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wanted the other opened to see liis defect of performance.

VER. 35—44.] ST. MARK. 115

Had he seen this, his next step would have been to Christ.
Are we so near the kinfjdom of God '^

34. And no man aflcv tliat durst ask him an}'- question.

Christ was only severe to his enemies, he is even now
willing to teach by his Holy Spirit, the most deplorably
io-norant, who are willing; to receive the kinffdoni of God as
little children. — Edii.

Chap. xii. ver. 35 — 44.


35c And Jesus answered and said, wliile he taught in the tem-
ple. How say tlie scrihes that Christ is the Son of David ?

36. For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, Tlie lioid said
to my Lord, Sit Uiou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies
thy footstool.

37. David therefore himself calleth him Lord ; and whence is lie
then his son ?

Christ was, as he was a man, the son of David ; and as
God, he was David's Lord. An ordinary Christian now
knows what the learned Pharisees did not. The most im-
portant matter for securing our salvation through him, is to
tall him Lord in spirit. St. Paul tells us, — 1 Cor. xii. 3, —
that, " no man can say that Jesus is the I^ord, but by the
Holy Ghost," i. e. no man can acknowledge him, with a true
faith, to be our Lord and Saviour, but by the Holy

37. And the common people heard him gladly.

They may, now, both hear and understand him, if they
please, notwithstanding their excuses. They have fewer

I 2


hindrances in the way than others, if they would but know
it. The will, the will is all : nothing else in rich or poor
receives Christ.

In this passage, Christ gives the Jews, and through them
all others, a proof of his right to be their Lord; and,
withal convinces them of their blindness in the scripture.

38. AikI he said unto them in his doctrine^ Beware of the scribes,
which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the mar-
ket places,

39. And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost
rooms at feasts :

Those who are justly entitled to distinction, and a higher
place, may take these without sin ; the harm is in being
fond of them.

40. Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make
long prayers : these shall receive greater damnation.

These scribes, though they had great knowledge, and
practised great strictness of devotion, yet they were capa-
ble of great enormities: in a word, they were men, and
could be nothing else while they were enemies to Christ.
Greater condemnation is, however, reserved for them, for
imposing on others, and thinking to impose on God, by a
show of piety. Prayers for base ends, are confessedly worse
than none. But consider whether they are not so with us,
a mockery of God, and the greatest cheat we can put upon
ourselves, when our heart is not in them.

41. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the
people cast money into the treasury : and many that were rich cast
in much.

42. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two
mites, which make a farthing.

43. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them.
Verily I say unto you. That this poor widow hath cast more in,
than all they which have cast into the treasury :

44. For all they did cast in of their abundance ; but she of her
want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.


Observe, how Christ's judgment differs from our's : if we
were to see a poor man, or woman, doing so, we should
be apt to reflect on them, if not call them fools. But Jesus
saw her heart, as he does ours, and will judge us ac-
cording to them at the last day. May God grant, that
they may stand the test of that judgment. They will,
if Christ be formed in them, the hope of glory.

Chap. xiii. ver. 1 — 13.


1. And as he went out of the temple, one of his {liscii)]cs saitli
unto him. Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings
are here !

Little did they think how near the temple and city
were to their end. We are also apt to depend upon
youth, health, or strength, when death may be even at the

2. And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great
buildhigs ? there shall not be left one stone upon another, tliut shall
not be thrown down.

3. And as he sat upon tl)e mount of Olives over against the
temple, Peter and James and .John and Andrew asked him pri-

4. Tell us, when shall these things be ? and what shall be the
sign when all these things shall be fullillcd ?

Christ thought it proper in some measure to satisfy their
curiosity ; but the main drift of his answer was to caution
them, and through them, all others, against being surprised
or deceived.

118 ST. MARK. [chap. XIII.

5. And Jesus answering them began to say, Take beed lest any
man deceive you :

We are under no unavoidable necessity of being de-
ceived, in what concerns our eternal salvation. We are
first willing to be deceived, and then it is easy for others
to deceive us.

6. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ ; and
shall deceive many.

But not those who know Christ. They have a touch-
stone in themselves, faith and love, by which to try de-
ceivers, and false doctrines, and God will help them in the
use of it. John x. 4, — " The sheep follow him : for they
know his voice."

7. And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye
not troubled : for such things must needs be ; but the end shall not
be yet.

8. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom : and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and
there shall be famines and troubles : these are the beginnings of

9. But take beed to yourselves : for they shall deliver you up
to councils ; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten : and ye
shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testi-
mony against them.

Such times of trial have, at different periods, awaited the
disciples of Christ, and they may come to them again. But
let us keep close to God, and then we need not fear. Who
knows how near we may be to such a time !

