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encourages him as one so far devoid of prejudice, and not far from that Church and Kingdom into which it is not unreasonable to suppose he soon after entered.'
DAVID'S SON, DAVID'S LORD.
St. Mark xii. 35-37.
And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the Son of David ? For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool. David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son ? And the common people heard him gladly.
The Lord's question here was addressed to the Pharisees, who upon the discomfiture of the Sadducees were gathered together. They had been questioning Him. Now He turns and questions them. “What think ye of Christ? whose son is He?”* And on receiving from them the expected reply, He proposes to these, who had before attempted to pose Him, the difficulty of which there is but one solution, how David came to call his son his Lord. Our Lord cites a Psalm which they admitted to apply to Christ, and which is more than once applied to Him in the New Testament. He
1 Each of the synoptical Evange- last of the questions he had to record. lists relates that they ceased from It simply means that the questioning questioning Him; and though they on this occasion was the last questionseem to place this at different points, ing of the kind to which our Lord was yet is there no real discrepancy. St. subjected. Matthew (xxii. 46) reserves it till the 2 St. Matt. xxii. 41. end of His conversation with the 3 St. Matt, xxii. 31. Pharisees. St. Mark places it here, * St. Matt. xxii. 42. The original after the last actual question to Him; phrase seems to recall that of v. 17. for what follows is His question to 5 Ps. cx. One of the Proper Psalms them, St. Luke (xx. 40) who has no for Christmas Day. occasion to record the question of the 6 Acts ii. 34, 35; Heb. i. 13; Scribe, places it naturally after the x. 12, 13.
“declares both that David was the author of that Psalm, and that the Psalmist was inspired by the Holy Ghost while he wrote it.”ı Here is Divine testimony to the inspiration of the Book of Psalms. The passage cited introduces Jehovah as speaking to one whom David describes as “my Lord,” and inviting Him to take the post of honour in Heaven till, in Eastern phrase, he had put all enemies under His feet. For the custom in the East was for the conquering King to place his foot on the neck of the vanquished. And sometimes one will raise another's foot and place it on his own neck in token of submission. Our Lord by proposing this difficulty, and silencing the Scribes, not only showed that He could pose those who had failed in the attempt to pose Him, thus proving to them that He was wiser than they, but He intimates how inadequate is their idea of the Messiah. He lets them understand that He has a solution, though they have failed to find one. That solution can only be that Christ, though David's descendant according to the flesh, yet as being also the very Son of God, may well be spoken of as David's Lord.? The unprejudiced people, who listened to Him with pleasure, might thus perceive the difference of His teaching to that of the Scribes;' might consider the real nature of the Messiah, and the justice of His claim.
' A Plain Commentary. Compare notion that He would be a nighty Acts i. 16; xxviii. 25. “ From St. conqueror and a glorious monarch Luke i. 68, 70, we find that the Lord (like Cyrus, Alexander, or Cæsar) God of Israel • spake by the mouth of who would subdue all the nations of His Holy Prophets.' But here we the earth, and make Jerusalem the read that David spake .by the Holy metropolis of the world. And as a Ghost.' Therefore the Holy Ghost mere man might, under God's proviis the Lord God of Israel.”—D'Oylydence, effect all this, where is the and Mant.
wonder that the Jews supposed the ? In approving the sample, He Messiah would be no more?”—Bp. approves the mass of which He pro- Bull, quoted in Bloomfield. duces the sample. St. Luke xx. 42.
7 “ Had this son been a mere man, 3 1 Cor. xv. 25; Josh. x. 24; 2 Sa. with what propriety could be bestow xxii. 41.
this title on a remote desceudant, so * St. Matt. xxii. 46.
inferior in all outward circumstances, 5 Is, xxxiii. 18; 1 Cor. i. 19, 20. to whom he would owe no obedience,
· Although the Prophets had not and who could have no existence till obscurely intimated that Christ would a thousand years after his death ?”be God as well as man ; and though Macbride. the wiser few of the Jews saw that,- 8 St. Matt. vii. 29. yet the generality embraced the abject
SCRIBES AND PHARISEES.
