Page images
PDF
EPUB

Our Lord's conduct on triumphantly

CHAP. XXII.

entering Jerusalem, vindicated.

character of the Messiah, the Jews had connected that of point of view; and thus the wrath of man praises him. 8. That secular royalty, and they now by spreading their clothes in he was a king, that he was born of a woman, and came into the way, strewing branches, &c. treat him as a royal person, the world for this very purpose, he took every occasion to and one appointed to govern the kingdom; yet of this he declare; but all these declarations shewed that his kingdom appears to take no notice, farther than to shew that an im- was spiritual : he would not even interfere with the duty of portant prophecy was thus fulfilled: he went as usual into the civil magistrate to induce an avaricious brother to do the temple, taught the people pure and spiritual truths, justice to the rest of the family, Luke xii. 13. when, probably, withdrew at night from the city, lodged in private at mount a few words from such an authority, would have been suffiOlivet, and thus most studiously and unequivocally shewed, cient to have settled the business ; yet, to prevent all suspithat his sole aim was to call the people back to purity and cion, and to remove every cause for offence, he absolutely boliness, and prepare them for that kingdom of righteousness, refused to interfere, and took occasion from the

very

circumpeace and joy, in the Holy Ghost, which he was about, | stance to declaim against secular views, covetousness, and by his passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and the mis- || worldly ambition ! O how groundless does every part of his sion of the Holy Spirit to set up in the earth. 7. Could conduct prove this charge of secular ambition to be! a person who worked such miracles as he was in the daily Such was the spirit of the Master, such must be the spirit habit of working; miracles, which proved he possessed un- of the disciple. He that will reign with Christ, must be limited power and unerring wisdom, need subterfuges, or a humbled and suffer with him. This is the royal road. The colouring for any design he wished to accomplish? He had love of the world, in its power and honours, is as inconsistent only to put forth that power essentially resident in himself, with the spirit of the gospel, as the love of the grossest vice. and all resistance to his will must be annihilated. In short, If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in every circumstance of the case shews at once the calumny him. Reader, take occasion from this refuted calumny, to and absurdity of the charge. Bat, instead of lessening, or imitate thy Lord in the spirituality of his life, to pass through rendering suspicious this or any other part of our Lord's things temporal so as not to lose those that are eternal, that thou conduct, it shews the whole in a more luminous and glorious | mayest reign with him in the glory of his kingdom. Amen.

CHAPTER XXII. The parable of the marriage of a king's son, 1-14. The Pharisees and Herodians question him concerning the lawfulness of paying tribute to Cæsar, 15--02. The Sadducees question him concerning the resurrection, 23–33. A lawyer questions him concerning the greatest commandment in the Law, 34–40. He asks them their opinion of the Christ, and confounds them, 41–46.

ND Jesus answered 'and spake || : 3 And 6 sent forth his servants to call 4.1.1933. An. Olymp.

unto them again by parables, i them that were bidden to the wed- An. Olymp. and said,

ding: and they would not come. 2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a cer- 4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, tain king, which made a marriage for his son,

Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have

A.M. 4033
A. D. 9.

A

CCII. 1.

CCII. 1.

с

a Luke 14. 16. Rev. 19. 7, 9.

0 Mark 6. 12. Luke 3. 3. & 9. 2, 6.

-c Prov. 9.2, S.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXII.

