Matthew

J. N. Darby.

<45009E> 109 {file section a.}

(Notes and Comments Vol. 5.)

Emmanuel, Jehovah the Saviour, Messiah, but rejected and cast out, and His presence then in Israel, the Church, and Kingdom in glory take the place of. In Matthew 8, Jehovah to the Jews - grace, for faith, to the Gentiles, and bearing Israel's sorrows - but the Son of man has not where to lay His head - companion of His disciples, though seemingly asleep in the ship. He went with the godly Remnant to John Baptist. But note here, that in Luke it is not "When he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them," but when all the people were baptised, He also is baptised. He throws Himself in among them when so manifested. In the case of the sheep (John 10), He is going out. It is not so marked in Matthew. But this is that it is the Remnant, in contrast with the Pharisees and Sadducees, are accepted - the feeble Remnant that had been astray, now returning, making ready a people - those, the generation of vipers. The Jews rush to ruin - the world will not receive Him. Matthew 9 has been noted. Here we have, as all this is grace, Matthew 8, His Person, chapter 9, the character of His service. When the Pharisees blaspheme the continuation of grace (v. 34) they are taken no notice of; and praying the Lord of the harvest is our path, and, in this mind, He sends out (chap. 10) His labourers in Israel, and it continues. Matthew 10 divides at verse 14; verse 23, "Till the Son of man be come" (Church time, properly speaking, and Gentiles are passed over). Matthew 11 we have had pretty fully, only the testimony of grace is practically closed and rejected, both as to John and Christ, and Christ remains alone as Son unknown, revealing the Father, and to Him the weary are to come, as revealing the Father, and lowly and meek in heart, in obedience Himself. Hence the seal of the covenant is dealt with, the generation disowned and judged - its last estate the power of Satan. Christ disowns His natural connection in flesh with Israel, and owns only those who are His by the Word. This brings in Matthew 13, often spoken of.

In the end of Matthew 13 we find the rejection of Christ by His own country; and, in Matthew 14, the actual cutting off of John by Herod. Then we have the actual presence of Christ Jehovah, the Church viewed as to position, on His return, and His return to the world, i.e., satisfies the poor with bread. Then Peter walks on the water to meet Him out of the ship. Then He is fully received where He was rejected.

110 In Matthew 15, we find the whole moral condition, and ground of relationship with God, reasoned out. Ritual, traditional tradition wholly worthless and vain. All that the Father had not planted would be rooted up. It was the blind leading the blind - both would fall into the ditch. Then the heart of man - what came out of it. Then over and paramount to dispensational curse (Canaan), hardened state (Tyre and Sidon), God's heart beyond mere faithfulness to promise - a beautiful and blessed picture - we have the selfishness of man's heart, disregarding even promise, in the disciples. Then the continuation of grace to the Remnant in God's supremacy above their evil, not twelve - human administrative perfection - but seven, what is spiritual, above failure in man. Then the Church, which Christ builds on the confession of His being the Son of the living God, and the disciples are forbidden to say any more that He is the Christ. (Note Christ is the Builder, and the Church is not built yet.) Then the keys of the Kingdom of heaven are given to Peter, and the power of binding and loosing. The Lord's followers must take up the Cross too, for their souls' sake and for the glory's sake. Then, Matthew 17, the Kingdom of glory is revealed (we have not the going into the cloud, i.e., the heavenly part of it, as in Luke) but the Son of man must suffer. The disciples cannot use the power. Christ will soon go, but till then grace and power are exercised for the need of faith, as before. But He insists on rejection and resurrection. He is Son of the Lord of the Temple, and Peter with Him - but "We will not offend"; He is divine in knowledge, but submits, as a present thing, to Judaism - is divine in power, and disposes of creation, but "That take . . . for me and thee," identifying now the disciples with Himself in Spirit.

In Matthew 18 we find the spirit in which the disciples are to walk on the new ground on which they were set as to judging themselves, their own spirit and towards others; and here we get Christ's presence in the midst of two or three, taking the place of the synagogue as the sphere of discipline, and exclusion from the place of blessing. Finally, the spirit they were to be of developed in forgiveness. I have no doubt the unforgiving servant depicts (though a general principle) the Jewish people rejecting grace in their own spirit.

111 In Matthew 19 we find certain great elements of the principles of the new power brought into the world by redemption, and its connection with nature as God formed it, and man's actual estate, and the world, in which even the Law gets put on its full ground. First, God's natural order is owned and maintained in its binding character. Moses and Law adapted to men was no rule here. From the beginning it was not so. What was in the beginning was of God. That remains good. But a power has come in which takes a man out of the whole course and order of mere nature, vv. 11, 12. Nature is owned, but spiritual power can raise above nature. So children presenting the confidence, and simplicity, and absence of evil lusts as to manifestation, present an object cherished by the Lord. But, in its actual and best forms, nature is really but sin and alienation from God. One comes who outwardly had kept the Law. The Lord first rejects all good in man - "Why callest thou me good? There is none good . . . but God." But there is an ordained way of entering into life (the young man had said eternal life, the Lord not) keeping the commandments. Then the Lord takes the ground of the entire surrender of self, and following Him. This detects the lust which the Law, as spiritual, brings to light. The upright, law-keeping man preferred his possessions to Christ. This tested his heart, his state. It was alienated from God presented in grace in Christ; and this was the real question as to being saved; hence it is impossible with men, but with God all things are possible. Then comes actual dispensational dealings. In the Kingdom - the regeneration, when the new state of things would be come in in power - those who had given up all would be on their thrones, and would have everlasting life, besides a hundredfold for all given up. Only the apparently most forward here might be last in the end, for we must act by grace, not take reward as a motive, though given as encouragement when all was given up for Christ. God does what He will with His own. We must trust Him, and labour. Agreement may get its penny (so dealt God with the Jews) faith gets according to the heart of God, and as He is minded to set people. This parable corrects what might be falsely taken out of the doctrine of reward. Further, it is ordained of God, "Given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father." Christ only took the lowly place, and the Cross, not the patronage in His Kingdom. It was a divine ordinance, and sovereign grace by which any place was attained - not Messiah giving places in His Kingdom, but what belonged to the new, in revelation and eternal counsels of God, founded on the Cross, and in connection with the Father. They must accordingly learn to walk in lowliness. Then Matthew 20:29 begins the history of the end.

112 The character of Matthew is not only transitional, but it seems to me preparatory, i.e., it looks, though disclosing other things, to the coming in of the Kingdom, and speaks, and gives directions to the disciples on the supposition of its coming in in power, and that as a proximate thing. This is a very important principle; see chapters 10, 18, and even 13 and 15.

Note, the beginning of Matthew is exceedingly interesting too in its order - Messiah, the Christ, and the Kingdom, and this giving place, on rejection by the people, to the Son of man suffering, and the Kingdom in mystery. But first we have the genealogy to David and Abraham. Thereupon we have the two titles of excellency (in connection with Judaism) - Emmanuel, God with us, and then the Christ of promise, the King; and the Gentiles come to own Him in Israel. But thereon, the false king seeks His ruin, and, rejected, He recommences the new history of Israel, as God's Son called out of Egypt, and, on His return, He is a Nazarene from His brethren, and is in Galilee despised. Then John Baptist comes to announce judgment, and the Kingdom, as messenger before the Lord's face, and calls to repentance because the Kingdom was near. Christ then takes place with the godly Remnant, according to Psalm 16, who own God's testimony - though more fit to baptise than be baptised, but thus both He and John accomplished righteousness in their place from God But what profound and touching humiliation! But, in this place, the heavens opened on Him - He is sealed of the Holy Ghost, and the Father owns Him as the Son. Thereon He takes the place of temptation for His people, in the endurance of the Spirit, and use of the Word by which man lives, and binds the strong man, returns and spoils his goods, calls disciples, heals the sick, cleanses lepers, casts out demons, and then, Matthew 5-7, gives the principles of His Kingdom. I add further what is not noticed, in what follows. In Matthew 8 He proves Himself Jehovah in grace, of Himself, yet takes the ground of simple submission to the law of Moses. But then the outgoing of the Kingdom from Israel is evident - there was more faith in a Gentile, and the children of the Kingdom would be cast out, and many come from East and West, and North and South, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of heaven. He identifies Himself with the sorrows and sicknesses of Israel (as indeed ours) but is utterly rejected, and as Son of man has not where to lay His head, but followed in giving up all and relinquishing every tie. Storms, and all might arise, He could rest in peace, sleeping in the ship - rest among men He had never - and surely His disciples were in absolute safety with Him. Still divine power having delivered those most under the power of Satan, the unclean (figure of Israel rejecting Christ, and rejected) rush headlong into ruin. Such a Christ the country would not have. The Lord was too near them.