St. Matthew xxiii, 1-12.
Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat : all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do ; but do not ye after their works : for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men : they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi : for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth : for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is
your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased ; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Our Lord now addresses His Disciples, but in the hearing of all the people;? so instructing both. His conduct is utterly different from that of any mere self-seeker or maker of a sect. He never encouraged schism, or denounced lawful authority. He has taught us to distinguish between a man and his message. A message may be good though conveyed by an evil man. Even those Scribes and Pharisees whom He proceeded to reprove for their hypocrisy must be regarded as to their office, though shunned as to their example. They succeeded to the chair or office of Moses, and so were for the
· St. Luke xx. 45. This discourse, Lord's public teaching." as Alford notes, “ bears many resem. Compare Art. xxvi. “Of the unblances to the Sermon on the Mount, worthiness of the ministers, which and may be regarded as the solemn hinders not the effect of the Sacraclose, as that was the opening, of the ment."
time under God the authorized rulers of the people; who must do as they said, though not as they did. For they were as sign-posts which show the way without moving a step themselves. To the weight of Moses' law, burdensome enough in itself, they added superstitious enactments of their own, which they exacted of others, while they exempted themselves. The easy and popular part of religion was the only part they practised; that which would gain them a character for devotion, and obtain credit among men. They sought not to be, only to seem good. These phylacteries' were strips of parchment on which were written certain texts, and which were worn on the arm and heart and head. They were not commanded to wear them, and in any case the Pharisees made them broader than was either usual or necessary, calling attention to their peculiar piety. They were however bidden to wear fringes on the borders of their garments, and to bind upon them a band of blue, to remind them of their duty, and to distinguish them from the heathen. These however they needlessly enlarged, advertising their superiority, puffing their pretensions, regardless of the object for which they had been prescribed. In social as well as in ecclesiastical affairs their love of precedence was displayed. At feasts they liked to have the first places, at the higher end of the table, next to the host; in their Synagogues, or places of worship, the chief seats; 4 in the markets, to be saluted as superiors, and to be addressed over and over again by a title expressive of mastery. The Lord bids His Disciples not care for this; to remember that so far from being masters, they have a Master, and not to lord it over their brethren. In reference too to other titles the Pharisees affected, He bids them rather to regard themselves as children and scholars than as fathers and teachers. They are not to be promoters of parties, but to submit themselves to
| From a word which signifies to guard. While originally designed to 4 St. James ii. 2, 3. put the wearer on his guard against 5 St. James ii. 1. moral, they were degraded into charms 6 The word rendered Master in which were supposed to protect from v. 10 is different from that so rendered physical evil.
in v. 8. 2 Viz. Ex. xiii. 2-10; 11-16; Deut.
1 1 Cor. i. 12. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21.
3 Num. xv. 38-41.
the one Father and to His Christ. The expressions are of
. course to be understood in the spirit and not in the letter. There is no sin in applying or accepting the phrases. It is simply the lust of power which is here prohibited, and humility is directly enjoined. The greatest in God's sight is he who, after the pattern of Christ,” becomes, in words we have heard before, a servant to the rest. He concludes His address to them by repeating a favourite proverb against self-exaltation, and in praise of humility.
St. Matthew xxiii. 13-22.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer : therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing ; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing ; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty. Ye fools and blind:
See 1 Cor. iv. 15; xii. 28 ; Eph. ing their fellow-men, on the plea that iv. 11; 1 Tim. i. 2. “To understand Christ' Himself hath forbidden the and follow such commands in the practice, let them be consistent, and slavery of the letter, is to fall into the call no man on earth their father very Pharisaism against which our either.”-A Plain Commentary. Lord is uttering the caution.”— 2 St. John xiii. 13-15. Alford. "If any sectaries do reject 3 St. Matt. xx. 26-28. the use of distinctive titles in address- 4 St. Luke xiv. 7-11; xviii. 14.