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7 And they had a few small fishes: and he blessed, and commanded to set On a mount

by the sea of them also before them.

Galilee. 8 So they did eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets.

9 And they that had eaten were about four thousand : and he sent them away.

SECTION XIII.

The Pharisees require other Signs-Christ charges them with

Hypocrisy.
MATT. xvi. 1-13. MARK viji. 11-part of 22.

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, Magdala. tempting,

I Luke xii. 54. Mark viii. 11. began to question with him, Matt. xvi. l. and desired that he would shew them a sign from

Matt. xvi...

heaven,

Matt. xvi. 2.

Matt. xvi. 3.

Mark viii. 12.

Mark viii. 11. tempting him.

He answered, and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather : for the sky is red.

And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times ?

And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith,

Why doth this generation,
Matt. xvi. 4. a wicked and adulterous generation,
Mark viii. 12. seek after a sign? Verily I say unto you, There

shall no sign be given to this generation,
Matt. xvi. 4. but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left

them, and departed; Mark viii. 13. and entering into the ship again, departed to the

other side.

And when his disciples were come to the other

side, they had forgotten to take bread; Mark viii. 14 neither had they in the ship with them more than

Matt. xvi. 5.

one loaf.

Matt. xvi. 6.

Then Jesus
Mark viii. 15. charged them,
Matt. xvi. 6. and said unto them, Take heed, and beware of

the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the Sadducees, Mark vili. 15. and of the leaven of Herod.

And they reasoned among themselves, saying,

It is because we have taken no bread.
Matt. xvi. 8. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto

Matt. xvi. 7.

Magdala.

them, Oye of little faith, why reason ye among
yourselves, because ye have brought no bread ?
perceive ye not yet, neither understand ? have ye Mark viii. 17.
your heart yet hardened ?

Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, Mark vii. 18.
hear ye not? and do ye not remember?

When I brake the five loaves among five thou- Mark viii. 19.
sand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye
up? They say unto him, Twelve.

And when the seven among four thousand, how Mark viii. 20.
many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And
they said, Seven.

And he said unto them, How is it that ye do Mark vii. 21.
not understand ?
that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that Matt. xvi. 11.
ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees
and of the Sadducees?

Then understood they how that he bade Matt. xvi. 12.
them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of
the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sad-
ducees.

And he cometh to Bethsaida.

Mark viii. 22

m Ch. xiv, 7.

MATT. xvi. part of ver. 4. and ver. 9, 10.
4 -seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it-

9 m Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five

thousand, and how many baskets ye took up ? n Ch. xv. 31. 10 n Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up ?

MARK viii. part of ver. 11. 13, 14, 15. and ver. 16, 17. o Matt. xvi. I.

11 ° And the Pharisees came forth, and-seeking of him a sign from heaven

13 And he left them p Matt. xvi. 5. 14 P Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread.

15 And he saying, Take heed, beware of theq Matt. xvi. 7. 16 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is 9 because we have no

bread.

17 And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?

1

SECTION XIV.

Christ heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida.

Bethsaida.

MARK viii. 22-27.
And they bring a blind man unto him, and be- Mark viii. 22.
sought him to touch him.

And he took the blind man by the hand, and Matt. vii. 23.

Mark viii. 24.

led him out of the town; and when he had spit on Bethsaida.
his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked
him if he saw ought.
And he looked

up,

and said, I see men as trees, walking.

After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and

saw every man clearly.
Mark viii. 26. And he sent him away to his house, saying,

Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the
town.

Mark viii, 25.

SECTION XV.

Peter confesses Christ to be the Messiah "7.

MATT. xvi. 13-21. MARK viii. 27–31. Luke ix. 18-22.

Mark viii, 27.

And Jesus went out, and his diciples, into the Casarea towns of Cæsarea Philippi :

Philippi.

17

ON THE OPINIONS OF THE JEWS RESPECTING THE CHARACTER OF THE

MESSIAH.

The various works which were done by our Lord, as related in the preceding sections of this chapter, convinced St. Peter that Jesus was the Messiah. It certainly appears to us very extraordinary that this open confession of the Messiahship of Jesus had not been repeatedly made before. The reasons seem to have been, that the various inconsistent traditions concerning the Messiah which were then prevalent, and the opposite expectations of the people, had so biassed the minds of his disciples, that it prevented them from forming a correct judgment as to the dignity of their Lord and Master. They saw, indeed, and acknowledged, that Jesus was more than human, and they daily anticipated the establishment of the kingdom of the Messiah; but before that event they expected the coming of Elias, various resurrections of the ancient prophets, the reappearance of Moses and Elias, with other different signs and wonders, which have already been enumerated. Dr. Pye Smith observes, “that their notions of the Messiah were sublime, imperfectly understood, and inconsistent; they attributed to him a superior nature, a pre-existent state, and, to say the least, many of the characteristic properties of Deity (a).

When Christ was upon earth, the opinions of the Jews concerning the nature and person of their ardently expected Messiah, were by no means uniform : some affirmed that he would be a mere man, endowed with peculiar powers and assistance from God-others that he would be a man, with whom a special power, emanating from God, would be immediately conjoined—others maintained that he would be superior to their fathers, to all mankind, and to the

(a) Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, vol. i. p. 464, and 466. Dr. Pye Smith has compressed into a very short compass the conclusions of Kuinoel (Comment in libros N. T. Hist. p. 84-91.) on the same subject.