10. And the gospel must first be pubUshed among all na-

By the mercy of God it was early published to this na-
tion, and is still preached to us. The Lord make us thankful
for it, in our conversion by it. Sad will be our doom, if
we do not value so great a blessing, and improve it to our
own salvation. We may mention in few words what the
gospel is. It is the declaration of God's will to receive all

VEIL ] — 13.] ST. MAKK. 119

returning sinners, and of their acceptance only for Christ's
sake. And the end of it is, that we may walk in the com-
fort of so great a mercy, and in the sense of it live unto
God in all holy obedience; knowing that we are thereunto
called; and that otherwise we are faithless, and do not re-
ceive it in truth and sincerity.

Ih But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no
thought beforehand wliat ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate :
hut whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye : for
it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

That is, at such times. Then commit yourselves
wholly to God : you shall not want help.

12. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the
f'atlier the son ; and children shall rise up against their p;irents, and
shall cause them to be put to death.

Hatred of Christ shall get the better of natural af-

13. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake : but
he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And is it not so at all times, that the disciples of Christ
are hated ? Are not men''s natures the same now as they were
then ? Or has Satan lost his will to stir up their hatred
of Christ, of his ways, of his people ? Let a man stand
for Christ, and be more godly than his neighbours, and
then see if he will not be a bye-word among them ;
and be worse used when they have it in their power.
" But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be
saved." This is alike true at all times. The end crowns
the work. Though we make a beginning with Christ, it
will signify nothing, if we do not hold out to the last.

20 ST. MARK. [chap. XIII.


Chap. xiii. ver. 14 — 23.
siGXs OF Christ's coming.

14. But, when ye shall see the ahoniination ofdesolalion, spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not.

The destructive Roman army ; called abomination by
Christ, because they were idolaters, and had the figures
of their idols on their standards.

14. (Let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be
in Judsea flee to the mountains:

1-5. And let him that is on the housetop not go down into
the bouse, neither enter therein, to take anything out of his
house :

16. And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to
take up his garment.

17. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give
suck n those days !

1 8. And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

19. For in those days shall be atfliction, such as was not from
the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time,
neither shall be.

20. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh
should be saved : but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen,
he hath shortened the days.

God did also deliver other Jews for their sakes : for
tlie days of vengeance were shortened on account of the
elect, and many escaped with them. Those whom the
world hates, God's faithful children and servants, are
its preservers.

21. And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ ;
or, lu, he is there ; believe him not :

22. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew
signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

VER. 24 — 37.] ST. MARK. 121

It is a great mystery that God should suffer such signs
and wonders to be vvrouglit. But none would be deceived
by them, who were not first blinded by their own liearts.

23. But lake ye heed : behold, I have foretold you all

If we perish it is not for want of warning.

In this section Christ paints in lively colours the
miseries that were coming on the Jews ; God's own peo-
ple, and of whom it had been said, whosoever touched them,
touched the apple of his eye, Zech. ii. 8, that is, that it
wounded himself in a very tender part. But sin was found
upon them, and they must smart for it : yea and suffer deeper
than others. Let the false Christian remember this ; and
that a hotter hell is preparing for such.

Chap. xiii. ver. 24 — 37.


24. But in tliose days, after that tribulation, the sun shall he
darkened, and llie moon shall not j^ive lier light,

25. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are
in heaven shall be shaken.

26. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the
clouds with great power and glorv.

27. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together
his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth
to the uttermost part of heaven.

]\[r. Adam interprets these verses as referring to the con-
summation of all things : the editor considers them relat-
ing to the destruction of Jerusalem ; though he thinks
that destruction was intended to shadow forth a still wider
destructicni, when the frame of the world shall be broken to

122 ST. MARK. [chap. XIII.

28. Now learn a jiarable of die fig-tree ; When lier branch is
yet tender, and puttetli forth leaves, ye know that summer is
near :

29. So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come
to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors,

30. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass,
till all these things he done.

31. Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not
pass away.

The word of Christ, this generation shall not pass away,
limits the time to the destruction of Jerusalem, For that
generation did not pass away till the gospel was fully
preached from Jerusalem, and round about even unto II-
lyricum. — Edit.

32. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the
angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Did not Christ know the day, or the time ? — Yes, but it
was no part of his office when he was in the world to make
it known. Just as St. Paul says, 1 Cor. ii,2, "I determined
not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and
him crucified;" that is, I determined not to speak of any-
thing else.

