« IndietroContinua »
sus with a message from the centurion, in which he expressed the highest opinion of our Lord's power, and desired him not to take the trouble of coming, but to order the cure, which he knew he could easily do. 6, Tben Jefus went with them. And when be was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself, for I am not worthy that thou jouldest enter under my roof. 7. Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee; but say in a word, and my fervant ball be healed 8. For I also am a man under authority, having under me foldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come, and be cometh ; and to my fervant, Do this, and he doeth it. See on Matt. viii. 9. § 28. 9. When Jejus heard tbese things, he marvelled at him, and turned bim about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been fick. The kindness of this centurion to his slave, and the anxiety he shewed to get him cured, was suitable to the character of an humane master, and exhibits an excellent pattern of duty very fit to be imitated by Christian masters, with whom it is but too common to treat their llaves and dependants, as if they were not creatures of the same rank with themselves, but of an inferior order.
See the reasons offered to prove this a different miracle from that which is recorded, Matt. viii. 5. § 28. XL. The apostles receive their commision and instructions in Capernaum Matt. x. 1,-42. Mark iii. 19,-21. See $ 58.
AFTER curing the centurion's slave, Jefus went to Peter's house, where he usually lodged. See on Matth. iv. 13. § 25. He had been with the disciples the whole preceding night in the mountain, and with the multitude the greatest part of the day in the plain, probably without taking any meat. Wherefore, being come home, they were going to eat fomething. But the citizens, brought together by the report of the miracle performed on the centurion's llave, surrounded the house in a tumultuous manner, and perhaps called on him to cure their sick, a favour which they thought he was bound in humanity to grant them, since he could do it without being personally present with the afflicted. Mark iii. 19 And they went into an houfe. 20. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. This rudeness incensed the disciples not a little. 21. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him, for they said, He is beside himself *.
The * Ver. 21.] Most translations render this verse as we do; but the meaning which they çive is false, and such as suggests a very unbecoming idea of our Lord, who on no occafion behaved so as to give his friends The multitude being dispersed, Jesus called his twelve apostles, and conferred on them the power of working miracles, in confirmation of the doctrine they were appointed to preach, delivered them their commission or authorized them to preach it, and gave them such inftructions as he thought proper to fit them for discharging the duties of their new office. Matt. X. I. And when he had called unto him bis twelve disciples From Matthew's naming them the twelve, it appears that he considered them as elected before this, though he has given no account of it in his gospel—be gave them power' against unclean spirits to cost them out. Evil spirits are called unclean, because they are wicked and delight in wickedness, which is the only pollution of a spiritual being, and because they excite men to the commission of it.-And to beal all manner of fickness, and all munner of disease This power of working miracles was extremely receilary to the apoütles, because being men of low degree, they could not otherwise have drawn the attention of the world, nor have gained credit to the unheard of doctrines which they were to preach.
2. Now the names of the twelve apostles are the fe: the first Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zibedee and Fobn bis brother. 3. Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, James the son of Alpheus and Lebbeus wbose hirname was Thaddeus. 4. Simon the Canaanite, and Fudas Iscariot, wbo also betrayed bim. See $37. where the hif
tory of the twelve apostles is given. 5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, namely to preach the gospel and to work miracles (verse 7,8.) and commanded them, saying, * Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, room to suspect that he was mad. The original runs thus. ει παρ' αυτή εξηλθον κρατησαι αυτον'. ελεγον γαρ'. οτι εξεστη. Οι παρ' αυτ8, ibey that were with bim, namely in the houle, (ver. 19.) AMSTAVTES, heuring, viz. the noite wiich the mob made at the door, they went out, xgataTOLICUTOY, to reftrain or quell, not Jefus, fo: he was in the house, (ver: 19 ) bu: the saltitude or mob. (AUTOV, it, viz oxhow) either by diipersing thein or keeping them out; for they said, 'etectn, viz.ayi @) The multitude or mob is Mad This feate the verbs xcutiu bas without dispute, Rev. sij 1. xg478vTES TESTSrazas aveuss, huluing, detaining, 'reftraining, the four winds of:n earth.
