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Jesus goes io Jérusalem when twelve years ST. LUKE.
of age, and argues with the doctors,
A. D. 8.
A.M.4912. in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the 44 But they, supposing him to have A.M.412. An. Olymp. grace of God was upon him.. been in the company, went a day's An
. 41 | Now his parents went to journey; and they sought him among Jerusalem every year at the feast of the pass-their kinsfolk, and acquaintance.
45 And when they found him not, they turn42 And when he was twelve years old, they|ed back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the 46 And it came to pass, that after three days feast.
they found him in the temple, sitting in the 43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as| midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and: they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in asking them questions. Jerusalem ; and Joseph and his mother knew 47 And all that heard him, were astonished not of it.
at his understanding and answers.
a Exod. 23. 15, 17. & 34. 23. Deut. 16. 1, 16.
• Matt. 7. 28. Mark 1. 22. ch. 4..22, 32. John 7. 15, 46.
(some blessing granted by God's mercy to those who are sin- || pany : -and Mary not seeing him with her, might imagine he ners, or have no merit) but it means also favour or approba- || was with Joseph. tion : and this sense I think the most proper for it here, when Went a day's journey. Knowing what a treasure they posapplied to the human nature of our blessed Lord; and thus | sessed, how could they be so long without looking on it? our translators render the same word, ver. 52. Even Christ Where were the bowels and tender solicitude of the mother? himself, who knew no sin, grew in the favour of God; and Let them answer this question who can. as to his human nature, increased in the graces of the Holy And they sought him] Avantour, they earnestly sought him. Spirit. From this we learn, that if a man were as pure and as They are now both duly affected with a sense of their great perfect as the man Jesus Christ himself was, yet he might ne- || loss and great negligence. vertheless increase in the image, and consequently in the favour Kinsfolk and acquaintance.] Those of the same family and of God. God loves every thing and person, in proportion to || neighbourhood went up to Jerusalem together, on such onthe nearness of the approaches made to his own perfections. casions. Verse 41. His parents went-every year] This was their Verse 45. Seeking him.] ZYTOUITES AUTOS
royror rather, seeking constant custom, because positively enjoined by the law, him diligently, uval NTOVYTES. This is the reading of BCDL. Exod. xxiii. 17. But it does not appear, that infants were six others, Vulgate, and nine copies of the Itala. If they obliged to be present; and yet all the men-children are posi- | sought earnestly when they first found him missing, there is tively ordered to make their appearance at Jerusalem thrice little doubt that their solicitude and diligence must be greatly in the year, Exod. xxxiv. 23. And our Lord being now increased, during his three days' absence: therefore the word twelve years old, ver. 42. accompanies his parents to the which I have adopted on the above authority, is more likely feast. Probably this was the very age, at which the male- to be the true reading, than the (NTOUTES of the common text, children were obliged to appear before the Lord at the three which simply signifies seeking; whereas the other strongly public festivals—the feast of unleavened bread, of weeks, marks their solicitude and diligence. and of tabernacles. According to the Jewish canons, it Verse 46. Sitting in the midst of the doctors The Rabwas the age at which they were obliged to begin to learn bins; who were explaining the law and the ceremonies of .trade.
the Jewish religion to their disciples. Verse 43. Had fulfilled the days] Eight days in the whole : Asking them questions.] Not as a scholar asks his teacher, one was the pass-over, and the other seven, the days of unlea- | to be infarmed but as a teacher, who proposes questions to vened bread. See on Matt. xxvi. 2.
his scholars, in order.co take an occasion to instruct them. Verse 44. Supposing him to have been in the company) Some In the time of Josephus, the Jewish teachers were either have supposed that the men and women marched in separate | very ignorant or very humble : for he tells us, that “when be companies on these occasions, which is very likely; and that was about fourteen years of age, the chief priests, and the sometimes the children kept company with the men ; some principal men of the city, were constantly coming to him, times with the women. This might have led to what other to be more accurately instructed in matters relative to the wise seems to have been inexcusable carelessness in Joseph | law.” See his Life, sect. ii. If this were true, it is no wonand Mary. Joseph not seeing Jesus in the men's company, der to find them now, listening with the deepest altention, might suppose he was with his mother in the women's com- || to such teaching as they never before bears.
