Luke’s Account

THE HUMANITY of our Lord is most prominent in this portrayal. Matthew's genealogy records His regal ancestry through Joseph, His mother's husband, to David and Abraham. Luke traces His descent through Mary and her rather Heli to Adam and God. One places the emphasis on the King, the Son of David, the other sets Him forth as the Son of Mankind. Consequently, this life of our Lord has a scope wider than the chosen people, and its sympathies reach out to those beyond the pale of Judaism.
     In the introduction to the book of Acts the author characterizes this as "the first account . . . concerning all which Jesus begins both to do and to teach until the day on which He was taken up". Thus this biography links up with the labors of the apostles in Acts, and leads on to Paul's special evangel to the nations, and is not eclipsed until Israel is set aside. Hence it approaches more closely to the grace we enjoy than any of the preceding accounts.
     In this biography we have the ideal Man. He is a King, as in Matthew, He serves as in Mark, He is divine as in John, but these aspects are subordinated to bring into strong relief the sympathetic, gracious, human side of His character. His birth and childhood are given much place. His maturity is announced before He enters His public ministry. His kinship with the whole race is emphasized in the commission He gives His disciples.
     It is the longest account we have of our Lord's life and records six miracles and eleven parables not found elsewhere. These are characteristic of the sympathetic Saviour and Healer of His people. The miraculous draft of fishes (5:4-11), convinces Peter of his own sinfulness and makes him a fisher of men. The raising of the widow of Nain's son {7:11-18), restores him to his disconsolate mother. The woman with a spirit of infirmity is released (13:11-13). The man with the dropsy is healed on the sabbath (14:1-6). The ten lepers are cleansed and the Samaritan alone returns to thank Him {17:12-19). One of those who came to arrest Him having his ear cut off by an impetuous disciple, He arrests His captors long enough to heal it. Such scenes of sympathy and salvation pervade this portrayal of our Lord.
     The author of this account was not an apostle, like Matthew and John, nor a local Jew, like Mark, nor was he an actual witness of any of the matters of which he writes, but he was closely associated with those who had been with Him from the beginning.
     Hence this account is in the nature of a biography drawn from existing sources and eyewitnesses. Many similar accounts were written at the time, but, not possessing the vitality of a divine revelation, they were ephemeral and perished.
     Luke's close connection with the apostle Paul has led some to believe that this account is really a Pauline production and sets forth the life of our Lord in accord with the teaching of the apostle to the nations. But there is only a slight element of truth in this position. Luke's commission, conveying repentance and the pardon of sins to all nations, based on the sufferings of Christ (24:46-47) was used by Paul in his earliest ministry (Ac.13:28, 47), when he was proclaiming Christ according to the flesh (2Co.5:16 ) .
     Paul's later ministries, especially that for today, as set forth in his prison epistles, are based on His celestial glories, not on His terrestrial humiliation. All depends on the absence of all the features of God's operations which we find in Luke. Both cannot be true at the same time.
     Luke brings blessing to the nations according to the place they occupy in the Pentecostal era. They are the Uncircumcision who are merely guests at Israel's board. The revelation of the secret administration in which we find ourselves is in gracious contrast with all this. We are no longer guests but members of God's family. We are not aliens but fellow citizens (Eph.2:11-22).
     Our blessings do not come through Israel but in spite of their apostasy.
     They are not on earth, but in the heavens.
     Luke lets a little stream of blessing trickle through to the nations. Paul submerges us in celestial bliss far beyond the highest hopes held out to the favored nation.

89

Luke 1:1-17

1 Many biographies of the life of our blessed Lord were composed during the lifetime of those who had known Him. Luke had exceptional opportunities for such a work and proposes to write an account which would be accurate and consecutive. Being trained as a gentile, and writing to one, he would naturally fall in line with the spirit's design to cover an aspect of His life which supplements Matthew's King and Mark's Servant and John's Son. He presented Him as God's ideal Man. He carefully checked all the material by first hand evidence. His historical references have all been found to be exact. We may rest assured that all the facts have been fully confirmed.

3 The expression "from the very first" may also be rendered "from above", as when the curtain of the temple was rent from the top (Mt.27:51). It would then signify that this account was a special revelation from heaven. This is true, but it is not the point in this passage. Though inspired from above, the evidence here given is rather the human side. The expression contains the Greek element ana up, which also means back, or anew (Jn.3:3,7). Paul could not possibly mean that the Jews who hated him had a revelation of him "from above", but, rather, they knew him "from the very first" (Ac.26:5). So here, Luke could not follow "from above". In space, the expression means "from above"; in time, "from the very first", or "anew".

5 This is Herod the Great, father of Herod Antipas (3:1) and grandfather of Herod Agrippa I. (Ac.12:1) and great grandfather of Agrippa II. (Ac.25:13).

5 Zacharias means "Jehovah remembers" and Elizabeth signifies "what God swears". Jehovah is now about to remember what He has sworn to do for His people Israel. The result of their union is John, "Jehovah is gracious".

5 The routine or "course" of Abia, or Abijah, was the eighth of the twenty-four into which Aaron's descendants were divided (1 Chr.24:10). Each ministered in the temple for a week"

13 We are not told what was Zacharias' petition because it was always the greatest desire of any man to have a son, and he, though just and blameless' had been denied this divine favor.

14 We have here a marvelous characterization of John the baptist and his career. His name indicates the return of Jehovah's favor to Israel in sending them the greatest of all the prophets after His long silence. The honor of being his parents will bring joy beyond the possession of many sons.

15 It is implied that John will not be great in the eyes of the world. He had none of the marks of earthly rank or power. His robes were rude, his food forbidding, his palace a place in the wilderness. The high priests were clothed in glorious garments and dwelt in Jehovah's temple, yet were contemptible in His sight. Greatness in God's sight involves meanness in the sight of men.

15 John seems to have been a perpetual Nazarite, at least in the matter or wine. (Of the Nazarites an account is given in the sixth chapter of Numbers.) This involved a lonely and consecrated life until his public ministry. The Spirit of God came on the prophets occasionally, but John was filled with holy Spirit before his birth. What an equipment for his marvelous ministry!

15 Nazarite is from Hebrew nahzar, to sequester, and has no connection with Nazareth, which means a scion. Our Lord, who is presented to us in Luke's account as "the Man Whose name is the Sprout" (Zech.6:12) was called a Nazarene, or Nazarean, being an inhabitant of Nazareth. He was not a Nazarite.

17 The last of the prophets promised that Elijah should return (Mal.4:5-6) .

Lo! I send you Elijah the prophet
Before the great and fearful day of Jehovah comes
And he restores the heart of the fathers to the sons,
And the heart of the sons to their fathers,
Lest I should come and smite the earth to its doom.

John the baptist was not Elijah, but came with the same spirit and power. He was capable of performing the same work. When the scribes objected, saying that Elijah must come first, the Lord acknowledged the fact (Mt.17:10). Hence he is probably one of the two witnesses (Un.11:3-12) who come just before the kingdom is established. Meanwhile, had the nation been able to receive it, his work could have been done by John the baptist.

Luke 1:18-55

90

18 Zacharias does not believe the glad news. Hence he is stricken dumb, for unbelief has no right to speak of the things of God.

19 Gabriel gave Daniel the explanation of two of his visions (Dan. 8:16 ,9:21).

24 The joyful faith of Elizabeth is in striking contrast to the doubts of Zacharias. There is also a double contrast to Abraham and Sarah, who were also denied a child until their old age. But. in their case Sarah was sceptical and Abraham believed God. But in both cases the promise was performed.

26 No fact in the Scriptures is more guardedly and circumspectly presented than the virgin birth of our Lord. The great issues involved, not merely the reputation of His mother, but the value of His relationship to both God and man, depend upon the question of His paternity. Once we see that He had no human father, the miracle of His sinless life, the value of His sacrificial death, the secret of His celestial Sonship are all revealed. No man, descended on both sides from Adam, has ever approached a sinless life. All deserve death and cannot save themselves, much less others. There must be a cause for His unapproachable perfection, and it is found only in the fact that He was born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the fiesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
     To protect the name of Miriam as well as to link Him with the regal line of David, He is born within wedlock, and Joseph, the husband, is assured of the facts in a dream (Mt.1:20). Miriam is presented as chaste and God-fearing, but her most blessed place among women is not awarded to her as of merit but of divine favor.

31 The name Jesus is a compound signifying Jehovah the Saviour. It is the same as Joshua, whose first name, Hoshea, salvation, was changed to Jehoshua, salvation of Jehovah. He was a type of Israel's Messiah, Who will lead them into the promised place of blessing.

33 The reign of Christ is for the eons, a long but limited period. He then gives up the kingdom to God the Father, so that the kingdom itself is endless (1Co.15:24). The negative is the only means used in the Scriptures to denote endlessness.

39 John was sent to prepare the path of the Lord, and this he does even before he is born. Miriam doubtless kept her holy secret to herself, reflecting that God would make it known to whom it was necessary in His own time. Yet the moment she comes into the presence of the spirit-filled forerunner, unborn babe that he was, he recognized and rejoiced in the presence of his Lord. The effect of this on Miriam was wonderful. The messenger had told her of Elizabeth, and Elizabeth's words reveal the fact that she shares her secret.
     In the joy and exultation of these two blessed women we have a small foretaste of what the coming of Christ means to the world. Beginning with these two Jewish mothers, its widening circle will include His faithful followers, then the whole nation, and through them all the nations of the earth. And even before this He will have gone out in grace to the nations, during the apostasy of Israel, and chosen those who will wing the exultant note to the furthest bounds of the creation. Elizabeth begins the song that swells into the anthem of the universe at the consummation.

46 Miriam responds with her magnificat. Its keynote is simple, yet sublime. Those who magnify the Lord cannot be else but happy. Those who humble themselves are sure to be blessed. She takes the place of the slave and rejoices to own Him her Lord. She knows herself an obscure, despised fellaheen, and suddenly she has become the most favored of mortals' a woman to whom all women will yield the palm of blessedness! But her thoughts are not of herself alone. Her case is but a pledge that God will scatter the proud and exalt the low. He will visit down-trodden Israel and place them on the throne. Now that He has begun to show mercy to His people, He will perform all the promises made to Abraham and the prophets. For whatever promises are of God, are in Him "Yes" (2 Co.1:20). He is the pledge of the performance of every promise God has made, for the Seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head, and by His bruised heel bring in blessing far beyond the prophets' most entrancing predictions. The bliss begins with His mother Mary .

91

Luke 1:56-80

56 Miriam remains with Elizabeth until it is time for John to be born. Though nothing further is told us of their communion, we may easily imagine the overflowing fullness of joy which characterized their intercourse. Then she returns to Nazareth.

57 The birth of a boy is always the cause of great rejoicing in the East, where sons are counted the crown of the marriage relation, especially if it be the firstborn. In the case of John the baptist this was enhanced by the fact that his parents were old and had little hope of having a child. Above all this was the sense of overpowering awe inspired by the supernatural manifestations that accompanied his generation. His father remained dumb until he had learned to believe the promise of God and needed his speech to prophesy His praise.

59 The eighth day after the birth of a boy was, and still is, a great event in Israel. Until then the mother is unclean (Lev. 12:2). On that day the relatives gather to circumcise the infant according to the law (Lev. 12:3). Then, also, they give it its given name. It was the custom to choose the name from among its ancestors or relatives, and, in this case, they concluded to give it the name of its father, Zacharias. This means "Remembered by Jehovah", most fitting for John's father, but not at all suitable for him. In him Jehovah favors Israel, hence he is named John. How his mother learned this name we are not told, unless by that spiritual intuition which controlled her greeting of Miriam.
     They do not hearken to her, but ask her husband. He had been commanded by the messenger to name him John (Lu.1:13), hence he confirms his wife's selection. Only the Lord knows what names to give to His instruments.

65 Such marvels soon spread in a land like Israel, especially as the time for the fulfillment of the prophecies drew near. Their holy Scriptures contained many promises of future greatness for the nation, and they all converged in the coming Messiah for Whom some of them were looking. It was well known that Elijah would come even before the Messiah, to prepare His path (Mal.4:5 ). It was a day of expectation.

67 Never, in the temple worship, had Zacharias intoned a psalm of praise so full of goodness and glory for the people of Israel as burst from his spirit-filled lips when his tongue once more found utterance. First, like a true priest, he leads his hearers' hearts to worship Jehovah. Then he turns to his own child and portrays his mission. He begins with a tribute to the Messiah, yet unborn, Who, though He will follow John, was before him. This is very fine, and shows the touch of the divine Spirit. Merely human knowledge and devotion would have caused him to pen a paean of praise in honor of his son, the greatest of all the prophets. Yet the moral greatness of John is most clearly revealed in his constant note of abnegation. "I must be inferior", was his insistent claim for himself. And here we see his father before him forgetting for a while his great son, to celebrate the praise of his son's greater Lord.
     The nation of Israel is continually before him in this psalm. The Lord is the God of Israel. The redemption is for the same people. The salvation is national, arising from the house of David. It is from their enemies, the Romans, who rule them with rigor, and who even interfere with their religion. His highest hope, as a priest, is to fearlessly offer divine service to Jehovah in benignity and righteousness all his days (75). That was the worst feature of the Roman rule. The worship of God in the temple was always in danger of interruption or restraint. Now he begins to see the dawn of a day when His worship will be fearless and free from foreign domination. The chief priest was being continually displaced by another who was more favorable to the ruling power.

76 No longer is Zacharias unbelieving. The messenger's announcement of John's ministry is reiterated in his description of his son's mission. It is the custom, in the East, to prepare the roads for the passage of a great potentate. His most trusted servant goes before to see that it has been repaired. So John was sent to prepare their hearts for the Prophet of the Most High. He was the greatest of all the prophets before the coming of Messiah.

Luke 2 :1-24

92

We have here a most notable example of God's overruling providence. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth, and Christ must be born in Bethlehem. How is this to be brought about ? Little did Cresar dream that this is the real reason for his arrogant decree to register the entire earth. He had no right to make such a decree and could not enforce it, for his dominions did not include the entire earth. To the north Ireland and Scotland were not his. Nor did his sway reach to farther Germany or India. He would like to have enrolled all men in his empire, but Rome never was a world kingdom such as Alexander and Nebuchadnezzar ruled. So Caesar, at exactly the right time, orders Joseph and Miriam to journey to Bethlehem, that the Scriptures may be fulfilled, as it is written (Micah 5:2) :

And thou, Bethlehem Ephratah,
Too mean to be among the thousands of Judah,
From you He comes forth to Me to be Ruler in Israel
And His coming forth is from formerly, from eonian days.

It seems most probable that Christ was born in a limestone cave used as a cattle shed in the courtyard of the caravansary at Bethlehem. Salmon and Rahab, the parents of Boaz, seem to have been the first to settle in Bethlehem, and may have built this place, where David was born. The king seems to have given it to Chimham (2 Sa.19:37-40) as a reward for his father's faithfulness, and his descendant converted it into a khan. Thus it was that David's Lord was born in David's home.

8 From David's day to the present, the country about Bethlehem has had its hardy shepherds, who guard their flocks from the wild beasts which infest the deep ravines and gorges leading to the Dead Sea on the east and the plains of Philistia on the west, as well as the wilder robbers from the desert and raiders from the coast. At night the flock is driven into an enclosure surrounded by a wall of loose stones and the shepherd closes the entrance with his own body, thus becoming the door (Jn.10:7). Such were guarding their flocks on the night of the nativity, when the great Shepherd of Israel was born.

9 When the darkness is suddenly illumined by a celestial splendor and the Lord's messengers stood by them, their courage fled and they were afraid. But the messenger reassures them and announces the great event which has occurred. Men may sleep, utterly oblivious of the birth that brings blessing to all mankind, but the heavenly hosts hail His humanity with exultation and cannot contain their joy.

14 The far-flung effects of the incarnation are not confined to humanity. They reach from the highest of heaven's hosts to the lowest of humankind. It is the ultimate that is in view here. Peace has not yet appeared on earth, or delight among men. Even the heavenly hosts have had but a beginning of the glory that shall be. The messengers may not have known the method, they may not have understood the long delay, but they gained a glimpse of the goal. Through the birth of this Babe all God's great purposes of blessing will flow to the utmost bounds of creation. It is the pledge of all that heart can wish or God desire.

15 The shepherds did not delay, but hurried to confirm the marvelous message which they had heard. What a contrast with the wonderful words was the humble scene they witnessed! No pomp, no state, not even a human habitation! They found the lowly family, and the Babe cradled in a manger! Such glory as was there was spiritual. Heaven alone celebrated the Saviour's birth. The magi who saw His star in the East did not offer their oblations until a later date.

21 In all things the Lord fulfilled the law. Even in His infancy its letter and spirit were observed. Not only was He circumcised, but the special statutes for the firstborn were respected (Ex.13:2). After the season of forty days for purification were observerd (Lev.12:2-4), they brought an atonement for Miriam for a sin offering. Had they been able, they doubtless would have brought a lamb for an ascending offering (Lev.12:8). But such was their poverty, that they used the substitute provided for the poor. And, indeed, no lamb was necessary, for the true Lamb would be offered in due time.

93

Luke 2:25-47

25 Simeon signifies to hear, and is representative of those in Judah whose ears were open to the law of the Lord and who looked for the fulfillment of the prophetic promises. As the years spoken of by Daniel the prophet had nearly elapsed, and the sixty-nine heptads had almost run their course (Dan. 9:25-26) it was time for Messiah to appear, and such aged saints as Simeon would seek no greater boon than to set their eyes on the Lord's Anointed before they fell asleep. We may compare them with those in these dark days who see the signs of His impending presence, and pray for the privilege of surviving for His advent. There is no hope or consolation in anything, but He will transcend all our expectations.

28 The faith of Simeon was Abrahamic in Its scope: He saw Israel, not merely blessed, but a blessing to the other nations. Not only was he not so narrow as the nation and their hopes, but he was aware of their apostasy. Hence he intimates something of the sufferings of Christ and His rejection by the unregenerate nation. Thus, even in His infancy, the somber shadows of the accursed tree loomed up in the distance. Few, indeed, were there like Simeon who could see it afar.

35 The sufferings of Miriam, the mother of our Lord, are merely hinted on occasion, and can be better imagined than described. She harbored in her heart all the glorious things that were said of Him. The messenger's first announcement, the dream of Joseph, the salutation of Elizabeth, the story of the shepherds, the solemn words of Simeon, the later visit of the magi, and the warning which sent them into Egypt all conspired to raise high hopes in her heart, yet left her without a full comprehension of His mission. When He was left behind in the temple, she sought Him sorrowing. His reply that she should have known that He must be in that which is His Father's shows that she could not understand Him. Later, in His ministry, when she sought to see Him, He almost disavowed all physical bonds for spiritual ties. This must have seemed hard for her. And, after all her high hopes, to stand beneath His shameful cross–surely then it was that a saber passed through her suffering soul!

36 Anna, or Hannah (1Sa.1:20), meaning gracious, being of the tribe of Asher, probably represents the remnant in Israel who were true to Jehovah, as Simeon represents those of Judah. This is further intimated by her long life of celibacy after the death of her husband. It was exceedingly rare for a widow to remain unmarried, and it reflects great credit on her spirituality and desire to serve God. Like her, the ten tribes had long been without a husband. They were divorced (Hos.2:2) and were to abide many days before they could be His again (Hos.3:3; Jer.3:1). As Anna responded to Simeon's utterance, so will Israel be joined to Judah in the days of their restoration.

39 Between the presentation in the temple and the return to Nazareth the events recorded in Matthew's account probably took place. The visit of the magi and the sojourn in Egypt must have come after the fortieth day, when they went into the temple, for they could not and would not have come from Egypt as long as Herod sought the life of the Babe. These incidents, however, have no bearing on Luke's biography, but pertain to the kingdom account, as given by Matthew. The magi sought the King of Israel. Herod did not fear Him as a man but as a prospective King. Each account selects only such incidents in His life as pertain to its peculiar theme.

39 Only in this account, as is fitting, do we find any reference to His youth and private character. Matthew hurries us on to His proclamation of the kingdom, Mark begins with His baptism and ministry, and John omits His early life. It is well that His varied glories should each have a separate presentation, for even thus He is too glorious for our grasp.

41 Up to twelve years of age a Jewish youth was not expected to be present at the Passover in Jerusalem or answerable for his acts. At twelve years, however, he became "a son of the law", and must keep the festival, and assume a direct relationship to the law as an individual. This is why, at that age, He went with His parents and acted independently of them by associating with the teachers of the law in

Luke 2 :48-3:15

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the temple, and did not return with them after the seven days of the festival were over. He was now free to begin His preparation for His future ministry. He must, at some time, begin the breach which would bring Him entirely under the will and work of God, and this was the time and place to do it most delicately and effectively.

48 Though Herod was dead and Archelaus had been banished by this time, the absence of their Son no doubt revived the dread, inspired by the massacre of the babes of Bethlehem, which caused them to dwell in Nazareth. This may have been the first time they had taken Him outside Galilee, since their return from Egypt, for fear that His royal rights would endanger His life. Hence His absence would mean much more to them than that He had been lost among the thousands who crowded the roads from the holy city. And, indeed, His astonishing discourse with the doctors could easily have reminded some of the previous prodigies and predictions that accompanied His infancy. But, no doubt, He was already conscious of God's will for Him, and that His time had not yet come. So He returns to Nazareth until His majority, or about thirty years of age. Not till then could He take up His public ministry.

1 This is the most precise chronological memorandum in the scriptures. Yet, even so, the various chronologies are only approximately agreed, partly because, in expressing years in figures, no account is taken of their overlap. Assuming that John the baptist began his ministry at thirty years, according to custom, our Lord's age at this time would be six months less, or twenty. nine and a half. This makes the fifteenth year of Tiberius and the twenty-ninth year of our Lord the same for more than half of their extent. According to Roman reckoning, the first year of Tiberius was probably 765, two years before the death of Augustus in 767. This would make the fifteenth of Tiberius 780 A.U.C. Pilate was governor from 779 to 789. Herod, tetrarch of Galilee was in power from 750 to 792, while his brother Philip continued to his death in 786.

