Chapter 6.

Analysis of Each Gospel

In taking up the analysis of each Evangelist, we are reminded that already, in our frequent surveys in previous chapters, we have gone over a large part of the ground ordinarily covered in an analytical outline. There must necessarily be a certain amount of repetition, which is not out of place, for truths so precious will admit of restatement, and we cannot grow too familiar with the contents of each of the Gospels. On the other hand, the minuteness of examination, especially in Chapter 3, will relieve us from going into similar details here. There, we discussed the object of each Gospel as seen:

First, in its presentation of the life of Christ, in each of the Evangelists; second, the nature of His death; and third, His resurrection. We therefore now confine ourselves to giving an outline of the main divisions and subdivisions of each book. We will first state the general theme and follow this with the analysis.*

{*The divisions and sub-divisions of the four Gospels given in this chapter are taken almost entirely from the notes on each Gospel in the Numerical Bible. The same remark would apply to the discussion of the numerical structure and order of the books in Chapters 4 and 5.

The writer has been privileged to know intimately the beloved author of this most helpful work and to enter somewhat at least into his thoughts regarding the numerical structure of Scripture. He feels, therefore, perfectly free to use the results of the prayerful labor of another, thankfully acknowledging his indebtedness. If these divisions are, as is manifestly the case, the true ones, there could be no alteration or improvement upon them.

In noting the various divisions, the present writer has given other designations than those in the Numerical Bible. It is trusted that these will furnish a wider basis for examination, and be confirmatory of the correctness of the divisions.}


General Theme — Christ as King, foretold, anointed, announcing His kingdom, showing its works, refused by His subjects, declaring the form of His kingdom during His absence as committed to the hands of men, until He displays it in its final glory at His second coming: this glory resting upon His meeting every requirement of divine justice as to the sin and trespass of His subjects.
Division 1. Chaps. 1 and 2. The genealogy and birth of the King.
Division 2. Chaps. 3 — 7. The King announced, anointed, and declaring His Constitution.
Division 3. Chaps. 8 — 12. The display of the Kingdom in its sufficiency for man, but of man's unfitness for the Kingdom.
Division 4. Chaps. 13 — 20:28. The Kingdom of an absent King entrusted to the hands of men.
Division 5. Chaps. 20:29 — 23. The triumphal entry of the King seen as rejected by the leaders and He rejecting them.
Division 6. Chaps. 24, 25. The coming of the King in final glory announced in reference to Israel, he Church and the world.
Division 7. Chaps. 26 — 28. The King crowned with thorns, and by His death and resurrection making good all His purposes of blessing for His kingdom and the world.

These are the main divisions which we will now take up in order and give a brief summary of the contents of each, with the sub-divisions and sections into which they group themselves.

Division 1. (Chaps. 1 & 2.) The genealogy and birth of the King.

We have in this first division, the introductory history of our Lord as King. It is divided into two main sub-divisions, chaps. 1 and 2. The general theme is the King as promised, and as come, with the prophecies fulfilled in connection with His birth.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 1. The King's descent, and divine predictions.

Our Lord is identified as the King foretold in the promises to Abraham and to David, together with the special prophecies which foretold His birth. The chapter divides into two parts:

Vers. 1-17. The Genealogy.

Our Lord is described as the Son of David and the Son of Abraham. The order is suggestive as showing the pre-eminence of the Davidic thought, the Kingship, with the wider relationship suggested in His descent from Abraham, the father of all them that believe, and the one to whom the promise was given: "In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed." The genealogy is traced downward, indicating that close connection which we have already noticed with the Old Testament, and the unchanging purpose of God.

The genealogy is divided into three parts, each having a characteristic feature peculiar to itself. From Abraham to David, promise is the prominent thought. From David, through Solomon, to the captivity, is a record of decline; and from the captivity to the birth of our Lord is a period of darkness, ending, however, as a resurrection in the birth of our Lord.

The genealogy suggests many points for special study. Omissions are significant. The fourteen generations of each of the divisions is remarked by the Evangelist, indicating, in its factors 2 x 7, the witness to the complete insufficiency of man to be the promised King.

The presence of the names of four women in this genealogy has been commented upon as manifesting the grace of our Lord in associating Himself with the special needs of man. The first, Thamar, brings out the sin of man; the second, Rahab, the faith that lays hold upon the grace of God; the third, Ruth, that grace manifested in setting aside the claims of the law; and the fourth, the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba) the grace which, through chastisement, can even bring blessing out of failure in God's people.

Vers. 18-25: The birth of Jesus — "Immanuel."

How jealously God has cared for the minutest particulars connected with the advent of His beloved Son into the world!

Subdivision 2. Chap. 2. The visit of the wise men, and related events.

Vers. 1-12. We have a foreshadow here of the gathering in of the Gentiles. The light of heaven, the star in the East, leads them to the Babe at Bethlehem.

Vers. 13-18: The flight into Egypt. Here, two other prophecies are fulfilled: "Out of Egypt have I called My Son." The slaughter of the infants in Bethlehem fulfils a prophecy from Jeremiah.

Vers. 19-23: The return to Nazareth. Our Lord is here seen as the shoot of Jesse, a root out of a dry ground, as the word "Nazareth" suggests. Thus, in this first division, we have foreshadowed the rejection of Christ and His glory reaching out to the nations at large.

Division 2. (Chaps. 3-7.) The King announced, anointed, and declaring His Constitution.

In this division, we have the herald, John the Baptist, calling to repentance and preparing the way for the King, who on His appearing is baptized and anointed with the Holy Spirit for His royal work then subjected to the moral assaults of His enemy. Coming forth unscathed, He proclaims the great moral principles of His kingdom which He had already illustrated in His own person. We give the sub-divisions of this important portion:

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 3 — 4:11. The King anointed.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-6: The forerunner.

Sec. 2. Vers. 7-12: Judgment proclaimed.

Sec. 3. Vers. 13-17: The King baptized and anointed.

Sec. 4. Ch. 4:1-11. The temptation.

Subdivision 2. Chap. 4:12-25. The testimony of the King Himself.

This brief sub-division gives us a summary of our Lord's earlier ministry in Galilee.

Sec. 1. Vers. 12-16: The light in the land of Zabulon and Nephthalim.

Sec. 2. Vers. 17-22: The call of the. disciples.

Sec. 3. Vers. 23-25: Preaching and working miracles.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 5 — 7. The sermon on the mount — the moral character of the Kingdom.

A volume might be written upon this one discourse. Only in the briefest way we indicate its main features. The general theme is evident. His kingdom is not outward, but a moral one in which a mere legal righteousness will not avail, and where mercy as well as truth are indispensable.

Sec. 1. Ch. 5:1-16: The Beatitudes true members of the Kingdom, the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Sec. 2. Vers. 17-48: The law, the old covenant, compared with the spiritual principles of the Kingdom.

Sec. 3. Ch. 6:1-18: True righteousness in alms, prayer and fasting.

Sec. 4. Vers. 19-34: Without carefulness in a world of care.

Sec. 5. Ch. 7:1-14: Consistency and dependence.

Sec. 6. Vers. 15-20: The tree known by its fruits.

Sec. 7. Vers. 21-29: The conclusion and application.

Division 3. (Chaps. 8-11) The display of the Kingdom in its sufficiency for man and man's unfitness for the Kingdom.

The general character of this third division is suggested by its title. In it, we have the works of the King manifesting His power and goodness. In these works He associates with Himself His disciples whom He sends forth with His charge. An opposition is developed, out of which He calls a remnant, and the separation between this remnant of faith and the mass of the ungodly nation reaches a climax in which the leaders are rejected.

The subdivisions follow:

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 8 — 9:26. The activities of the King.

We have here grouped together a number of characteristic miracles manifesting the varied condition of the people and the suited grace to meet their need. These works may not all have taken place in immediate, consecutive order. Together, however, they display the power of the King and His tender grace. It is suggestive that the lofty moral principles were declared from the summit of the mount, while the actual condition of man is set forth (in the leper) at the foot. What we ought to be and what we are, are two different things. Grace meets us where and as we are, and brings us into conformity with the purpose of God.

Sec. 1. Ch. 8:1-17: Abundant works.

There is, no doubt, a moral order in the three acts of healing we have here, together with a summary at the close. The leprosy (1-4) suggests the defilement of sin cleansed; the healing of the palsy (5-13), the helplessness induced by sin removed — mercy for the Gentiles; the fever of Peter's wife's mother (14, 15), recovering mercy for Israel; grace for every form of need (16, 17).

Sec.2. Ch. 8:18-9:8: His path and the power to walk in it.

Our Lord here is seen departing to the other side of the lake, where He works a deliverance from the power of Satan, and returning again to His own city sets a captive free. The portions here are all suggestive: the path a testing one (18-22), and subject to storms (23-27); the enemy is powerless in His presence (28); the palsy removed (9:1-8) is a sign of the power connected with His forgiveness.

Sec. 3. Ch. 9:9-26: The call of publicans and and quickening of the dead.

The call of Matthew, himself a publican (9-13), signalizes the gathering of many others like himself, objects of scorn to the Pharisees, together at our Lord's table. These (14-17) are the children of the Bride-chamber who have the new wine of divine grace in the new bottles which that grace has prepared. For the proper enjoyment of this, there must be a divine work of quickening and cleansing, typified in the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead and the healing of the woman with an issue (18-26).

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 9:27 — 10. The King's messengers sent forth and charged.

In this subdivision our Lord is seen still exercising His kingly prerogative of healing and

deliverance, associating His twelve disciples with Himself in this blessed work. The main part of the chapter is devoted to the solemn prophetic charge which reaches far beyond the ministry upon which they there entered, and applies to the closing period just before the Tribulation when the Lord's messengers shall again go forth.

Sec. 1. Ch. 9:27-34: The Son of David.

Two works here proclaim Him the true Messiah, the Son of David and King of Israel: the opening of the blind eyes (27-31) and the casting out of the dumb demon (32-34) both are symbolic of that work of grace which was effected in the remnant while our Lord was here and will be continued in the latter days. The enmity of the unbelieving mass is brought to a focus by this display of divine power, and they deliberately accuse Him of casting out demons in the power of Satan.

Sec. 2. Ch. 9:35 — 10: His messengers.

Our Lord's compassion goes out toward the multitude and He sends forth His disciples, empowering them to work miracles of healing and to preach the gospel of the kingdom to the house of Israel (9:35 — 10:15). This ministry of grace will meet with abundant opposition (16-23). He warns them of this and charges them that neither fear nor favor should cause them to swerve from the path of obedience to God and walking in His fear (24-33). The disciple must expect not peace but a sword, and must be prepared to sacrifice the dearest earthly relationship where it conflicts with faithfulness to Himself (34-38). The end is ever to be kept in view, with its sure reward (39-42).

Subdivision 3. Chap. 11. The remnant manifested and called forth.

The effect of the proclamation of the truth and the manifestation of the King in His works of power is to separate from the unbelieving mass of the people a remnant which, feeble as its faith is, turns to the Lord and manifests itself among the babes to whom God makes His grace known.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-15: John's question and our Lord's testimony.

Shut up in prison, John seems to have suffered a temporary eclipse of faith. It is beautiful to see how loyal he is to the Lord, even under the darkness of doubt. If there are doubts, the One about whom He has questions is the only One who can solve them. Well is it for us when we bring our very doubts to the Lord Jesus. The Lord replies to this question of John (1-6) by recounting the works which He had wrought, and with the delicate reproof, "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me," to recall John to the strength of faith. If our Lord would thus rebuke His servant in secret, He publicly bears witness to him (7-15) as the greatest of those born of women. Significantly, as being not in immediate association with our Lord, he is not spoken of as in the Kingdom which was about to be set up. He was the greatest of the prophets, indeed the Elijah that was to come, but a place of greater privilege was that belonging to the Lord's disciples.

Sec. 1. Vers. 6-24: The unbelief of the nation.

Alas, the mass of the people had no apprehension of the grace which had been brought to their very doors. Like children playing in the market, neither the preaching of repentance nor the works of grace by our Lord could move their cold hearts. They would neither mourn nor dance. The end of such unbelief must be judgment; it shall be more tolerable for the godless cities of the plain, and for Tyre and Sidon with their abominable idolatries, than for highly favored Israel which rejects the Light that had shone unto it.

Sec. 3. Vers. 25-30: The "babes" provided for.

How preciously do the words which follow here exemplify the grace of our Lord! No one can know the Father save as revealed by the Son, even as the Son also is known only to the Father; but wherever there are "babes" (those who have no high thoughts of themselves and are willing to receive the revelation) it is given to them. How then is one seen to be a babe? All who are weary and heavy laden, who feel the burden of their sins, may be such and are welcome to come and find rest.

Subdivision 4. Chap. 12. The rejected King rejecting His apostate subjects.

The opposition culminates in this chapter. Our Lord had patiently borne with unbelief so long as it indicated only blindness or indifference, but when it assumes the satanic form of open-eyed hatred of Himself and His Father, He can but pronounce the doom upon those who deliberately put themselves under the power of Satan. This is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, against which He solemnly warns the guilty leaders.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-13: The Sabbath and the Lord of the Sabbath.

It is interesting and profitable to trace throughout the Gospels the effect upon the Jews of our Lord's attitude toward the Sabbath Day. In it He wrought miracles wherever there was need, and ever claimed that the entire spirit of the day was missed by those who would turn it into a matter of self-righteous formalism, instead of a delight and a day of liberty. The Sabbath has always been thus used by legalism. Even in the present dispensation, the so-called Christian Sabbath has been laden with legal prohibitions and ordinances.

There are two prominent facts to be noted: the first, which we have already dwelt upon, that the true nature of the Sabbath is little apprehended; and the second, that even if the requirements as to this observance were kept in accord with the law, both letter and spirit, it was used by the people as though they had never broken that law. God gave Israel His Sabbath as separating them from all other nations. An observance of this holy day was a tacit acknowledgment of their subjection to the law of God in every particular and the intimation that they had kept that law perfectly. It was this which our Lord would press upon the people. They had no right to decorate themselves with a fancied obedience to the letter of the Sabbath. They were condemned by their sin, and what became them was an acknowledgment of that, rather than the going through of certain ceremonial observances.

The two occurrences are: The disciples plucking and eating the ears of corn on the Sabbath Day (vers. 1-8); and, The healing of the man with the withered hand in the synagogue (vers. 9-13).

The first is the prerogative of mercy, for God never fails to meet the need of His people. David thus ignored the priestly ordinance as to the showbread to meet the hunger of himself and his men, for it was a time of confusion, in which part of the law having been ignored the remainder of it must be in abeyance. Not only this, but the priests did work on the Sabbath Day in order to offer sacrifices. They were blameless in this, although according to the legal reasoning of the Jews they would have been guilty of a profanation. The Lord reminds them that He who gives the law is greater than the temple whose ritual they were so punctilious in observing, and that mercy and not sacrifice is what God delights in. The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.

The man with the withered hand was like Israel, powerless to do aught aright. Of what value was the external keeping of the Sabbath when there was no power for God? Surely, if it is right to pull a fallen sheep out of the pit, it is better to heal a fallen man — by implication, the fallen people, had they only been ready for it.

Sec. 2. Vers. 14-21: The counsel to destroy Him.

The Lord fully understands the relentless hatred which His treatment of the Sabbath would stir in the hearts of the Pharisees, and knows He must withdraw Himself from them. A change is noted at this point in His miracles, which are now wrought more in secret, and those who are healed are warned to say nothing about it. The shadow of the cross was falling across His path, and yet He goes forward in illustration of that word of the prophet: "Behold My Servant" He should not fail nor be discouraged until He had brought forth judgment unto victory.

Sec. 3. Vers. 22-32: The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.

We have already seen how the Pharisees had once before charged Him with casting out demons in the power of Satan. This is repeated more deliberately, and calls forth the final and awful warning we have here. Evidently, the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not, as has been supposed by many sensitive believers whose consciences have been tortured by the thought, that one has committed some known sin. Alas, who has been exempt from this? The true nature of this awful sin is that when the light was shining in full blaze before their very eyes, both in words of divine truth and wisdom and works of almighty grace, they should deliberately ascribe this energy of the Spirit in our Lord to the Devil himself. What is left for those who call light darkness, who openly and wilfully confound the Holy Ghost with Satan? The true nature, therefore, of the sin is manifest. It is never committed by those who turn to or have any desire for our Lord; and wherever the vilest sinner, the most dreadful blasphemer, turns to the Lord Jesus Christ, he will find — not this awful sin which never has forgiveness between him and the Saviour — but our Lord's blessed word ever true: "Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out."

Sec. 4. Vers. 33-50: The test fully applied. The remainder of the chapter, while easily falling into minuter divisions, develops our Lord's separative judgment upon His rejecters. The tree is known by its fruit (33-37). The sign of Jonah was a call to them to repentance, and if they refuse to believe on Him of whom Jonah was a type, the very men of Nineveh and the Queen of the South will rise up in judgment to condemn them. The evil spirit which they were fostering in their hearts — a spirit that led them into such dreadful blasphemy — would later on take complete possession of them, as we know he will in the last terrible days of the apostasy (43-45). The unclean spirit of idolatry had left them, but later on would return in sevenfold power. Meanwhile, our Lord recognizes as His kindred not those bound by ties of nature, but of grace (46-50).

Division 4. (Chaps. 13 — 20:28). The Kingdom of an absent King entrusted to the hands of men.

The separation forced upon our Lord at the close of the former division is accentuated throughout the present one. There is no longer, we may say, a tentative presentation of Himself for their acceptance, but rather the recognition of a refusal which was reaching on toward its awful climax in the cross, the shadow of which falls upon the lonely path the rejected King must take. This rejection, of course, was known to Him from the beginning, and indeed the very principles of His kingdom were given in view of the persecution and rejection which His followers would suffer. Thus, glory and power do not characterize the Kingdom, but rather meekness and suffering. All this is brought out in our present division, the first part of which gives us in the form of parables, the future history of His kingdom during the time of His rejection, together with the characteristics of that rejection as experienced by our Lord and the promise of the establishment of the Church, a glimpse of the Kingdom in its glory, and the responsibilities connected with its administration upon earth. We add a few words upon each of the subdivisions of this great portion of our Evangelist.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 13:1-52. The prophetic outline of the Kingdom in mystery form.

These seven parables of the Kingdom give us, as their number would indicate, a complete view of the Kingdom of heaven during the time of our Lord's absence. It began with the very period of seed sowing by our Lord, reaching on through the entire present interval of grace to its consummation in judgment, with a glimpse at the glory beyond.

The seven are divided into two parts, the first four being spoken to the multitude and give the external history of the Kingdom in our Lord's absence, and the last three, spoken to His disciples alone, deal with the more final and vital aspects of the Kingdom. We note these two parts:

1st. Vers. 1-35: The world-history of the Kingdom spoken to the multitude.

The first of the four parables, that of the sower, divides itself into four parts, suggesting the earth-aspect of the effects of the sowing of the word of truth (1-23). It is only where the seed is received in good ground, that it bears abiding fruit. All the rest perishes by Satanic influence, the unbroken hardness of the flesh, or the course of the world.

The second parable, of the tares (24-30), is the history of Satan's counterfeit introduced into the Kingdom, and speaks more particularly of those forms of apostasy and the persons identified with them which mark the state of things at the close. These first two parables are connected together, both in form and subject, and give us, as has been said, rather the individual aspect of membership in the Kingdom.

The third parable, of the mustard seed (31, 32), shows the growth of the Kingdom from small beginnings to a great world power, not for righteousness, but affording shelter for various forms of evil.

The fourth parable, of the leaven (33), goes along with this, and shows the inward working of the leaven of false doctrine permeating and corrupting the entire mass of profession. The principles heading up in these are already at work, and their full manifestation will be when the true people of God are removed and the corrupt professing Church, together with apostate Israel, is left alone, waiting for judgment.

This closes the first section of the parables of the Kingdom (34, 35).

2nd. Vers. 36-52: The end as seen in judgment and in glory.

The explanation of the parable of the tares comes in here (36-43). It looks forward to the time when the Lord will gather out of His Kingdom all things which offend and them that do iniquity, when that Kingdom shall be as the "barn" in which the precious grain is safely housed, the righteous then shining forth as the sun. The parable is cast in Jewish form, and the rapture of the heavenly saints does not seem to be included; they are caught up, not by the angels, but by the Lord Himself. There is no difficulty when we remember that the last form in which the Kingdom appears gives character to the entire period covered by the sowing of the tares. They are in both the present interval of the Church's history and the succeeding one of God's resumption of His ways with His earthly people.

The next parable, of the treasure hid in the field (44), points to the ground of our Lord's future dealing in blessing with Israel; the field (the world) is purchased for the sake of the treasure in it (Israel).

In the parable of the pearl (45, 46), we have the purchase of the Church to be the display of our Lord's glory in the heavenlies, as we see in Revelation. We need hardly say that the merchantman is a type of our Lord, and the price paid in both parables, was "all that He had" — His own life, which He gave to purchase both His earthly and heavenly people. What a perversion of the truth is the other thought that the sinner gives up what he never had, in order to purchase Christ!

The closing parable, of the net cast into the sea (47-52), speaks of the final discriminative gathering from the nations, where that which is of God is safely cared for, while the rest shares in that judgment which is ever declared to mark the close of the dispensation prior to the setting up of our Lord's millennial kingdom upon earth.*

{*This brief summary of this most important series of parables is all that we can give here. In the chapter on the parables they will be again mentioned, but for anything like an exhaustive examination, the reader must turn to some of the books spoken of in the latter part of our volume.}

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 13:53 — 14. The King in His rejection.

This part gives us various thoughts of our Lord's ministry after the crises which we have already noted at the close of the third division. The remainder of His Galilean ministry and earthly course is spent under the shadow of an impending outbreak. Already in heart rejected by the leaders of the people, He will go on ministering in grace so far as unbelief will not refuse Him. Therefore we find here striking manifestations of that grace.

Sec. 1. Chs. 13:53 — 14:12: Refused at Nazareth and sharing in the rejection of John.

In Nazareth itself (53-58), even as in Judah, our Lord as the Son of David is refused. In the synagogue they stumble at the very grace in which He had taken His place among them as "the carpenter's son." The true Builder's Son He was, indeed — "He that built all things is God:" the Son of the great Architect, and Himself the Builder of His Church upon the Rock. Reading beneath the outward reproach implied here, we have a glimpse of the glory of Him whose very humiliation is the occasion for His manifesting that glory! Faith thus takes up the taunt of the world and accepts it as the statement of the most glorious fact. He is indeed the Carpenter's Son.

The end of John the Baptist's faithful ministry (ch. 14:1-12) accords with that of all faithful witnesses in an ungodly world. He gets the prophet's reward at the hands of sinful men — hatred and death. Herod stands for the apostate nation. Not really an Israelite, but with the prerogative of a ruler of Israel; his unholy alliance which he will not break, rebuked by the faithful prophet, became the occasion for the execution of God's faithful servant. He thus reminds us of the character of the ungodly nation in the last days, led on by Antichrist, when Christ's witnesses will be put to death.

Sec. 2. Vers. 13-21: The feeding of the five thousand.

Obliged to seek retirement in the face of such hatred, our Lord will let nothing check His ministering to the need of His people.

Sec. 3. Vers. 22-33: Walking upon the water.

In this miracle our Lord manifests Himself as superior to all circumstances, walking calmly through them all. Faith covets to follow Him, and Peter, suggesting the Church going forth. unto Him, would fain walk as He walked, independent of the "boat" of Judaism. It gives us a glimpse of Peter's entire character, the desire to do, coupled with failure in accomplishment, and our Lord's succoring grace.

Sec. 4. Vers. 34-36: Mercy to the nations.

The dispensational picture is completed when the boat reaches the land, and healing goes forth to all who have need. Thus will it be when our Lord appears as the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 15 — 16:12. Formalism and faith contrasted.

This portion manifests the essential wickedness of the natural heart, no matter how religious it may be. Indeed its very punctiliousness in the matter of religious observances but displays its essential enmity to God. But in contrast to this, we have the heart of God meeting need wherever faith counts upon Him.

