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'Jesus comes to Jerusalem, and again purges the temple. 179 crimes, and will ere long be themselves the objects of everlasting sect. shame and contempt.
May none of us ever indulge such a temper, or ever rest in an Mark empty profession ; lest, being like the fig-tree before us, which had xi. 13,14 leaves, but no fruit, the curse of Christ should be pronounced upon us, which would immediately wither us amidst all our verdure ! Let us remember that this was intended as one of those significant Mat. actions by which the holy messengers of God frequently intimated ** approaching judgments. Happy would it have been if some, instead of searching out objections against it, had seriously considered its design, and the sad aspect with which it looks on those who, like them, receive the grace of God in vain!
Christ, arriving at Jerusalem, visits the temple again ; and, after
a repeated effort to reform the continued abuses there, discourses with the people in a manner which farther exasperates the priests; and in the evening goes out of the city. Mark XI. 15-19 ; John XII. 44. to the end.
MARK XI. 15.
MARK XI. 15. AND they come to
AND, soon after the fig-tree had been cursed, sect. • Jerusalem : and Jesus went into the they come to Jerusalem ; and Jesus entering, cl. temple, and began to as he had done the day before, into the temple, cast out then that sold chorved as be we na Ad observed, as he was passing through the court of xi. 16.
. Mark and bought in the temple, and overthrew the the Gentiles, that the people who had polluted tables of the money- it by their traffic were seated there again ; and changers, and the sea's beiög displeased to see that sacred place so shame. of them that sold doves.
fully protaned, he presently renewed his testi-
a To drive out them that sold and bought after Jesus was departed out of the city, there in the temple.) The time when this was would be people enough, if it were only done is fixed by Mark to the day after Jesus out of opposition to him, who would be made his public entry into Jerusalem, and ready to encourage the traders (some of 80 (as was observed before, note c, on Mat. whom might, perhaps, be new comers) to xxi. 12, p. 163) this must bare been a dif. return again to their places. And Jesus ferent fuct from that related by Matthew, therefore seems (as Mr. Whiston has obwhich he has introduced on the preceding served) to have asserted the regard that day, before the shoutings of the children. We was due to the temple now with more sehave supposed it, therefore, to be repeated verity and exactness than he had done the by our Lord; for as it is improbable that he day before, not suffering any one so much as would not purge the temple on the day of to carry a vessel through the lennple; which his triumphant entry, when Mark express is a circumstance not mentioned either by ly says that he looked round about upon all Matthew or Luke in their account of the things; so it is plainly intimated here that transactions of the preceding day. (See he did it after his return from Bethany on sect. cxlvii.) - But I see no foundation at the next day. Nor is it at all unlikely tbat, all for Mr. Whiston's conjecture, that on
suffer that any man
180 He asserts his mission and authority from the Father. Sect. and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, _and also the seats of thein that sold doves : And he 16 And would not
that any one, for the sake of shor- should carry any vesX1.16., tening his way, should carry any burden or any sel through the tem
kind of vessel through the courts of the temple ; ple.
a place that was entirely set apart to God's im.
evil of such practices ; saying to them, Is it not saying unto thein, Is written (as I observed but yesterday), “ My houe shall be called
n, it not written, My house shall be called an house of prayer, and that of all nations the house not only for the Jews themselves, but (as the of prayer ? but ye have prophet says) for the sons of the stranger that,
made it a den of join themselves to the Lord, or for those pious proselytes who from all the neighbouring nations shall resort to it?” (Isa. lvj. 6, 7.)" But you have turned it to another use, and made it in effect a den of robbers, by suffering people here to carry on their trades, and to profane the place in which the Gentiles are to worship God, by scandalous extortion and unlawful gain. (Compare Mat. xxi. 12, 13, and Luke xix. 45,
46, p. 193, 164.) XII. 44. John And then, as considerable numbers of people JOHN XII. 44. Jewere now gathered about him, Jesus cried, or su
or sus cried and said, He
that believeth on me proclaimed with a loud voice, saying, Be it believeth not on me, known unto you all, that in these extraordinary but on him that sent steps which I take for the refermation of abuses, me. and the vindication of God's house, I act by his own immediate direction and authority; and he that cordially believes in me, believeth not in
me alone, but in him that sent mne, and thereby
he that sees me, and regards me with a lively on me, seeth am
cludes the only means of being brought to the
he light into the world, ration of his blessed spirit, I am come a nghi that whosoerer believe into the world, that every one who really believes eth on me, should not in me, might not any longer abide in darkness, abide in darkness. but might attain to the knowledge of all necessa
ry truth, and the enjoyment of the most solid 47 and excellent happiness. And if any one of you
47 And if any man hear
that sent me.
the former day Christ drove them out of wares into the inner-court, for which the the Jew's court, and now out of that of the Jews had a peculiar reverence. See Mr. Gentiles; for it is no way probable that the Waiston's View of the Harmony, p. 131, and traders were ever allowed to introduce their Dr. Whitby's note on Mark xi. 17.
He that rejects his word shall be condemned.
