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· [Fig Trees above all men that dwelt in Jeru- tree, and find none: cut it down ; why salem ?
cumbereth it the ground? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye 8 And he answering said unto him, repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Lord, let it alone this year also, till I
6 He spake also this parable ; A shall dig about it, and dung it: .. certain man had a fig tree planted in 9 And if it bear fruit, well : and if his vineyard ; and he came and sought not, then after that thou shalt cut it fruit thereon, and found none.
down. (A) 7 Then said he unto the dresser of 10 9 And he was teaching in one his vineyard, Behold, these three of the synagogues on the sabbath. years I come seeking fruit on this fig 11 And, behold, there was a woman
recently, since they were brought to Jesus (A) Ver. 1-9. The death of certain Ga- by some person who visited the temple. lileans, and other national calamities, in. We may see, however, by the remark of proved by the parable of the fig-tree.-To our Lord, the proper way in which such uuderstand the propriety of our Lord's dis events should be improved. We should course, we must first briefly state the not vent our feelings in execrations on melancholy facts now alluded to. The the sufferers; but consider that we also are Galileans bere mentioned, were the follow- sipners, and liable to the same calamities. ers of Judas Gaulopites, a factious leader, Indeed these eveuts pourtrayed, in a very and the same, probably, which is alluded lively manner, the subsequent sufferings to Acis v. 37. He contended, that God of the nation, great numbers of whom were being the only rightful sovereign of the slain by the Romans in the temple, during Jews, they ought by no means to pay the celebration of one of their great public tribute to Cesar, or acknowledge the power festivals, while many thousand others were of the Romans. Josephus, in addition to buried under the ruins of the temple itself, the above principles of this sect, mentions when taken by the Romans. In this distheir incredible fortitude, and contempt of course our Lord also sets a very excellent sufferings; but does not mention the par- example to his ministers in every age. ticular fact of any being slain in the tem- While he carefully avoids political discusple, as the words of Luke seem to imply: sion, he improves all public events to the but Lardner thinks the reason was, the best moral and religious ends ; showing popularity of their potions among the the uncertainty of life, the perpetual danJews, and the abhorrence in which they ger of death, and the great importance of were held by the Romans, rendered it im- being prepared for all circumstances, by a possible for him to record such facts with timely and sincere repentance; for death out offending one party or the other. (Cred, often strikes with little or no warning. vol. ü, p. 199.)
In order to fix these things upon the The fall of the tower of Siloam, wbich memory of his hearers, our Lord introduces was probably sudden, and accidental, is the parable of a barren fig-tree, which neither recorded by Josephus, nor by any having repeatedly disappointed tbe reasoncontemporary historian. For in those days able expectations of its owner, is ordered there were no public journals, and those of to be cut down, as “a cumberer of the the guverument were nearly confined to ground;" and is spared only through the their own transactions. There is no rea- intercession of the keeper of the vineyard, son, however, to question either of the under which character our Lord himself facts, and both bad doubtless occurred very is represented as interceding on their be
NOTES. Ver. 7. These thrre near $.--Abp. Newcome and keeper of the vineyard proposes to treat with pecu. others suppose this to refer to the time of our Lord's liar attention, typifying God's special care for his min:stry, which bad now continued about tbat pe. favoured nation. riud; but we should think it referred rather to ihe Ver. 9. Well !--the expression in the original is numerous and repealed warnings the nation had re elliptical, and this word is not improperly supplied. ceived by former acd later propbets (Jer. vii. 13, 25, Ver. li. A spirit of infirmity. - It is generally &c.); by Jesus and his apostles. And after all these supposed that ihis woman was a demoniac, but we watnmugs, the nation was spared not one year only, see no proof of ibis. A pirit of intirmity or weakbut nearly 40 years before Jerusalem was destroyed. ness no more impiies it than “a spirit of fear,"
Ver. 8. I shall dig about it, and dung it.-Har 2 Tim. i 7, " of slumber," Rom. xi., or " of jenmer objects that spades (or shovels) were not used lousy,'' Num. v. 14. To us it appears to mean no in the eastern agriculture: perhaps not generally, more, than some great weakuess wbich bad long bent Dui bere is a single tree marked out, which could ber double. not be cultivated by the plough, and which the
S. LUKE. [cured of her infirmity, which had a spirit of infirmity eigh- each one of you on the sabbath loose teen years, and was bowed together, his ox or his ass from the stall, and and could in no wise lift up herself. lead him away to watering?