Sec. 1. Ch. 15:1-20: Traditionalism and defilement.

How mean are all the petty ways of selfish religiousness. Even human love is stifled by it, and the very commandment of God trampled beneath the feet of those who pretend to eschew defilement. Alas, the heart of man, until renewed, has nothing in it but that which can defile.

Sec. 2. Vers. 21-28: Crumbs for the dogs.

The lovely contrast in the case of the Syrophenician woman is familiar. Wherever there is need which does not assume a place which is not its own (a Gentile could not appeal to the Son of David) there is blessing to the extent of the need.

Sec. 3. Vers. 29-38: The feeding of the four thousand.

There is a largeness of blessing here, not only in feeding the multitude, but healing the lame, blind, dumb, maimed and all who are cast at His feet. The multitude glorified the God of Israel. Alas, they have not faith to stand against their leaders and identify themselves with Him who was thus glorifying God.

Sec. 4. Chs. 15:39 — 16:4: The signs of the times.

These leaders pretend to desire a sign, but fail to notice that which witnesses of the coming judgment, the red and lowering sky caused by the dark cloud of unbelief which obscured the shining of the Sun of righteousness.

Sec. 5. Vers. 5-12: Beware of leaven.

The Lord takes occasion to warn His disciples (slow indeed they are to apprehend His meaning) against the contaminating influence of the religious leaders. Leaven, as we have already had occasion to see, is a figure of an energy of evil working to corrupt. This will be found the consistent meaning of leaven throughout Scripture. Here it refers to doctrine, and in Galatians 5:9 also, where legal principles are spoken of as leaven, a little of which will mar and corrupt all the doctrine with which it is associated. The same expression in 1 Cor. 5:6 refers to the allowance of moral evil. Indifference to truth and sin will corrupt a whole company or fellowship of the people of God. In the light of scriptures like these, as well as the constant use of the term in the Old Testament, how could we think of leaven as a good influence? Not only is the simile unscriptural, but the doctrine which is built upon it is the very reverse of true. So far from good gradually permeating and changing evil, Scripture declares "evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

Subdivision 4. Chaps. 16:13 — 17:21. The revelation of Christ for faith, in the heart and to the eye.

The scenes which follow are outside of or on the limits of the land, suggestive of the rejection which we have seen is characteristic of this whole period. Here, where His earthly people are turning their backs upon Him, faith shines out most brightly. His true Person is apprehended and therefore God can reveal the glories which shall attend His final manifestation.

Sec. 1. Vers. 16:13-19: The foundation upon which the Church is built.

Our Lord craves an answer from His own as to who He is. The world may give Him a high place as John the Baptist, Elias, Jeremias or one of the prophets, but this will not do for faith. Peter's noble confession, speaking for us all: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" is what God teaches concerning His Son, and alone can satisfy His heart. Here we have the living Rock upon which His Church is built; not a stone, Peter, as Rome would vainly claim; nor Peter's confession of the great truth, but rather Him who Himself is the Truth, the Rock of Ages. Against Him no assault of the enemy can prevail; death itself bars its gates in vain against His triumphant resurrection power, a power not only for Himself, but for His Church. We have here an evident prophetic reference to that which embodies the work of God in this day of our Lord's absence. It is the Church which is Christ's body formed by the Holy Spirit and composed of every believer in the present period of grace, from Pentecost to the coming of our Lord. This building of the Church was yet future. It did not begin until after our Lord was glorified, a type of which we have in the transfiguration.

Sec. 2. Vers. 20-28: The cross.

Peter little realized the full meaning of his confession and the solemn necessities connected with it, or he would never have rebuked our Lord for predicting His rejection and death. The way to the glory for Him, if He would not be alone, must be by the cross, and those who share in that glory must know something of the same path of rejection.

Sec. 3. Ch. 17:1-8: The transfiguration.

Here, we have an anticipation of the glory of which we have already spoken; Moses and Elias, the Law and the Prophets, bearing witness to the glory of the Son of God. They may also suggest the two classes of saints who shall be associated with Him in heavenly glory: Moses, those asleep in Jesus; and Elias, the translated ones. But Christ alone must fill the vision. The glory which shines upon His associates is His glory. This, God declares in, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."

Sec. 4. Vers. 9-13: Another prediction of His cross.

The Scribes ignored the sufferings of Christ and therefore could not understand the glory that should follow. Elias had already come, but was rejected and so also must Christ suffer.

Sec. 5. Vers. 14-21: The healing of the lunatic.

We have here another dispensational glimpse of how, after His exaltation, when our Lord descends to His earthly people, He will cast out the demon of unbelief from them. The principle applies in all times.

Subdivision 5. Chaps. 17:22 — 20:28. Governmental responsibilities.

This portion is confined largely to our Lord's intercourse with His disciples, rather than with those outside. Several features may be noted.

Sec. 1. Vers. 22-27: His rejection again foretold.

Although one of the children, and indeed the Son, our Lord in grace submits to pay tribute. How sad the thought, His own people considered Him a stranger!

Sec. 2. Ch. 18:1-14: The spirit of a little child.

All greatness is moral, and a true lowliness lies at its foundation. He who was higher than the highest was meek and lowly in heart. The spirit of a little child marks all who bear His yoke and learn of Him.

Sec. 3. Vers. 15-20: Responsibilities in the assembly.

This spirit of lowliness is not to displace that faithfulness which will maintain the honor of the Lord. Faith and meekness can rebuke sin. This is illustrated in this portion, where the effort to win an erring brother is described. We may remark in passing, how opposite from the legal spirit in which some would apply this scripture are the directions here. The object is to win, not to condemn. Every means is exhausted, even to leaving the case in the hands of the assembly.

Sec. 4. Vers. 21-35: True forgiveness.

How solemn is the connection here! May we not ask ourselves if much that passes for zeal in discipline may not really be mingled with an unforgiving spirit?

Sec. 5. Ch. 19:1-15: Holiness in natural relationships.

The Lord shows the sanctity of the marriage relationship, a subject which may well be pondered in this day of looseness. In connection with this, the invitation for the little children to be brought to Him has an added sweetness. Natural relationships are of God, and have His blessing.

Sec. 6. Chs. 19:16 — 20:16: The necessity for reality.

Mere nature, however, no matter how attractive, will not suffice in the things of God. This is brought out in the narrative of the rich man. Of what avail was all his keeping of the letter of the law when in his heart he had enthroned his wealth in the place which God alone must occupy. Our Lord warns, therefore, against this. Peter, after his manner, protests that they have given up all, following Him. Our Lord accepts this, but in the succeeding parable shows that much which goes for devotion, when tested, will have to take a low place. "The last shall be first, and the first last."

Sec. 7. Ch. 20:17-28: True greatness in the Kingdom.

Again our Lord predicts His rejection, death and resurrection. In sharp contrast to His humiliation in love for us, the selfishness of His poor disciples asserts itself in the request of the mother of Zebedee's children for a place of special honor in His Kingdom. Our Lord promises them only His cup and baptism. The spirit and ways of the Kingdom are again set before them — the glory is for the lowly and will be given not for those who crave it themselves, but for whom it is prepared.

Division 5. (Chaps. 20:29 — 23.) The triumphal entry of the King, seen also as rejected by the leaders, and rejecting them.

We enter now upon the closing scenes of our Lord's life. The rejection which had overshadowed the previous division still is present, but the time for His retirement is past; He now presents Himself in the boldness of divine right and the meekness of perfect obedience. His enemies must come out more openly than they have yet done; they must either fully reject and crucify Him or own Him as their King. Which shall it be? Our Lord labors under no misapprehension. He fully recognizes the true nature of the opposition which is arrayed against Him and meets it in every form in which it appears. Throughout the whole scene there is an unmistakable dignity, but it is a dignity of meekness and truth; not of outward power.

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 20:29 — 21:22. The King presented.

The opposition must come from the enemy — not from the Lord who still continues to scatter blessings wherever He goes.

Sec. 1. Vers. 29-34: Opening blind eyes. Blind need can discern the Son of David where

open-eyed self-sufficiency sees and despises Him.

Sec. 2. Ch. 21:1-11: The entry of the King into Jerusalem.

The typical character of this entry is manifest. Indeed, it is a fulfilment of the prophet's words. That both the ass and its colt should be mentioned is a striking illustration of the perfection of the inspired Word in contrast with a barren attempt at exactness. Our Lord seems to have ridden both animals, one after the other. The ass stands for Israel by nature. Its colt suggests the remnant, the new-born nation. It is this last which alone can truly bear its King into the holy city, but the nation is merged into this and thus the two are mentioned together. The time is coming when Israel according to the flesh shall be represented, not by the apostate and ungodly mass, but by a nation born in a day, new-born by the grace of God, who shall proclaim with delight: "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Hosanna to the Son of David."

Sec. 3. Vers. 12-17: The purging of the temple.

The Refiner and Purifier of silver is seen, the Lord who shall suddenly come to His temple. How this moment would have introduced the entire millennial blessing for Israel had there been a heart to receive Him who thus would purge His house. It could not be, man being what he is. Israel, as well as ourselves and the entire human family, could alone have redemption offered to them on the ground of the sacrificial death of our Lord, but this only accentuates the guilt of the chief priests who reject Him in face of His manifest moral glory. Our Lord declares the babes and sucklings will declare His praise if the leaders will not, and the very stones proclaim the shame of those who know not the Son of David.

Sec. 4. Vers. 18-22: The fig-tree withered.

We have here another symbolic act. The fig-tree stands for the Jewish nation — a fig-tree, not a vine, because only a fragment of the nation, two tribes, was restored from Babylon. This failed to bear fruit, and the time was coming when, refusing the blessing, it must receive the curse. In spite of its bravery of profession in the abundance of leaves, the fruit, which in the fig-tree precedes the leaves, was utterly wanting. In this very judgment of nature, faith finds occasion to count upon God — it trusts Him who withers our nature's strength and thus removes the mountains which would oppose our true progress.

Subdivision 2. Chap. 21:23-46. The King rejected.

The conflict of the leaders with our Lord goes on, ever manifesting their implacable hatred and showing our Lord's full knowledge of all that was coming.

Sec. 1. Vers. 23-27: His authority.

They profess to want to know by what authority our Lord is acting. In no arbitrary way, He asks them a question which must precede His answer. Do they recognize John's baptism have they bowed in repentance to God? If not, they are incapable of knowing by what authority He acts.

Sec. 2. Vers. 28-32: The two sons.

Our Lord will press further upon their conscience. They were like the son who promised to obey his father and did not, while the publicans and the despised ones who did not conceal their former disobedience, now in penitence are putting to shame the formalism of the Pharisees.

Sec. 3. Vers. 33-46: The Heir is slain.

In the parable of the vineyard and the husbandmen, our Lord shows that the leaders' opposition would only culminate when they had deliberately rejected and cast out and slain the true Heir. This is most solemn while it shows the love which would in advance bring home their premeditated sin upon them, if even yet they might be brought to repentance and turn to Him.

Subdivision 3. Chap. 22:1-14. The marriage of the King's Son.

This parable of the Kingdom shows how the purposes of God are to be fulfilled, in spite of the wicked rejection of our Lord by His earthly people. He still will make a marriage for His Son. He will have a companion associated with Him in the blessing and glory into which He will enter. The bride is not directly spoken of here. We may think of her as the earthly companion of our Lord, the new nation of which we have already spoken.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-4: The call.

To this wedding feast, God will send out invitations. Indeed, one had already gone forth during the ministry of John the Baptist and of our Lord upon earth.

Sec. 2. Vers. 5-7: Rejection.

This had been made light of and ignored, and the result would be the destruction of Jerusalem and the scattering of the Jews.

Sec. 3. Vers. 8-10: The Gentiles gathered in.

Here we have the ingathering which has been going on throughout the present dispensation. The former narrative is still earthly, as we saw in the case of the parable of the tares, and therefore the final gathering is not the Church on high, but the company of professed believers in the brief period after the rapture of the Church. However, the dispensational lines are not closely drawn, but the great and solemn facts are laid upon the conscience.

Sec. 4. Vers. 11, 12: Without a wedding garment.

The King comes in to see His guests. Of course, this could not be in heaven where the Church is gathered, for there will be no false professors there but, as we said, it is a solemn truth rather than dispensational exactness that is pressed upon our heart. However, all is clear when we bear in mind what is said above. The King comes in, not to seek for enemies but to see His friends. The enemies, however, must be detected. They are known by their refusal to accept the provision of the wedding garment.

Sec. 5. Vers. 13, 14: The doom.

The end of enemies can only be judgment against which they cannot protest. Their lips are sealed.

Subdivision 4. Chap. 22:15-46. Enemies silenced.

The leaders still seek to ensnare our Lord, but in the questions they ask they are themselves taken.

Sec. 1. Vers. 15-22: Tribute to Caesar.

This was a constant source of irritation to the Jews, whose pride could not brook the thought of subjection to a foreign authority. Like their boasted Sabbath keeping, however, it was all a sham; the stern fact was that they were a tributary people, using Caesar's money, and therefore should render tribute to him, and acknowledge as well their responsibilities to God, which they utterly ignored.

Sec. 2. Vers. 23-33: The resurrection.

The Sadducees, the skeptics of their day, propound a hypothetical case, grotesque enough in itself, but revealing also an utter ignorance of the Scriptures and the power of God. Our Lord's answer brings out weighty truth while rebuking their ignorance of God and His word.

Sec. 3. Vers. 34-40: The greatest commandment.

The Pharisees — at the opposite extreme from the Sadducees — next ask what is the most important feature of the law, to be answered by that perfect summary which gives God His supreme place and links men together in love.

Sec. 4. Vers. 41-46: "What think ye of Christ?"

His enemies had asked Him three questions — a political, a doctrinal and a legal. Having answered each of these, He asks them one — the question of all questions. We can but marvel at the wondrous simplicity and heart-searching depth of this interrogatory, with its intimations of a fulness in His Person revealed only to those who know God — David's Son and David's Lord. If they know Him not, what need for further questions on their part? Thus they are silenced.

Subdivision 5. Chap. 23. The arraignment of His rejecters.

In order rightly to understand this grandly solemn chapter, we must remember the circumstances. The Lord, rejected, hated, the net being drawn ever more closely about Him, well knowing that the cross is near, turns upon His enemies, not in anger, nor weakness, but in all the regal dignity and conscious authority which go with absolute, divine, moral righteousness. The conditions are reversed. The leaders are the culprits, and He whom they would take is their Judge; and yet we shall fail to get the full meaning of what He says unless we remember the infinite compassion, deep yearning love for the very ones whose doom He must declare.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-12: False rulers.

The leaders occupied Moses' seat. So long as they enforced the law of Moses they were to be obeyed, but they were destitute of the very first principle of a true lawgiver, which is to be himself subject to the laws. These, on the contrary, exalt themselves at the expense of a burdened people. How opposite to the lowliness which our Lord enjoins upon His disciples and which He so perfectly exemplified.

Sec. 2. Vers. 13-33: The seven-fold woe.

Nothing could exceed the solemnity of this denunciation. The number of woes reminding us of those pronounced in Isaiah 5 and 6, suggests the completeness and finality of the judgment they had brought upon themselves. In general, they declare the blindness, hypocrisy and implacable hatred of those who posed as the religious patterns and leaders of the people. Nothing could be more dreadful. The seven woes follow:
First: For shutting up the Kingdom (ver. 13). Second: For false proselyting (ver. 15).*
Third: For unholy trickery about sacred things (vers. 16-22).
Fourth: For punctiliousness about trifles, while regardless of the greatest matters (vers. 23, 24).
Fifth: For inward uncleanness with outward scrupulosity (vers. 25, 26).
Sixth: Whited sepulchres full of dead men's bones (vers. 27, 28).
Seventh: For professed honors paid to martyred prophets while they are plotting further martyrdom of the Greatest of all, thus filling up the iniquity of their fathers and identifying themselves with the shedding of all righteous blood from Abel down. How could they, with such willing-hearted corruption,escape the judgment of hell? Divine love asks the question (vers. 29-36).
*{Ver. 14 which occurs in Mark and Luke is omitted here by the editors on the authority of most of the ancient manuscripts.}

Sec. 3. Vers. 37-39: The sorrow of the King and Judge.

How inexpressibly sweet and sad is this closing element which gives character to the entire sentence pronounced! What must be the hopelessness of that condition when divine power, righteousness and love can only unite in mourning over the obduracy of the human heart! "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!"

Division 6. (Chaps. 24 and 25.) The coming of the King in final glory, announced in reference to Israel, the Church and the world.

To give anything like an adequate analysis of this great discourse, would be to traverse the entire field of prophetic truth, of which it furnishes the great salient features. This would require a volume, where we have but space for a few pages. We must therefore be concise and omit much that is not absolutely necessary for an understanding of the outlines of this Gospel.

As we have seen, Matthew is distinctively the great governmental Gospel. We have the King, His kingdom and the administration, not only of that kingdom but of everything upon earth with reference to it. We need not be surprised, therefore, that the vision reaches far beyond the limits of Israel. In one sense — but under what different conditions! — this discourse upon the Mount of Olives reminds us of Moses' view of the land from the summit of Mt. Pisgah. The lawgiver must feel the sentence of the law which he himself had pronounced, and is shut out from the goodly land which he can only behold from afar. A Greater than the lawgiver is also surveying the whole field of what is to be His future inheritance in Israel, the Church and the world. Neither is He now going to enter into it, but through no failure of His own. Love and divine compassion are leading Him to take the consequences of the trespass of His people and to suffer without the gate in their stead. Thus He will open the way for their entrance in blessing into the inheritance and establish the foundation upon which His kingdom shall rest undisturbed for all time and eternity.

As has been already remarked, the discourse grows out of the disciples' implied thought that the temple and all connected with it were permanent. Our Lord declares all must be overthrown. Neither His kingdom nor His temple can rest upon any foundation but that which He must lay through His Cross. Therefore, He must pronounce the end in judgment upon all else. This judgment will take place in connection with His second coming, which brings in the end of the age.

There are three main subdivisions of this discourse, devoted to the three great departments of responsibility respectively, in Israel, the Church and the Gentile world.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 24:1-11. Israel in relation to the Lord's second coming.

There can be no clear apprehension of prophetic truth unless the distinction between Israel and the Church, and indeed, the world, is clearly seen (1 Cor. 10:32).

This first portion of the discourse therefore is confined to the Lord's coming with reference to His earthly people Israel. To apply what He here says to the present dispensation and the Church, would introduce all manner of confusion. Of course, the disciples to whom He was speaking became afterwards part of the Church. He addresses them, however, as representative Jews who might be present at the time of His second coming. The connection also between the first destruction of Jerusalem, which was so soon take to take place, and the final overthrow of the apostate nation at the end, shows the unity of the moral condition which will characterize the people at both these periods. We see in chapter I o something of the same, where the sending out of the disciples by our Lord was connected with His second coming. The present interval of grace is left out of view.

We cast a brief glance at the various sections of this portion:

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-14: The beginning of sorrows.

This portion is an answer, apparently, to the first part of the disciples' question as to the destruction of Jerusalem, and is general in its character. There are certain features appropriate to the entire period of our Lord's absence, looked at as we have seen in the parable of the tares. False Christs were to abound; there were to be wars and rumors of wars; nature itself in sympathy with the moral upheaval that is to take place; persecutions of the true disciples were to abound; while false prophets were to be numerous and apostasy would creep in. The gospel of the Kingdom, however, would be preached to the end. This, as we have seen, is spoken of in chapter 10.

Sec. 2. Vers. 15-28: The abomination of desolation.

We are here in the last days, having over-leaped the entire present period of the Church's history, and are in the last week of Daniel — the last half of that week. The false Christs and false prophets previously spoken of are here embodied in that one person whom they prefigured; this one is the Antichrist, the false prophet. It is he who sets up the image of the Beast (Rev. 13:13-17; Dan. 9:27), which is the signal for the introduction of the Great Tribulation for all who will not acknowledge the authority of the Beast (the political, imperial power) as supported by apostate Judaism under the Antichrist.

When this takes place, the faithful are to flee. In Luke, there is apparently more special reference to the first destruction of Jerusalem under the Romans (see Luke 21:20). Our Lord goes on to describe the fearful tribulations of those days — for Jews and not for Christians. The shortening of these days of tribulation (vers. 19- 22) refers to the fact that the Great Tribulation does not commence at the beginning of Daniel's week, but in the middle, and lasts but three and a half years. His people are particularly warned against the false Christs (23-26). Then, when evil is at its height, the Son of Man will appear as the lightning in the heaven; there shall be no mistaking His appearing (27, 28).

Sec. 3. Vers. 29-44: The appearing of the Son of Man.

This is that great appearing of our Lord with clouds when "every eye shall see Him; and they also that pierced Him, and all the kindreds of the land shall wail because of Him" (29-31).

He next warns His disciples of the certainty and nearness of this coming. Morally, it was already near, though the entire present interval of grace has elapsed; all things have been in abeyance. At the end, the remnant will recognize the signs of the times when the fig-tree puts forth her leaves (32-35). While the nearness and the certainty of this appearing will be well known to the remnant, no date can be fixed. This serves to rebuke in a general way all foolish efforts to set a date for the Lord's coming by those who are ignorant of the elementary distinction between the rapture of the Church at the close of this present period and the appearing to which this entire prophecy refers. It would also guard the elect in that day from attempting to set an exact date for that which is known only to the Father. It will suffice for them to know that all things will go on as in the days of Noah, when suddenly the Son of Man will come. Then, some will be taken away in judgment and others left for blessing (36-41). The moral lesson of it all is, to be ready and to watch (42-44).

Subdivision 2. Chap. 24:45 — 25:30. The Lord's coming with reference to the Church.

It is significant that throughout that part of the discourse referring to Israel, our Lord speaks of Himself as "the Son of Man," while in that which now comes He is called "Lord." Verses 42-44 have both expressions and are of that general character of moral warning which would be appropriate to both.

Sec. 1. Vers. 45-51: The responsibilities of the servant.

The Lord here speaks of those who have been entrusted with responsibilities in connection with His kingdom during His absence. They are either faithful stewards or unfaithful, and as such will receive their recompense. We would suggest that while this portion of the discourse has reference to the present Church period, it will probably be found that what is said of the interpretation of the parable of the tares would also apply here; that is, that while the present period is included, the form of what is said is earthly and may reach on to the period of the Tribulation. This would explain how the judgment falls upon the unfaithful servants in an unexpected moment. We could not apply this to the Church.

Sec. 2. Ch. 25:1-13: The Coming of the Bridegroom.

This is a parable of the Kingdom of Heaven, and what has already been said as to it will apply here. The Bridegroom would be Christ, and the wedding, not the marriage supper of the Lamb in heaven where the Church is the bride, but the earthly kingdom which He sets up here. Those who are waiting for the Bridegroom, however, would be primarily Christians, during the present dispensation, though as we have already said, it may go beyond into the next period. That is, our Lord is here impressing the lesson of readiness for those who are waiting for His coming. We need say but little as to the two classes. Those without oil figure mere profession — those destitute of the Holy Spirit, whose lamps of testimony are found to be going out at the critical time.

Sec. 3. Vers. 14-30: The parable of the talents.

This third portion of the address which covers the present Church period speaks of the gifts which have been entrusted to the Lord's servants during His absence. What has already been said as to the virgins is applicable here. It is kingdom truth, rather than the Church; it includes the present period, though does not end with it. The moral lessons are so clear that we need not dwell further upon them.

Subdivision 3. Chap. 25:31-46. The appearing of the Son of Man in relation to the Gentiles.

Perhaps no portion of Scripture has been more misunderstood than this solemn scene. Those who do not understand dispensational truth confound this great assize of the living nations with the judgment of the dead in Rev. 20. We need but remember that a thousand years' interval separates the two; this judgment taking place before the Millennium, and that of the dead at the close of that period of earthly blessing. Here, it is the living; there, the dead; here, the nations in special relation to those who have preached His kingdom; there, all the wicked dead from the time of Cain.

