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two sons, may sit, the one on | baptized with the baptism that thy right hand, and the other on I am baptized with? They say the left, in thy kingdom. unto him, We are able.
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with :
22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be
prospect of their being elevated above their brethren, in consequence of their having been distinguished on some former occasions. See Mark 5: 37. Matt. 17: 1. Their mother made request in their behalf. The request that one of her sons might sit on his right hand, and the other on his left, when he should enter on his kingly power, was a request that they might be his two most distinguished officers; that they might occupy stations of power and honor next to his own. Mark (10:35) represents the two disciples as asking for themselves; but, as in common life a man is said to do himself what he employs others to do for him, so, doubtless, on this occasion, the sons preferred their request through the agency of their mother.
22. Ye know not what ye ask; ye ask in a very ignorant manner, not considering the nature of my, government, nor the sorrows which I must endure in order to establish it. To drink of the cup, &c. A cup is frequently used in the Scriptures as an image of the sufferings which God is pleased to appoint either for his foes or for his friends. Thus the Saviour says (John 18:11), in regard to the sufferings which were coming upon him, The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" Compare, also, Ps. 60: 3. 75: 8. Is. 51: 17, 22. Lam. 4:21. The idea, then, of the Saviour was, Can ye endure the sufferings which are appointed for me? or such sufferings as I am to endure, before I enter fully on my glory? || And be baptized, &c. The words here rendered baptize and baptism would be more intelligible if their primary meaning were expressed. Allusion is not here made to the New Testament ordinance, but to the ex
treme suffering which our Lord was to undergo. The idea of being im mersed in suffering, or overwhelmed with suffering, is here expressed by the word baptize. The meaning would be more clearly expressed by translating thus - Can ye be overwhelmed [can ye bear to be overwhelmed] with the overwhelming with which I am to be overwhelmed? In other words, Can ye endure sufferings like those with which I shall be overwhelmed? The enduring of sore calamities is expressed, in other parts of the Bible, by such terms as these — passing through deep waters, and being covered by waves. See Ps. 69: 2. 42: 7. Is. 43: 2. We are able. So allured were they by the hope of distinguished honor, that they declared themselves able and willing to undergo any suf ferings that might be necessary.
23. Ye shall drink, &c. Ye will indeed be called to very severe sufferings; sufferings such as I myself shall endure. This language must be understood comparatively. The disciples were not to endure the very same sufferings as their Master would; but they were to endure similar and great sufferings. || To sit on my right hand and on my left; to possess the highest places in my government. || Is not mine, &c. To assign these high honors is no part of my business; that matter is already arranged by my Father, and they shall obtain such distinction for whom he has destined it. It does not pertain to me to distribute such honors, except in accordance with the appointment of my Father; and it does not become me to say any thing in reference to this matter. Thus the Saviour waived the subject. It will be perceived, that in our translation, the words it shall be given are print.
but, to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my
that are great exercise authority
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indig- 27 And whosoever will be nation against the two breth-chief among you, let him be
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they
ed in Italics, as being supplied by the translators, and not found in the original. They are not necessary for the expression of the sense, and might well be omitted. Then the clause would stand thus: "But to sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give but [except] to them for whom it is prepared [appointed] by my Father."
24. The ten; the other disciples. They were indignant at the request of the two brothers, as it was an ambitious aspiring after honors, to the neglect and disadvantage of their companions and equals.
25. Jesus called them. The ambitious request of the two brethren, and the indignant feelings of the ten towards them, proved the occasion of the Saviour's impressing on the minds of all the duty of humility, and of his showing the very high estimation in which humility ought to be held among his followers. An aspiring after honors he reprobated, but an humble temper, which will be mainly anxious to do good to others, he represented as most congenial with the new dispensation. Princes of the Gentiles; rulers of the nations. They that are great; their great men, their nobles.
26. Great among you; distinguished. Your minister; your servant, waiting on you, and seeking not great things for himself, but, in an humble spirit, holding himself ready to render service for the good of others.
