do cures to-day and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
Nevertheless, I must walk to-day and to-morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out »f Jerusalem.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee: how often would 1 have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Our Lord is supposed to have been returning to Jerusalem, in order to be present at the Feast of the.Dedication, attended by several of his disciples, when one of them proposed the question, Lord, are there few that be saved? Instead of indulging their curious enquiries, he cautioned them to attend to their own salvation; and by the comparison of a strait gate, intimated the danger and difficulty of a Christian life; and informed •them, that many who had believed in his name, and had desired to be considered as members of the kingdom of heaven, would be finally excluded, on account of their not having conformed their lives to his rules and precepts. This discourse of our Lord strongly inculcates that faith "without good woris is of no avail; that divine grace will be withdrawn from those pro. fessed Christians who continue to live in a course of practical wickedness; and that they will be condemned
to to endless misery in a future state. By those from thi east and from the west, . we may understand people of the Gentilenations. By the last 'which should he first were meant some of those who should be convertedat distant periods of time^ and the first that should he last, signified some of the earliest converts among the Jews. The Pharisees told our Lord of Herod's designs against him, with a view to intimidate him; but having no cause to be alarmed for his safety from that wicked prince, he calmly desired those who gave him the information, to carry a contemptuous message to him, signifying, that he should still, in defiance of him, pursue his ministry for a short period of time, but should soon finish his course: in the mean while he should continue his. progress without any fear of the effects of Herod's malice, as Jerusalem was the place appointed for his suffering death.
This discourse calls for our most serious consideration. It seems to have been intended to awaken the attention of careless Christians to the danger of their situation. Instead of being idle and remiss, let us therefore redouble our vigilance to obtain the higfi prize which is set before us, and we shall certainly be strengthened to perform the arduous task, for God-will reject none but those who have despised or abused hii mercy: and our Saviour is ever ready to intercede for all his true disciples.
The Evangelist has inserted here a pathetic lamentation of our Lord's oh the prospect of the approaching destruction of Jerusalem. He afterwards repeated it, ,nid it will be commented on in another section.
OtJR LORD CURES A MAN OF THE BROPSY AT THE HOUSE OF A PHARISEE, AND ADMONISHES THE JEWISH TEACHERS.—THE PARABLE OF THE WEDDING FEAST.
From Luke, Chap. xiv. viii.
And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath, day, that they watched him.
And behold there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.
And Jesus answering, spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbathday?
And they held their peace. And he took him and healed him, and let him go:
And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straitway pull him out on the sabbath-day i And they could not answer him again to these things.
And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms: saying unto them,
When you are bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
And lie that bade thee and him, come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt