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17. Dan. ix.
xlii. 7. Johan
38: xiv. 11, ed Isa. lxi.l.
e Isa. viii. 14.
15. ch. xiii. 57: xxiv. 10: XXVI.31. Rom. ix. 32 83. 1 Cor. i. 93 : ii. 14. Gal. v. 11.
1 Pet. 11. 8. (Eph. iv. 14.
of his disciples, 3 and said unto him, Art thou bhe that bGanxLix; 20. should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus an- *. John vi. swered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 the blind receive ,5,8 their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and 11.28 11,3 the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and a the poor 2 have a isa. M.). the gospel preached to them : 6 and blessed is he, whoso- James ii. 5. ever shall not e be offended in me.
7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the kom.*4.82 multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to a see? fa reed shaken with the wind ? ceph. iv..
literally, are evangelized.
& render, gaze upon. (the word in vv. 8, 9, is different.) So that it would seem as if the Evangelist which His outward and visible miracles had purposely avoided saying of Jesus, were symbolical. The words are mostly to shew that the works were reported to cited from Isa. xxxv. 5, where the same John not as those of the Person whom he spiritual meaning is conveyed by them. had known as Jesus, but of the Deliverer They are quoted here, as the words of Isa. --the Christ; and that he was thus led lii. are by the Evangelist in ch. viii. 17, to desire a distinct avowal of the identity as applicable to their partial external fulof the two. I have before said that the filment, which however, like themselves, opening part of the ensuing discourse seems pointed onward to their greater spiritual to have been designed to prevent, in the completion. the poor have the minds of the multitude, any such un- gospel preached to them (are evangeworthy estimations of John as those above lized)] Stier remarks the coupling of these cited. The message and the answer miracles together, and observes that with might well beget such suspicions, and the dead are raised, this is united, as being could not from the nature of the case be a thing hitherto unheard of and strange, explained to them in that deeper meaning and an especial fulfilment of Isa. lxi. 1. which they really bore ; but the character 6 .] See note on ver. 2. offended of John here given would effectually pre- in] scandalized at, take offence at. vent them, after hearing it, from enter. 7–30.] The discourse divides itself into taining any such idea.
2. had TWO PARTS : (1) vv. 7-19, the respective heard) From his own disciples, Luke vii. characters and mutual relations of John 18. The place of his imprisonment was and Christ : (2) vv. 20–30, the condemMachærus, a frontier town between the nation of the unbelief of the time-ending dominions of Aretas and Herod Antipas. with the gracious invitation to all the Our Lord in that hour wrought many weary and heavy laden to come to Him, cures, Luke ver. 21. Verses 4-6 are nearly as truly He that should come. verbation in the two Gospels. 5.) The 7.] The following verses set forth to the words the dead are raised up have occa- people the real character and position of sioned some difficulty; but surely without John; identifying him who cried in the reason. In Luke, the raising of the wilderness with him who now spoke from widow's son at Nain immediately precedes his prison, and assuring them that there this message; and in this Gospel we have was the same dignity of office and mission had the ruler's daughter raised. These throughout. They are not spoken till miracles might be referred to by our Lord after the departure of the disciples of under the words the dead are raised John, probably because they were not up; for it is to be observed that He bade meant for them or John to hear, but for them tell John not only what things they the people, who on account of the question saw, but what things they had heard, as which they had heard might go away with in Luke. It must not be forgotten a mistaken depreciation of John. And our that the words here used by our Lord Lord, as usual, takes occasion, from rehave an inner and spiritual sense, as minding them of the impression made on hetokening the blessings and miracles of them by John's preaching of repentance, divine grace on the souls of men, of to set forth to them deep truths regarding
8 But what went ye out for to see ? a man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings'
houses. 9 But what went ye out for to see ? a prophet ? 8 chi sig. Like 6 yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. 10 For 2. i. 1. this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my mes
senger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom
xxi. 26. Luke
Mark i. 2.
His own Kingdom and Office.
