After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
1. And after these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two by two before his face into every city and place, to which he was to come 2. He said, therefore to them, The harvest is indeed abundant, but the laborers are few; pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send out the laborers into his harvest 3.:Go: behold, I send you as lambs among wolves. 4. Carry neither purse, nor bag nor shoes, and salute no man by the way. 5. Into whatsoever house you shall enter, first say, Peace be to this house. 6. And if the son of peace will remain upon it: but if not, it will return to you. 7. And remain in the same house eating and drinking those things which shall be given by them;  for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. 8. And into whatsoever city you shall enter, and they shall receive you, eat those things which are set before you: 9. And cure the diseased who are in it, and say to them, The kingdom of God is nigh to you. 10. And in whatsoever city you shall enter, and they shall not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11. Even the dust, which has cleaved to us from your city, we wipe off against you: yet know this, that the kingdom of God is nigh to you. 12. I say to you, That in that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that day.
Luke 10:1. And after these things the Lord appointed That the Apostles had returned to Christ before these seventy were substituted in their room, may be inferred from many circumstances. The twelve, therefore, were sent to awaken in the Jews the hope of an approaching salvation. After their return, as it was necessary that higher expectation should be excited, others were sent in greater numbers, as secondary heralds, to spread universally in every place the report of Christ's coming. Strictly speaking, they received no commission, but were only sent by Christ as heralds, to prepare the minds of the people for receiving his doctrine. As to the number seventy, he appears to have followed that order to which the people had already been long accustomed. We must bear in mind what has been already said about the twelve Apostles,  that as this was the number of the tribes when the people were in a flourishing condition, so an equal number of apostles or patriarchs was chosen, to reassemble the members of the lacerated body, that the restoration of the Church might thus be complete.
There was a similar reason for these seventy. We know that Moses, finding himself insufficient for the burden, took seventy judges to be associated with him in governing the people, (Exodus 18:22; Exodus 24:1.) But when the Jews returned from the Babylonish captivity, they had a council or sunedrion--which was corrupted into Sanedrin  --consisting of seventy-two judges. As usually happens with such numbers, when they spoke of the council, they called them only the seventy judges; and Philo assures us, that they were chosen out of the posterity of David, that there might be some remaining authority in the royal line. After various calamities, this was the finishing stroke, when Herod abolished that council, and thus deprived the people of a legitimate share in the government. Now as the return from Babylon prefigured a true and complete redemption, the reason why our Lord chooses seventy heralds of his coming appears to be, to hold out the restoration of their fallen state; and as the people were to be united under one head, he does not give them authority as judges, but only commands them to go before him, that he may possess the sole power. And sent them by two and two. He appears to have done so on account of their weakness. There was reason to fear, that individually they would not have the boldness necessary for the vigorous discharge of their office; and therefore, that they may encourage one another, they are sent by two and two
2. The harvest is indeed abundant. I have explained this passage under the ninth chapter of Matthew;  but it was proper to insert it again in this place, because it is related for a different purpose. In order to stimulate his disciples the more powerfully to apply with diligence to their work, he declares that the harvest is abundant: and hence it follows, that their labor will not be fruitless, but that they will find, in abundance, opportunities of employment, and means of usefulness. He afterwards reminds them of dangers, contests, and annoyances, and bids them go and prepare themselves for traversing with speed the whole of Judea.  In short, he repeats the same injunctions which he had given to the Apostles; and, therefore, it would serve no good purpose to trouble the reader here with many words, since a full exposition of all these matters may be found in the passage already quoted. We may notice briefly, however, the meaning of that expression, salute no man by the way. It indicates extreme haste, when, on meeting a person in the way, we pass on without speaking to him, lest he should detain us even for a short time. Thus, when Elisha sent his servant to the Shunamite woman, he charged him not to salute any person whom he met:
if thou meet any man, salute him not;
Christ does not intend that his disciples shall be so unkind  as not to deign to salute persons whom they meet, but bids them hasten forward, so as to pass by every thing that would detain them.
7. Eating and drinking those things which they shall give you This is another circumstance expressly mentioned by Luke. By these words Christ not only enjoins them to be satisfied with ordinary and plain food, but allows them to eat at another man's table. Their plain and natural meaning is: "you will be at liberty to live at the expense of others, so long as you shall be on this journey; for it is proper that those for whose benefit you labor should supply you with food." Some think that they were intended to remove scruples of conscience, that the disciples might not find fault with any kind of food.  But nothing of this kind was intended, and it was not even his object to enjoin frugality, but merely to permit them to accept of a reward, by living, during this commission, at the expense of those by whom they were entertained.
 "Mangeans et beuvans de ce qui sera mis devant vous;" -- "eating and drinking of what shall be set before you."
 Harmony, volume 1[p. 438.
 "Lequel les Grecs nomment Synedrion, et eux l'appeloyent par une prononciation corrompue Sanedrin;" -- "which the Greeks denominate Synedrion, and which they, by a corrupt pronunciation, called Sanedrin."