His parents chide him for staying behind.
He returns with them to Nazareth.
A M. 4012.
A. D. 8. An. Olympia CXCVI. 4.
48 And when they saw him, they
they || 50 And they understood not the A. M. 1012. An. Olymp. were amazed: and his mother said un- | saying which he spake unto them.
to him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt 51 | And he went down with them, with us ? behold, thy father and I have sought and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto thee sorrowing.
them: but his mother kept all these sayings 49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye in her heart. sought me? wist ye not that I must be about 52 And Jesus d increased in wisdom and sta*my Father's business?
ture, and in favour with God and man.
* John 2. 16.ch. 9. 15. & 18. 34.
• Ver. 19. Dan. 7. 23.- di Sam. 2. 26.
ver. 40.--- Or, age.
Verse 47. Answers.] The word xoxosous here, seems not 1. God causes his grace to descend not only on the great to mean answers only, but what Jesus said by way of ques- and powerful of the world, but also upon the most simple and tion to the doctors, ver. 46. So in Rev. vii. 13. one of the inconsiderable : just as the heavens diffuse their influence not elders is said to have answered, saying—when he only asked a only on great trees, but also on the smallest herbs. question. Bp. PEARSE.
2. God seems to take more delight in bestowing his favours Verse 48. Why hast thou thus dealt with us ?] It certainly on the most abject, than in distributing them among persons was not his fault, but theirs. Men are very apt to lay on of elevated rank. Iere is an example :—for while he sent others, the blame of their own misconduct.
the wise men of the East HI od, he sent an angel of heaven Verse 49. How is it that ye sought me ?] Is not this in to the shepherds, and conducted them to the cradle of the tended as a gentle reproof? Why had ye me to seek ? Ye Saviour of the world. should not have left my company, when ye knew I am con
3. In this meeting of the angels and shepherds, you see a stantly employed in performing the will of the Most High. perpetunl characteristic of the economy of Jesus Christ ; My Father's business ?] Ev TOUS TOU FATÇos usu, my Father's wherein the highest and most sublime things are joined with
Some think that these words should be translated, the meanest and lowest. In his person, the eternal word is In my Father's house'; which was a reason that they should united to a creature, the divine nature to the human, infinity have sought him in the temple only. As if he had said, Where to infirmity, in a word, the Lord of glory to mean flesh and should a child be found, but in his father's house ? This trans blood. On his cross, though he appears naked, crowned with lation is defended by Grotius, Pearse, and others : and is thorns, and exposed to sorrows, yet at the same time, he the reading of the Syriuc, latter Persic, and Armenian ver shakes the earth and eclipses the sun. Here, in like manner, sions. Our Lord took this opportunity to instruct Joseph | are angels familiar with shepherds: angels to mark his maand Mary, concerning his divine nature and mission. My || jesty, shepherds his humility. Father's concerns. This saying, one would think, could not 4. This mission of angels relates to the end, for which the have been easily misunderstood. It shews at once, that he Son of God came into the world ; for he came to establish a came down from heaven. Joseph had no concerns in the tem communion between God and men, and to make peace
be.. ple; and yet we find, they did not fully comprehend it. How | tween men and angels: to this must be referred what St. Paul. slow of heart is man to credit any thing that comes from | says, Col. i. 20. It pleused the Futher, by him to reconcile all God!
things to himself. Verse 51. Was subject unto them] Behaved towards them 5. However simple and plain the employments of men with all dutiful submission. Probably his working with his may be, it is always very pleasing to God, when they dishands at his reputed father's business, is here also implied: charge them with a good conscience. While these shepherds see on ver. 4). No child among the Jews was ever brought were busy in their calling, God sent his angels to them. up in idleness. Is not this the carpenter ? was a saying of 6. God does in regard to meit, what these shepherds did in those Jews, who appear to have had a proper knowledge of regard to their sheep. He is the great Shepherd of mankind his employment, while in Joseph's house. See the note on continually watching over them by his providence. Matt. xiji. 55.