181 hear my words, and hear my words, which I am so frequently and sect. believe not, ljudge him freely speaking, and will not believe in me, I do not: for I came not to freely speaking, and will not believe in me, I do ** judge the world, but to not now condemn him, or immediately execute John save the world.
judgment upon him ; for (as I formerly declar- XÚ. 47.
so wise as to hearken to the proposals I offer.
any, yet he that rejects me, and does not receive
I have spoken, though heard with indifference
rant of God, and alienated from true religion
ent self, either on my own motion, or on any prica-
ample instructions, and a particular command-
speak in that part of my work which is still be-
to bis instructions, whether men be pleased or
his instructions wh life everlasting: what. scerer I speak there. offended with me ; for I know that his commandfore, even as the Fa- ment is of the greatest consequence, and that I speak,
so eternal life depends upon the knowledge and
observance of it; and therefore I would by no
ther said unto me, so
• That very word shall judge him, &c. " Though it is not my present business to o asyox hannoa, XIV Xorvet arlov.] do it, yet I have a commission from my Our Lord, by this manner of speaking, re- Father, which is hereafter to take place, presents his word as a terson that should sit when I shall appear worthy of that great in judgment upon unbelievers at the last name." I do not recollect that our Lord day. (Compare Heb. iv. 12. But I can see had given himself the title of Logos in any no ground for Mr. Fleming's interpretation of his discourues with the Jews; and (Christology, Vol. I. p. 136), who would therefore can see no reason to suppose such Tendes il, The Logos, which I have spoken a reference to it. of, shall judge tuin; as if he had said,
182 Reflections on the regard due to Christ and his word.
John received as coming from the Father, and by
authority. Walk Thus did our Lord continue to reform abuses. . MARK XI. 18. And
> the scribes and chief and to teach the people with the utmost serious- priests heard it and ness and earnestness, on the second day of that sought how they might week in which he suffered. And the scribes and destroy
the cribes and destroy him, for they
leared him, because all chief priests were much offended when they the people was astoheard (of it), and diligently sought how they might nished at his doctrine. find out some expedient to destroy him. for they not only envied, but dreaded him, because all the people were visibly struck into attention and wonder at his doctrine, and seemed disposed to receive it with a respect proportionable to its im
portance and solemnity.
8 out of the city.
Mark How hard is it to purge a carnal heart, and disentangle it from 15-17.the snares of a deceitful world! No sooner were these traders
driven from the temple, but they return to it again ; and are as busy the next day in the pursuit of their unlawful gain as they had been before. And thus how often are convictions stifted by the love of this world! And if the voice of conscience, or the word of God, may interrupt us for a while in our unlawful courses, yet where it may affect our worldly interest, how ready are we to return to them again! and with what difficulty are we brought so far to lay aside our earthly projects, as not to take them with us into the house of God! Purge us, O Lord, from every irregular desire ; pursue and perfect thine own work ; and incline our hearts
unto thy testimonies, and not into covetousness ! (Psal. cxix. 36.) John Most important is that proclamation which our Lord made in 44, 45.
the temple, and is still making to us in his word: believing in him, we believe in the Father; and seeing him, we see the Father. Let us be ready therefore to receive him out of regard to his Divine authority, as well as with a view to our own happiness; for without him we can have no access unto the Father, nor can we ever see him as a reconciled God.--The sacred light which he diffuses around him is not intended merely to amuse our eyes with pleas. ing speculations, but to animate our bearts with holy affections, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke i. 79.) If we
The disciples observe that the fig-tree is withered away. 183 desire therefore to escape an abode in eternal darkness, and to see sect. light everlasting, let us faithfully follow him: otherwise we are _ condemned already, and that word which he spake will become to us Ver. a savour of death unto death (2 Cor. ii. 16), and will judge us in 48 the last solemn and dreadful day, when it shall sentence those who would not be saved by it.
Let us now make that word the rule of our life which shall then be the rule of our judgment. We may most comfortably venture our eternal all on the exact veracity of it. Christ has per- 49. 50 fectly fulfilled the commission he received from his Father, as one that was faithful to him that appointed him ; and stands so completely approved in his sight, that our only hope is that we also may be accepted in him, and find mercy and grace for his sake.
that the fig tree was withered away: being coire into the temple,
MARK XI. 20.
Mark XI. 20. AND in the morning, NOW Jesus, having spent the night with his SECT.
as they passed by, (when the disciples disciples in a retired place without the city, cli. saw the fig-tree dried returned again to Jerusalem on the third day of p from the roots, [they the week in which he suffered : and in the morn- XI. 20. arvelled, saying, haw soun is the fig. ing, as they were passing by the spot of ground to withered away!] where he had cursed the barren fig-tree on the (M.1. XXI. 20.]
day before, when the disciples saw the fig-tree a
tree that stands yonder withered away, though 21 21 And Peot, call- yesterday it seemed so flourishing! And Peter ing to remebrance, saith unto hin Mas. Ta
ce, recollecting what had passed, took notice of it ter, behold, th fig- to Jesus, and said unto him, Rabbi, behold, the tree, which thou urs- fig-tree which thou cursedst but yesterday, is edst, is withered any." wy. now quite withered away.
• When the disciple saw the fig-tree.1 nert morning, and so particularly mentions Matthew relates this ste of the fig-tree, as Peter's recollecting what had passed before, if the notice that the diiples took of it, that it is plain his order must be followed and the account that Jen gave them of here, which Matthew has neglected, that the power of faith, follow immediately he might give us the whole of the story upon his cursing it, But My has so ex- together. pressly referred the circums ces to the