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15. John vii. 1. Acts viii. 1: ix, 25:
u see ch. xvi.
t sce ch. 11; 13: be saved. 23 But when they persecute you in this city, 1. Actaviiiflee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall vo not u have gone over the cities of Israel, u till the Son of man
be come. v John xiii. 16: 24 v The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant
above his lord. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he be w cebimus as his master, and the servant as his lord. "If they have
called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more
shall they call them of his household ? 26 Fear them not * Mark iv, 22.. therefore : * for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. 27 What I
a render, finish.
w ch. xii. 24.
John viii. 48 52.
Luke xii. 2,
here bears its full scripture meaning, of everlasting salvation; and the endurance to the end is the finished course of the Christian ; and the precept in the next verse is to apply to the conduct of Christians of all ages with reference to persecution, and the announcement that hardly will the Gospel have been fully preached to all nations (or, to all the Jewish nation, i.e. effectually) when the Son of Man shall come. It is most important to keep in mind the great prophetic parallels which run through our Lord's discourses, and are sometimes separately, sometimes simultaneously, presented to us by Him.
24–42,7 THIRD PART OF THE DISCOURSE. See note on ver 5. It treats of (I.) the conflicts (vv. 24–26), duties (vv. 26 — 28), and encouragements (vv. 28—32) of all Christ's disciples. (II.) The certain issue of this fight in victory; the confession by Christ of those who confess Him, set in strong light by the contrast of those who deny Him (vv. 32, 33); the necessity of conflict to victory, by the nature of Christ's mission (vv. 34-37), the kind of selfdevotion which he requires (vv. 37–39): concluding with the solemn assurance that no reception of His messengers for His sake, nor even the smallest labour of love for Him, shall pass without its final reward. Thus we are carried on to the end of time and of the course of the Church. 24.] This proverb is used in different senses in Luke vi. 40 and John xiii. 16. The view here is, that disciples must not expect a better lot than their Master, but be well satisfied if they have no worse. The threefold relation of our Lord and His followers here brought out may thus be exemplified from Scrip ture : disciple and teacher, Matt. y. 1; xxiii. 8: Luke vi. 20; servant and lord,
John xiii. 13 : Luke xii. 35—48: Rom. i. 1: 2 Pet. i. 1: Jude 1 ; master of the house and household, Matt. xxvi. 26–29 | : Luke xxiv. 30: Matt. xxiv. 45 ff. ll. 25. Beelzebub] (or-bul) (Either lord of dung,'—or, as in 2 Kings i. 2, lord of flies,'-a god worshipped at Ekron by the Philistines; there is however another derivation more probable than either of these, from baal, lord, and zeboul, a house, by which it would exactly correspond to the term used.)-A name by which the prince of the devils was called by the Jews, ch, xii. 24,—to which accusation, probably an usual one (see ch. ix. 34), and that in John viii. 48, our Lord probably refers. In those places they had not literally called Him Beelzebub, but He speaks of their mind and intention in those charges. They may however have literally done so on other unrecorded occasions. 26.7 The force of this is : Notwithstanding their treatment of Me your Master, Mine will be victory and triumph ; therefore ye, My disciples, in your turn, need not fear.' Compare Rom. viii. 37.
for there is nothing] This solemn truth is again and again enounced by our Lord on different occasions, and with different references. See Luke viii. 17; xii. 2. The former part of the verse drew comfort and encouragement from the past : this does so from the future. 'All that is hidden must be revealed—(1) it is God's purpose in His Kingdom that the everlasting Gospel shall be freely preached, and this purpose ye serve. (2) Beware then of hypocrisy (see Luke xii. 2) through fear of men, for all such will be detected and exposed hereafter: and (3) fear them not, for, under whatever aspersions ye may labour from them, the day is coming which shall clear you and condemn them, if ye are fearlessly doing the work of Him that
tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. 28 And y fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to s Isa. vii, 12, kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy i 1.. both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold sent you' (ch. xiii. 43). 27.7 An the Almighty dispenser of life and death expansion of the duty of freeness and both temporal and eternal, seeing also boldness of speech implied in the last that Satan is ever represented as the con. verse. The words may bear two meanings : demned of God, not one able to destroy, I either (1) that which Chrysostom gives, must hold by the general interpretation, taking the expressions relatively, of His and believe that both here and in Luke xii. speaking to them only, and in a little 3—7 our Heavenly Father is intended, as corner of Palestine, as compared with the the right object of our fear. As to this subsequent publicity of the Word; or (2) being inconsistent with the character in as this part of the discourse relates to the which He is brought before us in the next future principally, the secret speaking may verse, the very change of meaning in mean the communication which our Lord “fear” would lead the mind on, out of