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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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in ray name, in humility, poor in spirit, and as free from
all ambitious, aspiring thoughts as a little child, " receiveth
tne," — shall be so accounted of by me, as if he received
me ; and farther, he is rightly prepared to receive Christ
into his heart, with all his graces.

38. And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one cast-
ing out devils in thy name, and he foUoweth not us : and we for-
bad him, because he followeth not us.

39. But Jesus said. Forbid him not : for there is no man which
shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

40. For he that is not against us is on our part.

Here Christ teaches us to think and judge favourably of

VEIL 30 — 50.] ST. MARK. 87

all who are working against sin and Satan, though they
do not altogether agree with us in opinion.

41. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my
name, because ye belong to Christ, veiily I say unto you, he shall
not lose his reward.

Thereby he shows his inward regard to Christ, and his
love towards you, his diseiplcs.

42. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones tha*^
believe in me.

Hinder them in their christian progress, by saying or
doing anything to turn them from Christ,

42. It is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his
neck, and he were cast into the sea.

It were better for him to suffer the most shameful, vio-
lent death, than by hindering the salvation of the least
penitent sinner, to gain all \vorldly advantages. — Edit.

43. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee
to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell,
into the fire that never shall be quenched :

44. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

45. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee
to enter halt into life, than having two feet, to be cast into hell,
into the fire that never shall be quenched :

46. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

47. And if tliine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is belter for
thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having
two eyes to be cast into hell-fire:

48. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Every thing must be parted with, though never so dear
to us, that would hinder us from embracing and cleaving
to Christ. Wc have no choice but either that, or eternal
torments. God grant that we may never know what this
fire and this worm are. Take especial notice, that to confirm
our belief in this point, and to strike the greater awe into
our souls, the warning is thrice repeated.

88 ST. MARK, [chap. X.

49. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice
shall be salted with salt.

Every one who is an acceptable sacrifice unto God, must,
and shall be salted with the Holy Ghost, and with fire,
cleansing him from his corruption, and preserving him from
future contamination, as salt does that upon which it is

50. Salt is good ; but if the salt have lost its saltness, where-
with will ye season it ?

This is a caution to the disciples and to others, to seek
after, and retain the Holy Spirit, who is signified by the

50. Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Have this salt in yourselves, and then you will be at
peace with all the world. You will be loving and gentle
to all, and there will be an end of all peevishness, sourness,
and quarrelling, both within doors, and without. And if
we are not thus disposed, both in our families and every-
where else, it is a proof that we have not this blessed salt
in us.


Chap. X. ver. 1 — 16.


1. And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of
Judaia, by the farther side of Jordan : and the peo])le resort unto
him again ; and as he was wont, he taught them again.

He knew his business in the world, and was always readv
to carry it forward. O that we were but as ready to hear

VEIL 1— IG.] ST. MARK. 89

him ! And yet if we do not hear him gladly, we arc un-
done for ever. Let us not believe this in vain : — let us go
to him as the people did : — let us hear him in his word, —
hear him speaking to us in our hearts.

2. And the Pharisees caine to him, and asked him, Is it lawful
for a man to put away his wife ? tt'm])tiiig liim.

The Pharisees held it was by warrant from Moses; and
supposing Christ did not, thought to find matter against
him. But he would not lose this opportunity of instructing
them better in an important point. This is an example for
all, and especially for ministers, not to dissemble or deny
the truth for any fear of danger.

3. And he answered and said unto them. What did Moses com-
mand you ?

4. And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement,
and to put her away.

5. And Jesus answered and said unto them. For the hardness of
your heart he wrote you this precept.

That is to say, he gave you this permission. As much
as if he had said, if you will do it, do it. But nevertheless
God did not overlook the hardness of their hearts. Their
condition in his sight was unaltered, notwithstanding this

6. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male
and female.

7. For this cause shall a man leave his father and motlier, and
cleave to his wife :

8. And they twain shall be one flesli : so then they are no more
twain, but one flesh.

One in heart and affection ; one soul in two bodies ;
united in their prayers, ant! helping one another in all their
designs both for this world, and the next. What a happy
state is this ! And how lamentable it is, wlicn an husband
and wife are united for life only to vex and thwart each
other ! Alas ! how many such unchristian marriages are
there in all places !

90 ST. MARK. [chap. X.

9. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put

10. And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same

11. And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his
wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

Hence we learn that according to the decree of Christ,
polygamy is unlawful to the end of the world.