7-10. vi. 26, 27. vii. 37. A preacher that can do so, can Verse 2. The kingdom of heaven] In Bereshith Rabba, sect. never be at a loss for text or sermon. 62. fol. 60. there is a parable very similar to this, and another A marriage for his son] A marriage feast, so the word still more so in Sohar. Levit. fol. 40. But these Rabbinical γαμους properly means. . Or a feast of inauguration, when parables are vastly ennobled by passing through the hands of his son was put in possession of the government, and thus he our Lord. It appears from Luke, chap. xiv. 15, &c. that it and his new subjects became married together. See 1 Kings i. was at an entertainment that this parable was originally spoken. 5—9, 19, 25, &c. where such a feast is mentioned. It was a constant practice of our Lord to take the subjects of From this parable it appears plain, 1. That the King, his discourses from the persons present, or from the circum- means the great God. 2. His Son, the Lord Jesus. 3. The stances of times, persons, and places. See chap. xvi. 6. John iv. MARRIAGE, his incarnation, or espousing human nature, by

A. M. 4033
A. D. 29.

CCII. 1.

CCII. 1.

The parable of the king who

ST. MATTHEW. made a marriage feast for his son. prepared my dinner : ‘my oxen and 7 But when the king heard thereof, 4, 11, 492 An. Olymp. my fatlings are killed, and all things he was wroth : and he sent forth his An Olymp.

are ready: come unto the marriage. armies, and destroyed those murder5 But they made light of it, and went their ers, and burned up their city. ways, one to his farm, another to his mer. 8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding chandize :

is ready, but they which were bidden were not 6 And the remnant took his servants,' and en-worthy. treated them spitefully, and slew them.

9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as

[blocks in formation]

taking it into union with himself. 4. The MARRIAGE FEAST, unto the Lord is one spirit. 6. This contract is made freely : the economy of the gospel, during which men are invited to no man can be forced to it, for it is a union of will to will, partake of the blessings purchased by, and consequent on the in- heart to heart ; and it is by willing and consenting, that we carnation and death of our blessed Lord. 5. By those who had come into God through his Son. 7. That if this marriage do BEEN bidden, or invited, ver. 3. are meant the Jews in general, not take place here, an eternal sepuration from God, and from who had this union of Christ with human nature, and his the glory of his power shall be the fearful consequence. 8. sacrifice for sin pointed out by various rites, ceremonies, and That there are three states in which men run the risk of livsucrifices under the law; and who, by all the prophets hnding without God, and losing their souls. Ist. That of a soft, been constantly invited to believe in, and receive the promised idle, toluptuous life, wherein a man thinks of nothing but Messiah. 6. By the servants, we are to understand the first quietly to enjoy life, conveniences, riches, private pleasures, preachers of the gospel, proclaiming salvation to the Jews. and public diversions. They made light of it. 2dly. That of. John the Baptist, and the seventy disciples, (Luke x. 1.) may a man wholly taken up with agricultural or commercial embe here particularly intended. 7. By the OTHER SERVANTS, ployments, in which the love of riches, and application to ver. 4. the apostles seem to be meant, who, though they were the means of acquiring them, generally stifle all thoughts of to preach the gospel to the whole world, yet were to begin salvation. One went to his own field, and another to his traffic. at JERUSALEN, (Luke xxiv. 47.) with the first offers of inercy 3dly. That of a man who is openly unjust, violent, and out8. By their making light of it, &c. ver. 5. is pointed out their rageously wicked, who is a sinner by profession, and not only neglect of this salvation, and their preferring secular enjoy- neglects his salvation, but injuriously treats all those who bring ments, &c. to the kingdom of Christ. 9. By injuriously using him the gospel of reconciliation. Seizing his servants, they some, and slaying others of his servants, ver. 6. is pointed out treated them injuriously, &c. the persecution raised against the apostles by the Jews, in which Verse 4. Fatlings] Ta GITISŁo properly, futted rams or some of them were martyred. 10. By sending forth his troops, wethers, 2 Sam. vi. 13. 1 Chron. xv. 26. ver. 7. is meant the commission given to the Romans against Verse 7. But when the king] HIMSELF : or, this very king. Judea ; and burning up their city, the total destruction of Je. I have added exayos on the authority of nine of the most anrusalem by Titus, the son of Vespasiun, which happened about cient MSS. and nearly one hundred others; the later Syriac, forty-one years after.

