« PreviousContinue »
this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room ; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours ; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shall be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Then said he unto him, A certain man made a
great supper, and bade many: And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them : I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
Questions and Explanations.
Question.—What point is specially to be noticed in
the parable of the unforgiving servant ? Answer.-That his sin was especially heavy ; for his lord
had forgiven him an enormous debt, ten thousand talents, whereas he showed himself pitiless towards his fellowservant with regard to a debt that was quite insignificant in comparison ; merely a hundred pence; and, whereas there was no possibility of his ever paying his master, his fellowservant only entreated him to have patience,
and promised to pay all, if time were given him. Q.—Why was the prayer of the Pharisee entirely
unacceptable ? A.-It could not properly be called a prayer at all. The self
righteous man did not implore mercy or pardon, but insolently reminded his Maker of the tithes and fastings, on which he prided himself; while the publican was conscious of his sin.
Q.-What lesson do we learn from the parable of
the unjust steward ? A.—That money is frequently a snare; and that those who
possess it should so use it that it may be turned to good,
and promote their eternal welfare. 0.-In what way is the parable of the supper par
ticularly applicable to the Jews? A.—That they received the first invitations to the feast of the
Gospel, and, like the invited guests in the parable, they
Gentiles or strangers received it.
maimed, the halt, and the blind ?
and maimed, and halt, or lame, by not having been trained in divine things, were yet considered fit objects for the bounty and loving-kindness of God in Christ,
THE PARABLES OF THE FIG TREE; THE TEV VIRGINS; AND OF THE
TALENTS. OW learn a parable of the fig tree; day when he looketh not for him, and in
When his branch is yet tender, an hour that he is not aware of. And and putteth forth leaves, ye know that shall cut him asunder, and appoint him summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when his portion with the hypocrites: there ye shall see all these things, know that shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. it is near, even at the doors. Verily I Then shall the kingdom of heaven be say unto you, This generation shall not likened unto ten virgins, which took pass, till all these things be fulfilled. their lamps, and went forth to meet the Heaven and earth shall pass away, but bridegroom.
And five of them were my words shall not pass away.
wise, and five were foolish
They that But of that day and hour knoweth no were foolish took their lamps, and took man, no, not the angels of heaven, but no oil with them : But the wise took my Father only. But as the days of oil in their vessels with their lamps. Noe were, so shall also the coming of While the bridegroom tarried, they all the Son of man be. For as in the days slumbered and slept. that were before the flood they were And at midnight there was a cry made, eating and drinking, marrying and Behold, the bridegroom cometh ; go ye giving in marrage, until the day that out to meet him. Then all those virgins Noe entered into the ark, And knew not arose, and trimmed their lamps. And until the flood came, and took them all the foolish said unto the wise, Give us away; so shall also the coming of the of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. Son of man be. Then shall two be in But the wise answered, saying, Not so; the field ; the one shall be taken, and lest there be not enough for us and you: the other left. Two women shall be but go ye rather to them that sell, and grinding at the mill; the one shall be buy for yourselves. taken, and the other left.
And while they went to buy, the brideWatch therefore: for ye know not groom came ; and they that were ready what hour your Lord doth come. But went in with him to the marriage: and the know this, that if the goodman of the door was shut. Afterward came also house had known in what watch the thief the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open would come, he would have watched, and to us. But he answered and said, Verily not have suffered his house to be broken I
say unto you, I know you not. Watch up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in therefore, for ye know neither the day such an hour as ye think not the Son of nor the hour wherein the Son of man man cometh.
cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, For the kingdom of heaven is as a man whom his lord hath made ruler over his travelling into a far country, who called household, to give them meat in due sea- his own servants, and delivered unto son ? Blessed is that servant, whom his them his goods. And unto one he gave lord when he cometh shall find so doing: five talents, to another two, and to another Verily I say unto you, That he shall
one; to every man according to his make him ruler over all his goods. But several ability; and straightway took his and if that evil servant shall say in his journey. Then he that had rece the heart, My lord delayeth his coming ; And five talents went and traded with the shall begin to smite his fellowservants, same, and made them other five talents. and to eat and drink with the drunken ; And likewise he that had received two, The lord of that servant shall come in a he also gained another two. But he that
had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents cameand brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents : behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant : thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents : behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee a ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed : And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth : lo, there thou hast that is thine.
His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own
Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath, And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Questions and Explanations,
0.-How did the servant who hid his talent in the
earth show his sinful nature?
A.-He was angry and envious because he had not received
so much as was entrusted to his fellow-servants ; and therefore would not employ the talent that had been committed to him, in his lord's service. He considered his master “an hard man,” for not putting him among the most favoured of his servants.
Question.—What is the meaning of “there shall be
Q.—How can we see that God only expects from us
weeping and gnashing of teeth"? Answer.-Weeping is the natural expression of sorrow. By
gnashing of teeth is meant regret and remorse, the reproaches of conscience for opportunities wasted, and sins committed, causing the evil-doers to gnash or grind
their teeth in anguish. 0.-What meaning is attached to the phrase "to
meet the bridegroom”? A.-To take part in the marriage festivities and rejoicings,
and join in the festive procession. Q.-How may we understand the meaning of "the
lamps going out "?
religious matters, putting them aside for
a return in proportion to the abilities and gifts
A.-We see it in that the master was satisfied with the
servant who gained only two talents, and rewarded him as he rewarded the one who had gained five. Each had worked to the best of his power.
THE SAVIOUR'S TEACHINGS.
Hail to the Lord's Anointed !
Great David's greater Son! Hail to the time appointed,
His reign on earth begun !
He comes to break oppression,
To set the captive free; To take away transgression,
And rule in equity.
THE WARNING TO THE PHARISEES AGAINST HYPOCRISY.
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.
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: for whether is greater, the gift
, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye ye ask.
are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ?
Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes : and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and prosecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto
you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the LORD.
ON HUMILITY AND SELF-DENIAL. THE HEN came to him the mother of
Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.
And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what
Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptised with ? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them. Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with : but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of
And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you : but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Questions and Explanations.
Question.—What meaning must we give to the words
of Christ concerning the Pharisees, “ Whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do ; but
do not ye after their works”? Answer.—The scribes and Pharisees, as “ sitting in Moses?
seat,” had authority to prescribe outward ceremonies and
observances; and in so far the Jews were to listen to them. But they were proud self-seeking men, whose lives were unlovely and bad ; therefore the people were not
to follow their example. Q.-What point in the character of the Pharisees did
the Saviour select for special disapproval and warning?