2-11 Compare Mt.3:1-10; Mk.1:2-5; Jn.1:6-8, 19-23.

3 At this time John had attained his majority, and, according to the law (Nu.18:8-24) was entitled to the easy, comfortable and honorable career of a priest, ministering one week in twenty-four in the temple service, clothed in the sacred vestments, fed at the altar, and supported by the tithes of the people. He, however, forsakes the forms and ceremonies of divine worship for those vital functions in which the priesthood had failed. They should have brought the people to repentance and prepared them for Messiah. Instead, we find them His sorest opponents.
     John's work was to smooth the path of the coming Christ. In a most serious sense, it was not a success. Though he made many disciples, and baptized multitudes more, when Christ came His path was far from smooth, His road was very rough.
     John's gospel was essentially one of works. He looked for fruit. When he was asked, What shall we do? he did not urge them to believe, but advised them as to their conduct. He aimed at a reformation in the nation, similar to that demanded by the prophets that went before him. He had no illusions as to the effect of his baptism. Unless accompanied by heartfelt repentance it would be useless. He had no difficulty in getting them to submit to baptism, but was furious in his denunciation of those who wished it without conforming their lives to its spiritual import. The cleansing of baptism in water is external and ceremonial: the purification he wished to produce was internal and spiritual.

10 The lack of love among the people seems to have led to unlawful selfishness. The poor were not being provided for. Hence he exhorts them to observe a measure of that commandment which bade them love their associate as themselves.

12 The tribute collectors were notably unjust in raising their assessments to their own profit. They kept the peasants impoverished.

14 The soldiers took advantage of their position to extort money by force or blackmail, and thus harassed the people.

15-18 Compare Mt.3:11-12; Mk.1:7-8; Jn.1:15-26, 27, 30-34.

95

Luke 3:16-4:7

15 John was a faithful forerunner who refused to receive the glory due to his Master. He often seems to have insisted that he was not the Christ. The difference between them was expressed in the two baptisms, his in water, and that in holy Spirit and with fire. Water failed to separate the true from the false. But spirit makes them manifest. The Lord Himself never baptized in water, but left that for His disciples. He did not baptize in spirit until after His ascension.

19 Compare Mt.14:3-5; Mk.6:17-18.

19 Herod's treatment of John is here inserted ahead of time to close the account of John's ministry before opening that of his Master's.

21-22 Compare Mt.3:13-17; Mk.1:9-11; Jn.1:32-34.

23 Maturity and sonship, as distinguished from nativity and minority, were not attained at birth, but waited until the thirtieth year. The genealogy here given does not deal with birth or begettal, but with sonship. Hence it is not introduced until He arrives at His full manhood, and God Himself claims Him as His Son. The following pedigree is hardly intended to prove Him a descendant of Adam, but rather to show that this line, through which He came as to flesh, was absolutely incapable of producing the Sinless One, apart from His divine paternity.

23 This genealogy gives us the "Seed of the woman" (Gen.3:15) Who shall crush the serpent's head. Unlike Matthew's pedigree, it does not trace the physical male ancestry, but the legal line, through Mary back to Adam.
     Christ is first proclaimed as the Son of God. Then He is shown to be the legal (not physical) son of Joseph. Joseph, also, is not the offspring of Heli, whose son he is said to be, for in Matthew we read that he was begotten by Jacob. He was, therefore, the son-in-law of Heli, by his marriage with Mary, Heli's daughter. As Heli had no son of his own his allotment passed to his daughter's husband (Nu.27:8) and so Joseph is the legal son of Heli and the physical son of Jacob.

27 The lines meet in Zerubbabel and Salathiel (Mt.1:12) , just after the captivity, because the line of Nathan died out in Neri, so that Jechoniah's son Salathiel was also the legal son and heir of Neri. From thence it is traced back to the second surviving son of Bathsheba the wife of David. From David back to Abraham this corresponds with Matthew's genealogy.
     When Eve bore Cain she supposed that he was the promised Seed, so she said "I have acquired a man, Jehovah", and she names him "Cain", that is "Acquired". But before his brother Abel was born she realized her mistake, and called him "Abel," Vanity. The Seed was not to be the seed of Adam, but the Seed of the woman. This lesson is emphasized again when the male line dies out in Neri, and the allotment passes through a woman to a legal son, and this is repeated when Joseph becomes the son of Heli through his wife Mary. Not a single man in the whole list was capable of generating the One Who was to bruise the serpent's head. It is a broken, sinful pedigree. Hence the absolute necessity that He should be begotten, not of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God, and that a virgin should bring forth Emmanuel.

36 As this Cainan is not found in the Hebrew text and seems to have been unknown to some of the early fathers, some are inclined to regard it as a very early corruption of the text. But, if we retain it we have the notable number, seventy-seven, as the full total, and, when all names found also in Matthew's genealogy are omitted, we discover three groups of exactly twenty names each.

1-13 Compare Mt.4:1-11; Mk.1: 12-13.

2 The Slanderer is the suzerain of the kingdoms of the earth. Before proclaiming the Kingdom it was necessary that he should be met and overcome. He took the dominion away from mankind through his deception in the garden (1 Ti.2:14).
     Adam was in no need of food, yet he sinned. Christ was famished from a forty-day fast, yet He withstood the temptation to provide Himself with food. Adam was in a beautiful garden, the head of all creatures on earth, yet he yielded to Satan. Christ was in a wilderness among the wild beasts, yet He refused to do homage even though it should give Him the headship which was rightfully His.

Luke 4:8-30

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Adam questioned God's goodness and offended Him by seeking that which He withheld. Our Lord refused to doubt His love, though every token of it seemed to have vanished. He would not put it to a test. On every point in which the first man failed, the second Man, though tempted many times more searchingly, stood the test triumphantly. No mere son of Adam could have stood. Had He not been the Son of God the stress would have been too great.

8 "It is written" is the sword of the spirit, that destroys the insinuations of the Slanderer. And if he counters with a passage (for error is best supported by an appeal to Holy Writ) , the only defense is another stroke of "It is "written!"

9 A wing of the sanctuary overhangs the steep and deep declivity looking down into the vale of Kedron. This dizzy depth, rather than an eminence on the temple building is intended. The "sanctuary", including the whole temple area, must always be distinguished from the temple proper.

14-15 Compare Mt.4:12; Mk.1:14-15.

14 At this point Luke, Matthew and Mark entirely omit any mention of events covering about one year, including the miracle at Cana of Galilee, the meeting with the Samaritan woman and the healing of the nobleman's son, which are recorded in John's account. Most of this time was spent in Capernaum, which became His own city during His ministry after His expulsion from Nazareth.

16 The greatest Prophet of all did not receive recognition in His own city. It seems to be human nature to find God only in that which is far off and dim. When He returned to the people with whom He had lived and toiled most of His life, He seems to have had no expectation of a hearing from them and spoke accordingly. But their terrible treatment of Him on this occasion did not deter Him from visiting them again a year or so later (Mt.13:53-58; Mk. 6:1-6). Then He was able to heal a few of the sick, but could do no mighty deeds because of their unbelief and hardness of heart. All that His adopted city gave Him was a despised name. He was the only good that ever came out of it.

18 What more blessed or precious portion could the Lord have read than the passage from Isaiah? Perhaps nowhere else is such a delightful portrayal of His mission (Isa.61:1-2). No wonder they marveled at the gracious words which came from Him! But even more marvelous is the message conveyed by His silence. Had He read another sentence, He would have plunged them into "The day of vengeance of our God". The two are closely allied-much closer than appears, except in the prophecy. God's vengeance will be visited on His enemies when He redeems His people. But Christ's ministry was confined to the proclamation of the acceptable year. Let us note the contrast between the acceptable year and the day of vengeance. God is swift in judgment, but delights to delay in blessing. He might have used the last two thousand years for vengeance, for the prophet gives no hint of aught else before His glorious appearing. Instead, He fills it with transcendent manifestations of His grace.

23 The fame of Christ's miracles in Capernaum had reached His own neighbors. They were jealous in their unbelief. With marvelous skill He touches the sore spot and shows holy thoroughly in accord with their own Scriptures His ministry is. Even in the prophets blessing broke forth to outsiders when those within the covenant were in want. Sidon and Syria had no claim on Jehovah's mercy. Yet Elijah and Elisha, at a time of great need in Israel, are sent to convey God's mercies to the despised aliens. No doubt His language implied that there was a famine in Nazareth just as there was in Israel in Elijah's day (1 Ki.17) , only that then heaven was locked three years and six months and physical sustenance failed, yet now heaven is opened for a like period (for Christ's ministry seems to have been about this length) and they famish in the midst of plenty. So, too, His words hinted that there were lepers in Nazareth as in Israel in Elisha's day (2Ki.5), yet they are not cured, though a greater than Elisha is in their midst. How pitiful is their prejudice and impotent rage! He does not flee from them, but fearlessly wends His way through their very midst.

97

Luke 4:31-5:7

31-32 Compare Mt.4:13-17; Mk.1:21-22.

31 His rejection in "His own country" led to His making Capernaum "His own city". From this as a base, He circled about on His evangelistic tours, returning thither at their end. Much of His work was done in it, for it was on some of the main highways of traffic.

33-35 Compare Mk. 1:23-26.

33 Since the serpent deceived Eve in Eden, man has been subject, to some extent, to the spirits of the unseen world. One of the most marked features of the millennial eon is the absence of the evil influences which now actuate mankind from without. Satan will then be bound. Subordinate spirits will not be able to prey on humanity. To inaugurate this kingdom Messiah must be able to cope with demons and destroy their power over its subjects. Hence, every time that He cast out demons by His word, it was a sign that the kingdom of God was near, and that the King was present to dispossess the evil powers that opposed Him.

34 It is a sad commentary on the darkness of the human heart, when the demons show an intelligence far superior to the people who possessed the special revelation which was given to identify the Messiah. They wondered and questioned, but the demons knew Him and dared not disobey His word. Peter needed a special revelation from God to teach Him who Christ was, yet these wicked spirits knew and acknowledged that He was the Christ, the Son of God. So far is spirit superior to flesh that these demons readily recognized His divine Sonship, while few of His professed followers fully entered Into His messIanic glories.

38-39 Compare Mt.8:14-15; Mk.1:29-31.

38 A fever usually runs its course. Indeed, it is dangerous to stop it. So the ills of mankind will never be cured of a sudden until the great Physician speaks the word. When He appears again Israel will be in the most awful pressure, but will be relieved the moment He arrives. Then they will serve Him as never before. Not only will bodily ills be healed, but the social and political diseases that mar man's day will disappear when He is on the scene.

40-41 Compare Mt.8:16-17; Mk.1:32-34.

42-44 Compare Mk.1:35-39.

44 No one who attentively reads the accounts of our Lord's ministry will fail to wonder why He confined Himself to Galilee and never evangelized the cities of Judea. Except for His seven visits to Jerusalem and journeys to Bethany beyond Jordan, it appears as if He absolutely ignored the most important section of the nation in His heralding. On His journeys to and from Jerusalem He taught and healed, but, in accepted texts and versions, we have no account whatever of any proclamation in the synagogues of Judea. The solution of this lies in the reading we have followed in this passage. Both of our best manuscripts read Judea here instead of Galilee. The fact that Matthew and Mark speak of a journey through Galilee at about this time is no clear proof that He did not visit Judea also. These so-called parallel passages explain why some manuscripts have the reading Galilee. It Is an attempt to "harmonize" what appears to be a discrepancy. It is not at all likely that it would be changed to Judea when the other accounts read Galilee. The editor has personally checked the reading in the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus MSS. That these two great manuscripts should have this reading unchallenged by correctors or editors seems to be proof sufficient to sustain it. It is a relief to know that He did not absolutely ignore that part of the country which, in some respects, had the greatest claim on His ministry. Our Lord sprang from the tribe of Judah, and could hardly complete His course without proclaiming to His own tribe.

1-3 Compare Mt.4:18; Mk.1:16.

4 See Jn.211-8.

4 There are three principal methods of fishing spoken of in the Scriptures. There was the hook and line (Mt.17:27) with which Peter caught the fish that had the poll-tax money in its mouth. There was the seine, or drag net {Mt.13:47), which was played out from a boat and dragged to the shore. Then there were other, smaller nets, operated from boats. These had to be used at night. It was considered foolish to even attempt to net fish in the day time. Hence Peter's mild remon-

Luke 5:8-26

98

strance. If they could not catch any fish at night, why even try in broad daylight? But Peter is impressed by the One who spoke as no man ever spoke, and did as he was bid, without the least expectation. It would be difficult to imagine his awe and consternation at the enormous catch. To fill two boats with a single catch would be almost a miracle at night. It certainly demonstrated that the Man Who bade them do it was the most remarkable Fisherman they had ever seen! And this was the purpose of the miracle: to portray Him as the great Fisher of men, and to set forth His ministry. The fish represent the disciples that He caught during His proclamation of the kingdom. The broken net pathetically pictures His sufferings for their sakes. Even the action of Peter and John in salvaging the fish and the submergence of the ships are significant of their ministries in the eras that followed His death.

8-11 Compare Mt.4:19-22; Mk.1:20.

11 This is the marvelous manner in which He recalls them. In a few minutes He gives them a preview of the mission which they are to fill, and then summons them to go fishing with Him. Henceforth they will catch men.

12-14 Compare Mt.8:1-4; Mk.1:40-44.

12 What a series of striking contrasts do we see in this scene! A loathsome leper with a vigorous and wholesome spirit, which does not doubt the Lord's ability, yet leaves Him to work His will. Whoever should touch him would be defiled and unclean. Instead, the One Who touches him not only remains undefiled but cleanses the leper! The priests should have hearkened to the prophet like Moses. Instead they are given the testimony of an outcast! The cleansing of a leper included a beautiful type of the death and resurrection of Christ (Lev.14). Two birds were taken, one was killed and the other, dipped in its blood, was set free to fly into the heavens. Besides this, the priest must offer various sacrifices and anoint his ear and hand and foot and head with oil, a symbol of the spirit. This erstwhile leper must have made good use of this timely opportunity to testify to the priests at Jerusalem, during the days of his cleansing.

15-16 Compare Mk.1:45.
17-26 Compare Mt.9:1-8; Mk.2:1-12.

17 The fame of the Lord must have been very great at this time to gather so large and so representative a throng. Galilee alone had over two hundred villages, according to Josephus, and we may suppose that Judea had at least half as many. It is notable that, though He did not go about in Judea as He did in Galilee, the Judeans came to Him.

18 There is nothing unusual in the setting of this scene for an Oriental. To let down a bed through the steep roofs usually found in the West would be a feat in itself. But Eastern houses had flat roofs with battlements, easily accessible, often by a staircase on the side, and a place of continual resort. The roofing was readily removed, and this was often done in taking a corpse out of the house, for they had a superstitious fear of carrying a dead man through the doors.

20 A well man could hardly have pressed his way into the presence of the Lord in such a crowd, so what could a poor paralytic do? But the faith of the friends was far from paralyzed. It was very vigorous, indeed. It was manifested by their act. And it was this faith, rather than the pitiable paralysis of the patient, that challenged the attention of the Lord. Such faith was far more than sufficient for the healing of his body. So He ignores his paralysis and addresses Himself to its cause.
     Disease is the result of sin. This is true racially rather than individually. As individuals, our sufferings are not confined to the result of our own sins, but spring from the most complex combinations of heredity and environment. In the kingdom health will be an effect, not a cause, and the basis will be the pardon of sins. The lesser is included in the greater.

24 Pardon is executive clemency based on authority. Only a high government official can pardon. Sin can be pardoned only by God and the One to Whom He delegates this authority. His mastery of paralysis proves that He can pardon sins. This proclaims Him the Son of Mankind, the coming One Who can banish both sin and sickness from the earth. This will not be fully accomplished until the final consummation.

99

Luke 5:27-6:6

21-28 Compare Mt.9:9; Mk.2:13-14.

21 Human wisdom and expedience would have urged our Lord to choose for His apostles men of the highest character and reputation. Instead, He chooses those that were despised and abhorred. Not without cause were the collectors of revenue for Rome hated for their traitorous occupation and extortionate greed. John the baptist, in telling them to assess no more than what had been prescribed (313), pointed out their most reprehensible practice. They collected far in excess of the government's requirements and kept the balance themselves. This opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of their fellow-countrymen was the only motive which could tempt a Jew into this hated occupation. They were always classed with sinners. Our Lord does not seek to cover His call of Levi, or Matthew, as he is usually named. He goes right to the tribute office and takes him from his work. He does not wait until He can meet him elsewhere, or until he changes his occupation, or has been put on probation. It is evident that He wishes to impress the people with the fact that He came to call the unrighteous and sinners, in order to magnify God's love and mercy rather than His justice.

29-82 Compare Mt.9:10-13; Mk.2:15-11.

31 What subtle irony there is in these words! The Pharisees and scribes were foully diseased within in spite of their pious appearance. Yet their ailment was like some insidious plague that deadens the nerves to its presence. The truth remains, the Lord could not call those who thought themselves whole, however serious their real condition.

33-35 Compare Mt.9:14-15; Mk.2:18-20.

33 How little did they realize the privilege of His presence! Not even John, let alone the Pharisees, could provide a spiritual banquet. Why should they have a physical feast?

36 Compare Mt.9:16; Mk.2:21.
37-39 Compare Mt.9:17; Mk.2:22.

36 The Pharisees were trying to patch up their old cloak by tearing a piece from His new one. Their old skin bottles were empty and decayed. They had no joy and the forms which once contained it had become corrupted and decayed. The wine the Lord gave them was full of cheer and gladness, and could not find expression in fasting and asceticism. All this was said, doubtless, at the reception of Levi, to defend the feasting and the joy, and to dispel the gloom which they sought to cast over it.

1-5 Compare Mt.12:1-8; Mk.2:23-28; Deut.23:25..

1 The somewhat enigmatical word second-first in the Greek has proved so inexplicable that many texts have omitted it, and few editors retain it. Many explanations have been offered, but most of them are based on conjecture. The solution seems simple. The Jews had several sabbaths besides the seventh day of the week. The fifteenth and the twenty-first of Nisan were sabbaths, being the first and last days of the festival of Unleavened Bread. When the weekly sabbath came on the sixteenth, two sabbaths would come together, one a "great day" (Jn.19:31) , and the next an ordinary sabbath. To distinguish the fifteenth-sixteenth sabbath from the double sabbath a week later it was called the first, and to distinguish the second day from the first it was called the second-first (Lev.23:6.8). This was probably the day of His resurrection.

2 According to the law ( Deut.23:25 ) , the disciples had a perfect right to pluck the ears and eat them, though this is not legal in the Western world. The Pharisees do not object to that, but to the act of rubbing, which they interpreted as work unlawful on the sabbath day. If we tear off the mask, we shall find that they were breaking the law, not the disciples. It was probably the festival of Unleavened Bread. The disciples eating the grain as it came from the stalks, certainly ate unleavened bread! But, in the spiritual realm, hypocrisy is leaven (12:1), and they were guilty of hypocrisy, they were using leaven, at the very beginning of the feast, which was unlawful!

3 Though the disciples had committed no breach of the law, what if they had? The priests labor in the temple, David ate before God (1 Sa.21:1-6), and they were in the presence of the Lord of the Sabbath HImself. If He is not offended, why should they be?

6-11 Compare Mt.12:9-14; Mk.3:1-6.

Luke 6 :7-31

100

6 Jewish tradition carried sabbath observance to ridiculous lengths. They gravely discussed whether it is lawful to put out one's hand to give to a beggar, and how far! They disagreed as to whether it is allowable to comfort the sick on that day! It is striking how many times the Lord is reported as healing on the sabbath. The reason is clear. These instances are signs indicative of the healing of the nation. But when the nation is cured it will enter into the great sabbatism of the day of the Lord, commonly called the millennium. Healing brings relaxation, rest. How fitting that it should be on the sabbath!

12 Communion with God is the only proper and adequate preparation for His work. The apostles were not chosen without God's guidance. They were not chosen for their own excellence, but for their fitness to fulfill the will of God and carry out His purpose. Thus one of them was actually selected from the beginning to betray his Lord.

13-16 Compare Mt.10:1-4; Mk.3:13-19.

13 The name "apostle" is really our "commissioner". They were to be His authoritative representatives, when He was not present. As God had given Him a commission, with authority to enforce it, so He delegated it to them. After His ascension they became the recognized leaders until the increasing apostasy deposed them and put James, the Lord's brother according to the flesh, in their place. In the kingdom they will rule the twelve tribes, with Matthias in the place of Judas.

14 Simon, or Peter, is always first among the apostles. His name hitherto was Simon, meaning Hearing, but the Lord changes it to Peter, meaning Rock, as he is the first stone in the spiritual edifice He is about to build. His father's name was John, but this is also changed by our Lord to Jonah, meaning Dove, a symbol of the spirit, and of Peter's spiritual paternity. Simon, son of John, is the physical man, Peter, son of Jonah, the spiritual.

17-19 Compare Mt.12:15-21; Mk.3:7-12.
20-23 Compare Mt.5:1-12.

20 There is no reason for creating a difficulty by insisting that this is Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew's account. Our Lord undoubtedly repeated much of His message to fresh audiences. The variations and differences in detail are intentional and correspond with the character of the account. Matthew takes Him up into a mountain and surrounds Him with His disciples. Luke takes Him down to an even place and surrounds Him with a vast concourse, though He spoke only to the disciples.