II. The glory of the Lord shone round the shepherds. Verse 52. Jesus increased in wisdom] See on ver. 40.
1: When angels borrow human forms, in order to appear.
to men ; they have always some ensigns of grandeur and maThe following remarks, taken chiefly from Mr. Claude, on jesty, to shew that they are not men, but angels. the foregoing subject, are well worth the Reader's attention. 2. The appearance of this light to the shepherds in the
I. The birth of Christ is announced to the shepherds. night, may very well be taken for a mystical symbol. Night.
Reflexions on the appearance of the angels ST. LUKE.
to the Shepherds, and on Simeon's song,
represents the corrupt state of mankind when Jesus came into || for an inheritance among the sanctified. They who make not the world; a state of ignorance and error. Light fitly repre- || this use of life are much to be lamented. It would have been sents the salutary grace of Christ which dissipates obscurity, || better for them had they never been born. and gives us the true knowledge of God.
3. The faith of Simeon was crowned with success. Jesus III. The angels were filled with great fear,
came; he saw, he felt, he adored him! and with a heart filled 1. This was the effect of their great surprise. When grand with the love of God, he breathed out his holy soul, and proobjects suddenly present themselves to us, they must needs bably the last dregs of his life in praise to the fountain of all fill us with astonishment and fear, for the mind, on these occa- | good, sions, is not at liberty to exert its force ; on the contrary, its
II. Simeon's Song. By it he shews forth strength is dissipated, and during this dissipation it is impos
1. The joy of his own heart. Lord, now thou dismissest thy sible not to fear.
servant : as if he had said, “Yes, O my God, I am going to 2. This fear may also arise from emotions of conscience. quit this earth! I feel that thou callest me! and I quit it withMan is by nature a simer, and consequently an object of the out regret. Thou hast fulfilled all my desires and completed justice of God. While God does not manifest himself to him, my wishes, and I desire to be detained no longer from the full he remains insensible of his sin ; but when God discovers him- enjoyment of thyself.” O! how sweet is death after such an self to him, he awakes to feeling and draws nigh to God, as a enjoyment and discovery of eternal life! trembling criminal approaches his judge. See this exempli
2. Simeon shews forth the glory of Christ. He is the sun fied in the case of Adam, and in that of the Israelites when of righteousness, rising on a dark and ruined world with light God appeared on the mountain : hence that proverbial saying, and salvation. He is the light that shall manifest the infinite We shall die, for we have seen God.
kindness of God to the Gentile people ; proviny, that God is 3. The shepherds had just reason to fear, when they saw good to all, and that his tender mercies are over all his works. before them an angel of heaven, surrounded with the ensigns
He is the glory of Israel. It is by him that the Gentiles of majesty, for angels had been formerly the ministers of God's have been led to acknowledge the Jews as the peculiar people vengeance. On this occasion, the sad examples of divine ven- of God; their books as the word of God; and their teaching geance, recorded in scripture, and performed by the ministry
as the revelation of God. What an honour for this people had of angels, might, in a moment, rise to view, and incline them they known how to profit by it! to think that this angel had received a like order to destroy
3. He astonished Joseph and Mary with his sublime account them.
of the Redeerner of the world. They hear him glorified, and IV. Observe the angels' discourse to the Shepherds. their hearts exult in it. From this divine song they learn that 1. The angels say to them, fear not. This preface was ne- this miraculous son of theirs, is the sum and substance of all cessary to gain their attention, which fear, no doubt, had dis- the promises made unto the fathers, and of all the predictions sipated. The disposition which the angel wishes to awaken in of the prophets. them, comports with the news which he intended to announce:
