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circuit from Galilee and Samaria through Judea, xiii. 22, xvii. 11, to Jerusalem, xiii. 34, omitted by the other Evangelists, in a miscellaneous form, without exact attention to time or place, from chap. xi. to xviii. 14*. If inserted here, these chapters harmonize most easily and naturally with the rest.
THE FEAST OF DEDICATION.
This festival was instituted by Judas Maccabæus, to record the new dedication (ɛyкaivia) of the temple, after he had purged it from the profanation of Antiochus Epiphanes, on the 25th of the ninth month, Casleu, near the winter solstice, 1 Mac. iv. 59, John x. 22. JESUS, all whose actions were significant, closed his circuit, by honouring this festival, though of hu man institution, with his presence, as typical, perhaps, of that
• The principal contents of these chapters, unnoticed by other Evangelists, are
XI. Perseverance in prayer recommended
XIII. Repentance recommended to the Jews, and parable of the
The bent woman cured on the Sabbath day
Answer to the enquiry, are there few to be saved?
XIV. The dropsical man cured on the Sabbath day
Parable of the supper refused by the guests..
xv. Parable of the lost sheep
Parable of the lost piece of silver
XVI. Parable of the unjust steward
Parable of the rich man and Lazarus
Predictions of our Lord's second coming
XVIII. Perseverance in prayer again recommended
XI. 39-52 ....
Parable of the unjust judge
Pharisee and Publican in the Temple
5-13 37-54 1, 2 15-21
1-14 XVIII. 12-14
There are also some sections in common with Matthew, but in different order and expression.
XXIII. 4-7, 23-36
higher purification of the temple, and of its service, which he came to introduce, and which the sure word of prophecy informs us will be established in the regeneration of all things, at his next coming in glory. In order to avoid the inclemency of the weather at this season, we may presume he was walking in Solomon's porch, or the royal portico of the temple, built by that prince, over a part of the valley, between the temple mount and Sion, on the south-east side, which Solomon had filled up to enlarge the area of the temple. On the flat roof of this was probably the scene of our Lord's second temptation by Satan. See Vol. I. p. 430, and the preceding article.
Here our Lord underwent a similar temptation from the unbelieving Jews, resuming their former conversation in the temple, at the feast of Tabernacles, for "they flocked round him, and said, How long dost thou torture us [with suspense*?] If thou be THE CHRIST, tell us expressly." They wanted an open acknowledgment from him, in order that they might accuse him to the ruling powers. JESUS answered them, "I told you before, [in effect,] by the miracles which I do in MY FATHER'S name; [and by styling myself" the good Shepherd," which was a title of CHRIST, Gen. xlix. 24, Psalm lxxx. 1,] "but ye believe not, for ye are not of my sheep." On the contrary, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, as I told you," (ix. 14,) and I give them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish for ever, and no one shall wrest them from my hand: For MY FATHER who gave them to me IS GREATER THAN ALL, and none is able to wrest them out of MY FATHER'S hand: THE FATHER and I are ONE †, John x. 22-30.
* Έως ποτε την ψυχην ήμων αιρείς; "How long dost thou take away our life," or "kill us," torturing us with ambiguous and enigmatical speeches. The same phrase occurs in Terence, Cur me enecas? and in Horace, Candide Mecenas, occidis, sæpe rogando.