20 The weal and woe pronounced on the poor and rich, the hungry and the full, the lamenting and the laughing, those who are hated and those who are flattered, is strictly limited by the word now. Conditions on earth preceding the coming of the kingdom involve the true disciple in poverty, hunger, distress, and hatred. The same conditions will prevail again just before the kingdom actually appears. These beatitudes will be fulfilled in the vast throng who come out of the great affliction (Un.7:13-17). Of them it is said "They shall be hungering no longer. . . and every tear shall God be brushing away from their eyes." The woes are equally applicable in the same period to the apostates in great Babylon. The rich apostate Jews represented by the false woman of the apocalypse (Un.17, 18) who indulge themselves and have no sorrow–these shall suffer death and mourning and famine. And those who see their judgment will repeat our Lord's words: "Woe! Woe!" (Un.18:10). In the present interval of God's transcendent grace, while blessing comes to the nations because of Israel's rejection of the kingdom, there is no woe pronounced on the rich, but they are charged to use their riches for God (1Tim.6:17-19).

24 Compare Ja.5:1-6.
25 Compare Prov.14:13.
26 Compare Jn.15:19; Ja.4:4.
27-31 Compare Mt.5:38-44, 7:12; Ex.23:4; Prov.25:21; Ro.12:20.

27-31 These precepts reflect the persecutions preceding the kingdom, and give the conduct proper to those who enter it.

28 Compare 23:34; Ac.7:60.
29 Compare 1Co.6:7.
30 Compare Deut. 15:7-8,10.
31 Compare Gal. 5:14,

101

Luke 6:32-7:1

32-36 Compare Mt.5:44-48.

35 We have here the substance of the new covenant which the Lord will make with Israel when He restores them to their land and to His favor (Jer.31:27-34). After those days, He says

I put My law within them,
And I wIll write It on their hearts.

The second greatest commandment, to love your associate as yourself, never had more than a superficial and perfunctory observance. But Ezekiel declares that in that day He will give them a new heart and a new spirit, and will take away the stony heart and give them a heart of flesh (Eze.36:26). This is the essential basis of the kingdom in Israel. The law will not be enforced from without but by a vital power within. They will actually care for the welfare of others rather than their own. So long as each one is concerned for himself alone, the best that government can do is to restrain the resultant evil. This happy form of rule will not extend beyond the people of the covenant. The nations will be ruled with an iron club (Un.19:15). Their obedience will not be from the heart but compulsory, so that, when Satan is loosed, they are ready to rebel against the most beneficent form of government the world has ever seen (Un.20:7-10) .

36 The principle underlying these precepts is quite applicable in this day of grace, but a literal fulfillment of the promises is out of the question. Indeed, grace goes far beyond the spirit of this passage, for it gives freely without the promise of a recompense.

37-38 Compare Mt.7:1-2; Prov.19:17; Ja.2:13.

38 The figure is very expressive to one who has seen grain measured in the East. By squeezing down, shaking together and piling high until it runs over, the quantity of grain in a given measure is vastly increased. Grain was carried in the loose folds of the bosom of their garments.

39 Compare Mt. 15:14.

39 Besides its general application, the Lord undoubtedly referred especially to the religious leaders in Israel. On several occasions He characterized the scribes and Pharisees as blind guides (Mt.15:14, 23:16, 24). The light that was in them was darkness, hence it was very dense.

40 Compare Mt.10:24-25; Jn.12:36.
41-42 Compare Mt.7:3-5.

41 Even those who are not blind should distrust their own eyesight. We can all see the obstructions in the discernment of others. Heredity, environment, religious associations, all intrude into our perception of things divine. If each one were more anxious to discover his own defects, he would be more fitted to help others. But how shall we extract the beam in our own eye? By carefully comparing our conclusions with evidences of revelation. Too many of us stereotype "truth" rather than hold to the facts on which all truth depends. Truth that does not bear a microscopic comparison with the minutest fact of the inspired Scriptures has no right to the name. A careful presentation of all the facts in available form should be the most efficient of all aids to remove our prejudices and reveal the truth.

43-45 Compare Mt.7:16-20, 12:33-37.

43 In the kingdom "they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree" (Mic.4:4), The fig tree figures their righteous government, hence the prophet adds, "and none shall make them afraid", The vine portrays the gladness and joy that ensue. The nation of Israel will never produce figs or grapes so long as they are thorns and thorn bushes. Far less can the nations of the world who have not received the cultivation accorded the people of the covenant. Good government and happy homes come from the heart and cannot be imposed on the unregenerate by penal laws.

46-48 Compare Mt.7:21-25; Isa.26:3-4, 28:16; ICo.3:10-11.

46 This parable presents the permanent character of the kingdom. Its foundation is laid deep in the solid stratum of God's purpose rather than the insecure sand of human expedience. The superstructure may look safe, but the stress of political storms will wreck every state but the one which will displace them and have no end. So, also, are those who are allied with these kingdoms. Those who heard and obeyed Him built a house whose foundations would last for the eon. Those who do not obey are caught in the crash preceding the kingdom.

1-10 Compare Mt. 8:5-13.

Luke 7:2-18

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2 What He has said has neither interpretation nor application to nations outside the Israelitish fold. None of those present could so have understood His words, for their prejudice against the gentile nations was extreme, and He made no effort to disabuse their minds on this score. But we know that the nations will have a place in the kingdom, and that blessing will flow out to them through Israel. Does He give no hint of this? The centurion's slave gives us a graphic picture of the benefits which come to the nations through the mediacy of Israel. The centurion himself is undoubtedly a proselyte to the Jewish faith or he certainly would not build a synagogue for them. The slave represents the subservient position of the nations in that day. But the most remarkable similarity is suggested by the distance between the Healer and the one who is healed. In Israel, all healing was done in His presence. They were at great pains to bring their sick from afar; they broke through the roof; His touch or the sound of His voice seemed essential to secure the desired blessing. And so it is with Israel. Until His future presence, they have no hope of partaking in the promises of the prophets. His feet will stand on the mount of Olives, His capital will be Jerusalem. The other nations, though at a distance, will also receive His healing balm as did the centurion's slave. There is no necessity for identifying this incident with that in Matthew's account. The lesson is the same, but the time and setting seem different.
     The great principle of blessing at a distance through faith is followed much further in God's dealings with the nations in the present secret administration (Eph.3:9). Though Christ has not returned, and though Israel is not blessed, yet by faith we receive a blessing far superior to anything suggested by this scene. We are not slaves of Israel and do not depend on any intervention through Israel, but we have a place and a portion among the celestials which is immeasurably beyond both.

11 Death was defeated whenever it entered the presence of Christ. This was the greatest sign of His messiahship. For the kingdom will consist, to a large extent, of those who have died in expectation, not having received the promises. Abraham will be there and David, but holy can they enter except through resurrection? Therefore, Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. He that can raise the dead is the Messiah of Israel, He is the Son of God. Besides the rousing of Jairus' daughter, He brought Lazarus back from the tomb. The little girl had scarcely died, the widow's son was on his way to the tomb, and Lazarus had been dead three days. One was but a child one a youth, the other a mature man.' But each one responded to His word, and passed from death back into life. Thus will it be in the former resurrection, which will occur some thirteen hundred and thirty-five days after the middle of the seventieth heptad of the ninth of Daniel (Dan.12:12) or about seventy-five days after His epiphany. The faithful in Israel will arise to die no more, but the unbelieving will not awake until the close of the day of the Lord (Dan.12:2).

18-20 Compare Mt. 11:2-3.

18 By this time John had been in prison more than a year. Reports of the wonderful works of Christ probably brought to him the question of his own release. He had lived his whole life in the wide open spaces and close confinement must have been most depressing to his spirit, and led him to brood over his own fate. The news that he received concerning Christ seemed to cover only one phase of the activities of the One he had heralded. He baptized in holy spirit but not in fire. He did not burn up the chaff with fire. Were there to be two Messiahs? This one did only good and no evil. He could not hope to be released from prison by Him. Would He later execute the judgment foretold or was that the work of a different One? Such seems to be the trend of John's thoughts. He was anticipating the day of vengeance, when Christ would take His great power and reign. To have answered his question would involve the revelation of secrets which were not due to be kown at that time. The kingdom was still being proclaimed. Its rejection could not be predicted without nullifying its proclamation. Hence the Lord does not reply to John's question, but bids those sent by him to note the character of the works

103

Luke 7:19-43

He is doing. This may be taken as a personal message to John that his suffering would be relieved even to the extent of rousing him from the dead.

19 As the form of the Greek word for different or "another" is indefinite as to gender, it may be rendered "a different thing" or "another thing". That is, John may have hoped that Christ was about to change His ministry of mercy to one of judgment, in which case he would be delivered.

21-23 Compare Mt.11:4-6.
24-28 Compare Mt.11:7-15.

24 Notwithstanding his question, John was no weakling or lover of luxury. He was not wavering in his confidence in Christ or desirous to escape merely for his own comfort. No one could call him a reed subject to the whim of every current of air! His imprisonment was proof of this, for he stood against the storm when he boldly accused Herod of his sin. His camel's hair garment proved that he was no silk robed courtier. They came out to see a prophet and that was what they saw. His present imprisonment was only an added proof of that, for such was the treatment which they usually gave a man of God. John, as the immediate forerunner of Christ, was the greatest of all the prophets.

27 Compare Mal.3:1.
29 Compare 3:12.

29 John's call to repentance was to the whole nation, but the Pharisees and lawyers could not accept God's estimate of their lives. They justified themselves. The rest justified God. The common people and the tribute collectors, by undergoing his baptism at least acknowledged their own sinfulness. To this day the same principle obtains. Self-condemnation is a sure road to righteousness; self-justification is the road to ruin.

31 Compare Mt.11:16-19.

31 Those who wish to oppose God's work have no difficulty in finding fault, for every virtue, fitly displayed, is turned into a vice by the distorting eyes of jealousy and hate. John's subject was sin, so he was an ascetic. It was not his work to lead them into the joys of the kingdom. That was for Messiah. He satisfied their souls with food and made the wine for a marriage feast. All this was in accord with their message and ministry. Silly men, knowing neither, would have them mar their message by acts which jar with their ministry.

33 Compare 1:15.

36 Truth is best conveyed by contrast. In fact, all human knowledge is relative. We know nothing absolutely, but by its relation to other things. Herein lies the loveliness of this incident. The Pharisee was at the top, the woman at the bottom of the social scale. It is very striking and instructive to see these two brought together and to note their different reactions to the grace of Christ. The greatest glory of the Saviour was His love for sinners and His holiness which remained unspotted in contact with them. The touch of this woman of ill repute would have sent a shudder through the self-righteous Pharisee. It thrilled Him with compassion.
     This Simon did not apprehend. He thought his Guest must be ignorant of her character to allow caresses, hence did not have even the insight of a prophet. But the ignorance was not on the Lord's part. He soon proved that by His parable. Neither was it on the woman's part. Her tears, her worship, all she did, show the deepest consciousness of her own sinfulness and of His salvation. It was Simon himself who was ignorant. He did not know his own sinfulness. He did not recognize his Saviour. He did not honor Him with the common courtesies of Oriental hospitality. If he had known Him he would have shown Him the utmost attention and rejoiced in the woman's worship. There is no reason whatever for identifying this woman with Mary Magdalene. She had been a demoniac, not a sinner.

41 This simple parable contains the whole philosophy of sin. However hateful in itself, its ultimate effect is to produce an abundant response to God's love. The greatest triumphs of grace are in the darkest depths of degradation. The Pharisee, instead of being immensely superior to the social outcast, as he supposed, was at a vast disadvantage. His love for the Saviour was shallow, his response to His grace

Luke 7:44-8:8

104

feeble, because he had no dire sense of sin. Without in the least encouraging or countenancing sin, we must acknowledge its place in God's purpose to establish and strengthen cordial relations between Himself and His creatures, and such communion as is quite out of the question by any other means. And the more serious the sin the more certain and loyal will be our love to the One Who delivers us from it. This is the only revealed or rational solution of the temporary presence of sin.

44 An honored guest would not only be given water, but would have had his feet washed by a slave; he would have been given a kiss of welcome by his host; and he would have been sprayed or rubbed with the fragrant essential oils or attars which are so common among the upper classes in the Orient. All these Simon had neglected, manifesting the poverty of his appreciation. All these the woman supplied in lavish measure and method, and so manifested the opulence of her love.

48 Undoubtedly, according to the parable, the Lord deals graciously with Simon as well as with the sinner. But it is to her alone He speaks the word of pardon and salvation. And, lest her act, the fruit of her faith, be confounded with it and be made the ground of her salvation, He concludes, "Your faith has saved you."

2 Compare Mt.27:55-56; Mk.16:9.

2 Many of the Lord's disciples have been misjudged, but the case of Mary Magdalene seems to be the most flagrant. The name now stands for a repentant harlot, whereas there is not the least ground for fastening such a sin on Mary Magdalene. She was a demoniac. Seven demons had gone out of her. Now she, with other women, followed Him and the apostles in their journeys. They seem to have had the honor of supplying His wants out of their own wealth. This does not at all accord with the account of the woman who was a sinner in the city of Simon the Pharisee (7:37). Mary was from Magdala, on the western shore of the lake of Galilee, not far from Tiberias.

4-8 Compare Mt.13:1-9; Mk.4:1-9.

5 The parable of the sower seems to have been repeated with some variations on various occasions at this period of His ministry. He had been proclaiming the kingdom for some considerable time and had noted the effects of His message. This is the gist of the parable. The picture presented was one so common that all His hearers were familiar with it. The roads ran right through the fields. The rocks and the thorns were plentiful. Every Spring they could see this parable repeated before their eyes. It is usual to use this parable indiscriminately of every proclamation of the evangel. But that is surely a serious error. The evangel is preached today to open blind eyes to the salvation of Christ. This parable was spoken that, hearing, they should not be understanding. Only those who already believe can grasp the meaning of a parable. Even they often fail to apprehend its force. The disciples did not understand. How, then, could the multitude possibly discern its hidden meaning?
     In Israel the festivals represented a cycle of their spiritual history. Firstfruits and Pentecost and Ingathering were intended to tell of a spiritual harvest. Now He tells them of the sowing of the seed. There is only one Sower. The usual elements of opposition were present when the Lord proclaimed the kingdom. The Slanderer, the flesh and the world were the three forces that frustrated His words. First, there was the opposition of the Slanderer that hindered many from believing at all. Among these were the scribes and Pharisees whom He called the children of the Slanderer, and whom John the baptist had called the offspring of vipers. Then, there was the mass of His disciples who, indeed, believed, in a sense, yet were not fit for the kingdom. The kingdom can be entered only through great trial and it will be most difficult for a rich man to get in. The great affiiction (Un.7:14) will take its toll of the half-hearted, leaving only the poor and honest hearts for the kingdom. Any attempt to "apply" this parable to the present grace will find its chief interest in the confusion that it creates. The kingdom proclamation demands endurance; the evangel of God's grace supplies it.

105

Luke 8:9-33

9-10 Compare Mt.13:10-17; Mk.4:10-13; Isa.6:9.
11-12 Compare Mt.13:18-19; Mk.4:14-15.
13 Compare Mt.13:20-21; Mk.4:16-17.
14-15 Compare Mt.l3:22-23; Mk.4:18-20.
16-18 Compare 11:33-36; Mt.5:15-16; Mt.4:21-25.

16 To enable His disciples to discern the difference between the fruitful and unfruitful hearers, He gives a further illustration. The hearty believer places his light on a stand. He makes the message known. The half-hearted one is slothful. He hides it under a couch. The worldly one puts his business first, and hides it under a vessel. These two shall lose the light they have, but the former shall receive more light.

17 Compare 12:2; Mt.l0:26.
18 Compare 19:26; Mt.l3:12, 25:29.

18 In grace no one is deprived of the light he has, no matter how feebly it may flicker, yet the other part of the principle applies to all. He who has some light is on the way to further illumination.

19 The crowding out of His physical relations is symbolic of the trend of His ministry at this time. He was allying Himself with those of like spirit, and strengthening His union with them.

22-25 Compare Mt.8:18-27; Mk.4:35-41.

23 A lovely little likeness we have here of that great spiritual storm which engulfed them at His crucifixion. The wind would represent the unseen powers of evil, one of which entered into Judas, and the waters the people who were whipped into fury under their influence. Had the Lord been absent, as on another occasion, we would refer this trial to the time of the end. But He is with them. Does not His sleep speak of His death, and the consternation of the apostles the fear which His decease inspired? And His awakening–did not His resurrection proclaim Him Sovereign over all the powers of evil? Not only wind and wave, but sovereignties and dependencies obey His will.

26-31 Compare Mt.8:28-29; Mk.5:1-10.

26 Some manuscripts read Gadarenes for Gergesenes, or Gerasenes. Gadara is usually identified with the modern Um Keis, a place about three hours' travel from the lake shore on the far side of the Jermuk river. This location does not at all suit the circumstances surrounding this miracle. Except at Tiberias there is no overhanging cliff on lake Galilee, but at the site of some ancient ruins called Chersa there is a steep declivity, and beyond the ruins are tombs in the mountain side. This site is "across from Galilee", on the eastern shore of the lake. The shore is so narrow at the base of the mountain that a herd of hogs, rushing down its steep sides, would not be able to stop before being drowned in the water. These facts, together with the manuscript evidence, seem sufficient to justify us in adopting the reading Gergesenes, rather than the usual Gadarenes.

28 The demons never seemed to be at a loss to identify the Lord. It might take a miracle to make men admit Him to be the Messiah. Few saw Him to be God's Son. But the demons usually insisted on giving Him this title and acknowledged His authority over them. In spiritual intelligence they were certainly far superior to any of His disciples. Hence they feared Him, realizing the lawlessness of their obsession of human beings.
     In some abnormal trance states it is possible for a person to entirely yield control of his body to another mind. In this condition the thoughts of the directing mind find a response in the subject, before they can be uttered and conveyed through the usual channels. If one man can control another in this fashion, it is not difficult to see how demons can break down the human will and impose themselves on their victims. This may have been the case before the deluge, and the reason why mankind was given a flesh diet thereafter. The present time is characterized by the activity of deceiving spirits (1Ti.4:1). Satan is transfigured into an angel of light, and those under him seek to simulate the operations of God's holy spirit.

32-83 Compare Mt.8:30-32; Mk.5:11-15; Lev.11:7-8; 1 Ki.22:22.

32 Hog raising was contrary to the law of Moses. Swine were unclean animals' unfit for food. Hence the Lord was quite justified in being the cause of their destruction. Indeed, there was a fitness in furnishing the unclean demons with unclean habitations.

Luke 8:34-9:2

106

34-37 Compare Mt.8:33-34; Mk.5:14-17.

34 It is evident that the Gergesenes thought more of their hogs than of human beings. It is likely that there were other herds and other lawless practices which His presence would condemn. How terrible is the perversity that prefers darkness to light, because of the evil which it harbors! He seems to have remained but a little while, acceding to their request, but He does not leave them without a witness to His power and love, for the erstwhile demoniac carries on the cure by proclaiming his cure to the whole city. The Lord seldom visited that side of the lake and may never have preached to them again.

38-39 Compare Mk.5:18-20.
40 Compare Mt.9:1; Mk.5:21.
41-42 Compare Mt.9:18; Mk.5:22-24.

41 Undoubtedly, there is an intended contrast between this Jew, with the highest of privileges, who is at the head of a synagogue in Capernaum, and the centurion proselyte who had built them a synagogue. But the centurion is humble and confident in the Lord's power. He did not deem himself worthy of having the Lord enter his home. He saw no necessity for One so great as He to come into personal contact with the case. He recognized His lordship. As a result he received an instantaneous response. His slave was healed immediately (7:2-8). Not so Jairus. The centurion felt unqualified to come himself, but Jarius comes and casts himself at His feet, and desires His presence in his house. Surely the chief of the synagogue is worthy to have Him enter his home! Had his faith equaled the centurion's, his daughter could have been saved long before. He is delayed. The throngs are so thick that He cannot hurry. So it is with Israel. Their faith is feeble. They cannot grasp His power to bless unless He is present.

43 Meanwhile one who has a larger measure of faith is healed. Whether guided by intuition or by intelligence, she touches the tassel of His cloak. The "blossom", a fringe or tassel, was put on all garments as a reminder of the commandments (Nu.15:37-41). On it was a ribbon of blue. The robe speaks of righteousness, the fringe or tassel of its finish. Indeed, the Hebrew word for blue is formed from the word which means to finish. That which finished or completed our Lord's righteousness was His obedience to death. So that the woman may well figure that remnant in Israel who receive the salvation of their souls while the nation lies dead (1 Pet.1:9). The soul (not life) of the flesh is in the blood (Lev.17:14). Hers was a salvation of blood by blood. His suffering provided a blood redemption for the faithful few while the nation as such waited for redemption by power.

43-48 Compare Mt.9:20-22; Mk.5:25-34.
49-50 Compare Mk.5:35-36.

49 The hopelessness of Israel's state is well figured by death. If we take all the disabilities and diseases which are given as signs of her spiritual condition, their sum would be death. And it is notable that in this case, as well as that of Lazarus, there was delay on His part. This is most marked with Lazarus, and there the Lord gives us the reason for His deliberate delay. He did not want to cure Lazarus; He wanted him to die, in order that God's glory might be manifested thereby (Jn.11:4).
     So it is with Israel nationally. He could long ago have come and restored them to life. But, for their greater good and God's greater glory, He is deliberately delaying His return. He will wait until their condition is beyond all human help, until its very hopelessness will proclaim the power of His salvation.

51-56 Compare Mt.9:23-26; Mk.5:37-43.
1-6 Compare Mt.10:1-15; Mk.6:7-13.

1 Hitherto, it seems, the apostles had remained with him as disciples, to learn His words and ways. Now, however, they are empowered as apostles, to represent Him and carry the proclamation into communities which He Himself did not visit. We can well imagine the ardor with which they would assume their new powers and responsibilities. This was not a general commission for all time. It continued only so long as He Himself proclaimed the kingdom and was withdrawn when it was rejected and He made known His sufferings. In that the apostles could take no part.