Luke i. 16, 17, and 76), no mean indica. 8. But] i. e. what was it, if it was not tion of His own eternal and co-equal Godthat? what went ye out] The head. It is worthy of remark that all repetition of this question, and the order three Evangelists quote this prophecy of the suggestive answers, are remarkable. similarly changed, although St. Mark has The first sets before them the scene of it in an entirely different place. Also, their desert pilgrimage-the banks of Jor that the high dignity and honour, which dan with its reeds, but no such trifles our Lord here predicates of the Baptist, were the object of the journey : this sug- has a further reference: He was thus gestion is rejected without an answer. great above all others, because he was the The second reininds them that it was a forerunner of Christ. How great then man--but not one in soft clothing, for above all others and him, must HE be. such are not found in deserts. The third
11. hath . . . risen] Not merely a brings before them the real object of their word of course, but especially used of propilgrimage in his holy office, and even phets and judges, see reff., and once of our amplifies that office itself. So that the Saviour Himself, Acts v. 30. he great Forerunner is made to rise gradually that is least] This has been variously renand sublimely into his personality, and dered and understood. Chrysostom and thus his preaching of repentance is revived other ancient interpreters, put the pause in their minds. in soft raiment] after “least," and take the words “ in the Contrast this with the garb of John as Kingdom of heaven” with what follows : described ch. ii. 4. Such an one, in soft understanding “he that is least” of our raiment, might be the forerunner of a Lord. But such an interpretation is proud earthly prince, but not the preacher surely adverse to the spirit of the whole of repentance before a humble and suffer. discourse. We may certainly say that our ing Saviour; might be found as the courtly Lord in such a passage as this would not flatterer in the palaces of kings, but not desiguate Himself as “he that is least” as the stern rebuker of tyrants, and compared with John, in any sense: nor languishing in their fortress dungeons. again is it our Lord's practice to speak of
9.] We read, ch. xxi. 26, that Himself as one in the Kingdom of heaven, all accounted John as a prophet.'— or of His own attributes as belonging to John was more than a prophet, because or dependent on that new order' of things he did not write of, but saw and pointed which this expression implies, and which out, the object of his prophecy ;-and be- was in Him rather than He in it. Again, cause of his proximity to the kingdom of the analogy of such passages as Matt. v. God. He was moreover more than a pro- 19; xviii. 1, would lead us to connect the phet, because he himself was the subject preceding adjective least with in the Kingas well as the vehicle of prophecy. But dom of heaven, and not the following. with deep humility he applies to himself The other, the usual interpretation, I only that one, of two such prophetic pas. am convinced, is the right one : but he sages, which describes him as a voice of that is least in the kingdom of heaven, is one crying, and omits the one which gives greater than he. There is very likely him the title of my messenger, here cited an allusion to Zech. xii. 8: “He that is by our Lord. 10. thy) Our Lord here feeble among them at that day shall be as changes the person of the original pro- David.” Thus the parallelism is comphecy, which is my. And that He does plete: John, not inferior to any born of so, making that which is said by Jehovah women - but these, even the least of them, of Himself, to be addressed to the Mes are born of another birth (John i. 12, 13; siah, is, if such were needed (compare also iii. 5). John, the nearest to the King and
of heaven is greater than he. 12 i And from the days of i Luke svi. 16. John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John: 14 and if ye luke 172 will receive it, this is Elias, which b was for to come. 'Luke vili. 8. 15 1 He that hath ears [c to hear], let him hear.
D render, shall come. Comitted in some of the best MSS.
k Mal. iv.5.
ch. xvii. 12. Luke i, 17.
Rev. ii. 7, 11. 17, 29: iii. 6, 13, 92.
the Kingdom--standing on the threshold and thronged the doors where He was, --but never having himself entered; these, and would (John vi. 15) take Him by “in the Kingdom,” subjects and citizens force to make Him a king. But our Lord and indwellers of the realm, whose citizen does not mention this so much to comship is in heaven. He, the friend of the mend the violent persons, as to shew the Bridegroom : they, however weak and undoubted fact that He that should come unworthy members, His Body, and His was come :--that the kingdom of heaven, Spouse.