113 In the ninth chapter we have Christ, the Jehovah of Psalm 103, who forgives sins and heals infirmities, but receives publicans, in grace and power; ministering in no way to the present pride of the Jewish self-righteousness, and, in not following their ways, shows the serious truth that the new wine of divine power and work could not be put into old battles. Galled to heal the dying daughter of His people, it is shown that whoever has faith is healed by virtue in Him, and then He raises the dead child, as in God's eyes, not dead but sleeping, and to be raised though dead indeed as to state and fact. Verse 27 begins rather another subject. The Lord shows His power to Jewish faith, according to the position He presented Himself in. He gives eyes and tongue to His blind and dumb people. The Pharisees blaspheme, but He continues His work in grace, without taking notice of them, because the harvest was great, and desires the disciples to seek that the Lord of the harvest would raise up labourers, and thereupon He sends out His Apostles into the field (Israel) only as Himself, and then, and authoritatively, securing all they needed, and themselves in it. In this chapter we have therefore a full exposé of the ministry of those sent of the Lord in Israel, as such, from beginning to end - their sufferings, relationships with Gentiles, and effect of ministry, power of the Spirit, or rather inspiration, but all in Israel. It is an important chapter in this respect.

In Matthew 11 He discusses His relationship with John, gives instead of receiving testimony from him (John, coming individually, owns Him on His own testimony) and then the reception, or rather rejection of John and Himself - there was no heart to enter into the testimony of the Lord by them - and reproaches the cities which had seen His miracles with their unbelief. He submits to the sovereignty of the Father in revealing it to babes and hiding it from the wise and prudent - His spirit agreed to it, His soul submitted to it. And thereon His glory opens out to view. It was not simply Messiah, but the same before the rejected Messiah was: All things delivered to the Son by the Father, and no one knew Him, and no one knew the Father but He, and He to whom He should reveal Him. The Jews ought to have received their Messiah, and recognised Him who spake and wrought as never man did; but the truth was, what He was was entirely out of their sphere of apprehension. He alone could reveal the Father. His glory thus shining out, on His rejection, in its true full character, which they did not understand at all, He takes the place of full and tender grace towards need and weariness. In chapter 11 we have the rejected Son of David as Son of man, Lord of the Sabbath, and, in grace, liberty to do good. This broke, as to title, the covenant with the Jews, of which the Sabbath was sign. But He is there in meekness, and unobtrusiveness, till He send forth judgment, and the Gentiles should trust in Him, and the renewed blasphemy of the Pharisees is now depicted in its true colours. Jonah, or rather Nineveh, would condemn the nation; the queen of the south would condemn them. The unclean spirit (of idolatry) which going out had left the house empty, would return with worse ones, and the Jews be worse than ever. And the Lord disclaims all natural tie, and owns only those who do His Father's will which was in heaven. Then He begins the explanation of His service as Sower.

114 Matthew 1

With regard to questions that have been raised: Matthew omits three kings between Joram and Uzziah (Ozias). As regards the pretended confusion through the term Ozias, there is not a shadow of ground for it. In the list in Chronicles there is no kind of similarity in the names.

Matthew makes Joseph take the young child and His mother into Egypt. Luke makes them return to Nazareth in Galilee, when they had presented Him in the Temple. Note, there is nothing to prove the same time. The magi may have come later as is probable, for Herod killed from two years and under, according to the time he had diligently (accurately) enquired - this, or Luke's usual passing over events and time.

115 As to Matthew's and Luke's account of the birth of the Lord - first, in the brief accounts given, we find nothing but what bears on particular points which the Holy Ghost had in view. There is nothing more opposite to the intention of the Gospels than what is called a harmony. They treat different characters of Christ, and what bears on that is given, and all give a very small part indeed of His history. This produces difficulties which are attached to our ignorance of a multitude of connecting links. Often facts having the same moral bearing are put together, especially in Luke, with entire indifference as to date. The moral point is all that is sought. That the event happened before or after, is all one, nay, the historical order is neglected to maintain the moral, or distant events linked together without notice of interval, if bearing morally one on another. This is the general method of Luke, and is invaluable for our instruction. In reading the account in Luke's Gospel of the interval between the ascension and the resurrection, an unbeliever would at once take it for continuing, and that the leading out to Bethany was the day of His resurrection, and the ignorance of Luke, and the absence of inspiration proved by the contradiction of other Gospels. Now, in this case, we have the proof of the contrary at hand. Luke knew perfectly, if we look at him as a human writer, that there was an interval, and so true is this that he is the only one who gives the fact that forty days elapsed before the Saviour left the earth. But the simple truth is, this was not the Spirit's object in the Gospel - it was in the Acts. But we learn here that such a bringing of events together proves nothing of what it is alleged to prove.

Now, as to the passages in question. There is no proof whatever that it was at the time of His birth that Jesus was found of the magi. He had been born at Bethlehem. It is evident that at the time of His birth the star appeared, for Herod had enquired of the wise men the time. The star had disappeared (it is generally supposed it led them - this is a mistake, for they rejoiced greatly when they saw it again). What time elapsed before they set out, no one knows. Time was spent, clearly, in their journey from the East; and Herod, who had exactly enquired of them, slays all "from two years old and under." No doubt he would make assurance doubly sure - still "all from two years old and under." If there was only a month run out, or not, even that seems out of measure: so that nothing would show that they were not returned to Bethlehem at some feast. The only argument alleged is the enquiry where He should be born, but this merely is the natural enquiry on having seen His nascent star, and they would seek Him at His own city; so that He might have been in Galilee and come back. And note here, I have nothing to do with proving this to be true, but merely that it is possible, because, if it is possible, there is no contradiction; if any supposition renders possible that the two accounts subsist, there is evidently no contradiction, for they may in that case have both been true. It is important to remember this. The infidel argument is not that it was not so, but that it could not be so. Now if I prove it could, the argument of the infidel is good for nothing. Now it is clear that Jesus could have gone into Galilee and come back. The "When Jesus was born," in our English translation, is nothing - it is literally, "Jesus having been born."

116 But the truth is, while I see no proof whatever that the visit of the magi was immediate, yet from the universal character of Luke's Gospel, I am disposed to consider probable that all the account of Matthew is left out as not to his purpose, and that when he has shown the accomplishment of the Law in the Temple, he passes over at once to the moral continuation of Jesus' life, without touching on what referred to His position as Jewish King and taking the place of all Israel. When the ordinances were accomplished in the temple, the youth of Jesus begins in Galilee. The royal flight into Egypt had nothing to do with this - it was a parenthesis in His moral history. We have a case exactly analogous in Luke 4:13, 14. All John 2 and 3, come in between. But this was not the Holy Ghost's subject in Luke. The proof is found in Mark 1:14, and John 3:24. Biography is not a gospel. In each Gospel is the mighty and unfailing purpose of the Spirit of God.

Matthew 2

Already in the first two chapters we have the position of the Lord characterising all the Gospel - Son of David and Abraham, for the promises, but Jehovah the Saviour, Emmanuel, but, a Root out of a dry ground, going to Nazareth and a Nazarene; expected in the world where a star appears, but hated and rejected of Israel, and called out of Egypt to begin afresh; His personal position in Israel, and then the general relationship.

117 Matthew 3

- 16. Note there is no revelation of an object to Jesus for His faith, when He begins His ministry or public life before God. He receives power as Man (anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power) the testimony to Him giving the consciousness of being the Object of the Father's delight, or at least the public witness to that of which He was conscious; Luke 2:49. The testimony was afforded that He was the Object, but no object was presented to Him. He saw the Holy Ghost descending on Him, as did John; and He knew of the voice; John 5:37. This is a characteristic difference between the Lord's faith and ours. He was witness of, and leaned on, His Father, but we have an object of faith in Him, which occupies and sustains us. His was communion and dependence, ours objective withal, and we need it. He spake what He knew and testified what He had seen (it is what we needed) but it was not a Paul at Damascus, nor a Stephen stoned, nor the twelve accompanying Him as far as Bethany. Whatever association Jesus may put Himself in with us, He has ever His own place. How perfect is it!

