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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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discijjles : for there were many, and they followed him.

Sometimes the more open and notorious sinners come
to true repentance, faith in Christ, obedience to the gospel.

JG ST- MARK. [chap, JI.

and to a godly, righteous, and sober life, when the out-
wardly decent, in the pride of their hearts, turn from
Christ and his pardoned disciples, with disdain. Beware,
lest you dash against this rock, and so make shipwreck of
your salvation. — Ed.

16. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat wilhpubh-
cans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he
eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners ?

If he was not thus condescending to sinners, what would
become of us all ? Shut him not out of your hearts your-
selves, and the foulness of them will not. No way tc do
it so effectually as thinking them clean, as tiie Pharisees did.
To the question they put, he in effect returns answer, be-
cause he came into the world to save sinners, and his busi-
ness was, and always is, with sinners. He disdains none as
being sinners, if they are not so righteous in their own eyes
as to despise him, and reject his help.

17. When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are
whole have no need of the physician.

Who is there amongst us so whole ? Or who is so srreat
a sinner, as that Christ cannot make him whole ? that is,
by cleansing him from the guilt of sin, and turning his will
against it. No power however, even in God, can make an
unrelenting sinner whole, so as to save him from punish-

17. But they that are sick : I came not to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance.

The self-righteous, as such, cannot hear this call ; and
therefore it is the same thing to them, as if they had it not.
If you are ever so great a sinner, you have it in these words,
and you may hear it : but then mark, it is to repentance.
Never think of coming to Clirist without a sense of sin,
and a purpose to forsake it. Suppose any of you should
hear him saying, I came not to call thee, would it strike
cold to your hearts ? You do hoar it now from his own

VEIL 9— 22. J ST. MARK. 17

mouth, if you will not repent. And oh ! what mercy,
what love, that he should come himself from heaven to
teach, and require it ; and to make it effectual to our salva-
tion !

18. And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to
fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the discijdes ut"
John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disci})les fast not P

Probably they laid a great stress upon it, and made it a
considerable part of their religion, in the room of better

19. And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-
chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them ? as long as they
have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

20. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be
taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

Fasting is good ; and verily there is a time for it. Christ
says, When the bridegroom is taken from us. In the time of
sickness and calamities ; and especially when sin takes hold
of us, we shall not make so light of this way of humbling
ourselves before God, as we are wont to do.

21. No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old gar-
ment ; else the new piece that filled it up, taketh away from the
old, and the rent is made worse.

A piece of new, stiff cloth, if put on a garment old and
thin, would tear itself out, and so the rent would be made

22. And no man ])utteth new wine into old bottles : else the
new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the
bottles will be marred : but new wine must be put into new

Bottles, made of skins, which being old and stiff,would be
apt to burst with the fermenting liquor. Christ knows per-
fectly how to condescend to our weakness, and here teaches us
to suit our instructions to the condition and capacity of our
hearers. But then he does not intend we should always
continue weak.

VOL. II. c



Chap. ii. vcr. 23—28.


23. And it came to pass, tliat he went through the corn fields
on the sabbath day ; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck
the ears of corn.

The act of Christ's disciples was sanctioned by the divine
law, and therefore could not be found fault with ; for so
it is written, Deut. xxiii. 25, " When thou comest into
the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck
the ears with thine hand ; but thou shalt not move a sickle
into thy neighbour's standing corn." — Ed.

24. And the Pharisees said unto him. Behold, why do they on
the sabbath day that which is not lawful ?

This was man"'s law, and one of those traditions which
the Jews had invented to help them to a high conceit of

25. And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did
when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were
with him ?

26. How he went into the house of God in the days of Abia-
thar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not law-
ful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were
with him ?

The whole relation is given in 1 Sam. xxi. 1 — 9. " Ahime-
lech high priest when David took the shew-bread ; but
Abiathar his son, was cMe/priest under him, and probably
superintended the tabernacle and its stated concerns."" —
Scott.— Ed.

27. And he said unto them. The sabbath was made for man,
and not man for the sabbath :

For man's use and benefit, as a day of bodily rest, and of

VER. '23—28.] ST. MARK. 10

spiritual labour ; but not intended to bind him up to any
such strictness as would be hurtful to health or life.

28. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbatli.

Certainly Christ had as good a right as David, or any
other man, to dispense with it in cases of necessity. And
farther, as God, who first appointed it, he had power to
make what alteration he pleased concerning it.*

The Pharisees charge the disciples with breach of the
sabbath in a small matter, Christ reproves them for it ; and
withal establishes this rule in the case, that the sabbath
may give way to necessity. But then let the necessity be
evident. Christ has not here laid in any excuse for need-
less journeys, visiting, or sports, or any other way of
idly or unprofitably spending the sabbath. We are not apt
to overdo in point of strictness ; but need more to be cau-
tioned against breai

Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 2 of 39)