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3 But he said unto them, but only for the priests? Have ye not read what David 5 Or have ye not read in the did when he was a hungered, law, how that on the Sabbathand they that were with him; days the priests in the temple
4 How he entered into the profane the Sabbath, and are house of God, and did eat the blameless? show-bread, which was not law- 6 But I say unto you, That ful for him to eat, neither for in this place is one greater than them which were with him, the temple. not, then, because the disciples took placed, with frankincense sprinkled some of the grain through which they over them, in a prescribed order, on a were passing, that they were censured, table in the tabernacle, which was but because they did it on the Sab- covered with gold. Ex. 35: 23–30. bath. Thus they were accused of These cakes, having thus been set out having violated the Sabbath. Among before the Lord, were regarded as pethe Jewish rules enforced at that time, culiarly holy, and were to be eaten by was one that forbade reaping on the the priests only. These were the Sabbath; and the plucking of the show-bread. grain, and rubbing it in their hands 5. In the lavo; of Moses, particu(Luke 6: 1), the Pharisees regarded larly the statutes which have respect as a kind of reaping. The punish- to the religious services of the Sabment for violating the Sabbath, ac- bath. || The priests in the temple procording to the Jewish law, was death. fane thë Sabbath. The Pharisees had See Ex. 35: 2. Num. 15: 32–36. accused the disciples of violating the
3. Jesus vindicated his disciples by Sabbath, because, by rubbing the ears ascribing their conduct to necessity. of grain, they had performed labor. They were in need of food. He ap- Jesus reminded them, that the very pealed first to an incident in David's law itself prescribed some labor for life. What David did. See 1 Sam. the priests on the Sabbath, even in the chapter 21st. The examples of dis- sanctuary. Num. 28: 9, 10. The tinguished pious men, recorded in the sacrifices which they were required to Old Testament, had much weight with offer, called for some labor on their the Jews. In the instance to which part. Thus he showed, that the cirJesus referred, a priest also was con- cumstances of men are to be taken cerned; and according to Deut. 17; into account; and that, in some cases, 8—13, the decision of a priest had what some persons might call work much authority. With this incident on the Sabbath, would not be a violain the life of David the Jews would tion of the Sabbath. not find fault; and the reason which 6. One greater than the temple ; justified David would also justify the possessing more authority, more right disciples.
to control the conscience; one whose 4. The house of God; the taberna- permission to do a thing is of more cle, which was a movable sanctuary, weight than any prohibition to do it prepared during the travels in the which was grounded on reverence for desert while the people were on the the temple. Of course, he meant way to the promised land. Ex. 25: himself. This he expressed fully in 1-9. 36: 1-7. The tabernacle con- the 8th verse. tinued to be the house of worship, till At this point, Mark (2:27) inserts Solomon built the temple. 1 Kings an additional thought, suggested by 5: 5, 8, 13, &c. || The show-bread. our Lord in vindication of the disciIn Lev. 24: 5-9," directions were ples; “the Sabbath was made for given for baking twelve cakes, to be man, not man for the Sabbath.” That renewed every Sabbath, and to be ) is, the Sabbath was appointed for the
7 But if ye had known what | saying, Is it lawful to heal on this meaneth, I will have mercy, the Sabbath-days ? that they and not sacrifice, ye would might accuse him. not have condemned the guilt- 11 And he said unto them, less.
What man shall there be among 8 For the Son of man is you, that shall have one sheep, Lord even of the Sabbath-day. and if it fall into a pit on the
9 And when he was depart- Sabbath-day, will he not lay hold ed thence, he went into their on it, and lift it out? synagogue :
12 How much then is a man 10 And behold, there was a better than a sheep? Whereman which had his hand with-fore it is lawful to do well on ered. And they asked him, the Sabbath-days. benefit of man; and therefore is not Sabbath, without respect to any exof such a nature as to require man to isting opinions on the subject. This subject himself to misery in order to was indeed taking very high ground; observe it. Man was not created but it pertained to the province of the in subordination to the Sabbath, as Messiah. Compare, as parallel pasthough certain statutes concerning sages, Mark 2: 23–28. Luke 6: the Sabbath must inevitably, on all 1-5. occasions, be obeyed, whether they
9. The event next related appears, comport, or do not comport, with by Luke 6: 6, to have taken place on man's well-being.