 Harmony, volume 1[p. 421.
 "Et leur commande d'aller alaigrement et en diligence, a fin que bien tost ils ayent fait une course par tout le pays de Iudee;" -- "and commands them to go with alacrity and diligence, that they may soon have performed a circuit through the whole country of Judea."
 "Si inhumains et mal-gracieux;" -- "so barbarous and uncivil."
 "A fin que les disciples ne facent conscience d'aucune sorte de viande;" -- "in order that the disciples may not make conscience of any kind of food."
Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.
Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.
And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.
And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:
And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,
Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.
But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.
Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
20. Then he began to upbraid the cities, in which most of his mighty works were done, because they had not repented of crimes: 21. Woe to thee, Chorazin! woe to thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented of their crimes long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22. But I say to you, It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon  in the day of judgment than for you. 23. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted even to heaven shall be cast down even to hell; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24. But I say to you, That it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom  in the day of judgment than for thee.
13. Woe to thee, Chorazin! woe to thee, Bethsaida! for if the might works, which have been done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have long ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.  15. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted even to heaven, shall be cast down even to hell. 16. He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Matthew 11:20. Then he began to upbraid. Luke states the time when, and the reason why, Christ uttered such invectives against those cities. It was while he was sending the disciples away into various parts of Judea, to proclaim, as they passed along, that the kingdom of God was at hand. Reflecting on the ingratitude of those among whom he had long discharged the office of a prophet, and performed many wonderful works, without any good result, he broke out into these words, announcing that the time was now come, when he should depart to other cities, having learned, by experience, that the inhabitants of the country adjoining that lake, among whom he had begun to preach the Gospel and perform miracles, were full of obstinacy and of desperate malice. But he says nothing about the doctrine, and reproaches them that his miracles had not led them to repent.  The object which our Lord had in view, in exhibiting those manifestations of his power, undoubtedly was to invite men to himself; but as all are by nature averse to him, it is necessary to begin with repentance. Chorazin and Bethsaida are well known to have been cities which were situated on the lake of Gennesareth.
21. If those mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon. As Tyre and Sidon, in consequence of their proximity, were at that time abhorred for their ungodliness, pride, debauchery, and other vices, Christ employs this comparison for the express purpose of making a deeper and more painful impression on his Jewish countrymen. There was not one of them who did not look upon the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon as abominable despisers of God. It is, therefore, no small heightening of his curse, when Christ says, that there would have been more hope of reformation from those places in which there was no religion, than is to be seen in Judea itself.
Lest any should raise thorny questions  about the secret decrees of God, we must remember, that this discourse of our Lord is accommodated to the ordinary capacity of the human mind.  Comparing the citizens of Bethsaida, and their neighbors, with the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon, he reasons, not of what God foresaw would be done either by the one or by the other, but of what both parties would have done, so far as could be judged from the facts. The exceedingly corrupt morals and unrestrained debauchery of those cities might be ascribed to ignorance; for there the voice of God had never been heard, nor had miracles been performed, to warn them to repent. But in the cities of Galilee, which Christ upbraids, there was a display of very hardened obstinacy in despising miracles, of which they had seen a vast number without reaping any advantage. In short, the words of Christ convey nothing more than that the inhabitants of Chorazin and Bethsaida go beyond those of Tyre and Sidon in malice and incurable contempt of God.
And yet we have no right to contend with God, for having passed by others of whom better hopes might have been entertained, and displaying his power before some who were extremely wicked and altogether desperate. Those on whom he does not bestow his mercy are justly appointed to perdition. If he withhold his word from some, and allow them to perish, while, in order to render others more inexcusable, he entreats and exhorts them, in a variety of ways, to repentance, who shall charge him, on this account, with injustice? Let us, therefore, aware of our own weakness, learn to contemplate this height and depth  with reverence; for it is intolerable fretfulness and pride that is manifested by those who cannot endure to ascribe praise to the righteousness of God, except so far as it comes within the reach of their senses, and who disdainfully reject those mysteries, which it was their duty to adore, simply because the reason of them is not fully evident.
If the mighty works had been done. We have said that these words inform us concerning the right use of miracles, though they likewise include doctrine; for Christ did not remain silent,  while he was holding out to their view the power of the Father; but, on the contrary, miracles were added to the Gospel, that they might attend to what was spoken by Christ.
In sackcloth and ashes Repentance is here described by outward signs, the use of which was at that time common in the Church of God: not that Christ attaches importance to that matter, but because he accommodates himself to the capacity of the common people. We know that believers are not only required to exercise repentance for a few days, but to cherish it incessantly till death. But there is no necessity, in the present day, for being clothed with sackcloth, and sprinkled with ashes; and, therefore, there is not always occasion for that outward profession of repentance, but only when, after some aggravated revolt, men turn to God. Sackcloth and ashes are, no doubt, indications of guilt, for the purpose of turning away the wrath of the Judge;  and therefore relate strictly to the beginning of conversion. But as men testify by this ceremony their sorrow and grief, it must be preceded by hatred of sin, fear of God, and mortification of the flesh, according to the words of Joel, (2:13,) Rend your hearts and not your garments. We now see the reason why sackcloth and ashes are mentioned by Christ along with repentance, when he speaks of Tyre and Sidon, to the inhabitants of which the Gospel could not have been preached, without condemning their past life, leaving nothing for them, but to betake themselves to the wretched apparel of criminals for the sake of humbly beseeching pardon. Such, too, is the reference of the word sitting, which is employed by Luke, Sitting in sackcloth and ashes; for it denotes "lying prostrate on the ground,"--a posture adapted to express the grief of wretched persons, as is evident from many passages of the Prophets.