I connect verses 16, 17, and John 15:26, in that we see the Trinity in their respective places in the divine dealings in grace in both; Christianity now, and so far as in Christ personally here - there heaven is opened to Christ when He takes His place among the Remnant, i.e., men wrought in by God. The Holy Ghost descends on Him as Man. He is sealed and anointed, and the Father's voice owns Him Son in whom He is well pleased. There He stood alone. But the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are all revealed, each in their respective place. But He, on whom the Holy Ghost descended and abode, was to baptise with the Holy Ghost. Then we get a new order in this economy of grace. In Matthew, the Son is below as Man, to form man's place in His own Person, not only being Son, but the Father revealed as owning Him, as such, as Man down here, and Man in His Person sealed and anointed - Man with the heavens opened to Him down here, owned of and connected with them. In John 15, the Holy Ghost comes down, sent by the glorified Man in heaven, to dwell in those who believe, by Him who has all power in heaven and earth to reveal, the whole truth of that glory, and where it put man in and out of Christ, the world, and who was its prince, and the Head of the new order and place of man as the fruit of redemption. The Holy Ghost is sent by the glorified Man, the Son. He is the glorified Man, and the Head of economical authority. But He sends Him from the Father. It is not a kind of independent thing, though now the glorified Man, as ever in John - the Father has His own blessed place. The Holy Ghost is sent by Christ - a wonderful place for man! The Holy Ghost, so to speak, takes up the service part, but from the Father - He comes or goes forth from the Father. So, connecting us with Him, He testifies of Christ in this place, but we are in immediate association with the Father. He not only is sent from the Father (para tou patros) but He goes forth (ekporeuetai) from the Father, i.e., besides the economical authority of Christ, we have immediate fellowship with the Father through the Holy Ghost as come from Him. Sending from the Father is Christ's place - a wonderful place! But His going forth from the Father is connected with the Father Himself. It is the glorified Christ, and He is the Truth. So the Spirit, so coming, is the Spirit of truth, and is even said to be the Truth. Men, though informed by the Holy Ghost (John 14) were the personal witnesses of what Christ was down here - a human picture, though divinely given - but the Holy Ghost Himself carries on the service of revealing Christ in glory, as so sent by Him to make Him known; but then this puts us in immediate relationship with the Father. With this we must connect John 1:33, and Acts 2:3, and John 7:39.

118 We may note that it is His public position as Son, not His birth - He is publicly owned - such is His place. The principle of humble but perfect and simple obedience, which follows in the Temptation, is only so much the more remarkable.

I find great beauty and instruction in the connection of the end of this chapter and the beginning of chapter 4. The Lord takes His place with His people, the Remnant then of Israel under the influence of grace, though He stands alone in the present realisation in both cases of the consequence. They, under that influence, go to John, and, though of course He needed no repentance, in Him it was fulfilling righteousness, like John's ministry, as He says, in lowliness, "It becometh us." Yet in that first right step He goes with them; as soon as He takes this place heaven is opened, the Holy Ghost descends on Him, the perfectly applicable Man, and the Father's voice owns Him as the Son in whom He is well pleased. Man, though only then in His Person, is brought into that place. It is His place as Man before God - that into which He brings us; though, for that, redemption must come in. No doubt we shall have it fully in heaven; but this is the position man is brought into, and brought into on earth, manifested in Him before God even His Father. Then He, and still all alone, to deliver us, as all alone there in this place before God, takes our place (at least the place we are brought into when associated with Him) in respect of conflict in this world with the power of evil; only He had to begin and accomplish the work Himself. Still it is the conflict in which we have to overcome, and in the same way. In both respects with God (Father) and with Satan, He takes the place as Man, only perfect, into which we are brought, and in which we have to walk and act. This is most lovely and precious.

119 But besides Christ's standing as the Model of blessing in man, and there overcoming for us, we have, through His taking His place as Man, a full revelation of the Trinity, and that in, and in connection with, man through Christ's becoming one, and His being perfect. He was the Son, the Holy Ghost descends and abides on Him, and the Father's voice then must make itself heard, owning this Man to be His own beloved Son. This is a wonderful development of the counsels of God, and of grace in counsel.

The testimony of John the baptist I have not sufficiently noticed. The general testimony is known - repentance, for the Kingdom of heaven was at hand, and they were baptised, confessing their sins. The spurious righteousness of the Pharisees, and the selfish infidelity of the Sadducees, are alike utterly rejected. God must have realities; all repent, fruits showing the reality. The plea of privilege by descent disowned, however true - the individual state was in question; for God was coming to deal with souls and His vineyard. Sovereign grace withal belonged to Him. He could of stones make real children of Abraham. The axe withal was laid to the root of the trees. It was not warning and forbearance - the time of divine dealing was come. Judgment was there at the door. If a tree did not bear good fruit, it was to be hewn down and cast into the fire. This was individual. But then comes in the revelation of Him that was to judge, the Person whom John preceded; he baptised with water to repentance, but One mightier was coming, He would baptise with the Holy Ghost. This was blessing and liberty, the promise of joy fulfilled, but also, with judgment, sifting, and purifying if true life was there, everlasting punishment if only evil; but, in general, judgment. Power and joy, and judgment. Further, there was that which was not individual; He was going thoroughly to purge His floor, the Jewish floor, gather the wheat, the true Remnant, into His garner - at the time into the Church down here, but really the heavenly garner (the 'here' being temporary, and the calling heavenly) finally in every sense so, and the chaff utterly and finally judged, the difference completely and finally made.

120 Matthew 4

Privilege, trial, in obedience (according to that place), service, and then others called to serve; but here absolute, essential perfection in all. And, in the call, nothing dependent on previous qualification according to man: "Follow me, and I will make you," etc. (v. 19) was the secret of this service and calling. So, "They followed him"; compare John 12: 26.

- 13. Compare Luke 5 and Mark 1. It is to be remarked that Jesus, having left Nazareth, came to dwell at Capernaum, and the four disciples already knew Him from John's baptism and heeded His word. The Lord's walking by the sea was no unusual thing. It is also to be remarked that in Mark the call is before His going into the synagogue, and healing Simon's wife's mother - in Luke, the miraculous draught is after, though, in general, they have the same order of events. The circumstances are quite different. In Luke, the Lord was sitting in the ship after teaching the multitude out of it. Matthew's and Mark's object, and the Holy Ghost's there, was only to give the broad fact itself, that the four disciples left their business of fishing at that time, and followed Jesus in His labour and ministry, which He began at that time formally in Capernaum. I suppose then that Jesus, dwelling at that time at Capernaum, walked by the seaside when they were actually fishing, two of them, the others mending their nets, and that He called them, and they left their nets and followed Him. After this, He went into the synagogue and taught, cast out the demon, went into Simon's house and healed his mother. After this, very likely when He had been preaching some time about Galilee, the multitude were pressing on Him to hear the Word, and He entered into Simon's ship, and told him to thrust out from the shore, and then happened what is related in Luke, and they finally and wholly left all, and wholly attached themselves to Him in His ministry, and did nothing else. In Luke, the account is after preaching in other towns around.

121 Matthew 5

The manner in which the attraction of multitudes gives occasion to the exposition of the principles of the Kingdom is remarkable; and how profoundly new in Israel must that instruction have been! And, as they said, what a character of authority it carries with it! And I add now, does inspiration in the communication of it shine through it! Yet after all, however sweet and perfect are the instructions of the Lord, and surely they are, still it is Himself that has the real attractive power, and which commands the soul.

With this chapter compare Deuteronomy 14 and Galatians 3.

- 12. This verse shows clearly, I think, a heavenly place held out (and in connection with the coming Kingdom) when the Church is not yet thought of, for so verses 17, 18, look to the change of dispensation from O-lam ha-zeh (the present age) to O-lam ha-ba (the age to come) not having yet come. But it is a new position, as waiting for it, the Remnant - disciples as distinct from the multitude. But then the Kingdom of heaven is looked on as carrying the true character of God's children, as revealed in Christ, with it. This is the revelation of it - what suits the Kingdom. Nor is the result in power yet come in (vv. 45-48) but the revelation of the Father's name, through the Son's being there, is very striking. But it is connected with goodness, and secret communion, or prayer at least.

Matthew 6

The prayer taught the disciples by the Lord, is clearly the prayer of the Remnant, but it is not for the Kingdom of the Son of David as such, and supposes, like the Beatitudes, heaven. The Father's kingdom is looked for, which is the heavenly part spoken of in chapter 13, the earthly part being called the Kingdom of the Son of man. It is to be remarked, it is all for the wants of him who prays, and those in like position, as associated in the same place - "Our," no individuality, and no intercession, nor in this the love and power of the Spirit, but common wants, of course perfect in the expression of them. They are contrasted with the Gentiles. But these are everlasting principles of righteousness, not in merely dispensational questions. God's righteousness, not here justifying, but moral principles accordant with His nature.