III. Simeon's prophecy. for what has fear to do with the birth of the Saviour of the
1. He addresses Christ, and foretells that he should be for world?
the ruin and recovery of many in Israel. 2. The angel describes, 1st. the person of whom he speaks, the folly and perverseness of man, to turn that into poison
How astonishing is a saviour, Christ, the Lord ; see before on rer. 11. See Pdly. which God has made the choicest medicine; and thus to kil Hlut he speaks of him; he is born unto you. Bdly. Ile marks themselves with the cure which he has appointed for them in the time; this day. Athly. He describes the place ; in the city the infinity of his love! Those who speak against Jesus, his of David. 5thly. Ile specifies the nature of this important news; a grent joy which shall be unto all people. See Claude's || and fall, and rise no more for ever! May the God of mercy
ways, his doctrine, his cross, his sacrifice, are likely to stumble, Essay, by Robinson, vol. i. p. 266, &c.
save the Reacler from this condemnation ! Concerning Simeon, three things-deserve to be especially 2. He addresses Mary, and foretells the agonies she mast noted : 1. His faith. 2. His song. And 3. His prophecy. go through. What must this holy wornan have endured when
I. His faith. 1. He expected the promised Redeemer, in she saw her son crowned with thorns, scourged, buffeted, spit virtue of the promises which God had made; and to shew upon—when she saw his hands and bis feet nuiled to the cross! that his faith was of the operation of God's spirit, be lived a and his side pierced with a spear! What a sword tough ber life of righteousness and devotedness to God. Many profess to own soul, must each of these bave been ! But this is not all. expect the salvation which God has promised only to those These sufferings of Jesus are predicted thirty years before who believe, while living in conformity to the world, under they were to take place! What a martyrdom was this! while the influence of its spirit, and in the general breach of the he is nourished in her bosom, she cannot help considering righteous law of God.
him as a lamb who is growing up to be sacrificed. The older 2. The faith of Simeon led him only to wish for life that he he grows, the nearer the bloody scene approaches ! Thus hier sufmight see him who was promised, and be properly prepared || ferings must increase with his years, and only end with his life,
Reflexions on our Lord's tarrying behind CHAP. III. in Jerusalem ; and on his parents conduct.
3. He foretells the effects which should be prodaced by the quence of the discovery of so great a loss as that of the presence persecutions raised against Christ and his followers. This and power of Christ. Joseph and Mary sought him sorrowing, sword of persecution shall lay open the hearts of many, and 4thly. When people are convinced by the light of the Lord, discover their secret motives and designs. When the doctrine that their souls are not in a safe state, and that unless they of the cross is preached, and persecution raised because of it; | find the Redeemer of the world they must perish; they are then the precious are easily distinguished from the vile. Those naturally led to enquire among their kinsfolk and acquaintance whose hearts are not established by grace, nor right with God, for him who saves sinners. But this often proves fruitless ; will turn aside from the way of righteousness, and deny the they know not Jesus themselves, and they cannot tell others Lord that bought them. On the other hand, those whose faith where to find him. stands not in the wisdom of man but in the power of God, They sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and will continue faithful unto death, glorify God in the fire, and found him not. thus shew forth the excellency of his salvation, and the since- 5thly. When people perceive that they have proceeded in rity of the profession which they had before made. Thus the a certain course of life for a considerable time, without that thoughts of many hearts are still revealed.
salvation which God promises in his word, they should first The design of our blessed Lord in staying behind in the stop and enquire into their state, and when they find that they temple seems to have been twofold. Ist. To prepare the Jews have been posting into eternity, not only without a preparato acknowledge in him a divine and supernatural wisdom: and
tion for glory, but with an immerse load of guilt upon their Adly, to impress the minds of Joseph and Mary with a proper souls; they should turn back, and as their time may be but idea of his independence and divinity. Their conduct in this short, they should wek diligently. business may be a lasting lesson and profitable warning to all
They turned back to Jerusalem, earnestly seeking him. the disciples of Christ.