23. And thou, Capernaum. He expressly addresses the city of Capernaum, in which he had resided so constantly, that many supposed it to be his native place. It was indeed an inestimable honor, that the Son of God, when about to commence his reign and priesthood, had chosen Capernaum for the seat of his palace and sanctuary. And yet it was as deeply plunged in its filth, as if there had never been poured upon it a drop of Divine grace. On this account, Christ declares, that the punishment awaiting it will be the more dreadful, in proportion to the higher favors which it had received from God. It deserves our earnest attention in this passage, that the profanation of the gifts of God, as it involves sacrilege, will never pass unpunished; and that the more eminent any one is, he will be punished with the greater severity, if he shall basely pollute the gifts which God has bestowed upon him; and above all, an awful vengeance awaits us, if, after having received the spiritual gifts of Christ, we treat him and his Gospel with contempt.
If they had been done in Sodom. We have already hinted, that Christ speaks after the manner of men, and does not bring forth, as from the heavenly sanctuary,  what God foresaw would happen if he had sent a Prophet to the inhabitants of Sodom. But if quarrelsome persons are not satisfied with this answer, every ground of objection is removed by this single consideration, that although God had a remedy in his power for saving the inhabitants of Sodom, yet in destroying them he was a just avenger. 
Luke 10:16. He that heareth you heareth me. It is a mistake to suppose that this passage is a repetition of what we formerly met with in the Gospel of Matthew 10:40 he that receiveth you receiveth me  Then, Christ was speaking of persons, but now, of doctrine. The former receiving had a reference to offices of kindness; but now he recommends faith, which receives God in his Word. The general meaning is, that the godliness of men is ascertained by the obedience of faith;  and that those who reject the Gospel, though they may boast of being the most eminent of the worshippers of God, give evidence that they wickedly despise him.
We must now attend to the design of Christ. As a considerable portion of the world foolishly estimates the Gospel according to the rank of men, and despises it because it is professed by persons of mean and despicable condition, our Lord here contradicts so perverse a judgment. Again, almost all are so proud, that they do not willingly submit to their equals, or to those whom they look down upon as inferior to them. God has determined, on the other hand, to govern his Church by the ministry of men, and indeed frequently selects the ministers of the Word from among the lowest dregs of the people. It was, therefore, necessary to support the majesty of the Gospel, that it might not appear to be degraded by proceeding from the lips of men.
This is a remarkable commendation  of the outward ministry, when Christ declares, that whatever honor and respect is rendered to the preaching of men, provided that the preaching be faithful, God acknowledges as done to Himself. In two points of view, this recommendation is useful. Nothing ought to be a stronger encouragement to us to embrace the doctrine of the Gospel, than to learn that this is the highest worship of God, and a sacrifice of the sweetest odor, to hear him speaking by human lips, and to yield subjection to his word, which is brought to us by men, in the same manner as if he were descending from heaven or making known his will to us by angels. Again, our confidence is established, and all doubt is removed, when we learn, that the testimony of our salvation, when delivered to us by men whom God has sent, is not less worthy of credit, than if His voice resounded from heaven. To deter us, on the other hand, from despising the Gospel, he adds a severe threatening:
He that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. Those who disdain to listen to ministers, however mean and contemptible they may be, offer an insult, not to men only, but to Christ himself, and to God the Father. While a magnificent eulogium is here pronounced on the rank of pastors, who honestly and faithfully discharge their office, it is absurd in the Pope and his clergy to take this as a pretense for cloaking their tyranny. Assuredly, Christ does not speak in such a manner, as to surrender into the hands of men the power which the Father has given him, but only to protect his Gospel against contempt. Hence it follows, that he does not transfer to the persons of men the honor which is due to himself, but only maintains that it cannot be separated from his Word. If the Pope wishes to be received, let him bring forward the doctrine by which he may be recognized as a minister of Christ; but so long as he continues to be what he now is, a mortal enemy of Christ, and destitute of all resemblance to the Apostles, let him cease to deck himself with borrowed feathers.
 "Que Tyr et Sidon seront plus doucement traittez;" -- "that Tyre and Sidon will be treated more gently."
 "Que ceux de Sodome seront traittez plus doucement;" -- "that those of Sodom will be treated more gently."
 "Pourtant Tyr et Sidon seront plus doucement traittez au Iugementque vous;" -- "therefore Tyre and Sidon will be more gently treated in the Judgment than you."