122 It is also worthy of note, that though the Father is addressed in heaven, yet the petitions in the Lord's prayer refer all to earth. The desires are holy; the utmost desire is that the Father's Kingdom may come. Heavenly influence owned, a heavenly Father's Name hallowed, but no heavenly hope. Heaven is looked to to bring its influence on earth, to give it its character, but no taking man up there (the doxology has no fit sense). It is assumed that God's will is done, and perfectly, in heaven, and it is desired that it may be so on earth. It allies itself perfectly to chapter 24. It is the time evil is in the world (not Adam in Paradise, even in thought), but the desire that it may be gone out of it. Luke is more personal: Father, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; give us our needed food for each day; and forgive us our sins, for we forgive every one indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation. This is personal, as to the Father, and personal need as to us, not a Remnant dispensational thing as Matthew ever. We have His name hallowed (in the personal relationship) His kingdom to come, then for us our personal daily wants met, forgiveness for we forgive, and avoiding being tested by God - a terrible thing, used where humbling and self-knowledge are needed. That is all.

Matthew 7

- 6. This is a very remarkable passage. It is not the largeness and universality of the Gospel, yet always to be observed. There is no reference to the Holy Ghost here, no asking for it; but judgment is in verse 19.

- 19. This verse shows the Lord's words to be preparatory to another state of things, as, indeed, verse 20, too.

- 24, et seq. Doing is the rock here. There is therefore that which is intrinsic, as entering into that which God is setting up - the state of man's heart with God, or in itself rather as seen of Him.

123 The Father is referred to, but the child is on earth, and no question of the Holy Ghost, or Christ at God's right hand, but the Father's kingdom is referred to as coming, and some of them being in heaven; all associated with God revealed fully to the soul, but not the Holy Ghost, nor a rent veil. And if some may be in heaven, the earth is to be inherited. Purity of heart, and goodness without motive, but reference of heart to a Father, and derived from Him. It is perfectly clear that what is said of the Law has nothing to do with our fulfilling it. It is its authority, like the Prophets, whatsoever it said was to be made good, not set aside. Christ did not come setting up another system which condemned that, but made it good, and all it said would be made good in one way or another; but it supposes its passing away when it was fulfilled, and another system, the Kingdom of heaven, set up. Only the principles announced are generally eternal, as connected with man as he ought to be before God, or God's original institutions, though much applies to Israel's then state, passing into the Kingdom, but that which is yet to come.

Matthew 8

In this chapter we have Christ's Person, and in chapter 9, His principles of grace. So, in chapter 11, we have His Person rejected in Israel, as John's, but set up as Son of God who alone could give rest, and in chapter 12, being such, and so setting aside Jewish legalism, it becomes the rejection of Israel. In fact (chap. 11) His rejection opens out grace in His Person. Chapter 12 is in judgment on the nation, but this on the blasphemy of the Spirit. But in chapter 12 He is Son of man; in chapter 11 He is Son of God. Yet He is greater than the Temple in chapter 12. Chapters 8-12 complete the Gospel properly speaking. Chapters 14 and 15 are actual dealings with Israel, according to the principles previously shown. Chapter 13 was His real service - sowing, not fruit-seeking, and the Kingdom as it is. Chapter 17 is in the glory.

- 1-13. Though this be divine, and the second part go beyond the limits of Judaism, it does not go beyond the Kingdom. And note, here we have authority for regarding the coming Kingdom as the Kingdom of heaven, though developed into the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son of man as the heavenly and earthly part.

124  - 2. The Lord shows Himself above the Law in grace, in touching the leper; according to the Law, He would have been defiled in doing it.

- 6, et seq. This grace extends itself to the Gentiles, where there is faith.

- 11. The general truth in this verse is clear - the admission of the Gentiles into the Kingdom of heaven, and the exclusion of the Jews. But the question arises how and when are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob seen in the Kingdom. We must compare Luke 13:28, 29, which is more general.

- 14. He is still in the midst of the Jews sympathising with them, and bearing their infirmities.

- 19, et seq. He is in the lowest place on the earth, and in order to follow Him there, one has to abandon all alike. He is the Lord who disposes of winds and sea. The end of the chapter shows the condition of the Jews in contrast with the Remnant.

We have here, before the historical dealings with Israel, an introductory display of the power come in, and its effect. It was Jehovah cleansing the leper or leprosy in Israel, and sending the cleansed one to the priests. It was, since it was Jehovah, that which reached over, in power, the limits of Israel, and showed that, while Gentiles would come in from East and West, the children of the Kingdom would be thrust out. Next, He was come down in gracious participation in all their sorrows and infirmities, but hence, withal, having no place amongst men, but in the midst of the tossings and heavings through which those, who were content to identify themselves with this rejected One for His own sake, must pass. They were secure by that very fact in all being in the same boat with Him who was there in divine power and counsels, however low He might be come. This was the place of the Remnant. As to the nations, they would turn Him away, but Israel, left to the power of Satan would rush, as unclean, headlong into destruction. Such is the whole history of the coming of Messiah, Jehovah Jesus. Note here we have not the man sent back to tell of the power which had healed him, for it is the ministry of the Lord which is pointed out, and its course, reception, and effect. Hence this is the moral connection of these events, in order to present the moral history of the Lord's presenting Himself. In Mark 4:35, we have the historical time of it, I apprehend. This chapter is therefore in a certain sense complete in itself.

125 We have then, in this chapter, very distinctly, first the power in which Jesus was present in Israel as Jehovah Messiah, reaching out to Gentiles, and, rejected, leading to rejection of the children of the Kingdom, and this presence in grace and kindness to all their sorrows. Next, the position in which this rejection would place those who would follow Him - He seeming to neglect them too, but in truth secured by His security as associated with them. Next, the power of Satan nullified by a word, but the effect on Israel as rejecting Him (in the swine) and the quiet influence of Satan by the spirit of the world depriving them for ever of His presence.

Matthew 9

In this chapter it is grace - forgiveness, and reception of sinners made good by power. The result is then taught as to the nation, individual faith, final deliverance, when all was over as to nature. Then, the character of His sight and speech giving power to Israel - and the result in the Pharisees - in the patience of grace. Chapter 8 is more external, this more internal. However He is the Messiah and Jehovah who pardons and who heals upon earth. He was come in grace. He was there in mercy - a Source of joy as the Bridegroom with His friends, but who was going to be taken away from them, and the new things could not suit the old. But He gave life, and meantime those who had faith found it already. He gives sight to the blind, as Son of David to Israel, and, acting in grace, He again passes over the blasphemies of the Pharisees. But the mission of His disciples is a final testing of Israel. The nature of His presence is fully discussed and set forth.

In this chapter we have (as in chapter 8, the Person so acting) the ways of the Lord in Israel, acting in grace as above all sin, forgiveness and healing according to Psalm 103. Then His coming down in goodness to sinners, not requiring them to come up to God in light but coming out to them where they were. But here, note, the veil is yet unrent. The Law required from man what man's conduct ought to be, if he was to subsist as man even on earth in divine acceptance and favour; redemption and the death of Christ rends the veil, and puts away sin for God's presence, and enables us to enter into the holiest by the new and living way, through the veil, but we have to walk in the light as God is in the light, and wrath from heaven is revealed against the whole state of man, enmity against God; sin takes its true character as opposed to God's nature, as the breach of His Law in its acts. The true light now shines. But Christ as alive on earth, and present in Israel, was neither of them exactly. The veil was not rent, nor did He come requiring anything in man as Law rightly did. He veiled His divine glory in flesh, but was Light in the world, and was Love. But it was not God remaining hidden behind the veil where man could not come, but God come down to man in goodness, requiring nothing, but, as above sin, bringing goodness to man in it, and proving by mercy and power to man, under its effects in government, that He was there who could forgive the cause of it too. The Son of man could forgive sins. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them. Still the veil unrent hid God come in grace - hiding Godhead in humiliation to bring grace to sinners. He brings goodness to man, requires nothing. But this, in the power of that which He was bringing in, could not be put in the old bottles of the Law, or of human nature fitting itself for God - ordinances to quiet a troubled conscience, and eke out man's want of intrinsic righteousness. New wine must be put in new bottles. Christianity must be itself. The Bridegroom was there, looking at Messiahship. But besides that, the incoming power could not be attached to the old system - one was trying and ekeing out man, the other revealing God. Next, the Lord was coming really, when He restored it, to find Israel dead. But they were not accounted dead till they had put Christ to death. But He had to bring them really to life by divine power. But, as to dealings on the way, and whoever touched the hem of His garment was made whole, when all human means could not hinder the progress towards death, virtue, divine power, went out of Him. The effect is eyes to the blind to see, the deaf ear unstopped, the dumb mouth opened, the devil's power gone. This brings out the blasphemy of the Pharisees, that He casts out devils by Beelzebub; but judgment is not what we have here (as in chapter 12), but grace, and He, only as seeing the multitude scattered as sheep without a shepherd, is moved with compassion towards them, and the harvest is plenteous, the labourers few. The effect of the perception of evil, and the evil estate, say of the Church (then of Israel) is only to show that grace which is above the evil, for that is what we see here - grace in every case above the evil. And you cannot get a state of things which grace, the grace that is in Christ, is not suited to, and, note, which in grace does not draw out the gracious consideration, and grace in power suited to the need. This is very gracious and very precious. Remark how complete the statement is, and how the grace is above all the evil, for all this is grace.