107

Luke 9:3-20

3 The conditions under which the twelve apostles were sent forth had regard to the customs and usages of the land. They were going to their own countrymen and the most direct road to their hearts and confidence would be to depend entirely on their hospitality. Such was the custom then, and until very lately a poor peasant could travel all over that region without a purse, or provisions, or extra apparel. They slept in the same garments which they wore during the day. Strict etiquette demanded that every villager should invite them to eat with him. Indeed, on this point the Lord goes contrary to the established custom. To move from house to house would lead to much distraction and consume much time, so they remain in the first house they enter, so long as they are in the neighborhood. The villagers would not seriously object to this arrangement, for it saved them much toil and trouble. Each new lodging required special preparations and feasting and other courtesies which became burdensome and of no real benefit. Otherwise they were careful to keep the customs, and avoid needless persecution.

7-9 Compare 23:8; Mt.14:1-2; Mk.6:14-16.

7 Notwithstanding that John had exposed Herod's sin in marrying his brother Philip's wife, as well as all his other wickedness, and that Herod had locked up John in jail, the tetrarch had a high opinion of him and feared him and was sorry to be trapped into putting him to death (Mk.6:20-26). He seems to have clung to the idea that the Lord was John, risen from the dead, and expressed a desire to make His acquaintance and was eager to see Him perform a miracle in his presence. It seems strange that he was not able to gratify his wish, and did not see the Lord until He stood before him on the night of His betrayal. Herod was glad indeed of the opportunity, but all his talking did not draw a single word from His mouth. That was the only sign that was given to Herod, and it should have sufficed (Isa.53:7) :

He is hard pressed and He is humiliated,
Yet He is not opening His mouth.

10-11 Compare Mt.14:13-14; Mk.6:30-34; Jn.6:1-4.

11 Bethsaida was probably situated on both sides of the mouth of the Jordan, as it enters the lake of Galilee. This makes it unnecessary to suppose there are two cities of the same name. Moreover there is a spot not far away which seems to answer to all that we know of the site. It is a desert place, not far from the lake, near a mountain, and a grassy spot large enough to seat the multitude.

12-17 Compare Mt.14:15-21; Mk.6:35-44; Jn.6:5-13.

13 This is one of the seven signs of John's account, which were given to prove that He was the Messiah. He is the true Bread, able to sustain His people even in a desert place. The lesson in this sign is more marvelous still if we carefully compare it with a similar occasion, when four thousand were fed on seven cakes. The astonishing thing is that the fragments left from feeding the greater number with the five cakes was much in excess of the fragments from feeding the smaller number with seven cakes. His power is not limited by the means He uses. We need never be discouraged because we have so little for Him to work with. On the contrary, He can do more with little than with much. Human aid hinders rather than helps Him.

18-20 Compare Mt.16:13-19; Mk.8:27-29.

18 At this point a gloomy cloud begins to throw its sombre shadow over the little band of true disciples. It has become increasingly evident that the throngs utterly fail to recognize Him as the Messiah. They eagerly eat the food which His power provides, but cannot understand His words. To them He is no more than a wonderworking prophet. The power displayed in His prodigies amazed them, but the significance of His signs escaped them. They have rejected Him and His message. The pathway that led to a crown now leads to a cross. His messianic claims are laid aside. He actually warns them not to make Him known as the Christ. He enters the path of suffering. But, even as the multitude did not believe His words, so now His disciples fail to follow when He speaks of His death. The path to the cross was lonely. He could not make the message known, for His own apostles did not believe it.

Luke 9:21-44

108

21-25 Compare Mt.16:19-26; Mk.8:30-37.

23 With His prospects changed from a glorious kingdom to one of rejection and death, those of His disciples are altered, also. It will cost them much to follow Him in His path of rejection. It will mean daily renunciation of self. It will mean the carrying of a load which will bring them shame and suffering. Yet the highest honors of the kingdom are for such. Those who suffer with Him, reign with Him. If any of His disciples prefer to avoid this suffering and thus save his soul (not his life), he will lose the joys and honors of the kingdom. If any choose to lose or destroy his soul by association with Him in His rejection, he will save it, for his place will be high in the kingdom.

26-27 Compare Mt.16:27-28; Mk.8:38, 9:1.

26 This is in anticipation, for hitherto there has been little cause to be ashamed of Him. To nerve them for the ordeal He gives them a glimpse of that future day when His shame will give place to glory, when He, instead of being the despised Nazarene, will be the most glorious Potentate of all the earth. No one will be ashamed of Him then! Yet He will be ashamed of those who are not loyal to Him in His humiliation.

27 This solemn statement seems to have been the cause of endless speculation. To one who has intelligently followed the narrative thus far it seems most appropriate. Had the kingdom proclamation been received by Israel, then it surely would have been set up in that generation. Even though it is rejected, the proclaiming has been faithfully done, and demands recognition. The private life of our Lord was pleasing to God, so He publicly acknowledged Him at His baptism, saying "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I delight! " We have now reached the conclusion of the kingdom proclamation, and what is more fitting than to give a foretaste of that day, and thus approve His ministry? So, in anticipation, the kingdom is set up. Peter, in his second epistle, considers this scene as a confirmation of the prophetic word. Not only will Christ have glory in the future day of His presence and power, but He has already been clothed with glory and honor.

28-33 Compare Mt.17:1-4; Mk.9:2-6.

33 Peter could not bear to hear the Lord speak of His sufferings, but here was a scene that was more to his liking. He desired to make it permanent, so proposes to build booths for the prophets and the Lord. But that was not at all the object in view. They were not yet occupied with the glory but with the Lord's suffering. Peter was premature. The time had not yet come. So the glory is swallowed up by a cloud, in which the solitary Sufferer appears alone. The Voice which came from heaven was a rebuke to Peter's proposal as well as an expression of the delight God had in His Son. Christ had been speaking to His disciples of His suffering, and Peter's words showed holy utterly he ignored his Master's words. Moreover, he seemed to put Moses and Elijah on a level with the Lord. So the Voice directs him away from them, and they vanish from the scene.

34-36 Compare Mt.17:5-9; Mk.9:7-8; 2 Pt.1:16-18.
37-42 Compare Mt.17:14-18; Mk.9:14-27.

37 What a change awaits Him when He descends from the glories of the holy mountain! There He was enveloped in the majesty and dignity of His high station. There He found Moses and Elijah in fellowship with the thoughts that filled His mind. Now He veils His glory and descends to a curious throng and to unbelieving disciples, the best of whom ignored the heavy cloud which hung over His soul. The first thing which meets Him suggests the change which has come over the spirit of His ministry. His disciples have been unable to cope with the evil spirit. Undoubtedly the unseen world of wickedness was well aware of the fact that they had succeeded in turning the leaders and people against Him. Hence the spirit refuses to obey the disciples. But their time had not yet fully come, so He rebukes the unclean spirit and heals the boy. This is a sign of the future failure of the kingdom proclamation under the apostles, as detailed in the book of Acts. As their message was refused by the nation, the signs and miracles which accompanied its proclamation gradually vanished. They will not be restored until His presence in the future.

109

Luke 9:45-62

45 The Lord was not misled by the amazement of the multitude. He knew their fickleness and unbelief. But He was concerned more particularly that His disciples should not be deceived by the great impression which His miracle had produced. Coming immediately after the marvelous manifestation in the mountain, Peter, James, and John would naturally come to the conclusion that this was the time to restore the kingdom. They evidently were entirely unaware what "exodus" Moses and Elijah had been talking to Him about. So the Lord solemnly prefaces His repeated declaration of His sufferings with a request that they take due note of the present applause, and contrast it with the bitter words that were about to break forth after His betrayal, so that they, too, may learn what is in man, and learn to put no confidence in the flesh.
     Now and again a "plain scripture" is asked for to prove a point of doctrine, on the supposition that no one could refuse to believe if such were produced. But alas, unbelief can stare the plainest passage out of countenance and never see its force. So the disciples were being continually reminded, in the plainest possible speech, that He was to suffer and die, but it did not affect them enough to arouse their questions.

46 This was a most shameful proceeding! How could the disciples think of nothing but their own exaltation at the very time that He was seeking to engage their hearts with His humiliation? In some sense, it is a far more miserable manifestation of human perversity than the unbelief of the multitude.

49 It could have been nothing less than pride and jealousy that caused the disciples to forbid anyone to use the Lord's name in casting out demons. Perhaps they were smarting under their own failure, while the Lord was in the holy mountain. John seems to speak of it in a kind of confession, wrought by the Lord's rebuke. They wished to be greater than others, and each one wished to be the greatest of them all. While He was descending into the depths alone, craving their understanding and sympathy, they were seeking for place and power with no thought of paying the price.

51 As the Jews are not beholden to the Samaritans (Jn.4:9), it is no wonder that they retaliated at times and would have no intercourse with Jews! But in this case there seems to have been a special reason. The Jews worshiped in Jerusalem and the Samaritans claimed that Mt. Gerizim was the proper place to worship. It was just before the feast of Tabernacles, and caravans of Jews were going through Samaria, from Galilee, to worship at Jerusalem. Hence the affront offered to His disciples. But the Lord had very kindly feelings toward the Samaritans and had disciples among them (Jn.4:39-42).

54 The long standing antagonism between the two peoples finds expression in this harsh proposal. It goes to show how feebly even the dearest of His disciples, one of whom is sometimes called the apostle of love, followed the gracious spirit of His mission. It is of the utmost importance that we do not follow Biblical examples blindly, but discriminate the spirit which becomes us in Christ.

58 The Son of Mankind is the allottee of all the power and dignity forfeited by Adam. The beasts of the field and the birds of the air are among the meanest subjects in His dominion, for Adam was lord not only of his posterity, but of the whole creation under heaven. He named the animals and they obeyed him. As the eighth psalm says:

Thou art causing him to rule what
Thy hands have made.
Thou dost put all under his feet,
Sheep and cows–all of them–
And even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea.
That which crosses the paths of the seas.

What pathos lies in this comparison! The lowest creatures in His realm are provided for, yet He, their Head, is homeless, and without a place to pillow His head!

59 Only about half a year remained of His ministry. He was on His way to the feast of Tabernacles. and six months later, at the Passover festival. He was to be offered up. Hence He urges the utmost diligence. The social ceremonies of entombment and leave-taking were tedious and distracting at such a crisis.

Luke 10:1-24

110

1 As the Lord was on His way to celebrate the festival of Ingathering, this was actually the time of harvest and He was comparing the physical to the spiritual state of the country. At harvest time there is much to do, so He appoints six times the original number of apostles to assist in the harvest work.

3 He has no illusions concerning the attitude of the people. They are hostile. They are wolves. Each house or city is now to be tested to see whether it contains friends or foes. In the case of a city there is a message for that which will not receive them, just the same as for that which will. The kingdom has drawn nigh whether they will have it or not.

4 This must be understood in its oriental setting. To this day special messengers on important business are required to forego the formal flattery and tedious etiquette of the Eastern salaam. These salutations included endless inquiries and as many answers. It was considered highly proper to intrude into any discussion and even take a part in any bargaining that happened to be under way. These instructions were quite necessary if these apostles are to discharge their mission.

7 The common custom of the East is for each villager to have the privilege of entertaining a stranger. And each move from house to house would stir up a great deal of pride and hypocrisy and lead to some ill feeling, besides taking much time and distracting them and destroying their efficiency. At each house they would be feasted and be indulged with a general good time, all of which was entirely out of harmony with the spirit of their mission.

12 The sins of Sodom were so terrible that fire has effaced its very site. Yet these sins were not as offensive in God's sight as the rejection of His messengers. One was sin done in darkness. The other was a sin against light. The judgment of God will be absolutely fair to all.

13 Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, "His own city", were the most favored of all places, for in them most of His mighty works were done. Yet now they, like Sodom, have disappeared, so that their sites are in dispute. They are cast down to "hell".

17 But a short time before, nine of the apostles had tried without success to cast out a demon (9:40). The Lord had not specifically empowered the disciples for this world. Under these circumstances they had much cause to rejoice at the power in their possession. The Lord, being in intimate touch with the spirit world, had noted that its head had come down, no doubt at a signal of distress from his minions. This, of course, has no connection with the so-called "fall of Satan", of which we never read in the Scriptures, but has reference to Satan's action in response to their ejection of demons in Christ's name. Knowing the power of the enemy, and what He and His disciples would yet suffer at his hands, our Lord seeks to put their joy on a more secure footing. Indeed, unless their names are engraven in heaven, and thus under the protection of the Almighty, these spiritual powers over which they are triumphing, will try them beyond endurance.

21 This is a most delightful glimpse of the inner thoughts of the Son of God. No doubt He had noticed from the very first that His message had little appeal to such as we would naturally suppose would be most eager and appreciative. He was continually clashing with the most intelligent classes. He had a following largely recruited from the lower stratum of society, the fellaheen, mostly fishermen and farmers, men who toiled for their living, while the professional scholars, scribes, priests, and teachers of the law, were antagonistic. Nevertheless, seeing that this was evidently God's will, He does not endure it, or bear with it, but acquiesces and exults. Let us not endure but enjoy the will of God, no matter how unsatisfactory it seems. He is working for His glory and His creatures' good. We desire success and recognition for our small share of service, with little thought of His larger purpose. It is God's way to turn the wisdom of the wise into folly, and to use that which is despised to effect His will, so that no flesh should be able to boast itself in His presence. The thought that God positively conceals His truth from some shows how impossible it is for His slaves to be "successful" in the accepted meaning of the term.

111

Luke 10:25-11:10

25 A lawyer, or one versed in the law of Moses, especially in making it a burden for others than themselves (11:46), would naturally be interested in the Lord's opinion as to what deeds would merit eonian life. From the standpoint of the law, this was very simple. Moses had written: "And keep My statutes, and My judgments: which a man should do, and live in them. I am Jehovah" (Lev.18:5). Hence the Lord reminds him of the law he is supposed to understand. He correctly comprehends the whole law in the greatest commandment-love to God-and its complement-love to man. The lawyer knew the law. All that he needed to do was to keep it! Could he keep the law he would never die.
     But the law was not given to impart life. It came to cause death. But the law had evidently done some of the work for which it was really intended, and he is conscious that his love to his associate is not up to its standard. Instead of acknowledging this and taking refuge in God's grace, he seeks to justify his failing by a quibble as to who is included in the term "associate", Such quibbling was the stock in trade of the expounders of the Jewish law. They were always seeking a loophole to escape its rigid requirements.
     To show him the futility of laws and ceremonies the Lord tells him the story of the good Samaritan. The Samaritans were cordially despised by the Jews, who would not be beholden to them at all (Jn.4:9). The lawyer would never acknowledge such to be his associate! But the Lord Himself was despised and rejected, hence He enters the story as a hated Samaritan.
     The lawyer is the man who descended from Jerusalem to Jericho and is half dead. Jerusalem is the place of blessing and life. Such is his if he keeps the law. Jericho is the place of the curse. Such is his if he breaks the law, for "accursed is everyone who is not remaining in all things which have been written in the scroll of the law to do them" (Deut.27:26; Gal.3:10). He is condemned even while he seeks to justify himself. He has hopes that the religious rites will help him. Yet these are dashed to the ground when a priest comes along, but keeps as far from him as he can. The law does not allow a priest to defile himself with the dead. It is not that he is hard hearted. His holy office brooks no defilement. The Levite likewise dare not be defiled with the dead. The lawyer will learn, when the law has had its full effect, that it cannot touch a man in his condition. These two men, like the law, came along casually, not to cure, but to condemn sin. But the Samaritan, that is, the Lord, was on a definite mission. The wounded man does not repel, but rather attracts Him, and draws out His compassion. He is not defiled and disabled by contact with death or sin. While the priest and Levite, with all their holiness, are helpless to manifest the love the law demands, the despised Samaritan, who would doubtless be hated by the helpless Jew under other circumstances, comes to his rescue and actually displays a love for his enemy which rises above the law's demands.
     So does the Lord seek to drive the lawyer from his own defective doing, even his own reluctant love, to the real source of life, eonian and abundant, found in His grace and love as the Good Samaritan.

38 In Mary and Martha we have a much needed contrast between service and study, and our Lord's estimate of each. Service has its place, and Martha could hardly have been excused if she had not supplied His simple wants. But then, as now, His slaves are tempted to overdo service to the neglect of the more necessary and vital acquaintance with God's will which alone fits for the highest forms of service and worship. Service without a clear knowledge of God's plans is often worse than wasted, but a heart acquaintance with His grace is the preliminary to such worship as most gratifies His heart. The one thing most needful today, as then, is a close acquaintance with His word gained by humbly sitting at His feet.

2 This, though usually called the Lord's prayer, is the disciples' prayer. Every part of it is in close accord with the kingdom ministry of our Lord and can be used intelligently only by those of the Circumcision who are anticipating the kingdom spoken of by the prophets. The prayers for us to follow in our

Luke 11:11-26

112

petitions are found in Ephesians (Eph.11:5-23; 3:14-21). All here is from the standpoint of earth: all there is from the vantage of heaven. These disciples will be used to enforce His will on earth: we will rule among the celestials. Even in regard to our present life, few of us can conscientiously ask for a daily dole of bread, for we are usually provided with more than that. We surely cannot ask for pardon, for that is an admission of guilt, and we have been pronounced not guilty, or justified. By no means can we base a request for pardon on our own lenience toward others, for our acquittal is by undiluted grace. And the last petition is a definite reference to the great affliction, which will precede the coming of the kingdom, in which we will not be involved. It is only those unacquainted with the calling above, which is ours in Christ Jesus, who can conscientiously repeat this form. It cannot but cloud their apprehension of God's marvelous favor to the nations for the present secret economy to use a prayer every item of which is fitted for an entirely different administration. The custom of constantly repeating this prayer has done much to blind the minds of the saints to the great secrets which lie at the foundation of the truth for the present, and to confound justification with pardon. Those who are merely pardoned are on probation, and need continual renewals. Those who are justified are at rest concerning their sins and need not pray continually for that which they already have.

11 The secret of acceptable prayer today is conformity to the will and purpose of God at this present time. If we ask amiss, He is not so unkind as to grant our requests, neither can He change His purpose to suit the whims of His erring children. To pray intelligently we must understand what He is about, and fall in line with His plans. No amount of importunity will swerve Him from His course, or pleading of His promises to others divert Him from His present operations. He cannot follow the advice offered by those ignorant of His ways and unresponsive to the transcendent grace which He is lavishing upon them. Those who know Him never advise Him.

17 Few signs were so impressively suggestive of spiritual power as the casting out of demons. That they were the emissaries and subordinates of Satan is implied in our Lord's argument, and every one compelled to leave its victim was a sign of the ejection of Satan himself when the kingdom is set up. Indeed, the most important factor in the millennial reign is the absence of Satan, who will be bound during the entire period (Un.20:1-3). From the primeval temptation in Eden up to that time, man's enmity to God is largely the result of wicked spiritual influences from without. Man is the pawn, played by Satan, in his efforts to overthrow God's sovereignty. To release mankind from this thralldom is the first essential to the establishment of a righteous government. Men's efforts are a dismal failure chiefly because they do not reckon with this unknown influence and could not cope with it even if they were aware of its presence.
     Satan's influence over mankind will culminate when he is cast down to earth and, as the seven-headed dragon, assumes the leadership of man's campaign against God at the time of the end. Then it is that Christ will descend and cut his career short by confining him for the thousand years. Every time He or His disciples cast out a demon it was a foretaste of that blessed kingdom. Only a stronger One than Satan could invade his realm and defeat his deputies.
     When they could not question the reality of His miracles, and must give some adequate cause, they became desperate, and committed the sin which could not be pardoned even in the coming eon. To attribute the work of God's spirit to Satan's power is the limit of iniquity.

24 Israel as a nation is here pictured as a man out of whom the unclean spirit of idolatry has been cast. Ever since the Babylonian captivity they have been held back from breaking the first commandment. But freedom from idolatry has not been followed by the worship of God. The place once occupied by idols is empty. At the time of the end the unbelieving nation will be forced to worship the image of the wild beast, and their state will be far worse than their previous plight.

113

Luke 11:27-45

27 This is a delicate yet decisive thrust at the slightest tendency toward Mariolatry. Mary was indeed most blessed to be chosen to bear such a Son, but it was a physical relationship, such as He sustained in some slight degree to all who were descendants of Jacob. Happiness did not inhere in this. It springs from a spiritual source. Hence He ignores the remark as to Mary, and turns it so as to include His spiritual relatives.

29 These were hard sayings for the religious Jews. For such a saying His townsmen at Nazareth sought to kill Him (4:24-30). They could not bear to hear of blessing coming to gentile curs while they are passed by. They did not see that privilege, in itself, does not bring happiness. It entails suffering if it be unheeded or spurned. He who is under the light of law will be judged by its illumination. Those in darkness will not be held responsible for a light they never had.

31 The resurrection of judgment is not altogether a matter of condemnation. The queen of Sheba will be commended for coming to hear Solomon. The repentance of the men of Nineveh will be recognized and rewarded.

31 Solomon, with all his wisdom, cannot compare with his greater Son. His reign closed under a cloud which caused the division of the kingdom. He did that which displeased Jehovah. But Christ's wisdom extended beyond His words to His ways. What He said and did were both in constant accord with the mind of God.

32 Jonah's conduct, both before and after his proclamation, shows how lacking he was in sympathy with his message and the One Who sent him. Jonah was exceedingly displeased and very angry when he found that God was gracious and merciful and of great kindness, so that He actually did not fulfill His threats of doom. Jonah was angry again because a gourd was destroyed by a worm. He cared only for his own comfort, and, to him, the withering of the gourd which sheltered him was of more consequence than the destruction of the great city with its thousands of God's creatures. God's judgments are not vindictive but remedial. He does not desire to condemn but to save. Judgment is His strange work.