 "Que par les miracles ils n'ont point esmeus pour se convertir a repentance;" -- "that by the miracles they were not moved to be converted to repentance."
 "Des questions curieuses et difficiles;" -- "curious and difficult questions."
 "A la capacite et apprehension commune de l'entendement humain;" -- "to the ordinary capacity and apprehension of the human understanding."
 "Ceste hautesse et profondeur des iugemens de Dieu;" -- "this height and depth of the judgments of God."
 "N'a pas eu cependant sa bouche close;" -- "did not in the meantime keep his mouth shut."
 "A fin d'adoucir le Iuge, et destourner son iuste courroux;" -- "in order to pacify the Judge, and to turn away his just wrath."
 "Il ne vent point ici amener le conseil secret de Dieu;" -- "he does not intend here to exhibit the secret purpose of God."
 "Que toutesfois, en les destruisant et damnant, il n'a rien fait qui empesche qu'il ne soit tousiours recognue iuste en sa punition et sa vengeance;" -- "that notwithstanding, in destroying and condemning them, He has done nothing to prevent Him from being always acknowledged to be righteous in His punishment and in His vengeance."
 Harmony, volume 1[p. 475.
 "Que la crainte de Dieu qui est es hommes, se monstre par l'obeissance de la foy;" -- "that the fear of God which is in men is manifested by the obedience of faith."
 "C'est donc une louange et recommendation singuliere;" -- "it is then a singular praise and recommendation."
But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.
And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.
He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
17. And the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject to us in thy name.  18. And he said to them, I beheld Satan falling from heaven like lightning. 19. Lo, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and on all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. 20. Nevertheless, rejoice not in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
17. And the seventy returned. It is evident, that the faith of the seventy disciples in the words of Christ had not been full and complete, when they returned, exulting over it as a thing new and unexpected, that they had cast out devils by the power of Christ. Nay, they had received this power accompanied by a command. At the same time, I have no doubt that, when they departed, they were convinced that nothing which the Master had said to them would fail of its accomplishment; but afterwards, when the matter proceeded to an extent which surpassed their expectations, they were astonished at the sight.  And this is frequently the case with believers, that they receive from the word but a slight perception of the Divine power, and are afterwards excited to admiration by actual experience. What was the nature of that joy will more clearly appear from Christ's reply.
18. I beheld Satan From one instance Christ leads them to the whole class; for he commanded his Gospel to be published for the very purpose of overturning Satan's kingdom.  So then, while the disciples rested solely on that demonstration which they had obtained from experience, Christ reminds them, that the power and efficacy of their doctrine extends farther, and that its tendency is to extirpate the tyranny which Satan exercises over the whole human race. We have now ascertained the meaning of the words. When Christ commanded that his Gospel should be preached, he did not at all attempt a matter of doubtful result, but foresaw the approaching ruin of Satan.  Now since the Son of God cannot be deceived, and this exercise of his foresight relates to the whole course of the Gospel, we have no reason to doubt, that whenever he raises up faithful teachers, he will crown their labor with prosperous success.
Hence we infer, that our deliverance from the bondage of Satan is effected in no other way than through the Gospel; and that those only make actual proficiency in the Gospel, in whom Satan loses his power, so that sin is destroyed, and they begin to live to the righteousness of God. We ought also to attend to the comparison which he employs, that the thunder of the Gospel makes Satan fall like lightning; for it expresses the divine and astonishing power of the doctrine, which throws down, in a manner so sudden and violent, the prince of the world armed with such abundant forces. It expresses also the wretched condition of men, on whose heads fall the darts of Satan, who rules in the air, and holds the world in subjection under his feet, till Christ appear as a Deliverer.
19. Lo, I give you power. This is said by way of admission. Christ does not affirm that the gift of which they now boast is not illustrious, but reminds them, that they ought to keep their eye chiefly on something loftier still, and not remain satisfied with outward miracles. He does not altogether condemn their joy, as if it were groundless, but shows it to be faulty in this respect, that they were immoderately delighted with a temporal favor, and did not elevate their minds higher. To this disease even the godly are almost all liable. Though the goodness of God is received by them with gratitude, yet the acts of the Divine kindness do not assist them, as they ought to do, by becoming ladders for ascending to heaven. This makes it necessary that the Lord should, as it were, stretch out his hand to raise them up, that they may not rest satisfied with the earth, but may aspire to heavenly renovation. The power of the enemy is the name given by him to every kind of annoyance; for all that is hostile to us is wielded against us by Satan. I do not mean that every thing which tends to injure men is placed at his disposal; but that, being armed with the curse of God, he endeavors to turn to our destruction all his chastisements, and seizes them as weapons for the purpose of wounding us.
