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It is not certain whether our LORD was at Jerusalem, or in its neighbourhood, when the Pharisees asked him the question concerning the kingdom of God. In his answer he cautioned them not to expect it with exter. nal pomp and the observation of men, because it was. a spiritual kingdom, and, during their abode in this world, to be only spiritually discerned. When our LORD was alone with his disciples, he described the signs, by which they might know that this kingdom was actually begun ; and warned them, that the establish. ing of it in the minds of men would be attended with great trouble and interruption to the first propagators of it, as well as to its opponents : so that all parties would wish for the coming of the Messiah; the. Jews, in hopes that he would bring them victory and triumph ; the Christians, that they might enjoy peace and tranquillity.
Lest his disciples should be deceived by false reportsconcerning the kingdom of heaven, our Lord. cau. tioned them to beware of impostors; and told them, that he shortly would come, but in a very different manner from what the Jews expected, to bring sudden and unavoidable destruction on the enemies of his religion; but he foretold that he must suffer many things before what he now predicted should come to pass ; yet Divine vengeance would overtake sinners, as it formerly had done in many very remarkable instances, when they least expected it. Our LORD then prophe. sied that at the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, numbers of his faithful servants would be saved in a very providential manner, when others of the same fa. mily, who did not believe in him, would be destroyed with exemplary judgments, as Lot's wife had been for her infidelity; that wherever the unbelieving Jews abould be gathered together, there would the vengeance RS
of God pursue them; and that the Romans (called Eagles, perhaps, because they bore that bird on their standard) should fly upon them as a helpless prey.
We will reserve the full consideration of this remark. able prophecy to a future occasion. It will be sufficient for our present purpose to point out, that what our Lord said of the destruction of Jerusalem may be applied to his appearance at the last day. We should, therefore, always keep in mind, that death and judgment will come, and endeavour to be in a state of preparation for them; and not, like Lot's wife, disbelieve the threatenings of God; and, having entered on a religi. ous course of life, look back with desire after the sinful pleasures of this world.
AND as Jesus passed by, he saw a man that was blind from his birth, and his disciples asked him, saying, Mas. ter, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, 'nor his parents : but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day : the night cometh when no man can work, As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay ;
And said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him, that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged ?
Some said, This is he : others said, He is like him : but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened ?
He answered and said, A man that is called JESUS made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash : and I went and washed, and I received sight,
Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
And it was the sabbath-day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. ,
Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of Gød, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, how can a man that is a sinner do such miracles ! And there was a division among them.
They say unto the blind man again, What sayest tho of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.
But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. R 6
And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say, was born blind how then doth he now see?
His parents answered them, and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind :
But by what means he now seeih, we know noc; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age, ask him, he shall speak for himself.
These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was CHRIST, he should be put out of the
synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age, ask him.
Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise :' we know that this man is a sinner.
He answered and said, Whether he' be a sinner or no, I koow not : one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.
13.15 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes ?
He answered them, I have told you already, and yé did not hear : wherefore would ye heas it again ? will ye also be his disciples ?
Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple ; but we are Moses' disciples.
We know that God spake unto Moses : as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
The man answered and said unto them, Why' herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners : but if any be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he beareth,
Since the world began was it not heard, that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
They answered and said unto him, Thou wast' altoa gether born in sins, and' dost thou teach us ?' And they cast him out.
JESUS heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?
He answered and said, Who is he, LORD, that I might believe on him?
And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that walketh with thee.
And he said, LORD, I believe. And he worshipped him.
Our Lord being come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the dedication of the temple, saw in one of the streets a poor man who was 'a great object of compas. sion; nor did he pass him with unfeeling inattention, but regarded him with tender pity. How dreadful must be the condition of a man born blind! Our LORD'S disciples supposed, that the blindness of him who ata tracted their MASTER's regard, was a judgment inflicted by Divine justice ; and they put a strange question, Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? The Jews had a notion (which they borrowed from the Pythagoreans, a sect of heathen philosophers) that, if a man behaved himself amiss in this world, he was, after death, sent into another body, where he met with great calamities, and lived upon much worse terms than be. fore : and, on the contrary, that distinguished virtue was sewarded with a more advantageous situation. This