sir copies of the Itala, and some of the Fathers. Several On this parable it is necessary to remark, 1. That man printed editions have it, and Griesbach bas received it into was made at first in union with God. 2. That sin entered in, the text. and separate:l between God and man. 3. That as there can Verse 8. Were not worthy. ] Because they made light of it, be no holiness but in union with God, and no heaven without and would not come ; preferring earthly things to heavenly holiness, therefore he provided a way to reconcile and reunite blessings. Among the Mohammedans, refusal to come to a man to himself. 4. This was effected by Christ's uniting marriage feast, when invited, is considered a breach of the himself to human nature, and giving his Spirit to those who law of God. Hedayah, vol. iv. p. 91. It was probably conbelieve. 5. That as the marriage union is the closest, the sidered in this light among all the oriental nations. This most intimate, solemn, and excellent, of all the connections observation is necessary, in order to point out more forcibly, formed among mortals, and that they who are thus united in the iniquity of the refusal mentioned in the text. A man the Lord are one flesh ; so, that mystical union which is may be said to be worthy of, or fit for, this marriage feast, formed between God and the soul through Jesus Christ, by when feeling his wretchedness and misery, he comes to God in the Eternal Spirit, is the closest, most intimate, solemn, and the way appointed, to get an entrance into the holiest, by the excellent, that can be conceived; for he wlio is thus joined blood of Jesus.

Of the guests; and of him who

CHAP. XXII.

had not a wedding garment.

A. M. 4033
A. D. 29.

A. M. 4033,
A. D. 29.

CCII. 1.

CCII. 1.

many as ye shall find, bid to the mar- 11 And when the king came in to see An. Olymp. riage.

the guests, he saw there a man which An. Olymp. 10 So those servants went out into had not on a wedding garment: the highways, and a gathered together all, as 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how cammany as they found, both bad and good : andest thou in hither, not having a wedding garthe wedding was furnished with guests. ment? And he was speechless.

* Ch. 13. 56, 47, Isai. 49. 92. & 60. 3, 4.

2 Cor. 5. 3. Eph. 4. 24. Col. 3. 10, 12. Rev. 3. 4. & 16 15. & 19. 8.

Verse 9. Go ye therefore into the highways) Autodous Thy feast, was a custom among the ancient Greeks. Ilomer reoder, cross or by-paths ; the places where two or more roads | lates, that Telemachus and the son of Nestor, arriving at met in one, leading into the city, where people were coming Lacedæmon when Menelaus was making a marriage feast för together from various quarters of the country. St. Luke adds his son and daughter, were accommodated with garments hedges, to point out the people to whom the Apostles were sent, suited to the occasion, after having been bathed and anointed. as either miserable vagabonds, or the most indigent poor, who

Τους δ' επει ουν δρωμαι λουσαν και χρισαν ελαι», , were wandering about the country, or sitting by the sides of

Αμφι αρα χλαινας ουλας βαλον ηδε χιτωνας, , the ways and hedges, imploring relief. This verse points out

Ές ρα θρονους εζoντo παρ' Ατρειδην Μενελαον. the final rejection of the Jews, and the calling of the Gentiles.

Odyss. I. iv. ver. 49–51.. It was a custom among the Jews, when a rich man made a

They entered each a bath, and by the hands feast, to go out and invite in all destitute travellers. See in

Of maidens lav’d, and oil'd, and cloth'd again Rab. Beracoth, fol. 43.

With shaggy mantles and resplendent vests, As many as ye skall find, bid to the marriage.] God sends

Sat both enthroned at Menelaus' side, Cowper. his salvation to every soul, that all may believe and be saved.