would hold with them hereafter by His the terror before spoken of, into that Spirit, which they were to preach and pro- better kind of fear always indicated by claim. See Acts iv. 20. These senses do that expression when applied to God, and not exclude one another, and are possibly so prepare the way for the next verse. both implied. There is no need, with Besides, this sense is excellently in keepLightfoot and others, to suppose any allu ing with ver. 29 in another way. Fear sion to a custom in the synagogue, in the Him who is the only Dispenser of Death words hear in the ear. They are a com and Life: of death, as here ; of life, as in mon expression, derived from common the case of the sparrows for whom He cares.' life: we have it in a wider sense Acts xi. •Fear Him, above men: trust Him, in spite 22, and Gen. I. 4. upon the house of men. In preparing the 2nd edn. of tops) On the flat roofs of the houses. my Greek Test., I carefully reconsidered the Thus we have in Josephus,“ Going up on whole matter, and went over Stier's argu. the roof, and with his hand quieting their ments with the connexion of the discourse tumult... he said ...." 28.] On before me, but found myself more than the latter part of this verse much question ever persuaded that it is quite impossible, has of late been raised, which never was, for the above and every reason, to apply as far as I have been able to find, known the words to the enemy of souls. The to the older interpreters. Stier desig- similar passage, James iv. 12, even in the nates it as 'the only passage of Scripture absence of other considerations, would be whose words may equally apply to God decisive. Full as his Epistle is of our and the enemy of souls.' He himself is Lord's words from this Gospel, it is hardly strongly in favour of the latter interpre- to be doubted that in “there is one lawgiver tation, and defends it at much length; [and judge] who is able to save and to but I am quite unable to assent to his destroy," he has this very verse before him. opinion. It seems to me at variance with The depth of this part of the discourse I the connexion of the discourse, and with take to be, the setting before Christ's mes. the universal tone of Scripture regarding sengers their Heavenly Father as the sole Satan. If such a phrase as “to fear the object of childlike trust and childlike fear devil” could be instanced as equivalent to the former from His love,—the latter “ to guard against the devil,” or if it could from His power,–His power to destroy, it be shewn that any where power is attributed is not said them, but absolute, body and to Satan analogous to that indicated by soul, in hell. Here is the true depth of “ able to destroy both soul and body in the discourse : but if in the midst of this hell,” I then should be open to the doubt great subject, our Lord is to be conceived whether he might not here be intended; as turning aside, upholding as an object of but seeing that “fear not,” indicating ter fear the chief enemy, whose ministers and ror, is changed into “fear" so usually fol. subordinates He is at the very moment lowed by “God” in a higher and holier commanding us not to fear, and speaking sense (there is no such contrast in ver. 26, of him as he that is able to destroy both and therefore that verse cannot be cited soul and body in hell, to my mind all truo as ruling the meaning of this), and that and deep connexion is broken. GOD ALONE is throughout the Scripture 29. sparrows] any small birds. a far
z see 1 Sam.
Iv, 13. John xiii. 18.
for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the m. ground without your Father. 30 But z the very hairs of 11. Act** your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye a Rom. x. 9, 10. are of more value than many sparrows. 32 a Whosoever b Rev. iii. 5. therefore shall confess me before men, bhim will I confess c Mark viii. 38. also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But who
soever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny beLuke xii. 40 fore my Father which is in heaven. 34 d Think not that I
am come to send peace on earth : I came not to send peace, a MICAH. VII.6. but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man a at variance
bhn against his father, and the daughter against her mother,
and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 a And v Luke ziv. 26. a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37 • He
that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy
of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me c ch. xvi. 24. " is not worthy of me. 38 c And he that taketh not his cross, d John xii. 25. and followeth V after me, is not worthy of me. 39 d He that
wfindeth his life shall lose it: and he that a loseth his life v literally, behind.
W render, hath found.
A render, hath lost. thing? Gr. assarion. This word, de. those who come after Him. The immerived from 'as,' was used in Greek and diate reference is to the divisions in famiHebrew to signify the meanest, most insig- lies owing to conversions to Christianity. nificant amount. fall on the ground Ver. 35 is quoted nearly literally from which birds do when struck violently, or Micah vii. 6. When we read in Comwhen frozen, wet or starved : it is there mentators that these divisions were not fore equivalent to die: “not one of the purpose, but the inevitable results them is forgotten before God,” Luke only, of the Lord's coming, we must xii. 6. 3o. See 1 Sam. xiv. 45: Luke remember that with God, results are all xxi. 18: Acts xxvii. 34. The your is purposed.
