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7. Having a servant, &c. This pa- | rable seems to have been spoken with reference to the rewards which the disciples were expecting in the kingdom of the Messiah. The occasion on which it was spoken cannot be ascertained. It does not seem to have any particular connexion with what goes before. It may be supposed that the disciples were somewhat impatient to have the kingdom restored to Israel (Acts i. 6), that is, that he would assume his kingly power, and that they were impatient of the delay, and anxious to enter on the rewards which they expected, and which they not improbably were expecting in consequence of their devotedness to

him. In answer to these expectations, Jesus spoke this parable, showing them: 1st. That they should be rewarded, as a servant would be provided for, but, 2d. That this was not the first thing; that there was a proper order of things, and thus it might be delayed, as a servant would be provided for, but at the proper time, and at the pleasure of the master; and, 3d. That this reward was not to be expected as a matter of merit, but would be given at the good pleasure of God, for they were but unprofitable servants. By and by. This should have been translated immediately. He would not as the first thing, or as soon as he returned from the field, direct him

he is come from the field, Go, and I went to Jerusalem, that he passed sit down to meat? through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? 9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.

10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.

11 And it came to pass as he

a Job 22.3. 35.7. Ps.16.2,3. Is.64.6. Ro.11. 35. 1 Co.9.16,17. b c.9.51,52. Jno.4.4.

to eat and drink. Hungry and weary he might be, yet it would be proper for him first to attend upon his master. So the apostles were not to be impatient because they did not at once receive the reward to which they were looking. ¶ To meat. To eat. Or rather, place thyself at the table.

8. I may sup. Make ready my supper. Gird thyself. See Note, Luke

xii. 37.

9. I trow not. I think not; or I sup

pose not.

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:

13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy

on us.


14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew your"selves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

c Le.13.46.


d Le.13.2. 14.3. Matt.8.4. c. 5.14. e 2 Ki.5.14. Is.65.24.

will remember our iniquities no more. Heb. viii. 12.


11. The midst of Samaria and Galilee. He went from Galilee and probably travelled through the chief villages and towns in it, and then left it; and as Samaria was situated between Galilee and Jerusalem, it was necessary to pass through it. Or it may mean, that he passed along on the borders of each towards the river Jordan, and so passed in the midst, i. e. between Galilee and Samaria. This is rendered more proba10. Are unprofitable servants. We ble from the circumstance that as he have conferred no favor. We have mer- went from Galilee, there would have ited nothing, and have not benefited God, been no occasion for saying that he passor laid him under obligation. If he re-ed through it, unless it be meant through wards us, it will be matter of unmerited the confines or borders of it, or at least favor. This is true in relation to Christ- it would have been mentioned before ians in the following respects: 1st. Our services are not profitable to God (Job xxii. 2); he needs not our aid, and his essential happiness will not be increased by our efforts. 2d. The grace to do his will comes from him only, and all the praise of that will be due to him. 3d. All that we do, is what is our duty; we cannot lay claim to having rendered any service that will bind him to show us favor; and, 4th, our best services are mingled with imperfections. We come short of his glory, (Rom. iii. 23); we do not serve him as humbly, and cheerfully, and faithfully as we ought; we are far, very far from the example set us by the Saviour, and if we are saved and rewarded, it will be because God will be merciful to our unrighteousness, and

12. There met him. They were in his way, or they were in his path, as he was entering the village. They were not allowed to enter the village while they were afflicted with the leprosy. Lev. xiii. 46. Num. v. 2, 3. Lepers. See Note on Matt. viii. 1. Stood afar off.

At a distance, as they were required by law. They were unclean, and it was not lawful for them to come near to those who were in health. As Jesus was travelling, they were also walking in the contrary way, and seeing him, and knowing that they were unclean, they stopped, or turned aside, so that they might not expose others to the contagion.

14. Go show yourselves, &c. See

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Matt. viii. 4. By this command he gave them an implied assurance that they would be healed. For the design for which they were to go was to exhibit the evidence that they were restored, and to obtain permission from the priest to mingle again in society. It may also be observed that this required no small measure of faith on their part, for he did not first heal them, and then tell them to go; he told them to go without expressly assuring them that they would be healed, and without as yet any evidence to show to the priest.-So sinners, defiled with the leprosy of sin, should put faith in the Lord Jesus, and obey his commands, with the fullest confidence that he is able to heal them, and that he will do it, if they follow his directions; and that in due time they shall have the fullest evidence that their peace is made with God, and that their souls shall by him be declared free from the defilement of sin. Were cleansed. Were cured, or made whole.

