Thomas Adam.

An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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that " the day began to wear away," to ask ourselves these
questions: Is our day wasting apace upon our hands ? and
are we still in a starving condition for want of Christ ?

13. But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat.

So he still says to his ministers. And he will surely
command a blessing, wherever there is a hunger for his spi-
ritual meat.

13. And they said. We have no more but five loaves and two
fishes ; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

The apostles were weak in faith, and did not consider
who said, " Give ye them to eat."

14. For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his
disciples. Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

15. And they did so, and made them all sit down.

16. Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and lookinar
up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples
to set before the multitude.

17. And they did eat, and were all filled : and there were taken
up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.

This miracle may give encouragement to the poorest to
trust in Christ, in all their wants and necessities. — Edit.


Chap. ix. ver. 18 — 36.

Peter's confession, and Christ's transfiguration.

18. And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his dis^ciples
were with him : and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people
that I am ?

VER. 18— 3G.] ST. LUKE. 229

Christ was a pattern of private prayer: and the holier
men are, the more they imitate him in this respect. Let
this be vour test. Those who neither do nor can prav in
private, are not Christians. And prayer, is from what the
heart feels.

19. They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say,
Filias ; and others say, that one of the old prophets i^ risen again.

20. He said unto them. But whom say ye that I am P Peter
answering said. The Christ of (iod.

This confession is salvation. But perhaps Peter could
not have made it, if Christ had not prayed for him before-
hand, as at verse the eighteenth. He does not forget us
now he is in heaven. But when did we say to him our-
selves, Lord, reveal thyself to my heart .^

21. And he straitly charged them, and commanded tlicm to tell
no man that thing ;

Among other reasons, Christ gave this command because
the strongest proof to the world of his being the Saviour
was still to come, namely, his resurrection. And besides,
the apostles, as yet, were not fit to preach this truth. As
yet they were but half believers, as appears by what follows.
It was a great surprise to tliem to hear of Christ suffering
and dying.

22. Saying, The Son of man must suffer many tilings, and be
rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain,
and be raised the third day.

23. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let
him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follt)vv me.

Our Lord here teaches, that if any one will be his dis-
ciple, he must deny his corrupt self, earthly bent, natural
will and wisdom, all which things are wholly against what is
here taught us. Such persons must be ready, as Jesus was,
to suffer and die for the truth. This lesson was more im-
mediately for the apostles, and they happily learned it of
him. But we must not forget that it was said to all. All are
alike concerned in it, when they are called to suffering and

230 ST. LUKE. [chap. IX.

self-denial. And moreover, all have daily occasion for it in
the crosses with which they meet, within doors or without,
from God or man. Who, indeed, walks by this rule?
though our crosses may be but small, we forget Christ's
warning, and never set ourselves to bear them.

24. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it : but whosoever
will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

25. For vvhal is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world,
and lose himself, or be cast away ?

Think of this Avhenever you are tempted to sin against
your souls, and for what small trifles we often cast them

26. For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in
liis own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

Let us think of that time, and of that shame, and then
be ashamed of owning Christ, and of standing up for
him, if we can. Many men lose heaven for fear of being
a bye-word among their neighbours.

27. But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here,
which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.

That is, till they see a specimen of it, namely, its glories
in Christ's glorified body, at his transfiguration. Compare
2 Pet. i. IG, 17 : " We were eye- witnesses of his majesty.
For he received from God the Father honour and glory
when there came such a voice to him from the excellent
glory. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well
pleased." We shall also have glorified bodies, if we are
found worthy to enter into his kingdom. We are plainly
told that our bodies, vile as they are, shall be fashioned like
unto his glorious body. Phil. iii. 21.

28. And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings,
he took Peter and .lulrn and James, and went up into a mountain
to ])ray.

29. And as he prayed, the fashion of his coimtenance was al-
tered, and his rainient was white and glistering.

VER. 37 — 50.] ST. LUKE. 231

30. And, behold, there tallied with liiin two men, which were
Moses and Elias ;

31. Who ai)])cs, as they departed from him, Peter said
unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here : and let us make
three tabernacles ; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for
Elias : not knowing what he said.

34. While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadow-
ed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

35. And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is
my beloved Son : hear him.

If we would have peace with God, and be happy for
ever, we must hear his beloved Son. We are undone, if
this saying does not sound with power into our hearts.

36. And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And
ihey kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those
things which they had seen.

By the command of Christ, they kept it close, till he
was risen from the dead. Matt. xvii. 9 — 12.


