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He then gathers around Him those who were definitively to follow Him in His
ministry and His temptations; and, at His call, to link their portion and
their lot with His, forsaking all beside.
The strong man was bound, so that Jesus could spoil his goods, and proclaim
the kingdom with proofs of that power which were able to establish it.
Two things are then brought forward in the Gospel narrative. First, the
power which accompanies the proclamation of the kingdom. In two or three
[see note #16] without other detail, this fact is announced. The
proclamation of the kingdom is attended with acts of power that excite the
attention of the whole country, the whole extent of the ancient territory
of Israel. Jesus appears before them invested with this power. Secondly
(chaps. 5-7) the character of the kingdom is announced in the sermon on the
Mount, as well as that of the persons who should have part in it (the
Father's name withal being revealed). That is, the Lord had announced the
coming kingdom, and with the present power of goodness, having overcome the
adversary; and then shews what were the true characters according to which
it would be set up, and who could enter, and how. Redemption is not spoken
of in it; but the character and nature of the kingdom, and who could enter.
This clearly shews the moral position which this sermon holds in the Lord's
It is evident that, in all this part of the Gospel, it is the Lord's
position which is the subject of the teaching of the Spirit, and not the
details of His life. Details come after, in order fully to exhibit what He
was in the midst of Israel, His relations with that people, and His path in
the power of the Spirit which led to the rupture between the Son of David
and the people who ought to have received Him. The attention of the whole
country being thus engaged by His mighty acts, the Lord sets before His
disciples-but in the hearing of the people-the principles of His kingdom.
This discourse may be divided into the following parts:-
[see note #17]
The character and the portion of those who should be in the kingdom (v. 1-12).
Their position in the world (v. 13-16).
The connection between the principles of the kingdom and the law (v.
[see note #18]
The spirit in which His disciples should perform good works (chap. 6: 1-18).
Separation from the spirit of the world and from its anxieties (chap. 6: 19-34).
The spirit of their relation with others (chap. 7: 1-6).
The confidence in God which became them (chap. 7: 7-12).
The energy that should characterise them, in order that they might enter
into the kingdom; not however merely enter, many would seek to do that, but
according to those principles which made it difficult for man, according to
God-the strait gate; and then, the means of discerning those who would seek
to deceive them, as well as the watchfulness needed that they might not be
deceived (chap. 7: 13-23).
Real and practical obedience to His sayings, the true wisdom of those that
hear His words (chap. 7: 24-29).
There is another principle that characterises this discourse, and that is
the introduction of the Father's name. Jesus puts His disciples in
connection with His Father, as their Father. He reveals to them the
Father's name, in order that they may be in relation with Him, and that
they may act in accordance with that which He is.