|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:23-30 Our Saviour came to guide men's consciences, not to gratify their curiosity. Ask not, How many shall be saved? But, Shall I be one of them? Not, What shall become of such and such? But, What shall I do, and what will become of me? Strive to enter in at the strait gate. This is directed to each of us; it is, Strive ye. All that will be saved, must enter in at the strait gate, must undergo a change of the whole man. Those that would enter in, must strive to enter. Here are awakening considerations, to enforce this exhortation. Oh that we may be all awakened by them! They answer the question, Are there few that shall be saved? But let none despond either as to themselves or others, for there are last who shall be first, and first who shall be last. If we reach heaven, we shall meet many there whom we little thought to meet, and miss many whom we expected to find.
Verses 26, 27. - Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. A very stern declaration on the part of Jesus that in the day of judgment no special favour would be granted to the souls of the chosen people. It was part of the reply to the question respecting the "fewness of the saved." The inquirer wished to know the opinion of the great Teacher on the exclusive right of Israel to salvation in the world to come, and this statement, describing salvation as something independent of all questions as to race, was the Master's reply.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then shall ye begin to say,.... Or ye shall say; in favour of themselves, and in order to be admitted within, the following pleas will be made by them:
we have eaten and drank in thy presence: which may be understood both literally of many, who were miraculously led by Christ, or at whose tables he had ate and drank, and they with him; as did not only publicans and sinners, but some of the Pharisees, who invited him to their houses; and in a religious sense, of many who eat of the legal sacrifices; and of others, who eat the bread, and drink the wine at the Lord's table; all which will be insufficient to introduce men into the kingdom and glory of Christ: natural relation to Christ, which the Jews may claim, being born of them, and personal acquaintance with him, and a bare profession of him, will be of no avail another day:
and thou hast taught in our streets; in the streets of many cities in Galilee and Judea: it was customary with the Jewish doctors to teach in the streets:
"says Rabba, behold I am as Ben Azzai, in the streets of Tiberias (a);''
the gloss upon it is,
"who was , "expounding in the streets of Tiberias."''
And it is said (b) of Rabban Jochanan ben Zaccai,
"that he was sitting in the shade of the temple, and expounding all the whole day;''
the gloss on the place is,
"the temple being an hundred cubits high, its shade went very far "in the street", which is before the mountain of the house; and because "the street" was large, and held abundance of men, he was expounding there by reason of the heat, for no school could hold them:''
and it is also said of R. Chija (c), that
"he went out and taught his brother's two sons, "in the street".''
So that what our Lord did, was no other than what was usual with their doctors; nor is this contrary to what is said in See Gill on Matthew 12:19, this is also a fruitless plea and which will be of no service; it will signify nothing, to have heard Christ preached, or Christ himself preach, unless there is faith in him, which works by love; for not hearers of the word only, but doers of it are regarded.
(a) T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 29. 1.((b) T. Bab. Pesachim, fol. 26. 1.((c) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 16. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26, 27. See on the similar passage (Mt 7:22, 23).
eaten and drunk, &c.—We have sat with Thee at the same table. (See on Mt 7:22).
taught in our streets—Do we not remember listening in our own streets to Thy teaching? Surely we are not to be denied admittance?
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