Scripture Notes


Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1.

It is very interesting to notice the addition of a word in Luke in describing the mission of the twelve. To understand this rightly it is necessary to give the original words. In Matthew then it says that the Lord gave His disciples power (exousian) against unclean spirits, etc.; in Luke, that He gave them power and authority (dynamin kai exousian). As to the force of these words respectively the following note will explain, "Authority, exousia, not dynamis. More than authority, but not simply dynamis. More than dynamis, as it includes the right to exercise this. Hence 'power' is nearer to it in English. dynamis is the ability to do a thing." From Matthew then we learn that the Lord bestowed upon His disciples authority, and "the right to exercise it," over unclean spirits, and from Luke we gather that He gave to them besides this the "ability" to exercise this authority over all devils and to cure diseases. That faith was a requisite condition for wielding the power with which they had been entrusted, is plain from Matthew 17:20. But what, it may be enquired, is the significance of this gift of power and authority in relation to the Lord? It may first be remarked that it is in the gospel which especially presents Him in the aspect of the dependent Man that the enlarged account of the entrusted power is found. This is in harmony with the usual way of the Spirit of God in guarding, jealously guarding, the truth of the person of Christ. In the very scenes of the greatest humiliation of Christ, for example, there the rays of His divine glory are most strikingly displayed. So it is that in our scripture from Luke language is employed which can leave no possible doubt as to WHO it was that thus commissioned His disciples. As another has remarked, "We have in this sending a most important exercise of divine authority and competency to communicate divine power."*

*Notes and Comments, part 23, p. 226.


Genesis 24.

Abraham's servant may be looked at as a type and as an example. Typically, he plainly sets forth the work of the Holy Spirit in coming into this world, consequent upon the death and resurrection of Christ, to gather out a bride for Christ, and to conduct her across the wilderness to the true Isaac. As an example, he displays the characteristics which should ever distinguish a servant of God. Some of these may be mentioned. First, he is commissioned by his master; he does not run before he is sent. Then he is endowed for the service to which he is called: all the goods of his master were in his hand (v. 10). Next, he is guided solely by his master's instructions; his own thoughts have no place or influence (vv. 2-9). Further, he is in entire dependence; he looks to the Lord to act for him (vv. 12-14). Further, he acknowledges the Lord's guidance and interposition at every step (vv. 21, 26, 27). He is, moreover, completely devoted to the accomplishment of his master's will; he will not eat until he has told his errand; and he will not remain after the Lord has prospered his way (vv. 33, 56). Finally, he glorifies his master and Isaac (vv. 34-36). There is therefore abundant food for meditation in this beautiful picture, whether regarded in its figurative or its practical aspects.