Ver. 5. Go not into the way of the Gentiles. It may seem strange that our Lord neither preached himself to the Gentiles, nor allowed his disciples to preach among them during his own life time; especially when it is considered, that he came into the world on purpose to destroy the polytheism of the heathens, their idol mediators, and their idolatrous worthip, and to establish the knowledge of the true God, and of the only mediator between God and man, and of the right method of obtaining his favour. But our wonder will ceale, when the reason of his conduct is understood. As the Jews were the only people in the world who believed in the one true God, before his metiengers attempted to preach him to the heathens, it was fit that they should prove their million to the conviction of the Jews, inftruct them more fully in the fundamental doctrines of religion,
Gentiles, i.e. their country; for the way of the sea (Matth. iv. 15.) fignifies the country round the sea.-And into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. In travelling through Palestine, the apostles would often have occasion to go into Samaria ; but they were not to enter the cities thereof with a design to preach. It is true, in the beginning of his ministry our Lord himself preached to the Samaritans with great success, John iv. 41, 42, and therefore had he sent his apostles among them, numbers in all
probability and correct what errors had crept into their faith. Besides, Christianity was not ouly to be propagated through the world, by the force of its own intrinsic excellency, and by the miracles where with it was accompanied, but it was to make its way also by the evidence which it derived from the Jewish prophecies, and by the light thrown apon it, considered as the perfection of that grand scheme which was begun in the first ages, and carried on under various dispensations from time to time, till it obtained a more complete and lasting form under the Jewish economy. It was highly ex. pedient, therefore, that a competent number of Jews should be converted to Chriftianity, who might publish it to the rest of the world with all the evidence that was proper to be offered. But if, on account of the former revelation made to the Jews, it was absolutely fit that the new revelation should be preached by them to the rest of the world, it was necessary that the gospel at the first should be confined to them, because had it been preached to the Gentiles, that circumstance alone would have made the Jews reject it universally. It is well known how high the prejudices of the apostles themselves ran on this head, even after they had received the gifts of the Spirit, being excellively offended with Peter, one of their num. ber, who by a vision from heaven had with difficulty been prevailed upon to preach to the proselyte Cornelius. Nay, they were hardly brought to believe that God intended to beltow the gospel on the Gentiles, when they saw them receive the greatest of its privileges in an equal degree with themselves, even the gifts of the Spirit. And though after this they preached to the Gentiles, yet wherever they came, their custom was to begin at the Jews, if there were any in the place, that all offence might be prevented ; and on the Jews rejecting the gospel, they turned to the Gentiles, Acts xiii. 46. Thus, as the apostle tells us, Rom. xv. 8. Jesus Chris was a minister of the circumcifion, he preached only to the Jews; for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, he preached to the Jews to make the truth of God manifeft ; it being the most effectual means of confirming the promises made to Abraham and the rest of the fathers, namely, that in his feed all the families of the earth should be blessed. For thus the Jews were first blefled. It was likewise the most effectual means of blefling even the Gentiles themselves. Accordingly the apostle adds, as the fruit of this appointment, and that the Gentiles miglt glorify God on account of his mercy; the mercy of the new covenant which they enjoy by their conversion to Christianity. The truth is, had Jesus Chrift been a minister of the uncircumcision, that is, had he preached the gospel at all to the Gentiles, the Jews would have rejected it; so that the profelytes, and such as held the faith of the profelytes, which ihe wiser sort of the Gentiles Teem generally to have done, would not have become Christ's disciples with luch ease and readiness. The reason was, the evidence of the gospel being greatly weakened by the unbelief of the Jews, the converts among the Gentiles would have been few in con parison, and by that means the promises made to the fathers, that in Christ all nations should be ble fred, would not have been confirmed, or to fully accomplished, as it is by the Icheme which Providence has actually cholen.
probability would have been induced to believe. But the inve- . terate enmity which the Jews bare to the Samaritans, made the conversion of the latter improper at this time, for the reasons mentioned in the note on ver. 5. Matt. x. 6. But go rather to the loft sheep of the bouse of Israel: he called the Jews loft seep, because, as he had told his disciples, (Matt. ix. 36.) they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd, and fo were in danger of perishing, see Ifa. xlix. 10. 7. And as ye go, preacb, saying, The kingdom of beaven is at hand; publish every where the glad tidings of the approach of the Messiah's kingdom promised by the prophets. Properly speaking, the kingdom of beaven or gospel-dispensation, did not begin till the Jewish economy was abolished : and therefore the apostles, in our Lord's time, and even our Lord himself, preached the approach only, and not the actual existence of that kingdom. But though the apostles were directed to preach the approach of the kingdom of heaven, they did not yet fully understand its nature, that it was not to be a temporal but a spiritual kingdom, confitting in the dominion of righteousness and truth within men. .-8. Heal the fick, cleanse the lepers, * raise the dead, cast out devils : + freely ye have received, freely give ; perform all these miraculous cures in confirmation of your mission, without receiving any hire or reward for them of any kind. Matt. x. 9. Provide neitber gold, nor silver, nor brass I in your purses.