Chap. ix. ver. 37 — 50.


37. And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were
come down from the hill, nuich people niet him.

38. And, behold, a man of die company cried out, saying,
Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son : for he is mine only

39. And, lo, a sj)iril takclh him, and he suddenly crielh out ;

232 ST. LUKE. [chap. IX.

and it tearetli liim that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly
departelh from him.

40. And I besought thy disciples to cast him out ; and they
could not.

This generation was perverse, because it was faithless ; and
so it is in every case, when men are perverse, it is because
they are destitute of faith.

41. And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse genera-
tion, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you ? bring thy son

This seems one of the sharpest sayings that ever came
from the lips of Christ. Nothing displeases him so much
as unbelief, because it totally hinders his work in us. And
so long as we are hidden from ourselves, and ignorant of
our condition in sin, we never can believe.

42. And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and
tare him^ And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the
child, and delivered him again to his father.

Let us never forget Jesus Christ, the great physician of
our souls. And let us consider whether or not we are now
in his hands for healing.

43. And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God.
But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did,
he said unto his disciples,

44. Let these sayings sink down into your ears : for the Son ol
man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

However amazed we may be at the mighty power of God,
it is to no end if we do not know it in ourselves.

45. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from
them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of
that saying.

Nothing could be plainer in itself; and why then did
they not understand it ? The reason was, because it was
cross to their inclinations. See what it is which blinds all.
When we are so prejudiced, or have a will, or opinion of

VER. 37—50.] ST. LUKE. 233

our own, plain teaching and plain words avail nothing. All
is hidden from us.

46. Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of tliem
slionlJ be greatest.

Here was the pride of their hearts. We must take no-
tice, all along, that the apostles' faults are left upon record.
They were not ashamed to have it known that they were
once like other men. It is a sign that they were humbled
and converted : for none else can bear to have their faults

47. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of tlieir heart, took a
chikl, and set him by liim.

What shall we do with the all-seeing eye of Jesus, which
pierces every moment into all our hearts like lightning ?
If we could see what passes in them, but for one day, it
would make us for ever ashamed of ourselves.

48. And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this chikl in
my name, receiveth me ; and whosoever shall receive me receiveth
him that sent me : for he that is least among you all, the same
shall be great.

By " this child," the Saviour would have us to under-
stand, one so little in his own eyes, humbling himself at the
feet of all, at Christ's word, and for his sake. " He that is
least among you," shall be great in God's esteem ; and shall
be greatly advanced by him.

40. And .lohn answered and said, IMaster, we saw one casting
out devils in thy name ; and we forlnid him, because he followed
not with us.

50. And Jesus suid unto him. Forbid him not : lor he that is
not against us is for us.

Let us first take care to be with and for Christ ourselves;
and then learn from hence not to be over hasty in condemn-
ing others, though tliey do not altogetlier agree with us.
lie often sees irood, where we see notiiinfi: but evil.

234 ST. LUKE. [chap. IX.


Chap. ix. ver. 51 — 62.

WHO CAN BE Christ's disciples.

51 . And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should
be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

To his death ! O Jesus, make us sensible of thy love,
and thankful for the same !

52. And sent messengers before his face : and they went, and
entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.

53. And they did not receive him, because his face was as
though he would go to Jerusalem.

Here was an old subject of enmity between the Jews and
Samaritans ; which, alas ! to the shame of men, too often
strips them of all humanity.

54. And when his disciples James and .John saw this, they said.
Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven,
and consume them, even as Elias did ?

55. But he turned, and rebuked them, and said. Ye know not
what manner of spirit ye are of.

We may by this account learn of what spirit we should
be; namely, that we ought not to destroy or hurt any man,
because we think him an enemy of Christ.

56. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but
to save them. And they went to another village.

57. And it came to pass, that, as the}' were in the way, a cer-
tain man said unto him. Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou

This is soon said : but more goes to it than we imagine.
If we resolve to follow him in good earnest, he will try us.

58. And Jesus said unto him. Foxes have holes, and birds of
the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his

CHAP. X.] ST. LUKE. 235

59. And lie said to anotlicr, Follow ine. But he said, Lord,
sufl'er me first to go and bury my lather.

He wished to stay till his father's death. This was a
plausible pretence for not setting about Christ's work im-
mediately : but the call of Jesus will admit of no delay.

CO. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead : but go
thou and preach the kingdom of God.

These persons of whom Christ so speaks were worldlings,
and therefore dead. Let us learn to think and speak of
ourselves as Christ does.

61. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee : but let me
hrst go bid tliein farewell, which are at home at my house.

()2. And .Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to
the ])lough, and looking hack, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Christ is still at a word with us, and will hear of no
delay, or looking back to the world. Christ's plough, like
all others, requires a fixed and steady eye. Have these
sayings reached thee, O minister ?

Chap. X. ver. 1 — 16.


1. After these things the Lord a]i])oinled other seventy also, and
sent them two and two before his lace into every city and place,
whither he himself would couie.

Christ was, probably, now on his way to Jerusalem,
where he was going for the last time. See chap. ix. 51. So
it is now. He first sends his messengers, and tlien conies
himself by his Holy Spirit. Are we looking and praving
for this coming ?

2. 'J'hcrefore said he unto tijcui, Tlie harvest Iridy is great, but

236 ST. LUKE. [chap. X.

tlie labourers are few : pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
that he woukl send forth labourers into his harvest.

O how dear are souls to Christ ! Pray, says he, and
whatever else you pray for, pray that God would send
labourers for them. How few can pray with acceptance to
God ? Certainly not those who do not pray heartily for
their own salvation. None but those who have a portion
of Christ's spirit.

3. Go your ways : behold, I send you forth as lambs among

This is Christ's character of mankind ! Are these the
creatures of whom God said, " Let us make man in our
own image?" O how fallen ! And they are wolves, more
especially to those who tell them what they are, and put
them upon the means of getting their nature changed. Here
is also an admonition to those whom Christ sends, to go not-
withstanding ; and whatever they are, to be as lambs among

4. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes : and salute no man
by the way.

They had not a moment to spare, which they could afford
to lose; and therefore the paying of common civilities was
not innocent to them. All may learn something from hence:
ministers to keep close to their work ; and others to redeem
all the time they can, for their souls.

5. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say. Peace be to this

That is, we pray God, that his peace may come to it.

6. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon
it : if not, it shall turn to you again.

The son of peace is a person disposed to entertain Christ's
minister, and his message. On such an one, the peace
which Christ's apostle comes to offer in his name shall rest.
The peace which a n)inister of Christ offers to a house, if

VER. 1 — IG.] ST. LUKE. 237

not accepted, he is to take back ; and leave that house, to
itself. O wretched house !

7. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such
things as they give : for the labourer is worthy of his liire. Go
not from house to house.

8. And inlo whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat
such things as are set before you :

9. And Ileal the sick that are therein, and say unto them. The
kingdom of God is come nigh unto vou.

Know your advantage, and bless God for it. They were
to say, and under those circumstances only could say, that
the kingdom of God, in which he receives men to grace
and favour, rules over tiiem, and prepares them for his
everlasting kingdom in heaven, by Jesus Christ, was come
nigh, or coming. We live when it is come, and all is told
us. O it is an important question ! Am I in Christ ? Am
I of his kingdom, or not ? Think how you can belong to
it : you cannot indeed, except by your own choice, and
hearty acceptance of it.

10. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not,
go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11. Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we
do wipe off against you : notwitlistanding be ye sure of this, that
the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that
day for Sodom, than for that city

13. Woe unto thee, Chorazin ! woe unto thee, Bethsaida ! for if
the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been
done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sack-
cloth and ashes.

Woe unto all persons, and places, which continue har-
dened under loud calls to repentance, and under powerful
means of grace.

14. But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the
judgment, than for you.

15. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shall
be thrust down to hell.

238 ST. LUKE. [chap. X.

This was true of the city, either on account of its flourish-
ing condition, or of Christ's presence and preaching. " Shalt
be thrust down to hell," to the lowest depths of misery
here, and of hell hereafter, for slighting its advantages.
Unreformed Christians are more abominable in the sight
of God, and will have a heavier doom than others.

16. He that heareth you heareth me ; and he that despiseth you
despiseth me ; and he that despisetli me despisetli him that sent

Christ here teaches us, that he sends and speaks by his
apostles. When ministers of the gospel say, Repent, and
believe the gospel, the words are Christ's, and must be
received as coming immediately from his mouth. Despising
them is despising God and Christ. Despise Christ ! De-
spise God ! Yes ; all do, till they hear, and believe ; and
unbelievers say in the bottom of their hearts, " Depart from
us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways." May
God grant that those who never knew their guilt before,
may know it now before it be too late.


Chap. X. ver. 17 — 24.


17. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord,
even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

What can we not do for ourselves in the virtue of this
all-powerful name, when we trust in that name .''

18. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall
from heaven.

Swift as lightning : Christ saw him fall from his power
and dominion in the air, by the preaching of the gospel ;

VER. 17 — 24.] ST. LUKE. 239

wliicli, and which only, is Satan''s destruction in every soul
where it is received in truth.

19. Behold, I give unto you jiower to tread on serpents and
scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy : and nothing shall
by any means hurt you.

Christ gave this power to the disciples for themselves,
and for the benefit of others : and he still gives it to every
one of his disciples for himself.

Nothing shall hurt Christ's ministers, in their eternal in-
terests. Christ knew that they would be tormented, and
would suffer in their bodies; but in his account, we are
never hurt in our souls. Think so yourselves, and then
you have Christ's knowledge.

20. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are sub-
ject unto you ; but rather I'ejoice, because your names are written
in heaven.

Let us inquire what is our joy ? Is it to please ourselves,
and to have our fill of the world, or to think that we be-
long to Christ, and are giving all diligence to make our
calling and election sure ?

21. In that hour .Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee,
O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid tliese
things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto
babes : even so. Father ; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Let us deprecate the judgment, that this wisdom should
be hid from us : if it be, the wisest must perish in their
own. But if they do not see, it is because they will not.
And, farther,. it is an awakening trutli, which is here con-
veyed to us. There is no such pity in God for the wil-
fully blind as we imagine. He will be glorified in them
that are lost, as well as in them that are saved. Observe,
that Christ thanks God for the blindness, and consequent
destruction, of those who would not see.

" And hast revealed them unto babes :" to those that
know that they have no wisdom of their own in divine
things, and who submit to be taught of God, with the sim-

240 ST. LCKE. [CIIAP. X.

plicity of little children. The wisdom of God never enters
into any man till he first turns out his own. Here is com-
fort for the meanesto In this way, and in this only, all may
become wise unto salvation.

22. All things are delivered to me of my Father : and no man
knoweth who the Son is, but the Fatlier ; and who the Father is,
but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

All things are given to Christ, that he may give them to
men. The Father alone knows how necessary and iiow
great a blessing Christ is to mankind. And no man knoweth
what the Father is in himself, and what he is in his love to
us, but the Son : and the Father has revealed this in the
holy scriptures, that Christ may reveal it to our hearts by
his Spirit.

23. And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately.
Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see :

Namely, Christ manifested in the flesh, and all the pro-
mises of God fulfilled in him. This is our case ! Blessed
are they who see, and are thankful for Christ, and his

24. For I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to
see those things which ye see, and have not seen them : and to
hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

This blessedness has been reserved for us. — Edit.


Chap. X. ver. 25—42,


25. And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him,
saying. Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life ?

This was a person learned in the law of Moses, and a

VER. 25— 4'2.] ST. LUKE. 241

teacher of that law, who wanted to make trial of the know-
ledge of the Saviour.

26. He («. e. Clivisl) said unto him. What is written in the
law ? how readest thou P

27. And he answering said. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and witli all thy strength,
and with all thy mind ; and thy neighhour as thyself.

28. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right : this do,
and thou shalt live.

Christ in effect says to him, If thou dost not, if thou
comest short of the full performance, thou shalt die. Thou
trustest altogether in thyself, and by thyself thou shalt
stand or fall. IJut why did not Christ preach his own
gospel, and say, as St. Paul did, " Believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved V Because he knew
that it would be to no purpose. The lawyer thought he
needed nothing; and to all such the preaching of for-
giveness of sins, by faith, would be in vain. The method
therefore to be taken with him, was first to show him his
heart, and then to bring him to a true conviction of his

29. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who
is my neighbour ?

He thought he could justify himself. This thought lies
close to the hearts of us all, and many are blind enough to
say that they are able to justify themselves. The Jews
were mistaken with regard to the import of the word
neighbour ; as they confined its meaning to one of their
own nation. The lawyer, we may suppose, was of this mind,
and hence he was lamentably deficient in his duty.

30. And Jesus answering said, A cirlain man went down from
Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him
of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half

31. And hy chance there came down a certain priest that way :
and when he saw him, lie passed by on the oilier side.


242 ST, LUKE. [CIIAP. X.

32. And likewise a Levite, when he was at tlie place, came and
looked on him, and passed hy on the other side.

Probably the lawyer might see his own face in this glass
presented to him in the persons of the priest and the

33. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he
was : and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

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