12 And when Jesus saw her, he 16 And ought not this woman, being called her to him, and said unto her, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan Woman, thou art loosed from thine hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, infirmity.
be loosed from this bund on the sab13 And he laid his hands on her: bath day? and immediately she made 17 And when he had said these straight, and glorified God.
things, all his adversaries were asham14 And the ruler of the synagogue ed : and all the people rejoiced for all answered with indignation, because the glorious things that were done by that Jesus had healed on the sabbath him. (B) day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to [Omit, and pass to ver. 22.] work : in them therefore come and be 18 Then said he, Unto what is the kinghealed, and not on the sabbath day.
dom of God like? and whereunto shall I 15 The Lord then answered him, mustard seed, which a man took, and cast
resemble it? 19 It is like a grain of and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not into his garden ; and it grew, and waxed
EXPOSITION-Chap. XIII. Continued. half, and labouring to rouse them to na. the synagogue; either instructing the minds tional and personal repentance by every or bealing the diseases of the poor; and proper means,
thereby marking it out as a proper season, Tbis parable very forcibly depicts, not not only for devotion, but for the religious only the moral barreuness of the Jews, instruction of all classes : and though the hut of other nations also, which being fa- healing of the sick is uecessarily contined to voured with peculiar privileges, like our those only, who are professionally qualified; own, still do pot bring forth “ fruits meet yet the visiting of the sick, and carrying to for repentance." Nor is the emblem less to them the instructions and consolations of applicable to the case of individuals, who, the gospel, is a boly work, eminently suited favoured with all the culture of Christian to this lioly day. In the case before us, education, and with all the advautages of here is a woman long bent double, either evangelical preaching, still remain barren through disorder in the spine, or extreme and unfruitful, even in God's vineyard. nervous weakness, so that she was unable “ Still may this barren fig-tree stand!
to lift, or raise herself upright, till our And, cultivated by thy hand,
Lord had spoken the strengthening word. Verdure, and bloom, and fruit afford,
This disorder is attributed to Satan, as Meet tribute to its bounteous Lord !
Job's was (Job ii. 7), for this evil spirit (B) Ver 10-17. An aged and bowed loses no opportunity of doing mischief woman cured of her infirmity on the sab- when permitted; but as here is no mention bath day.— It was doubtless by design that either of a demou or his being ejected, we our Lord wrought so many miracles on doubt her being properly a demoniac. the sabbath day: not that he meant to The ruler of the synagogue, fired with lessen their reverence for the day ; but to indignation, and probably seeing other correct their superstitious notions, who, miserable objects applying for mercy, flies because they were forbidden secular la- at the people, telling them that they ought bour on that day, converted it, in a great not to come to be healed on the sabbath measure, into a day of idleness and indul. day. At this our Lord is evidently incensed, gence; whereas, to a good man, especially and in the severest terms reproves him, as in this age of Christian activity, between no better than a hypocrite, using the same devotion and benevolence, it affords equal argument as he had formerly used, when employment to any day of the week. Such be cured the man with a withered hand : it did to our Lord himself. On that day if they scrupled not (as it appears was the we always find him in either the temple or case) to water their cattle on the sabbath
NOTES-Chap. XIII. Con. Ver. 15. Thou hypocrite! doth not each one, &c. the mustard tree and the leaven will be found, almost See Matt. xii. ll.
verbatim, Matt. xiii, 31-33. Ver. 18-22. Then said he, &C. The parables of
Are there few saved?] CHAP, XIII. [The danger of neglect. a great tree; and the fowls of the air 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We lodged in the branches of it. 20 And have eaten and drunk in thy presence, again he said, Whereuntu shall I liken the kingdom of God?
2012 is like and thou hast taught in our streets.
21. It is like and thou hast tau leaven, wbich a woman took and hid in 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I three measures of meal, till the whole was know you not whence ye are; deleavened.
part froin me, all ye workers of ini
quity. 22 [ And he went through the “28 There shall be weeping and cities and villages, teaching, and jour- gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see neying toward Jerusalem.
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and 23 Then said one unto him, Lord, all the prophets, in the kingdom of are there few that be saved ? And he God, and you yourselves thrust out. said unto them,
29 And they shall come from the 24 Strive to enter in at the strait east, and from the west, and from the gate: for many, I say unto you, will north, and from the south, and shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able. sit down in the kingdom of God.
25 When once the master of the 30 And, behold, there are last house is risen up, and hath shut to the which shall be first, and there are first door, and ye begin to stand without, which shall be last. (C) and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, 31 | The same day there came Lord, open unto us; and he shall certain of the Pharisees, saying unto answer and say unto you, I know you him, Get thee out, and depart hence : not whence ye are :
for Herod will kill thee.