33. Take ye heed, watch and pray : for ye know not when the
time is.

Christ not only warns us to take heed, but tells us how,
namely, by watching and praying. Have your eye upon
your work under Christ, and upon the time of your death,
as duly as if your life was every moment in danger of being-
surprised. And remember that watching will avail you
nothing, without prayer. Who is a Christian.? He who
watches and prays? Is he who does not watch and pray, no
Christian .'' No, no more than he is in heaven just now. If
this comes home to any one who reads these words, let
it ; and let such an one pray to God to cut him to the heart,
and bring him as an humble believer to Christ for pardon
and salvation. But take notice, tiiat by praying I do not
mean saying, or hearing prayers at church merely, though it

VER. 24 — 37.] ST. MARK. 123

were twice every Sunday : but praying in secret, and with
the heart, at all times, as a beggar does for an alms.

34. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left
his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his
work, and commanded the porter to watch.

The departure of Christ from the world makes us think
as little of him, as if he would never return. And yet
how near may the hour of death, or the hour of his return,
be I Have you ever reflected what your proper work in this
world is ? Do you read the scripture to know what it is .''
Did you ever say to yourselves, I must have faith in Christ,
and possess a faithful heart towards him, or I am undone ?
The porter whom Christ has commanded to watch is the
minister of religion, who is to watch for you, and you are
also to watch for yourselves.

35. Watch ye therefore : for ye know not when the master of the
Louse Cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in
the morning :

We generally show that we are not of Christ's mind,
since we make our ignorance of the time when Christ shall
come to call us away, a reason why we neglect to watch.

36. Lest coming suddenly he find you sleejiing.

If he should come to you this very hour, would not this
indeed be sudden, and a great surprise.'* Most men die
suddenly, let them be overtaken by death whenever they
may, since they do not look for it a day beforehand.
Therefore let us awake out of sleep, and think it high time.

37. And what I say unto you I say imto all. Watch.

Do we think that these words of Christ would take more
clFcct upon us, if we were to hear Clirist himself speak
them ? lie does indeed speak them, even to us at this and
every moment ; he tells us so himself ; I say unto all. Watch.

124 ST. MARK. [chap. XIV.

Chap. xiv. ver. 1 — 9.


1. After two days was the feast of tlie passover, and of unlea-
vened bread : and the chief priests and the scribes sought how thev
iniyht take him by craft, and put him to death.

2. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an u]n-oar
of the people.

These reasonings of Christ's enemies were overruled for
accomplishing the prophecies which went before con-
cerning the death he should die. — Edit.

3. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as
he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of oint-
ment of spikenard very precious ; and she brake the box, and
poured it on his head.

Are you so poor that you have nothing costly to bestow
on the Saviour .'' No. Have you not a heart ? Give him that,
and whatever you do for him will be this box of ointment.
If you could give him the world without it, he would de-
spise both the gift and the giver.

4. And there were some that had indignation within themselves,
and said. Why was this waste of the ointment made P

The best acts of one who is devoted to Christ are liable
to be found fault with, by an envious and graceless
mind. — Edit.

5. For it might have been sold for more than three hundred
pence, and have been given to the poor.

The objection to the act seemed plausible, yet it was not
the real one, but a pretence. Alas ! how often do we en-
deavour to impose on ourselves and on others by feigned
words ! — Edit.

6. And they nmrmuved affainst her.

AER. 1— 9 ] ST. MARK. 125

f). And Jesus said, Let her alone ; wLy trouble ye her ? she
hath wrought a good work on nie.

What are \vc if he cannot say this of us in many in-
stances ? Let, indeed, all the world be angry with us, and
murmur at us, if we do but please Christ.

7. For ye have the jioor with you always, and whensoever ye
will ye rnay do them good :

We may, and ought, and can, if we are but habitually
willing, be always helpful to them.

7, But me ye have not always.

Christ speaks this with respect to his bodily presence
with his disciples. Yet he tells us, that whatever we do for
his sake, he accounts as done to himself. INIatt. xxv. 40.

8. She hath done what she could : she is come aforehand to
anoint my borfy to the burying.

It will be a blessed thing to have this testimony from
Christ. We are all apt to say this of ourselves ; but
there is a day coming that will try us. Let us search out
this matter beforehand. And perhaps we need not go far
for a proof. Have we done all we could to-day ? Have
we prayed to God, through Jesus Christ. Do we make a
habit of praying to God in secret.^ Without this, we may
think what we please, but we do nothing for ourselves, or
for the glory of Christ, or for the promotion of his kino-,
dom ? Our Lord spoke the latter part of the verse for the
apostles. They thougiit not of his death and burial.
They did not choose to understand him upon that head,
though he had mentioned it so often ; and therefore he
takes occasion to remind them of that event. Is not this
generally our own case ? Christ, indeed, speaks plainly
enough. Why then do we con)plain for want of know-
ledge .'^ Why do we not understand him.'* We will not.