36 That light may become darkness seems, at first sight, incomprehensible. But this was the case with the worst of our Lord's enemies, and is often true today. As an example, the truth that Christ should come from Bethlehem was a pure ray from the word of God. But His enemies turned it to dense darkness for themselves when they took it for granted that He had been born in Nazareth. What should have proven Him to be the Christ was made an argument to disprove it. In the same way today many a precious truth is supposed to deny another, equally precious, because they seem to be irreconcilable. If the scribes had made a careful inquiry, as they should have done, they would have known that, though the Lord was reared in Nazareth, He was born in Bethlehem. And if we seek for the facts accurately and carefully, the truth which we have will not eclipse some other truth. Let us labor that the light in us does not become darkness.

38 Compare Mt.7:1-8.

38 Baptism is simply ceremonial washing. The merest dipping of the hands in water would suffice for luncheon. No such ceremony was commanded by the law. It was one of the precepts of men which they had added to His statutes. The Pharisees made much of externals and non-essentials so as to have the appearance of sanctity. But their fastidiousness did not extend to the vital realities of life. Alas! Is not this the condition of the great religious world today? There is form and ceremony, but vital power is not present.

39 Compare Mt.23:25-26.
42 Compare Mt.23:23.

42 "Judging" in this connection can only mean the correction of wrongs. There is no good English equivalent for the Greek word krisis. By leaving the term uniformly "judging" we hope to rid it of the sense of condemnation and attach to it the neutral idea of executing justice to the deserving as well as the undeserving. Judging awards for good as well as punishes for evil.

43 Compare Mt.23:6-7; Mk.12:38-39.
44 Compare Mt.23:27-28.

45 English needs a special term to distinguish these teachers of the law of Moses from the legal profession. They seem to have been a special class tak-

Luke 11:46-12 :13

114

ing upon themselves what really pertained to the priesthood. The failure of the priests seems to have led to the rise of "lawyers" to expound the law of Moses, and to determine its application in practical life. This gave them an advantage of which they were not slow to avail themselves. Whenever men are given a divine monopoly they abuse it. When the exposition of the scriptures is usurped by a special class they not only fail to unfold them but they effectively hinder others from discovering the truth for themselves.

46 Compare Mt.23:4.
47 Compare Mt.23:29-36.
51 Compare Gen.4:8; 2Chr.24:20-21.

51 Men are to be judged by what they know as well as by what they do. To do that which you condemn in others convicts you of their crime as well as your own. Cain was a religious man; in fact he is the first to bring an offering to Jehovah (Gen.4:3). But his works were evil (l Jn.3:12). The first murder was committed by an outwardly religious, but inwardly wicked man. It is rather remarkable that there were three different men, named Zacharias, murdered in the court of the temple. One was Zechariah the son of Jehoiada, who testified against them. And they conspired against him, and stoned him in the court of the house of the Lord. When he died he said ..Jehovah is seeing and inquiring:' which corresponds closely with "exacting", here used by our Lord (2Chr.24:20-22). As Chronicles is the end of the Hebrew canon, from Abel to this Zechariah would comprise all the religious murders of the book.

But the Zacharias here may be the same as in Matthew, where he is called the son of Berechiah, that is, the author of the book of Zechariah (Zech.1:1). He also testified of their evil ways. We have no other record of the manner of his death, but our Lord knew that he was slain where only a priest could have done the deed. From Abel to this Zechariah would stretch over their whole inspired history.

Over thirty years later another Zacharias was foully slain in the outer temple (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book IV, chapter 5). This was near the end of their stay in the land.

52 Compare Mt.23:13.
54 Compare Mk.12:13.
1 Compare Mt.16:6-12; Mk.8:15-21.

1 Though hypocrisy, in all its forms, is most hateful to God, yet it seems most prevalent in the sphere of religion. The most potent preventive is the great truth here enunciated. Once we realize that pretense of any kind is but a temporary expedient which will react with fearful effect in the future it will make us slow to claim to be what we are not. We may be successful now in concealing our deeds of darkness from our fellows, but they are surely known to God and just as surely will be manifest to men. Happy is he who is not concerned with present appearances but so lives that his acts will be approved in the light!

2-5 Compare Mt.10:26-28.

4 Gehenna, the valley of the son or Hinnom just below Jerusalem, is the place where the refuse and offal of the city was burned. In the kingdom the bodies of criminals will be cast into its flames. The distinction here drawn is between the believer, whose death, especially if endured for the Lord's sake, will make him eligible to a high place in the kingdom at the resurrection of the just, and the rebellious, who, even if they should be in the kingdom, will suffer its stern condemnation. The enemies of Christ can kill, and thousands will be slain as witnesses to the truth, yet their act has an effect exactly opposite to what they intend, for it enhances the felicity of the saints in the resurrection. Not so with those whom He executes. They forfeit the joys of the kingdom.

6 The infinitude of God's care in creation surpasses all human comprehension. There is no detail of our lives too small for His microscopic concern, nothing too trivial to touch His tender solicitude.

8-9 Compare Mt.10:32-33.
10 Compare Mt.12:31-32; Mk.3:28-30.

10 The unpardonable sin of Israel was not the crucifixion of Christ, but the subsequent rejection of the holy Spirit's testimony through His apostles. This has brought on their present dispersion for the eon.

11 Compare Mt.10:19-20; Mk.13:11.

11 This has no reference to the preaching of the evangel today, but to the proclamation of the kingdom.

12 Compare Ac.4:8, 7:2, 55.

115

Luke 12:14-38

14 See Ex. 2:14.
15 Compare 1Ti.6:6-10.

15 A telling truth which would do more to ameliorate the ills of humanity than all government, were it heeded, is embodied in the phrase, "the superfluity of his possessions". Life does not consist in having, but in being. The moment that our possessions exceed our needs they become a burden. The only place that treasure can be safely and sanely deposited is in the heavens. This is illustrated in the following parable.

18 In Palestine it was customary to store grain and other products in sealed, air tight, cistern-like pits, dug on a hill side or in a field, where the ground was sufficiently dry. In these food was kept unspoiled for long periods, safe from marauders and mice and ants. It would be difficult to preserve grain or food stuffs for many years in barns such as are used in the West.

19 Compare Prov.18:11.

19 This is an excellent passage to teach us the significance of the soul. It is now spoken of as though it were the spirit. The soul craves food and drink and merriment. It expresses itself in the appetite and physical desires. The rich man had made no provision for his spirit. His hoard was of grain and wine and oil, good only for the life that now is. The soul is satisfied by the senses. Taste, smell, hearing, sight, and touch are the means of its exercise.

20 See Job 27:16-22.
21 Compare 29-34; Ja.2:5.
22-26 Compare Mt.6:25-27.

22 From the world's standpoint this man was most prudent, for he provided for the future. But his death turned his prudence into folly.

22 Man has become the slave of his desires. Instead of eating and drinking to live, he spends his life in laboring for the means of living according to his lilting.

24 The lower ranks of creation are a daily display of God's care and provision. No one can study the marvels of nature without some sense of the overseeing providence of God. They are better provided for than men.

27-28 Compare Mt. 6:28-30.

27 There are many beautiful flowers in Palestine but the scriptures do not mention any varieties, hence it is difficult to fix upon the one specially alluded to. Some have thought that He referred to a beautiful species of iris, colored dark purple and white. There are also brilliant hued tulips. But these flowers are not abundant enough to warrant the general allusion made by our Lord. There are other flowers, more numerous and quite as glorious, which carpet the fields of Palestine. Among these the most gorgeous and conspicuous in the Spring is the Anemane caronaria, usually a brilliant scarlet, which is found in all parts of the land. It abounds in the plains and on the mountains, along the shores of Galilee and on the bare hills of Judea. The richness of its tints and the profusion with which it appears everywhere combine to give point to our Lord's comparison. Though the commonest of flowers, it is also among the loveliest. The Arabs include it among the flowers called susan, which is equivalent to the Hebrew shushan and the Greek krinon, the word here used. This is, however, the common name for any brilliantly colored flower like a lily or tulip, or ranunculus or anemone.

29 Compare Mt. 6:31-34.
32-34 Compare Mt.6:19-21.
33 See Hag.1:6.

33 This advice must be understood in the light of the property laws in Israel and the imminence of the kingdom. Each one had his allotment, on which his living depended. Our Lord was not asking them to sell this. It was property over and above this which He advised them to sell, as it would be worthless to them in the redistribution of the land in the kingdom. Their only way of securing it was to use its price in helping the poor in Israel. Thus they would transfer their interests into the coming kingdom.

36 Compare Mt.22:1-14.

38 The Lord's return is always left indefinite as to time so that it may be continually imminent to the hearts of His people. We should remember that our next conscious moment may be in His presence. There is nothing to compare with this to give joy and power in service.

Luke 12:39-56

116

39 As most of the houses in Palestine were built of sun-dried clay, or adobe, a thief could best effect an entrance by digging his way through the walls. They literally burrowed their way into a house they wished to rob.

39-40 Compare Mt.24:43-44; 1Thes.5:1-11; Un.3:3, 16:15.

40 The coming of Christ as Son of Mankind is to be a complete surprise even to those in Israel who are waiting for Him. This coming as a thief is connected with the day of the Lord (1Th.5:2), and the sudden destruction of those in darkness. But we are not in darkness, so that that day will not overtake us as a thief. God did not appoint us to indignation. We look for Him, not as an enemy, but as a Saviour (Phil.3:20). For us salvation has a past, a present, and a future tense. The bodies of our humiliation have not yet been saved. They will be at His coming.

41 The Lord's coming for us is a matter of pure grace in accord with all His dealings in this secret administration. We should not be drowsing, but this will not cost us our place in His presence. Our salvation depends on His death, not on our faithfulness. Whether we are watching or are drowsing, we shall live at the same time together with Him (1Th.5:10). It will not be so in His coming to Israel. Peter's question brings out the parable which shows that, while some will be rewarded for service at His coming, others will be cut asunder for unfaithfulness. They are dealt with as slaves and their place in the kingdom depends on what they do during His absence, but we are subjects of grace and, whatever loss we may suffer for unfaithfulness, we ourselves will be saved (1Co.3:15).

41-44 Compare Mt.24:45-47; 1Co.4:1-5.
45 Compare Mt. 24:48-51.

47 All God's judgments are tempered by attending circumstances. He does not require His creatures to live up to light which they do not have. Yet His judgments increase in severity according to the privileges enjoyed. Thus it is that Israel is subject to the most awful of the inflictions of the end time. How thankful we should be that His grace not only bestows transcendent privilege but brings immunity from judgment as well!

49 We are now approaching the great crisis in His ministry. Instead of being believed and received, the proclamation of the kingdom has caused strife and contention. Its rejection is evident. The baptism with which it began must have its counterpart in another baptism at its end. The shadow of the cross lay athwart His path henceforth, and its awful pressure lay heavily on His Spirit. Until it shall have been accomplished the kingdom cannot come. Until then the opposition must increase. The kingdom of God was thrice rejected. They rejected Jehovah when Saul was chosen king. They rejected Christ. They rejected the preaching of the apostles.

50 Compare Mt. 20:22.
51 Compare Mt. 10:34-36.

51 At His birth the heavenly hosts sang of peace on earth (2:14). The kingdom foretold by the prophets was to end all strife. He was to be the Prince of Peace, and of the increase of peace there was to be no end (Isa.9:6-7). Hence they had good reason to suppose that He had come to give peace to the earth. And that He will do when He comes again. But the time from His rejection until His return has been and will be a period of strife and division. This will reach its climax in the coming time of Jacob's trouble, when the kingdom is once more proclaimed and faithfulness to God will tear families asunder and destroy the tenderest ties of nature. But when He comes all strife will vanish and peace will preside over all the earth for the thousand years.

52 Compare Micah 7:6.

54 The Lord now turns from the disciples to the throngs. In spirit, He sees a great storm coming. yet they are utterly oblivious of the signs. They were experts at foretelling the weather. Clouds in the west, over the Mediterranean, with a southwest wind, would be sure to bring a rainstorm. If the wind shifts to the north it is soon over. The south wind, off the desert, always brings heat. With all this discernment they did not see that the current of opinion in Israel was leading to a violent storm. There was little peace for them, and they were finally driven out of the land and scattered among the nations.

117

Luke 12:57-13:24

57-59 Compare Mt.5:25-26; Prov.25:8.

1 There is a strong natural tendency to connect calamity with sin. Hardly any great disaster occurs but someone seeks to justify it on the ground that the victims must have been extraordinary sinners. Job's friends reasoned thus. In their minds his calamities must have been occasioned by some secret offenses, and were sent as a punishment for his wrong doing. Now, while sin often does entail suffering in this life, much of it does not. And suffering is not sent simply as a punishment for sin, but also as a means by which God reveals Himself. Job was vindicated by God, yet he abhorred himself. Through his trials he was led to a greater blessing and a closer knowledge of God than could otherwise be. He had heard of Him before; now he saw Him (Job 42:5). Let us not judge those who suffer, as though they deserved what they endure. God is not now judging or sentencing His creatures. That is past for believers and future for unbelievers. In the great white throne judgment those who appear before it will be dealt with according to their sins. Then it will be possible to deduce their delinquency from the character and severity of their sentence. But all such reasoning is foolish now. The Galileans whom Pilate killed were no worse than others of their kind, and the tower of Siloam did not fall on the most vicious in Jerusalem.

1 Compare Ac.5:37.
2 Compare Jn. 9:2-3.
4 Compare Neh.3:15; Jn.9:7.
6-9 Compare Isa.5:1-7; Mt.21:19.

6 For three years John and the Lord sought to find fruit from Israel as a nation. Little did Israel think that their rejection of His proclamation was dooming all their national aspirations. The same truth is taught in the cursing of the fig tree (Mt.21:19; Mk.11:13), which, indeed, may stand for the hewing down. The next miracle shows Him still laboring in a final effort to produce fruit.

10 Israel's doom is figured by a soulless tree; her deliverance is shown by the restoration of the infirm woman. This recognizes the reason for Israel's weakness, which was the possession of a spirit at variance with God. The ruler of the synagogue displayed this same spirit, so that, in a sense, the physical plight of the woman becomes his in spirit. He, like the whole nation, was opposing the Lord and His work, in a pretended zeal for God's law. The moral effect of the miracle seems to have kept the chief of the synagogue from forbidding the Lord to work, so he turns to the people and forbids them to come to be cured. He was blind to the great truth that salvation is of God, when man cannot work, hence is far more fitting on the Sabbath than during the week.

14 Compare Mt.12:9-10.
15 Compare 14:3-6; Mt.12:11-12.

16 A significant note is sounded when our Lord terms the infirm woman a daughter of Abraham. It suggests that she had faith, and that the salvation which it prefigured will be confined to those who have the faith of their great forefather Abraham.

18-19 Compare Mt.13:31-32; Mk.4:30-32.

18 As both birds (Mt.13:4,19) and leaven (Lu.12:1) are figures of that which is evil, and this is spoken, like the thirteenth chapter of Matthew, after the rejection of the King, we see in these comparisons a representation of the course of the kingdom before He returns in righteousness. At the end of the eon it will be again proclaimed and have an amazing growth, but will harbor wicked spirits and evil practices.

19 Compare Dan.4:10-12.
20.21 Compare Mt.13:33; Zech.5:5-11.
22-27 Compare Mt.7:13-14, 21-23.

23 The Lord avoids a direct answer to the question, and turns the questioner's thoughts upon himself. It would seem that at this time, the wide gates into the kingdom had been closed, and access could be had only through the private entrances, which are locked when evening comes. The proclamation of the kingdom had opened the gates wide up to this time, and it was easy to enter by repentance and baptism. But at this crisis the proclamation was withdrawn, hence many of those who struggled could not enter. By no means should this parable be applied indiscriminately to the evangel, either of the kingdom or of the grace of God. God's good news is never

Luke 13:25-14:9

118

narrow or cramped. In the tabernacle in the wilderness the gate, which opened into the court where the altar and laver were stationed, was very wide, and the entrance into the holy place occupied the whole front side of the tent. It could not have been wider. These were types of the way of God during the proclamation of the kingdom. The evangel for today is wider still, for it embraces all nations and imposes no conditions. Faith in God's word cannot be obtained by any struggle. Neither is there any reluctance on God's part, but He is beseeching all men to be conciliated. This can be understood of those only who have neglected to enter while the wide gates of the kingdom evangel were open, and now seek an entrance after the proclamation has been closed.

25 Compare Mt.25:10-12.
27 Compare 2Ti.2:19.

29 Eastern etiquette is most stringent as to the placing of guests at a banquet. The most honorable must have the first place and the least the last. So it will be in the kingdom. It is probable that none of the great ones of His day, should they find an entrance, would maintain their dignities. Poor, despised fishermen, among the lowest social layer of the land, will be first, for they will rule the twelve tribes. And some, no doubt, of those in high standing in the past, will take a humble place, glad to be honored by the presence of those whom they once despised.

30 Compare Heb.11:39-40.
31 Compare 23:7.

31 Herod had been interested in the Lord and wanted to see Him do some sign (23:8). He had killed John, but the Lord does not fear him. Calling him a jackal, or fox, He sends him word that He will continue His ministry as planned, and will spend three more days in his territory, on His way to Jerusalem. There the sacrifice must be offered. He knew that the hatred of men would be restrained so that He could not be killed far from the holy city. If an Israelite wanted to sacrifice to God he could not offer it any place. He must bring it to Jerusalem or turn it into money to purchase his offering there. God will not go counter to His law. He leads the Victim to the proper place.

34-35 Compare Mt.23:37-39’ Ps.l18:26.

34 Jerusalem, the center of rule and religion in Israel, the most favored city on the face of the earth, was also the center of apostasy and rebellion. Had the priests of her temple remained true to God, there would have been no need for prophets and special messengers to recall them to Jehovah. But they would not heed the prophets and, instead of leading the people in the ways of righteousness and holiness, they turned them against God's spokesmen. These thoughts were awakened in His mind by the threat of Herod. While He had no fear of him, He well knew what would befall Him at the hands of the priests and rulers of Israel, who should have shielded Him from Herod. They, though the accredited representatives of God, were more thirsty for His blood than the Edomite. Religion, apart from the Spirit of God, is the most vicious and immoral of human motives.

1-6 Compare 13:10-17; Mt.12:9-13; Deut.22:4.

1 It seems improbable that a chief Pharisee should invite Him to his home without some sinister design. This seems to have been a trap, for it is most unlikely that a dropsical man would be a guest at such a feast. This is confirmed by the fact that he was dismissed after being healed. He seems to have been used as a test. If the Lord did not heal him, they could claim that He was not able. If He did, they could accuse Him of desecrating the Sabbath. Either way they had Him at a disadvantage. That is why they watched Him so closely. But the Lord saw the snare and caught them in their own craftiness (lCo.3:19). He closed their mouths completely.

7 No doubt our Lord followed His own admonition and took the last place at this feast and was allowed to keep it! He was but a poor peasant. They were lawyers and Pharisees! Their action at the feast was but an index of their general character. They exalted themselves and were due to be abased. To grasp the full force of this illustration we must remember that, among the Jews at that time, such matters were deemed of serious importance. We may sit anywhere at a banquet without feeling offended, but

119

Luke 14:10-34

with them the rank of each guest must be scrupulously acknowledged by placing him above all his inferiors. It was properly the duty of the host to attend to this. The principle may well be applied at all times. Are we taking a high place? If so, our great Host may need to call us down. Are we in the lowest? Then we need not fear, for the lowest cannot make room below themselves.

10 Compare Prov.25:6-7.

12 The pure joy of giving is largely lost when it degenerates into a trade. Yet it seems from this that we cannot give without being recompensed. If we give to get we may, indeed, be disappointed, but if we give with the single thought of blessing others, we are doubly repaid. There is the happiness that attends the giving, and the repayment in the resurrection. The grasping gift gets but little that is worth while. It defeats itself. The gracious gift gains all that it seems to forego and brings happiness to the recipient, to the giver, and to God.

13 Compare Neh.8:10-12.
15-21 Compare Mt.22:1-10; Prov.9:1-5.

15 This remark seems to be an adroit attempt to turn the conversation into a safer and more comfortable channel. But this man was probably one of the lawyers or Pharisees (there were no others present) who was refusing the invitation to God's great dinner. Thence the Lord takes him up, and suggests that the happiness of eating in the kingdom is only for those who come. The picture He draws is in striking contrast with the feast He was attending. All who were invited came to this feast and deemed it an honor to be present. No poor or crippled or blind or lame were admitted, except the dropsical man, and he was dismissed before the feasting began, though he no longer was a cripple.
     The great dinner of the kingdom will be quite the opposite of this. The men of substance refused the invitation. The scribes, lawyers, and Pharisees would not come and they will know nothing of the happiness of those who eat bread in the kingdom. But the outcasts, those whom the proud religionists would spurn from their table, these will enjoy the happiness which comes from tasting God's provision and plenty. The rejection of the invitation is a plain intimation of our Lord's rejection by the influential leaders of Israel, the self-righteous, who thought they needed no repentance. They were not hungry; they felt no necessity. They were busy in acquiring the land of their poorer countrymen by purchase, or they were getting control of more acreage by adding to their oxen, for the land was allotted to each man according to his ability to farm it. They were laying up treasures on earth. They had no ear for the invitation and shaIl have no place in the kingdom.

23 Compare Mk.16:15.

23 There is only one slave here, consequently we must limit the scope of this parable to our Lord's ministry. He never went to the nations outside the land, but He did reach the Samaritans and the Syro-Phoenician woman, who were outside the narrow pale of ultra-Judaism.

24 Compare Ac.13:46.

25 This saying has proved a stumbling stone to many, and it is usual to tone down the word "hating" to some milder term. But it is the same word which undoubtedly means hate in other connections. The solution of the difficulty lies in the tense of the verbs. It is not a saying for all time, especially not for the present, but was applicable only during those closing days of His ministry when His disciples were to withstand the opposition of their loved ones, and the seduction of their own souls, which would shrink from the suffering in which faithfulness to Christ would involve them. It is only in this connection that the hate was to be exercised. It is its scope, rather than its intensity, which was limited. Such an attitude toward our relatives is utterly foreign to the spirit of grace which pervades the present.

