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unto thee, I saw thee under the fig-tree, believest thou?. thou shalt see greater things than these. And he saith unto him, Verily, verily I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
The Baptist sook every occasion of bearing testimony to Jesus, and of communicating to others what the Holy SPIRIT had lately revealed to him, that Christ was the LAMB of God. This expression might not be fully understood either by John or his hearers, for it was propheticol; and therefore to be explained, as other prophecies were, by its completion. What CHR 1st himself afterwards taught, and what he suffered, threw light on John's testimony.
We read in a former section, that when John the Baptist preached the doctrine of repentance, numbers of persons resorted to him, and were baptized, confessing their sins. One of these was Simon Peter, a man of a very zealous temper, extremely desirous of being instructed in the truth, and therefore a very proper person to attend the MEss I AH, as a witness of his life and conversation: it appears that our LoRD’s other chosen companions were equally fit for this purpose; his selection of them, therefore, shews that he knew all hearts.
When Andrew and the other disciple followed Jesus, he, knowing their disposition, kindly invited them to accompany him, and soon gave an evident proof that he was possessed of divine knowledge, by the name which he gave to Simon Peter. Coos signifies a Rock, and was prophetic of the firmness with which Peter would maintain the truth of the Gospel. . . - Jesus,
"Jesus, having entered on his public ministry, removed from Bethabara to Galilee. Bethsaida, the place where Philip, Andrew, and Simon, dwelt, was a town of Galilee, on the sea of Tiberius. - Nathanael, though a native of Galilee, had, in common with other Jews, a very mean opinion of Nazareth,' as worse than the rest of the country. Philip advised him not to be led away by popular prejudice, but to see and converse with Jesus himself. The heart of the good Nathanael was well known to our Saviour, and immediately on his approach he gave public testimony to the rectitude of the mind and conduct of this worthy man. By an Israelite indeed, we are to understand a plain upright person, just and true in his dealings with mankind, and humble and pious to GoD. Nathanael was greatly surprised that Jesus, whom he regarded as an entire stranger, should thus undertake to answer for his character; but still more so to hear, that he was acquainted with the private conversation which passed between him and Philip in their secret retirement; and immediately acknowledged our Lord to be, not only the expected King of Israel, but the Son of God; since even the inward recesses of the human mind were thus open to his view. Jesus assured Nathanael that, as he was so ready of belief, he would give him still greater proofs of his divine nature, by the performance of miracles; and convince him, that though he appeared on earth as the Son of Man, he could open the kingdom of heaven to all true believers, where they should hereafter behold him attended by the holy Angels. What pleasure must the good Nathanael have received from this kind discourse of our SA v Iou R1 Let us endeavour to imitate the example of this worthy - - - mans man, by being sincere and pious in all our words and actions; then shall we meet with the approvation of God; conscious rectitude will give peace to our minds; and Heaven will be our reward It is to be remarked, that nothing farther was required of these first disciples of our Loko, then a belief that he was the Messi Ali, the Son of God i and a humble and teachable disposition.
SECTION XXI. * four Lord's first M1 Racles. --- - From John, Chap. ii. . And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there. *: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage, And when they wanted wine, the Irother of Jesus said unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have. I to do with thee mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsover he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. - Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was (but the servants which drew the water knew), the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
& And saith unto him, Every maa at the beginning - doth
*oth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory ; and his discipies believed on him. - After this, Jesus went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples, and they continued there not many days.
And the Jews passover was at hand, and Jesus went
*P to Jerusalem. Now, when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, on the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
But Josu. did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is supposed that Mary was related to the persons, whose marriage our blessed Lo RD honoured with his presence, and that it was on this account he and his disciples were invited. There is reason to think that the bridegroom was not in very affluent circumstances, by the small quantity of wine he provided; and Mary seems by her solicitude to procure a supply, to have been concerned in the management of the feast. The answer which Jesus made, when she intimated a desire that he would work a miracle for this purpose, though intended to reprove her for dictating to him in a matter wherein he was to act by divine power, was neither sewere nor undutiful : for it was the custom of those times, for the best-bred people to address ladies of the first distinction in that manner. Our SA v Iou R, by reproving his mother, might also have a view to the idolatrous honours which would afterwards be paid to her by some mistaken Christians. His thus forbidding. her to interfere in those matters whi’’ ‘ed to his divine nature, proves that Mary, though a very good woman, was never designed by Go D as a mediatrix or: intercessor for mankind; and the meekness with which she received his reproof, evinces that she was conscious’ she had been guilty of an impropriety, and had no right. to assume authority over Jesus, when he was acting as the Son of God : to call her the Mother of God and the Queen of Heaven, is blasphemy. - o
* o proving,
Mary did not regard this rebuke as a denial; for it is: plain, from the directions she gave to the servants, that she still expected a miracle would be wrought. Our LoRD, on this occasion, gave an endearing instance of his social and obliging temper, and taught his followers not to censure others for innocent liberties, at proper seasons of festivity. He likewise reflected great honour on the marriage state, by choosing this occasion for the first public manifestation of his divine power of working miracles. What was the size of those water-jars is uncertain; but it is supposed each held four gallons and a half,' amounting in the whole to fifty-four gallons: this, when converted into wine, was a liberal supply; and its flavour was so uncommonly good, that the governor of the feast (supposed to have been either the principal guest, or a priest or Levite) wondered that the bridegroom had not produced it at first, according to the usual custom ; that those who observed the rules of temperance, and would not continue drinking till they lost their taste and discernment, might be honoured with
the best. The