12. And if a woman put away her hushand, and be married to
another, she committeth adultery.

Though the case might be less frequent, yet Jesus pro-
vided against this violation of the marriage vow, on the
part of the woman also, with her husband. — Edit.

13. And they brought young children to him, that he should
touch them : and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

14. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said
unto them. Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid
them not : for of such is the kingdom of God.

He suffered you to come to him, and received you into
his covenant, in your baptism. But if you have not since
come to him, and entered yourselves into his covenant,
with the disposition here required, your baptisin is of no

15. Verily I say unto you. Whosoever shall not receive the king-
dom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

All who would receive the kingdom of God, must feel
themselves as helpless, and be as teachable and as free from
guile and malice as children. Infants have but one appe-
tite, namely, for their food ; and will be quieted with no-
thing else; do what you will to them, still the want is felt,
and they weep again for their natural food. So we should
be with respect to God and his kingdom, and say, let me
be a member of it, let me belong to Christ, or I die.

16. And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them,
and blessed them.

How anxious should parents be that Christ, even now.

VER. 17 27.] ST. MARK. 91

would bless their children with pardon, and bestow on
them his Holy Spirit. — Edit.

Chap. X. ver. 17—27.


17. And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one
running, and kneeled to him,

He showed an earnest desire to be put in the right way
to attain eternal life ; but he was lamentably ignorant of
what lay lurking in his heart.

17. And [he] asked him. Good Master what shall I do that I
may inherit eternal life ?

He thought of nothing, but of making a ladder of his own
works in order to climb up into heaven. But Christ soon
showed him that he would not be able by such means to
come there.

Remember what he says, " This is the work of God, that
ye believe on him whom he hath sent." John vi. 29- Get
that work done, and all the rest will follow, and be ap-
proved of God. Build upon any other foundation, and all
you do is of no avail to your salvation.

18. And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good ?

How can we think ourselves good, and bear to be called
so, when Christ w ould not ? He was all goodness, both as
God and man ; but as man he would not be called good,
showing us all plainly what we are to think of ourselves.

18. There is none good but one, that is, God.

And yet how hard do we find it, at times, to confess the

92 ST. MARK. [chap. X.

goodness of God ; his long-suffering is, of itself, a demon-
stration of his goodness. — Edit.

19. Tliou knovvest the commandments. Do not commit adul-
tery. Do not kill. Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Di;fraud
not. Honour tliy father and mother.

These are precepts, chiefly relating to our duty towards
our neighbour, but they are to be obeyed with a peculiar
regard to the authority, and will of God. — Edit.

20. And he answered and said unto him. Master, all these have
I observed from my youth.

Can any of us say so ? Have we ever sat down one hour
during the whole of our lives, to consider the nieanincf of
so much as one of these commandments? knowing in our
own hearts that we must be judged according to them ?

21. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him.
One thing thou lackest : go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast,
and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven : and
come, take up the cross, and follow me.

Jesus looked graciously upon him, in order to win his
heart, and to induce him to attend to the advice which he
in this verse gives him, " Sell whatsoever thou hast.""
This was a particular command to the young man from
Christ's own mouth ; and he was obliged to obey it, as we
should be, if the same command was given particularly to
any one of us. But it is not binding to all men, at all
times, and without exception, any more than the command
to Abraham to leave his country, or to sacrifice his son. A
master may give a command to one servant, which he does
not to the rest; and in that case the servant must comply,
or throw up his obedience. That which the command says
to all, is, be ready: let nothing hinder you from obeying
and following Christ : look well to the ground of your
hearts. You would part with all to save the life of a hus-
band, a wife, or a child ; and if you are not willing to do
as much for your souls; if you are not so affected towards
Chri.«t, vou do not love hiin.

VER. 17 — 27.] ST. MARK. 93

22. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved : for
he had great possessions.

Here the depravity of his heart came into open view.
The world had possession of him. If he must part with
Christ, he was sorry for it, but with the condition of keep-
ing him he could not comply. How many of the sayings
of Christ make us sad, though they are far less hard than
this ! In some cases how little do they trouble us, and how
carelessly do we cast them behind our backs !

23. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples,
How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of

It is the same thing when we eagerly covet, and long
for them in our hearts ; in that case the desire is equally
turned from God.

24. And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus
answereth again, and saith unto them. Children, how hard is it
for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God !