6thly. The likeliest place to find Jesus and his salvation is, 1st. It is possible (by not carefully watching the heart, and the temple. The place where his pure unadulterated gospel by not keeping sacredly and constantly in view the spirituality is preached, the sanctuary where the power and glory of God of every duły) to lose the presenee and power of Christ, even
are seen in the conviction, conversion and salvation of sinners. in religious ordinances. Joseph and Mary were at the feast of They found him in the temple, among the doctors. the puss-over when they lost Jesus ! 2dly, Many who have sus- 7thly. Trials, persecutions, and afictions are all nothing, tained loss in their souls are kept from making speedy applica- when the presence and power of Christ are felt : but when a tion to God for help and salvation, through the foolish supposi- testimony of his approbation lives no longer in the heart, every tion that their state is not so bad as it really is: and in the things thing is grievous and insupportable. The fatigue of the jourof salvation, many content themselves with the persuasion that ney to Bethlehem, the flight from the cruelty of Herod, and the religious people with whom they associate, are the peculiar the unavoidable triats in Egypt, were chearfully supported by furourites of heaven, and that they are in a state of complete Joseph and Mary; because in all they had Jesus with them; safety while connected with them.
but now they are in distress and misery because he is behind They, supposing him to be in the company, went a day's | in Jerusalem, Reader, if thou have lost Jesus, take no rest journey.
to body or soul till thou have found him! without him, all is 3dly. Deep sorrow and self-reproach must be the conse- ' confusion and ruin : with him all is joy and peave.
CHAPTER III. The time in which John the Baptist began to preach, 1-3. The prophecies which were fulfilled in him, 4-6. The
matter and success of his preaching, 7-9, among the people, 10; 11. Among the publicans, 12, 13. Among the soldiers, 14. His testimony concerning Christ, 15—18. The reason why Herod put him afterwards in prison, 19, 20. He baptizes Christ, on whom the spirit of God descends, 21, 99. Our Lord's genealogy, 23—38.
OW in the fifteenth year of the || and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, A.M. 4030.
reign of Tiberius Cæsar, * Pon- and his brother Philip tetrarch of An. Olymp, tius Pilate being governor of Judea, Iturea and of the region of Tracho
A. M. 4030.
A D. 26. An Olymp
a Mall. 27. 2, 11.
b Ver. 19. ch. 23. 7. Matt. 2. 1, 22.
cipality and thirteenth of his inonarchy: for he was two years Verse 1. Fifteenth year] This was the fifteenth of his prin- ll joint emperor, previously to the death of Augustus.
NOTES ON CHAP. III.
facts relative to the
commencement of John Baptist's ministry,
4. M. 4030. nitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of high priests, the word of God came 4. M. 413). An. Olymp. Abilene,
unto John, the son of Zacharias in the An Olymp
. 2 “Annas and Caiaphas being the wilderness.
* Matt. 26 57. Mark 1. 1–10. Jolın 11, 49, 51. & 18. 13. Acts 4. 6.
Tiberius Cæsar] This Emperor succeeded Augustus, in whose differs also from popular tradition, which either has had no sign Christ was born. He began his reign August 19, A. D. pure origin, or which is lost in unknown or fabulous antiquity. * 14. reigned twenty-three years, and died March 16, A. D. 37. | It differs also from Pagan and Mohammedan revelations, which aged seventy-eight years. He was a most infamous character. | were fabricated in a corner, and had no witnesses. In the During the latter part of his reign especially, he did all the mis- | above verses we find the persons, the places, and the times chief he possibly could; and that his tyranny might not end marked with the utmost exactness. It was under the first C with his life, he chose Caius Caligula for his successor, merely sars that the preaching of the gospel took place : and in their on account of his bad qualities; and of whom he was accus time, the facts on which the whole of Christianity is founded tomed to say, This young prince will be a serpent to the Ro- made their appearance: an age the most enlightened, and best iman people, and a PHAETON to the rest of mankind.
