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1: The Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their
sacrifices - Some of the followers of Judas Gaulonites. They
absolutely refused to own the Roman authority. Pilate surrounded
and slew them, while they were worshipping in the temple, at a
3: Ye shall all likewise perish - All ye of Galilee and of
Jerusalem shall perish in the very same manner. So the Greek
word implies. And so they did. There was a remarkable
resemblance between the fate of these Galileans and of the
main body of the Jewish nation; the flower of which was slain at
Jerusalem by the Roman sword, while they were assembled at one
of their great festivals. And many thousands of them perished
in the temple itself, and were literally buried under its ruins.
6: A man had a fig tree - Either we may understand God the Father
by him that had the vineyard , and Christ by him that kept it: or
Christ himself is he that hath it, and his ministers they that
keep it. (Ps 80:8). &c.
7: Three years - Christ was then in the third year of his ministry.
But it may mean only several years; a certain number being put
for an uncertain. Why doth it also cumber the ground? - That is,
not only bear no fruit itself, but take up the ground of another
tree that would.
11: She was bowed together, and utterly unable to lift up herself
- The evil spirit which possessed her afflicted her in this manner.
To many doubtless it appeared a natural distemper. Would not a
modern physician have termed it a nervous case?
15: Thou hypocrite - For the real motive of his speaking was envy,
not (as he pretended) pure zeal for the glory of God.
16: And ought not this woman? - Ought not any human creature, which
is so far better than an ox or an ass? Much more, this daughter
of Abraham - probably in a spiritual as well as natural sense, to
18: (Mt 13:31,Mr 4:30).
20: (Mt 13:33).
21: Covered up - So that, for a time, nothing of it appeared.
24: Strive to enter in - Agonize. Strive as in an agony. So the
word signifies Otherwise none shall enter in. Barely seeking
will not avail. (Mt 7:13).
25: And even agonizing will not avail, after the door is shut.
Agonize, therefore, now by faith, prayer, holiness, patience.
And ye begin to stand without - Till then they had not thought of it!
O how new will that sense of their misery be? How late?
How lasting? I know not whence ye are - I know not, that is,
I approve not of your ways.
27: (Mt 7:23).
28: (Mt 8:11).
29: They shall sit down in the kingdom of God - Both the kingdom
of grace and of glory.
30: But there are last - Many of the Gentiles who were latest
called, shall be most highly rewarded; and many of the Jews
who were first called, shall have no reward at all.(Mt 19:30).
31: Herod is minded to kill thee - Possibly they gave him the
caution out of good will.
32: And he said, Go and tell that fox - With great propriety so
called, for his subtilty and cowardice. The meaning of our
Lord's answer is, Notwithstanding all that he can do, I shall
for the short time I have left, do the works of him that sent me.
When that time is fulfilled, I shall be offered up. Yet not
here, but in the bloody city. Behold, I cast out devils - With
what majesty does he speak to his enemies! With what tenderness
to his friends! The third day I am perfected - On the third day
he left Galilee, and set out for Jerusalem, to die there.
But let us carefully distinguish between those things wherein
Christ is our pattern, and those which were peculiar to his office.
His extraordinary office justified him in using that severity of
language, when speaking of wicked princes, and corrupt teachers,
to which we have no call; and by which we should only bring scandal
on religion, and ruin on ourselves, while we irritated rather than
convinced or reformed those whom we so indecently rebuked.
33: It cannot be, that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem - Which
claims prescription for murdering the messengers of God. Such
cruelty and malice cannot be found elsewhere.
34: How often would I have gathered thy children together - Three
solemn visits he had made to Jerusalem since his baptism for
this very purpose. (Mt 23:37).
35: Your house is left to you desolate - Is now irrecoverably
consigned to desolation and destruction: And verily I say to
you, after a very short space, ye shall not see me till the time
come, when taught by your calamities, ye shall be ready and
disposed to say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the
Lord. It does not imply, that they should then see Jesus at
all; but only that they would earnestly wish for the Messiah,
and in their extremity be ready to entertain any who should
assume that character.