17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?

18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God save this stranger.

c Ps. 106.13.

the mercy that has cleansed them. ¶ He was a Samaritan. See Note, Matt. x. 5. This rendered his conduct more remarkable and striking in the sight of the Jews. They considered the Samaritans as peculiarly wicked, and themselves as peculiarly holy. This example showed them, like the parable of the good Samaritan, that in this they were mistaken. And one design of this seems to have been to break down the opposition between the Jews and Samaritans, and to bring the former to more charitable judgment respecting the latter.

17, 18. Where are the nine? Jesus had commanded them to go to the priest ; and they were probably literally obeying the commandment. They were impatient to be healed, and selfish in wishing it, and had no gratitude to God, or their benefactor. Jesus did not forbid their expressing gratitude to him for his mercy. He rather seems to reprove them for not doing it.-One of the first feelings of the sinner cleansed from sin, 15, 16. One of them, &c. This man, is a desire to praise his great benefactor. sensible of the power of God, and grate- And a real willingness to obey his comful for his mercies, returned to express mandments, is not inconsistent with a his gratitude to God, for his goodness. wish to render thanks to him for his Instead of obeying at once the letter of mercy. With what singular propriety the command, he first expressed his may this question now be asked-where thanks to God, and to his great benefac- are the nine? And what a striking iltor. There is no evidence, however, that lustration is this of human nature, and he did not, after he had given thanks to of the ingratitude of men! One had God, and had poured out his joy at the come back to give thanks for the favor feet of Jesus, go to the priest as he was bestowed on him; the others were directed. Indeed he could not have heard of no more. So now. When been restored to society without doing it. men are restored from dangerous sickBut he first poured out his thanks to ness, here and there one comes to give God, and gave him praise for his won- thanks to God-but where are the derful recovery. The first duty of sin-nine?' When men are defended from ners, after they have been forgiven, and have the hope of eternal life, is to prostrate themselves at the feet of their Great Benefactor, and to consecrate themselves to his service. Then let them go and show to others the evidence that they are cleansed. Let them go and mingle, like a restored leper, with their families and friends, and show by the purity and holiness of their lives how great is

danger; when they are recovered from the perils of the sea; when a steamboat is destroyed and a large part of crew and passengers perish, here and there one of those who are saved acknowledg es the goodness of God, and renders him praise. But where are the mass of them? They give no thanks; they of fer no praise. They go about their usual employments, to mingle in the scenes

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19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy a faith hath made thee whole.

20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered a Matt.9.22. 1 or, with outward shew.

of pleasure and of sin, as if nothing had occurred. Few, few of all who have been rescued from 'threatening graves' feel their obligation to God, or ever express it. They forget their Great Benefactor; perhaps the mention of his name is unpleasant, and they scorn the idea that they are under any obligations to God. Such, alas, is man, ungrateful man! ¶This stranger. This foreigner; or rather this alien, or this man of another tribe. In the Syriac version "this one who is of a foreign people.' This man who might have been least expected to have expressed this gratitude to God. The most unlikely characters are often found to be most consistent, and grateful. Men from whom we would expect least in religion, are often so entirely changed as to disappoint all our expectations, and to put to shame those who have been most highly favored. The poor often thus put to shame the rich; the ignorant the learned; and even the young the aged.

19. Go thy way. To the Priest-for without his certificate he could not again be restored to the society of his friends, or the public worship of God. Having now appropriately expressed your gratitude, go to the priest, and obey the law of God. Renewed sinners, while their hearts overflow with gratitude to Jesus, should express that gratitude by obeying God, and engaging in the appropriate duties of their calling, and of religion.