Among the Asiatics, garments called caftans, great numbers Verse 10. Gathered together all--both bad and good] By of which each nobleman has ordinarily ready in his wardrobe, the preaching of the gospel, multitudes of souls are gathered are given to persons whom he wishes to honour: to refuse into what is generally termed the visible church of Christ. to accept or wear such a dress, would be deemed the highest This church is the Floor, where the wheat and the chaff are

insult. often mingled, chap. iii. 12. The FIELD, where the bastard This marriage feast or dinner (the communication of the wheat and the true grain grow together, chap. xiii. 26, 27. graces of the gospel in this life) prepares for the marriuge The net, which collects of all kinds both good and bad, || supper of the Lamb, Rev. xix. 7, 8, 9. the enjoyment of eterchap. xiii. 48. The house, in which the wise and foolish nal blessedness in the kingdom of glory. Now, as without are found, chap. xxv. 1, &c. And the pold, in which there holiness no man can see the Lord, we may at once perceive are both sheep and goats, chap. xxv. 33, &c.

what our Lord means by the marriage garmentit is HOLINESS . Verse 11. When the king came] When God shall come to of heart and life : the text last quoted asserts, that the fine judge the world.

white and clean linen (alluding to the marriage garment above Wedding garment] Among the Orientals, long white mentioned) was an emblem of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the robes were worn at public festivals; and those who ap

Mark this expression : the righteousness, the whole peared on such occasions with any other garments, were external conduct, regulated according to the will and word esteemed not only highly culpable, but worthy of punish- of God. Of the saints, the holy persons, whose souls were ment. Our Lord seems here to allude to Zeph. i. 7,8. The purified by the blood of the Lamb. Lord hath prepared a SACRIFICE, he hath bidden his guests.

Verse 12. He saith unto him, Friend] Rather, companion : And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, so etage should be translated. As this man represents the that I will punish the princes, and the king's Children, and state of a person in the visible church, who neglects to come ALL SUCH as are clothed with straNGE APPAREL. The

person

unto the master of the feast for a marriage. garinent, for the who invited the guests, prepared such a garment for each, | salvation which Christ has procured ; he cannot be with any for the time being ; and with which he was furnished on kis propriety called a friend, but may be well terined a conapplication to the ruler of the feast. It was this which made panion, as being a member of the visible ehurch, and presens the conduct of the person mentioned in the text inexcus- at all those ordinances where Christ's presence and blessing able ; he might have had a proper marriage garment, if he are found, by all those who sincerely wait upon him for salhad applied for it.

vation. To afford accidental guests clothing suitable to a marriage.]

Ilow cumest thou in hither] Why profess to be called

SAINTS.

The Pharisees and Herodians

Sr. MATTHEW.

take counsel against him.

A.M.4033
A. D) 29.

CCI1.1.

CCII. 1.

13 Then said the king to the ser- 15 Then went the Pharisees, and 4. M. 1038. An. Olymp. vants, Bind him hand and foot, and took counsel how they might entangle An. Olymp.

take him away, and cast him into him in his talk. outer darkness ; there shall be

there shall be weeping and 16 And they sent out unto him their disciples gnashing of teeth.

with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know 14 For many are called, but few are chosen that thou art true, and teachest the way of God

a Ch. 8. 12.

_6 ch. 20. 16.

c Mark 12. 13. Luke 20. 20.

by my name, while living without a preparation for my Verse 15. In his talk.] Ex Royy, by discourse : intending kingdom?

