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1: Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples
- The Jewish masters used to give their followers some short form
of prayer, as a peculiar badge of their relation to them. This
it is probable John the Baptist had done. And in this sense it
seems to be that the disciples now asked Jesus, to teach them to
pray. Accordingly he here repeats that form, which he had before
given them in his sermon on the mount, and likewise enlarges on
the same head, though still speaking the same things in substance.
And this prayer uttered from the heart, and in its true and full
meaning, is indeed the badge of a real Christian: for is not he
such whose first and most ardent desire is the glory of God, and
the happiness of man by the coming of his kingdom? Who asks for
no more of this world than his daily bread, longing meantime for
the bread that came down from heaven? And whose only desires for
himself are forgiveness of sins, (as he heartily forgives others,)
2: When ye pray, say - And what he said to them is undoubtedly said
to us also. We are therefore here directed, not only to imitate
this in all our prayers, but to use this very form of prayer.(Mt 6:9).
4: Forgive us; for we forgive them - Not once, but continually.
This does not denote the meritorious cause of our pardon; but
the removal of that hinderance which otherwise would render
5: At midnight - The most unseasonable time: but no time is
unseasonable with God, either for hearing or answering prayer.
9: (Mt 7:7).
13: How much more shall your heavenly Father - How beautiful is
the gradation! A friend: a father: God! Give the Holy Spirit - The
best of gifts, and that which includes every good gift.
14: It was dumb - That is, it made the man so.(Mt 12:22).
15: But some said, He casteth out devils by Beelzebub - These he
answers, (Lu 11:17). Others, to try whether it were so or no,
sought a sign from heaven. These he reproves in (Lu 11:29) and
following verses. Beelzebub signifies the lord of flies, a
title which the heathens gave to Jupiter, whom they accounted
the chief of their gods, and yet supposed him to be employed in
driving away flies from their temple and sacrifices. The
Philistines worshipped a deity under this name, as the god of
Ekron: from hence the Jews took the name, and applied it to the
chief of the devils. (Mr 3:22).
16: (Mt 12:38).
17: A house - That is, a family.
20: If I cast out devils by the finger of God - That is, by a power
manifestly Divine. Perhaps the expression intimates farther,
that it was done without any labour: then the kingdom of God is
come upon you - Unawares, unexpected: so the Greek word implies.
21: The strong one armed - The devil, strong in himself, and armed
with the pride, obstinacy, and security of him in whom he dwells.
26: The last state of that man becometh worse than the first
- Whoever reads the sad account Josephus gives of the temple and
conduct of the Jews, after the ascension of Christ and before
their final destruction by the Romans, must acknowledge that no
emblem could have been more proper to describe them. Their
characters were the vilest that can be conceived, and they pressed
on to their own ruin, as if they had been possessed by legions of
devils, and wrought up to the last degree of madness. But this
also is fulfilled in all who totally and finally apostatize from
27: Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou
hast sucked! - How natural was the thought for a woman! And how
gently does our Lord reprove her!
28: Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and
keep it - For if even she that bare him had not done this, she
would have forfeited all her blessedness.
29: It seeketh - The original word implies seeking more, or over
and above what one has already.
32: They repented at the preaching of Jonah - But it was only for
a season. Afterward they relapsed into wickedness, till (after
about forty years) they were destroyed. It is remarkable, that
in this also the comparison held. God reprieved the Jews for
about forty years; but they still advanced in wickedness, till
having filled up their measure, they were destroyed with an
33: The meaning is, God gives you this Gospel light, that you
may repent. Let your eye be singly fixed on him, aim only at
pleasing God; and while you do this, your whole soul will be
full of wisdom, holiness, and happiness.(Mt 5:15,Mr 4:21,Lu 8:16).
34: But when thine eye is evil - When thou aimest at any thing
else, thou wilt be full of folly, sin, and misery. On the contrary,(Mt 6:22).
36: If thy whole body be full of light - If thou art filled with
holy wisdom, having no part dark, giving way to no sin or folly,
then that heavenly principle will, like the clear flame of a
lamp in a room that was dark before, shed its light into all thy
powers and faculties.
39: Now ye Pharisees - Probably many of them were present at the
Pharisee's house.(Mt 23:25).
41: Give what is in them - The vessels which ye clean, in alms,
and all things are clean to you. As if he had said, By acts
directly contrary to rapine and wickedness, show that your
hearts are cleansed, and these outward washings are needless.
42: Wo to you - That is, miserable are you. In the same manner is
the phrase to be understood throughout the chapter.
44: For ye are as graves which appear not - Probably in speaking
this our Lord fixed his eyes on the scribes. As graves which
appear not, being overgrown with grass, so that men are not
aware, till they stumble upon them, and either hurt themselves,
or at least are defiled by touching them. On another occasion
Christ compared them to whited sepulchres, fair without, but
foul within; (Mt 23:27).
45: One of the lawyers - That is scribes; expounders of the law.
48: Whom they killed, ye build their sepulchres - Just like them
pretending great reverence for the ancient prophets, while ye
destroy those whom God sends to yourselves. Ye therefore bear
witness by this deep hypocrisy that ye are of the very same
spirit with them.
49: The wisdom of God, agreeably to this, hath said - In many
places of Scripture, though not in these very words, I will
send them prophets - Chiefly under the Old Testament: and
apostles - Under the New.(Mt 23:34).
50: The blood of all shall be required of this generation - That
is, shall be visibly and terribly punished upon it.
51: And so it was within forty years, in a most astonishing
manner, by the dreadful destruction of the temple, the city,
and the whole nation. Between the temple and the altar - In
the court of the temple.
52: Ye have taken away the key of knowledge - Ye have obscured and
destroyed the knowledge of the Messiah, which is the key of both
the present and the future kingdom of heaven; the kingdom of
grace and glory. Ye have not entered in - Into the present kingdom