20. Your names are written. As it was the design of Christ to withdraw his disciples from a transitory joy, that they might glory in eternal life, he leads them to its origin and source, which is, that they were chosen by God and adopted as his children. He might indeed have commanded them to rejoice that they had been regenerated by the Spirit of God, (Titus 3:5,) and become new creatures in Christ, (2 Corinthians 5:17;) that they had been enlightened (Ephesians 1:18) in the hope of salvation, and had received the earnest of the inheritance, (Ephesians 1:14.) But he intended to point out, that the source from which all these benefits had flowed was the free election of God, that they might not claim any thing for themselves. Reasons for praising God are no doubt furnished by those acts of his kindness which we feel within us; but eternal election, which is without us, shows more clearly that our salvation rests on the pure goodness  of God. The metaphorical expression, your names are written in heaven, means, that they were acknowledged by God as His children and heirs, as if they had been inscribed in a register. 
 "Par ton Nom;" -- "by thy Name."
 "Ils furent esmerveillez et esbahis de voir cela advenir;" -- "they were astonished and overwhelmed at seeing that happen."
 "A ceste fin de renverser et destruire;" -- "for the very purpose of overthrowing and destroying."
 "Christ n'a point entreprins, ou essaye une chose a l'aventure, et de laquelle l'issue fust incertaine: mais a veu que la ruine de Satan s'en en-suyvroit;" -- "Christ did not undertake or attempt a thing at random, and the result of which was uncertain; but saw that the ruin of Satan would follow from it."
 "La pure et simple bonte;" -- "the pure and simple goodness."
 "Comme s'ils estoyent escrits en une rolle, ou enregistrez en quelque livre;" -- "as if they were written in a roll, or registered in some book."
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
25. At that time Jesus answering said, I acknowledge to thee,  O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little children. 26. Undoubtedly, O Father, such was thy good pleasure.  27. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and none knoweth the Son but the Father; and none knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son has chosen to reveal him.  28. Come to me, all that labor and are burdened, and I will relieve you. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, that I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest in your souls. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
21. In the same hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I acknowledge to thee,  O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little children: certainly, O Father, it is because such was thy good pleasure. 22. All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and none knoweth who the Son is but the Father, and who the Father is but the Son, and he to whom the Son shall choose to reveal him.
Matthew 11:25. Jesus answering. Though the Hebrew verb, answer, (nh,) is frequently employed even in the commencement of a discourse, yet in this passage I consider it to be emphatic; for it was from the present occurrence that Christ took occasion to speak. This is more fully confirmed by the words of Luke, that in the same hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit Whence came that rejoicing? Was it not because the Church, composed of poor and despised persons, was viewed by him as not less precious and valuable than if all the nobility and high rank in the world had lent to it their brilliancy? Let it be observed, also, that the discourse is addressed to the Father, and consequently is marked by greater energy than if he had spoken to his disciples. It was on their behalf, no doubt, and for their sake, that he gave thanks to the Father, that they might not be displeased with the low and mean aspect of his Church.
We are constantly looking for splendor; and nothing appears to us more incongruous, than that the heavenly kingdom of the Son of God, whose glory is so magnificently celebrated by the prophets, should consist of the dregs and offscourings of the common people. And truly it is a wonderful purpose of God, that though he has the whole world at his command, he chooses rather to select a peculiar people to himself from among the contemptible vulgar, than from the nobility, whose high rank would have been a greater ornament to the name of Christ. But here Christ withdraws his disciples from a proud and haughty imagination, that they may not venture to despise that mean and obscure condition of his Church, in which he delights and rejoices. To restrain more fully that curiosity which is constantly springing up in the minds of men, he rises above the world, and contemplates the secret decrees of God, that he may lead others to unite with him in admiring them. And certainly, though this appointment of God contradicts our senses, we discover not only blind arrogance, but excessive madness, if we murmur against it, while Christ our Head adores it with reverence.
I acknowledge to thee, O Father  By these words he declares his acquiescence in that decree of the Father, which is so greatly at variance with human senses. There is an implied contrast between this praise, which he ascribes to the Father, and the malicious slanders, or even the impudent barkings, of the world. We must now inquire in what respect he glorifies the Father. It is because, while he was Lord of the whole world, he preferred children and ignorant persons to the wise It has no small weight, as connected with this subject, that he calls the Father Lord of heaven and earth; for in this manner he declares that it is a distinction which depends entirely on the will of God,  that the wise remain blind, while the ignorant and unlearned receive the mysteries of the Gospel. There are many other passages of a similar nature, in which God points out to us, that those who arrive at salvation have been freely chosen by him, because he is the Creator and Governor of the world, and all nations are his.
This expression implies two things. First, that all do not obey the Gospel arises from no want of power on the part of God, who could easily have brought all the creatures into subjection to his government. Secondly, that some arrive at faith, while others remain hardened and obstinate, is accomplished by his free election; for, drawing some, and passing by others, he alone makes a distinction among men, whose condition by nature is alike.  In choosing little children rather than the wise, he has a regard to his glory; for the flesh is too apt to rise, and if able and learned men had led the way, it would soon have come to be the general conviction, that men obtain faith by their skill, or industry, or learning. In no other way can the mercy of God be so fully known as it ought to be, than by making such a choice, from which it is evident, that whatever men bring from themselves is nothing; and therefore human wisdom is justly thrown down, that it may not obscure the praise of divine grace.