EXPOSITION. day, that they might not suffer a tempo and we have listened to thy preaching with rary thirst, surely they ought not to be delight : so Herod heard John gladly, and angry that a daughter of Abraham had on did many things at his suggestion, and this day been delivered from so terrible a afterwards cut off his head. Others, mencomplaint. Upon this the ruler and his tioned in the sermon on the mount, went companions were all struck dumb with still farther: they even propbecied and shame, while the people rejoiced for all wrought miracles (Matt. vii. 22); yet Jesus the glorious things” that the Lord had never knew, that is, never acknowledged
them for his children, or disciples; and (C) Ver. 22–30. The necessity of striving will never receive them to his glory, befor salvation. - An impertinent question cause they never departed from iniquity. here produces a very interesting reply, The On the contrary, they shall be banished question is, “Are there few that be saved ?" into " outer darkness." Thus, those who The answer is, “ Strive to enter in at the were first in respect of privilege, were last strait gate," that you may be one of them. in respect of salvation, or rather utterly The number rests with God, and we have excluded from it. no business with it: but the secret pur- But to revert again to the question with pose of God offers no impediment to our which we set out" Are there few that be salvation. The fewer there are, the more saved ?" Yes: few indeed, compared with necessary it is for us to strive, to struggle, those who profess to be so. From those literally to agonize, that we may be found who profess the Christian name, which are among the number. This doctrine had yet altogether vastly inferior to those who been laid down in the sermon on the mount, do not, we must subtract the ignorant but is here enforced by an additional argu and self-deceived, the fearful and unbement. Not only is the entrance difficult, lieving, the hypocritical and false profesbut the time is limiied. “When once the sors, whose object is any thing but the door is shut," it will be in vain to knock, salvaliou of their souls, and alas? how few or " strive to enter." Then many shall remain! And yet when these few are colstrive to enter in, and shall not be able lected from every age, from Adam to the What are the arguments likely to be made end of the world; from every country of use of? Sompe will plead, '“ We have Asia, Africa, Europe, and America; from eaten and drank in thy presence.” Yes, every denomination of those who profess Judas may say this; for he was a daily the Christian name, then shall they truly guest at his master's table. Others will form “a great multitude, which no man say, " Thou hast tanght in our streets,” can number." Rev. vij. 9.
Our Lord laments]
[over Jerusalem. 32 And he said unto them, Go
ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out
CHAP. XIV. devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be
ND it came to pass, as he went perfected.
into the house of one of the chief 33 Nevertheless I must walk to Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, and to morrow, and the day fol- day, that they watched him. lowing: for it cannot be that a prophet. 2 And, behold, there was perish out of Jerusalem.
tain man before him which had the 34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which dropsy. killest the prophets, and stonest them 3 And Jesus answering spake unto that are sent unto thee; how often the Lawyers and Pharisees, saying, would I have gathered thy children Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath together, as a hen doth gather her day? brood under her wings, and ye would -4 And they held their peace.
he took him, and healed him, and let 35 Behold, your house is left unto him go; you desolate : and verily I say unto 5 And answered them, saying, you, Ye shall not see me, until the time Which of you shall have an ass or come when
Blessed is an ox fallen into a pit, and will not he that cometh in the name of the straightway pull him out on the sabLord. (D)
EXPOSITION. (D) Ver. 31–35. Herod threatens the that “I cast out demons to-day and tolife of Jesus. Jesus laments over Jerusa- morrow, and the third day I shall be perlem.-The Herod here mentioned was the sected ;” meaning, that in a few days bis tetrarch of Galilee, in whose territories work would be done in Galilee, and then Jesus now was sojourning ; but the Phari- he must go to Jerusalem to suffer. sees bore so little kindoess to our ord, But we find Jesus here anticipating that we are compelled 10 refer to some what he afterwards repeated with tears other motive, to account for this commu- (ch. xix. 42–44), the sad destruction both nication. Doddridge suspects that Herod of Jerusalem and the Jews, which they were employed the Pharisees to make this re- now hastening upon themselves by their port, with a view to drive Jesus out of infidelity; au event which in no point of Galilee, where his long residence had given view could he contemplate without anxiety him great uneasiness; though at the same and pain. He was a man, and could be time, the ill will he had gained by the mur- indifferent to no human sufferings. He der of John, made him afraid to lay hands was a Jew, and loved his country; nor upon him. Jesus seems to have undere could he, as a prophet, look forward to its stvod ibis somewhat in the light of a mes- unexampled miseries without agony and sage, by his sending back an answer : Go, distress. He was a Saviour, and saw, uot and tell that fox. We all know the cha- only the temporal misery of which we racter of the fox (both eastern and western) know, but he looked into the invisible to be a compound of cunning and of cruelty: world, and saw thousands of immortal yet Jesus, knowing both when and where souls, enwrapped in the blackest guilt, he was to suffer, could entertain no fear of rushing headlong into the eternal world. the time being shortened; and therefore 0 Jerusalem! the blindness of thy Scribes bids him defiance for the present, knowing and Pharisees, the madness of thy priests that (as every prophet) he was immortal and zealots, is preparing for thee the cup till his work was done. Tell him, said he, of divine vengeance.