127 32-39. There is an instructive testimony here to the Lord's ways. The Pharisees attribute the Lord's miracles to Beelzebub, as in chapter 12, but here, instead of telling the end of the nation in judgment, He goes on through the cities and villages, and, seeing the multitude, is moved with compassion, and even sends out His disciples to call to repentance. The evil, the same evil, the one not to be pardoned, was there, but there was still room for the operation of grace, and, while this can have place, He moves on in the sense of man's need (Mark) and His own love. The point of departure is from Himself in service, and while the door is open, His heart is, and moved only by the desolation in which He sees the multitude, through their chiefs' evil. This is instruction for us in these last days. Yea! even when He pronounces judgment, He continues in sovereign goodness, though then bringing out the evil, and ground of judgment, controversially, and showing what was to replace His present rejected service. But here the state of things draws out His love, quod nota.

Matthew 10

The distinction at verses 15, 16, is plainer than ever to me. To the end of verse 15, it is the presence of Emmanuel upon earth, disposing of everything on earth for those He sends out; compare Luke 22:35-37. From verse 16 the Lord is away, and they are left to the effects of the Cross themselves. In the first fifteen verses we have a divine Person dealing in grace with the Remnant in Israel - seeking them; afterwards, the Spirit with sheep among wolves - hostile, Gentile rulers - three against two, and two against three in one house - hated of all men, and enduring to the end, but cared for, and that by their Father, and not to fear. In the first part, Emmanuel gives power, seeking the Remnant in Israel; in the second, the Son of man is coming. The difference is striking and clear. In chapter 11 is given the Lord's discussion on this state of things, i.e., the presenting of Himself in grace, and its result. John, owned fully by Him, has to come in on the evidence He gives of Himself; what that is is clearly stated - power in goodness, but in humiliation as regards the flesh. Still, the Kingdom of heaven was preached, though not come, and the fire was kindled.

128  - 26, 27. I think this gives a blessed privilege and position of the saints. They are called upon to be open, on the part of God, in grace as to all that comes from Him, when the publicity of everything is only pressed upon the conscience of those that resist the truth, or rather the upright comforted and strengthened with the thought that it will be. It is evidently a desirable, right, and good thing, in the judgment of an upright soul, that all should be in the light, but here we have more.

Matthew 11

The difference between this chapter and Luke 7, is that it is, as the Gospel, more dispensational, and, therein, all important. It is the Father revealed in and by the Son, and the Son a subject Man, instead of the Law and the Prophets till John, and then the Kingdom of heaven preached by the forerunner. In Luke it is subjective, and how any sinner, however great, has part in what God has sent in Christ as a Saviour - our side through Christ.

- 20-30. First, responsibility under the miraculous testimony to the glory of Christ. Next, sovereign grace, but acting in moral fitness though sovereignly. Then, the new place of Christ. No man knew, nor knows the Son, but the Son reveals the Father. He, and He alone, knowing Him as such, i.e., primarily, and as such. Then, those weary and heavy laden, in a world which knows not the Father, are invited to Him, and, secondly, to take His place as the meek and lowly One, that they may have rest. It is the whole change of place, and the new one in its divine and human characteristics - not the Church.

In this chapter we have this character of grace, that it is Christ inviting to Himself not only when sin and the breaking of the Law was there, but when the warning and smiting testimony of the Law had been given, and, as far as man's heart went, rejected. They must now come and find goodness in Him as there was none in them.

129 Note. - Is not the end of this chapter the closing of Israel's history in grace, and chapter 12 in judgment? But this may be looked into further. Chapter 11 is more personal, both as to Christ and as to man. Christ can reveal the Father as Son, and the weary and heavy-laden are invited to Him, as giving rest, and, in taking His lowly yoke, finding it for their souls. Chapter 12 is the more dispensational setting aside of the nation, and what replaces it is them brought out, in chapters 13, 16 and 17, whilst Christ still continues acting in sovereign goodness, as long as He is here. What is in chapter 11 was then and always true, for it was Himself in contrast with the unbelief which rejected Him, saw no beauty in Him to desire Him. Chapter 11 is the separation of the Remnant individually to Christ in Person, when the nation, as a whole, had been deaf to John Baptist and to Christ. Chapter 12 is apostasy and blasphemy in their chiefs, and the final effect in judgment.

Matthew 12

In this chapter the nation is finally judged.

Matthew 13

In the parables of this chapter, the first three of the last six take the Kingdom up simply and wholly before the Son of man has taken His great power to reign, and give what passes in the world. In the explanations to the disciples He has taken it, and the rest of the communications to them is the purpose and mind of God as to it - the result in view, not the external state in time.

This chapter shows the mysteries of the Kingdom, but on the earth, save the garner.

- 24 et seq. As regards the field and the net, note the parables suppose no continuous time and successive generations for the Church or Kingdom. The wheat are the seed originally sown. No time or succession is thought of, nor was the Lord's coming ever put off by an arrangement suited to such a prospect. So (v. 48) it is the one and only haul. The principle is there of the fishermen's work. The angel's is another matter - they occupy themselves with the wicked, as long ago remarked.

130 If we note that the parable itself is the manifested scene on earth, it is evident that that must close with the taking the wheat into the garner. And so it does. The display afterwards, and the execution of judgment is the introduction of the new scene.

Note too, further, that in the parable of the net, there is no manifestation of the just in any way, and this is in full connection with the character of the parables. The first, we have often seen, are the manifestation of the outward appearance of the Kingdom in the world. Hence, at the last, the Son of man sends forth His angels, and gathers out of His Kingdom. It is a display of His power, and the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.

The second series of parables are the Kingdom as seen by spiritual sense - the secret of the Lord, not its display. It is appropriation of what is known to be good. The field is bought to have the treasure; the Church, the pearl of great price is bought, all being given up for it. The good fishes are the only object of the fishermen who know what they are seeking, though they gather a netful of all sorts, and they occupy themselves with these. Hence there is no display, no manifestation of the just. It is what Christ is seeking for Himself The wicked are gathered out, and cast into the fire by the angels; and there the matter ends. Again, in the former, they gather out of His Kingdom, but no mention of the just. In the second series, there is no mention of the Son of man and His Kingdom, but there is of the just. The angels sever the wicked from among the just. These just are left where they are; the wicked are taken away from among them.

- 52. Note here that every scribe instructed into the Kingdom of heaven brings out of his treasure things new and old. The name of Christ, on which the Church was built, was a wholly new revelation of the Father. So, in the manifestation of the Kingdom of the Son of man, Moses and Elias disappear - the Beloved Son, in whom the Father was well pleased (not merely a faithful Messenger) was to be heard. Now Peter was entrusted with the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. What was administered on that ground did not exclude the old things thus. This again, though given in a voice, was the Father's revelation. Individually, Peter in both cases was as yet fully under the prejudices of the Kingdom.

131 Matthew 14

After the presenting Himself, and the principles of His kingdom in the midst of the people, and then, on rejection, declared that He was a server (not a fruit gatherer) and the character of His kingdom as thus set up on His rejection, what follows chapter 13, and on the actual rejection, and death of John Baptist, is the retirement of Jesus, and a testimony against the nation, but of continuous, sovereign goodness to the poor of the flock, whether then or hereafter, as in the double feeding, and then the Church and the Kingdom in glory.

There is also a looking out to the full millennial blessing, not only in the satisfying the poor with bread, but in the looking out to the Gentiles - yet these owning themselves as inferior to the Jews, dogs compared with the children, yet having to say to God in grace, having all their desire in connection with Him.

This chapter brings out distinctly John's rejection (and the apostate king thus) but the Lord still in fact waits on Israel, though appreciating this act; verse 13. But the real bearing of all this, and result, is figured forth clearly in the close of the chapter. This itself connects the present state of the Jews, as rejecting and set aside, with the close of the dispensation. The interval is Christ on high, and the disciples toiling below, but they do not lose their Remnant character on earth. All is willingness on the other side, as those in the ship own His personal glory. The moral history of all this is given in the following chapter, and the manner of introducing the worst of the Gentiles in grace - the Jews being still owned in their place, but this by faith - chapter 11:22, in outward government. In the close, while still in fact dealing with Israel in Jehovah blessing, it is after rejection.