Three classes are mentioned in this scene. The nations are divided into sheep and goats, and another class, briefly referred to as "these My brethren," is distinguished from both. These last are the remnant; those who, as has often been said, are identified with our Lord's first disciples sent out on their ministry and engaged in the same service, carrying the gospel of the Kingdom to all the nations of the world. The manner of their treatment indicates the moral condition of those nations, and settles their standing as sheep or as goats. The judgment here is final in the sense that it goes on to the end. As we know, the Antichrist and the Beast of Revelation have their place in the same lake of fire where these openly defiant nations also find their doom.

Division 7. (Chaps. 26-28.) The King crowned with thorns and by His death and resurrection making good all His purposes of blessing for His kingdom and the world.

In our examination of the nature of our Lord's death and the events connected with it as recorded in each Evangelist, we have gone so fully into this portion of our subject that we will confine ourselves almost exclusively to giving the analysis. See Chapter III, Parts 2 and 3.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 26:1-56. Preliminary.

In this portion we have the account of what takes place up to and including our Lord's betrayal and arrest.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-16: The forethought of enemies and of friends.

In sorrowful contrast, we have here (1-5) the plot of the rulers to put our Lord to death, and (6-13) the pouring the fragrant ointment upon Him by the woman. Judas repudiates her act and identifies himself with our Lord's murderers.

Sec. 2. Vers. 17-35: The Passover and the Lord's Supper.

Kingly dignity has marked our Lord throughout; now He goes towards this dark part of His pathway with the same kingly dignity and in the beauty of meekness that has marked His whole course. It is He who provides for the keeping of the Passover (17-19), and at the last of these celebrations foretells His betrayal and points out the traitor (20-25). Here, too, is the establishment of a new feast (26-29) which we may call rather the first than the last Supper, the light and joy of which has been with us ever since.

Next follows the warning to Peter and the disciples with the fore-warning of His rejection (30-35).

Sec. 3. Vers. 36-46: The agony in the Garden.

We love to linger here and behold the King whose glory never shone out more perfectly than when prostrate upon His face He receives the cup from His Father's hand.

Sec. 4. Vers. 47-56: The Betrayal.

Judas with his false kiss (47-50) and Peter with his ineffectual sword (51-54), though utterly dissimilar, are both contrasted with the meekness of Him who, when all His disciples flee, yields Himself up into the hands of His enemies (55, 56).

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 26:57-27. The rejection and crucifixion of the King.

The details of the two trials, the religious (!) and the civil, are given here, and the cross which follows.

Sec. 1. Ch. 26:57-75: The trial before the high priest.

If they condemn Him, it must be in the face of the full light. False witnesses will not avail. So the high priest by his very adjuration renders himself and the council inexcusably guilty not only of the rejection of their King, but of the condemnation of the righteous — the Son of God (57-68). The blessed Lord is mocked and shamefully entreated, but bears witness in all the conscious dignity of His Person and position. The dreadful contrast with poor Peter's cowardice (69-75) may fill us with shame as we remember how the same heart dwells in us.

Sec. 2. Ch. 27:1-26: The trial before Pilate.

The chief priests have been guilty of the unspeakable blasphemy of condemning the Son of God to death. The Romans had deprived them of the power to inflict this penalty however, and thus are compelled to fulfil those Scriptures which foretold the manner of our Lord's death. He is therefore brought before the Roman Governor. We first see the end of Judas (3-5) and the diabolical perversity of mere religiousness in the juggling of the Jews with the traitor's money (6-10).

A travesty of trial is gone through before Pilate in which One only stands out in absolute contrast to all the wickedness that is taking place about Him (11-23). Pilate gives sentence that the will of the leaders shall be carried out, and while declaring the Lord's innocence, delivers Him up to be crucified (24-26).

Sec. 3. Vers. 27-56: The crucifixion.

The Jews have now rejected their King and turned Him over to the Gentiles by whom He is crowned with thorns (symbol of the curse) and arrayed in mockery with a royal robe (27-31). He is then led forth in His own garments — symbolizing His own character, which God will not permit to be clouded in any way. The two thieves crucified with Him, the mockery of the rulers, the railing of the mob, all give the setting in which man has placed the Son of God. The King whose steps we have traced as He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed with the devil, they hung upon a cross! (32-44.)

We have now the nature of that atoning suffering which our Lord was enduring (45-54), compared with which all the previous mockery was as nothing. To be forsaken of God, to bear the penalty of sin, this is the true essence of His suffering which shows it to be not merely that of the body, but the atoning and all-sufficient sacrifice for the transgression of man. Death follows as the governmental penalty of sin.

Subdivision 3. Chap. 27:55 — 28. The resurrection of the King.

The first part of this narrative, though referring to our Lord's burial, really is linked with His resurrection, for no further desecration is permitted.

Sec. 1. Vers. 55-61: The anointing.

The kingly triumph, we may say, begins when the women and Joseph of Arimathea take down His body, anoint it and lay it in the new grave.

Sec. 2. Vers. 62-66: The sepulchre sealed.

Another note of triumph is struck in the provision which the Pharisees themselves made to guard against a false report of our Lord's resurrection. They thus contribute to an overwhelming testimony to it. The one possible charge that His disciples stole Him away is provided against by the very ones who of all others wished to circulate such a falsehood. For "the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (1 Cor. 1:25). Thus, wickedness overreaches itself and must bear witness to the truth.

Sec. 3. Ch. 28:1-10: The angel's witness.

The circumstances here are in accord with the entire theme of the Gospel. The splendor of the angel's appearance, the earthquake and the assurances of our Lord's resurrection, all have the exultant tone of triumph. They are like the trumpeting heralds going before the King.

Sec. 4. Vers. 11-15: The testimony of the watch.

The keepers who had been as dead men announce their own defeat, while the incurable malignity of the Jews would even pursue their King after He has entered into the glory with the lie which they themselves had made impossible by their plan.

Sec. 5. Vers. 16-20: The last commission of the King.

Our Lord meets His disciples, as appointed, in Galilee, where He had done so many of His royal works. For faith, He is now the King in glory, and commissions His disciples to go forth to gather in subjects into that Kingdom which He is establishing. In our last view of the blessed King all power is committed into His hands; His ascension is not recorded, as the entire theme of our Evangelist is connected with the earth. He who empowers them and sends them forth is still with them to the end of that age which shall forever close the period of His earthly rejection and open up the glories of that Kingdom which shall have no end.


General Theme — Christ the Son of God as Prophet, declaring the message of God to His people, and His Servant, accomplishing the will of God in ministering to their need. His course of untiring service in this connection more and more rejected, but going forward to the crowning act of service, made sin for man's sin, thereby accomplishing atonement, going up on high, still laboring with His servants in the gospel which they proclaim.
Division 1. Chaps. 1 — 5. The beginning of His service — the more personal aspect.
Division 2. Chaps. 6 — 10:45. The rejection of the Servant and Prophet in which those who are connected with Him are associated.
Division 3. Chaps. 10:46 — 16. Prophetic testimony fully declared, and service reaching its climax in the cross, leading on to resurrection.

These three divisions suggest that threefold character of service — its activity, obstacles and culmination, which speak of the divine fulness of God humbled down to our need and now exalted again. We might give Phil. 2:5-11 as the scriptural synopsis of this service.

We will take up each of these divisions and glance at the various parts into which they are subdivided:

Division 1. (Chaps. 1 — 5.) The beginning of His service — the more personal aspect.

This first division is filled with the record of a tireless service in teaching, healing, and declaring the will of God in prophetic ministry. The attention is centered upon the Lord and His work, with details as to the nature of the need and the character of the healing ministry. This first portion in all the Synoptists has a certain character, particularly in Matthew and Mark. The activities are not hampered by the opposition. This comes later on, and in our Gospel finds its proper place in the second division.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 1:1-13. The Son of God announced by the forerunner and entering upon His service.

The first verse is introductory and guards against any misapprehension as to the true dignity of the One who had humbled Himself. While the expression "Son of God" does not necessarily refer to the eternal relationship with the Father, as "the Only Begotten" in John, it cannot be separated from this, and therefore declares who the Person is who enters upon His prophetic office of service.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-3: The way prepared.

It is fitting, therefore, that His title should be given, together with the reference to the prophet which pointed to the coming of a forerunner to prepare the way of the Lord Jehovah.

Sec. 2. Vers. 4-8: The forerunner.

We have here the testimony of John in the wilderness, with its striking results. Brevity and conciseness are marked. In a few lines, the clothing, food and preaching of John, all appropriate to his prophetic office, are described. Notice how all points to the coming of a Mightier than he, who would baptize with the Holy Ghost.

Sec. 3. Vers. 9-11: The opened heavens.

God here adds His voice, to the testimony of Scripture and of John the Baptist, to the dignity of Him who was taking His place in lowliness" Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Sec. 4. Vers. 12, 13: The temptation.

Mark gives here in two verses, the summary of that which Matthew and Luke give in full. The brevity is pregnant, while an added feature is given that our Lord was with the wild beasts. Notice, too, that the Spirit here drives the Lord, we might say, appropriate to His position as servant; while in Matthew, He is led. These are not contradictory, but each is appropriate to the Gospel in which it occurs.

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 1:14 — 3. The call to service and the perfect example of it.

Our Lord, after John was delivered up to prison, goes forth to continue and perfect his prophetic testimony.

Sec. 1. Vers. 14-20: The call of Simon and others.

At the outset, He calls into association with Himself those who are to learn from His perfect example what service is. "I will make you fishers of men."

Sec. 2. Vers. 21-39. The demon cast out, and many cures.

In the synagogue, as He taught in His prophetic service, a man with an unclean spirit is present, suggesting the power of the enemy in the very place where the word of God should have been supreme. He is cast out (21-28). Entering into Simon's house, a type, we may say, of Israel, He finds his mother-in-law prostrate with a fever, incapable of doing aught. He dismisses the fever and she ministers to them (29-31). The evening brings no cessation in this activity of service. Multitudes oppressed with various ills gather about the door to find healing and blessing. It is noted that He will not allow the demons to bear witness of Him, although they know Him well (32-34).

One most important thing for a servant to notice is that nothing is allowed to interfere with the spirit of dependence which marked our Lord. Rising up early, He goes forth to prayer, and to the statement later of Simon, that all men sought for Him, He simply replies that He must go to other places to perform the work which He had come to do (35-39).

Sec. 3. Vers. 40-45: The cleansing of the leper.

Doubtless, each form of disease was typical of some special manifestation of sin,the demon possession suggesting the power of Satan, as fever did the false energy of an activity not of the Spirit. Here, the leprosy speaks of uncleanness and therefore unfitness for the presence of God. Such was the condition of Israel, as well as that of every sinner.

Notice how the Lord touches the leper, suggesting how He came to meet our sin and put it away. The command here to tell no one does not seem to be because of the opposition, but rather that His true service was in danger of being hampered by the multitudes treating Him as a mere healer. Miracles themselves were only acted parables, and our Lord came from heaven to do something more than cure the ills of the body.

Sec. 4. Ch. 2:1-12: The paralytic cured.

If leprosy suggests the guilt and defilement of sin, paralysis or palsy speaks of the helplessness which accompanies it. "When we were yet without strength (paralytics), in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (lepers). Notice the teaching of our Lord as to forgiveness. It is sin and guilt which bring in helplessness and when these are forgiven, the power to walk in God's way is assured. Notice also the first murmurings of opposition here in the suggestion that our Lord was blaspheming.

Sec. 5. Ch. 2:13 — 3:6: Disciples attracted. The opposition forming.

The first part of this section leads on to the beginning of the next. Such activities of mercy, with teaching, will gather followers and draw the line so clearly that men must accept or reject. First, we have the call of Levi (Matthew) the publican (13-17). The Pharisees oppose our Lord sitting at meat with such persons. He justifies His ministry of healing, whether physical or moral, by saying: "They that are whole have no need of a physician, but they that are sick."

Further contrast between formal Judaism and living association with Himself is next given. (18-22). New wine must be put into new bottles. Fasting and formalism for religious purposes may do for Judaism, or even the disciples of John as not yet fully set free, but the children of the Bride-chamber cannot fast while He is with them.

Next, we have the scene in the corn-fields (23 — 28) and the opposition of the Pharisees, with our Lord's justification of what the disciples were doing. David is given as an illustration, and, appropriately to Mark, the Sabbath is declared to be for man rather than man for the Sabbath.

The healing of the withered hand (3:1-6) on the Sabbath brings out still further the Jewish opposition. The reason we have given in Matthew. The evident hardening of heart on the part of the Pharisees is taking place, and we find them going out and taking counsel with the Herodians to destroy Him.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 3:7 — 5. The opposition made manifest and the activity of teaching and serving continued.

This closing part of the first division shows the determined attitude of the Pharisees which culminates in their awful blasphemy, and the Lord's unremitting service and faithful testimony in the face of it all. This fittingly closes the first or more personal part of His public service.

Sec. 1. Ch. 3:7 — 4:34: The authority, holiness and sufficiency of God in the face of evil.

This portion is subdivided. We may merely note the character of each portion: multitudes attracted by His divine power (7-12); the call of the twelve disciples to be associated with Himself and to preach (13-19); the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (20-30); true relationship (31-35) the parables (chap. 4:1-34). These last are not so numerous as in Matthew. We have, indeed, but three parables and one simile given, although we are told that with "many such parables He spoke the word unto them." First, the parable of the sower (1-20). Note that in the explanation our Lord gives a suggestive word: "Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" Evidently the explanation of one parable was intended as a key, an illustration to guide in the interpretation of others. So also every scripture explanation of other scriptures is to be considered a sample of interpretation.

The understanding of a parable entails a responsibility; for those who have, more shall be given them. A light is not to be concealed (21-25). The growth of the seed (26-29) is peculiar to Mark, and teaches a lesson from the development of the seed which has been cast into the earth. Our Lord has sown the word and gone on high. It springs up and grows, but the harvest is certain — a harvest which includes the eradication of the evil as well as the gathering in of the good.

The parable of the mustard seed follows,where it is not merely the growth of a seed, presumably good, but the development of Christendom into a great world power as we see it now (30-34).

Sec. 2. Chs. 4:35 — 5: Further workings of the faithful Servant.

We have here several miracles to be taken together. Crossing the lake furnishes the occasion for calming the storm (35-41). Next follows the casting out of the demon in Gadara. Many beautiful details are given at greater length than in Matthew. Returning back from Gadara, whether He seems to have gone simply to do this work — alas, all unappreciated by those who prefer swine to His presence. Our Lord meets fresh need in the daughter of Jairus whom He raises from the dead, and in the woman with an issue of blood. These two narratives are so intertwined that we cannot fail to combine them in our thoughts. Sin ends in death and is marked by defilement, but both are subject to Him who delights to work wherever there is the simplest faith that will touch but the border of His garment (21-43).

Division 2. (Chaps. 6 — 10:45.) The rejection of the Servant and Prophet, in which those who are connected with Him are associated.

The conflict of unbelief develops here, as seen in the open godlessness of Herod and the empty formalism of the Pharisees on one hand, with the grace of our Lord and fore-glimpses of His glory on the other; then the practical results in discipleship. We note the subdivisions:

Subdivision 1. Chap. 6. Rejection on every hand.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-13. Rejection in His own country.

It was sufficient for His opposers that they knew Him as the carpenter, so they show the folly of unbelief by failing to see a glory which even then would manifest itself by healing a few sick folk (1-6). This unbelief does not check

His service, but gives Him rather to multiply the channels through which it will be exercised. We find Him therefore sending out the twelve two by two, with authority over unclean spirits and to preach repentance and heal the sick (7-13).

Sec. 2. Vers. 14-29: Herod and John the Baptist.

The end of the faithful forerunner is recorded for us at this point, in the midst of the narrative of our Lord's rejection. Surely He too, in a little while, must drink the cup — but for Him mingled with wrath — which His faithful servant was tasting.

Sec. 3. Vers. 30-45: The feeding of the five thousand.

Rejection and opposition will not check the outflowing of mercy so long as there is room to receive it; thus wherever there are hungry souls they will be fed.

Sec. 4. Vers. 46-52: Walking on the water.

The opposition we have been speaking of may fittingly be likened to the stormy sea; and the disciples toiling in rowing, while our Lord is on high praying, gives a little picture of the present period when we have been called into His path of service. Soon He will come and the toil will be over. This applies in many ways.

Sec. 5. Vers. 53-56: At the shore.

Carrying out the figure, this may suggest how the advent of the Lord will bring health and mercy to His people.

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 7 — 8:9. Human religion in enmity to God, whose love delights to reach the needy.

Here we have, as in Matthew, the contrast between the heart of man in its self-righteousness and the heart of God in ministering grace to the needy. Further details are added to complete the general subject of this part.

Sec. 1. Ch. 7:1-23: The traditions of the elders and the commandments of God.

We do not dwell afresh upon these, of which we have spoken in Matthew. There are special features here, no doubt appropriate to Mark.

Sec. 2. Vers. 24-30: Crumbs from the Master's table.

The Syrophenician woman has no religious formalism between her need and Christ; she finds Him therefore all-sufficient.

Sec. 3. Vers. 31-37: The dumb man healed.

The formalism of the first part shows Israel's self-sufficiency; the reaching out to the Syrophenician woman speaks of mercy to the Gentiles. Returning to Israel, He finds dumbness and deafness. The two go together; for, as in nature, no one can speak aright who has not heard aright; the Lord opens the ears as well as the lips, and the dumb speaks plainly.

Sec. 1. Ch. 8:1-9: The four thousand fed.

It is characteristic of this Gospel, packed as it is with instances of our Lord's activity, that we should have both accounts of the feeding of the multitude — the five thousand, and now the four thousand.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 8:10 — 9:8. The sufferings and the glory, with the results.

Our Lord is here withdrawing from the public paths where congregated the opposing Pharisees, and in greater retirement His true glory shines forth.

Sec. 1. Vers. 10-21: No sign for unbelief.

The Pharisees profess to desire a sign, which our Lord refuses to give, reminding His disciples a little later that there was one particular form of evil which they should avoid above all other — the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod, of hypocrisy and self-will.

Sec. 2. Vers. 22-26: The blind man of Bethsaida.

We have noted elsewhere the peculiarities of this narrative found in Mark alone. Here is a gradual healing, in no way contradicting the reality of grace, but showing how that grace may be progressive in its workings. Doubtless, there are many cases of this, and indeed, may we not say, the grace which has opened our eyes goes on to show us more and more clearly that to which they have been opened.

Sec. 3. Vers. 27-30: Peter's confession.

If the Pharisees have rejected Christ, His own but more clearly apprehended Him; and yet had not Peter his eyes but partly opened to see what was meant in that wondrous word, "Thou art the Christ? "

Sec. 4. Vers. 31-38: Peter's rebuke.

Here again Peter is in the forefront, but now not as a witness for Christ but as indicating how dimly he yet saw the truth. He might discern the Person; he did not realize the necessity for the Cross. That Cross was for our atonement and as an example too, that we must expect something of the same — so far as rejection by man is concerned — if we are to follow in our Lord's footsteps.

Sec. 5. Ch. 9:1-8: The transfiguration.

The cross is followed by the glory, and here we have a glimpse of it.

Subdivision 4. Chap. 9:9-50. After the glory.

Having had an experience of what the glory was, our Lord descends from the mountain and illustrates what will take place when He returns to this earth for Israel's blessing. There is also the suggestion of the pathway of the disciple after the apprehension of the glory of the Lord. Both these truths seem to be present here, and it requires little discernment to distinguish them.

Sec. 1. Vers. 9-13: The resurrection from the dead.

Our Lord commands that they keep silence as to His glory until after His resurrection; a thing which the disciples did not then understand. However, they go on to ask Him about the coming of Elias first, as though they had a glimpse of what the transfiguration meant. Our Lord replies that in one sense Elias had come, but he had been rejected, even as Himself, whose presence he announced, was to be rejected.

Sec. 2. Vers. 14-29: The demoniac delivered.

Again the demoniac appears, and our Lord also will return from His glory to heal poor Israel, oppressed of the devil. This is the dispensational feature. The literal one is similar in moral character. It is the knowledge of the glory of Christ that delivers from the power of Satan.

Sec. 3. Vers. 30-32: Death and resurrection again foretold.

How slow the disciples were to understand! Indeed, they did not really grasp what was meant, and the crucifixion came as a shock because of this. They neither entered into our Lord's rejection nor knew the power of His resurrection until after the descent of the Holy Ghost.

Sec. 4. Vers. 33-41: The truly great.

The true Servant would illustrate that spirit and seek to bring His followers into conformity to Himself. How much of personal jealousy and self-seeking betrays itself in those who at heart desire to follow the Lord!

Sec. 5. Vers. 42-50: The issues of eternity.

The solemn warning here in connection with that of which they had been speaking shows that those who are despised by the world, the little ones who belong to Christ, are cared for by Him. Let any beware how he stumbles one of the least of these. Not merely is there the suffering in time, but for those who are truly enemies of Christ's lowly servants, an eternal judgment.

Subdivision 5. Chap. 10:1-45. Earthly relationships and divine responsibilities.

We have, in this portion, the relation of nature to God. Some earthly relationships are distinctly of His ordering, and some responsibilities are either of man's making or not inherent in his nature. All are seen in their relation to God.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-12: The marriage relationship.

Our Lord here recognizes the divine ordinance of marriage and corrects the abuse of the formalist which suffered divorce, incidentally pointing out that even the Mosaic provision under strict limitations was not to be compared with the original purpose of God.

Sec. 2. Vers. 13-16: Little children.

Our Lord ever delighted in children. It shows the exquisite freshness of His heart. It could not have been otherwise in One like Himself, perfect in every respect. If poor, fallen man loves a flower, a tender little child, how much more shall the Maker of all things say: "Suffer the little children to come unto Me," and take them up in His arms and bless them.

Sec. 3. Vers. 17-22: The rich man.

Here we have a condition or relationship not inherent in nature, but inherited or acquired. It is therefore not a thing to be submitted to and recognized as essential. Rather than have it intrude between the soul and God, it must be cast off. This could not be said of the two former relationships ordained of God.

Sec. 4. Vers. 23-27: Impossible with men, possible with God.

This application by our Lord of what had gone before needs no enlargement here. Let us ever remember its truth.

Sec. 5. Vers. 28-31: Rewards for faithfulness.

To Peter's protestation that they had left all and followed Him, our Lord states the sure recompense, reminding them however that God has a different order from man's.

Sec. 6. Vers. 32-45: Christ's cup and baptism and the glory to follow.

Again, our Lord foretells His crucifixion. He was going up to Jerusalem and there was something about Him — not necessarily in His face, but in the holy energy of His person — that impressed the disciples. They knew not what it meant. He speaks plainly to them, but still they do not understand: while He speaks of His shame, they speak of their glory. The request of  James and John is given in this connection. Sad fact that we can think of a place of honor in connection with His having no place but one of humiliation and suffering.

Division 3. (Chaps. 10:46 — 16). Prophetic testimony fully declared and service reaching its climax in the cross, leading on to resurrection.

Brief, but most intense has been the life of the devoted Servant and Witness for God. It had been exercised in all the joy of love, unfettered by aught within, unhindered by aught without, and ministering wherever need was found. Its testimony, however, must produce enemies or friends; and so, gradually, the opposition was developed in the midst of which, though in greater or less separation, our Lord still went on witnessing for God and doing His work.

Now, all must soon be brought to a conclusion. As He approaches Jerusalem, things take on a new and definite character. Every step means a step nearer the cross.

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 10:46 — 13. The witness of the perfect Servant.

This portion begins, as in the other Gospels, with the cure of Bartimaeus and extends through our Lord's prophetic discourse upon the Mount of Olives. During the brief time here allotted, He enters Jerusalem, presenting Himself, if they would but receive Him, as the appointed One. Failing in this, He meets all the questions His enemies have to ask, disclosing their sin and hypocrisy and bearing witness of what was to take place after His rejection.

Sec. 1. Ch. 10:46 — 11:26: The entry into Jerusalem.