9. Verily 1 say unto you, Wheresoever this Gos])el shall be
preached throughout the whole world, tins also that she hath done
shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

126 ST. MARK. [chap. XIV.

Who could have certainly known that this would
be recorded, but Christ ? You may be able to discover
several other traces of Christ's foreknowledge in this chap-

In this woman we have an instance of lively faith in
Christ, and love of him : she grudged no expense to show
her love to the Saviour. Christ applauded her action, and
would have it left upon record, not so much for the costli-
ness of it. but for the love which she therein displayed.
Even the poor widow's mite was a great gift in Christ's
esteem, because he saw the heart from which it came.
He looks at nothing else in us. We are all apt to say, we
have good hearts ; but is the love of Christ in them ? O
let us make our hearts answer this question.


Chap. xiv. ver. 10—25.


10. And .Tudas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief
priests, to betray him unto them.

11. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to
give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently be-
tray him.

Was there never but one Judas in the world ? What are
we, when we let Christ go for the world, or for our own
sins .? Is not this selling him ?

12. And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the
passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go
and prejiare that thou mayest eat the passover ?

13. And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saidi unto

VER. 10— 25. J ST. MARK. 127

iheni. Go ye into tlic city, and there shall meet you a man hear,
ing a pitcher of water: follow him.

14. And wheresoever he shall go in, say yc to the goodman of
the house, The Master sailh, Where is the gucstchamher, where
I shall eat the passover with my disciples ?

15. And lie will shew you a large U])per room furnished and
prepared : there make ready for us.

16. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and
found as he had said unto them : and they made ready the pass-

As the disciples found as Jesus had said unto them, so
shall we, in all that he has pnmiised, if we will receive
it and obey him ; if not, we shall find it in all that he hath

In these verses we have another proof of the divine fore-
knowledge of Jesus Christ, in his foretelling the disciples
exactly how everything would fall.

17. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.

18. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily,! say unto
you. One of you which eateth vvith me shall betray me.

Our sins betrayed Christ first, else Judas could not liave
done it. There is a terrible sting in these words, " One of
you which eateth with me." Let the false-hearted Chris-
tian think of them.

19. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one
by one. Is it I ? and another said, Is it I ?

liCt us put this question to ourselves. Let each one of
us ask, do I pretend to be a disciple of Christ ? and do I
yet betray and crucify him by my sinfulness and unbelief.'*

20. And he answered and said unto them. It is one of the
twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.

21. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him : but
woe to that man by whom llie Son of man is betrayed ! good were
it for that man if he had never been born.

Judas would have a sorer punislnnent than others ; but
the woe belongs, more or less, to all that are like ])im.


22. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and
brake it, and gave to them, anp said. Take, eat : this is my body.

To this command, take, eat, alas ! how many, in effect,
too frequently say we will not : and not a few always re-
fuse ; even of those who say that they do all they can.

23. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he
gave it to them : and they all drank of it.

24. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the New
Testament, which is shed for many.

Each of the expressions, This is ray body. This is my
blood, signifies the token of remission, through my body
broken, and blood shed ; of union with me, and newness
of life in virtue of it. This is a sacramental eating and
drinking. I can never believe that those persons have
anything to do with Christ, who carelessly and frequently
turn away from the sacrament of the supper of the Lord.

25. Verily I say unto you, I will diiuk no more of the fruit of
the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of

We shall know what this means, if we are accounted
worthy to sit down with Christ in his kingdom.

Chap. xiv. ver. 26 — 42.


26. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the
mount of Olives.

27. And Jesus saith unto them. All ye shall be offended because
of me this night : for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and
the sheep shall be scattered.

VER. 26 — 42.] ST. MARK. 129

28. But after thai T am risen, T will go before you into Galilee.

He does not say he will forsake them for ever, for de-
serting him ; he knew their eyes would soon be opened. So
he bears with us while there is hope. Let us not abuse
his patience, but meet him as the apostles did, according to
his appointment.

29. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended,
yet will not I.

Here again was man''s confidence, and man's strength.
We shall presently see what will follow this resolution of

30. And Jesus saith unto him. Verily I say unto thee, That this
day, even in this night, before tlic cock crow twice, thou shalt deny
me thrice.

It may seem strange that Peter thus forewarned as he
was, should not be proof against the temptation, and stand
fast when he heard the cock crow. Alas ! no ; he could not
stand, nor shall we, if we neglect the means here prescribed,
and sleep as he did, when we are charged to watch !

Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 9 of 39)