After the rejection, often remarked, of the Jews on their rejection of Christ in chapter 12, and the sowing and likeness of the Kingdom of heaven in chapter 13, we get the working of the principles of this process of rejection or breach between Messiah and Israel, and then, after the statement or exhibition of the new thing (the Church and Kingdom) the principles of the Church and Kingdom as regards those in it. This makes the middle part of Matthew most clear in order, and interesting. The series begins with verse 54 of chapter 13. He is the carpenter's Son for Israel, rejected in His own country. Chapter 14 begins the active and violent rejection - John is put to death. Christ takes notice of this, and departs into the wilderness. Still, as long as could be, the grace of Christ exercises itself towards Israel, and, in the perfection of His divine and perfect human rights, He satisfies the poor with bread, and "the twelve" is the perfection of human governmental power - as in the twelve tribes of Israel. All this He came to present, knowing He was to be rejected, but sends the multitude away, and takes His priestly character, goes on the storm in which the disciples, the Remnant of Israel, would be, enters the ship, and the wind ceased. Peter's position is apart - the state of the Remnant before Christ gets into the ship, but then He is received where He had been once rejected when He had shown His power over Satan, but Satan his over the unclean. In chapter 15 we get the moral ground of all this breach - God would have real righteousness, the Pharisees, hypocritical outside service, drawing near with lip-service but in vain. All would go into the ditch together - the inside must be clean - but mercy reached on the other hand, in the very nature of God, beyond Israel, to the most reprobate of nations according to flesh, but not on the ground of being Son of David and promises, but of grace. Then Christ, in divine perfectness, not in connection with present Messiah government, feeds the Remnant and poor of the flock, who glorify the God of Israel. In chapter 16, as heretofore remarked, we have the generation rejected, and their spirit warned against, and the Church set up, for faith, on the Christ the Son of the Living God. But here the path was the Cross. He was no longer to be proclaimed Messiah to Israel. But not only the Church built by Christ, but the administration of the Kingdom of heaven confided to Peter. The Son of man was to be not merely as in Daniel, but to suffer, and come in glory. This Kingdom of glory is then shown in the Transfiguration. Elias was come already, had suffered, and so must the Son of man. The reason for His leaving that generation was their unbelief - even His disciples, so that if He were not there they even could not cast out Satan, dispel that evil power which hung on man; with a word He could. There was not in them that nearness to God in which this power was exercised in abstraction from nature, and its force was wanting. However, by faith the mountain could be removed, and so it was afterwards. Then the Lord (who revealed the Father) shows that He and the disciples (Peter) had the place of children (Peter specially represented the Kingdom) with Jehovah. But then, not to offend, they were to take the place of servants and pay tribute. The character in which, for faith, Christ is to be heard is not Son of man nor Christ, though He be both, but Son of God.

133 Thus, from chapter 13: 54, to the end of chapter 15, we have the principles working connected with Christ's then relationship to the Jews, and its being closed; chapter 16 we have the Church, the Kingdom of heaven, and, chapter 17, the Son of man coming in His Kingdom (till then, Son of God to be heard). From chapter 18 we have the principles which belong to the Kingdom of heaven and Church, when they are set up, down to chapter 20:28.

The order of this chapter is more complete and full than I had remarked. The first parable is not the Kingdom of heaven, though it be "the word of the Kingdom" - it is individual; still the outward effect on the sowing of the word, not the question of grace, or how produced, but the fact and the hindrances, what operates morally, i.e., we have the effect of the word in individuals. Then the Kingdom, the effect of the word in the world, and then God's part in the matter in purpose, or spiritual understanding.

I have not sufficiently noticed, I think, that this chapter comes after the rejection of Israel, on their rejecting Christ and the Kingdom of heaven in chapter 13. Hence we have the apostate King, and, that for which I now notice it, Jehovah, in His beneficence, unchanged according to Psalm 132, satisfying the poor with bread, and perfection of administration in Man - fragments gathered, but the twelve baskets full. Then the intermediate scene. He sends the disciples away, lone as the waves (the Remnant, when He is gone) - He sends the multitude away - goes up on high - is perfect Master of what tosses them - and, with the episode of Peter (which is more Christian place, going out to meet) rejoins the ship, all is calm, and the world that had rejected Him receives Him with joy, and He brings power in blessing.

I pursue the chapters a little. In this chapter, we have the false king, and Jehovah who satisfies the poor with bread according to promise, to be accomplished in the last day (manifested then) when He will gather up the fragments, and make a perfect human order and ministration out of it - twelve - as often noticed. Promises here will be fulfilled, and the Jehovah of old present in power. Then He dismisses the disciples on the sea of this world, while He is on high. Peter comes out of the ship, to walk on the sea where He was. Then they are at land, and the world, which once rejected Him, receives Him gladly. In chapter 15 He goes deeper. It is not promise with a people, but man with God - man's religiousness against God's commandments - hypocrisy contrasted with righteous obedience in what was real. But there was more than commandments - the state of man's heart, and revelation of God's out of reach of all dispensations. Out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, etc. Then we have Tyre and Sidon - models of hardheartedness, and Canaan, the accursed race; what would the Son of David have to say to these? Then faith, working in wants, makes its way through all these things to goodness in God, above and independent of them. He had something for dogs. Dispensational promise is, in itself, maintained, but God is seen in Himself behind and beyond it all, and cannot deny Himself - is revealed in Christ. Evil was out of man's heart - good, above all, out of God's. Then though they glorified the God of Israel, yet we have not the twelve baskets, connected with accomplishing promise, and measured perfection in man - seven baskets, God in His own displayed perfections, above mere human order, One and indivisible, but displayed as the highest sent. This, though recognising promise, evidently goes deeper, bringing us to what man is, and to God.

134 I have been occupied with chapters 14 and 15, for they occupy evidently a special place between the mysteries of the Kingdom, on the judicial rejection of the Jews at the end of chapter 12 (which, note, goes on to the end of the age) and the Church, and Kingdom glory in chapters 16 and 17. The contents are naturally special, for the Kingdom is set forth in chapter 13, after the rejection of Judaism, and the Church, and glory of the Kingdom come after. What is this special place? It is plain that chapter 13 gives the Kingdom of heaven in the peculiar character it assumes when the King is in heaven not manifested, and, as Mark says, it grows and springs up, He, seemingly, knows not how. What then is brought out between this and the revelation of the Church on earth? It is the actual proof of present rejection, and the incapacity of the disciples to avail themselves of His then present power - the moral darkness of the scribes and Pharisees, the intrinsic falseness of their religious principles. But the disciples really got no farther. The Pharisees were not plants of God's planting at all - the disciples, blind in many things as they, were. The Lord is here getting on strong moral ground - what God had planted, and the human heart being the source of evil. Note the force of this - God, not Judaism, nor tradition, was the Source and Guide of good, and man's heart only of evil. But Christ, still in His own place, takes only His service in Israel, but He goes where one of the old accursed race, and of wicked Tyre, has access to Him, and owns Him as Son of David. As such He could not help her, but this brings out that which must go beyond those limits - the goodness of God. This, to faith, He could not deny. Thus, while man's heart, even in the Jew, was only evil, God's was, could not but be, good, to faith. But He had not given up Israel, though all this were true, and the hungry multitude of Galilee are again fed, but the disciples are not now called upon to do it - He takes the loaves and does it Himself. The Remnant is not now the number which was the sign of perfect government in man, but of spiritual or divine perfection - seven, not twelve. It is grace above promise, not simply divine power able to fulfil it.

135 This leads me to say a few words more in detail of chapter 14. The work of rejection begins. John is beheaded, and Jesus retires, but only to find a multitude, and He meets them in grace. He then shows Himself as the Jehovah that was to satisfy the poor with bread, let Him be rejected by the nation as He may. But He expects the disciples to understand and use this power, but they do not - they judge by sight, "Give ye them to eat," "We have five loaves." Then He sends the disciples away while He is on high, and joins them still in the ship, connected, I apprehend, with Judaism which He had left to cross the world by divine power (our part). But Peter cannot - only that he was helped he was sinking - and the Jewish Remnant re-enters the ship, but with Christ. The walking on water was, I apprehend, in principle, Church position - walking simply by faith to meet Jesus, with no known fold, only by faith. When He rejoins the ship they own Him, not as Messiah in a carnal way and expectation, as even the disciples had done, but as Son of God, which was just what the nation would not do, and the disciples practically never did, though God taught individuals so. So the country of Gennesaret, which once rejected Him, now received Him with open arms. It is a divine Person then here, where not only Israel but the disciples could not own, or at any rate profit by His manifestation to Israel. We have then, as noted above, the moral judgment of Israel's state, and of their teachers, but again the disciples are without understanding. Yet in this very chapter, where essential divine principles of sin and grace are brought so clearly out, there is a special recognition of Israel. The Canaanitish woman not only called Him Son of David, but owned Israel as the children and herself as only a dog. The Lord takes this ground, though necessarily owning God to be good to others, and the people glorify the God of Israel.