Luke ix. 18.

Cæsarea
Philippi.

And it came to pass, when Jesus came into the coasts of Cæsarea Phi. Matt. xvi. 13. lippi,

angels; that he existed before the creation of the world, and was employed by God as an instrument in the formation of the world, and peculiarly in the protec* tion’and religious institutions of the Israelitish nation.

Schoetgen, in his second volume, has most amply and most learnedly discussed the subject of the Messiah. His Horæ Hebraicæ are an invaluable treasure to the theological student who desires to understand the New Testament. It is to be regretted that the work is so scarce, and that there is neither an abridgment, nor a translation of it, in our own language.

The Jews seem to have entertained the same indefinite notions with regard to the Messiah, as the Christians of the present age entertain when they converse on the Millennium,or the second advent of our Lord ; on the restoration of the Jews, whether it will be temporal or spiritual; or on the other sublime and elevating subjects of the prophecies of our own Scriptures, on which the primitive Church has come to no conclusion. The language of Scripture is so general, that it may be interpreted both literally and metaphorically; and every Christian, who at all reflects on these subjects, anticipates some magnificent events, which he believes will certainly take place ; while no two will be found exactly to agree in their opinions and speculations. Lightfoot remarks on this subject :

From Messiah the Jews expected pomp and stateliness, a royal and victorious kingdom--they see Christ appear in a low condition, and contemptible poverty.

From the Messiah they expected an advancing and heightening the rites of Moses—they saw that he began to remove them.

By the Messias they expected to be redeemed and delivered from their subjection to the Roman yoke. He taught them to give Cæsar his due, and to submit to the government God had set over them.

By the Messias they expected that the Gentiles should be subdued, trod under their feet, and destroyed. He taught that they should be called, converted, and become the Church (6).

Bishop Blomfield, in his admirable dissertation (c), has given us, at still greater length, an abstract of the notions entertained by the Jews of the Messiah's kingdom :

1. They expected him to be of a nature far surpassing that of men and angels. One of the Rabbis says, “ The Messiah is higher than the ministering angels." To this notion the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews evidently alludes, i. 4.

2. They considered him to be “the Word of God," an emanation from the Supreme Being; the author of all created things.

They believed that all the transactions, in which the Deity was related to have had a communication with mankind, were carried on through the medium of his Word, the Messiah ; that He delivered the Israelites from Egypt, led them through the wilderness, supported and protected them.

4. They believed that the Spirit of the Lord was to be upon him, and intimately united with him; and that it would manifest itself in exertion of mira

(6) Lightfoot's Sermons, Works, fol. vol. ii. p. 1112. (c) On the traditional knowledge of a promised Redeemer, Camb. 1810, p. 106. fin. &c.

Mark viii, 27.

by the

Cæsarea
Philippi.

way, Luke ix. 18. as he was alone praying, his disciples were with

him : and Matt. xvi. 13. he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say

that I the Son of man, am ?

And they
Mark viii. 28. answered,
Matt. xvi. 14. and said, Some say that thou art John the Bap-

tist:

Matt. xvi. 14.

culous power. To this our Saviour alludes, Matt. xii. 28. But if I, in the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come upon you."

5. They supposed that the Messiah would appear, not in a real human body, but in the semblance of one ; év ookhoek. This notion found its way into the Christian Church, and was the distinguishing dogma of the Docetæ. It is combated by St. John in several parts of his writings ; viz. “ The word was made flesh, and dwelt amongst us,” (John i. 14.) not only seemed to wear a human form, but actually did so. Again, Every Spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God,” (1 John iv. 3.) And it is not an improbable supposition of Professor Bertholdt, that the Evangelist had the same heresy in view, when he made particular mention of the blood and water which flowed from the side of Jesus, (John xix. 34.)

6. They expected that the Messiah would not be subject to death, (John xii. 34.) The multitude answered him, “ We have heard out of the law, that Christ abideth for ever."

7. Yet they thought that he was to offer in his own person an expiatory sacrifice for their sins, John i. 29.

8. He was to restore the Jews to freedom. Compare Luke i. 68. xxiv. 21. 4 Esdr. xii. 34.

9. And to establish a pure and perfect form of worship, Luke i. 73. John iv. 25.

10. And to give remission of sins, Luke i. 76. Matt. i. 21. 11. And to work miracles, John vii. 31.

12. He was to descend into the receptacle of departed spirits, and to bring back to earth the souls of the Israelites, which were then to be reunited to their glorified bodies: and this was to be the first resurrection.

13. The devil and his angels were to be cast into hell for a thousand years.

14. Then was to begin the kingdom of heaven, or of God, or of the Christ, which was to last a thousand years.

15. At the end of that period of time, the devil was to be released froin confinement, and to excite great troubles and commotions; but he was to be conquered, and again imprisoned for ever.

16. After that was to be the second and general resurrection of the dead, followed by the judgment.

17. The world was to be renewed; new heavens, a new earth, and a new Jerusalem were to appear.

18. At last the Messiah, having fulfilled his office, was to deliver up the kingdom to God, at whose right hand he was to sit for evermore.

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