We have here three parts separately noted. As in the other two Synoptists, the healing of blind Bartimaeus comes first. It is a typical act, in which our Lord would show His readiness to serve His people's need by opening their eyes. The individual application is simple (46-52).

We next see our Lord fulfilling prophecy as He enters Jerusalem upon the ass's colt (11:1-11). It should be noticed that in Matthew both the colt and its mother are mentioned — appropriate to the dispensational character of that Gospel. Here the colt alone is mentioned; evidently the principal animal used. The faithful Prophet is not deceived by the plaudits of the people. He enters the city. Prophecy is fulfilled. He looks around upon the temple and retires to Bethany, the "house of humiliation."

Next follows the cursing of the fig-tree (12-26), woven together with the purging of the temple. The two are indeed one, but two sides of the same act. He must cleanse His house, and to do this, fruitless profession must be withered up.

Sec. 2. Ch. 11:27 — 12: The contradiction of sinners against Himself.

This portion, as many others, readily subdivides into smaller parts, which we will note. The general subject is that of our Lord's intercourse with the Pharisees and other opposers. The place and order are quite similar to those in the Gospel of Matthew, with certain omissions and an addition. The question of authority comes first (27-33). Next (12:1-12), the parable of the husbandmen and the vineyard is given with that vividness of detail peculiar to our Evangelist.

Next (13-17), the question of tribute to Caesar is met and (18-27) the unbelief of the Sadducees in the resurrection is answered. Following this (28-34), the greatest of the commandments is given, with the second, of like character. We notice in the response of the questioner and our Lord's gracious reply: "Thou art not far from the kingdom," how grace was lingering near, ready to welcome the first turning to God.

Then (35-37) the Lord, quoting Psalm 110, meets His enemies with the question as to the real nature of the Son of David. As at the close of the question regarding the law, none dared to ask Him any further questions; so, after this word as to His Person, we read significantly: "The common people heard Him gladly." His enemies having been silenced, in faithfulness the Lord now warns against their sanctimonious pride (38-40) and contrasts their covetousness, which would devour widows' houses, with the devotion of a poor widow who would cast all her living into the treasury (41-44). This last, Mark and Luke alone record.

Sec. 3. Ch. 13: The Olivet discourse.

As we noticed in Matthew, the occasion of this discourse is the disciples' remark as to the grandeur and stability of the temple. Predicting that it was all to be overthrown, our Lord goes on to declare what events were associated with its overthrow and the rejection of the people. The discourse is far briefer and covers not so wide a range as in Matthew, though quite parallel so far as it goes. The first part (1-13) is devoted to the description of the times of the end when wars and rumors of wars, national upheavals and the quaking of nature will presage the coming storm of desolation. In the midst of all this, His faithful witnesses will be brought before synagogues and rulers, even those bound by natural ties not refraining from their persecution. "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved" — a Scripture little understood, save by those who mark the dispensational order in the word of God. This refers, not to the present dispensation, but to the brief period of intense persecution of which these first sufferings are the prelude.

Next (14-23) we have the more intense persecutions, when the abomination causing desolation stands where it ought not. This is the period of the Great Tribulation which we have noted in the analysis of Matthew. False Christs and false prophets will appear, asserting their claims; the very antichrist himself posing as God in His temple; but all had been provided against. The disciples were to flee from such persecution and hide themselves under the shadow of God's wings until these calamities were over-past. Doubtless many of the psalms relating to the remnant refer to this time.

The appearing of our Lord in power and glory (24-27) is then declared: Amid circumstances of splendor and profound convulsions of nature He will gather His elect. Our Lord concludes the discourse by the personal application (28-37). When the fig-tree puts forth its leaves it is the sign of approaching summer; thus when the throes which He foretells begin, those who stand in their place in the latter days will know that all is ready, even at the doors. "This generation shall in no wise pass away till all be fulfilled." The formal character of Judaism and all connected with it will be unchanged in the latter day. The present interval of grace is, as is usual in prophetic discourse, omitted from view.

We have here the remarkable expression as to the Son of Man not knowing the day and hour when these things will take place. This is peculiar to Mark, and in keeping with the lowly character of our blessed Lord as the servant and messenger of God. He was concerned with but the fulfilment of His course and obedience to the will of God. In the relation of which Mark speaks, He knew neither the day nor the hour, in common with the angels. As God, however, surely He knew all things.

The one great lesson is watchfulness, a lesson which applies to us in the present time, as well as to the remnant in the last days.

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 14 and 15. The Cross.

We come now to the events immediately connected with the crucifixion. We have previously compared the narratives in detail. It simply remains for us to point out the divisions.

Sec. 1. Ch. 14:1-52: The plot, the Passover, Gethsemane and the betrayal.

We have first the plot against the life of the faithful Servant in which Judas conspires with the rulers to betray Him to death. Imbedded between this wickedness on either hand, we have the gem of the woman in Bethany anointing our Lord with the ointment, the fragrance of which act remains still with us.(1-11).

Next we have the Passover-feast provided for, at which the traitor is pointed out, and the memorial Supper instituted, closing with a hymn, and they retire to the Mount of Olives, our Lord warning the disciples of their weakness, and Peter protesting that he would never deny Him (12-31).

Then comes Gethsemane, the agony, and the blessed expression peculiar to Mark, "Abba, Father." Though He were in the servant's place the consciousness of Sonship never leaves Him (32-42). The multitude under the leadership of Judas comes to His arrest. The kiss is given. In the exuberance of deceit, the wretched traitor kisses Him repeatedly, or affectionately, as the word suggests (45). The needless sword is drawn. Our Lord bears witness of His innocence, but yields Himself up in fulfilment of Scripture, and His disciples flee; the young man who would follow is but exhibiting his shame, for the linen cloth cast about him is no part of his actual garment — speaking of it symbolically. He who follows in nature's strength, will but exhibit his own shame and lose his apparent righteousness (43-52).

Sec. 2. Chs. 14:53 — 15:15: The trial before the council and before Pilate.

The trial, as in all four Evangelists, takes place first before the chief priests in the council (53-65). When the Lord is witnessing the good confession, Peter is denying Him (66-72). The trial before Pilate (15:1-15) is given here more briefly. The Lord is silent in face of His accusers; demand is made for the murderer Barabbas to be given in His place; Pilate has knowledge that envy was the cause of the priests' demand for the blood of Christ yet deliberately hands Him over to be crucified that he might content the multitude.

Sec. 3. Vers. 16-47: The crucifixion.

Brief but most solemn is the description of the scenes about the cross. In mockery the soldiers crown our Lord with thorns and array Him in royal purple (16-20). They impress Simon the Cyrenian to carry His cross in the procession to Calvary where our Lord, refusing the wine with myrrh, is crucified as the King of the Jews.

Associated with Him are the two thieves who mingle their railing with the taunts of the multitude and of the chief priests and the Scribes (21-32). Brief indeed is the description of the last depths of suffering — at the hand of God, in the hours of darkness; and His cry re-echoes through the ages, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" The result is immediately given (ver. 38), as our Lord, having uttered a loud cry, breathes His last. The veil of the temple is rent in twain (33-38).

Lastly (39-47), we have the testimony of the centurion, the attendance of the women and the loving ministry of Joseph of Arimathea at the burial of our Lord in the tomb never contaminated by man.

Subdivision 3. Chap. 16. The resurrection and ascension.

This part of our Evangelist is in keeping with what we have seen throughout. The narrative

of the resurrection itself is brief; it may be divided into two parts, the first of which reads continuously with what immediately precedes it. The remainder, however, is in different form, reminding us of the first few verses of the Gospel where we have an epitome of John's ministry and the temptation.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-8: The women at the sepulchre. The scene at the sepulchre is vivid and suggestive. The angel, as a young man, witnesses to the resurrection of our Lord, but Himself they do not see. We note the tenderness of the special message they were to give to Peter (lest he should be swallowed up with the thought of his denial), the fact that the Lord was risen. They were to meet Him in Galilee as He had appointed. We have, however, no record of this meeting in Mark.

Sec. 2. Ver. 9-18: The summary of various appearings.

We have here, first, the appearing to Mary Magdalene and, as we have elsewhere noted, the fact that unbelief marked every stage in the declaration of the fact of the resurrection. Next, the visit to Emmaus is told in fewest words. Later, He comes to the twelve and upbraids them for their hardness of heart and then gives the commission, not as in the governmental Gospel of Matthew, to make disciples unto the Kingdom, but rather to preach the gospel to every creature. Faith, whose reality is not made but confessed by baptism, is the only condition of salvation. Signs, chiefly connected with the establishing of the new testimony upon earth, are to follow those that believe — signs much in keeping with those wrought by our Lord when He was here and for a similar purpose. When once truth has been presented, there is no further need for the signs. It bears its own witness. The miracle is but to call attention to the truth.

Sec. 3. Vers. 19, 20: The ascension.

The fact of the ascension is here recorded; not the details which we have in Luke. In briefest summary, the work of the disciples is told; a work which is but the continuation of what our Lord, the perfect Servant, had entered upon. He has opened the way, has shown what a true servant and witness for God is in the face of every form of opposition and enmity, has through His death opened the way into heaven itself where He has entered, not to ignore or to forget His toiling servants here, but to labor with them by the Holy Spirit in that blessed work of the gospel which is to go on until we too shall be called up into the rest which we shall share with Him.


General Theme — Christ as Man, embracing in Himself every true human attribute, spirit, soul and body; sinless and obedient; born of a woman and yet the Son of the Highest; reaching down to every department of human life and meeting sinful man wherever he might be, making known to him the gospel of God's grace and bringing him into fellowship with Him — all this effected by His sacrificial death and declared by His resurrection and ascension.
Division 1. Chaps. 1 — 4:13. The Man Christ Jesus.
Division 2. Chaps. 4:14 — 18:34. His ministry of the gospel of peace.
Division 3. Chaps. 18:35 — 24. The sacrificial work by which God is made known to man and man is brought to God.

The similarity of these divisions to those of the Gospel of Mark cannot fail to be noticed. There, we had the Servant in His more individual activities, answering somewhat to the first division of Luke, where we have the obedient Man in His individuality.

Next, in the second division of Mark, we had the continuance of the untiring service of the Lord in face of the ever-increasing opposition of His enemies. Here the opposition is also manifest: indeed, it comes out at the very start, but that which is prominent throughout the entire second division is the going out of the heart of God toward poor, lost man and bringing him to Himself.

The third division, of course, is the same in each Gospel, though each with its characteristics peculiar to the main theme of the Evangelist. We might say in a general way that in Mark, service, and in Luke, salvation are the prominent thoughts.

Division 1. (Chaps. 1 — 4:13.) The Man Christ Jesus.

In this first division, we have the account of the events preceding and accompanying the birth of our Lord, going back indeed to the narrative of the promise and birth of the forerunner; the period of our Lord's childhood until His public manifestation; the account of John's ministry and our Lord's baptism and sealing with the Spirit, together with His genealogy traced back to Adam, the whole closing with His temptation. All this has a distinct, personal characteristic, peculiar to our Lord Himself, rather than to the goings forth of activity which follow in the next division.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 1. The Annunciation.
This chapter gives us, beside the introduction, the events connected with the annunciation concerning John the Baptist and the account of his birth. There is also that more wonderful annunciation of the incarnation of the Son of God, the most transcendent fact in all the history of the universe.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-4: The introduction.

The introductory verses of Luke are quite in contrast with those in Matthew and Mark. In the former, it was the natural Old Testament style, linking the first Evangelist with the prophets and historians of the past. In Mark, it was of the briefest character, declaring the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Here, it is explanatory of Luke's reasons for writing an ordered treatise upon these assured facts connected with the life of our Lord. It is addressed to the Gentile Theophilus, and a similar title to the Acts links the two books together. As has been elsewhere suggested,there is an air of literary finish and thoroughness about the style which is an expression of the character of the entire book. The Spirit of God, in describing the perfect Man, uses as an instrument one in closest touch with all that was broadly human.

Sec. 2. Vers. 5-25: The coming of the forerunner announced.

When we say that Luke is the narrative of the Manhood of our Lord, it must not be understood that there is any ignoring of the Jewish associations in which He was pleased to be born. Indeed this could not be, when we remember that the position of the Jewish nation was unique in the world. God had embodied His purposes with a nation, however far that nation may have drifted from His purposes. This is a beautiful and distinguishing feature of all divine truth. While distinctive, there is a breadth to it which reaches out into other domains. We have not those hard and fast lines which mark the distinctions of human logic.

As in the living organism connective tissue is everywhere present, and as in the rainbow the varied hues shade into one another and blend together, so is it in God's revelation. Thus, the first two chapters are distinctively Jewish; indeed the entire narrative necessarily is thus colored, although the prominent thought is what we have indicated.

We find, therefore, here at the outset a distinctly Jewish scene. Zacharias is a priest in one of the courses (the eighth) ordained by King David (See 1 Chron. 24:10). He is ministering as priest in the temple, offering the incense, a unique privilege greatly esteemed, we are told, and awarded by lot. All that is best in Judaism comes out here. The piety of Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth, the solemnity of the priestly service in which he was engaged, the attitude of the waiting people outside, all afford a glimpse of the reality still left in the midst of what abounded in formalism and emptiness, as suggested by the phrase "in the days of Herod the king," — times of lawless indulgence in sin with the outward show of ceremonial punctiliousness (5-7).

Similarly, in the narrative of Ruth, recording as it does events which took place during the troublous times of the judges, we find in the quiet retirement of Bethlehem the place where real faith abides.

Zacharias, "Jehovah has remembered"; Elisabeth, "My God has sworn." Their childlessness accentuates the impotence of nature, while their names would remind them of the faithfulness of God's promises. It is this, later on, that Zacharias notices in his song. How appropriate that he should be offering incense in the temple at the very time when God announces to him, through an angel, the beginnings of the fulfilment of His purposes when the true Priest would appear in the true sanctuary and offer up that which shall be an eternal fragrance in the presence of God, the excellence of His own person (vers. 8-11).

Of the words of the angel we need say but little, though all is full of richest meaning. The prayer of Zacharias had been heard. The fact that he had been praying suggests the attitude of the remnant of which he was an. example, and the expectant longing of their hearts for deliverance. The importance attaching to the birth of John is not because of what he was, but rather that he would go before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah. In other words, as John later declares, he was but a voice crying in the wilderness and pointing men to the true Deliverer (12-17).

The unbelief of Zacharias reminds us of what we so constantly find throughout Scripture. God does not hide the weakness of the faith of His beloved people. This weakness explains the dumbness of the aged priest until the day when he sets his seal that God is true. How good it is to see also that God's promises are not dependent upon the strength of our faith (18-25).

Sec. 3. Vers. 26-56: The annunciation to Mary.

This most blessed and solemn scene has been degraded by Rome into an excuse for the idolatry of the mother of our Lord — most foreign, we may be sure, to any thought that was in her bosom. We dare not enter upon too minute a discussion of the amazing mystery of divine love spoken of here. All eternity gazes with adoring wonder at the miracle of all miracles — the incarnation of the eternal Son of God; and yet the circumstances in which that incarnation is announced are the fitting illustration of the lowliness to which He stooped.

The meek acquiescence of Mary suggests that acceptance of faith which marks her out for all time as blessed amongst women in her unique position, but as the example for every one who receives the testimony of God and bows to it. After the annunciation, which took place between Mary and the angel alone, we have (39-45) the expression of fellowship between the two holy women. A sense of grace ever produces a desire for fellowship. In the visit of Mary to Elizabeth, this fellowship is most sweetly and beautifully expressed. What a picture it gives us of joy, of sweet companionship, of adoring worship on the part of these two holy women! It is at once a glimpse at remnant piety, a piety which exists wherever true faith is found, and a suggestion of the theme of our Gospel, the fellowship of man with God.

Mary's song follows (46-56). We need not be surprised that the heart should go out in worship. Indeed, the whole of this first part of Luke is fragrant with the incense symbolized in Zacharias' offering. Mary worships; Elizabeth worships; Zacharias worships; the angels from heaven worship; the shepherds worship; Simeon worships; wherever the grace of God is apprehended, worship and praise break forth.

Mary's song has rightly been compared to that of Hannah. The theme is quite similar — God visits the lowly, lifting them on high, while the proud and mighty are set aside. This is again Luke's theme. How fittingly appropriate, therefore, this sweet song of the mother of our Lord, expressing as it does, by the Spirit of God, a little prelude to those mightier harmonies which her Son and Lord was to evoke from the willing hearts of a lowly people brought into accord with the will of God by His grace.

Sec. 4. Vers. 57-66: The birth of John.

This grace, Luke's theme, gives its name to the forerunner. Instead of a backward glance which the name of his father would have suggested, "Jehovah hath remembered," it is the forward glance of what is now to be brought in — John, "Jehovah is gracious." Zacharias is dumb, as indeed all the Old Testament is dumb until faith sets its seal to this new revelation. When he writes, "His name is John," praise bursts forth. So too, to this day, the veil is upon Israel's heart while the Prophets are being read; but wherever a soul bows to the grace of God, praise bursts forth, the Old Testament merges into the New.

Sec. 5. Vers. 67-80: The song of Zacharias.

It is just this which the prophetic song of Zacharias sets forth. The oath which God had made (Elizabeth) and the remembrance of His covenant (Zacharias) find now expression in fruitfulness in the birth of one who is going to exhibit the faithfulness of God and be the harbinger of the coming day. All is in most beautiful accord here.

Subdivision 2. Chap. 2. The birth of Christ.

We have here the narrative, touching in its simplicity, almost pathetic in its suggestions of poverty and lowliness, and yet rising into the heavens themselves to express the glory of God and His delight in man as shown in the birth of the holy Son of God. The heart feels a desire to be associated with the worshipers here, and indeed as we enter into its blessedness we join in the homage paid to the lowly Babe.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-7. The birth in Bethlehem as foretold.

The proud empire of Rome, mistress of the world, puts into motion its resistless machinery to carry out a simple prediction made ages before, that the Son of David should be born in the city of David, in Bethlehem of Judea (Micah 5:2). From the language here, it would seem that while the edict for the census was given at this time, so that Joseph in obedience to it went up to Bethlehem, the actual enrolment was not made until years later under Cyrenius, the Governor of Syria. Nothing is of first importance, except that which fulfils the purposes of God. Those purposes are connected with the lowly Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, rather than with the proud Emperor in his palace over the seas.

Sec. 2. Vers. 8-20: The angels and the shepherds.

From earliest times, the calling of the shepherd had been associated with faith. Doubtless the sacrificial thought is prominent here, and that tender care, reminding us of the true Shepherd of His sheep. Abel, Jacob and David were all shepherds and men of faith. These nameless shepherds here clearly belong to the same company, and to such heaven will make known its wondrous secret. The angels perform much the same office that the star did in Matthew. That was the light of heaven shining afar and bringing distant worshipers to the Babe in Bethlehem. This is the chorus of heaven making known to those near at hand the birth of the Son of David. The two lines cross each other without confusion. The praise of the angels gives the two-fold theme of this Gospel. It is "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth;" peace in which that glory expresses itself in good will to men, resulting in everlasting peace. It is fitting that this truth should be proclaimed in the shepherds' ears, for only by sacrifice could it be made good.

Sec. 3. Vers. 21-39: The presentation in the temple.

Here, everything prescribed in the law is fulfilled. We need hardly say that no defilement needed to be put away in connection with the birth of our blessed Lord; but just as in His baptism and in His death, He stands as the representative of His people, we may say that at the very time of His presentation to God, the witness of the sacrifice of Himself is given in order that His people may be presented and cleansed in the presence of God (21-24).

Simeon represents the remnant, as also did the others of whom we have spoken. He had reached the time, before he should depart in peace, when the Lord's Christ should appear. His life therefore passes out of view in the sweet melody which his faith makes: "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation" (25-32).

Turning to the parents, as the Spirit of God in grace associates Joseph with the mother, Simeon pronounces the blessing upon them, but foretells that cross which should reveal many hearts, and the sword which should pierce her own. Thus, at His very birth, the shadow of Calvary is seen, not in gloom however, but showing the changeless purpose of love which no difficulty can thwart and which even death cannot quench (33-35).

The widowed Anna joins in this praise. Most touching is it to see these aged ones, the parents of John, Simeon and Anna, the fires of nature all quenched, earthly hopes all vanished, breaking forth into joy; for the fountain of perpetual youth has sprung up in their hearts and is even now flowing forth.

Sec. 4. Vers. 40-52: The growth of the Child and His obedience.

This early part of our Lord's life closes with the account of the scene in the temple where the evident consciousness of His relationship to the Father is present with Him while coupled with perfect naturalness as a child that hungered for knowledge. We need to keep both thoughts in our minds, whether we are able fully to harmonize them or not, for in both together is the true conception of the person of Christ.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 3 — 4:13. His baptism, genealogy and temptation.

We pass over the intervening years between the glimpse of how His private life was spent at Nazareth and His public manifestation to Israel. This was far from being a fruitless time, we may be sure. It would answer to the ten days prior to the keeping up of the lamb from the tenth day to the fourteenth, during which its unblemished character would be manifested. How the eye and heart of God feasted upon the perfection of that Life whose inward reality was known only to Himself! They were not fruitless years, therefore, but most precious in the sight of God, and the ground upon which He pronounced at the very beginning of His ministry His satisfaction in Him.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-14: The ministry of John the Baptist.

Again we get a glimpse at the government of Rome, only to pass it by however, and that of Herod the false king, with the other rulers in the territory about Israel. Even the double high priesthood fails to gain more than a passing word, for God's messenger is found neither in the imperial government-house nor the palaces of the petty kings dependent upon Rome, not even in the religious centres, but a lowly, separate man in the wilderness, crying aloud and letting the people know their sins. This is the preaching of John the Baptist which stirs all Judah.

Sec. 2. Vers. 15-20: The coming of Christ announced.

But John does not confine his preaching to repentance. The people are to rest in no reformation, however real, but to look forward to One who was coming after, who should purge His floor of every worthless thing, gathering His wheat and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Luke shows the inevitable result of such preaching as this: John is shut up in prison because of his stern denunciation of sin.

Sec. 3. Vers. 21-38: The baptism of our Lord and the descent of the Spirit upon Him.

Briefly, but how vividly, Luke records the baptismal scene! We see the holy Jesus in prayer after His baptism, as though identifying Himself with His repentant people. Upon Him the heavens are opened and God's voice bears witness that He is the beloved Son, the object of the Father's delight (21, 22). In immediate connection with this declaration from heaven as to who He is, we have the human genealogy of our Lord, giving us, doubtless, His descent through Mary, which is traced back to its source in Adam and up to God. Thus we have the twofold thought of the Son of Man, His human and yet divine Sonship: the one linking Him with humanity, while sinlessly separated from it in nature and life; the other a direct link with God, the Son of God by virtue of His Being, as essentially divine (23-38).

Sec. 4. Ch. 4:1-13: The temptation.

Our Lord was not only born of the Holy Spirit, but especially anointed by Him for His public ministry, and thus led into the wilderness. How all contrasts with the first man whose position in the genealogy has just been noticed. He was in the garden, surrounded by everything that met his need and spoke of the goodness of God. Our Lord was in the wilderness, where everything spoke of moral desolation and where He suffered the privations attendant upon that position. Here He is assailed by the tempter.

We notice that the order here varies from that given in Matthew. The first temptation is the same in each, though more specific in Luke, and the answer is the same (1-4). The second and third attack change places in Luke. The chronological order is probably given in Matthew. The spiritual order which Luke suggests indicates that our Lord was approached first from the side of His human need. Next to that is placed the temptation from the side of human ambition. Neither moved Him for a moment. He would not relieve His hunger, save in dependence upon God, nor would He have all the kingdoms of the world, save as given from that blessed hand (5-8). The concluding temptation (9-13) is the one to forestall God's purposes and to presume upon them. If He is the Chosen of God, let Him cast Himself down from the temple's pinnacle, so that God will be compelled to recognize Him at once by preserving His life. Our Lord rejects this, as the former ones, in simple obedience, and the enemy's temptation ends there.