Those that trust in riches are puffed up with them,
make them their god, and can hardly get into that strait
gate with such a load upon their shoulders. You may
think it hard to be poor ; if so, it is a plain proof that you
think little of heaven, else you would thank God for
making your way to it so much easier than it is to the
wealthy. The general cry is, not in words, but in the
heart, let me be rich, take heaven who will. What is the
poor man better than the rich, or of what kind is his heart,
when he lies and cheats for the gain of a trifle ?

25. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a i-ich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among
themselves. Who then can he saved ?

Perhaps they meant that if all were not rich, they would
be. It is very certain that the same desires make the same
men in the sight of God.

94 ST. MARK. [chap. X.

27. And Jesus looking upon them saith. With men it is impos-
sible, but not with God : for with God all things are possible.

God can turn the hearts of the rich, and preserve them
from trusting in their riches ; though it is a hard thing to
perform, and they have a lieavy clog upon them : for with
him all things are possible.

Chap. X. ver. 28—45.



28. Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and
have followed thee.

Peter, like us, estimated too highly what they had for-
saken. He did not sufficiently consider that they had
escaped the cares and disappointments of worldly goods,
together with their possession. — Edit.

29. And Jesus answered and said. Verily I say unto you. There
is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father,
or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the

30. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time,
bouses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and
lands, with persecutions ; and in the world to come eternal life.

He shall have an hundred fold, in the true enjoyment of
what he hath, — in spiritual comfort, in a heart of love to
all, — even though poor and persecuted ; as having nothing,
and yet possessing all things. 2 Cor. vi. 10.

31. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

Those who are first in their own esteem, and the world's,
as being rich and great, shall be last in God's. The poor

VER. 28—45.] ST. MARK. 95

generally think they are lowly, because they are poor : but
in this tiiey deceive themselves, they have oftentimes as
much conceit of themselves as any. All are proud by
nature, till their hearts are made contrite, and they are
humbled for sin.

32. And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem ; and
Jesus went before tliem ; and they were amazed ; and as they fol-
lowed, they were afraid.

They thought he was about to ruin himself, and to put
them into danger, by going to Jerusalem. They feared that
at which they should have rejoiced. As yet they were
weak in faith and understanding, they knew not the neces-
sity and the benefit of Christ's death. The Holy Spirit, at
the day of Pentecost, turned them into other men ; as he
does all true believers. But Christ was not wanting to
them, in imparting further instruction ; neither will he be
to us, if we obey him.

32. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell iliem what
things should happen unto him,

33. Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem ; and the Son of
man shall be delivered unto tlie chief priests, and unto the scribes ;
and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the
Gentiles :

34. And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall
spit upon him, and shall kill him ; and the third day he shall rise

We learn from hence the great backwardness which there
is in us all, to admit truths into our minds which are op-
posed to our natural inclinations, and worldly interests. We
see with the eyes of flesh, and till we are beaten off from
the pursuit of the world and sensual enjoyments, we can
derive no benefit from the instructions of Christ. — Edit.

35. And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him,
saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever
we shall desire.

36. And he said unto them. What would ye that I should do
for you ?

96 ST. MARK. [chap. X.

^. 37. They said unto liira, Grant unto as that we may sit, one on
thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

His glorious kingdom upon earth, on this their minds
were set, and they thought he was now about to set it up ;
had it been otherwise, Christ would have told them that
they knew not what they wished.

38. But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask : can
ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the bap-
tism that I am baptized with ?

So he says to us. You would be high in my favour, but
can you believe.'^ Can you obey.? Can you suffer, if you
are called to endure loss, reproach, or persecution for my
name sake ?

39. And they said unto him. We can.

It is better to say, we will ; O Lord make us able to
suffer shame for thee.

39. And Jesus said unto them. Ye shall indeed drink of the cup
that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal
shall ye be baptized.

He tells them that they should suffer for his sake, which
accordingly came to pass. James was killed with the
sword. Acts xii. 2. It is reported of John that he was
thrown into a caldron of boiling oil. This was a baptism
indeed ! But by the power of God he came out unhurt.
The same kind of trials await the ministers of the most
high God at all times.

40. But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine
to give ; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

The chief ministers in setting up the kingdom of Christ
were prepared, and God would in due time fit them for
their office according to his will.

41. And when the ten heard it, they began to be much dis-
pleased with James and John.

42. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye
know that they which arc accounted to rule over the Gentiles exer-

VER. 4G — 52. J ST. MARK. 97

cise lonlship over tlicin ; and tlicir great ones exorcise authority
upon them.