12.] The sense of this which before had been the subject of disverse has been much disputed. (1) the tant prophecy, a closed fortress, a treasure verb rendered "suffereth violence” has hid, was now undoubtedly upon earth been taken in a middle sense ; forcibly (Luke xvii. 21 and note), laid open to the introduces itself, breaks in with violence, entrance of men, spread out that all might as in the similar passage Luke xvi. 16. take. Thus this verse connects with ver. Certainly such a sense agrees better with 28,“ Come unto Me all," and with Luke “ is preached” which we find in Luke, xvi. 16, “every man presseth into it." than the passive explanation : but it seems Compare also with this throwing open of inconsistent with the latter half of the the kingdom of heaven for all to press verse to say that it breaks in by force, and into, the stern prohibition in Exod. xix. then that others break by force into it. 12, 13, and the comment on it in Heb. (2) the verb is taken passively; suffereth xii. 18—24. 13, 14.] The whole body violence. And thus the construction of of testimony as yet has been prophetic, the verse is consistent: 'and the violent the Law and Prophets, from the first till take it by force. Believing this latter Zacharias the priest and Simeon and interpretation to be right, we now come Anna prophesied ; and according to the to the question, in what sense are these declaration of prophecy itself, John, in words spoken? Is the verb in a good or the spirit and power of Elias, was the a bad sense ? Does it mean, 'is taken by forerunner of the great subject of all pro. force,' and the following, and men vio- phecy. Neither this - nor the testimony lently press in for their share of it, as of our Lord, ch. xvü. 12-is inconsistent for plunder ;'- or does it mean, is vio. with John's own denial that he was Elias, lently resisted, and violent men tear it to John i. 21. For (1) that question was pieces ? (viz. its opponents, the Scribes evidently asked as implying a re-appearand Pharisees ?) This latter meaning ance of the actual Elias upon earth : and bears no sense as connected with the dis. (2) our Lord cannot be understood in course before us. The subject is not the either of these passages as meaning that resistance made to the kingdom of heaven, the prophecy of Malachi iv. 5 received its but the difference between a prophesied full completion in John. For as in other and a present kingdom of heaven. The prophecies, so in this, we have a partial fifteenth verse closes this subject, and the fulfilment both of the coming of the Lord complaints of the arbitrary prejudices and of His forerunner, while the great of this generation' begin with ver. 16. and complete fulfilment is yet futureWe conclude then that these words imply at the great day of the Lord. Mal. iv. 1. From the days of John the Baptist until The words here are not " which was for now (i. e. inclusively, from the beginning to come," but are strictly future, who of his preaching), the kingdom of heaven shall come. Compare ch. xvii. 11, where is pressed into, and violent persons — the future is used. The if ye will (are eager, ardent multitudes —seize on it. willing to) receive it must be taken as Of the truth of this, notwithstanding our referring to the partial sense of the fulLord's subsequent reproaches for unbelief, filment implied : for it was (and is to this we have abundant proof from the multi- day) the belief of the Jews that Elias in tudes who followed, and outwent Him, person should come before the end.
16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation ? it is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 17 and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned [d unto you], and ye have not lamented. 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The son
of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold m ch. ix.10., a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, ma friend of publi
cans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her chil
e render, was. some of our earliest MSS. read, for children, works. 15.] These words are generally used by can be more perplexed than to understand our Lord when there is a further and is like unto as meaning “may be illusdeeper meaning in His words than is ex. trated by,' and invert the persons in the pressed : as here--if John the Baptist is parable. Besides which, this interpretaElias, and Elias is the forerunner of the tion would lay the waywardness to the coming of the Lord, then know surely charge of the Preachers, not to that of that the Lord is come. 16. But the Jews. 18. neither eating nor Implying the men of this generation have drinking] Luke vii. 33 fills up this exears, and hear not; will not receive this pression by inserting bread and wine. See saying: are arbitrary, childish, and pre- ch. iii. 4. The neglect of John's preachjudiced, not knowing their own mind. ing, and rejection of his message, is im.
whereunto shall I liken] See similar plied in several places of the Gospels (see questions in Mark iv. 30: Luke xiii. 18, ch. xxi. 23—27 : John v. 35); but hence 20; and note on ch. vii. 24. like unto only do we learn that they brought against children: as children in their games imi. him the same charge which they aftertate the business and realities of life, so wards tried against our Lord. See John these in the great realities now before vii. 20; x. 20. 19.] Alluding to them shew all the waywardness of children. our Lord's practice of frequenting en. The similitude is to two bodies of children, tertainments and feasts, e. g. the mar. the one inviting the other to play, first at riage at Cana, the feast in Levi's house, the imitation of a wedding, secondly at &c. See also ch. ix. 14. But7 lite. that of a funeral;—to neither of which rally, and: i.e. and yet; see John xvi. 32. will the others respond. Stier remarks
wisdom] the divine wisdom which that the great condescension of the preach hath ordered these things. was justiing of the Gospel is shewn forth in this fied—the same tense as “came” both times parable, where the man sent from God, -refers to the event, q. d., they were and the eternal Word Himself, are repre. events in which wisdom was justified, &c.' sented as children among children, speak. The force of the past tense is not to be ing the language of their sports. Com lost by giving a present meaning to either pare Heb. ii. 14. It must not be sup of the verbs. The meaning seems to be, posed that the two bodies of children are that the waywardness above described was two divisions of the Jews, as some (e. g. not universal, but that the children of Olsh.) have done: the children who call wisdom (in allusion probably to the Book are the Jews,--those called to, the two of Proverbs, which constantly uses similar Preachers; both belonging, according to expressions : see ch. ii. 1; ii. 1, 11, 21; the flesh, to this generation,- but neither iv. 1, &c.) were led to receive and justify of them corresponding to the kind of (= clear of imputation) the Wisdom of mourning (in John's case) with which the God, who did these things. Cf. Luke vii. Jews would have them mourn, or the kind 29, where in this same narrative it is said, of joy (in the Lord's case) with which the publicans justified God. The children the Jews would have them rejoice. The of wisdom are opposed to the wayward converse application, which is commonly children above, the childlike to the childinade, is against the is like unto children, ish; and thus this verse serves as an introby which the first children must be the duction to the saying in ver. 25. of, children of this generation; and nothing not exactly equivalent to .by,' but imply.