26 Compare Deut.13:6-11, 33:9; Mt.10:37-38; Un.12:11.
28 Compare Prov.24:27.

28-33 The leaving of all possessions (above their allotments of land) was another special requirement, in view of the coming kingdom.

34 Holding on to possessions or compromising with those dear to them at such a time would make them like insipid salt, quite useless for the purpose for which it Is designed.

Luke 14:35-15:12

120

34-35 Compare Mt.5:13; Mk.9:50.
1 Compare 7:34-35; Mt.9:10-13.

2 Our Lord's liking for sinners led the proud, self-righteous Pharisees and scribes to utter a most precious truth, though they, indeed, did not intend it thus. "This man is receiving sinners . . .! " Far from denying the charge, He makes it the basis of a five-fold parable in which He emphasizes the vital fact that God is not concerned with the righteous, but with sinners. The term parable is used at the beginning and includes, not only that of the lost sheep, but also the lost coin, and the prodigal son, and the unjust steward, and the rich man and Lazarus. They are five different parts of one parable, which deals with the nation of Israel and the various classes in it. First we are shown the Saviour's attitude toward the lost in the story of the lost sheep. The following pair, concerning the lost coin and the prodigal son, are strikingly like the last two, concerning the unjust steward, and the rich man and Lazarus.
     Two of these stories have to do with money, and the story of the prodigal son is closely matched by that of the rich man.
     Like all the Lord's parables, these are not merely apt illustrations of divine truth, but pictorial parables of spiritual facts as they existed in the nation to which He was sent.

3 Our Lord was not sent to any but the straying sheep of the house of Israel (Mt.15:24). He had no commission for any other nation and He never left the land of Israel to reach others. The hundred sheep, therefore, bring before us the nation of the covenant. The Lord is the good Shepherd, Who gives His soul for the sheep (Jn.10:11). The ninety and nine are the self-righteous majority of the nation, who, like the Pharisees and scribes, to whom He was speaking, thought they had no need of repentance. They were not safe within the shelter of the fold, but out in the wilderness, left without the protection of the Shepherd, and open to the attacks of the wild beasts. They merely thought themselves safe. But they did not stir His heart or call for His succor. A single silly sheep astray from the flock causes Him more suffering and more joy than all the rest. God could get little satisfaction out of Israel because of their self-righteousness. The tax gatherers and sinners heard Him gladly, and they alone responded to His love and mercy. He received sinners because no others would have Him or felt their need of Him.
     The hunt for a lost sheep in the wilds of Judea was a hazardous and dangerous task, and may well remind us of His suffering unto death on the cross. The descent into a deep and dark ravine infested with savage beasts, is a fit picture of His descent into the depths of Golgotha.
     The lost sheep gives us God's side. The lost coin gives us Israel's side. The nation is often seen under the figure of a woman. To this very day it is the custom among the women of the land to wear silver coins for a headdress. These are their most prized ornaments, and mean much more to them than the mere money value. Israel had been decked with ornaments by Jehovah, and it was one of these that was lost. And each sinner among them who repented had a foretaste of the day when the redemption money is found for Israel's ransom.

4 Compare 19:10; Isa.53:6; 1 Pt.2:25.

11 In the parable of the two sons we have a portrait of the two classes in Israel to illustrate their moral distance from God. The prodigal was far from the father's house; the elder brother was far from his heart. So the Pharisees and scribes boast of a ceremonial nearness to Jehovah, but their hearts are far from Him. The tax collectors and sinners are outcasts, yet they know their plight and yearn for the compassionate mercy of God.
     The point in this portion of the fivefold parable lies in the contrast between the two sons. Natural religion, such as the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes possessed, prides itself on conduct such as characterized the elder son, which consists in doing right and living up to the law as best they could. But such deportment, even if sincere and true, gives no occasion for the father to reveal His affection.
     The prodigal is a composite picture of the sinner and the publican. His dissipation and profligacy set him forth as a sodden sinner, mired in im-

121

Luke 15:13 - 16:12

morality. His alliance with the citizen of a foreign country, his herding of the hogs and his desire to eat the diet of the unclean creatures, is a deft delineation of the traitorous tax collector, who joined with Rome in oppressing God's people. He had been far worse than a mere "prodigal". He recognizes himself as a sinner.

13 Compare Job 21:14-15.
17 Compare Jer.31:18-20.

17 The first desire of the prodigal and of all awakened sinners is to do something themselves to ameliorate their evil condition. "What must I do to be saved?" This is their constant cry, because they do not know the Father, and misjudge His love. So the prodigal proposes to plead for a place in his father's service. He rehearses his little speech, and his highest expectation is a place among the servants in his father's house.
     But how far is all this from the father's thoughts! He saw him afar off, and heard his confession, and ignored his plea. Instead of the menial place of servility he gives him the highest place of honor. The choicest robe and the daintiest viands all proclaim the delight of the father at receiving his son back again. There was feasting and merriment, which began, but has no end.
     So with the sinners and outcasts. The Lord frankly forgave them. They were not put on probation, or set to the task of redeeming their character by meritorious conduct and perseverance in rectitude. They were clothed in garments of salvation and satisfied with the sacrifice of God's providing. They joyed in the God of grace. The bliss of the kingdom, the exultant rejoicing of all creation in the consummation, will not be built upon obedience, but on the disobedience that led to destruction and death; yet rather on the love that saves the lost and gives life to the dead.
     Sin is a temporary necessity in God's great purpose to reveal Himself. It is the background which brings out the high lights of His grace. It is the foil which sets forth the depths of His affections. It was provided for before its entrance into the world, hence is not of man's choosing. It will be restrained in the eons of the eons and be entirely removed at the consummation.

18 Compare Isa.55:6-7; Hos.14:1-3; Ps.51:3-4.
20 Compare Job 33:27-28; Ps.86:5, 103:8-13.
22 Compare Isa.61:10; Gen.41:42.
28 Compare Ac.22:21-22; Ro.10:19; 2Co.5:20.
29 Compare Mt.19:20; Ro.3:20,27; Mal.3:14.
31 Compare Ro. 9:4-5.

1 The parable of the unjust steward confines itself to the Pharisees and scribes, the stewards of Israel's wealth. They were dissipating His treasures and were fond of money and served their own greed for gain rather than ministering to the glory of God. They were prudent in the things of this life to the extent of jeopardizing their prospects in the eons to come.

8 Compare Jn.12:36; Eph.5:8; 1Th.5:5.
9 Compare Mt.6:19-20; 1Ti.6:17-19.

9 The emphatic I shows that there is a contrast intended between the lord of the unjust steward and Christ. This cannot be expressed in the indicative. Moreover, the Lord does not commend unrighteousness, and advise deceit. Besides, the sentiment immediately following is quite opposed to such double dealing. Faithfulness, not shrewdness, is the requisite for honors in the kingdom.

Money or means of any kind are only trivial and temporary factors in the life of faith, unless we view them as tests with a view to the acquisition of the true riches. Those who are faithful stewards of material wealth, which is theirs only to use for a time, and not to possess forever, may expect a reward in kind in the kingdom. The Pharisees died rich, and will have no place in the glories of the Messianic reign. Christ died in the most abject poverty, yet He will be weighted with the wealth of all earth's highest glories. Even in this day of sovereign grace, present riches are too often a hindrance to future reward, when they may well be a means of preferment by their faithful and gracious dispensation. Neither the most conservative investment nor the most fortunate speculation will yield as sate or as profitable proceeds as a share in the concerns of God. It yields, not only temporary returns, but eternal dividends.

Luke 16 :13-17 :1

122

13 Compare Mt.6:24; Ga.l:10; Ja.4:4.

13 God wants the wholehearted service of His slaves. This is not possible where other motives than His glory, or other objects than His exaltation are given the first place in the hearts of those who seek to serve Him. The lure of riches is one of the most seductive to lead His own away from His work.

15 Compare 18:11-12; 1Sam.16:7.

15 We all naturally share the desire of the Pharisees to appear right before our fellow men rather than to actually be right before God. But it is better to appear wrong before mankind and await that day when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed than to hide under a cloak of hypocrisy which will be torn aside by the divine presence.

16-17 Compare Mt.4:17, 5:17,18 11:12-13.

16 God's revelation was made by many modes, each appropriate to the time when it was used. "The law and the prophets," a title of the Hebrew Scriptures, which we now misname "the Old Testament", was His means of dealing with Israel until John the baptist, the greatest of all the prophets. He was the forerunner of a new method of divine revelation through the incarnation of Christ. The proclamation of the kingdom did not receive the response of contrite hearts, according to the law, but rather awakened a desire for its establishment by carnal means. At one time they would have taken Christ by force, because He had satisfied their hunger, and would have made Him King. This would have meant a revolt and war and bloodshed.

18 Compare Mt.5:22, 19:9; Mk.l0:11-12.

18 Not only does He intimate that the Pharisees are to be dismissed from the stewardship, but this apparently unconnected statement suggests that the nation is to be divorced from Jehovah, and left desolate. This is a fitting link to lead us up to the final section of this five-fold parable, in which Israel’s fate during her divorce is discussed.

19 The cambric of the priest and the purple of the king in the rich man's garments indicate Israel as the royal priesthood. His merry times are due to Israel's special blessings. The Pharisees looked down upon the sinners and publicans and gave them a place like that of Lazarus, outside, with the dogs, even as the prodigal was afar off with the swine. They had little more than the unclean aliens, who were called curs by the religious Jews.
     The prodigal, the rich man, and Lazarus all are represented as being dead. The prodigal and the rich man show the nation in apostasy. Lazarus, being comforted in Abraham's bosom, represents the faithful remnant. So long as the nation, as such, is dead, neither Lazarus nor the rich man can claim the blessings of the kingdom. The continued persecution and hatred of the Jews by all nations is aptly pictured by the flames in which one of them found himself. The place in Abraham's bosom is no less faithful a figure of the comfort which came to those who believed. Abraham's bosom cannot be literal, for he is dead and even were he alive the picture of thousands of believers in his literal bosom is preposterous. Since this is so it follows that all of the scene is figurative, for if Abraham is not literally there, neither is Lazarus nor the rich man.

22 Compare Ps.113:7; Heb.1:14.
23 Compare 13:28-30; Mt.8:11-12.
24 Compare Mk.9:43-48; Isa.66:24.
25 Compare 6:24.

27 Even the rich man's request has its counterpart in Israel's apostasy. After One rose from the dead He was proclaimed in (1) Jerusalem, (2) Judea, (3) Samaria, (4) to the limits of the land (Ac.1:8), and (5) to the dispersed among the nations. The message was based on the Lord's resurrection from the dead. Those receiving this fivefold testimony correspond to the five brethren. Yet, even as the Lord foretold, they did not, as a nation, repent. Some of their sufferings, until the terrible tragedy of the siege of Jerusalem, are recounted by Josephus. To this very day the Jew is being tormented in the flames of national hatred. But the time of their restoration is drawing near (Ro.11). But before their torment ceases it will be much intensified in the terror of the greatest of all Jewish persecutions.

29 Compare Jn.5:39-47; Ac.15:21.
31 Compare Mt.28:11-13; Jn.12:9-11.
1-2 Compare Mt.18:6-7; Mk.9:42; 1Co.l1:19.

123

Luke 17:2-21

1 The Lord is through with the unbelievers and now addresses His own disciples. He anticipates the fact that, even among themselves, there would be much to cause them to stumble and fall. He seeks to warn them against becoming the occasion of a brother's sin. And, in case of sin, He urges them to conform to the spirit of their proclamation, which promised a pardon or forgiveness on the ground of repentance. Repentance, or a change of mind, brought pardon from God for the unbeliever, and repentance should bring forgiveness among brethren, no matter how often it is required. The transcendent grace shown to us should lead us to a still more loving attitude. We are to be gracious to one another apart from any repentance.

3-4 Compare Mt.18:15,21-22; Lev.19:17; Eph.4:31-32.
5-6 Compare Mt.17:20, 21:21; Mk.9:23.

5 Every-day conduct is a greater drain on faith than the working of miracles. It may be far more difficult to forgive a seventh offense than to say to a leper "Be clean! " The apostles realize their lack, and desire to augment their slender stock of faith.

6 Israel, politically, was figured by a fig tree. The black mulberry is a species of wild fig. It represents the sovereignty of Rome. The nations are compared to the restless sea, Israel to the stable land. So that the underlying thought in our Lord's mind seems to be that with faith sufficient they could uproot Rome's rule from the land of Israel and remove it to the nations where it belonged. In other words, the kingdom would come. It was lack of faith that kept the kingdom from being realized. The mustard kernel is also suggestive. He had already compared the kingdom to it (13:19). In apostasy the nation will attain a place of rule in imitation of the kingdom. Great Babylon will be the mustard plant which attains to a sovereignty of the earth apart from God.

7 Slavery is not out of date in things divine. The true servant of God will delight to acknowledge that he has been purchased by God, and is not his own. All that he can do is not at all what he feels he ought to do.

10 Compare Job 22:2-3, 35:7-8; 1Co.9:16-17.
12 Compare Lev.13:45-46; Nu.5:2-3.

12 Our Lord was on His last long journey to Jerusalem. He knew what kind of reception awaited Him there. This miracle seems to be directed as a testimony to the priests. It was a sign that He came in accord with the law of Moses. Though the priests could not cleanse away sin, they had the right to pass upon the cleansing. If the lepers were cleansed they could not deny the presence of the power of God. Not only do they fail to give Him the praise which was His due, but it seems that they even dissuaded the lepers themselves from returning to Him. What a contrast is the despised Samaritan! He does not wait to show himself to his priest, but, as soon as he is cleansed, he returns and worships. The nine Jews had the correct formula for worship but a corrupt heart. The Samaritan was wrong in his religion, but he soon found that the true place of worship was at His feet.

14 Compare Lev.13:2, 14:2; Mt.8:4.
15 Compare Ps.30:11-12.

20 That the coming of the kingdom of God will be a visible, observable event the Scriptures amply testify. It will come like a lightning flash (24), accompanied by signs and portents in heaven as well as on earth. But it will not be a small, local occurrence, known only to those who are watching closely. This is the force of the word usually rendered "observation". It denotes scrutiny, a careful inspection lest something elude observation. Thus they "watched" the gates of Damascus day and night in order to apprehend Saul of Tarsus. This suggests quite the opposite thought, that it comes with such apparent and public "observation" that careful scrutiny is useless.

21 Compare Ro.14:17.

21 It will not be confined to any locality, but will instantly cover the whole earth. Hence it would be useless to investigate or follow up any report that the kingdom is here or there, for it will be everywhere. Moreover, unlike other kingdoms, which fail for lack of an inward response to outward regulations, the kingdom of God will be founded on a moral force within men's hearts. This does not deny it an outward polity. But the point for

Luke 17:22-18:14

124

the Pharisees, to whom He was speaking, is that, like Nicodemus, they needed an inward renewal, rather than a keen and curious scrutiny of local occurrences, in order to enter the kingdom. It has been suggested that this should be rendered, "the kingdom of God is among you", that is, in the person of the King. But the word here used certainly means inside, as witnesses its only other occurrence (Mt.23:26), which speaks of the inside of the cup and the plate in contrast with their outside.

22-25 Compare 5:35; Mt.24:23-27; Mk.13:21-23; Jn.13:33.
25 Compare 9:22.
26-27 Compare Mt.24:37-39; Gen. 7.

26 The unexpected suddenness of the coming of the Son of Mankind is further enforced by a comparison with the days of Noah. It will be a day of fancied security and swift destruction. Most of the divine processes are a gradual growth and changes are introduced slowly. The present economy of grace was brought in by installments during a considerable period of time, from Paul's call to his imprisonment. But God's judgments are always swift and sudden. Now that it is evident that the kingdom will not be established as a result of His proclamation, but will be introduced by judgment, its coming takes on the characteristics of the previous judgments of the irreverent.

28 Compare Gen.19:16,24-25.
30 Compare 2Th.1:6-10.

31-33 Compare Mt.24:15-18; Mk.13:14-16 Gen.19:26.

31 Oriental houses usually have an outside stair to the roof, so that, in great haste, it is not necessary to go into the house to get down from the flat roof.

32 The soul is distinct from the life, for we can hardly say that one who is destroying his life is causing it to live. It is those who shrink from suffering who seek to preserve their souls, and thus forfeit the joys of the kingdom.

34-36 Compare Mt.24:40-41; 1Th.4:17.

37 Elsewhere the nations are represented as wild beasts. Here they are like birds of prey gathering about Israel in her last extremity.

37 Compare Mt.24:28; Job 39:30.

1 This parable follows most naturally from the foregoing prophecy concerning the coming of the Son of Mankind, for then it is that the saints in Israel clamor for vengeance, as figured in the souls under the altar (Un.6:9-11). Indeed, it is the importunity of the blood of the martyrs which brings on the judgments of the sixth seal.
     We, too, are told to pray without intermission (lTh.5:17). But a prayer for vengeance is utterly foreign to the spirit of grace which is ours in Christ Jesus. We can quite understand that God should need much urging and continued importunity before He visits their adversaries with vengeance. That is His strange work. It is not in direct accord with His heart. But there is a question whether such urgency is necessary for Him to answer those of our prayers which are in accord with His will. Above all, let us not make this parable an excuse for senseless repetition or stubbornness in petitioning for that which is contrary to God's present attitude of grace. The closing words of the parable emphasize its close connection with the judgments which attend the coming of the Son of Mankind.

Compare 2Th.1:6-7.

9 This Pharisee is intensely typical of those self-righteous ones, who imagine that God is pleased with their sham religion. Self is the center and the circumference of all their worship. Though so fully pleased with themselves, they are the most pitiable of men, blind to their sins, dead to their own corruption. The traitorous tax gatherer, on the other hand, showed a spiritual intelligence seldom seen during our Lord's ministry, as is indicated by his use of the word propitiate. From where he stood he could doubtless see the smoke of the sacrifice ascending to God, and he grasped the great truth of propitiation, that, sinner though he was, he could approach and obtain favor of God on the ground of sacrifice. Thus did the Saviour call their attention once again to the sacrifice He was about to offer so that He may become the great Propitiatory or meeting place of God and man.

13 Compare Ps.40:12, 51:1-3; Jer .31:18-19.
14 Compare Ro.3:19-26.

125

Luke 18:15-43

15-11 Compare Mt.19:13-15; Mk.10:13-16; Mt.18:3.

15 It was customary for rabbis and great teachers to invoke a blessing on those who desired it, especially on children who were not mature enough to derive benefit from their words. It was a touching tribute to the esteem in which some, at least, still held Him. Theirs was a child-like faith, uninfluenced by the current of opposition which was setting in against Him. Hence it was specially acceptable to Him to bless the babes, for in them was reflected the sincere and unwavering faith which was so satisfying to His heart.

18-23 Compare Mt.19:16-22; Mk.10:17-22; Ex.20:12-16.

18 The law was never given to impart life (Ga.3:21). Its function was to make sin more sinful by turning it into transgression. Its mission was to reveal the presence of sin, not to remove it. Only those who continued to do all its precepts could claim life.

The chief approaches the Lord with the wrong expression. The word "good" suggested a certain lenience which was not in the law. If eonian life is to be the wages of lawkeeping, it must be on the ground of justice rather than goodness. But the Lord does not allow the opportunity to go by to assure the chief that God is good. Passing over the greatest commandments, love to God and to his associates, the Lord first mentions those grosser sins which usually pass as the principal precepts of the law. But when He puts before him a practical test to determine whether he kept the two great precepts, his chances for eonian life vanish.
     The social economy in Israel was such that it was hardly possible to be very rich without oppressing the poor. After the land had been divided by lot the only way to get more was to encroach on the allotments of others who were compelled to sell until the jubilee. At that time the Jews were not traders and could not take interest, so wealth was almost always in cattle or land. When the kingdom is established the land will be redistributed according to the lines laid down in the prophets (Eze.47:13 - 48:35). A rich man will have no claim whatever on his lands. He cannot carry his wealth with him into the kingdom. It is not likely that any great difference in the distribution of wealth will be possible under the laws of that day. Property will be practically unknown. Land will be held as an allotment from Jehovah, Who will retain its control in His own hands, but will allot its use.

22 Compare 1Ti.6:17-19.
24-27 Compare Mt.19:23-26; Mk.10:23-27; 1Ti.6:9-10.
28-30 Compare Mt.19:27-30; Mk.10:28-31.

28 This saying of our Lord has occasioned much genuine distress among those who "apply" all Scripture to themselves, with no regard to the great changes in God's dealings. In actual practice we do not get back what we give up for Christ in this day of grace. Paul, our pattern, suffered the loss of all, and was rewarded with a prison. If we restrict this to those to whom our Lord was talking the difficulty vanishes. The apostles were greatly compensated even at that time for their sacrifices for the kingdom.

31-34 Compare Mt.20:17-19; Mk.10:32-34; Ps.22; Isa.53.

31 The twelve were very keen as to their own petty privations and the consequent reward, but painfully obtuse on the subject of His great sacrifice. It is not hard to see how the nation could slay Him in their ignorance and thus fulfill the prophets which were read constantly in their synagogues, when His own disciples could not understand the plainest predictions of His sufferings, though repeated and emphasized throughout this last journey to Jerusalem.
     The Lord undoubtedly did many miracles of the same kind. He healed many blind men as a sign that He would open the eyes of the blind nation. There were probably four distinct blind men healed on this journey through Jericho. The many differences in detail between Mt.20:29-34; Mk.10:46-48, and this passage do not need to be "harmonized" but believed. The different circumstances of each case do not denote discrepancies, but divine accuracies the force of which our present spiritual microscopes are not powerful enough to reveal.

35-43 Compare Mt.20:29-34; Mk.10:46-52.