another Sabbath. Matthew unites it 7. In still another way, Jesus show in his history with the preceding, on ed the impropriety of the Pharisees' | account of the similar circumstances accusation. They had overlooked the of the two events. true nature of religion, and had given 10. Withered. The condition of a an undue prominence to external limb said to be withered, was caused ceremonies, while they neglected the by a contraction of the muscles, and kind and merciful temper which is was very dangerous. A person, when more pleasing to God." I will have seized with such a contraction, was mercy ; I choose, or prefer, mercy. unable to alter the position of the || Not sacrifice ; that is, comparatively limb which was affected. If the speaking, I ask not for sacrifice, for hand, for instance, was extended, he external service; I require a merciful was unable to draw it back; if it was spirit. I choose a merciful spirit not extended, he became unable to rather than the offering of sacrifices. stretch it out. It became diminished See Hosea 6: 6. Compare also Matt. in size, and dried up. Compare 1 9:13. The Pharisees urged the ex- Kings 13: 4–6. || Is it lavoful to ternal observance of precepts, while heal on the Sabbath-days? Many of they neglected inward piety, espe- the Jewish teachers contended that it cially the exercise of a kind and be- was not lawful to heal on the Sabnevolent temper. Compare Matt. 23: bath, unless there was danger of 23. Had they considered well the death. nature of God's requisitions, they 11, 12. By the value of a man's would not have passed censure on life and happiness, compared with a such innocent acts as a man's pluck- sheep's, Jesus showed the utter iming a little grain on the Sabbath to propriety of the Pharisees' opinion appease the cravings of hunger, while respecting healing on the Sabbath. passing through a field.
The Jewish teachers expressly per8. Lord of the Sabbath-day. Jesus mitted a person to take a sheep out declared his right to regulate the of a pit on the Sabbath. || To do
13 Then saith he to the man, and great multitudes followed Stretch forth thy hand. And him, and he healed them all; he stretched it forth; and it 16 And charged them that was restored whole, like as the they should not make him other.
known : 14 Then the Pharisees went 17 That it might be fulfilled out, and held a council against which was spoken by Esaias the him, how they might destroy prophet, saying, him.
18 Behold my servant, whom 15 But when Jesus knew it, I have chosen; my beloved, in he withdrew himself from thence: whom my soul is well pleased : I
well ; to perform a good, a merci- overcome by the arguments of Jesus. ful act.
But their hearts were not rightly 13. Stretch forth. Such a command affected, and they plotted his destrucmight seem inconsistent with what is tion. Held a council; held a constated in the note on v. 10. But He, sultation. who gave the command, could also, 15. Great multitudes followed him. and did, impart the requisite muscular The common people were better dispower.' So in regard to all the com- posed, and were favorably affected by inandments of Christ, in respect to his miracles and teaching; nor was all men, we should remember," he he deterred by the evil designs of the giveth power to the faint, and to them Pharisees from prosecuting his work that have no might he increaseth of mercy. strength.” Is. 40: 29. Compare, as 16. They should not make him parallel passages, Mark 3:1–6. Luke known. The Pharisees had already 6:6-11.
become greatly excited against him;
and it would have been unseasonable SUGGESTIONS. 1. Notice the cap- in Jesus to have encouraged the tious disposition of the Pharisees. people to spread abroad reports of new All the Saviour's works were upright miracles. "He knew what work he and benevolent; yet the Pharisees had to perform, and what was the were constantly inclined to find best way of accomplishing it. Hence fault.
he sometimes withdrew from public 2. Let us beware of magnifying observation, and forbade those who outward, and especially uncommand- had been benefited, to speak of him ed, observances, to the neglect of in- publicly, lest he should excite too ward piety, and the cherishing of soon that hostility which was to crukind and just affections.
cify him. 3. Notice the benevolence of the 17. By Esaius. See Is. 42: 1–3. Saviour. vs. 7, 12, 13.
Besides the reason just hinted, the 4. While we ought carefully to character of Christ furnished a reason observe the Sabbath, we ought also for his frequently seeking retirement. to remember that true piety dwells in He was not disposed to be contenthe heart, and consists in love, humil. tious; he was not turbulent. He was ity, and benevolence, as much as in remarkably gentle and kind, while outward obedience to God's com- yet he was carrying into effect the mands.
designs which he had formed. Hence, 5. The Pharisees made religion a when it would consist with his dutý grievous yoke. But Christ's yoke is to retire from the public gaze, and to easy.
spend some time in obscurity, he
gladly availed himself of the privi. 14. The Pharisees felt themselves / lege.
will put my Spirit upon him, and amazed; and said, Is not this he shall show judgment to the the son of David ? Gentiles.
24 But when the Pharisees 19 He shall not strive, nor heard it, they said, This fellow cry; neither shall any man hear doth not cast out devils, but by his voice in the streets.
Beelzebub, the prince of the 20 A bruised reed shall he devils. not break, and smoking flax 25 And Jesus knew their shall he not quench, till he send thoughts, and said unto them, forth judgment unto victory. Every kingdom divided against
21 And in his name shall the itself, is brought to desolation ; Gentiles trust.
and every city or house divided 22 Then was brought unto against itself, shall not stand : him one possessed with a devil, 26 And if Satan cast out Sablind and dumb: and he healed tan, he is divided against himhim, insomuch that the blind self; how then shall his kingdom and dumb both spake and saw. stand?