This closes the first or more personal part of our Lord's life. How delightful it is, even in this brief way,to dwell upon its various features!

Division 2. (Chaps. 4:14 — 18:34.) His ministry of the gospel of peace.

We come now to the main division of the book, in which is unfolded and developed the ministry of salvation and the presentation of Himself as the Saviour of men, reaching out from Judaism to the world wherever there may be found a heart to receive Him. Meanwhile, the opposition among His own people is gradually manifested until it reaches the culmination stage, the account of which is given in the last division.

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 4:14 — 6:49. Grace and truth by Jesus Christ.

This first subdivision presents the Lord in grace and declaring salvation for souls whoever and wherever they might be. He also calls His disciples about Him to continue with Him in the service of love, rejoicing to have also about Him publicans and sinners in spite of the opposition of pharisaism and self-righteousness. We note the prominence of prayer here as throughout the Gospel, a characteristic illustration of the absolute humanity of our blessed Lord. Prayer, the spirit of dependence, is the expression of the human relationship.

Sec. 1. Vers. 14-30: In the synagogue at Nazareth.

The scene here is most instructive: the Prophets bearing witness to the grace of Him whose coming they foretold, a grace that needs but broken hearts to minister to. We have first the reading from the prophet (14-21), followed by the application (22-30). What our Lord presses is that it has ever been the sad fact that those in closest outward nearness have been the slowest to receive the blessings of God's mercy. The widow of Sarepta and Naaman, both Gentiles, bear witness to this.

As has been frequently noticed, our Lord is here declaring only the acceptable year of the Lord, therefore when He reaches that point in the reading of the prophet, He closes the book. "The day of vengeance of our God" waits, in His long-suffering, until the last sinner, Jew or Gentile, shall be gathered in. This mercy to the Gentiles fills the people with rage, and they would forthwith have cast Him down from the brow of the hill, had His hour come; but until that time, none could touch Him.

Sec. 2. Vers. 31-44: In the synagogue at Capernaum and connected events.

If He met with rejection in the synagogue at Nazareth where He had been brought up ("He came unto His own and His own received Him not"); at Capernaum He meets the power of Satan which must fall prostrate before Him (31-37). So, too, the fever of Simon's mother-in-law subsides (38, 39), and in the evening hour, He heals multitudes, casting out demons whom He will not allow to bear witness of Him. He cannot tarry to continue His work of healing, for He was more than a physician — He must pass on, working while it is day, in declaring the gospel of God (40-44).

Sec. 3. Ch. 5:1-26: Peace, purity and power.
We have next three features which go together, giving us a view of the full effect of the gospel. In the first, in the miracle of gathering the fishes, we have Simon brought under conviction, then reassured — typical of peace proclaimed to the sinner and entrusting him with the ministry of the gospel.

Next (12-16), the cleansing of the leper shows the putting away of the guilt and defilement of sin, while the healing of the paralytic (17-26) illustrates the power that goes with forgiveness of sin. Thus we have grouped together, peace with God, cleansing and liberty.

Sec. 4. Ch. 5:27 — 6:11: A new creation.

We might say we have in this portion an illustration of the complete newness effected by salvation. We have seen the display of this in the previous section. We now see the vessel in which the display is made.

First, we have in the call of Levi and the feast at which are gathered publicans and sinners (27-32) the great principle of this Gospel, sinners gathered about the Lord.

Next (33-39) our Lord justifies His disciples' neglect of the matter of fasting by declaring the presence of the Bridegroom, which indicates a new order of things — the new bottles in which the new wine of grace alone can be put. The old bottles of formalism could never contain this. And yet how slow is man to desire this new working of the Spirit of God, declaring the old is better!

This is now illustrated in two scenes of controversy with the Pharisees about the Sabbath (6:1-11): the first, about the disciples plucking the ears of corn for their hunger (1-5), where our Lord cites the rejected David ignoring the ceremonial law of the showbread, and then declares His supremacy over the Sabbath. As has already been pointed out, if Christ is rejected, the whole system based on man's righteousness — a righteousness which, in fact, did not exist — must lapse. The other incident is the healing of the man with the withered hand in the synagogue (6-11). Here the argument is, shall divine mercy and goodness rise above human legalism? There can be but one answer, although they, alas, in face of such grace as this, but plot our Lord's destruction.

Sec. 5. Vers. 12-49: The call of the disciples and the sermon on the mount.

Again, we notice how at each important stage in His service our Lord is found in prayer. Thus, before the choice of His disciples, one of whom was to be a traitor, He spends the night in prayer. Having chosen them, He comes down with them from the isolated peak to a more level plain, still on the mountain, where He addresses the vast multitudes who resort to Him to be healed.

Next, we have the sermon on the mount in a much abridged and altered form, which illustrates that in Luke we have a re-arrangement of subjects in order to bring out distinctively the theme of the Evangelist. We have here first the beatitudes (20-26) in a different form, and addressed more particularly to His disciples, and balanced with the corresponding woes pronounced upon those who have received their portion in this life.

Following this (27-31), we have the attitude of love toward one's enemies, so characteristic of our Lord, and that which is to mark His disciples, who are His representatives. This love is to be in spite of all manner of evil treatment and not for the sake of present reward. Those who love their enemies and do good, hoping for nothing in return, manifest themselves as children of God (32-35). Details of this are given which require rather prayer and meditation than further explanation (36-38).

Next (39-45) is the pressing of consistency upon them. The blind cannot lead the blind. We cannot cast out motes when we have a beam in our own eye. There must be a good tree if there is to be good fruit. In all this, He is saying under another form that we are to imitate Him. This can only be done by being partakers of His nature. The whole address closes (46-49) with a solemn emphasis put upon the eternal issues that are at stake. The mere calling Him "Lord, Lord," will never avail. The house must be built upon the Rock or it will fall when the storm comes.

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 7 — 8:21. Samples of salvation.

The previous subdivision showed us our Lord in grace entering upon the active service of salvation — calling, blessing and instructing. The present portion carries on this blessed work, furnishing special illustrations of how salvation reaches the most unlikely objects and brings them into wondrous nearness of blessing.

Sec.1. Vers. 1-17: Power unhindered by distance or death.

The two miracles here recorded display the power of divine grace: for we must ever remember that every miracle wrought upon the body is a type of the operation of grace upon the soul, unhampered by distance and undeterred even by death.

The first of these, the healing of the centurion's servant (1-10), illustrates faith in the Gentile, always a favorite theme with our Evangelist. The second, the raising of the widow's son at Nain (11-17), is one of the three narratives of resurrection, two of which we find in Luke, this one being peculiar to him. The widowed mother may suggest Israel and her only hope of mercy lost, save as quickened by the power of Christ. The time is coming when there will be such a quickening for the remnant who are saying, "Our hopes are lost." What will their restoration be but life from the dead? Applying the lesson individually, we have a suggestive picture of the awful irony of sin. Nain, "pleasant," is but a scene of death. What would this beautiful world be without the compassionate power of Him who is able to raise dead souls?

Sec. 2. Vers. 18-35: John the Baptist.

John's waning faith in the prison is doubtless revived by our Lord's message, giving the fruits of His ministry (18-23), while His testimony about John to the people shows the Lord's estimate of faith, even though it may waver. Farthest removed was John from the indifference of the masses who neither cared for the call to repentance preached by the forerunner nor the gracious gospel proclaimed by our Lord (24-35).

Sec. 3. Vers. 36-50: In the Pharisee's house.

How sweet, in this lovely scene, is that grace which can bring a sinner penitent to the feet of the Lord Jesus, finding heaven there in His presence, while, with the knowledge of forgiveness, the fragrant perfume is poured upon His feet!

Sec. 4. Ch. 8:1-21: The parable of the sower manifesting what professes to be of God.

The parable occupies the central place here, but is preceded and followed by other significant portions. We have first (1-3) the character of those who have been attracted to Him, who delight to minister of their substance to Him. These, we may well say, are a continuation in character of what just precedes. Faith which has received salvation leads now to serve Him who has saved.

Next follows the parable and the interpretation (4-15). The effect of the Word received is suggested in the simile of the candle (16-18). They were to take heed, not only what they hear, but how they hear it, that it may be productive in the life. Lastly, we have a kind of contrast to the first section. His mother and brethren desire to see Him (19-21). Here are the claims of nature there are the attractions of grace. How different the two, and how clearly does our Lord mark the distinction.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 8:22 — 9:36. Salvation ending in glory.

The same reaching out in grace to man goes on here, casting out demons, healing the sick and raising the dead, ministering to the hungry, and reaching the culmination on the Mount of Transfiguration, where God displays for a moment the climax of grace, both for our Lord and those who have tasted of that grace.

Sec. 1. Ch. 8:22-25: The storm calmed.

At the outset of what we may call a new departure in service, the opposition of nature — answering perhaps to the world — is first encountered and quelled.

Sec. 2. Vers. 26-39: The legion of demons cast out.

Following the display of His power over nature, our Lord asserts His victories over the demons. The demoniac of Gadara is brought from his distance and hopeless self-torture in the tombs to a place at Jesus' feet, clothed and in his right mind. How sweetly the effect of that grace is seen in the desire of the man to be with the Lord, and the opposite of this in the entreaty of the people that He should depart from them!

Sec. 3. Vers. 40-56: Defilement and death.

What strikes us in the woman (43-48) is the faith which touches the border of His garment for cleansing from the defilement of the flesh. The raising of Jairus' daughter (49-56) is the second of the miracles of raising the dead that we have in Luke. When the child is raised, He commands her to be fed. We notice the order, salvation first and then nourishment.

Sec. 4. Ch. 9:1-17: The proclamation of salvation extended; the opposition intensified.

Here we have first the sending forth of the twelve (1-6). Next (7-9), Herod's perplexity as to what was being done. John he had beheaded who was this One? Sooner or later he shall know. Lastly (10-17), in beautiful climax, we have the feeding of the five thousand. Thus salvation is not only proclaimed but illustrated in the satisfying of the needy poor.

Sec. 5. Vers. 18-36: Grace ending in glory.

All here is leading up to the Transfiguration.

First, we have Peter's confession and our Lord's declaration of His rejection (18-22). Next, the path of the cross for His followers (23-27); lastly, a glimpse of the new creation glory (28-36). Luke alone mentions the theme that engaged their conversation on the Holy Mount: Moses and Elias were speaking of the decease which our Lord should accomplish at Jerusalem. The Cross is thus the theme even in the glory.

Subdivision 4. Chap. 9:37-62. The steadfast Face.

This brief portion introduces the beginning, we may say, of the progress toward Jerusalem where He was to be offered up. It is marked by victory over Satan, the manifestation of the lowliness of Christ and the testing for all who would follow with Him.

Sec. 1. Vers. 37-45: Coming down from the Mount.

After the glory, comes the manifestation of the disciples' feebleness and our Lord's power. The majesty of God is thus displayed.

Sec. 2. Vers. 46-50: A little child.

One of the reasons why there is so little power to meet Satan is because there is so little true humility. How can we meet the enemy's power when we are jealous of our brethren?

Sec. 3. Vers. 51-56: The journey begun.

It is most significant that in this Evangelist the Lord's purpose to go to Jerusalem is declared so early. It reminds us of what we have repeatedly noticed, that our Lord was conscious from the beginning of that which awaited Him, and set His face like a flint to go. This will give the key to His words as to the Samaritans. He was no Elijah calling down fire from heaven, but One who had come to save men's lives.

Sec. 4. Vers. 57-62: Following a rejected Lord.

If we desire to follow Him, it must be as counting the cost, and with no hope of earthly ease and no thought of turning back.

Subdivision 5. Chaps. 10 — 18:34. Closing and complete testimonies to the gospel of God and the responsibility of man.

This fifth subdivision, while having a unity which suggests its being thus looked at as a whole, also divides into five sections, the number in each case speaking of human responsibilities and God bringing man into association with Himself. Because of the largeness of the main portion, it is divided into more numerous sections.

Sec. 1. Chs. 10 — 11:13: Man's neighbor.

Our Lord is exemplifying throughout this part the fact that He is man's neighbor, although the direct teaching is in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

a.) Ch. 10:1-24: The seventy sent forth.

This is peculiar to Luke and is a supplementary going forth in grace to win man if possible to God. The commission is first given (1-16). Next (17-20), we have the return of the seventy and our Lord's anticipative victory over the power of Satan. Lastly (21-24), our Lord rejoices that His Father is revealing the precious secrets of His grace to babes.

b.) Vers. 25-37: The Good Samaritan.

We need scarcely point out the lovely gospel theme here. Our Lord takes occasion from the self-righteous lawyer who would fain attain eternal life by his own care for his neighbor to show who is the true Neighbor for man's need. In the Good Samaritan, we cannot fail to see the One who, rejected of men, has come all the way from heaven to where we were half-dead with sin's wounds, and utterly helpless and naked, to bind up our wounds and bring us to where we can be cared for until He comes again. He desires that we shall be imitators of Him in this blessed work and in our little measure go and do likewise.

c.) Vers. 38-42: The good part.

Mary's part at the feet of the Lord Jesus, in contrast with Martha's wearisome service, shows the relation between service and communion. Our Lord prizes subject sitting at His feet above all restless activity; while true service will flow from communion.

d.) Ch. 11:1-13: Prayer.

If Mary suggests feeding upon the word of God at the feet of Jesus, this points to its effect — it leads to prayer. Our Lord's example in this incites His disciples to ask to be taught to pray. In this summary of the prayer, briefer than in Matthew, we have an illustration of how Luke's order is moral, though doubtless our Lord may have often taught the same truths in similar words at different times, just as we have similar miracles repeated.

Sec. 2. Chs. 11:14 — 12: The opposition of self-righteousness and the issues of eternity.

The opposition we have noticed in Matthew is recorded here in Luke. In the face of all the ministry of grace which our Lord had wrought, the wilful unbelief of the Pharisees heads up in the blasphemy which shows them to be self-blinded. This gives occasion not only for the solemn warning as to their impending hopeless condition, but also for His denunciations of their hypocrisy, and the contrast between time and eternity.

a.) Vers. 14-26: The strong man bound.

We thus characterize this portion, which may be subdivided into smaller ones as: the blasphemous accusation (14-20); Satan spoiled (21-23); the return of the unclean spirit, which will take place at the end of the age (24-26).

b.) Vers. 27-36: The generation characterized. The Lord distinguishes here between outward privilege and inward reality. It may be divided thus: true blessedness (27, 28); One greater than
Jonah or Solomon (29-32); let not light become darkness (33-36).

c.) Vers. 37-54: Woes upon the Pharisees and the Lawyers.

Our Lord does not shrink, when the issue is made, from boldly denouncing the hypocrisy and enmity of the religious leaders. We have first the sins of the Pharisees (37-44), and next the hypocrisy of the lawyers (45-54), who are one with those who slew the righteous men from the beginning.

d.) Ch. 12:1-12: Beware of hypocrisy, and fear not.

This part evidently belongs to what has preceded. Our Lord's denunciations of sin continue with special reference to the blasphemous charges made by the Pharisees against Him. His disciples were not to fear man, even though he might kill the body; nor were they to be in doubt of God's love, for He who watched the sparrow's fall would not forget them.

e.) Vers. 13-31: The true estimate of life.

How mean sordid covetousness appears in the light of death (13-23). Therefore, let us not be occupied with amassing wealth here, but remember Him who feeds the birds and clothes the lilies, and seek His Kingdom first of all (24-31).

f.) Vers. 32-48: Remember the end.

This portion looks forward to eternity and the coming of our Lord. In the light of that, we can afford to be givers rather than graspers (32- 34). The loins are to be girt, and we are, in faithful stewardship (35-40),to wait for the coming of the Lord (41-44), for unfaithfulness here means sudden judgment (45, 46), a judgment in proportion to knowledge (47, 48).

g.) Vers. 49-59: Closing warnings.

This closing portion of our Lord's solemn address is an application of what He had said throughout. He has come for judgment, but mercy must precede — a mercy effected only through His baptism unto death for us (49, 50). While it is the gospel of peace, it does not bring outward peace, but rather separation between those who receive and those who reject it (51-53). The signs of the end of all things were present even then, and how much more so now! We are morally in the last days (54-57). This section closes with the earnest exhortation to the leaders to agree with their adversary quickly. How solemn the thought that instead of being servants of God, they were His adversaries.

Sec. 3. Chs. 13-16: The parables of grace and of judgment.

We have in this section largely those parables which set forth the patience of God and the development of the Kingdom during our Lord's absence, together with those precious parables of salvation of which the gem is that of the prodigal son. The whole section closes with the final scene of the rich man and Lazarus.

a.) Ch. 13: The futility of mere justice and the yearnings of divine love.

Leading up, as this portion does, to the great parables of grace of which we have spoken, we find at the outset, in a number of details, the futility of mere legalism or external correctness to produce fruit or secure salvation. All are alike under sin and therefore except they repent shall all perish. Our Lord draws this lesson from the remark of those who thought others were sinners, rather than themselves (1-5). In the parable of the fig-tree in the vineyard we see the long-suffering of God and the intercession of the vine-dresser. How patiently did the Lord seek to elicit fruit from poor barren Israel (6-9)!

The miracle of the woman healed on the Sabbath finds a place here. Sabbath healing was always the occasion for a self-righteous outburst, which our Lord meets by justifying His grace in reaching a daughter of Abraham (10-17). This element of legalism has been brought over into the present dispensation. So our Lord compares the Kingdom of Heaven to the outward development of the mustard tree (18, 19), and the inward progress of evil to the pervasive influence of leaven (20, 21). He would remind them that the time was coming when all who now reject Him and refuse to enter by mercy's door would knock in vain when it is too late (22-30). In response to the warning that Herod would kill Him (31-35), the Lord declares that even the cruelty and cunning of that "fox" cannot be compared with the guilt of highly favored Jerusalem, over which He pronounces a lament for her hardness of heart.

b.) Ch. 14: The gospel feast.

This chapter seems to record what took place at the Pharisee's house where our Lord had been invited to eat bread on a Sabbath day. The dropsical man who is healed (1-6) suggests that dropsical condition of the Pharisees themselves, puffed up with a form of knowledge of the word of God and religious observances. They needed to be cured. Next (7-11), the Lord inculcates the opposite of this pride, a true humility which takes the lowest place and then is elevated. So, too, the invitation to God's feast is given not to the wealthy, but to the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind (12-14).

This leads to the parable of the great supper (15-24) where those who were first invited, the Jews, shut themselves out and thus opened the way for the gospel to go out to all the world. Lastly, we have a warning as to counting the cost. Salvation is no trifle, and one must be prepared to renounce that which is nearest and dearest to nature not attempting to build a tower or engage in a warfare for which he is not prepared. Let him rather seek those conditions of peace which suggest the blessed gospel that ever lingers close to the most solemn warnings (25-35).

c.) Ch. 15: The lost, found.

Such teaching draws the publicans and sinners to hear Him; and to justify them, while rebuking the opposition of the Pharisees, our Lord pronounces this great trinity-parable, the finding of the lost. It is to be noticed that the entire chapter seems to be called a single parable, although there are three distinct ones which go to make it up. Each of these brings out the seeking of the lost by one of the persons of the Godhead.

First, we have the Shepherd seeking the lost sheep (1-7). Here, evidently, we have the Son leaving in the wilderness that (of which we do not hear again) which needed no repentance, to go after the one lost sheep which it is His joy to bring back to God.

Second, we have the seeking of the Holy Spirit for the lost piece of money which is to be an adornment to our Lord in glory (8-10). The Spirit's activities here are veiled in the instruments whom He uses, the sweeping, the dust, the seeking diligently, remind us of the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting of sin and awakening the sinner to his true condition. Joy too is the end of this.

Third, the very heart of the Father is told out in its precious love, and grace, and joy, in the parable of the prodigal son (11-32). We need add no words here, save to remember how our Lord has declared the Father's name to us.
"Who can tell the depths of bliss
Spoken by the Father's kiss?"

The return of the prodigal casts into dark contrast the pride and unbelief of the elder brother who evidently stands for the Pharisees.

d.) Ch. 16:1-13: The unfaithful steward.

Here our Lord presses the importance of preparing for the future. Even a steward who looks after his future welfare is esteemed a wise (not a righteous) man. If the children of this world know how to prepare for their future, how careful should God's children be to use this world's goods in such a way that they will welcome them to the everlasting habitations. This surely is not meant to teach the gospel, which is presented in chapter 15, but to bring out the responsibility of stewardship, which is the theme of this portion.

Vers. 14-31: The veil lifted from the future.

The Pharisees deride such use of wealth. They will not waste good money by giving it to the poor and ministering to the needy in the hope of future recompense. The Lord therefore shows how the Law and the Prophets had borne witness against this very conduct. Since the preaching of John, men were pressing into the Kingdom. These Pharisees who deify the law and go on in sin must remember there is a time coming when their portion will be where the rich man was, while the despised poor and needy are with Lazarus at home in nearness to Abraham. We need not say how clearly this solemn portion declares the eternity of future retribution for the ungodly.

Sec. 4. Chs. 17 — 18:8: The character of the remnant and the coming of the Lord.

Several portions here bring out the varied aspects in which the remnant in the latter days will be seen, and, as is customary with our Evangelist, the gathering in of outsiders to form a part of that remnant; while the main part of this portion describes the character of His coming in His kingdom, with the attitude of the remnant until that time.

a.) Vers. 1-4: Despise not the little ones.

The remnant at any time is always marked by lowliness. Solemn is the responsibility of those who would stumble one of the weakest of these. At the same time, let not the faithful and loving rebuke of sin be considered an occasion of stumbling.

b.) Vers. 5-10: The growth of faith seen in serving without thought of a reward.

Most important is this. We are unprofitable servants, for we surely do not deserve credit for doing merely what is our duty; and who has even measured up to that?

c.) Vers. 11-19: The ten lepers cleansed.

Out of the ten, but one, and he a Gentile, returns to give glory to God. How few enter into the true spirit of God's grace and become worshipers and followers of the Lord, while the most who have received outward benefit go on with an empty formalism.

d.) Vers. 20-37: The manifestation of the Kingdom.

As we have already seen, our Lord has been pressing the final issues. He is looking forward to the end and His coming kingdom, which means judgment upon those who are not ready. He compares the days of Noah and the days of Lot to the time when He shall be revealed. Men will go on thinking of business and pleasure, utterly forgetful of the coming judgment until it falls.

e.) Ch. 18:1-8: The unjust judge.

In contrast with the carelessness of those going on in their own way until overtaken by judgment, we have the poor widow, suggestive of the remnant in their desolation, crying day and night — not to the unjust judge who would even for his own ease grant her request, but — to One who never fails to judge the fatherless and the widow. Here we have an incentive to prayer, for all time, of the strongest kind.

Sec. 5. Ch. 18:9-34: Grace, not legalism, the only power for following Christ.

This great division of our Gospel draws to a close with the same precious theme of salvation prominent, emphasizing the truth that grace must be apprehended in simplicity, rather than a legal obedience which we never render, if we are in any measure to follow our Lord in His path of suffering.

a.) Vers. 9-14: The Pharisee and the publican.

Pride has no need, while self-abasement means justification.

b.) Vers. 15-17: The spirit of a little child.

This is only another view of the publican. Self-abasement means the simplicity of faith, and such indeed become as a little child.

c.) Vers. 18-27: The rich ruler.

In contrast with the publican and the little children, we have here one who seems so ready to do, who professes to have kept the law, and who when tested in the simplest way as to whether God or self is supreme in the heart, sorrowfully turns his back upon the Lord.

d.) Vers. 28-30: True discipleship always rewarded.

The Lord here shows that a forsaking of all, not in order to get salvation, but for His sake, will never fail of its reward.

e.) Vers. 31-34: Going up to Jerusalem. The true character of following Him is seen here. It is the way of the cross, although not then understood; and indeed we are never to seek suffering for its own sake, but to follow the Lord, whatever suffering may be involved.

Division 3. (Chaps. 18:35 — 24). The sacrificial work by which God is made known to man and man is brought to God.