But it is asked, whom does Christ denominate wise? And whom does he denominate little children? For experience plainly shows, that not all the ignorant and unlearned on the one hand are enlightened to believe, and that not all the wise or learned are left in their blindness. It follows, that those are called wise and prudent, who, swelled with diabolical pride, cannot endure to hear Christ speaking to them from above. And yet it does not always happen that God reprobates those who have a higher opinion of themselves than they ought to have; as we learn from the instance of Paul, whose fierceness Christ subdued. If we come down to the ignorant multitude, the majority of whom display envenomed malice, we perceive that they are left to their destruction equally with the nobles and great men. I do acknowledge, that all unbelievers swell with a wicked confidence in themselves, whether their pride be nourished by their wisdom, or by a reputation for integrity, or by honors, or by riches. But I consider that Christ here includes all who are eminent for abilities and learning, without charging them with any fault; as, on the other hand, he does not represent it to be an excellence in any one that he is a little child. True, humble persons have Christ for their master, and the first lesson of faith is, Let no man presume on his wisdom. But Christ does not speak here as to voluntary childhood. He magnifies the grace of the Father on this ground, that he does not disdain to descend even to the lowest and most abominable, that he may raise up the poor out of filth.
But here a question arises. As prudence is a gift of God, how comes it that it hinders us from perceiving the brightness of God, which shines in the Gospel? We ought, indeed, to remember what I have already said, that unbelievers corrupt all the prudence which they possess, and that men of distinguished abilities are often hindered in this respect, that they cannot submit to be taught. But with respect to the present passage I:reply: Though the sagacity of the prudent does not stand in their way, they may notwithstanding be deprived of the light of the Gospel. Since the condition of all is the same or alike, why may not God take this or that person according to his pleasure? The reason why he passes by the wise and the great is declared by Paul to be, that
God hath chosen the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the glory of the flesh,
Hence also we infer, that the statement made by Christ is not universal, when he says, that the mysteries of the Gospel are hidden from the wise If out of five wise men four reject the Gospel and one embraces it, and if, out of an equal number of unlearned persons, two or three become disciples of Christ, this statement is fulfilled. This is also confirmed by that passage in Paul's writings, which I lately quoted; for he does not exclude from the kingdom of God all the wise, and noble, and mighty, but only declares that it does not contain many of them.
The question is now solved. Prudence is not condemned as far as it is a gift of God, but Christ merely declares that it has no influence in procuring faith. On the other hand, he does not recommend ignorance, as if it rendered men acceptable to God, but affirms that it does not hinder mercy from enlightening ignorant and unlearned men with heavenly wisdom. It now remains to explain what is meant by revealing and hiding. That Christ does not speak of the outward preaching may be inferred with certainty from this circumstance, that he presented himself as a Teacher to all without distinction, and enjoined his Apostles to do the same. The meaning therefore is, that no man can obtain faith by his own acuteness, but only by the secret illumination of the Spirit.
26. Undoubtedly, O Father This expression removes every pretense for that licentiousness of inquiry, to which we are continually excited. There is nothing which we yield to God with greater difficulty, than that his will shall be regarded by us as the highest reason and justice.  He frequently repeats, that his judgments are a deep abyss, (Psalm 36:6;) but we plunge with headlong violence into that depth,  and if there is any thing that does not please us, we gnash our teeth, or murmur against him, and many even break out into open blasphemies. On the contrary, our Lord lays down to us this rule, that whatever God has determined must be regarded by us as right.  This is sober wisdom, to acquiesce in the good pleasure of God as alone equal to a thousand arguments.  Christ might indeed have brought forward the causes of that distinction, if there were any; but he is satisfied with the good pleasure of God, and inquires no farther why he calls to salvation little children rather than others, and composes his kingdom out of an obscure flock.  Hence it is evident, that men direct their fury against Christ, when, on learning that some are freely chosen, and others are reprobated, by the will of God, they storm because they find it unpleasant to yield to God. 
27. All things have been delivered to me. The connection of this sentence with the preceding one is not correctly understood by those commentators who think that Christ intends nothing more than to strengthen the confidence of his disciples for preaching the Gospel. My opinion is, that Christ spoke these words for another reason, and with another object in view. Having formerly asserted that the Church proceeds from the secret source of God's free election, he now shows in what manner the grace of salvation comes to men. Many persons, as soon as they learn that none are heirs of eternal life but those whom God chose before the foundation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4,) begin to inquire anxiously how they may be assured of God's secret purpose, and thus plunge into a labyrinth, from which they will find no escape. Christ enjoins them to come direct to himself, in order to obtain certainty of salvation. The meaning therefore is, that life is exhibited to us in Christ himself, and that no man will partake of it who does not enter by the gate of faith. We now see that he connects faith with the eternal predestination of God, -- two things which men foolishly and wickedly hold to be inconsistent with each other. Though our salvation was always hidden with God, yet Christ is the channel through which it flows to us, and we receive it by faith, that it may be secure and ratified in our hearts. We are not at liberty then to turn away from Christ, unless we choose to reject the salvation which he offers to us.
