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15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils : 16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James ; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:

* Boanerges. This word is made up of two Hebrew words, signifying sons of thunder, meaning that they, on some accounts, resembled thunder. Note Matt. i. 1. This name was probably given to James and John, on account of something fervid, and glowing, and powerful in their eloquence and character.

18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alpheas, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house: 20 And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.

"They could not so much as eat bread.' Their time and attention were so occupied, that they were obliged to forego their regular meals. Religion is far more important than the ordinary business of this life; and there is nothing. unreasonable if our temporal affairs sometimes give way to the higher interests of our own souls, and the souls of others. At the same time, it is true that religion is ordinarily consistent with a diligent attention to worldly business. It promotes industry, economy, order, neatness, and punctuality--all indispensable to worldly prosperity. Of these excellences our Saviour himself was an illustrious example.

21 And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him : for they said, He is beside himself.

• When his friends.' His relatives. 'Heard of it.' Heard of his conduct; his preaching; his appointing the apostles; his drawing such a multitude to his preaching. They went out to lay hold on him.' To tåke him away from the multitude, and to remove him to his home, that he might be treated as a maniac, and restored to his right mind. 'They said. Probably the enemies of Jesus raised the report, and his relatives were persuaded: to believe it to be true. He is beside himself. He is delirious or deranged. The charge of derangement on account of attention to religion has not been confined to our Saviour. Let a man be deeply impressed with a sense of his condition and danger, spend much of his time in prayer, and have no relish for the ordinary amusements or business of life; or, let a christian be much impressed with his obligation to devote himself to God, and act as

if he believed there was an eternity, or let a minister show uncommon zeal, and waste his strength in the service of his Master, and the world is not slow to call it derangement. As if eternity was of no consequence, and all anxiety about that interminable state were madness. At the same time, men may endanger themselves on the bosom of the deep, or in the bowels of the earth, for wealth ; or may plunge into the ways of fashion, and folly, and vice, and neglect the hours of repose, and the social endearments of their family, and the demands of business; and in the view of the world this is wisdom, and proof of a sane mind! Such is the consistency of boasted reason ; such the wisdom and prudence of worldly men !

22 T And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth, he out devils. 23 And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 27 No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. 28 Verily, I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme : 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation : 30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

And the scribes,' &c. See Matt. xii. 24–32. The occasion of their saying this was, that he had healed a man possessed with a devil. The scribes, who came from Jerusalem to watch his conduct, ascribed it to a compact or agr ent between him and the prince of the devils.

31. There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold

my mother and my brethren ! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

See notes on Matt. xii. 46–50.

CHAPTER IV. 1 AND he began again to teach by the sea-side : and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea, on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, 3 Hearken ; Behold, there went out a sower to sow : 4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. 5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: 6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up, and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. 9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

See the parable of the sower explained, in the notes on Matt. xiii. 1-9.

10 And when he was alone, they that were about him, with the twelve, asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables : 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive ; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

See Matt. xiii, 10—17. When he was alone. When he withdrew from the multitude, a few followed him for the purpose of further instruction.

13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables ?

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'Know ye not this parable ?' This which is so plain and obvi.

• How will ye know all parables ?'. Those which are more difficult and obscure. As they were themselves to be teachers, it was important that they should be acquainted with the whole system of religion : of much more importance for them at that time, than for the mass of the people.

14 | The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness ; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred.

See Matt, xiii. 18-23.

21 And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed ? and not to be set on a candle-stick ?

• Is a candle brought,' &c. Its design is to give light. So Christ's preaching by parables is not designed to obscure the truth, but to throw light on it; and they should understand those parables, and, understanding them, should impart the truth to others also, as a candle throws its beams upon a dark worid.

Bushel. A measure for grain, containing about twelve quarts, * Bed. A couch, to sleep on at night, or to recline on ai their meals. Probably the latter is here meant, and is equivalent to our saying, a candle is not brought to be put under the table, but on it. See nole, Matt. xxiii. 6.

22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.

• There is nothing hid,' &c. See note, Matt, x. 26.


23 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 24 And he saith unto them, Take heed what ye hear : With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear, shall more be given.

“Take heed what ye hear... Or, consider well what you hear. Make a good improvement of it. With what measure ye mete,' &c. You shall be treated according to the use you make of your opportunities of learning. This is a proverbial expression. See it explained on Matt. vii. 1, 2. Mete. Measure. With what measure ye measure. “Unto you that hear.' To you who are attentive, and who improve what you hear.

25 For he that hath, to him shall be given : and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.

See note, Matt. xiii. 12. The meaning here seems to be, he that diligently attends to Christ's words, shall increase more and more in the knowledge of the truth. But he that neglects them, and is inattentive, shall become more ignorant; the few things which he had learned he will forget, and his scanty knowledge will be diminished. Hath not. Does not improve what he possessed; or does not make proper use of his means of learning. That which he hath. That which he had already learned. The attention must be continued. It is not sufficient that we have learned some things, or appear to have learned much. All will be in vain, unless we go forward, and improve every opportunity of learning the will of God, and the way of salvation.

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

* The kingdom of God.' The gospel, or religion in the soul, may be coinpared to this. See Matt, mi. 2.

27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

And should sleep, and rise night and day. Should sleep in the night, and rise by day; that is, should live in his usual way. By this we are not to infer that men are to use no diligence in the obtaining and growth of piety, but the illustration shows this, and this only, that as we cannot tell how grain grows, so we can- . not tell the mode in which piety increases in the heart, Phil. ii. 12. 'He knoweth not how. This is still true. After all the researches of philosophers, not one has been able to tell the way in which grain grows. They can observe one fact after another; they can see the changes; they can see the necessity of the rain and sun, of care and shelter, but beyond this they cannot go. So

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