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See also notes on S. Luke 19:17, 19. 25:26. “You wicked and slothful slave !"
He is called slothful because he has nothing. He is wicked because he accuses his Master and cannot justify himself in it. Sloth has produced in him lying, ingratitude, blasphemy.
25:27. “ Then you ought to have put my money in the bank.”
Who are the bankers? The divine Saviour will give us to understand this at the conclusion of his discourse; and the reader will see on the following page. They are the poor, the sick, the suffering, the unfortunate,—the least of those in the world, these are the bankers of our Lord and into their hands ought always to go, in one form or another, everything we have received of God.
See also notes on S. Luke 19:24–27.
In everything it is the same. The original portion of the slothful one disappears little by little to the enrichment of the most vigilant. Do we not see this every day?
See also notes on 13:12, and S. Mark 4:25.
25:34-45. “ Then the King will say to those on his right.”
In this discourse of our Lord on the great day of judgment we find two sets of stanzas of three each which exactly balance each other.
The fourth is antistrophe to the first, the fifth is antistrophe to the second, the sixth is antistrophe to the third.
26:7. A woman with an alabaster jar of very costly perfume."
See note on S. Mark 14:3.
" Why do you trouble the woman?” See note on S. Mark 14:6. 26:15.
They agreed to give him a hundred dollars." In the time of our Lord, the Jews used Greek money. The shekel, commonly called “ the piece of silver," was worth in coin about sixty-five cents. Hence the thirty pieces of silver for which Judas betrayed our Lord were worth about twenty dollars. In purchasing power, however, this would be equivalent to-day to about a hundred dollars of our money.
See also notes on 20 : 2, and 18:24, 28. 26:73.
“Surely you are one of them, for your talk betrays you."
See note on S. Mark 14:70. 27:3.
“ Then when Judas * * * was sorry." The Greek word of the original translated “ repented,” in King James' version, is not the word usually translated by our word “repentance.” It does not convey the idea of a change of mind and purpose of heart. It has rather the meaning of “regret.” It means simply a change of feeling.
The thirty pieces of silver the traitor once clutched at and gazed upon with such eager desire are now hateful in his sight. Their touch has become like that of molten metal just from the furnace.
There is something terribly suggestive in the thought that there are no tears here as there were in Peter's repentance. 27:24.
“ Pilate * * * took water and washed his hands."
Pilate chose to perform this symbolic act of hand washing, it is likely, partly as a relief to his own conscience,
partly to allay his wife's fears, partly as a last appeal of the most vivid and dramatic order to the feelings of the Priests and their misguided fellow-countrymen. A popular poet of his own time and country might have taught him better, had he been willing to learn. But he was altogether too willing to range himself with those
“ Too easy souls, who dream the crystal flood
Can wash away the fearful guilt of blood.”
27 : 26.
“ He beat Jesus.” The scourging inflicted on Jesus was a cruel torture. Divested of his clothes and tied by his hands to the base of a column, the condemned man presented his back to the rods which lacerated him. The instrument of punishment for foreigners was, not elm rods reserved for Roman citizens, but the leather thongs with small bones and balls of lead attached. Under this horrible whip, the flesh rose in shreds, the blood flowed, and the victim, often falling at the feet of the lictors, exposed all parts of his body to their blows. It was not a rare thing to see condemned men fall at this first punishment, for the Roman law did not recognize the limits fixed by the Synagogue to the duration and the violence of the punishment.
The punishment of the Cross, which followed the scourging, was the punishment of slaves, of robbers, and of those guilty of insurrection.
27:32. A man of Cyrene * * * They compelled * * * to carry his cross."
The Evangelist does not expressly say that Jesus had fallen, but the violence done to Simon of Cyrene, quite near Golgotha, bears out the supposition that the Saviour
ad succumbed under the weight of the cross. Tradition is of one mind upon this point.
“ He trusts in God.” All these sayings are citations or allusions to the expressions of the Sacred Books. The latter ironical expressions refer to the passage of the Book of Wisdom 2:18. These accommodations and this playing with sacred texts are often met with in the mouths of Jewish Priests accustomed, in season and out of season, to make perpetual quotations from the legal books.
28:7. “He is going before you into Galilee."
The Lord, it is true, manifested himself at Jerusalem to the Apostles, to the disciples at Emmaus, just as the other Evangelists relate. But it was each time in a private manner, fugitive and rapid, (as just now to the holy women). In Galilee was to take place the absolutely public appearances ; the miraculous fishing, the ascension in the presence of five hundred persons, etc.
1. S. PETER-NOTES.
1:1 “Peter."— This name given him by our Lord has replaced in his own mind as in that of others, that of Simon Bar-Jona by which he had formerly been known. In the same way Paul takes the place of Saul as the name of the great Apostle to the Gentiles.
1:2. “ The chosen—according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."
The word chosen and the thought that the disciples of Christ are what they are by the choice of God characterizes the whole teaching of the New Testament.
The “chosen,” like the “ saints,” had become almost a synonym for Christians (2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1). This thought is referred to the foreknowledge of God. The word hovers between the meaning of a mere prevision of the future, and the higher sense in which“knowing” means “loving ” and “approving, ” as in i Cor. 8:3; Gal. 4:9; and probably Rom. 8:28; 11:2.
In what way the thought of man's freedom to will was reconcilable with that of God's electing purpose the writers of the New Testament did not discuss. Neither excludes the other, nor is either irreconcilable with the other. Both are facts of man's experience with which we have to deal