As they draw near to Jerusalem we enter upon the last stage of our Lord's life. May we at each view find something fresh to stir our hearts to gratitude and love. The scene is the same in all, but Luke, after his manner, gives us that which is appropriate to his great theme, the gospel of salvation going out to the most unlikely.

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 18:35 — 21:36. The first stage.

This subdivision, beginning with the opening of the eyes of Bartimaeus, includes the various parables of responsibility, the entry into Jerusalem, the effort of the Pharisees and Sadducees to ensnare Him, and the prediction of the closing days.

Sec. 1. Ch. 18:35 — 19:27: Grace and responsibility.

We have two examples of grace, and a parable of responsibility.

a.) Vers. 35-43: Bartimaeus.

This is the prelude to the final journey to Jerusalem, typical of how in the latter days Israel's eyes will be opened, and how, wherever a soul owns its need, that need will be met.

b.) Ch. 19:1-10: Zacchaeus.

The symbolic act of opening blind eyes is succeeded by the clear gospel of grace to the rich publican Zacchaeus, one who receives Christ, and whose life shows, not empty form, but genuine faith.

c.) Vers. 11-27: Responsibilities during the King's absence.

Growing out of these two acts of grace, we have the responsibility ever connected with it, in the parable of the pounds. While very similar to that of the talents in Matthew, it differs in several respects. The like gift is given to each servant, for responsibility is the same in kind if not in degree. Here, the measure of faithfulness is varied and rewards given according to that faithfulness, while that which fails to recognize the grace of the Master and calls Him a hard man, refusing any exercise of what has been entrusted to him, meets with judgment.

Sec. 2. Ch. 19:28-48: The entry into Jerusalem.

Most beautiful is this scene where the Lord looks down upon the city with divine sorrow, enters it amid the plaudits of those who follow Him, and cleanses the temple.

a.) Vers. 28-40: The triumphal entry.

The colt here is seen alone, and not, as in Matthew, in company with its mother. It is grace entirely, not government. The King enters amidst the plaudits of His people; and when the Pharisees would check the disciples in their praise, He replies the stones would cry out if they held their peace.

Vers. 41-44: Divine lamentation.

What a sight we have as we see our Lord in tears!

Dear to His heart was that city where so soon He was to be crucified. How gladly would He have protected them and kept them from the inevitable sorrows they were bringing upon themselves, but it was too late. Pride had blinded their eyes.

Vers. 45-48: The cleansing of the temple.

Still He goes on if even yet their eyes might be opened. He cleanses the temple, showing its need in the very language of the prophets. All, however, is in vain. The chief priests have determined upon His death.

Sec. 3. Ch. 20:1-19: Their treatment of Christ.

This is similar to what we have already looked at. We have first the question of authority (1-8), and next the vineyard and the heir (9-19). How our Lord brings home to the Pharisees His knowledge of their guilt! and how could they, in the face of this omniscient disclosure of their sin, fail to be brought to repentance? Truly, it was with open eyes that they were saying: "This is the Heir; come, let us kill Him;" and yet, such is grace, that later still another opportunity is given them; as Peter says: "I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers."

Sec. 4. Ch. 20:20 — 21:4: The questions from and to unbelief.

We have here the questions of those who feign an interest only to ensnare the Lord.

a.) Vers. 20-26: Tribute to whom tribute is due.

Grace does not relieve from responsibility to the powers that be, while the claims of God are ever supreme.

b.) Vers. 27-40: After death, what?

The question of the Sadducees as to family relationships in the resurrection brings out the truth as to the glory of that age. Necessarily, there is a change in the future. That which has to do with time passes, while all that is of grace is enduring. Our Lord also takes occasion to show how Moses, whom the Sadducees professed to believe, taught the resurrection: God declaring Himself to be the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob — God, not of the dead, or extinct, but of the living. Therefore the patriarchs were not really dead, but living, and this was the pledge of their resurrection.

c.) Vers. 41-44: David's Son and Lord. How faith delights at the paradoxes of Scripture! We can answer that which was inexplicable to the Pharisees; we know Him who was both the Son of David, and his Lord.

d.) Vers. 45-47: Warnings against self-righteousness.

The scribes having manifested themselves in their questions, our Lord can manifest them before the people. They love the chief places and to be themselves exalted, while all is for a pretence.

e.) Ch. 21:1-4: Two mites.

Contrasted with the hypocrisy of the scribes and the ostentatious liberality of the rich, our Lord singles out the poor widow whose heart is in what she gives, a gift measured not by its apparent worth, but by its character. And He still sits over against the treasury and watches what we cast therein.

Sec. 5. Vers. 5-36: The prophetic discourse. We need not dwell long upon this, as we have already gone over it in Matthew and Mark.

a.) Vers. 5-24: The predicted destruction of Jerusalem.

This portion differs from that in Matthew and Mark in that it seems to refer more definitely to the first destruction of Jerusalem under the Romans. This is typical of the final judgment upon the nation, which, however, is not dwelt upon in Luke.

b.) Vers. 25-36: The coming of the Son of Man.

Here we are in the time of the end, and the signs of the distress are manifest; but when the world is quaking, the remnant can lift up their heads, for their redemption draweth nigh. They are to watch the shooting of the fig-tree, and whenever the signs of His coming draw near, they are to recognize them. Meanwhile, as in the place of responsibility, they are to watch.

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 21:37 — 23. Redemption by the cross.

We enter here upon the closing scene where the Lord by His own death accomplishes the salvation which He had been proclaiming and ministering throughout this Gospel.

Sec. 1. Ch. 21:37 — 22:62: From the passover to the betrayal.

This part gives us the events from the celebration of the passover when Judas made his plot to betray the Lord, up to Gethsemane where the betrayal took place.

a. Ch. 21:37 — 22:23: The passover supper.

Our Lord seems to hold Himself aloof from the people who were about to reject Him. It seems as though He would throw as many barriers in the way of their wicked plot as was consistent with His own changeless purpose in grace to go to the cross. Therefore Judas deliberately makes his plot as led by Satan, to which the chief priests gladly agree (21:37 — 22:6). Then comes the day of unleavened bread and the passover feast. We again see how our Lord provided for the feast. The man bearing the pitcher of water may suggest the Old Testament prophecies which pointed forward to what was about to take place (7-13). The Supper itself follows (14-23), where our Lord distinguishes between the passover supper and that new feast which He establishes. Thus, we have the pass-over cup given first in which He will not participate. Israel's joys wait for Him till the coming of the Kingdom of God. Next, the Supper which we celebrate is instituted. We notice here the similarity between Luke and Paul; a similarity which, as we have already seen, suggests the close connection between this Evangelist and the apostle to the Gentiles. Each in his own way is occupied with the grace of the gospel going out to the Gentiles.

b.) Vers. 24-38: Words for the disciples.

There follow here special warnings for the disciples as to lowliness, self-confidence and trust. Let them beware of the thought of greatness (24-30). Peter's denial is foretold (31-34); they are to be cast upon God alone (35-38).

c.) Vers. 39-46: The agony in Gethsemane.

The presence of an angel and the bloody sweat are peculiar to Luke; both are in perfect accord with his theme, the sufferings of the Son of Man.

d.) Vers. 47-53: Betrayed with a kiss; defended with a sword.

Only here is Judas' perfidy rebuked by the Lord: "Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?" How powerless His own are to defend Him is shown in the smiting one of the servants with the sword. Our Lord must undo this. He has not come to destroy, but to save.

e.) Vers. 54-62: Peter's denial.

Alas for human love and human righteousness! The crowing of the cock reminds us of that self-confident boasting which ends in open denials of our Lord.

Sec. 2. Ch. 22:63 — 23:25: The two trials. The two trials, before the high priest and before Pilate, are given here.

a.) Vers. 63-71: The good confession of Christ.

The mock trial before the council is given most briefly. The Lord refuses their questionings; they are only bent upon His destruction: they will neither believe nor let Him go. But He tells them of His coming in power to judge, in answer to their question, Is He the Son of God? This is sufficient for them, and they give sentence against Him.

b.) Ch. 23:1-4: The charge.

The trial before Pilate is given here in several parts at which we look separately. Before Pilate they do not accuse Him of being the Son of God, but, in direct falsehood, of forbidding to give tribute to Caesar and declaring that He Himself was a king. Pilate either knows the falsehood of this or detects it, and in answer to their charge, declares he finds no fault in Him!

c.) Vers. 5-12: Before Herod.

This trial before Herod is given in Luke alone. Herod, the fox who would have killed the Lord, and had slain John the Baptist, would take the opportunity to see some sign; not that his conscience might be awakened, for that had already been done only to be effectually stifled in the beheading of the faithful messenger of God, but to gratify his curiosity. How solemn to see Pilate and Herod alike in their refusal to stand by accused Innocence, clasping hands over the death of the Son of God!

d.) Vers. 13-25: The surrender of Pilate.

Brought back from Herod where He had been mocked and set at naught, Pilate makes a weak effort to secure the Lord's release. How pitiable that the judge and governor of the proudest nation upon earth, whose subjects were before him, lacked the moral courage to do what he knew was right! It shows us that what the world needs is not so much power as moral uprightness.

Sec. 3. Vers. 26-56: The crucifixion.

The narrative of the cross follows, in which we have that which is peculiar to Luke and to his theme.

a.) Vers. 26-31: On the way to Calvary. Simon the Cyrenian we have already seen impressed into the service to bear the cross after Jesus. From the manner of the narrative we would gather that he was either already a believer or became one afterwards. Perhaps his association with the Lord at this tune was used to bring him to repentance and faith. The word to the women is peculiar to Luke. If they were burning the green tree — Christ, what would be done with the dry? — what should the end be of those who had no life?

b.) Vers. 32-43: The dying thief.

Faith has ever loved to linger here, and we need add very little to what is blessedly familiar to us. From Matthew, we learn that both malefactors were railing upon Him, so that the repentance and faith of the one is all the more striking as taking place during the period of his suffering. It is often said that we have here an exceptional case of salvation. In a sense, it is rather the rule, for it is a sample miracle of grace for every one who sees his just condemnation and turns in faith to the Lord.

c.)Vers. 44-46: The rent veil. The work finished.

Most briefly is this closing scene described. If there is darkness over the earth, there is light in the presence of God, and the way is opened thither.

d.) Vers. 47-49: The effects upon the people. The centurion here evidently speaks for others as well as for himself. Even a hardened Roman soldier must bear witness to the reality of what he has seen.

e.) Vers. 50-56: The burial.

We have dwelt upon this elsewhere and will refer the reader to it (chapter 3, heading 2, division 6; pages 129, 130).

Subdivision 3. Chap. 24. The resurrection and ascension.

All that our Lord had set Himself to do is now finished. Nothing remains but for God to set His seal of acceptance upon all that His loved Son had accomplished. It is this which gives its special character to the resurrection, as well as the absolute fact that it was not possible that our Lord should be holden of death. So, both for personal and official reasons, the resurrection is a necessity.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-12: "Why seek ye the living among the dead?"

The rest of the Sabbath is here linked with the resurrection of the first day. Thus the old and new blend together. The twofold witness of the angels — appropriately spoken of here as men — declares to the women who visit the sepulchre that the Lord was not dead, but risen. They recall His words to them; and remembering these the women return with the joyful tidings to the eleven and other disciples. However, their words are not believed; nor does Peter, who also goes to the sepulchre, seeing it empty, with the linen clothes lying within, seem to grasp the truth. Doubtless this is the same occurrence as that narrated in John, Peter alone being here spoken of.

Sec. 2. Vers. 13-35: On the way to Emmaus.

Our Lord will not let matters rest thus. If His disciples are slow to believe and not ready to diligently seek Him, He will even go after them still; the Good Shepherd will gather together His sheep. He finds two of them wandering afar, though their hearts are sorrowful indeed over what had lately "come to pass." The Lord draws near to them; He draws out their sorrow and ministers to their wounded hearts from all the written Word; then, when faith has been rekindled, manifests Himself in the breaking of bread. Instantly He vanishes from their sight; but faith brings them back to the rest, there to find the Lord again, who had revealed Himself also to Peter.

Sec. 3. Vers. 36-53: The revelation of the Lord on earth and in heaven.

Beautifully here we have the Lord witnessed to. He is seen first visibly on earth (36-43). He assures them of His identity and makes them realize His bodily resurrection by partaking of food. Next (44-49) He brings before them the Word which had predicted all these things, opening their mind also to understand the Scripture; He appoints them witnesses of these great facts, and declares that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations. They were, however, to tarry at Jerusalem until the coming of the Holy Ghost who would endue them with power for their testimony. This is in accord with the entire Gospel of Luke and links directly with the opening of the Acts by the same author. Lastly (50-53),we see Him ascending. From beloved Bethany,the scene of His earthly communion, "the house of lowliness," He blesses them and in that act is carried up into heaven. The last they see of the beloved Son of Man is with uplifted hands in blessing. Returning to the temple, they wait in joy and peace the promised coming of the Spirit ere. they go forth on the ministry of His grace which He had begun "both to do and to teach."


General Theme — The Son of God, the Word made flesh and tabernacling amongst men displaying the glory of the Father and the nature of eternal life as seen in Himself communicating this life to others whom He meets in grace, and bearing witness patiently to those who despise that grace separating His own from the world of Judaism, as well as heathenism, to be witnesses for Him upon earth, for which He gives them the promise of the Spirit to guide them into all truth; then, leading up their hearts in prayer and worship, He goes to the cross to make available all the grace which He had declared, and in resurrection proclaims it.
Division 1. Chaps. 1 — 2:22. The Word, the Only Begotten of the Father, declaring Him — the Eternal Life in the person of Christ.
Division 2. Chaps. 2:23 — 17. Eternal life communicated, seen in its birth, communion and power, with the various stages of opposition, and provision for His own by the way.
Division 3. Chaps. 18 — 21. The offering up of the body of Jesus Christ once whereby all the will of God is effected and its results made known by the risen Lord.

"Three" is the number of divine fulness and of manifestation. Its applicability to the life of our Lord has already been noticed in Mark and Luke. It is peculiarly appropriate to the Gospel of John, for here all the fulness of the Godhead bodily is manifested in the Lord Jesus. The general character of each division is quite similar to that of the previous Evangelists.

The first division shows us our Lord in His individuality, the Eternal Life abiding alone. The second division, by far the largest part of the book, shows us that Eternal Life in its various departments as presented to men for their acceptance or rejection. When communicated, its blessed effects are seen from new birth on to the full outflow of testimony to others. When rejected, the opposition develops and intensifies until it culminates, as we have seen throughout, in the cross. The third division is, of course, the same in each — the death and resurrection of our Lord.

In John we have, as has been elsewhere noted, an entirely different point of view from the three Synoptists. These, as we saw, have a character largely common to them all and different from the fourth Evangelist. In general, we might say that John begins where the rest leave off, not of course historically, but morally. The Lord, for instance, cleanses the temple toward the close of His ministry in the Synoptists. Here, He does it at the beginning, for the simple reason that He is seen as outside Judaism and practically rejected from the very start. It is also well to remember that this separation is intensified because the Judean ministry of our Lord is given rather than His labors in Galilee to which the Synoptists are largely confined.

With comparatively few exceptions, the entire scene of our Lord's ministry in John is laid in Judaea. This in itself will account for the different kinds of miracles spoken of and the discourses connected with them. We add here, once for all, that the general manner of our Evangelist is to state a fact connected with which there is some special truth, and then around that fact as a centre our Lord gathers the various spiritual truths belonging to it. In this way, He leads those who have faith, on from the outward miracle to the deeper miracle of grace; while those who reject the testimony of the miracle at the same time go on in an opposition which becomes more pronounced and more inexcusable.

When He has gathered out His own by the truth, a separation is effected between them and the world, so that now the ministry is of a more private character, appropriate to a true Christian position. This leads us further to say that our Evangelist is distinctively the Christian Gospel: that is, Christianity as an established fact, so that we might say it does not so much lead up to Christianity as it looks back from it and traces it from its inception. This will account for the partial absence of dispensational truth in the Evangelist, and for the explanation of Jewish terms and customs as though his readers were not familiar with them, and for the further fact that the doctrines involved are largely in their full Christian form.

Our Evangelist therefore stands alone,even as our Lord stood alone while here. Few indeed of His disciples understood Him, and yet here and there throughout, we find a faith which apprehends Him and to which He can reveal Himself with a fulness and clearness that is startling in its contrast to what we have in the Synoptists; and yet there is no contradiction between the fourth Gospel and the others. Indeed, it is this which impresses us with the absolute inspiration of the word of God, that where the themes are so different, and the manner of treatment, one would say, almost contradictory, yet the result is a harmony which manifests the master Mind that controls all. Thus, the stamp of truth is upon the whole.

If Luke shows us Christ as the Son of Man, dwelling largely upon His perfect humanity, equally does John present Him as the Son of God, and dwells upon His divine personality. And yet while this is evidently His theme throughout, it is as though the Spirit of God delighted to show the deity of our Lord in the lowliest circumstances. It is as though God would bring the highest ideas of spiritual excellence into connection with the greatest depths of man's need; and how beautifully the light shines forth in such surroundings!

Division 1. (Chaps. 1 — 2:22.) The Word, the Only Begotten of the Father, declaring Him the Eternal Life in the person of Christ.

John begins the Bible anew, with a fresh Genesis, where not only the creation is spoken of, but the Creator described as the One in whom was life, which Life was marked by light, a light which reveals the moral state of the darkness into which it enters. The Incarnation is then declared, preceded and followed by a notice of the ministry of John the Baptist, necessary for even the apprehension of Christ. He then is presented, baptized and anointed; begins His ministry; gathering, in type, a heavenly and an earthly company about Himself. These are the main themes of the first division.

Subdivision 1. Chap. 1:1-18. The Word, the Life and the Light.

Our Lord's deity is stated in the most absolute way, and as One in companionship with God in the beginning, as Creator too who also enlightens men. The nature of this Light is then dwelt upon with its rejection by His own people, the Jews; then its effect in men wherever it is received, by God's will, they become His children. All this is effected through the Word having become flesh — the incarnation.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-4: The Word with God, and God, Creator, Life and Light.

These words will sufficiently characterize this brief section, which presents subjects for adoring meditation, and is one of the most profound portions of the entire word of God, withal amazingly simple. "The Word" is the expression of thought, suggesting in itself that purpose of the manifestation of the fulness of God to His intelligent creatures. "With God" speaks of the distinction in the person of the Godhead. "Was God" tells us He was essentially divine. The same Person who,become flesh, was in the beginning with God. We compare with this the first chapter of Hebrews and the first of Colossians, where His deity is described in somewhat similar terms, although that which we have here is peculiar to John and sounds the key note, we might say, of his Gospel.

Sec. 2. Vers. 5-11: The Light and the darkness.

The Life was the light of men which shone in darkness. Doubtless, from the beginning, all testimony for God has been through the Word. We have indeed those adumbrations of the incarnation most delightful to trace throughout the Old Testament.

If, however, this Light is to find an entrance, the opening must be made through a ministry which shows man his need. Therefore John the Baptist is spoken of here — the moral forerunner as he was dispensationally looked at in the other Gospels. "His own," the Jews, do not receive the Lord. This is stated, as we said, at the beginning of the Gospel, a thing which becomes apparent in the other Evangelists toward the middle or close of their narrative.

Sec. 3. Vers. 12-18; The true Tabernacle.

This brief section is so full that it is difficult to characterize it in a single phrase. We have therefore given that which is prominent. First, however, in contrast with the unbelief of His own, we have the blessed results wherever the true Light is received. To such, He gives authority, or right, to become the children of God, whose birth is due not to blood — natural descent; nor to the will of the flesh — human energy in the individual; nor to the will of man — energy exerted from the outside — but to God, entirely a divine work.

"The Word," whom we have seen in His uncreated glory in the first verse, here veils Himself in a tabernacle of flesh. The word "tabernacled" does not necessarily imply that the abode was temporary, but suggests the lowliness and grace of our Lord. Indeed,we find the eternal state described by a similar term; in the new heavens and new earth we see the tabernacle of God with men, and He dwelling with them. It tells us of the eternal grace which takes its place in the midst of those He loves.

"The Word" as thus enshrined in its tabernacle, exhibits a Shekinah of glory transcending the evanescent splendor in the tabernacle of old. There, all was in type. Here, all is in reality. No wonder faith cries out exultantly, "We beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father." It is this tabernacle-glory which took up its abode in the midst of Israel until, cast out by them, it is withdrawn into the heavens; but, blessed be God, still real for faith, it rivets our gaze, still "full of grace and truth." It was to such an One that John bore witness, and faith adds again its testimony that "Of His fulness," a divine fulness in grace, brought to our apprehension, we have received "grace upon grace." This is contrasted with the law as given by Moses, which could only be a type, and which must give place to the higher revelation of God in the person of His Son. No one could see God under the law and live. Now, in the Only Begotten Son as made known from the bosom of the Father, all the divine affections are come out to us.

Subdivision 2. Chap. 1:19-34. The testimony as to Christ by the forerunner, and the Lamb of God marked out by the Spirit descending as a dove upon Him.

Sec. 1. Vers. 19-28: John's testimony as to himself and to Christ.

John has been preaching and baptizing, thus arousing the attention of the religious leaders. They send to ask him, after the manner peculiar to themselves, who he is and what he has to say of himself. He boldly confesses that he is not the Christ, nor yet Elias, nor the Prophet foretold, whom they seem to think is different from the Christ; and when pressed still further, has nothing to say of himself but that he is a voice sounding out in the moral desert of this world the coming of the Lord (Jehovah). When challenged as to why he baptized, John similarly gives a lowly place to the simple rite of water baptism, and points them to One who is in their very midst, of whom they are ignorant, yet infinitely above him.

Sec. 2. Vers. 29-31: Behold the Lamb of God.

How this Evangel of the Lamb of God fits into the testimony of the man who bore witness of sin! He is not satisfied, however, with declaring the sacrificial work of Christ, but points to His divine pre-eminence. It is the One who was before John in point of position, as of course in point of time. As such, John had not known Him, but merely as the promised Messiah. He seems now, however, to confess Him, as he does in a moment, in His divine glory.

Sec. 3. Vers. 32-34: Baptized with the Holy Spirit.

John now bears witness to His Godhead. He is not merely the Messiah, but the One in whom the Spirit of God dwells. He had not known Him as such, but God had marked Him out thus, and when John saw the Spirit resting upon Him, he could with fullest assurance declare this was the Son of God who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

Subdivision 3. Chap. 1:35-42. The heavenly company.

As soon as John, for the second time, points out the Lord as the Lamb of God, two disciples, one of whom is evidently our Evangelist and the other Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, follow Him. They desire to know where He dwells. He invites them to come and see. Simon is brought into this company and has his new name given to him, Cephas — Peter, "a stone." Thus we have a company formed on the testimony of John to the Lamb of God, a company marked, we may say, by separation unto a heavenly Christ.

Subdivision 4. Chap. 1:43-51. The earthly company.

In the former gathering, the sovereignty of grace stirred up the disciples to follow Jesus. In the present, we see the Lord finding first Philip, and Philip finding Nathanael, to whom he declares the presence of the One of whom Moses and the prophets wrote. Nathanael, stumbling at the Lord's connection with Nazareth, finds his doubts removed by the Searcher of hearts who has seen him under the fig-tree, standing, we might say, for the remnant of Israel. Nathanael confesses Him as the Son of God and the King of Israel, and our Lord promises millennial glory as the "greater" thing compared with His revelation of Himself to Nathanael. Thus, the earthly company is, in type, formed.

Subdivision 5. Chap. 2:1-12. The bringing in of this earthly blessing.

The marriage in Cana of Galilee (Galilee is always connected with the remnant in contrast with Jerusalem which is connected with the Pharisees) opens up the order in which blessing is going to be brought to Israel in the latter days. The joy fails in the midst of the feast, even as Israel's joy has ever failed in the midst of her most favored seasons. The water-pots, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, suggest the ordinances of the law. These are empty unrealities until filled with the living power of divine truth. Then drawn out, this truth becomes the wine of joy for Israel's feast of tabernacles.