20. Was demanded. Was asked. Of the Pharisees. This was a matter of much importance to them, and they had taught that it would come with parade, and pomp. It is not unlikely that they asked this merely in contempt, and for the purpose of drawing out something that should expose him to ridicule. The kingdom of God. The reign of God; or the dispensation under the Messiah. See Note, Matt. iii. 2. ¶ With observation. With scrupulous and attentive looking for it. Or with such an appearance as to at

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tract observation—that is, with great pomp, majesty, splendor. He did not deny that, according to their views, the time was drawing near; but he denied that it would come in the manner in which they expected. The Messiah would not come with pomp, like an earthly prince; perhaps not in such a manner as to be discerned by the eyes of sagacious and artful men, who were expecting him in a way agreeable to their own feelings. The kingdom of God is within men-and it makes its way not by pomp and noise, but by silence, decency, and order. 1 Cor. xiv. 40.

21. Lo here, or lo there! When an earthly prince visits different parts of his territories, he does it with much pomp. His movements attract much observation, and become the common topic of conversation. The inquiry is, where is he? Which way will he go? And it is a matter of important news to be able to say where he is. Jesus says that the Messiah would not come in that manner. It would not be with such pomp, and conversation. It would be silent-obscure-and attracting comparatively little notice. Or the passage may have reference to the custom of the pretended Messiahs, who appeared in this manner. They said that in this place, or in that; in this mountain, or that desert, they would show signs that should convince the people that they were the Messiah. Compare Notes on Acts v. 36, 37. ¶ Is within you. This is capable of two interpretations. 1st. The reign of God is in the heart and mind. It does not come with pomp and splendor, like the reign of temporal kings, merely to control the external actions and strike the senses of men with awe-but it reigns in the heart by the law of God; it sets up its dominion over the passions, and brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2d. It may mean the new dispensation is even now among YOU. The Messiah has come. John has ushered in the kingdom of God; and

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you are not to expect the appearance of the Messiah with great pomp and splendor, for he is now among you. Most critics at present incline to this latter interpretation. The ancient versions chiefly follow the former.

things, and be rejected of this generation.

26 And as it was d in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded :

d Ge.7.11,23.

lead away the people. See Notes on Matt. xxiv. 23-27.

25. See Note, Mark viii. 31.

¶ Fire

26, 27. See Note, Matt. xxiv. 37-39. 28-30. They did eat, &c. They were busy in the affairs of this life, as 22. The days will come. He here if nothing were about to happen. ¶ The takes occasion to direct the minds of same day, &c. See Gen. xix. 23-25. his disciples to the days of vengeance ¶ It rained. The word might have which were about to fall on the Jewish been rendered he rained. In Genesis nation. Heavy_and_calamitous days it is said that the Lord did it. shall befall the Jewish people, and you and brimstone. God destroyed Sodom will desire a deliverer. Ye shall de-on account of its great wickedness. He sire. You who are now my professed followers. Who now number yourselves among my disciples. One of the days of the Son of man. The Son of man here means the Messiah, without affirming that he was the Messiah. Such shall be the calamities of those times; so great shall be the afflictions, and persecutions, that you will greatly desire a deliverer-one who shall come to you in the character in which you have expected the Messiah would come, and who should deliver you from the power of your enemies. And at that time in the midst of these calamities, men shall rise up pretending to be the Messiah, and to be able to deliver you. In view of this, he takes occasion to caution them against being led astray by them. Ye shall not see it. Ye shall not see such a day of deliverance -such a Messiah as the nation has expected, and such an interposition as you would desire.

23, 24. And they shall say, &c. Many false Christs, according to Josephus, appeared about that time attempting to

took vengeance on it for its sins; and the example of Sodom is set before men to deter them from committing great transgressions, and as a full proof that God will punish the guilty. See Jude 7; also Isa. i. 10; Jer. iv. 40. Yet in overthrowing it, God used natural means. He is not to be supposed to have created fire and brimstone for the occasion, but to have directed the natural means at his disposal for their overthrow: -as he did not create the waters to drown the world, but merely broke up the fountains of the great deep, and opened the windows of heaven. Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim (Deut. xxix. 23) were four great cities, on a plain where is now the Dead Sea, at the southeast of Palestine, and into which the river Jordan flows. They were built on a plain which abounded, doubtless, as all that region now doesin bitumen, or naphtha, which is easily kindled, and which burns with great intensity. The phrase "fire and brimstone" is a Hebrew form of expression, denoting sulphureous fire, or fire

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