to ask him subtle and ensnaring questions; his answers to He was speechless.] Epopew In, he was muzzled, or gagged. | which might involve him either with the Roman government, He had nothing to say in vindication of his neglect. There or with the great Sanhedrin. was a garment provided, but he neither put it on, nor applied Verse 16. The Herodians] For an account of this sect, see for it. His conduct, therefore, was in the highest degree | the note on chap. xvi. 1. The preceding parable had covered the insulting and indecorous. As this man is the emblem, by || Pharisees with confusion : when it was ended they went out, general consent, of those who shall perish in the last day, not to humble themselves before God, and deprecate the may we not ask without offence, Where does the doctrine of || judgments with which they were threatened; but to plot absolute reprobation or preterition appear in his case? If | afresh the destruction of their teacher. The depth of their Christ had never died for him ; or, if he had applied for the malice appears, 1. In their mode of attack. They had often garment, and was refused, might he not well have alledged this questioned our Lord on matters concerning religion ; and his in behalf of his soul? and would not the just God have lis- answers only served to encrease his reputation, and their contened to it? But there is not the smallest excuse for him : fusion. They now shift their ground, and question him conChrist died, the sacrifice was offered, for him, the ministers || cerning state affairs, and the question is such as must be anof the Gospel invited him, the Holy Spirit strove with him, swered ; and yet the answer to all human appearance, can be he might have been saved, but he was not: and the fault lies none other than what may be construed into a crime against so absolutely at his own door, that the just God is vindicated the people, or against the Roman government. 2. Their proin his conduct, while he sends him to hell; not for the lack found malice appears farther in the choice of their companions of what he could not get, but for the lack of what he might in this business, viz. the Herodians. Herod was at this very have had, but either neglected or refused it.

time at Jerusalem, whither he had come to hold the passVerse 13. Then said the king to the servants] To the mi- || over. Jesus, being of Nazareth, which was in Herod's jurisnistering angels, executors of the divine will.

diction, was considered as his subject. Herod himself was Cast him into outer darkness] The Jewish marriages were extremely attached to the Roman emperor, and made a pub performed in the right season, and the hall where the feast lic profession of it: all these considerations engaged the Phawas made, was superbly illuminated; the outer darkness means, || risees to unite the Herodians, who, as the Syriac intimates, therefore, the darkness on the outside of this festal hall; ren-| were the domestics of Herod, in this infernal plot. 3. Their dered still more gloomy to the person who was suddenly thrust profound malice appears farther, in the praises they gave out into it, from such a profusion of light. See all this largely our Lord. Teacher, we know that thou art true, and teuchest treated of on chap. viii. 12.

way

of God. This was indeed the real character of our Verse 14. Many are called, &c.] This verse is wanting in blessed Lord; and now they bear testimony to the truth, one of Colberi's MSS. marked 33. in Griesbach. See the merely with the design to make it subserve their bloody purnote on chap. xx. 16. Many are called by the preaching of | poses. Those whose hearts are influenced by the spirit of the gospel into the outward communion of the Church of the wicked one, never do good, but when they hope to acChrist; but few, comparatively, are chosen to dwell with God complish evil by it. Men who praise you to your face, are in glory, because they do not come to the master of the ever to be suspected. The Italiuns have a very expressive fcast for a marriage garment, for that holiness without which proverb on this subject : none can see the Lord. This is an allusion to the Roman

Chè ti fa carezze più che non suole, custom of raising their militia ; all were mustered, but only

O tha ingannato, o ingannar ti vuole. those were chosen to serve, who were found proper. See the He who caresses thee more than he was wont to do, has either note on chap. xx. 16. Reader ! examine thy soul, and make deceived thee, or is about to do IT. sure work for eternity !

I have never known the sentiment in this proverb to fail :

the

A. D. 2). An Olymp.

CCII.1.

CCII. 1.

The insidious question about

CHAP. XXII. paying tribute to Cæsar, answered. A.M. 4033. in truth, neither carest thou for any said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypo- A. N. 1033. An. Olymp. man : for thou regardest not the per- crites ? son of men;

19 Shew me the tribute money. And 17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou ? they brought unto him a “penny. Is it lawful to give tribute » unto Cæsar, or 20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this imnot?

age and superscription ? 18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and 21 They say unto him, Cæsar's. Then saith

- Loke 2. 1. John 8.33. Acts 5. 37. ch. 17. 24. Mark 19. 15, 16.