We note the place the mother of our Lord has at the beginning and again at the close of our Evangelist. Divine grace accords her her rightful place, but guards against the abuse which Rome has made of this.

Our Lord thus sets forth His glory, a glory for His Church and for Israel. His disciples believe on Him; we may be sure, not with the full knowledge of all that was involved, and yet a divine work had been wrought in their soul. Coming down to Capernaum, He remains there among the remnant of Israel for a few days and then passes on to the capital of the nation.

Subdivision 6. Chap. 2:13-22. The temple cleansed.

This would be next in order; if Israel receives blessing, her temple would be purged and the Lord whom she sought would suddenly appear there. So He comes, casting out the merchandise, the Canaanite, as we might say, from the house of the Lord. Instead of bowing to His authority the Jews ask a sign. In His answer, our Lord gives the parable, as we may call it, of His death and resurrection. They will not believe until they believe in that; and refusing Him they are left in the darkness. They can only helplessly speak of the great glory of their temple, little realizing that the Tabernacle of God was amongst them, a Tabernacle to be laid down and taken again in three days. His disciples do not understand this as yet, but the Spirit quickens their memory after the resurrection of our Lord; and thus, as we have seen, the Spirit is ever looking at things from the standpoint of Christianity and of the resurrection.

Division 2. (Chaps. 2:23 — 17.) Eternal Life communicated, seen in its birth, communion and power, with the various stages of opposition, and provision for His own by the way.

There is a fulness about this part of the Evangelist which it is impossible to exhaust; which even to apprehend is difficult. We have evidently, throughout, the operation of eternal life upon the hearts of men, seen either in blessing or in judgment. The possession of this life, by that very fact, separates from the world and bears witness to its enmity. It is further described as life in the power of resurrection which, as the Light of the world, illumines every needy, believing soul, and separates from the fold of Judaism, leading indeed up into resurrection-scenes outside this world. With the resurrection of Lazarus, the line of separation between Christ and His people on the one side, and the world and the Jews on the other, is clearly drawn in chapter 12. In the remainder of the division. our Lord ministers the promise of comfort, guidance and power to His own in their earthly life, leading their hearts up finally to enter with Him into the privileges of His great, high-priestly, intercessory prayer. The progress therefore is continuous from the beginning of the eternal life in new birth to its full display in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ as revealed in the prayer.

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 2:23 — 4. The blessing of eternal life imparted to faith.

The blessing circles here, we might say, about two poles, in two opposite characters; the one a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews; the other, a sinful woman of Samaria. To the first, our Lord declares the necessity of new birth; to the second, He reveals Himself. For both, life is provided, but there must be faith to receive it, and the woman in this seems to be first.

Sec. 1. Ch. 2:23 — 3:21: New birth and the basis upon which it rests.

Naturally, when life is our theme, we begin at the beginning, and birth marks practically the beginning of life.

a.) Ch. 2:23 — 3:8: The need of new birth.

This is the first passover at Jerusalem in our Lord's public ministry. As we have said elsewhere, our Lord's entire life seems grouped about the passover scenes in the Gospel of John. Two classes of observers are impressed with His miracles, and many believe in His name. This is evidently intellectual, without deep conviction. On the other hand, one is evidently awakened in a different manner, and although his timidity prevents him from confessing Christ (he does not do this until the cross) yet there is a sincerity of inquiry which our Lord meets by the solemn declaration of the necessity for new birth. All excellence of the flesh can never rise higher than itself. If there is anything to link man with God it must be by the Spirit. Nicodemus as a teacher should have gathered this much from the Old Testament itself, where in the longing of David for the creation of a clean heart within him, and the prediction of Ezekiel that God would take away the stony heart out of His people, together with many other typical and prophetic intimations, there was abundance to show the necessity for the new birth. He has however not apprehended it, and our Lord has to remind him of God's sovereignty. The wind blows where and as it will. We see its effects. We cannot trace its cause. So with those born of the Spirit.

b.) Vers. 9-18: The Son of Man upon the cross, the object of faith and giver of eternal life.

Most preciously is the Cross put side by side with the witness to the necessity of new birth. Nicodemus is still pondering, and our Lord asks the teacher of Israel how, if he cannot understand things which God has made known upon earth, he could expect to enter into the heavenly revelations whose glories no one knows but the One who is in heaven. Our Lord proceeds therefore to lay the broad foundation upon which alone man can rest, from which he can gaze into the heavens, and by which those heavens are opened to him. He uses the Old Testament, not by mere intimation as He had done, but by direct reference to the uplifted serpent. Thus, at the very outset of this Gospel, we have the actual truth of redemption unmistakably set forth. To know God as revealed in the Cross of His Son is salvation and eternal life.

c.) Vers. 19-21: The Light which manifests all things.

This is the true Light. The condemnation for men is that, when it has entered the world, they refuse to come to it to have their deeds reproved and put away. This, our Lord speaks of later.

Sec. 2. Vers. 22-36: The friend of the Bridegroom rejoicing in the Bridegroom's voice.

We have here a view of the lovely character of John the Baptist. We are so accustomed to think of him as the stern denouncer of sin, that we may forget his complete self-effacement when comparing himself with Christ. His disciples may unconsciously be jealous for their master's dignity, but with John there is nothing but joy as he hears how men are flocking to Christ. "He must increase, but I must decrease" is the motto of his life. The closing part here shows how fully John entered into the truth of the place of the Son and His gift of eternal life to every one that believes upon Him.

Sec. 3. Ch. 4:1-42: A well of living water.

We come now to that most delightful of gospel types where our Lord deals not with the master in Israel, hedged about with his dignity and perhaps self-righteousness, but where divine love is free to go out and seek one afar off.

a.)  Vers. 1-26: At the well.

We need not more than point out the various stages in our Lord's reaching the heart of the sinner. Notice first how sovereign grace, as He leaves Judea lest He should appear to be in conflict with His faithful servant John, leads Him not by the ordinary way, beyond Jordan, level and easy to travel, but through the rugged hills of Samaria. He must needs go there to meet the woman. He asks her for a drink of water, not merely to quench His thirst, but rather to afford Him the opportunity to give to her the water of life. This indeed He tells her of almost immediately, for on her expressing surprise that He a Jew should have any dealings with a Samaritan, He says: "If thou knewest the gift of God and who it is that asketh thee, Give Me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of Him and He would have given thee living water."

Further describing this water, and showing that it is not an earthly thing, He declares it is eternal life. Whoso drinketh of this water, whatever it may be — wealth, pleasure, honors, sin, — drinks only to have his thirst awakened again, a thirst which eventually shall never be slaked in eternity but he who drinketh of the water which He gives has his thirst quenched forever, and has in himself a satisfying spring of water ever flowing — to eternal life.

Her desire is now awakened and she asks directly for this water. Our Lord therefore puts His finger upon her sin as the only way in which He could minister the gift of God to her. The sin brought out, she recognizes she is in the presence of one in the counsel of God, and at once, as is so common, begins to speak of religious differences. Again our Lord, while in faithfulness declaring that salvation is of the Jews, tells her the hour is coming when true worship shall neither be in Jerusalem nor in Samaria, but in spirit and in truth, wherever there is a heart that is brought to the knowledge of God. We know this hour is now present. True worshipers, brought by the knowledge of themselves to know also the grace of God, worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. The woman turns instinctively in her thought to the promised Messiah and — amazing grace — she finds herself in His presence! This is the imparting of eternal life. It is the revelation of the Father to a sinful soul by the Christ. The grounds of it do not come out here, of course, but we have the full character of eternal life outlined.

b.) Vers. 27-42: Fields white unto harvest.

Our blessed Lord's yearning soul longs for others beside the one who had just been brought to know Himself. Leaving her water-pot in the complete abandonment of self-forgetfulness, she runs to the village where perhaps she had shrunk from the public gaze before, and there declares the One she had found — the Christ, who had shown her her sin and whose true character she had learned.

The disciples beg our Lord to take food, but oh, how His soul is feasting! He is making the Father's will, the Father's heart, known to needy souls; He longs too for His disciples to share with Him in gathering a rich harvest for God! Of this harvest we see a first ingathering at this despised city of the Samaritans. Many believed the testimony of the woman, and, coming to the Lord, they have that testimony so confirmed that it is an individual conviction in themselves.

Sec. 4.Vers. 43-54: Mercy spreading to Israel.

Again our Lord reaches Galilee, the place of the remnant, where He meets not with the cold unbelief of the Jews nor with the incredulous questions of their leaders, but with reception by the Galileans who had seen His miracles. He performs another miracle at Cana of Galilee, similar in import though different in character from the previous one, in healing the nobleman's son nigh to death. Our Lord heals him at a distance, going far beyond the faith which thought His presence was needed. It is like our Lord's word to Thomas: "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed." Thus the blessing goes out to Israel.

Subdivision 2. Chaps. 5 — 8:1. Eternal life separating from a world under judgment, sustained by Christ and flowing forth in refreshing to the world.

In this subdivision, we have more of conflict with unbelief than in what has preceded. Indeed, in the first subdivision, beyond the indifference of the leaders, or the slowness of Nicodemus, we have but little manifestation of opposition. But that opposition now rises; and, as we have frequently seen, the occasion is a miracle wrought upon the Sabbath Day. Henceforth, until the 1 2th chapter, we shall find unbelief and faith going side by side, and the eternal life which the Lord imparts must force its way through all obstacles.

Sec. 1. Ch. 5: Honor given to the Son who is carrying on His Father's work, an honor to be displayed in the day of judgment. Meanwhile, the eternal life is given to the believer in Him.

a.) Vers. 1-9: The healing of the impotent man.

Bethesda, the "house of mercy," with its five porches filled with its multitude of impotent folk suggests the responsibility of man and the powerlessness of the law really to bless, although mercy is held out to those who could fulfil its conditions.

The man has been afflicted thirty-eight years — the length of Israel's wandering in the desert after their refusal to obey God. He confesses his inability, although he seems to think that all he needs is "help." Later on, this seems to indicate a lack of true apprehension of grace on the part of this man, but there is no lack in the grace which goes out to him, healing him and setting him on his feet.

b.) Vers. 9-18: The broken Sabbath.

The Jews have eyes only for the violation of the ceremonial law and cannot accept a manifest miracle from God as justifying such a violation. The man seems willing enough to play into their hands. Indeed, he had been apparently so self-absorbed as to fail to discern who had healed him. The Lord will not however leave him, but seeks to reach his conscience; the warning He gives him evidently suggesting that all was not right in his soul. At once the poor man shows where his heart is by telling of the Lord to His enemies, and they persecute the Lord because of what they call His violation of the Sabbath. The Lord simply calls attention to the fact that some one else has broken the Sabbath and not Himself. Man's sin has broken God's rest, and ever since the fall — true on the Sabbath as on every other day — "My Father worketh hitherto and I work." Their own conscience should have bowed to this and owned the truth. Instead, they hate Him still more because of His announced Sonship to the Father. Unlike modern unbelievers, they saw that such a claim meant equality with God.

c.) Vers. 19-29: The Son and the Father; eternal life and exemption from judgment the portion of all who believe in Him.

Our Lord here declares in the most unmistakable way His dependence upon the Father and the Father's delight in Him. He assures them that the works which the Father does He also does, and indeed that judgment has been, by the Father, committed into His hand (19-23). Thus, eternal life is the portion of every one who recognizes Christ and believes in the Father who sent Him. Such shall never come into judgment. They have already passed from death into life (24).

The resurrection is next described (25-29) — a spiritual resurrection, which even now is going on, when spiritually dead ones hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear live; and a literal resurrection is coming, when those who are in their graves shall come forth to life or to judgment. This last, as will be noticed, does not separate in time, but only in character, the two resurrections, of the just and of the unjust. We know, from another scripture, that a thousand years intervenes between the two (Rev. 20, 4, 5).

d.) Vers. 30-47 The witness to the Son of God.

Our Lord speaks first of His own witness, a witness which is true because in all He seeks God's glory (30-32). Next, the testimony of John, a burning and shining light, is spoken of (33-35). Higher than this is the testimony of the Father in the works which He had wrought (36, 37). Last, we have the testimony of Scripture which bears witness of Christ (38-40). Why then would they not accept so overwhelming a witness? Was it not because they had no love of God in their hearts? He had come in His Father's name. They, not caring for the Father, did not believe Him. Another, the Antichrist, would come in his own name. Him they would receive, because they loved themselves. How could they believe with this self-love and seeking of honor from man — putting man between their souls and God? The very law of Moses in which they trusted condemned them as guilty. Had they truly believed Moses, they would have owned their sin and thus have known Him of whom Moses wrote; but if they rejected the testimony of the law, which brings to repentance, they would also reject the testimony of Christ in offering them salvation.

Sec. 2. Ch. 6: The Bread of life.

The previous chapter has shown us eternal life given to the believer. It has also shown how this develops an opposition on the part of self-righteous legalism which leaves the believer alone in a hostile world. Our present chapter therefore provides for the sustenance of this life in the wilderness scene, and at the same time it bears witness to unbelief, pleading with opposers to accept the grace of God.

a.) Vers. 1-21: The twofold miracle.

As we have said, our Lord's discourses, in John, gather around some miracle or event, as we have here in the feeding of the five thousand (1-14), (the only miracle recorded by all four Evangelists), and the walking on the water (15-21); about these, and especially the first, our Lord's discourse in the synagogue at Capernaum is framed.

b.) Vers. 22-71: The discourse in Capernaum.

Nothing can more clearly illustrate the difference between the three Synoptists and John. The former give us the narrative with very little comment, while in John the comment so far exceeds in importance the narrative, that we almost lose sight of the miracle. We must note the subdivisions of this discourse a little more minutely than usual.

(1) Vers. 22-33: The Bread of God from heaven.

The multitude have been attracted by the earthly benefits enjoyed rather than by the evidence of God's presence among them; therefore they seek to have their temporal needs met further. Our Lord warns them that there is need for other bread. The meat that perisheth, such as their fathers ate in the wilderness and died, is not sufficient for the needs of an immortal spirit. They must have that food which endureth unto eternal life, a food which He would give them, for God had designated Him for this special work.

Speaking of work seems to suggest to them their inability to labor acceptably for God. They ask then what they might do, and our Lord tells them there is but one work of God for them. It is to "believe on Him whom He hath sent." He is the true Bread, and to believe in Him, therefore, is to eat of that Bread which has come down from heaven.

(2) Vers. 34-51: False and real faith.

They ask, somewhat as the woman of Samaria had asked, to be given this Bread, but their state of soul is not like hers. Our Lord presents Himself to them as the Bread of life. To believe on Him will be to have their hunger satisfied, never again to be renewed. But although they had seen Him, they do not truly believe. This true faith is only shown by those whom the Father has given in sovereign grace to the Lord. Whoever has this faith may be assured of instant acceptance. Our Lord has come from heaven to do the will of the Father. This will is ex pressed from both points of view — divine sovereignty and human responsibility. All that the Father has given Him shall be kept and raised up at the last day; and lest they might think this excluded any, He adds: "Every one that seeth the Son and believeth on Him hath eternal life."

All this wondrous unfolding of grace meets with but murmuring from them. They stumble, as they did at Nazareth because of His lowly connection, and our Lord reminds them that any turning to Him must be the result of sovereign grace, even as the prophets had declared. Plainly He now tells them he that believeth on Him hath eternal life; and again, drawing to the close of this part of His discourse, reminds them that their fathers had fallen in the wilderness, but he who eats this Bread shall never die.

(3) Vers. 52-58: His flesh and blood.

At the close of the previous division our Lord had described the Bread more fully. It was His flesh which He would give for the life of the world. This He now enlarges upon. The Jews question how He could give them His flesh, and our Lord replies that except they eat His flesh and drink His blood they have no life in them; and except they feed upon that flesh (a different word, suggesting the constant nourishment provided by that which was first accepted by faith) they cannot have eternal life. Such only will be raised up in blessing at the last day. Thus the Bread of life not only imparts but sustains the life of the soul. This is that true Bread which came down from heaven. A man eating this shall live forever.

(4) Vers. 59-71: His own disciples tested.

The discourse on the Bread of life has met with opposition on the part of the unbelieving; but here we have His own professed disciples tested also by this heart-searching word. It is the Spirit alone that gives life, and where that is lacking there can be no true faith. Thus our Lord reminds them that no one can truly believe except as quickened by the power of God. When many of His disciples have thus departed, our Lord turns to the twelve, with that tender appeal, "Will ye also go?" Here, thank God, in the response of Peter — a response similar to his confession at Caesarea-Philippi — we have the proof that the seed does not all fall upon stony ground: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" He might not understand all that our Lord had declared, but there was enough in those words of life to quicken his heart and to give him the assurance that here was One who had the words of eternal life and about whom there could be no question that He was the Holy One of God. But even of the twelve one is under Satan's power, yea, is himself a devil.

It may be well to point out the fourfold repetition of the expression, "I will raise him up at the last day," in this discourse. We have it in verses 39, 40, 44, and 54. In the first, it is connected with God's sovereignty in election. The end is sure for every one who has been given by the Father to the Son. The second makes it equally assured for every believer in the Lord Jesus. The third shows that such believers have been drawn by the Father; therefore faith itself is the gift of God. The fourth shows that all depends upon the death of Christ. Thus, we have linked together the election of God, the faith of man, the grace of God in communicating that faith, and the atoning work of Christ as the basis upon which it rests. These all unite to declare that the objects of divine grace will be raised up in blessing at the last day.

Sec. 3. Chs. 7 — 8:1: The outflow of the Spirit.

We have in this portion the account of what took place at the feast of tabernacles. The other feasts have been, with the possible exception of that mentioned in the fifth chapter, the Passover. As has been already remarked, much of what is narrated in John occurs in connection with the various feasts. This feast of tabernacles, celebrated at the close of Israel's year, was a memorial of their wilderness experience; while they also celebrated the ingathering at the close of their year. It was thus a feast of great joy, and typifies the entrance into the millennial kingdom. As all else connected with the law and Israel's responsibility, this feast could only be a confession of failure on their part. Instead of this, they make it a season of profession, like the Sabbath, in which the manifested results of their own failure would contradict any thought of their having reached the end of their wilderness experiences. As our Lord in the previous chapter presents Himself, we might say, as the true paschal Lamb — originally pointed out by John, His death foretold in the lifting up of the serpent, and then presented for them to feed upon — so we have Him here as the true Giver and Interpreter of the joy that belongs to the feast of tabernacles.

a.) Vers. 1-9: His time not yet come.

His brethren, as yet unbelieving, urged Him to make a public display of Himself. This He refused to do, for He could not identify Himself with the feast whose joy rested on so unstable a basis.

b.) Vers. 10-36: His teaching at the feast.

Our Lord does go up, however, not in the way His brethren had requested, but simply to continue His gracious work of ministry. His hearers express surprise at His wisdom. His answer shows whence that wisdom came, and how it could be understood. If one is subject to God, desiring to do His will, he will know of the doctrine which the Father had given to Him who sought only the Father's glory in making Him known (10-18).

Instead of bowing with grateful hearts and receiving such teaching, however, the people manifest themselves as opposed to God. Therefore, instead of the law of Moses being kept by them, they broke it in plotting the destruction of One to whom Moses bore witness (19-24). The Lord then continues openly to teach the people; there is great murmuring among them as to whether He is indeed the Christ; and they express the thought that no one could know whence Christ came: therefore this Man whom they thought they knew so well could not be the Christ. Our Lord shows His knowledge of their thoughts and cries out that they do know Him and whence He is; if in heart they had known God, they would therefore have received Him. A great excitement evidently exists among the people. Nothing but the sovereign restraint of God prevented them from making away with Him, but His hour had not yet come and therefore no one could harm Him (25-31).

The Pharisees evidently feel that they cannot allow Him to go on unchecked, and seek to arrest Him by sending the officers of the temple. Our Lord meets this with the simple declaration that He was with them only a little while longer and pleads with them, for as they now are they could never go where He was going.

c.) Vers. 37-39: The great day of the feast.

Their feast is come and well nigh gone. How ineffectual had been all their celebration.! how empty their drawing up water in golden vessels and pouring it out with the words of the prophet foretelling Israel's millennial blessing, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." Alas, they had no salvation, no water, no joy worthy of the name. It is here, in the face of an empty ritual, that our Lord cries aloud in those words which have found an echo in how many hearts: "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." And here we have not merely the satisfaction of thirst, as in the promise to the woman of Samaria, but rivers of living water flowing out from the once empty heart of man — now so full that it overflows with joy and carries refreshment to others. We are told what this fulness is, not merely the life which our Lord imparts, but that life as energized and controlled by the Holy Spirit: "This spake He of the Spirit which they that believe on Him should receive." All looks forward, therefore, to the gift of the Spirit after redemption had been accomplished.

d.) Vers. 40 — 8:1: "Never man spake like this Man."

There is much further questioning and contradictory statement. They apparently were ignorant or had forgotten that He had been born in Bethlehem. They thought of Him only as from Galilee. At least, the leaders were willing they should think this and pressed it as a sufficient proof that this was not the Christ. However, they cannot have their way as yet, and even the officers have been so awed by the Lord's words that they could not lay their hands upon Him. Nicodemus, too, ventures feebly to plead for at least fairness according to their law; but he is rebuffed and makes at present no further contest. The scene closes, therefore, with the Lord's wondrous testimony, ineffectual so far as the leaders were concerned, but with evident searchings of heart by many of the people. He Himself withdraws from Jerusalem to the retirement of the Mount of Olives.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 8:2-12. In the light of God's presence, on resurrection ground.

There is an evident and remarkable advance in this subdivision. The enmity of His opposers has been brought out clearly, and we find here the faith of those who believe upon Him manifesting itself proportionately. We may say the narrative centers about three individuals, the subjects of grace, connected with whom our Lord, continues His separative teaching. The manifestation of grace is given in a cumulative way.

In the first, it is purely grace for the soul. In the second, the opening of the eyes is the occasion for a fuller revelation of Himself as the Son of God, while in the case of Lazarus, his resurrection overrides all else, centering our minds therefore upon the great truth suggested by it.

Sec. 1. Vers. 2-59: The Light of life.

This portion recounts the incident of the woman brought before our Lord and the discourse connected with it. Unbelief, or feeble faith indeed, seems to have hesitated to give this wondrous narrative a place in the canon of Scripture, but who that knows the nature of sin and the heart of God could question its right to the place given it here?

a.) Vers. 2-11: Convicted and forgiven.

The sin is brought out into the light; the self-righteous Pharisees are clamoring for judgment upon the guilty. How will the Lord preserve His grace and maintain His holiness? If He acquits her, the latter is ignored; if He condemns her, what becomes of His grace? One thing at least is clear: for themselves, they needed to learn their own sin. This, therefore, He presses upon them, with the result that self-condemned they dare not accuse her. On His part, He is free to exercise forgiveness for one who has thus been brought into the light and taken her true place before Him in penitence.

b.) Vers. 12-20: The Light of the world. This evidently follows immediately after the preceding narrative and illustrates it. The woman had been brought into the light. Following Him, she would no longer walk in darkness. She would go and sin no more. The Pharisees, however, in spite of what had just been done, continue their profitless reasonings. They speak of testimony, but how can they receive testimony as to Him when they refuse to bow to the testimony as to themselves? They know not Christ, and yet would sit in judgment upon Him. They judge according to the flesh and therefore can never understand Him who knew whence He came and whither He was going. Had they but ears for it, there was a twofold witness which should have been sufficient for them. The Son bore witness of Himself, and the Father bore witness by the works which He had given the Son to do. Alas, they knew neither Him nor His Son. Had they known the Son, they would have known the Father also.

c.) Vers. 21-29: "Whither I go, ye cannot come."

Our Lord continues His searching word, speaking again and again of His departure and of their inability to follow Him because of their unfitness for the presence of God. They should die in their sins and could not come where He was. Even if they continued to reject Him, they should know who He was; for the time was coming when they would lift Him up on the cross. Then they would know, when He was no longer with them, that He had been sent by the Father. Meanwhile, the Father was with Him, sustaining Him, for He always did what was pleasing to the Father. Speaking thus, many seem to be won to believe on Him. Alas, it seems to have been like the faith of others, too superficial to be real and abiding.

d.) Vers. 30-47: Made free by the Son.