known from the multitude of its historic records. It was in Herod] This was Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Judea, where every thing that professed to come from God, Great who murdered the innocents. It was the same Herod | was scrutinized with the most exact and unmerciful criticisin. who beheaded John Baptist, and to whom our Lord was sent In writing the history of Christianity, the evangelists appeal by Pilate. See the account of the flerod family in the notes to certain facts which were publicly transacted in such places, on Matt. ii. 1.
under the government and inspection of such and such persons, Ituren und Trachonitis) Two provinces of Syria, on the con- and in such particular times. A thousand persons could have fines of Judea.
confronted the 'falsehood, had it been one! These appeals are Abilene] Another province of Syria, which had its name made-a challenge is offered to the Roman government, and to from Abila its chief city.
the Jewish rulers and people--a new religion has been introThese estates were left to lerod Antipas and his brother duced in such a place, at such a time—this has been accompaPhilip by the will of their father Ilerod the Great; and were nied with such and such facts and miracles! who can disprove confirmed to them by the decree of Augustus.
this ? All are silent. None appears to offer even an objection. That Philip was tetrarch of Trachonitis in the fifteenth year. The cause of infidelity and irreligion is at stake! If these facts of Tiberius, we are assured by Josephus, who says that Philip cannot be disproved, the religion of Christ must triumph.-the brother of Herod died in the twentieth year of Tiberius, af- None appears—because--none could appear. Now let it be ter he had governed Trachonitis, Batanea, ami Gaukonitis thirty- observed, that the persons of that time, only, could confute these - wren years. Antiq. B. xviii. c. 5. s. 6. And Herod continued things had they been false—they nerer attempted it: therefore
tetrarch of Galilee, till he was removed by Caligula, the suc- these facts are absolute and incontrovertible truths: this con-ces or of Tiberius. Antiq. B. xviii. c. 8. s: 2.
chusion is necessary. Shall a man then give up his faith in That Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, is also evident from such attested facts as these, because more than a thousand Josephus. He continued in this government till the emperor | years after, an infidel creeps out, and ventures publicly to sneer <Claudius took it from him, A. D. 42. and made a present of at what his iniquitous soul hopes is not true ? it to Agrippa. See Antiq. B. xix. c. 5. s. 1.
The word of God came unto John] That is, the Holy SpiFetrarch signifies the ruler of the fourth part of a country. !! -rit that revealed to him this doctrine of salvation. This came See the note on Matt. xiv..].
upon him in the desurt where he was liviny in such a state of Verse 2. Annus und Caiaphas being the high priests] Caia- | austerity as gave him full right to preach all the rigours of pephas was the son in law of Aunas or Ananias, and it is sup- nitence to others. Thus we find that the first preachers, his
posed that they exercised the high-priest's office by turns. Ittorians, and followers of the doctrines of the gospel were meni is likely that Annas only was considered as high-priest; and eminent for the austerity of their lives, the simplicity of their : that Caiaphas was, what the Hebrews termed magna cohen mumers, and the sanctity of their conduct ; they were authormishneh, or 09372 j2D sagun cohanim, the high-priest's depuly, or ized-by God, and filled with the most precious gifts of his spiruler of the temple. See the note on Matt. ii. 4. and on John, rit. And what are the apostles which the new philosophy sends xviii. 12.
kus ? Philosophers full of themselves, not guided by the love The facts which St. Luke mentions' here, tend much to lof truth or wisdom, but ever seeking their own glory, in colt.confirm the truth of the evangelical history. Christianity dif- stant 'hostility among themselves, because of their separate afers widely from philosophic system ; it is founded in the good- | pretensions to particular discoveries, of the honour of which, 24ss and authority of God; and attested by bistoric facts. Jl they would almost as soon lose life as be deprived. Who are