37.] Compare Deut. emphatic, corresponding to the ye at the xxxiii. 9, and Exod. xxxii. 26-29, to which end of ver. 31. But the emphatic ye passages this verse is a reference. Stier spoken directly to the Apostles, is gene- well remarks, that under the words worthy ralized immediately by the whosoever in of me there lies an exceeding great reward ver. 32. 32. confess me] The context which counterbalances all the seeming shews plainly that it is a practical con- asperity of this saying. 38.] How sistent confession which is meant, and also strange must this prophetic announcea practical and enduring denial. The Lord ment have seemed to the Apostles! It will not confess the confessing Judas, nor was no Jewish proverb (for crucifixion was deny the denying Peter; the traitor who not a Jewish punishment), no common denied Him in act is denied : the Apostle saying, which our Lord here and so often who confessed Him even to death will be utters. See ch. xvi. 24: Mark x. 21 : confessed. Cf. 2 Tim. ii. 12. We may Luke ix. 23. He does not here plainly observe that both in the Sermon on the mention His Cross; but leaves it to be Mount (ch. vii, 21-23) and here, after understood, see ver. 25. This is one of mention of the Father, our Lord describes those sayings of which John xii. 16 was Himself as the Judge and Arbiter of eminently true. 39. his life . ..it] eternal life and death. 34.] In Luke refer to the same thing, but in somewhat xii. 51–53 this announcement, as here, is different senses. The first “life" is the closely connected with the mention of our life of this world, which we here all count Lord's own sufferings (ver. 38). As He so dear to us; the second, implied in “it," won His way to victory through the con- the real life of man in a blessed eternity. tradiction of sinners and strife, so must
hath found = “loveth." John xii.
John xii. 44.
xiv. 8 il. see 1 Kings xvii, 10 T. 2 Kings iv. 8
for my sake shall find it. 40 e He that receiveth you re- ech zviji: 5:2. ceiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that I John viii. 19: sent me. 41 % He that receiveth a prophet in the name of 8ece 1 Kings a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. 42 h And whoso- h see chini ever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup 10. of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
XI. 1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. 2 Now when John
40. Mark ix. 41. Heb. vi.
25 = “ will save," Mark viji. 35. The Father by His Blessed Son, John xiv. 9: past participles are used in anticipation, Heb. i. 3. 41, a prophet's reward] with reference to that day when the loss either, such a reward as a prophet or a and gain shall become apparent. But whath righteous man would receive for the like found” and “hath lost” are again some service,-or, such a reward as a prophet what different in position: the first imply. or a righteous man shall receive as such. ing earnest desire to save, but not so the Chrysostom. in the name of] i. e. second any will or voluntary act to destroy. because he is : i. e. • for the love of This is brought out by the for my sake, Christ, whose prophet he is.' The sense which gives the ruling providential ar- is, “He who by receiving (see above) a rangement whereby the losing is brought prophet because he is a prophet, or a holy about. But besides the primary meaning man because he is a boly man, recognizes, of this saying as regards the laying down enters into, these states as appointed by of life literally for Christ's sake, we cannot Me, shall receive the blessedness of these fail to recognize in it a far deeper sense, states, shall derive all the spiritual benefits in which he who loses his life shall find which these states bring with them, and it. In Luke ix. 23, the taking up of the share their everlasting reward. cross is to be “ daily ;" in ch. xvi. 24 || Mk. 42. these little ones) To whom this “let him deny himself” is joined with it. applies is not very clear. Hardly, as some Thus we have the crucifying of the life of think, to the despised and meanly-esteemed this world,- the death to sin spoken of for Christ's sake. I should rather imagine Rom. vi. 4 11, and life unto God. And some children may have been present : for this life unto God is the real, true life, of such does our Lord elsewhere use this which the self-denier shall find, and pre- term, see ch. xviii. 2–6. Though perhaps serve unto life eternal. See John xii. 25 the expression may be meant of lower and and note. 40.] Here in the con- less advanced converts, thus keeping up clusion of the discourse, the Lord recurs the gradation from the prophet. This again to His Apostles whom He was send- however hardly seems likely : for how ing out. From ver. 32 has been connected could a disciple be in a downward gradawith whosoever, and therefore general. tion from a righteous man? his
receiveth, see ver. 14; but it (i.e. the doer's) reward: not, the reward has here the wider sense of not only of one of these little ones,' as before a receiving to house and board,but re- prophets reward, a righteous man's receiving in heart and life the message of ward. XI. 1. thence] No fixed lowhich the Apostles were the bearers. On cality is assigned to the foregoing disthe sense of the verse, see John xx. 21, course. It was not delivered at Caperand on him that sent me, “I send you,” naum, but on a journey, see ch. ix. 35. ver. 16, and Heb. ii. 1. There is a dif.