Our Lord accepts their faith at its face value, and presses upon them the need of continuance in it if they are to be truly His disciples. Were they this, they should be made free. At once their natural pride asserts itself; incredible as it may seem, they declare they never were in bondage to any man. Leaving out their manifest servitude from the time of their captivity in Babylon, and even then to Rome, how could they say they were free? Our Lord probes them in this latter direction. Sin is the real master of them that obey it. "Whosoever committeth sin is the bondservant of sin." Such cannot abide in God's house. The Son, however, stands pledged to set free all who believe on Him. But, alas for them, they are seeking to kill Him. How then can they ever be made free? Our Lord recognizes that they are Abraham's seed, but their real father is quite different from Abraham and infinitely removed from the Father of our Lord. They at once declare that Abraham is their father. This claim our Lord will not allow. His seed they were, his natural descendants, but children in a real sense implies faith, and if they were such, they would do the works of their father. Abraham never refused the testimony of God, and here is One who is telling them the truth, and they seek to kill Him. If God were their Father they would love His Son; but they have no place in their heart for Him, but seek to destroy Him. This manifests them as the children of the devil, doing the lusts of their father who was a murderer and a liar. If they were of God, they would hear the Son of God.

e.) Vers. 48-59: "Before Abraham was, I am."

Their opposition develops into blasphemy as they charge Him with being a Samaritan, an alien from Israel, and possessed of a demon. Still, in wondrous meekness, our Lord replies they are dishonoring the One whose only object is to honor His Father. If a man would keep the words of Christ, he should never see death. Instead of grasping at this as men consciously dying should, they reassert their blasphemy. They evidently know not what our Lord means. Abraham and the prophets are dead. Who could He be to set Himself above them? In the consciousness of His knowledge of, and His oneness with, the Father our Lord in meekness presses His grace upon them. Why not be in company with their progenitor Abraham who had rejoiced to see His day? No, they will not have it. What does He mean? Has He seen Abraham? Then come those amazing words which show them in whose presence they are — the eternal Jehovah Himself. Alas, their blindness is so complete that they would cast stones at the One who thus revealed Himself.

Sec. 2. Chs. 9, 10: The blind eyes opened; the sheep led out of the fold.

These two chapters evidently go together, giving us the narrative in chapter 9 and the discourse based upon it, chapter 10.

a.) Ch. 9: The eyes opened to behold the Son of God.

The Lord had just had fullest proof of the blindness of the Jews who could not recognize Him even when He plainly declared Himself. As He passes out from them, however, He sees one literally blind, as they were spiritually. This man, then, will be a fitting instrument to display the grace which the leaders were rejecting. The peculiar charm of this chapter is that the man is not only cured of his physical blindness, but his soul fully responds to the grace. He not only receives the personal benefit, but receives the knowledge of the Son of God.

The Lord looks upon the man as a vessel in which to display the works of God. Doubtless the details are suggestive here. They scarcely could be otherwise, for our Lord could with a word have opened the blind eyes. The spittle speaks of condemnation; the clay, of the dust of death into which man had been brought; the laying it upon the eyes, the application of that condemnation; and the washing in the pool of Siloam, the application of the word of God in faith. These we cannot fail to see have a spiritual significance. The work is done, and the man goes seeing.

We have next (8-34), the testimony of the man in the face of opposition and conflict. We notice how, from the simple confession, "A man named Jesus made clay and anointed mine eyes," etc., he passes on to own Him as a prophet, and, impliedly, to resist the thought that, because their notion of the Sabbath had been ignored, He was not of God.

The parents are involved in the case and cowardly refuse to stand with their son, the reality of whose cure they could not question; but he is not to be deterred. The Pharisees tell him the Lord is a sinner, but he holds fast to one thing, at least his eyes have been opened. In the helplessness of unbelief, they question him as to how the work was done. He, getting ever freer, asks why they would know. Do they desire to be His disciples? They disdain any such thought, declaring that they are Moses' disciples. Then the man whose spiritual insight was keeping pace with his physical vision declares how strange it is that they do not know whence the Lord is in the face of His miraculous work. God does not hear sinners. Eyes are not opened by sinners. If this man were not of God, He could do nothing. Blessed reasoning! Blessed knowledge, even though it cost a place in the synagogue! Thrice blessed is he the eyes of whose heart have been opened to know that Jesus is of God.

Such knowledge will not remain partial. Our Lord therefore reveals Himself further to this dear man (35-41). Here, outside of the synagogue, he finds that the One who had opened his eyes and who is speaking to him is none other than the Son of God. It is this which is indeed the epitome of the whole Gospel of John. Outside the synagogue, the eyes opened to behold and to worship the Son of God! It was for this that our Lord had come — in judgment indeed, spiritual judgment, that those who are blind and know it may see, and that those who profess to see but refuse Christ may have their blindness fixed upon them.

b.) Ch. 10: Led outside the fold.

The present chapter is evidently an application of the truth which had been illustrated in the previous one. We have a parable given in a twofold way: First, as showing that our Lord is the true Shepherd of the sheep, to whom the door of access into service has been opened (1-5). The porter, we may say, is none other than the Spirit of God Himself who descended upon our Lord at His baptism, and through John bore witness that He was the Son of God. The sheep hear His voice. He calleth them by name as He had called the woman of Samaria (although she was not really in the Jewish fold), the woman in the 8th chapter, and the blind man. These are led out by Him who goes before them the sheep follow Him and shrink from the voice of strangers.

Next (6-21), our Lord makes plainer that He is not only the Shepherd, but also the Door of the sheep. He thus compares Himself with the false shepherds who had gone before. How many kings of Israel and false prophets had claimed to be the true shepherds, as Ezekiel declares (Ezek. 34)! Wherever there was a true king or prophet, a man of faith, it was ever his joy to disclaim that he was the true Shepherd. Such as David looked forward to the coming of the Shepherd and waited for Him.

Our Lord is the Door of the sheep, but in order that He may make it plainer, He leaves out such designation. He is the Door by which if any man enter in, he shall be saved, have liberty and sustenance. This is in contrast with the work of the thief who has come only to kill and destroy. The Lord has come to give fulness of life. To do this He lays down His life for the sheep. Hirelings, as the leaders of the people then were, were powerless to deliver the sheep from the wolf. Indeed, when danger threatened them, they fled. "The Good Shepherd" knows His own sheep and they know Him, a knowledge similar in character to the mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son, for it is a knowledge of life and nature. The sheep, for whom He lays down His life, are not merely the sheep of the Jewish fold, but all those who have ears to hear His voice. These all, whether in the Jewish fold or scattered among the Gentiles, become one flock under the Shepherd who laid down His life that He might take it again. Need we wonder that the Father loves an obedience like this? Let our hearts respond to it with love also.

The effect of such life-giving words is various. Many reiterate that He has a demon. Others, touched by the Lord's discourse say: "These are not the words of one that hath a demon."

It is the feast of the dedication when this conversation takes place (22-30), a feast not prescribed in the law, but added to celebrate the cleansing of the temple from its defilement under Antiochus Epiphanes. It would therefore suggest the reformation of the natural man. Significantly, we are told it was winter, a chilling time spiritually, for the atmosphere was filled with unbelief.

Again they ask, as though in doubt as to who He is. Again our Lord declares that the reason why they do not know Him is a spiritual one — they are not of His sheep that hear His voice. He knows His own sheep, they follow Him and are eternally secure, held safely in His and the Father's hands, for He and the Father are one. The response to this precious truth is the same as that given when He had declared Himself as being before Abraham. They take up stones to throw at Him. Nothing can be done with such hatred but to bear a final testimony from Scripture. Again they seek to take Him, and He leaves Jerusalem to go to a place of retirement until the appointed time comes for Him to be delivered up into their hands. There, where repentance had been preached, many believe on Him — a significant fact; the icy atmosphere of mere reformation is no place for faith.

Sec. 3. Chs. 11, 12: The resurrection. Life once more offered to them.

These two chapters are linked together as the two previous ones. The resurrection. of Lazarus furnishes the setting around which the events of the succeeding chapter are grouped. The former declares the Lord's power; the latter suggests His glory; but neither power nor glory can attract those who are wilfully blind and spiritually dead.

a.) Vers. 1-46: The Resurrection and the Life.

Sickness has come into the home where our Lord was known and loved (1-4); still, instead of going at once, in response to the message, to heal Lazarus, our Lord remains away until death intervenes (5-16). Then, going to Bethany, He first meets Martha, who apparently suggests that even yet the Lord might work a miracle. However, upon probing her, she discloses that she did not fully realize what was meant. But her faith in the Lord is genuine, and therefore our Lord would remind her that He is the resurrection and the life (17-27). We have next, most touchingly, the exhibition of the tender sympathy of our Lord before He puts forth His power (28-38). Having done this, He shows forth the glory of God, calling the dead from the grave and commanding him to be set free from the habiliments of death (38-45).

b.) Chs. 11:46-12. The results.

The effects of this miracle are now set forth; first in the determination of the leaders to put our Lord to death (47-52). Next, He withdraws for a season, so that their purpose shall not be consummated until the time appointed of God, at the passover (53-57). The feast at Bethany (12:1-3) is in precious contrast with the enmity of the leaders. Here, at least, our Lord is welcome. It is typically a Christian feast in which we have manifested the power of divine grace which has given life, the liberty of true service unencumbered by self-seeking, and the joy of true worship which pours its fragrance upon the feet of the blessed Lord.

The treachery of Judas speaks for itself (4-8). The procession into Jerusalem is similar to what we have in the other Evangelists, but the resurrection is prominent in the thoughts of many (9-19). The desire of the Greeks to see Him is a little foreshadow of the coming blessing to the Gentiles; but our Lord will not anticipate that happy time. Well does He know that His own death must precede any glory among the Gentiles. The corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die, else it would abide alone (20-33).

Then follow our Lord's closing words of warning, together with the application of the prophet's words to the condition now manifested among the Jews, a condition exactly like that which the prophet had seen, only more hardened and hopeless (34-43). The Lord then utters His last public words to those who did not believe in Him (44-50). With these His public ministry closes; nothing is left for the world but their rejection of Him. Divine love and light had passed among them; they had seen it, had rejected it in the face of works of power and of love; had listened to words the like of which never fell from the lips of man; had been well-nigh persuaded at times that He must be the One sent of the Father, and yet the enmity of their hearts had asserted itself now even divine love must leave them to their unbelief. Thus closes this portion of the book.

Subdivision 4. Chaps. 13 — 17. Provision for His people in the world.

These precious chapters are to be taken together. Their general theme might be given as "Part with Me." For this, the feet must be washed (ch. 13) and the Spirit given (ch. 14). Thus, fruitfulness will be assured (ch. 15) and strength to meet the inevitable opposition by the way (ch. 16). The intercessory prayer (ch. 17) beautifully concludes this precious portion.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-17. Washing the disciples' feet.

The full consciousness of His glory, with thoughts of His people, is given as the ground of our Lord's gracious act. About to depart out of the world, leaving His own in it amid the dangers to which they were exposed, longing for communion with Himself, His love leads Him to stoop to serve them in this lowly way. Formalism loses the blessing of our Lord's act here by a literal imitation of an act which was not instituted for permanent observance. We find abundant reference to baptism and the Lord's Supper in the book of Acts and in the Epistles, for instance but the washing of the feet is not spoken of in the same way. This, in addition to its evident symbolic character, should suffice to guard us from a misunderstanding of this simple act. When Peter objects to His taking this lowly service, our Lord's reply shows its spiritual, symbolic character, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."

The simple and evident teaching is that as we go through a world full of defilement we need to be kept in communion with the Lord. Salvation is assured once for all. The new nature has been imparted. This our Lord declares in explanation of His act: "He that is washed (bathed) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." The cleansing of the ways, and not the cleansing of the soul, is evidently before us. Thus, as we know in advance, there is no contradiction between the eternal security of the child of God and his constant need for the cleansing of his ways. Not only is our Lord's symbolical act in washing His disciples' feet dwelt upon, but His command is that we should do the same toward one another. How much we need to drink into His spirit in order that we may serve one another in this lowly way! Alas, much that goes under the name of washing one another's feet is using a rod rather than bowing in lowly service.

Sec. 2. Vers. 18-38: The traitor detected. The denial foretold.

We might call this part almost an application of what has just preceded. Our Lord forewarns them of His betrayal, and Judas, detected, withdraws from their presence. He would also guard against Peter's denial; but, alas, the one who had been so slow to have his feet washed was equally slow to believe himself capable of so base an act as denying the Lord.

Sec. 3. Ch. 14. God's two abodes.

The first part of this chapter gives us the end of the way, and shows how our Lord desires that we should even here enjoy the fellowship which will then be undisturbed. The two parts suggested in the title of this section speak of the Father's house on high and the Spirit's abode down here.

a.) Vers. 1-7: The Father's house.

In spite of the betrayal and the denial, our Lord would reassure His beloved disciples. God was to be trusted, and so should He be. There were many mansions, room enough for all, in the Father's house. Thither He was going by way of the cross; therefore His entrance there would prepare a place for us. To that place He would receive us, not by death, nor by angelic messengers, but Himself would come to take us there. All this links so closely with the blessed hope of the Lord's coming that we need not speak further of it here, except to note the simplicity of it all. Details do not occupy the heart that is waiting for Christ. "I will come and receive you" "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

b.) Vers. 8-14; "Show us the Father."

The disciples still see but dimly the wondrous fulness of the truth, which, indeed, as we know, must wait for the coming of the Spirit to be fully manifest. Philip desires to see the Father, not realizing that he had seen the Father perfectly manifested in the Son, in His works and words. So, as He represented the Father, they should in their little way represent the Lord, doing His works, yea, greater ones, which seems to suggest the great Pentecostal revival and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. So, too, prayer was to be their resource for every need. Thus they should not think they lacked anything for their blessing: although they had not yet seen the Father face to face, they had all their need supplied.

c.) Vers. 15-27: The Spirit's abode.

This is here enlarged upon. In loving the Lord they naturally would keep His commandments and His word. The Lord promises, therefore, to send a Representative to abide with them forever, even the Holy Spirit, unknown to the world, but who would so effectually dwell in the disciples, giving them the spirit of adoption, that they should not be orphans, although the Lord were not visibly present. Indeed, the dwelling-place promised on high was to be anticipated on earth; the abode was to be their own heart — the Father and the Son dwelling with every one who kept His word. While the enjoyment of this is, of course, dependent upon the measure of faith's true-hearted obedience, yet the fact is true for every one who has kept the word of Christ by trusting in Him.

d.) Vers. 28-31: The Lord's death foretold.

They must not hopelessly mourn because of His leaving them. Should they not rejoice to think He was going to the Father who was all His delight? He speaks plainly to them, that they may be prepared for all this. Shortly, the prince of the world, Satan, would come in connection. with His trial, and the cross, when He would not speak much with them, but He now pours out into their hearts all the wealth of His love, linking them with Himself, anticipatively, in such a way that the world may know that He loved the Father and fulfilled all His perfect will.

Sec. 4. Ch. 15:1-16: The true Vine and fruitfulness.

As we have seen, our Lord was not content to provide a home for us at the end of the way; He longed to have a home with us by the Spirit throughout our journey. The character of this indwelling is now described. It is no mystic self-absorption, producing an unnatural state of monkishness, but a fruitfulness in every good word and work which will glorify the Father.

a.) Vers. 1-8: "Abide in Me."

If there is to be fruit, it is by abiding in the Vine. This is not an external association, which might indeed be where there was no life; nor can it be thought that the union contemplated will be without fruit. Fruitfulness is evidently intended and expected. Indeed, if there be no fruit, it is clear proof that one is not vitally linked with Christ. While this passage does not teach salvation, yet it is in perfect consistency with it. None but false professors are dead or fruitless branches which are to be cut off, whose end is to be burned.

b.) Vers. 9-16. The obedience of love.

This fruitfulness is expressed in obedience, seeking to please Him who pleased not Himself. There is a fellowship here; not that of the servant who knoweth not his master's will, but of friends who have had the highest proof of His friendship, and who know that He has chosen them. Where this knowledge is enjoyed, prayer is the natural expression of the soul's dependence, prayer which cannot fail to get its answer.

Sec. 5. Chs. 15:17 — 16:27: Chosen out of the world; hated by it.

This portion emphasizes the character of the believer's relationship to the world and the meaning of the Spirit abiding with him.

a.) Vers. 17-25: Loving one another; hated by the world.

We are taught of God to love one another. We do not expect the love of the world, however. Indeed, this speaks badly for one who professes to belong to Christ. The servant must not expect different treatment in the world from that accorded to his Master. Would he really desire it? Hatred to the Lord by the world, therefore, means that we may expect something at least of the same.

b.) Vers. 26 — 16:3: The Spirit in us the power for testimony in a hostile world.

It is by the Holy Spirit alone that we can be sustained and enabled to bear witness for Christ in the face of the inevitable persecution which will come upon us. The Lord abundantly prepares for this.

c.) Vers. 4-15: The Spirit in relation to the world and to saints.

The Lord, in describing the Spirit's work, dwells upon His testimony to the world and His work in the saints. His testimony in the world is convicting, in a threefold way. Not merely does He bear witness of ordinary sin, but He intensifies that sin. The crowning sin of all is unbelief. The Spirit convicts the world of this; also of righteousness — that is, the One whom the world is condemning as a malefactor, the Spirit declares has been received by the Father. Thus a direct issue as to righteousness is raised — the rejection of Him whom the Father has exalted can only mean judgment. Of this, the Spirit also bears witness because the prince of this world, Satan, is judged by the cross of Christ. This then is the Spirit's work with reference to the world.

For saints, there is a blessed contrast. For them, the Spirit delights to reveal Christ. The One rejected by the world has been believed in by His people. Therefore the Spirit will guide these into all truth. He will take the things of Christ and show them to us. He will glorify Him and show us things to come. Thus His blessed ministry in the saints of God is sanctifying, and glorifies Christ. We may be sure therefore that wherever the Spirit is unhindered He will lead to occupation of heart and mind with the Son of God.

Vers. 16-22: "A little while."

He must leave them now shortly, but in a little while they shall see Him again. This first "little while" might refer to the interval when our Lord was in the grave, but it seems distinctly to look on to the whole present period. At least, such for us is a clear application. This "little while" is suggested by His words, "Behold, I come quickly."

Vers. 23-27: Dependence.

While we wait, we are to be in dependence upon Himself, a dependence expressing itself in prayer. Of course, all this has special reference to the circumstances of the disciples to whom it was directly spoken, but it needs little adaptation for us to see its application to the saints of God at all time.

Sec. 6. Vers. 28-33: Speaking plainly.

Plainly now the Lord declares to them that as He had come from the Father into the world, He was now to return to Him. They seem to understand Him and to enter into what He has said; but how feebly we will see in a little while. All of this portion has special reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit, and until He comes nothing would be known as it should be.

Sec. 7. Ch. 17: The Lord's prayer.

As a climax, we have the wondrous intercessory prayer of our Lord. He has made provision for every contingency by the way. Again and again He has exhorted them to prayer. Now, having told them all that was in His heart, so far as they could bear it, He turns with perfect confidence to His Father, giving us an example how we should engage in prayer, leading out our hearts to where He found the joy that controlled His life.

a.) Vers. 1-5: The Giver of eternal life.

In view of His finished work, our Lord claims the glory which is at the end of it; a glory in which, however, He never forgets His own. Indeed, these have been given to Him by the Father; eternal life He has imparted to them — a life in which the only true God is known in the full perfection of His nature and character; a knowledge which is not intellectual, but experimental, and through Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

b.) Vers. 6-21: "Not of the world."

The Lord is no longer in the world where His own remain for a while. It is for these He prays. As long as He was with them, He kept them. Now He is going to the Father, He entreats by all that the blessed name of "Father" means — a name given as the special treasure to the Son — that His own may be kept from the evil which is all about them. It is not a mere physical keeping; nor does He ask that they may have a hedge put about them of outward separation from the world, nor that they should be taken out of it, but rather sanctified by the truth, the truth which His word embodies and which shows Christ separated — thus sanctified from the world for His people in order that we also might be separate in heart from it.

c.) Vers. 22-26: The glory.

The Lord has a glory which has been given to Him, which we are to share with Him. He also has a glory all His own which He had with the Father before the world was. This divine glory we could not share, but we shall be with Him where He is, in order that we may behold it and know that love which the Father ever had to the Son. This knowledge the world has not. His own alone know the Son. To these He has declared the Father's name, and pledges Himself still further to declare it, in order that love which the Father has to His Son may, with Him, abide in our hearts.

Division 3. (Chaps. 18 — 21). The death and resurrection of our Lord.

We already have dwelt in detail upon this closing scene and will do little more here than note the parts into which the narrative is divided.

Subdivision 1. Chaps. 18 — 19:16. Offered without spot to God.

That which characterizes the narrative in John is our Lord's divine dignity throughout. He is Master in the whole situation; as He Himself had declared, He laid down His life of Himself. No one took it from Him. He had power to lay it down and He had power to take it again. All was done in obedience to the will of His Father.

Sec. 1. Vers. 1-11: In Gethsemane.

The agony is not recorded here. Instead, we have a glimpse of His divine power as His captors go backward and fall to the ground. Peter is named as the one who cut off the ear of Malchus. In divine light, both the actor and the sufferer are no longer veiled, but stand out in their true character.

Sec. 2. Vers. 12-27: Before the high priest.

Few details are given of the mock trial, except that Annas, as well as Caiaphas, is implicated in it. The Lord is seen in perfect meekness, and yet that meekness is not weak but can reprove
sin. Peter's denial also is fully recorded here.

Sec. 3. Vers. 28 — 19:16: Before Pilate.

Here the judge is not the Roman Governor, who is vainly vacillating between fear of man and superstitious dread, but the true King who in meek majesty governs all that takes place.

a.) Vers. 28-32: The first part of the trial.

b.) Vers. 33-38: The Kingdom of truth not of this world.

c.) Chs. 18:38 — 19:7: "Behold the Man! "

d.) Vers. 8-11: The greater sin of knowingly doing wrong.

e.) Vers. 12-16: "Behold your King."

Subdivision 2. Chap. 19:16-42. The crucifixion.

Sec. 1. Vers. 16-30: The Scripture fulfilled.

a.) Vers. 16-18: Golgotha.

b.) Vers. 19-22: The title.

c.) Vers. 23, 24: His garments.

d.) Vers. 25-27: His mother.

e.) Vers. 28-30: "It is finished."

Sec. 2. Vers. 31-42: After His death.

a.) Vers. 31-33: "A bone of Him shall not be broken."

b.) Vers. 34-37: "They shall look on Him whom they pierced."

c.) Vers. 38-42: The fragrance of His death.

Subdivision 3. Chaps. 20, 21. The resurrection.

a.) Vers. 1-10: The empty tomb. (Peter and John.)

b.) Vers. 11-18: "My Father and your Father." (Mary Magdalene.)

c.) Vers. 19-23: "Peace be unto you."

d.) Vers. 24-31: "Blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed." (Thomas.)

e.) Ch. 21:1-14: At the Sea of Tiberias.

f.) Vers. 15-19: The restoration of Peter.

g.) Vers. 20-25: "The disciple whom Jesus loved."

We thus reach the close of this wondrous, divine Gospel of the Son of God. Twice does the beloved disciple speak of the Gospel which he has written: First, (chap. 20) he tells us that the Lord did many other things which were not written in that book, but that "these are written that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing we might have life through His name." Then, at the close of the 21st chapter, he tells us that if everything the Lord has done should be written, he supposes the world itself could not contain the books. Having had a glimpse into the infinite depths. of His person and His work, we in measure realize the subject is infinite. Heaven and eternity will be required to know that which passeth knowledge, and which shall ever beckon us on to sound the depths of that bottomless sea of love, of that Eternal Life which was with the Father and has been manifested unto us.