27. Your servant. The idea is es
23 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
sentially the same as in the preceding verse. There may be an advance in the thought, expressed by a difference between a servant and a slave. If a person seeks to be great among you, let him condescend to be your servant; if he would be very great, so as to be first, preeminent, let him seek for this preeminence by condescending to be your slave. The depth of his humility and condescension in serving you shall measure the height of his true dignity among you.
28. The Son of man; the Messiah, your Master. Not to be ministered unto, &c.; not to receive service from others, but to perform service for others. || And to give, &c.; even to the extent of giving up his life in their behalf, so as to ransom them from misery. Jesus presented his own example, as to condescension and seeking the good of others, for a pattern to his disciples, and a corrective of the ambitious spirit which they had displayed. Compare Phil. 2: Ĭ—11. See, also, Matt. 18: 1–3. || For many. The word many is here used in an indefinite manner, like the word multitudes. As the parallel passage, examine Mark 10: 35-45.
REMARKS. 1. Here is an affecting lesson of man's weakness in seeking for worldly honors. We are too much allured by outward splendor, and are too prone to grasp at earthly greatness. The disciples were cautioned again on this point, just when they were re
29 And as they departed from on us, O Lord, thou Son of
Jericho, a great multitude fol- David. lowed him.
30 And, behold, two blind men, sitting by the way-side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
31 And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cried the more, saying, Have mercy
clining at the last supper. Luke 22: 24-30.
2. Observe the kind manner in which Jesus endeavored to correct the errors and frailties of his disciples. He endeavored to withdraw their minds and hearts from outward dignity, by showing them a more excellent way of obtaining preeminence.
3. Humility is a cardinal virtue of Christianity.
4. True humility is allied to the spirit of usefulness.
5. Let us not value others or selves on account of any external circumstances. True worth consists rather in humility, in condescension, and in endeavoring to be useful Let the example of Jesus put to shame our unworthy seeking of earthly dignity and ease.
instance more particular; and the others speaking of one only, on account, perhaps, of his being a wellknown person. By comparing the account, as related by Matthew and Mark, with that given by Luke, it will appear that the two former speak of the miracle as performed when Jesus and his company had come out of the city, and Luke represents it as performed while Jesus and his company were approaching the city. In regard to this diversity, two remarks may be our-made-1. There were probably some circumstances connected with this transaction which are not related, and which, if they were known, would entirely remove all appearance of diversity in the accounts. 2. It is probable that Jesus spent some time in Jericho; as it was a very important city, and we no where else read of his having visited it. During his stay in the city, he may have made an excursion into the neighboring country; and when he had gone out on such an excursion, and was returning, he may have performed the cure. Matthew and Mark relate, that the event took place when he had gone out of the city, and Luke observes that it took place when (perhaps during this excursion) he had come near to the city.
29. Jericho. This was a city next in importance to Jerusalem, and lay about twenty miles nearly east from Jerusalem. In respect to its history, read Josh. 2:1, &c. 3: 16. 4: 19. 6:1-27. 1 Kings 16: 34.
30. Son of David; one of the appellations of the Messiah.
31. Rebuked them, because, &c.; rather enjoined upon them, and that with censure, that they should be silent.
32 And Jesus stood still, and called them, and said, What will ye that I shall do unto you?
An account of the cure here related occurs in Mark 10: 46-52, and Luke 18:35-43. Mark and Luke speak of only one blind man. Matthew speaks of two, Matthew being in this
33 They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.
34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
The account of the blind men may TEACH US,
1. The importance of earnestness and importunity in our supplications.
1. And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem. See 20: 17, 18. || Bethphage; a small village in the vicinity of the mount of Olives. Mark (11:1) and Luke (19: 29) mention two places, Bethany and Bethphage; these two were adjacent to each other. Mount of Olives; a mountainous ridge lying east of Jerusalem. As it was a ridge of lofty hills, writers differ in stating the distance from Jerusalem, some saying five furlongs, and others, a Sabbath-day's journey (Acts 1: 12), that is, about seven and a half furlongs from the city. They have reference to different parts of the mountainous range. The name arose from the olive-trees with which it abounded.
