|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:51-56 The disciples did not consider that the conduct of the Samaritans was rather the effect of national prejudices and bigotry, than of enmity to the word and worship of God; and through they refused to receive Christ and his disciples, they did not ill use or injure them, so that the case was widely different from that of Ahaziah and Elijah. Nor were they aware that the gospel dispensation was to be marked by miracles of mercy. But above all, they were ignorant of the prevailing motives of their own hearts, which were pride and carnal ambition. Of this our Lord warned them. It is easy for us to say, Come, see our zeal for the Lord! and to think we are very faithful in his cause, when we are seeking our own objects, and even doing harm instead of good to others.
Verse 56. - For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. This entire clause is absent in a large majority of the elder authorities. On every principle of criticism it must be, if not struck out, at least marked as of doubtful authenticity. Commentators are, however, vary loth to part with the words, which breathe, as has been remarked, "a spirit far purer, loftier, and rarer than is usually discernible in ecclesiastical interpolations." They are certainly very old, as old almost as the apostolic age, being found in the Italic and Peshito, the most venerable of versions. Many, therefore, of the contemporaries of apostolic men must have read these words as a genuine utterance of our Lord. And they went to another village. The Greek word translated "another" suggests that our Lord, after the insult offered by the Samaritans, quietly turned his steps to a Jewish community.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the son of man,.... Meaning himself, in his state of humiliation:
is not come to destroy men's lives; the word "men's" is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Persic versions: and both words, "men's lives", are left out in the Arabic version:
but to save them; as they might easily observe, by his casting out devils from the bodies of men, and healing all sorts of diseases: and therefore, though it was agreeably to the legal dispensation, and the times of Elijah, to punish offenders in such a manner, it was not agreeably to the Gospel dispensation, and to the ends of the Messiah's coming into the world: so far in this verse, and the latter part of the former verse, are left out in five ancient copies of Beza's, and in the Ethiopic version, but are in the rest of the Eastern versions, and in other copies, and are rightly retained:
and they went to another village; in Samaria, more civil and courteous, and less prejudiced, and where they got lodging and entertainment.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
56. For the Son of man, &c.—a saying truly divine, of which all His miracles—for salvation, never destruction—were one continued illustration.
went to another—illustrating His own precept (Mt 10:23).
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