Though * Ver. S. Raise the dead] In several copies, the clause, raise the dead, is wanting ; for which reason, and because the disciples did not raise any person from the dead, till after Chrift's ascension, Dr Mills takes it to be an interpolation. But his opinion is ill founded, as it is certain that this, with several other articles in the apostles firft commission, have a direct relation to the period comprehended under that more extensive commillion, which they received after their master's resurrection. See ver. 18. 21. 23. of this chapter.
+ Ver. 8. Freely give.] That the direction freely ye bave received, freely give, relates to the miraculous cures which the apostles were empowered to perform, and not to the stated offices of the apoftolical function, is evi. dent from Luke x. 7. where our Lord, in giving a like commission to the seventy, bids them“ eat and drink what was set before them, because the labourer was worthy of his bire.". Nay, in this very charge, no sooner did he order the apostles to give freely, than he forbade them to provide gold, &c. " because the workman is worthy of his meat:" plainly infinuating, that while they were preaching the gospel
, they had a right to maintenance from those who enjoyed the benefit of their labours, and should in the course of the divine Providence be supplied with all things necellary. Ac. cordingly, we find the apostles receiving maintenance, and insisting upon it as their due, 1 Cor. ix. 4, 5, 14 Gal. vi 6.
Ver. 9. In your purses.] Ey (wycis, in your girdles. The eastern gire dle being doubled and sewed along the edges, was more convenient for carrying a quantity of money than a purse, because the money being distributed round the body in the fobs of the girdle, the weight of it was not so much felt. By money therefore in their girdles, is to be understood a çooliderable sum
Though I forbid you to take money for the miraculous cures which
you shall perform, I do not mean that you should beforehand lay up money for your support during your journey. You are not even to provide the clothes and shoes which you may have occasion for while you are abroad ; because you shall be supplied with whatever you need by those to whom you preach the gospel, and you have a right to be thus supplied by them.
* Nor fcrip for your journey, neither two coats, + neitber shoes, Inor yet ftaves : (for the workman is worthy of his meat). Our Lord forbade his disciples to provide beforehand such things as might be necessary during their journey, because they would be troublesome to them in travelling, and ordered them to go out thus unfurnished, partly that they might be inured in his own life-time to bear the hardlhips they would be exposed to afterwards, when discharging the apoftolical function, and partly that their faith in the providence of God might be confirmed. For it must have afforded them great comfort ever after, to reflect on the singular care that was taken of them while out on their first mission, wholly unprepared to execute such an undertaking. Accordingly, this was the use which Christ himself directed them to make of it, Luke xxii, 35. Matt. x. 11. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire ll who in it is worthy, and
there * Ver. 10. Nor serip for your journey.] The scrip (onge) was a sort of Jarge bag in which thepherds, and those who journeyed, carried their provisions. See on Luke x. 34. s 82. Thus the bag, into which David put the smooth stones, wherewith he smote Goliah, is called both a scrip and a Shepherd's bag,
+ Ibid. Neither shoes.] Irodnate. In the account which Mark gives of the repetition of these inttructions, immediately before the disciples took their journey, he says they were permitted to be thod with sandals : (ana' vxodiusers cardurid, vi. 9.) The sandal was a piece of itrong leather or wood, fastened to the sole of the root with frings, which they tied round the foot and ancle ; but the shoe was a kind of short boot, that covered the foot and part of the leg, and was a more delicate piece of dress than the sandal.
| Ibid. Nor yet saves, Mark fays the disciples were allowed to take a ftaff, vi. 8. But in Calvin's opinion, the seeming contradiction may be removed by attending to the ambiguity of the Hebrew word Qaw, answering to the Greek gee odor. For as the Hebrew ward fignifies any sort of rod, whether club, jtafffceptre, or pole, he thinks the paff which, accord. ing to Matthew, the disciples were prohibited to use, may have been a pole for carrying a burden on, an accoutrement that was useless, as they were not allowed to cany provisions with them, nor any spare clothes ; whereas, the fiaff, which' by Mark's account he permitted them to take, was a walking staff, very proper for those who were to perform a journey with expedition, Ste another folution, Prelim. Obf. I. --Heinsius labours to prove that I mean, the exceptive particle in Mark, may signify no noti so would have the clause, a un qucocy povoy translated, no, not a single flaff.
| Ver. 11. Wko in it is worthy.] Anciently they had not houses of entertainment for the accommodation of travellers, such as we have, but only