None knoweth the Son. He says this, that we may not be guided by the judgment of men, and thus form an erroneous estimate of his majesty. The meaning therefore is, that if we wish to know what is the character of Christ, we must abide by the testimony of the Father, who alone can truly and certainly inform us what authority he hath bestowed upon him. And, indeed, by imagining him to be what our mind, according to its capacity, conceives of him, we deprive him of a great part of his excellence, so that we cannot know him aright but from the voice of the Father That voice alone would undoubtedly be insufficient without the guidance of the Spirit; for the power of Christ is too deep and hidden to be attained by men, until they have been enlightened by the Father We must understand him to mean, not that the Father knoweth for himself, but that He knoweth for us to reveal him to us.
But the sentence appears to be incomplete, for the two clauses do not correspond to each other. Of the Son it is said, that none knoweth the Father except himself, and he to whom he shall be pleased to reveal him Of the Father nothing more is said than this, that He alone knoweth the Son. Nothing is said about revelation. I reply, that it was unnecessary to repeat what he had already said; for what else is contained in the previous thanksgiving, than that the Father hath revealed the Son to those who approve of him? When it is now added that He alone knoweth the Son, it appears to be the assigning of a reason; for this thought might, have occurred, What neccessity was there that the Son, who had openly exhibited himself to the view of men, should be revealed by the Father? We now perceive the reason why it was said, that none knoweth the Son but the Father only It now remains that we attend to the latter clause:
None knoweth the Father except the Son, and he to whom the Son shall be pleased to reveal him. This is a different kind of knowledge from the former; for the Son is said to know the Father, not because he reveals Him by his Spirit, but because, being the lively image of Him, he represents Him visibly in his own person. At the same time, I do not exclude the Spirit, but explain the revelation here mentioned as referring to the manner of communicating information. This agrees most completely with the context; for Christ confirms what he had formerly said, that all things had been delivered to him by his Father, by informing us that the fullness of the Godhead dwelleth in him, (Colossians 2:9.) The passage may be thus summed up:  First, it is the gift of the Father, that the Son is known, because by his Spirit he opens the eyes of our mind to discern the glory of Christ, which otherwise would have been hidden from us. Secondly, the Father, who dwells in inaccessible light, and is in himself incomprehensible, is revealed to us by the Son, because he is the lively image of Him, so that it is in vain to seek for Him elsewhere. 
28. Come to me all that labor He now kindly invites to himself those whom he acknowledges to be fit for becoming his disciples. Though he is ready to reveal the Father to all, yet the greater part are careless about coming to him, because they are not affected by a conviction of their necessities. Hypocrites give themselves no concern about Christ, because they are intoxicated with their own righteousness, and neither hunger nor thirst (Matthew 5:6) for his grace. Those who are devoted to the world set no value on heavenly life. It would be in vain, therefore, for Christ to invite either of these classes, and therefore he turns to the wretched and afflicted. He speaks of them as laboring, or groaning under a burden, and does not mean generally those who are oppressed with grief and vexations, but those who are overwhelmed by their sins, who are filled with alarm at the wrath of God, and are ready to sink under so weighty a burden. There are various methods, indeed, by which God humbles his elect; but as the greater part of those who are loaded with afflictions still remain obstinate and rebellious, Christ means by persons laboring and burdened, those whose consciences are distressed by their exposure to eternal death, and who are inwardly so pressed down by their miseries that they faint; for this very fainting prepares them for receiving his grace. He tells us that the reason why most men despise his grace is, that they are not sensible of their poverty; but that there is no reason why their pride or folly should keep back afflicted souls that long for relief.
Let us therefore bid adieu to all who, entangled by the snares of Satan, either are persuaded that they possess a righteousness out of Christ, or imagine that they are happy in this world. Let our miseries drive us to seek Christ; and as he admits none to the enjoyment of his rest but those who sink under the burden, let us learn, that there is no venom more deadly than that slothfulness which is produced in us, either by earthly happiness, or by a false and deceitful opinion of our own righteousness and virtue. Let each of us labor earnestly to arouse himself, first, by vigorously shaking off the luxuries of the world; and, secondly, by laying aside every false confidence. Now though this preparation for coming to Christ makes them as dead men,  yet it ought to be observed, that it is the gift of the Holy Spirit, because it is the commencement of repentance, to which no man aspires in his own strength. Christ did not intend to show what man can do of himself, but only to inform us what must be the feelings of those who come to him.
They who limit the burden and the labor to ceremonies of the Law, take a very narrow view of Christ's meaning. I do acknowledge, that the Law was intolerably burdensome, and overwhelmed the souls of worshippers; but we must bear in mind what I have said, that Christ stretches out his hand to all the afflicted, and thus lays down a distinction between his disciples and those who despise the Gospel. But we must attend to the universality of the expression; for Christ included all, without exception, who labor and are burdened, that no man may shut the gate against himself by wicked doubts.  And yet all such persons are few in number; for, among the innumerable multitude of those that perish, few are aware that they are perishing. The relief which he promises consists in the free pardon of sins, which alone gives us peace.