20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago "in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, o It Jonah iil. 7, shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of och.s judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, P & which page Tea. I VI art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to h hell: for 1. if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this
& the best MSS. read, shalt thou be exalted unto heaven ? thou shalt be brought.
h in the original, Hades.
ing' at the hands of the person whence the subject of prophecy, had been chastised by justification comes. 20—30.] SECOND God's judgment under Nebuchadnezzar PART OF THE DISCOURSE. See on ver. 7. and Alexander, but still existed (Acts xii.
20. Then began he] This expres. 20; xxi. 3, 7; xxvii. 3). repented ... in sion betokens a change of subject, but Backcloth and ashes is probably an allu. not of locality or time. The whole chaptersion to Jonah iii. 6, or to general Eastern stands in such close connexion, one part custom.
23.] The sense has been arising out of another (e. g. this out of variously interpreted. Some suppose it to ver. 16-19), and all pervaded by the saine allude to the distinguished honour congreat undertone, which sounds forth in ferred on Capernaum by our Lord's resivv. 28-30, that it is quite impossible dence there. Others to the rich fisheries that this should be a collection of our carried on at Capernaum, by means of Lord's sayings uttered at different times which the town was proud and prosperous. I would rather regard the then began he Others refer the expression to the lofty as a token of the report of an ear-witness, situation of Capernaum, wbich however is and as pointing to a pause or change of very uncertain. The first interpretation manner on the part of our Lord. See appears to me the most probable, seeing note on Luke x. 13. because they that our Lord chose that place to be the repented not] Connect this with the first principal scene of His ministry and resisubject of our Lord's preaching, ch. iv. 17. dence, “ his own city,” ch. ix. 1. The very The reference is to some unrecorded mira. sites of these three places are now matter cles, of which we know (Luke iv. 23: of dispute among travellers. See Robin. John xxi. 25) that there were many. son, vol. iii. pp. 283-300. Dr. Thom. 21. Chorazin] According to Jerome, a son, “ The Land and the Book,” p. 359, town of Galilee, two (according to Euse. was sure he found Chorazin in the ruins bius twelve, but most likely an error in bearing the name Khorazy, lying in a side the transcriber) miles from Capernaum. valley of the Wady Nashif, which runs It is nowhere mentioned except here and down to the lake on the East of Tell Hûm in the similar place of Luke. Beth. (Capernauin). And this, in spite of Dr. saida) Called a city, John i. 45,- a village Robinson's rejection of the identification. (literally), Mark viii. 23,-in Galilee, John
i n Sodom The comparison between xii. 21 :-on the western bank of the lake sinful Israel and Sodom is common in the of Gennesaret, near the middle, not far 0. T. See Deut. xxxii. 32: Isa. i. 10: from Capernaum; the birth-place of Simon Lam. iv. 6: Ezek. xvi. 46–57. it Peter, Andrew, and Philip. Both this and would have remained] This declaration of Chorazin appear to be put as examples of the Lord of all events, opens to us an the lesser towns in which our Lord had important truth, that the destruction of wrought his miracles (the towns, literally, Sodom was brought about, not by a necesvillage-towns, of Mark i. 38), as distin. sity in the divine purposes-still less by a guished from Capernaum, the chief town connexion of natural causes--but by the (ver. 23) of the neighbourhood. Tyre iniquity of its inhabitants, who, had they and Sidon) These wealthy cities, so often the turned and repented, might have averted