NOTES. CHAP. XIV. Ver. 1. One of the chief Pharisees. « The chief seats ;" Camp. “The higher places." -Camp: “ One of the rulers, who was a Pharisee." The company were all doubtless in one room. Some think he was a member of the Sanbedrim : all Ver. 8. Sit not down in the highest room - or agree that he was a magistrate, and a man of rank, place. There is much ceremony ai an eastern least who had probably a country house in Galilee. in placing the several guests according to their
Ver. 2. A certain inan before him which had the rank; and Morier, the Persian 'mieller, mentions dropsy-Camp. “A man who had a dropsy stood be- an instance of a person who had taken a seat below fore him."
his rank, being desired 10 move up higher. See Ver. 7. Which were bidden-Marg. “ Called," as Orient. Lit. No. 1304. ver. 10.-The chief rooms Doddr. renders it,
A Lesson of]
[humility. 6 And they could not answer him shall be abased ; and he that humbleth again to these things.
himself shall be exalted. 7 And he put forth a parable to 12 Then said he also to him that those which were bidden, when he bade him, When thou makest a dinner marked how they chose out the chief or a supper, call not thy friends, nor rooms; saying unto them,
thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor 8 When thou art bidden of any thy rich neighbours ; lest they also bid man to a wedding, sit not down in thee again, and a recompence be made the highest room ; lest a more honour- thee. able man than thou be bidden of him; 13. But when thou makest a feast,
9 And he that bade thee and him call the poor, the maimed, the lame, come and say to thee, Give this man the blind : place; and thou begin with shame to 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for take the lowest room.
they cannot recompense thee: for thou 10 But when thou art bidden, go shalt be recompensed at the resurrecand sit down in the lowest room ; that tion of the just. (E) when he that bade thee cometh, he 15 | And when one of them that may say unto thee, Friend, go up sat at meat with him heard these higher : then shalt thou have worship things, he said unto him, Blessed is in the presence of them that sit at he that shall eat bread in the kingdom meat with thee.
of God. 11 For whosoever exalteth himself 16 Then said he unto him, A cer
question, “ Is it lawful to heal on the sah(E) Ver. 1-14. Jesus dining on the sab. bath day?" having at the same time bebath day with a Pharisee, cures a man of fore him a dropsical subject, on whom he the dropsy, and delivers a lecture on hu- designed to exercise his miraculous power, mility. The first remark which offers it- and who might probably be one of the self to our notice is, that the sabbath ought Pharisee's domestics, as it is not very not to be cousidered as a fast-day; nor is likely that the diseased poor would be sufit unlawful for a minister to dine witb his fered to break in upon their festivity. people on a sabbath, though in present Feeling, however, the weakness, either of circumstances it may often be very incon- their cause or their talents, to enter into venient. It should seem too, by ver. 8, controversy with a prophet, as our Lord that this was at a wedding, the festivities was now generally considered, they reof which, we learn from the instance of mained silent; and Jesus taking bold of Sampson, lasted seven days (Judges xiv. the man, probably to show the miserabie 12), and consequently always included a condition he was in, immediately bealed sabbath. On this sabbath, it should seem, and dismissed him ; observing, as he had this Pharisee, who appears to have been a repeatedly done before, that a man was
, or magistrate, and perbaps a mem- better than an ox or an ass : and none of ber of the Sanbedrim, was desirous to ob them would have the inhumanity to refuse tain the company of our Lord; probably assistance to a domestic animal, who had induced to this by the fame of his preachiag fallen accidentally into a pit on the sabbath and his miracles, though others of the sect day. who were present, evidently sought to en Our Lord now turns the attention of the trap him in his conversation. Jesus, who conipany to another subject, with a view to could read their hearts, could not be igno correct two great evils, which on the prerant of their motives; but it is probable he sent, and doubtless many other occasions, might have gathered their design from he had observed. First, he reproves the their conversation, and therefore, in au- eagerness and perhaps rudeness, with swer to some of their observations, put the which many of them crowded toward the
NOTES. Ver. 13. Call the poor.--Dr. Pococke mentions, The Arabs also, when they kill a sleep, dress the that in the east they sometimes admit the poor to whole, and call in their neighbours and the poor, till Their tables. In his account of an entertainment all is consumed; for they never sel by meat that made by an Egyptian magistrate, each, when he has been brought to table. Thus the sequel of the had done eating, retired, and others in succession parable is quite in harmony with oriental mangere, eatne, till at last the poor came, and “eat up all," Orient, Cust. No, 450.