+ Eyw kai o Пlarηp iv eoμev. According to the ancient idiom of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the speaker ranks himself first, but according to the courtesy of modern languages, English, French, &c. ranks himself last. This most important passage, therefore, should be rendered, "THE FATHER and I are ONE." Not is, "one person," but ἑν, one thing" or supplying the ellipsis, έv πvevμa, “one spirit," or disposition; as supported by several parallel passages, ὁ κολλώμενος τῳ κυριῳ, ἐν πνεύμα εστι, [“ the disciple] united to THE LORD is one spirit [with him,”] 1 Cor. vii. 17; and so OUR LoRD prays THE FATHER for his disciples, ίνα ωσι έν, καθως ἡμεῖς ἐν εσμεν· “That they may be one, according as We are one;” ἵνα ωσι τετελειωμενοι εἰς ἑν. they may be perfected into one," John xvii. 22, 23. And so prays Paul, ev ivɩ πvevματι, μια ψυχῇ συναθλούντες τῇ πιστει του ευαγγελιου, “with one spirit, one soul,
This is an admirable description of the good sheep, of their reward, and of their security against all assaults of the Devil or man, working against them, while under the providential care of CHRIST and of GOD, united for their preservation. CHRIST'S flock hear his voice by faith; He knows, or approves them, and they follow him, or keep his commandments. And in return, He gives them eternal life, as heirs of salvation, and they shall not perish for ever, at the general judgment, if they continue faithful and obedient unto the end; and no one, not even the Devil himself, shall rob him of them; because he is supported by THE FATHER, who is ALL POWERFUL, and united in spirit, or sentiment, with THE SON.
Then the Jews took up stones again, as they had done before, at the feast of Tabernacles, to stone him. JESUS said, "Many good works have I shewed you from MY FATHER, for which of these do ye stone me?" The Jews answered, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, even because thou, being a man, makest thyself a God *, ver. 31-33.
This charge of blasphemy OUR LORD refuted, by shewing the latitude in which the term "God" was taken, even in the law itself; where it is applied to the Jewish judges, as sitting in the tribunal of GOD, and administering justice as his vicegerents;
jointly contending for the faith of the Gospel,” Phil. i. 27 ; συμψυχοι, το ἓν φρονουντες, “ joint souled, one minded,” Phil. ii. 2; σπουδαζοντες τηρειν την ενότητα του πνευματος εν τῳ συνδεσμῳ της ειρηνης, “ earnestly endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace,” Eph. iv. 3, ὁ φυτευων δε και ὁ ποτίζων ἑν εισι, the planter and the waterer are one," 1 Cor. iii. 8.
And this was the interpretation of the earliest and most learned fathers of the Church. Justin Martyr says-Ιησους Χριστος - έτερος του Πατρος αριθμῷ ου γνώμη, “ JESUS CHRIST-different from THE FATHER, in number [or person,] not in sentiment.” And Origen, more fully, Θρησκευομεν ουν τον Πατέρα της αληθειας, και τον Υίον την αλήθειαν· οντα δυο εν ὑποστασει πραγματα, ἑν δε, τῇ ὁμονοιᾳ, τῇ συμφωνίᾷ, και τη ταυτοτητι του βουλευματος, "We, then, worship THE FATHER of the Truth, and THE SON the Truth: being two things in subsistence, but one in unanimity and concord, and sameness of the will."
This is also," the Trinity in Unity,” or in unanimity," which is both the scriptural and orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church. And the English word "unity," which in later times has been used in a metaphysical sense, as denoting "unity of person," formerly meant union of sentiment, or unanimity, throughout the Liturgy and the English Bible, Psalm cxxxiii. 1; Ephes. iv. 3—13.
• →ɛog here, should be rendered "A God," as contrasted with avρwπоç, “a man," Acts xii. 22. The Jews evidently did not mean "GOD [THE FATHER,] which would be absurd; but ò devrepoç Bɛog, the second God," as Philo the Jew styled THE LOGOS, or THE ORACLE." They meant the same before, John v. 18.
Compare John i. 1;
1 Cor. vii. 5.
"I said, ye are gods," Psalm lxxxii. 6. "If then," said he, "the Scripture named them gods, to whom the word of GOD was addressed, and the Scripture cannot be set aside, [as exceptionable,] How say ye to Him whom THE FATHER sanctified, [or ordained,] and sent forth into the world, Thou blasphemest: because I said, I am THE SON OF GOD?" ver. 34—36.
Our Lord then appealed again to his miracles, as affording full proof of the intimate union subsisting between him and the Father. "If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not; but if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and believe, that THE FATHER is in me, and I in Him."