In value seven pence halfpenny : ch. 20.2.- Or, inscription.

and it was notoriously exemplified in the present instance. Flat- | must cover them with confusion, when they saw their motives terers, though they speak the truth, ever carry about with thus discovered; and tend much to lessen their influence in them a base or malicious soul. 4. Their malice appears still the sight of the people, when it was manifest that they acted farther in the question they propose. Is it lawful to give tri- not through a desire to receive information, by which to rebute to Cæsar, or not ? ver. 17. The constitution of the Jew- gulate their conduct, but merely to ensnare and ruin him. ish republic, the expectations which they had of future glory 2. Christ shews his profound wisdom in not attempting to and excellence, and the dirersity of opinions which divided discuss the question at large; but settled the business by seizthe Jews on this subject, rendered an answer to this questioning a maxim that was common among all people, and acextremely difficult.

knowledged among the Jews, That the prince who causes his 1. In the presence of the people, who professed to have no image and titles to be stamped on the current coin of a country, other king but God; and looked on their independance as an is virtually acknowledged thereby as the governor. See Maiessential point of their religion.

mon. Gezel. c. v. in Wetstein. When Sultan MAHMOUD, 2. In the presence of the Pharisees, who were ready to king of Maveralnahur, Turquestan, and the Indies, wished to stir up the people against him, if his decision could be at all seize on the dominions of Seiden, queen of Persia, who goconstrued to be contrary to their prejudices, or to their reli- | verned in the place of her young son Meged-edde-rlet, about gious rights.

A. D. 999. he sent an ambassador to her with the following 3. In the presence of the Herodians, who, if the answer order : You must acknowledge me for your King, cuuse the should

appear to be against Cæsar's rights, were ready to in- | kootbah to be read, i. e. pray for me in all the mosques of the flame their master to avenge, by the death of our Lord, the kingdom, and get your money recoined, with the IMPRESSION affront offered to his master the emperor.

THAT IS ON MINE: thus denoting that she must become ab. 4. The answer was dificult, because of the different senti-solutely subject to him. See Bibliot. Orient. de Galand. p. ments of the Jews on this subject; some maintaining that 453. Esau Afghan carried his conquest into Bhatty, in the they could not lawfully pay tribute to a heathen governor : viceroyalty of Bengal, and caused the kootbah to be read, while others held, that as they were now under this strange and coin to be struck in the name of the emperor Akbar. government, and had no power to free themselves from it, it Ayeen Akbery, vol. ii. p. 5. See also p. 38, 92, 94, 130, was lawful for them to pay what they had not power to refuse. 139, 187. 5. The answer

was difficult, when it is considered that Verse 19. They brought unto him a penny.] A denarjus : multitudes of the people had begun now to receive Jesus probably the ordinary capitation tax, though the poll tax in as the promised Messiah, who was to be the deliverer of their the Law, Exod. xxx. 13, 14. was half a shekel, about twice nation from spiritual and temporal oppression, and therefore | as much as the denarius. The Roman denarius had the emhad lately sung to him the Hosanna Rabba : see chap. xxi. 9. peror's image with a proper legend stamped on one side of If then he should decide the question in Cæsar's furour, what it. It was not therefore the sacred shekel, which was to be idea must the people have of him, either as zealous for the paid for the repairs of the temple, which was now demanded, Luw, or as the expected Messiah? If against Cæsar, he is but the regular tribute required by the Roman government. ruined. Who that loved Jesus, and was not convinced of his Verse 20. Whose is this image and superscription ?] He sovereign wisdom, could help trembling for him in these cir- knew well enough whose they were ; but he shewed the excelcumstances?

lency of his wisdom, 4thly, in making them answer to their Jesus opposes the depth of bis wisdom, to the depth of oun confusion. They came to ensnare our Lord in his distheir mulice, and manifests it 1. By unmasking them, and course, and now they are ensnared in their own. Ile who shewing that he knew the very secrets of their hearts. Ye Hy- digs a pit for his neighbour, ordinarily falls into it himself. POCRITES ! why tempt ye me? i.e. why do ye try me thus? This Verse 21. They say unto him, Cæsar's.] The image was the

« PreviousContinue »