3 And if any man say aught unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of
Bethany (see John 12: 1), and was now prosecuting his journey. || An ass- - and a colt with her. The other evangelists, Mark (11: 2) and Luke (19:30), mention only a colt. It was the colt that Jesus wished for; but the easiest way of having the colt brought was to lead the ass, and the colt would follow.
3. Aught; any thing; make any objection to your taking the animals. || The Lord; the Master; that is, our Master. The owners of these animals were, in all probability, acquainted with Jesus and his disciples, and were friendly to them; and would, therefore, without hesitation, give them up for his accommodation.
4. That it might be fulfilled, &c. In this transaction, there was a fulfilment of what the prophet Zechariah (99) had long before declared respecting the Messiah; so that this act of our Lord's, by which he was again about to show himself publicly to the nation as the Messiah, the promised king of Israel, was in precise accordance with the language of prophecy.
5. Daughter of Sion. Sion was one of the hills on which the city of Jerusalem was built, and it was employed as a name equivalent to Jerusalem. By a mode of speech common among the Hebrew writers, the phrase daughter of Sion means Sion itself; and as Sion is put for Jerusa lem, the expression daughter of Sion means city of Jerusalem. So daugh
2. Village over against you; Beth
phage. Jesus had already been inter of Tyre means the city of Tyre.
6 And the disciples went, | spread their garments in the and did as Jesus commanded way; others cut down branches them, from the trees, and strewed them in the way.
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him there
8 And a very great multitude Meek; gentle, peaceable; not a haughty, warlike conqueror. Compare 12: 19, 20. || Sitting upon an uss. Anciently, in Qriental countries, princes and the most distinguished men rode on asses. See Gen. 22: 3. Num. 22:21. Judges 5: 10. 10: 4. 2 Sam. 17:23. These animals were not, in the East, so mean as they are regarded among us; but, when rightly trained, they were active, and beautiful in appearance. There was, then, nothing degrading in employing this animal, when the Saviour was proposing to enter the metropolis of the Jewish nation amid the acclamations of multitudes, thus drawing attention to himself as the promised king, just before his sufferings, so that when he should be crucified, he would be remembered as the person who had made an entry into the metropolis as the king of the Jews. Asses were used in times of peace by people of all classes; while horses were used in war. There was, then, a special appropriateness in Jesus, the Prince of peace, employing this animal on so public an occasion of announcing himself anew to the nation as their predicted king. || And a colt; more correctly, even a colt.
7. And put on them their clothes; put on them some mantles, to_answer the purpose of a saddle. Both the animals seem to be mentioned; but Matthew speaks in a general way, as was usual among the Hebrews, and as we often do in common conversation. The accounts of Mark and of Luke are more precise, and mention only the colt. At that period of the world, the saddle was, in common, merely a piece of cloth thrown over the back of the animal. 15
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he
8. Spread their garments in the way, &c.; mantles, the outside garment, worn by wrapping it around the body. The branches which were strowed in the way, were, as we learn from John 12: 13, branches of palmtrees. Palm-branches were a symbol of joy; they were employed in celebrating the feast of tabernacles. See Lev. 23: 39-43. They were also employed by the Greeks and Romans in celebrating military triumphs. The scattering of leaves and flowers in the streets was, among the ancients, a token of reverence and honor. On public occasions, in the East, when kings, or national ambassadors, made an entry into the cities, distinguished marks of honor were shown. The streets were sprinkled with water; and, with the exception of a small path in the centre of them, were strowed with flowers and branches of trees, and sometimes even richly-embroidered carpets were spread over them.
9. Hosanna; a joyful acclamation, derived from the Hebrew language, and properly meaning save now; that is, taken in connection with the remaining words, salvation, divine favor to the son of David, the King Messiah. This expression, and that which follows, Blessed is [be] he that cometh, &c., were taken from Ps. 118: 25, 26; which language would naturally occur to a Jew's mind, when thinking of a formal display of the Messiah, and particularly on the present occasion, when the palm-branches would remind them of the feast of tabernacles. During that feast, the 118th psalm, among others, was sung with much joy, and the shouting of Hosanna! Hosanna! was very fre