23 And all the people were 27 And if I by Beelzebub
18. Show judgment; make known 2. The mildness and gentleness of that which is just; righteousness, the Christ. truth. || To the Gentiles; to the na- 3. The firm, undeviating prosecutions.
tion of his object, while yet he had a 19. He shall not be disposed to due regard to the circumstances of make a tumult.
the people. 20. Smoking flar; a smoking wick. The wick whose flame is just expi- 23. The son of David ; the Messiah, ring, or which has expired, but which the long-expected King. still has a faint spark, he will not 24. The Pharisees saw that the rudely quench. The whole verse is common people were ready to hail expressive of the utmost benevolence Jesus as indeed the Messiah. To and mildness. || Till he send forth to prevent this, they threw out injuvictory; till he advance to a victorious rious insinuations. Beelzebub. See issue. || Judgment; his just or righ- on 10 : 25.
He will accomplish a 25, 26. In refuting the calumnious victory; but not after the manner of charge made by the Pharisees, Jesus this world. He will do it in the ex- presented several considerations. He ercise of meekness and benevolence, first showed how absurd it was to and will establish, in this way, his make such a representation, as though reign in the hearts of men.
Satan would fight against himself. 21. In his name; in him. || The Would Satan thus' endeavor to de. Gentiles; the nations. In the pas- stroy his own power? The, word sage as found in Isaiah, mention is house here means family. here made of " the isles.” By isles 27. Jesus next hinted at the man. are meant remote countries, well cor- ner in which the accusation of the responding to Gentiles.
Pharisees would recoil upon them
selves. Their disciples (for this is the We cannot but ADMIRE,
meaning of the word children, as here 1. The prudence of Jesus. He used) professed to cast out demons, would not encourage a needless ex- and the Pharisees professed to believe citement, nor needlessly provoke op- that they did cast them out. Now, position.
said Jesus, If you say I cast out de
cast out devils, by whom do then he will spoil his house. your children cast them out? 30 He that is not with me, is Therefore they shall be your against me; and he that gathjudges.
ereth not with me, scattereth 28 But if I cast out devils by abroad. the Spirit of God, then the king
31 Wherefore I say
unto dom of God is come unto you. you, All manner of sin and blas
29 Or else how can one en- phemy shall be forgiven unto ter into a strong man's house, men; but the blasphemy against and spoil his goods, except he the Holy Ghost shall not be forfirst bind the strong man? and given unto men. mons by the aid of Beelzebub, how furniture and goods. So Satan must can you avoid the charge of your dis- be overcome by superior power, in ciples' casting them out by Satan's order that he may let go his captives. aid? Your disciples profess (Acts So far from being in league with Sa19: 1319) to cast out demons by tan, Jesus, by this illustration, reprecertain ceremonies : I cast them out sented himself as having a contest by a word. If I do it by Beelzebub, with him, and obtaining a victory surely your disciples do it by no su- over him, and in this way dispossessperior power. They shall be your ing him of his prey. Spoil his goods ; judges ; by producing their case as an seize upon his property. illustration, I show you your injustice 30. He that, &c. The remark in and calumny. This was an argu- this verse seems to be a proverbial ment which would come directly to saying, applicable to a variety of the bosoms of these men, and must cases. Here, the idea is, that behave produced sensations of defeat tween Jesus and Satan there is hosand shame. Of course, they would tility. Christ is not on the side of not allow, that their disciples were in Satan; Satan is not on the side of league with Satan; but they could Christ. Satan was not working for not justly avoid such a conclusion, if Christ; but, instead of gathering for their charge against Jesus had been him, was scattering away from him just. It is well to notice here, that that which was his due. There is the Saviour did not assert that their utter opposition of interests between disciples actually cast out demons; Satan and Christ. but as they pretended to do so, he 31. Having thus shown, by the abmet them on their own ground. surdity of the charge (vs. 25, 26); by Without debating the question, he the manner in which it would recoil argued from their pretensions. upon themselves (v. 27); by the supe
28. He then presented the case as riority to Satan which casting out deit really was. By the Spirit of God; mons implied (v. 29); by the utter by divine energy, the power of God; opposition between himself and Satan Luke says (11: 20), by the finger of (v. 30), - how entirely groundless God. || Kingdom of God; the prom- was the charge made by the Pharisees, ised reign of God on earth; the ad. he then proceeded to poin out the ministration of the King Messiah. exceeding criminality of the charge, Jesus thus represented the expelling and the danger to which it subjected of demons as one of the evidences of those who made it. Blasphemy. This his being truly the Messiah.
word, in the Scriptures, is of the same 29. He next asserted that the fact signification as the word calumny in of his truly casting out demons clearly ordinary use. The Pharisees had, on evinced his superiority over Satan this occasion, used exceedingly caand all his hosts. There must be a lumnious expressions against the Saconquest, before the castle of an viour; and that with reference to his armed man can be despoiled of its miraculous operations, which indi