Then the Jews sought again to seize him, but he passed out of their hand, (probably rendering himself invisible, as before, John viii. 59,) and departed again from Judea to Bethabara, beyond Jordan, where John at first baptized; and in the neighbourhood of which, he himself had spent some time before, on the western side, in Judea, when his disciples baptized in his name, John iii. 22-26; and in that neighbourhood he remained, probably near two months, until the death of Lazarus recalled him to Judea, ver. 37-40; Matt. xix. 1; Mark x. 1*.
CHRIST VISITS PEREA.
This country, (so called by Josephus, Jewish War, III. 3, 3,) on the confines of Judea, eastward of Jordan, was the original settlement of the tribes of Gad and Reuben. JESUS, therefore, having visited all the rest of the holy land, namely, the two Galilees, upper and lower, Cæsarea Philippi, Decapolis, and Dalmanutha, Samaria, and Judea, occupied formerly by the ten tribes, reserved this for the last; that this also might have the benefit of his divine instructions. And great multitudes came to him, and followed him, and believed on him, when they saw his miracles of healing, confirming John's testimony to him as THE CHRIST, John ix. 41, 42; Matt. xix. 2; Mark x. 1.
• Matthew and John state expressly, that JESUS, after he had finished his ministry in Galilee and Judea, visited the country beyond Jordan eastwards; but the present text of Mark intimates the reverse, that he came from the latter to Judea westwards, which could not be the case. There appears to be an interpolation in Mark : ερχεται εις όρια της Ιουδαίας [δια του] περαν του Ιορδάνου. And omitting δια του, (which injures the construction) with the Latin, Syriac, and Gothic versions, Mark perfectly harmonizes with the others.
QUESTION OF DIVORCE.
Here OUR LORD was again" tempted," or assailed by his inveterate and persevering foes, the Pharisees, with a nice legal case for his decision, as a teacher of the law; "whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?" or, at discretion. This case he had before decided in Galilee, Matt. v. 31, and in Judea, Luke xvi. 18, expressly in the negative; and they now hoped, either to ruin his popularity in Peræa, if he adhered to his decision, or to charge him with inconsistency if he did not. Aware of their malice, JESUS referred them to the primitive institution of marriage in Paradise, after God had made the first pair, male and female; and by the law of wedlock declared that they twain should be one flesh. Therefore, said he, "what GOD joined together, let not man put asunder." To this authoritative decision, the Pharisees opposed the law of divorce, commanded, as they said, by Moses, Deut. xxiv. 1. But our Lord replied, that Moses did not command, that he only suffered, or tolerated divorces, because of the hardness of their hearts, to prevent worse consequences. And he authoritatively decided against the law of Moses, that dislike alone, was not a sufficient ground; that nothing short of fornication or adultery, on her part, warranted divorce: and that otherwise, if she married again, which was permitted by the law, Deut. xxiv. 2, she and her second husband were guilty of adultery, Matt. xix. 3-9; Mark x. 2-12*.
This was, indeed, an unpalatable doctrine to a sensual, libidinous people. Even our Lord's disciples expressed dissatisfaction thereat: "If the case of a man be so with his wife, that he must bear with all her infirmities or imperfections short of fornication, it is not good to marry" at all, said they, or it is better to remain single. But OUR LORD disapproved of their reasoning, from the abuse of the sacred institution, against its use, as required both by GOD and nature; by observing, 1. that
* Mark states the conversation with a slight variation, representing Jesus as first asking the Pharisees, when they proposed the case, how the law of Moses stood? and then referring them to the more ancient law in Paradise; this gives more weight to their objection, after JESUS himself had appealed to the law of Moses. Mark also notices a case omitted by Matthew, of a woman divorcing her husband, which was not permitted by the Mosaic law; but was practised at that time by Salome, the sister of Herod the Great; and by Herodias, the wife of Philip, who married Herod Antipas, &c.