43. But so it shall not be among you : but whosoever will be
great among you, shall be your minister:

In other words, he shall be a servant to you ; for true
greatness consists in serving the brethren for their good to

44. And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant
of all.

That is, he must be in will and disposition. Lord grant
us this humiliation, this truly christian frame of mind,
which makes us great in thy estimation : give us this ra-
ther than any worldly greatness.

45. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,
but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Who of us can stoop so low from so great a height, and
where can we find a better example of humility ?

Chap. X. ver. 46 — 52.


46. And they came to .Tericho : and as he went out of Jericho
with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimicus,
the son of Timtcus, sat by the highway side, begging.

We also are poor and blind, if being sinners can make
us so. Let us put ourselves in the way of Jesus who passes
by in the preaching of his gospel.

47. And when he heard that it was . I esus of Nazareth, he began
to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

VOL. n. H

98 ST. MARK, [chap. X.

A deep sense of our condition in sin, and of the danger
of a natural state, will raise this cry in us, when we know
that Jesus must help us, and that none else can.

48. And many charged him that he should hold his peace :

So the world will forbid us to cry to God, when we are
in earnest to come to Jesus Christ for salvation.

48, But he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have
mercy on me.

We also shall cry most mightily to Christ as opposition
increases, if we know what we really want.

49. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called.

This was a precious moment to the blind man. He like-
wise will hear our cry, when we call upon him faithfully.
" For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall
be saved."

49. And they called the blind man, saying unto him, Be of
good comfort, rise ; he calleth thee.

50. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

He cast away his garment for haste and gladness. Make
no delay when you know your spiritual blindness ; and
think not of going anywhere but to Christ for a cure.

51. And Jesus answered and said unto him. What wilt thou that
I should do unto thee ? The blind man said unto him. Lord, that
I might receive my sight.

He knew that he was blind, and therefore he beffffed for
a cure: but it is impossible for us to tell him what we want
from him, if we have no knowledge and belief that we are
undone sinners, and must perish without his help.

52. And Jesus said unto him. Go thy way, thy faith hath made
thee whole.

What else can make us so.-^ If we had works to show for
ourselves, we should not want Jesus to make us whole.

62. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus
in the wav.


All must follow Jesus, who are made whole by him, and
all true believers will, in the way of his perfect example,
and in obedience to his holy commands.


Chap. xi. ver. 1 — 11.


1. And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Betliphage
and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his

2. And saith unto them. Go your way into the village over
against you : and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a
colt tied, whereon never man sat ; loose him, and bring him.

Here is a proof of Christ's divine knowledge. Who but
he who knows everything, could have told them all this so
exactly ? He knows what we have been doing this day, and
every day of our lives, and he sees all the motions of our

3. And if any man say unto you. Why do ye this ? sav ye that
the Lord hath need of him : and straightway he will send him

4. And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door
without, in a place where two ways met : and they loose him.

5. And certain of them that stood there said unto them. What
do ye, loosing the colt ?

6. And they said unto them, even as .Tcsus had connnandod :
and they let him go.

O that the name of Jesus was as powerful with us ; and
that we were as ready to do everything at his bidding !

7. And they brought the colt to .Te>us, and cast their gannciils
on him ; and he sat upon liini.

u 2

100 ST. MARK. [chap. XI.

Jesus sat upon the colt. The Lord of life and glory sits
upon a poor despicable ass ; meek and lowly, and yet
having the power of salvation for all flesh ! What can
bring down our proud hearts if this does not ? He who had
all nature at his command, would not show himself in the
stately manner of an earthly prince. His kingdom was not
of this world ; his aim in all he did was to make us spi-
ritual, and show us the way to heaven ; and he here
teaches us most divinely, that the only way to it is through

8. And many spread their garments in the way : and others cut
down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.

As the Jews, and other nations used to do on occasions of
great rejoicing. But where was Christ going, through all
this solemnity ? To be crucified. It was his joy and triumph
to think he was going to deliver us from hell, and put it
in our power to rejoice with him for ever. Let not his love
be lost upon you ; let it take hold of your hearts, that you
may prepare yourselves to enter with him into his joy.

9. And they that went before, and tliey that followed, cried,
saying, Hosanna : blessed is he that cometh in the name of the
Lord :

This! O this! should be the cry of our hearts; this is
spiritual life : now we are blessed men and women indeed !
when we say, and say truly from a sense of our undone
state, — a sense of our want of Christ, and the mercy of God
to us in him, Hosanna, that is, save us, O Lord, we beseech
thee ; from gviilt, sin, and death, to pardon, holiness, and the
gift of eternal life. Is not this the Saviour whom we all

10. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in

Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 7 of 39)