their cities is also indeterminate, as ference between the representation of in ch. iv. 23; ix. 35. Christ by His messengers, which at most 2-30.7 MESSAGE OF ENQUIRY FROM is only official, and even then broken by THE BAPTIST: OUR LORD'S ANSWER, personal imperfection and infirmity (see AND DISCOURSE THEREON TO THE MULGal. ii. 11; iv. 13, 14),--and the perfect TITUDE. Luke vii. 18-35. There have unbroken representation of the Eternal been several different opinions as to the
a ch. xiv. 3. had heard a in the prison the works of Christ, he sent y two
y read, by means of. reason why this enquiry was made. I will been offended at Christ. On the other state them, and append to them my own hand, it is exceedingly difficult to suppose view. (1) It has been a very generally that there can have been in John's own received idea that the question was asked mind any real doubt that our Lord was. for the sake of the disciples themselves, He that should come, seeing that he himwith the sanction of their master, and for self had borne repeatedly such notable the purpose of confronting them, who witness to Him, and that under special were doubtful and jealous of our Lord, divine direction and manifestation (see ch. with the testimony of His own mouth. iii. 16, 17: John i. 26-37). The This view is ably maintained by Chrysos- idea of his objective faith being shaken by tom, and has found strenuous defenders in his imprisonment is quite inconsistent not our own day. The objections to it are, only with John's character, but with our that the text evidently treats the question Lord's discourse in this place, whose deas coming from John himself; the answer scription of him seems almost framed to is directed to John; and the following dis- guard against such a supposition. course is on the character and position of The last hypothesis above mentioned is John. These are answered by some with hardly probable, in the form in which it is a supposition that John allowed the en- put. We can scarcely imagine that John quiry to be made in his name; but surely can have doubted who this person was, or our Saviour would not in this case have have been confounded by the discordant made the answer as we have it, which rumours which reached him about His clearly implies that the object of the wonderful works. But that one form of miracles done was John's satisfaction. this hypothesis is the right one, I am cer. (2) The other great section of opinions on tainly disposed to believe, until some more the question is that which supposes doubt convincing considerations shall induce me to have existed, for some reason or other, to alter my view. (4) The form to which in the Baptist's own mind. This is upheld I allude is this : John having heard all by Tertullian and others, and advocated these reports, being himself fully conby De Wette, who thinks that the doubt vinced Who this Wonderworker was, was was perhaps respecting not our Lord's becoming impatient under the slow and mission, but His way of manifesting Him unostentatious course of our Lord's selfself, which did not agree with the theo- manifestation, and desired to obtain from cratic views of the Baptist. This he con our Lord's own mouth a declaration which siders to be confirmed by ver. 6. Olshausen should set such rumours at rest, and (posand Neander suppose the ground of the sibly) which might serve for a public doubt to have lain partly in the Mes profession of His Messiahship, from which sianic idea of the Baptist, partly in the hitherto He had seemed to shrink. He weakening and bedimming effect of impri- thus incurs a share of the same rebuke sonment on John's mind. Lightfoot car which the mother of our Lord received ries this latter still further, and imagines (John ii. 4); and the purport of the anthat the doubt arose from dissatisfaction swer returned to him is, that the hour at not being liberated from prison by some was not yet come for such an open demiracle of our Lord. Others have sup- claration, but that there were sufficient posed that John, perplexed by the various proofs given by the works done, to render reports about the worker of these miracles, all inexcusable, who should be offended in sent his disciples to ascertain whether it Him. And the return message is so far was really He who had been borne witness from being a satisfaction designed for the to by himself. (3) It appears to me that disciples, that they are sent back like the there are objections against each of the messenger from Gabii to Sextus Tarquiabove suppositions, too weighty to allow nius, with indeed a significant narrative either of them to be entertained. There to relate, but no direct answer; they were can be little doubt on the one hand, that but the intermediate transmitters of the our Saviour's answer is directed to John, symbolic message, known to Him who sent and not to the disciples, who are bonâ fide it, and him who received it. It is messengers and nothing more :-“Go and a fact not to be neglected in connexion shew John” can I think bear no other in with this solution of the difficulty, that terpretation: and again the words “blessed Johp is said to have heard of the works, is he, whosoever shall not be offended in not of Jesus, but of (the) Christ: the me” must equally apply to John in the only place where that name, standing first place, so that, in some sense, he had alone, is given to our Lord in this Gospel.