136 On the whole, we have Israel rejecting the witness of God, Christ present as Emmanuel, the disciples, unable to profit by it, left and rejoined, moral principles of man's heart, and God's overflowing goodness, Israel rejected but owned. But plants must be of God's planting or rooted up. Still the Lord distinguished the disciples as possessed of personal faith (save of course Judas) - plants of the Lord's planting, and, when He now simply leaves the Pharisees, He appeals to that faith. Ignorant as they were of God's ways, and incapable of availing themselves of what Christ was, yet the enquiry addressed to their personal faith brings out the answer, given of the Father, of that on which the Church should be built. They clung to Him, to His Person, when the nation rejected Him, and when even they could not profit rightly by His presence in Israel. But then, when Israel was for the time rejected, this Person became the foundation of every thing. And the Lord who had put the question to draw out this distinctive faith, however prejudiced and buried in traditions even they were, at once recognises the direct teaching of His Father. On this, now Israel was gone, the Church would be built. The contrast of verses 1-5, then 6-12, and what then follows is very striking. Read, in verse 18, "And I also say unto thee," in contrast or addition to the Father's revelation, and also to Peter confessing. He had said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" - Christ says, "Thou art Peter," but this was authority, the really divine (or divinely given) title to give a name. The rest of the verse is a kind of parenthesis. By the revelation of what Christ was by the Father, he partook of the nature of the foundation, as all true believers do, though not distinguished as Peter. But the building of the Church comes out as Christ's new revelation, consequent on the setting aside of all preceding, leading up to the Father's revelation of His Son (to Simon) triumphant by His divine Person and nature over death, whence Satan's power could not prevail against it, though Israel's hopes in flesh were ended by His death, even the disciples'. But the Son of the living God would, on this title, build a Church over which Hades' gates could have no power to prevail. But Christ builds the Church, not Peter, but Peter does administer the Kingdom. Nothing is said to him as to having anything to do with the Church, save a name which shows his confession, put him into connection with it, for, if the Church was built on that truth, and he had confessed it as taught of God, he was (though the Church was not yet revealed or begun) in principle on the footing of it as to his acknowledgment of Christ. Hence they are now charged not to say He is the Christ - the Father has revealed Him in another way. The Kingdom of heaven he was to administer.

137 Matthew 15

This chapter gives a fuller and clearer statement of the great question between man and God, than heretofore noticed. The Word of God was set aside by man's tradition and commandments, and the worship of God too - what was from Him denied, and for gain, and what was to Him false, their hearts far when their lips were near, and there is no true worship not founded on the Word. Then we see how traditions, when educated in them, pervert moral sense - the disciples cannot understand. Next we find what the heart of man does produce, and then how Christ, manifesting God on the earth, and not promises, is the ground on which men can have to say to Him. Tyre and Sidon were typical of hard-heartedness, the Canaanite an accursed race, not only no righteousness but no promises to rest on, but God Himself there, and that, while owning this promise was to others, the woman rests on, goes right to the heart of God revealed in Christ. In chapter 14 moreover, we get the whole scene. After the rejection of the Jews in chapter 12, and the closing the Messiah testimony, the Son of man comes in, for, chapter 13, the Son of man sows, and the Son of man judges. He is passed from Psalm 2 to Psalm 8, as rejected (so all through); John Baptist is actually rejected. The Lord feels it and withdraws, but in grace ministers to the multitude, sends the multitude away, and the disciples (Remnant) on the sea, and goes up to pray, takes His priestly place apart from the disciples, rejoins them on the sea, Peter taking a place of faith outside the Remnant place, and Jesus, all the storm being over, is received with joy where He had been rejected (chap. 8), the world. The Remnant own Him Son of God when He rejoins them. In chapter 16:13, He formally appropriates the title Son of man - the name He ever gives Himself (He never gives Himself the title of "the Christ," save outside the Jews to the woman of Samaria). But the Church is not built on this (Son of man) but on "Son of the living God," proved in resurrection. The Son of man judges, the Son of man comes in the Kingdom. The Son of man returning in glory to the unbelieving Jews (chap. 26:64); compare John 1:49-51. Our Name is specially "Son of God," or "Son and Lord." Thus, Christ Messiah, is rejected, and was no more to be testified of, Luke 9; Matthew 16 and 17; Mark 8 and 9. Then the name He ever takes Himself, i.e., Son of man, passes from Psalm 2 to 8, as in John 1 above and John 12:23, 24. He must suffer and die to take up this Name fully; God's glory (Heb. 2), as our need, required it. Then He comes again in that Name, judges because He is Son of man. The Son of man comes in His own glory, as well as of the Father and the holy angels; Luke 9. But we come between the rejection and the coming in glory, for in this indeed we come with Him, and the Church is built on the Name of the Son of the Living God, and so is based on the resurrection, belongs to the new world and new creation, is created in Christ Jesus, for it is resurrection proves Him Son of God with power.

138 Matthew 16

Note as to the Church, where, as often remarked, we get the new ways of God introduced on the entire failure of man (proved definitely in Israel) the Church and the Kingdom of heaven are both introduced distinctly, but it is as to their administration and forming that they are spoken of. The first point is the Person of Christ. Every one had his opinion as to Him. Peter had certainty (faith) by divine teaching - the revealing of the Father, not of flesh and blood. This was, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. This is the introduction of divine life in the Person of the Son. It was proved in resurrection; the Son was given to have life in Himself, but it was as Son of the Living God. On this rock Christ builds His Church; but the faith of Peter made him of the nature of which the rock was, Christ being the Son of the Living God. The revelation of this to him by the Father, made him partaker of the nature of that which he believed in. He had share and part in this, but no authority or place in the building work, as such. It is not the point here at all. He is a stone, not a builder. Christ is the builder, and here it is a matter of building - "I will build my Church upon this rock," viz., the truth that Christ was the Son of the Living God - on Him. The revelation of it made Simon a stone, a living one - it may be the first that was laid, though in point of time there was no difference. The Father had revealed this immense fact, that nothing is like the new thing - a Man that is the Son of God, the Son of the Living God. This was to be the foundation of the new thing, not merely salvation but an assembly. Christ also ("and I also say" is the right reading) had a right to give names. It is the place of authority, as God named Abraham, Adam named the animals. So Christ named Peter - He had authority to do it, and to call things what they were - God made him such. Adam named them rightly as they were made. Christ constituted Simon Barjona this, gave him this place. The Father had made him for it by revealing who Christ was to him.

139 Note further, Christ here builds the Assembly. Hence it is real; however man may outwardly spoil it, still Christ builds, and secures the building. If it be in the power of the Son of the Living God as life (which was shown in resurrection) what power could the gates of Hades (Satan as having the power of death), the whole power of the adversary, have against it? He had done his utmost, when permitted, in Christ's death (though, in reality, as to Him he did nothing, and had nothing in Him) but the life of resurrection was beyond all of it. Adam could be prevailed against - the Assembly not; one stood in created life, responsible - the other in divine life, victorious over the power that was hostile to it. Hence Peter, in speaking of the Church, as far as he does, speaks of living stones being built up on a Living Stone, a holy temple, a holy priesthood. Hence, though built together, and the priests a company, all are individual stones. It is not a body, nor is the dwelling of the Holy Ghost there spoken of. The divinely-living individuals are brought together. Christ builds - He has not a body here - He is a Builder - He is not a Head.

140 Remark now, for it is with this view that I have particularly referred to it, that here the House (Assembly) to be built, is connected with individual life. It is not the Body, or union, nor the dwelling place of the Holy Ghost - that is Paul's revelation. Individual life by individual faith, the Father revealing the truth to the soul. This constitutes the quality fit for building with, and Christ makes an assembly with these stones. This is the nature of what it is built of when Christ builds, in contrast with flesh, or flesh and blood's thoughts. It is divine life and revelation.

Before I pass on to Ephesians, I add here another system in which Peter is given a place of authority on earth - not the Church at all, but the Kingdom of heaven. The keys not of heaven, not of the Church - there are no keys of the Church, there is a Builder, Christ. Nor are there any persons bound here at all. Anything formally enacted by Peter was warranted and sanctioned by heaven. He had the administration of the Kingdom confided to him. "The key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder," is said of Hilkiah. A housekeeper, or intendant has the keys, and administers, as a trust, the household affairs. Peter did so in the kingdom and with full authority. Though in fact he did let in the Jews, he did let in the Gentiles, a most immensely important act, for it was changing the whole divinely constituted order - an uncircumcised man was received into the Kingdom. Chapter 13 shows us prophetically this would be spoiled, but that was prophecy, this administration. Simon Magus did not escape Peter though he did Philip. Philip admitted him, but he was soon detected when Peter and John came. This was not solely Peter, but the admission of Jews and Gentiles was the full power of the keys. It was not the Body, nor the revelation of the Body. The giving of the Holy Ghost was no way Peter's act. He was anticipated by a witness of God. I do not mean that admission was the power of the keys, but Peter was administering the Kingdom - I should apprehend when Ananias and Sapphira fell dead also - thus, in one sense, binding and loosing would refer to sins, but in judicial administration as on earth. Binding in heaven is the divine sanction.