Luke 19:1-13

126

1 Compare Josh.6:26; 1Ki.16:34.

2 The case of Zaccheus meant much more to a patriotic Jew than we can possibly imagine. The most hated and unpopular class in the whole nation were the tax farmers, who paid the taxes for a district and then collected it from the people, adding their own charges to it. Not only were the taxes oppressive, but the collectors usually imposed enough to enrich themselves. Now Zaccheus was evidently a leader in this nefarious business and was cordially disliked by his countrymen.
     The Lord is proclaiming a kingdom. How strange it must have seemed for Him not only to have one of these hated collectors among His apostles but to invite Himself to the house of a chief of these unpatriotic traitors! Few acts in His career showed more clearly that He came to call sinners, not the righteous. It was a difficult lesson for them to learn, so He chooses the most striking means of impressing it on their minds.

3 Compare Jn.12:21.

3 There is a delightful parallel between Zaccheus' physical state and his spiritual condition. His small stature suggests the small esteem in which he was held by his countrymen. As we would say, they looked down on him. But he managed to elevate himself by means of a fig-mulberry, or wild fig tree, an excellent representation of the Roman rule, which gave him his position and wealth. Israel politically, is figured by the tame fig tree.
     It was not the Lord's will that he should remain there, hence His word "Hurry! Descend!" The effect of the Lord's favor is immediately apparent. Without any prompting, he announces his intention to give half of his possessions to the poor, and to more than right any wrong doing which may have occurred in his dealings. What a contrast with the rich self-righteous chief (18:18) who, though urged to do so, and promised a great reward, would not part with his possessions, and this chief of sinners, whose riches are given freely, without even a suggestion from the Lord! It is the compulsion of love which springs only from the depths of sin.

8 Compare 3:8,12-13; Ja.2:21-24; Ex.22:1.
9 Compare Ro.4:1l-12; Ga.3:7.
11-27 Compare Mt.25:14-30; Ac.1:6.
12 Compare Dan.7:13-14; Ac.1:1l.

12 The picture presented in this parable was well kown to His hearers. Native noblemen were obliged to go to Rome to "obtain a kingdom". The first Herod and Archelaus both repaired to Rome to be elevated to the throne. The latter had built a palace in Jericho near which this parable was spoken, and doubtless his hearers remembered that, when he returned as Ethnarch of Judea and Samaria, he had rewarded his adherents and had slain his enemies.
     His disciples seemed absolutely deaf to His repeated warnings that He was about to suffer, rather than to reign. Even the multitude seemed to sense the great fact that the time for the kingdom had come, but did not realize the growing opposition. So He, with marvelous discernment, seizes on a parallel which they did understand, in order to explain to them what seemed so difficult. He did not deny their expectation of a kingdom; rather He confirmed it. Like the Herods, He, too, was going away to receive a kingdom. The reason for this is hinted in the hatred of the citizens. Even so the Jews had sent an embassy to the emperor Augustus and besought him to unite their country with Syria rather than that they should have an Idumean for their king. But their protestations were in vain and Archelaus was made tetrarch. They only brought down his vengeance on their heads when he returned. That the Lord will follow a similar course, and slay His enemies when He sets up the kingdom, shows that this is not the present period of grace, but the literal sovereignty of our Lord which will be preceded by the terrors of the apocalyptic judgments.
     The main thought seems to be centered on the service of His slaves during His absence. Here, too, this parable is vastly different from present truth. There may be some similarity between us and the first two slaves but it is contrary to the spirit we have received to think and act like the wicked slave. What genuine believer in Christ Jesus, who has tasted of His love and grace, would think of calling Him harsh and grasping? We, one and all, no matter how slight our

127

Luke 19:14-43

knowledge of Him, think Him loving and generous. However little we may do for Him, or however faulty that little is, the lack is hardly due to such ungrateful motives as this slave's excuse.

14 Compare Jn.1:11, 19:15.
27 Compare Un.19:11-21.
28-36 Compare Mt.21:1-8; Mk.1l:1-8.

28 This entry into Jerusalem marks one of the most important days in the history of the holy people. The seventy heptads of Daniel's prophecy are divided into seven, sixty-two, and one. The sixty-ninth heptad, after which Messiah was to be cut off (Dan.9:26), must be fulfilled before the crucifixion. Nothing in His life heretofore corresponds to His presentation to the people as a Prince. His birth, His baptism, the beginning of His ministry, none of these so fully satisfy the words "unto Prince Messiah", as His entry as recorded on this day. Hitherto He had trudged along as any wayfarer, but now He comes as a king should come, riding on a colt, over a path strewn with the garments of His loyal subjects.

31 This is perhaps the only act in which He exercises His regal authority. A king could commandeer anything in his kingdom, so He, as the King of Israel and the Lord of all in the realm (yet too poor to have a mount of His own!) has no hesitancy in sending for the colt. He has no royal trappings but the garments of His lowly escort.

37-38 Compare Mt.21:9-l1; Mk.l1:9-10; Jn.12:12-19.

37 How solemn and inspiring was the scene as the cavalcade, nearing the descent of Olivet, stood revealed to the gaze of the holy city! Long had Jerusalem waited for that day! Prophets had perceived it and saints had sighed for it, yet where was the response from the city as the procession came into view? A few of His own rend the air with their acclamations, but the great city with its priests and chiefs is represented by the sullen Pharisees who resented His royal assumptions. Much has the sacred city suffered for its neglect of Him since that day. Blessed, indeed, will be that future day when, once again, He stands on Olivet and claims the royal honors which they then refused (Zech.14:4).

38 Compare 2:14, Ps.l18:26.
40 Compare Hab.2:11.

40 There is a marked change manifest in the attitude of our Lord. Since His rejection by the nation was evident, He has been restraining His disciples from making Him known. He closed the proclamation of the kingdom and would not allow it to be heralded. Now, however, He receives the acclamation of the disciples, and rebukes the remonstrance of the Pharisees instead of rebuking His disciples. They were fulfilling the Scripture (Zech. 9:9):

Exult exceedingly, daughter of Zion,
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem.
Lo! your King is coming to you,
He is just and being saved:
He is humble and rides on an ass,
And on a colt, the foal of an ass.

41 Compare Hos.l1:8.
42 Compare Deut.5:29; Isa.48:18.

42 This was the day so long foretold by Daniel the prophet (Dan.9:25) when Messiah the Prince should come. Since the coming forth of the king's word to restore and to build Jerusalem, sixty-nine heptads had run their course. Exactly four hundred and eighty-three years of three hundred and sixty days each had passed since the edict of Artaxerxes (Neh.2).
     All the previous ministry of Messiah was with a view to His public proclamation on this day. Hence His lament over the apostate city. The day of her visitation had come and she was utterly oblivious of it. The scribes could actually have demonstrated mathematically that He was the Messiah by counting the days of Daniel's prophecy, yet they are so blind that they reject Him. It was Jerusalem's last opportunity. Seven times had He visited the city and had given ample proof of His messiahship. This was final. Had they received Him her portion would have been peace. Now that they reject Him there can be no permanent peace until she reverses her decision at His return in power.

43 Compare 21:20; Dan.9:26.

43 All of this was literally fulfilled at the siege of Jerusalem by Titus and the later destruction under the emperor Hadrian. Jerusalem has seen little of peace except in its desolation. The recent capture of the city is but the prelude to the terrible times that are still to come.

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44 Compare Mic.3:12; Mt.24:2.
45-48 Compare Mt.21:12-17; Mk.11:11,15-19.

45 His kingdom will be a combination of church and state and He will be the Head of both. Hence He not only presents Himself as King, but enters the temple and cleanses it of its unlawful traffic.

46 Compare Isa.56:7; Jer.7:11.
48 Compare Jn.12:17-19.
1.8 Compare Mt.21:23-27; Mk.11:27-33.

2 The Rabbis had a great conceit of their powers of debate, so they deemed it best to lay a snare for Him. The question itself seems innocent enough, and had they honestly asked for information, He doubtless would have answered them. But He seldom listened to men's words. He read their hearts. Those who sought to catch Him were always taken in their own toils. In an indirect way His question contained the answer that they desired. If the baptist was commissioned by God to prepare His path, surely then His authority must far exceed that of John for he repeatedly renounced himself in favor of the One Whose sandal thong he was not worthy to loose. What a humiliating confession they were forced to make to cover their hypocrisy! Of what use is truth to such men ? So He wisely refuses to tell them what any blind man could see if he did not wish to hold to his error at any cost.

9-12 Compare Mt.21:33-36; Mk.12:1-5; Isa.5:1-7.

9 The parable grows out of the attitude of the Pharisees, as just made manifest. Most skillfully He uses incidents well known to them and figures with which they are familiar to trace the attitude of Israel toward those who had been sent with divine authority in the past. All the prophets–even Moses–suffered at their unbelieving hands. They always persecuted the messengers of God, and, for that reason, they were about to kill Him.
     The sad history of Israel, their continual defection and rejection of God, does not seem to affect their hearts. They are ready to do as did their forefathers, even though they condemn them. They boast in the very prophets that their fathers persecuted. Does not all this show the total failure of law and ritual as a link between God and man? Religion so radically vitiates the standard of human morals that it is reserved for religious men to commit the crime of crimes.

11 Compare Ac.7:52.
13-15 Compare Mt.21:37-39; Mk.12:6-8; 1Th.2:15.

13 It was only reasonable to suppose that even if the nation had maltreated the messengers of God, they would not be nearly so likely to mistreat the Son. Previous messengers often came unannounced, with few credentials, and often with a most unpalatable message. But the Son came according to many prophecies which foretold minute details of His career. He was the only Prophet to be introduced by a forerunner. None approached Him in the number and wonders of His works.

15-18 Compare Mt.21:40-44; Mk.12:9-11; See Ac.4:11; 1Pt.2:4-7.

16 The destruction of Jerusalem and the nation was directly due to the murder of Messiah. Their misfortunes from that day to this and the evils still in store for them in the greatest of all afflictions, at the time of the end, all would have been avoided, humanly speaking, had they hailed Him as their King.

17 Compare Eph.1:10, 2:14; Ps.118:22.

17 The head corner stone of a building is the most ornamental and honorable in the whole structure. Lying on the ground, they stumbled over it and refused it. So have the builders of Israel hurt themselves on Him.

18 Compare Dan. 2:34-35.
19 Compare Mt.21:45-46; Mk.12:12.

19 The object of the scribes and chief priests now seems to be to put Him in a quandary, Either He will be discredited in the eyes of the people or come to a clash with the civil rulers. So long as He had a following they were afraid. Nor were they willing to risk an open debate. So they keep out of it entirely and send others with what, at first sight, seems to be a simple question of conscience. They hope to get Him to say that they should not pay taxes to Rome so they can accuse Him to the government. So they use fine flatteries to destruction. But His first response tears off the veil of hypocrisy and reveals the true intent of their inquiry. They wish to try Him, not to quiet their conscience.

20-26 Compare Mt.22:15-22; Mk.12:13-17.
22 Compare Deut.28:47-48.

129

Luke 20:24-21:4

24 Two kinds of coins were in circulation, the Roman and the Jewish. The temple taxes had to be paid in the Jewish shekel, the Roman in the foreign currency. The fact that they had accepted the conqueror's money shows that they regarded themselves as his subjects. Indeed, not long after this they insisted that they had no king but Caesar. To pay taxes, therefore, was only the fulfillment of an obligation they had already undertaken. Hence, instead of branding Him with sedition, as they hoped, He fastens on them the disgrace of national servitude. And, to emphasize the divine obligations, He insists on their paying the shekel of the sanctuary, which they doubtless did in fact but not in spirit.
     Our attitude toward rulers is set forth in Ro.13:1-7. We look at the civil authorities as but a part of the sovereign supervising government of God, even though they are oblivious of Him or actually opposed to Him.

27-36 Compare Mt.22:28-30; Mk.12:18-25.
27 Compare Ac. 23:6-8.

27 The law made extraordinary provision for the perpetuation of the name and family of an Israelite. Should he die without issue, it was the duty of his brother to marry his widow and the son of such a union would take his name, so that it would not be blotted out (Deut.25:5-6). The Sadducees seize on this custom to formulate a difficulty which was evidently a stock argument in their encounters with the Pharisees.
     It is evident that they had a most superficial understanding of the law and paid no attention to the underlying reason for its enactments. The law in question was necessitated by the disturbing element of death. Apart from this it has no place. In the resurrection of the just, where there is no more death, it can have no application. Marriage, similarly, has no place in the resurrection, so the question really revealed the ignorance of the Sadducees, rather than their fancied acuteness.

28 Compare Deut.25:5.
37 Compare Mt.22:31-32; Mk.12:26-27; Ex.3:6.

37 The real issue is now taken up by the Lord. They denied the resurrection. They appealed to Moses, so He also uses Moses as the basis of His argument. The God of Abraham is pre-eminently the God of promises and covenants. These have not been fulfilled and cannot be carried out if Abraham is not roused from the dead. All the virtue of the title "the God of Abraham" is lost if we consider it merely in connection with the past life of the patriarch. He did not receive the promises. It demands that he shall be raised from the dead.

38 There is no question here of the death state. Abraham is not living now. It is only in a secondary sense that all are living to God. He deals with His creatures in life, not in death. The Lord is not seeking to prove that death is life, but that there is a life after death in resurrection.

39-44 Compare Mt.22:23-46; Mk.12:28-37.

41 He has brought them to a point where they no longer dare to question Him, so now He turns to question them. He goes straight to the heart of the whole situation. Often had He been hailed as the Son of David, and He always acknowledged this evidence of faith in Him. But how few, even among His disciples, knew Him as David's Lord! That this Lord, Who was in the form of God, should empty Himself and be found in fashion as a Man (Phil.2:5-8) , was a truth so utterly beyond their comprehension that He did not even stop for an answer. The Hebrew scriptures use the titles "Lord", "God", etc. of the Image of God as freely as of absolute Deity. There are two Personalities Who bear these divine appellations, nor need we often be concerned which One is uppermost in any passage, for They are one, as the Image is one with Him Whom It represents. The lowly Man of the evangelists is the divine Lord of the prophets.

42 Compare Ps.110:1.
45-47 Compare Mt.23:1-7,14; Mk.12:38-40.
1-4 Compare Mk.12:41-44.
3 Compare 2Co.8:12.

1 God values a gift according to the sacrifices of the giver. Its commercial value means little to Him, Who owns all things, and Who accepts nothing except as a token of esteem. The rich seldom labor for a living, hence their offerings, unless very great, can mean little to them or to God. But such a drudge as this widow, who had nothing except the pittance she could earn,

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was at a great advantage. However little she might give, it would be great in God's eyes. And if she should give all, as this dear woman did, she would actually bring greater wealth to God than the combined total or all the large oblations. No one lacks the means to give much to God.

8-7 Compare Mt.24:1-3; Mk.13:1-4; Mic.3:12.

6 The present interval being an absolute secret, we must banish it from our view entirely when considering the prophetic forecast here given. It is contained in the "eras of the nations" (24) but the vision of the future is as though we were looking at two mountain ranges, one before the other, which look like one, and hide the valley that lies between. We see here the turbulent times of the Jewish wars, the destruction of the temple at the siege of Jerusalem, the dispersion–all long past–and then find ourselves in the future terrors of the sixth seal, and the coming of the Son of Mankind.

8-11 Compare Mt.24:4-8; Mk.13:5-8.

8 It is said that more than sixty different ones have come with messianic claims and the greatest of them is still to come at the time of the end. The rider on the white horse, under the first seal of the sixth chapter of the Unveiling, will be the false messiah of the end time.

10-11 The second seal (Un.6:3-4) takes peace from the earth. It corresponds with the conflict of nation with nation and seems to indicate a world war with universal conscription, whole nations hurling themselves at one another rather than merely sending small contingents of fighting men. Famine is indicated by the black horse with the balances (Un.6:5-6). A day's labor will barely buy one day's food. The fourth seal, with its sallow greenish horse (Un.6:7-8) corresponds with the pestilences here predicted.

12-19 Compare Mt.24:9-14; Mk.13:9-13.

12 From verses twelve to twenty-five we have an outline of the siege of Jerusalem, the dispersion among the nations, the occupation of the holy city, and the persecutions which will be endured before the time of the end. We should remember that the perspective here and in all similar prophecies is such that the great affliction which is yet to come appears to follow soon after the dispersion. The present interval is practically ignored.

20 The siege of Jerusalem under Titus was one of the most terrible of all time. After the city was once invested, the opportunity for escape was cut off, and many who attempted it were slain. Thousands were crucified and many deserters were disemboweled because of a rumor that they sought to conceal their money by swallowing it. Others over-ate and burst asunder. More than a million perished miserably and nearly a hundred thousand were enslaved and carried off to Egypt and elsewhere. The city was almost completely demolished. It is said that the Christians in the city took warning and fled to the mountains of Judea in time to escape the terrible affliction.

24 Jerusalem has been in the hands of alien nations ever since. Even the crusades did not restore it to the Jews. Its change from Turkish rule to British sovereignty is a most favorable sign, but by no means gives the city back to the holy nation. It is still trodden (not trodden down, as usually misquoted) by a foreign power. This may be the last era of the nations, but it is not yet the end of "the times of the gentiles".

25-27 Compare Mt. 24:29-31.

25 The end of the eras of the nations will be accomplished by marvelous indications of divine intervention. This is brought before us under the sixth seal (Un.6:12-17) of the Unveiling. The sun becomes black as sackcloth of hair and the moon as blood, and the stars of heaven fall to the earth. It is the time of divine indignation and only those in Israel who are preserved by divine power will be able to stand. The hundred and forty-four thousand will be sealed and saved through this great affliction as well as the innumerable throng (Un.7:2-17). Portents which perplex and appal mankind will presage their deliverance.

29-33 Compare Mt.24:32-35; Mk.13:28-31.

29 The fig tree pictures Israel politically. Like that one which the Lord cursed, the nation in this aspect withered away and has had no political status until recent years. When their right to a home in Palestine was acknowledged, and they became the subject of international diplomacy, it became necessary to recognize them as a nation. Zionism has kindled their national

131

Luke 21:32-22:18

aspirations and was a token that the branches of the fig tree were preparing to bud. The British declaration giving them a home in Palestine, and their efforts to reclaim and repopulate the land of their forefathers, are sure indications that Israel's winter is nearly past and her summer is near .

32 It is evident that all these things did not take place in that generation. Nor did the Lord say that they would. He simply said that they should. He could not at that time reveal to them the failure of the Pentecostal economy. The present grace was an absolute secret. These must be left out of this prophecy. Leaving these out, all these things would have taken place in a single generation. Peter, at Pentecost, shows that repentance of the nation alone stood between them and the day of the Lord. Had the nation received his message, the times of refreshing would have come (Ac.3:19). This passage, instead of being an insoluble difficulty, is really the key to the proper apprehension of this whole prophecy. It shows that the whole is viewed as an immediate possibility, and does not include the Pentecostal or the present economy in its scope.

1-2 Compare Mt.26:1-5; Mk.14:1-2.

1 In our Lord's day the popular names of the sacred festivals were not used with the clear exactitude of the Hebrew Scriptures. There the Passover is used of the day before the festival of Unleavened Bread, not of the festival itself. The passover was not sacrificed in the festival (Lev.23:5-8). As one followed immediately after the other they seem to have been combined. It was practically necessary to put away leaven on the Passover, so it was included in the days of unleavened bread. Then, as the passover was sacrificed on this day, the whole festival, which lasted seven more days, was popularly known as the Passover .

3-6 Compare Mt.26:14-16; Mk.14:10-11.

8 Is is evident that Judas, of his own volition, would not have betrayed his Lord. It was only when actually obsessed by Satan that he does such a dastardly deed. This fact must greatly modify our judgment of him. It is a question whether any of His disciples' or even of His apostles, could have done otherwise when under the control of the Adversary.

7-13 Compare Mt.26:17-19; Mk.14:12-16.

7 "The day of unleavened bread" here refers to the day before the first day of the festival, the fourteenth of Nisan, on which the Passover lamb was sacrificed. According to the law the festival proper did not commence until the fifteenth of Nisan (Num.28:16,11).

8 According to Josephus, the passover was always eaten by a company of not less than ten, and often by twenty or more. It seems that, in this case, the apostles had made no preparations until the very day had come. But this Passover had been before Him for a long time, and He had put it into the heart of someone to provide the place, possibly without any clear knowledge of the object of the preparations.

10 Carrying water jars was "women's work", seldom done by a man. So that a man bearing a jar of water was an unmistakable sign. Possibly he was the only one in the whole city who demeaned himself thus.

14-18 Compare Mt.26:20-29; Mk.14:11-25.

15 Even to His apostles this last Passover must have seemed exceedingly solemn, but what shall we say of His feelings, knowing as He did that He, as the great Antitype, must suffer before the day is done? Well did He know that He was the true Lamb, and that His previous ministry was but the prelude and preparation for His sacrificial death. Just as the Passover lamb was taken on the tenth day of the month and kept till the fourteenth (Ex.12:3-6) , so He had been chosen by John the baptist (Jn.1:29) for the day which was now at hand. The lamb for the Passover must be perfect, without blemish (Ex.12:5). His holy life of peerless perfection, pure, though in constant contact with sin, was without parallel in the annals of mankind. All who sought to find a flaw in Him were confounded.
     The Passover was about to be fulfilled by His decease. Hence, in the midst of this final celebration, He introduces anew memorial of His death. The Passover was kept not only in remembrance of the exodus out of Egypt, but also as a type of the greater deliverance which comes through His sacrifice. But the new observance is based on an accomplished work, on

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suffering endured, on redemption attained. In its kingdom aspect it was given to remind them of His sufferings, during the interval of His absence. A special revelation of this observance was given to the apostle Paul, who passes it on to the Corinthians. Hence this account, as well as those in Matthew and Mark, are intended for the Circumcision only.

19-20 Compare Mt.26:26-28; Mk.14:22-24; 1Co.11:23-26.
21-23 Compare Mt.26:21-25; Mk.14:18-21; Jn.13:18-30; Ps.41:9.