As to the Church, we have then Paul's revelation, Ephesians 1. Christ is glorified - not merely has and is Life - and the Church is united to Him as His Body. This is not building. No doubt it is in the power of life, but it is more - the Assembly has this character, when being baptised with the Holy Ghost it thereby becomes one Body. It is, even for the individual as for the whole, union by the Holy Ghost, so that he is a member of His Body. Now Christ, on being glorified, could then send down the Holy Ghost as received in righteousness on the right hand of God, and we made God's righteousness in Him. This He did on the day of Pentecost, and the Lord added the Remnant of Jews daily to the Assembly, but the doctrine involved in it was never taught till Paul was called by the revelation - after the Holy Ghost was finally resisted in Israel, and Stephen taken up - that all saints were Jesus Himself. He then, sent to the Gentiles from a glorified Christ, when the Jews had nationally rejected the Gospel, and from heaven, and by the Holy Ghost to every creature under heaven, becomes thereupon a minister of the Church (Assembly) to complete the Word of God. Here it is not divine life contrasted with flesh upon earth, but union with Christ - the Church is heavenly, the Body of Christ sitting in heavenly places in Him. In Ephesians 2 we have another character - the same unity, but Jews and Gentiles builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. This is upon earth, founded on the Cross, but characterised by the presence of the Spirit dwelling in it as a house on earth - as God had been in the tabernacle or temple. He dwelt in this house by the Spirit. Chapter 5 gives us a supplementary instruction on this point - the special and blessed care that Christ takes of the Church on earth as His own Body, and here the true members of His body, known of Him, are spoken of - it is as man's own flesh to himself.

141 In this chapter, the generation is formally rejected, and the Kingdom, and the Church brought in, but the Church, I judge, on earth, only in the power of life against which he who had the gates of death would not prevail. After this revelation, the Lord begins to relate historically to His disciples what, as Son of man, was going to happen to Him, and the portion of suffering and glory with Him, developed in the Transfiguration. The close of the chapter shows another and more intimate reason for leaving not merely the evil of the nation, but the incapacity of the disciples to use the power that was there to surmount the evil, under which they were lying, by faith in Him. The close of the chapter shows the true relationship on the earth of Himself and the disciples with Jehovah, but His acquiescence in condescension with the Jewish nation yet.

142  - 22. Matthew has here the Son of man coming in His Kingdom, to contrast the Transfiguration of chapter 17, or future actual Kingdom of heaven, with the Church mentioned in chapter 16.

- 25, 26. Note how very distinctly life and soul are, as to the reality, contrasted here, making the annihilation theory of its being only life, a nephesh chay-yah (soul of life) mere folly. From this chapter on to chap. 20:28, we have the substitution of the Kingdom of heaven and the Church (as well as the Son of man) to the terms and evidences of Christ's relationship with Israel, as a present thing proposed. After that, verse 29, commences His own final royal and Jehovah testimony to Jerusalem herself.

- 27, 28. These verses make it evident that it cannot be taken simply as one final judgment of men as raised, for "The Son of man shall come," and some standing there should not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in His Kingdom. Now, be it as alleged, the destruction of Jerusalem, which I do not believe, important as that was, but the Transfiguration; but be it so, the passage refers to it - that is not the final judgment. 2 Peter 1:16-18, shows it was the Transfiguration as a momentary presentation of the Kingdom as seen on earth. This leads to the sense of "ashamed" in Mark 8:38, for it is the parallel passage. But this makes it to run over the whole period of the glory of the Son of man, for He rewards every man. Yet it includes His coming in His Kingdom (they say, the destruction of Jerusalem). It is to be remembered the Transfiguration follows in each Gospel. Luke adds nothing more to the passage, save that his language is simpler as to the Kingdom. Matthew 10:32, 33, is thus very simple. The only difficulty is John 12:48, where judgment is spoken of as in the last day, at which, it is said, He will raise up those that believe. John only has this expression, as in Martha also, "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." It is a peculiarity of John, that, while he speaks of eternal life far more than others, it is his subject, and in his Gospel treats the Jews always as reprobate, yet he lives in a Jewish sphere of thought more than all, never, till once or twice at the end, speaking of ascension or heaven. "If I will that he tarry till I come," says the Lord. "The last day," I apprehend, was the close of the Jewish "this world," and the bringing in of the "world to come," or state consequent on the manifestation of Messiah. The Church never appears, nor is hinted at in John. Hence, "the last day," goes over from the then time dosing providentially with the destruction of Jerusalem, but really when the Lord comes, Antichrist being the sign of the last days of the present time, for the present time on earth does not close, nor Daniel's weeks, till the Lord comes. Hence the word judging is Christ's word made good against Israel as rejecting Him, when the Lord comes. But, in fact, it will be made good, morally speaking, on every disobedient soul, but the direct application of "the last day" is not made there as it introduces the whole thought and condition of judgment.

143 "The last day" is the last day of something, and what was it to a Jew? Clearly not the end of the world, but the close of the present age. We see in Martha's word that it was a well understood Jewish term - not that I take their thoughts without divine light upon them, but when the Lord uses their language, I take the consideration of their language in with His light by the Holy Ghost upon it. No doubt it is enlarged into more general thoughts, but who can doubt for a moment that the form of Lazarus and the rich man is from Jewish habits of thought? The introduction of the Church opens out, and modifies the use of the language, but does not destroy its first intention. Eternal judgment and resurrection came in rightly, but they were additions to the dealing with men in the world proper to Judaism. "The last day" then is that great change which would take place when the probatory condition of things, and the life of faith would be closed by the incoming of the power of God, and the manifestation of His glory in Messiah. Nor do I believe there is anything more precise in it. Just as the testimony of Messiah (Heb. 1) was in the close of those days, the coming in of the Church has postponed the clearing up of all till that is over. But this parenthetical introduction does not change the reality of the judgment, but explains what seems difficult in fulfilment and expression. So for the Jew, all this time is the time of the High Priest being within the veil on the great day of atonement. They cannot tell the acceptance of the sacrifice till He comes out. We know it by the Holy Ghost being come out thence.

144 In this chapter we have, then, very definitely, the passing away, and non-recognition, warning against what the old had become, and the substitution of the new thing. They could not discern the time, they are distributed into two classes - ritualists and nationalists - the death and resurrection of Christ in result, meanwhile His preaching (both are spoken of, though not here) and He leaves them and warns His disciples against them. Their teaching was leaven. Then comes the confession of His Person, on a new ground. He is Son of man, "I, the Son of man." He takes this place Himself, not Son of Abraham and David, as given at the beginning. Vain opinions disappear before faith, by the revelation of the Father. Simon owns Him not only Son of God - that He was by the second Psalm, as King of Zion - but as born in this world, though divinely, and divinely owned, but He who was Son of man, as of man, and, in the title of Psalm 8, was the true Son having life in Himself, the Son of the living God, the Eternal Son, personally the Son, though Son of man, and as Son of man here. This, though ever true, and nothing else could have been true without it, had never been revealed before. There is one Son, as the ancients said (yet doubly Son) and on this rock He could build His Church, in the power of a life proved in resurrection beyond the power of Satan, which had been wholly destroyed through His death. This was a new ground thus confessed, His Person, and the gates of hell (Hades), the power of Satan, should not prevail against it. Christ would build His Church. This is not Pauline work. Christ builds, and it is not built yet. That is connected with "Son of the living God." Then there was the Kingdom of heaven; this is connected with the Son of man, "His Kingdom." This is administered on earth, and the management of it committed to Peter, and the authority of it confided to him, and what he should establish sanctioned in heaven. Here were the present substitutes for the place He held on earth as Messiah, Heir of promise, and Son of God, as here to be set on God's hill. And hereon He charges them strictly not to say that He was the Christ any more; that was over. From that time he began to tell them plainly of the Cross; it was the only way into the new thing, and they must follow Him in it. Peter stuck to the old, the flesh, not being dead up to the point of the revelation he had really received from the Father, but that was only Satan now, not the things of God but of men, for God had now no more place in this world, known only in the Cross. The world and nature were over. The soul therefore comes in, and what this world is, compared with it. But more: the Son of man, now taking up His Cross, would come in the glory of the Father (Son of the living God, both names being thus taken up) and some standing there would see it before they should taste of death, the Son of man coming in His Kingdom - the actual revelation of the then displayed glory, still as Son of God. And both these are given in the next chapter.