23 How sad it is to see the self-centered apostles, whose hearts should have been overflowing with sorrow and sympathy for Him as He confides to them the significance of the symbols and the nearness of His betrayal, forget His part and think only of themselves! They were concerned lest they should be thought guilty of disloyalty, yet worse still, at such a solemn time, when He was revealing the depths of His humiliation, each one seeks his own exaltation. The contrast is a most vivid illustration of how far the very best of men sink below the moral grandeur of the peerless One. He finds few rivals in His descent from highest glory to deepest shame! They were content to let Him tread that path alone.

24-27 Compare Mt.20:25-28; Mk.10:42-45.

25 They deserved a stern rebuke, yet He gently chides them while explaining the true essence of greatness. His own example should have taught them better, for His superiority consisted in service. Hence He received the homage of men's hearts, not the adulation of their lips.

27 Compare Mt.20:28; Phil.2:5-8; Jn.13:3-17.
28 Compare Mt 19:28.

28 Trial leads to the throne. Not service or success, but endurance in failure fitted the twelve apostles to sit at the table of the great King and to be associated with Him in the government of Israel.

31-34 Compare Mt.26:30-35; Mk.14:26-31; Jn.13:36-38.

31 Both the betrayal and denial of the Lord were the work of Satan. Judas was actually possessed by the enemy, while Peter was the object of an outward attack. Wheat is sifted to get rid of the chaff. So Peter was rid of the self-conceit which hindered the exercise of the sterling qualities he possessed. He may not have been more selfish than the rest, for they all clamored for the highest place, but, as it was the Lord's will that he should be the chief of the twelve, it was necessary to humiliate him first. Satan's claim is limited by the Lord, for the adversary is allowed to do only so much evil as will eventuate in good. It is a sober truth that Satan had a hand in preparing Peter for his high place among the apostles. In the same way all his efforts will be turned to beneficial account.

32 Compare Jn.21:15-17.
35 Compare 9:3.

35 Isaiah's prophecy concerning Him indicates a great change in His relations to His fellow men. Hitherto He was anything but a criminal, and His disciples were welcomed and freely entertained. To intimate this enmity, He counsels them to buy swords. But, as usual, the apostles fail to catch the drift of His figure, and produce two swords, without evidently perceiving the irony of His words "It is enough." Two swords would be of little avail for twelve men, especially if they should attack the Roman empire! Later, when one of them uses his sword, the Lord corrects the false impression, and restores the severed ear of His enemy.

37 Compare Isa.53:12; Mk.15:28.
39-40 Compare Mt.26:36-38; Mk.14:32-34; Jn.18:1-2.
39 Compare 21:37.
40 Compare Mt.6:13.

40 The great confiict between good and evil is here seen in its most intense exercise. The Lord well knew the evil that lay ahead of Him, for He had been speaking of it again and again. Moreover, He was well aware of the immeasurable benefits of His death to God, and to all His creation. Does He therefore meet it with stony indifference and stoicism? Are the sufferings less real because they are known and come from God? Not at all! In the face of trial He urges His apostles to pray that they should not enter it. He Himself does not wish to drink the cup. The sufferings of Christ are not His will, but the will of His Father. Hitherto there had been perfeet unani-

133

Luke 22:41-71

mity between the will of the Father and that of the Son, but in this extreme agony of soul, acquiescence gives place to submission. From the dawn of creation He had delighted in the will of God. He had gladly emptied Himself of the glories of the form divine and took the form of a slave, and entered into the humiliation of humanity, but when it came to the death of the cross His soul revolted and His will refused to follow. Our wills are instinctively in conflict with God's, so it seems almost impossible for us to realize the awful gulf revealed in the agonizing words, "not My will, but Thine, be done! "

41-46 Compare Mt.26:39-46; Mk.14:35-42.
44 Compare Heb.5:7-8.
47-48 Compare Mt.26:47-50; Mk.14:43-46; Jn.18:3-9.

48 The gentle forbearance is the most crushing quality of this question. The Lord does not berate him for his act. He does not denounce him for his deed. But it hurts His heart that he should cover his crime with a show of affection.

49-51 Compare Mt.26:51-54; Mk.14:47; Jn.18:10-11.

49 Doubtless the Lord allowed the apostles to harbor the mistaken impression that He was about to meet force with force so as to afford Him an opportunity to reveal His true attitude in a most striking and instructive manner. So far as we know, He had never healed His enemies. Blessing was reserved for the faithful and friends. So that, in this simple miracle of healing the ear of the high priest's slave, we can see a moral glory which is nowhere else displayed.

52-54 Compare Mt.26:55-57; Mk.14:43-53.

52 Behind all the acts of men the Lord always saw the sovereignty of God. Since it was His Father's will that He should suffer on the Passover, He knew that His enemies would be helpless to take Him until the proper time. So He had calmly ignored the threatening attitude of the chiefs, and taught openly in the very temple itself. Now the day had come for Him to be offered up. Now, since it was God's time, it was their hour.

54 Compare Jn.18:12-14.
55-60 Compare Mt.26:58, 69-74; Mk.14:54, 66-71; Jn.18:15-18.

55 That Peter really intended to be loyal to his Lord cannot be doubted, especially as he did not run away but followed as closely as he dared, keeping Him in sight. It demanded some courage to enter into the courtyard of the chief priest. But there was nothing in what he saw of the trial to give him confidence. If they maltreated his Master as they were doing what would they do to His disciples? What a vast difference between his conduct here and his magnificent courage in the Pentecostal era! Now he is afraid of a mere maid, then he defies the whole Sanhedrin. Yet this failure was the very foundation of his future firmness. From the instant that the Lord looked at Peter he was a changed man. Bitter self-reproach takes the place of boasting. Confidence in Christ replaces self-conceit. He has learned the lesson of true greatness, as he writes in his first epistle: "Be humbled, then, under the mighty hand of God, that He should be exalting you in season" (1Pet.5:6) .

61-62 Compare Mt.26:75; Mk.14:72.
63-65 Compare Mt.26:67-68; Mk.14:65.
66-71 Compare Mt.26:59-66; Mk.14:55-64; Jn.18:19-24.

66 The Sanhedrin was the highest religious court in Israel and should logically have been the one to pass upon His claims and confirm them. Had they been at all what they were supposed to be, He could easily have convinced them. But they were so utterly apostate that the Lord recognized the futility of having anything to do with them. They were not sincerely inquiring into His claims but were seeking evidence to convict Him. He well knew that they wanted Him to claim to be Christ that they might use it against Him. They wanted Him to say that He was the Son of God that this might be evidence of blasphemy and lead to His death. This is why He says "You are saying that I am! " If He did not claim it they would have no case against Him. And even thus, though He refused to speak the words, they catch at His retort. What a travesty of righteousness! What a mockery of religion is this highest and holiest of Jewish tribunals! Pilate had some sense of justice left, but they were utterly shameless. Their light had become darkness.

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1-5 Compare Mt.27:1-14; Mk.15:2-5: Jn.18:28-38.

1 The trial now takes on a new character. It passes from the religious to the political phase. It would be quite useless to bring the Sanhedrin's findings before Pilate, because he was not to be drawn into their religious quarrels, so long as these did not affect the state. So they modify the indictment accordingly.

2 Compare Mt.22:17-21; Ac.17:7.

3 To us the Lord's reply to Pilate seems to be an admission of the charge that He was a king, and consequently, a rival of Caesar. But the turn of thought lies in the emphasis. In John's account there is a fuller discussion, in which the Lord makes it plain to Pilate that, at that time, He was not pressing this claim. "You are [not I am] saying it," indicates that the accusation springs from the desire of His enemies to have it so, rather than any evidence they can furnish. So Pilate understood it, and bluntly told the Jews that, if anyone was at fault, they were, and not their Prisoner .

4 Compare Ac.3:14-15.

6 They hoped, by the mention of Galilee, to rouse the procurator's animosity, for it was well known that he and Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee, were enemies. But Pilate knew that Herod was well acquainted with the religious quarrels of the Jews and might possibly be able to find the real cause of their animosity. Hence he sends Him to the Idumean.

7 Compare 3:1-2.
8 Compare 9:9.

8 Herod, having beheaded John the baptist, became greatly interested in this new Prophet Who more than took John's place. He never had met Him. As the Lord was not of Galilee, but of Bethlehem, Judea, Herod had no jurisdiction over His case. His father, Herod the Great, had indeed held sway in Judea, and used his power to massacre the babes of Bethlehem, in order to make sure of His destruction. They were a bloody race, and with divine dignity Christ scorns to speak to the haughty Herod. Yet even he could find no ground for the accusations of His enemies.

11 Compare Isa.53:3.
12 Compare Ac. 4:25-28.
18-17 Compare Mt.27:15-19; Mk.15:6-10 Jn.18:38-39, 19:4; Ac.13:28.

14 Every civil charge against the Lord was found to be false. His long sojourn in Galilee and the miracles He had performed were reported to Herod, but he had not been informed of a single disturbance, though the Roman government was constantly on the alert to crush any insurrection in its beginning. Bar-Abbas had headed one that very year. The religious rulers were none too loyal to Rome, and any charge coming from them, unless well authenticated, was to be viewed with suspicion.

The utter hypocrisy of the whole proceeding comes to a climax in their request for the release of Bar-Abbas. He was actually guilty of the charge brought against the Lord, with the added distinction of having committed murder (while the Lord had roused the dead), yet they wanted him released! But the Lord, Who was not guilty, must be crucified! We cannot help seeing in these two an illustration of the wonderful salvation which springs from the murder of the Just One. He suffered, the Just One for the unjust, that He might bring them to God. If Christ had been released Bar-Abbas would have been executed, as he deserved. He is a type of the mass of unbelievers, who are saved without faith, at the consummation.

18-23 Compare Mt.27:20-23; Mk.15:1l-14; Jn.18:40..

22 The act of Pilate in crucifying Christ is as nothing compared with the guilt of the religious leaders of the Jews. They had the oracles of God which foretold the coming of the Blessed One. Pilate may never have even heard of the Messiah. They had the light of a holy and just law. Yet the Roman governor, with little more than an instinctive sense of justice (for no statute was involved) was far more righteous. Three times he bears record that he cannot find a single fault worthy of death. His real weakness lay in the form of government. Pilate's office, to some extent, depended on his pandering to the populace. They were always ready to accuse their governors of disloyalty to Caesar if they displeased them.

24-25 Compare Mt.27:24-26; Mk.15:15; Jn.19:16.
26 Simon is the type of those who follow Him, bearing His cross.

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Luke 23:26-54

26 Compare Mt.27:32; Mk.15:21; Jn.19:17.

26 Tradition has sought to surround the cross with a false glamour by making it cross-shaped, instead of a single upright stake. The word "cross" itself has so embedded itself in the hearts of the saints that it would seem cruel to tear it out. Yet those who are spiritual will recognize the great truth that the crucifixion was designed to sound the depths of shame and ignominy, and any attempt to embellish it only detracts from its true moral glory.

28 In the midst of His sufferings He did not forget the fate of that unhappy people, who were sowing the seed of countless sorrows when they crucified their Messiah. It is probable that most of the women and children then alive died of violence in the Jewish wars and the siege of Jerusalem.

30 Compare Isa.2:19; Hos.10:8; Un.6:16.
32 Compare Isa.53:12.

32 These two malefactors must not be confused with the two robbers who were crucified later.

33-38 Compare Mt.27:33-43; Mk.15:22-32; Jn.19:17-24; Ps.22:16-l8.

33 There is no good reason for using the Latin equivalent "Calvary". The Greek is the usual word for "skull", from which we derive cranium. It was doubtless so called from a resemblance to the human skull.

34 Though some important manuscripts omit this, the first recorded saying of our Lord on the cross, there is no reasonable doubt that it is genuine. When we consider how improbable it is that any man could show such compassion or even invent such a gracious thought, we are compelled to admit its inspiration. Its answer is found in the renewed proclamation of pardon or forgiveness after His ascension by the apostles He had chosen. This is the sin against the Son of Mankind, which was forgiven. The sin against the holy Spirit, the rejection of the apostles' ministry, could not be forgiven for the eon. Hence the nation was thrust aside, as they are today.

35-37 Compare Ps 22:6-8.39-43 Compare Mt.27:44; Mk.15:32.39 Only in Luke's account do we read of these two malefactors. Matthew and Mark speak of two others who were crucified later, who were robbers.

47-49 Compare Mt.27:54-56; Mk.15:39-41. There were no "thieves", unless the malefactors were guilty of this crime. The penitent malefactor did not speak against the Lord at first, as is usually supposed. He begins by rebuking his companion, and acknowledging the justice of his fate, and then justifies the Sufferer at his side. He reveals his faith in Christ by his appeal to be remembered in the kingdom.

42 Compare Ps.106:4-8.

43 As this verse is the center of so much controversy it has been deemed best to render it as literally as possible, though the English result is somewhat stilted.

43 Paradise is the Persian word for park. It is used in the Septuagint of the garden of Eden, and elsewhere of the future renewed earth in the kingdom. The Lord will not come into His kingdom until after the great judgments which commence the Lord's day (Un.11:15). The Lord assured the malefactor that his request will be granted, and that his present sufferings shall be exchanged for the delights of that day.

44-46 Compare Mt.27:45-53; Mk.15:33-38.44 The physical darkness was but a sign of the spiritual gloom which enveloped the great Sacrifice due to His abandonment by God when He became the sin offering. Not only were His enemies against Him, but His friends forsook Him, and, most dreadful and inexplicable of all, His Father turned from Him, seeing that He occupied the place of the curse and bore the sins of the world.

45 The rending of the curtain of the temple signified that the way into God's presence was now open. Hitherto God had hid behind His flesh, now He was revealed through it.

46 Compare Jn.19:28-30; Ps.31:5.

46 The Spirit of the Lord returned to God (Ecc.12:7), His soul went to the unseen (Ac.2:27) , but His body was not returned to the soil (Gen.3:19). His resurrection consisted in the return of His Spirit to the body, and the consequent return of the consciousness, or soul.

50-54 Compare Mt.27:57-60; Mk.15:42-46; Jn.19:38-42.

50-53 Thus the words of Isaiah were fulfilled. He should have been buried

Luke 23:55-24:21

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in the place appointed for criminals, but His work was done. His shame was past, so He is entombed with the rich (Isa.53:9).

55 Compare Mt.27:61; Mk.15:47.
1-11 Compare Mt.28:1-10; Mk.16:1-8; Jn.20:1-18.

1 The resurrection did not occur on Sunday, or "the first day of the week", but on the first one of the seven sabbaths which led from First fruits to Pentecost. The notable phrase "one of the sabbaths" is always found in the interval between Passover and Pentecost, never at any other time of the year. It may refer to any sabbath of the seven. It is usually used of the resurrection day (Mt.28:1; Mk.16:1-2; Jn.20:1-19), which would be during the days of unleavened bread, but also of a sabbath after this (Ac.20:6-7), any time up to Pentecost (1Co.16:2,8). Scholars are divided as to the reason for the rendering "first day of the week". It was usual to say that "one" is sometimes used for first, and that "sabbaths" sometimes means week, but the latest attempt to justify the accepted rendering is that "one of the sabbaths" is equivalent to "the first day after the sabbath". As the day after the sabbath was commonly called the "morrow of the sabbath" (Lev.23:15, LXX) , this seems far fetched. Even if we take "one" to mean first in this case, the sense is not changed, for the resurrection actually was on the first of a series of sabbaths, as we read in Mark (16:9). But in no case was sabbaths ever used for "week". That is always represented by hebdomad, or seven. The only exception would be when a number of sabbaths measure the same space of time as so many hebdomads. As the expression "first day of the week" can be so readily expressed in Greek there are grave grounds for refusing to use these words as the equivalent of "one of the sabbaths".

4 How little heed their hearts had given to the Lord's constant predictions of His death and resurrection is evident from their bewilderment at the empty tomb. After the sufferings had been fulfilled according to His word, they should have reckoned on His resurrection. Instead, they doubt.

7 Compare 9:22.
10 Compare 8:2-3.
12 Compare Jn.20:2-10.

12 Peter had good cause to remember the Lord's first announcement of His death and resurrection, for he had objected to it, and had been severely rebuked (Mt.16:21-23). The Lord had actually called him satan, because he wanted the kingdom to come without suffering. It is usual to suppose that all evil is of the adversary, but the crucifixion, the climax of all evil, was by the specific counsel and foreknowledge of God (Ac.2:23).

13-17 Compare Mk.16:12-13.
14 Compare Mal.3:16.

15 In resurrection, before His ascension, the Lord was present for forty days, manifesting Himself to His disciples at will. He was not invested with the supernal glory in which Paul saw Him after His ascension. The forty days give us a sample of the terrestrial bodies of Israel's saints, the vision of Paul revealed the body glorious which will be the portion of those who partake of His celestial glory. It is too bright for earth. It was dimmed to suit the sight of His disciples. But it had powers far beyond the present human body. He could change its form, vanish or appear at will, and move without hindrance through any material obstacle. It does not take much faith to perceive the possibility of such a body. Even in its present imperfect approximations to physical truth, science could formulate a theory to explain it. The properties of matter change greatly according to the latent powers they contain. Thus water is solid ice when cold, fluid water when warm, and gaseous, invisible steam when hot. So a human body, with sufficient vital force, might change its own constitution and actually become invisible or luminous.

16 Compare 24:31; Jn.20:14, 21:4.

18 The crucifixion of Christ must have been known to almost all in Jerusalem. As it was the Passover, several million people were there, and through them, it would spread rapidly through the land.

21 Compare 2:38; Ac.1:6.

21 The resurrection, when plainly foretold, was always to occur on the third day. The tomb is empty and the messengers declare Him to be alive, yet

137

Luke 24:22-48

still they do not believe! No wonder He chides them for their dullness of both head and heart! Besides, they had the Scriptures, and it is to these He appeals to explain the sufferings which they could not understand. Doubtless He spoke of the rejection of Moses himself by his brethren and of David the king, and especially of Hezekiah, who was smitten for the nation's sins, the type of the suffering Messiah. Many a passage in the Psalms of David is charged with a deeper doctrine and a higher thought than appears upon the surface. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, shows that David, in the so-called sixteenth Psalm, speaks of Him Who was his Lord and Son, when he gives a detailed account of the body and soul of Christ in death (Ps.16:9-10; Ac.2:25-28). The concluding verse of the Psalm "Thou makest known to Me the paths 'of life," accounts for His Spirit, for it is the spirit that imparts life. Thus fully did David predict Messiah's death. Once our eyes are opened, the pages of the Scriptures become aglow with the things concerning Christ. As the dwelling place of God, the tabernacle and the temple were faint shadows of Him and His varied offices. The ritual, the sacrifices, the priesthood, the festivals-all pointed to the Coming One and His work. So much is there of Him that He could not have given much more than an outline on the road to Emmaus. Even then they do not seem to have fully realized the import of His words. They do not express any conviction that Christ must have been raised, and that the rumors they had heard must be true. Their inability to see Him in the stranger was but a sign that they were still unable to see Him in the Scriptures. No doubt they had heard of the new observance which He had given the twelve, and knew that the broken bread was a figure of His body, broken for them. The symbolic act of blessing and breaking the bread opened their eyes at last, and they finally awoke to the reality of His resurrection. His task accomplished, the Lord vanishes, but they are eager to report the marvelous truth to the apostles, and return to Jerusalem.

22 Compare 1-11.24 Compare 12 Jn.20:2-16.36-40 Compare Mk.16:14; Jn.20:19-23.39 The nature of our Lord’s resurrection is nowhere more clearly revealed than in His efforts to convince the trembling disciples. The Lord was human in the full sense of the word, and had a body, soul, and spirit before His death. He lost none of these in resurrection. Had He been a spirit, as some of the disciples supposed at first, then He would not have had a body, with flesh and bones. The fact that His body did not decompose in death, that it still had the wounds which came at the crucifixion, that it is never said to have blood, all do to show that it was as real a body as before, but changed in its powers and mode of living. The bodies of the saints will be changed from soulish bodies, sustained in life through the medium of the blood, into spiritual (not spirit) bodies, vivified directly by means of spirit.

44 Compare 6,5 18:31-33
45 Compare Ps.119:18.
46 Compare 26,27; Ps.22; Isa.53.

46 This commission, for all mankind, in contrast to the kingdom commissions of Matthew (Mt.10:5-8, 28:16-20), is concerned with sins and the suffering of Christ. It promises a pardon to all who repent. In actual practice it was often combined with the other commissions, as recorded in the book of Acts. It was not in force until Pentecost. There Peter proclaims: "Repent. . . for the pardon of your sins. . . (Ac.2:38). He used it again in preaching to Cornelius: "everyone who is believing in Him is to be obtaining the pardon of sins through His name" (Ac.10:43). Peter and the eleven do not seem to have left the land of Israel in the proclamation of pardon. Paul was appointed to carry it to the nations. His first commission was to the effect that the nations were "to get a pardon of sins" (Ac.26:18). After his separation (Ac.13:2) he coupled this with justification (Ac.13:38-39), and drops pardon when he no longer proclaims Christ after the flesh (2Co.5:16-21). Pardon is administered by the executive of a government, for those who are proven guilty; justification acquits those who are reckoned not guilty.

47 Compare Ac.2:38.

Luke 24:49-53

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49 Compare Jn.14:15-17; 26:16:7.

49 The sequel to Luke's account is in the book of Acts. There the thread of the kingdom proclamation is taken up by the twelve apostles, after their enduement with power at Pentecost.

50-51 Compare Mk.16:19; Ac.1:9-11.

50 The Lord seems to have lingered only long enough to establish the fact of His resurrection and prepare the apostles for their future ministry. There is no hint here of His high heavenly honors, but all His teaching is confined within the sphere of Israel's restoration to become earth's suzerain, according to the prophets, and to the blessing of the nations through them.

52 Compare Ac.1:12.
53 Compare Ac.2:46-47, 5:42.