29. Take my yoke upon you. Many persons, we perceive, abuse the grace of Christ by turning it into an indulgence of the flesh; and therefore Christ, after promising joyful rest to wretchedly distressed consciences, reminds them, at the same time, that he is their Deliverer on condition of their submitting to his yoke. He does not, he tells us, absolve men from their sins in such a manner, that, restored to the favor of God, they may sin with greater freedom, but that, raised up by his grace, they may also take his yoke upon them, and that, being free in spirit, they may restrain the licentiousness of their flesh. And hence we obtain a definition of that rest of which he had spoken. It is not at all intended to exempt the disciples of Christ from the warfare of the flesh, that they may enjoy themselves at their ease, but to train them under the burden of discipline, and keep them under the yoke.
Learn of me It is a mistake, I think, to suppose that Christ here assures us of his meekness, lest his disciples, under the influence of that fear which is usually experienced in approaching persons of distinction, should remain at a distance from him on account of his Divine glory. It is rather his design to form us to the imitation of himself, because the obstinacy of the flesh leads us to shrink from his yoke as harsh and uneasy. Shortly afterwards, he adds, (verse 30,) my yoke is easy But how shall any man be brought willingly and gently to bend his neck, unless, by putting on meekness, he be conformed to Christ? That this is the meaning of the words is plain; for Christ, after exhorting his disciples to bear his yoke, and desirous to prevent them from being deterred by its difficulty, immediately adds, Learn of me; thus declaring that, when his example shall have accustomed us to meekness and humility, we shall no longer feel his yoke to be troublesome. To the same purpose he adds, I will relieve you So long as the flesh kicks, we rebel; and those who refuse the yoke of Christ, and endeavor to appease God in any other manner, distress and waste themselves in vain. In this manner, we see the Papists wretchedly torturing themselves, and silently enduring the dreadful tyranny under which they groan, that they may not bow to the yoke of Christ.
 "Ie te ren graces;" -- "I give thee thanks."
 "Il est ainsi, Pere, pourtant que ton bon plaisir a este tel;" -- "it i so, O Father, because thy good pleasure was such."
 "Le Fils le vent reveler, ou, donner a cognoistre;" --"the Son chooses to reveal him, or, to make him known."
 "Ie to ren graces;" -- "I give thee thanks."
 "Ie to ren graces, que tu as cache;" -- "I thank thee, that thou hast concealed."
 "Qu'il n'y a que le bon plaisir et vouloir de Dieu qui soit cause de ceste diversit," -- "that it is only the good pleasure and will of God that is the cause of this diversity."
 "Desquels tous la condition est semblable de nature;" -- "of all of whom the condition by nature is alike."
 "Pour la derniere et souveraine raison, et pour Justice parfaite;" -- "for the last and supreme reason, and for perfect justice."
 "Pour sonder ce qui y est;" -- "to sound what is in it."
 "Que tout ce que Dieu a determine est bon et droict;" -- "that all that God has determined is good and right."
 "Et cela est estre sage a sobriete, d'acquiescer au seul bon plaisir de Dieu, et nous y arrester paisiblement, plus que s'il y avoit dix mille raisons devant nos yeux;" -- "and this is to be wise to sobriety, to acquiesce in the good pleasure of God, and to rest calmly upon it, more than if there were ten thousand arguments before our eyes."
 "D'une troupe de gens incognus, et de petite estime;" -- "from a flock of persons unknown and little esteemed."
 "Vienent incontinent a tempester, pource quil leur fasche que Dieu ait le dernier mot;" -- "come immediately to storm, because it gives them uneasiness that God should have the last word."
 "Tout ce passage revient a ces deux points;" -- "the whole of this passage amounts to these two points."
 "En sorte que c'est temps perdu de le chercher ailleurs;" -- "so that it is lost time to seek him elsewhere."
 "Combien que ceste preparation a recevoir la grace de Christ despouille desia entierement les hommes, et monstre qu'ils sont du tout vuides de vertu;" -- "though this preparation for receiving the grace of Christ already strips men entirely, and shows that they are wholly devoid of virtue."
 "Par une desfiance et facon perverse de douter;" -- "by a distrust and wicked manner of doubting."
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:
For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
34. But when the Pharisees heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they assembled together. 35. And one of them, a doctor of the law, put a question to him, tempting him, and saying, 36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37. Jesus saith to him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as much as thyself. 40. On these two commandments the whole law and the prophets depend.
28. And when one of the scribes came, and heard them disputing together, and saw that he had answered them well, he put a question to him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29. And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. 30. And, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. 31. And the second, which is like it, is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: there is no other commandment greater than these. 32. And the scribe said to him, Master, thou hast answered well with truth, that there is one God, and there is no other besides him. 33. And that to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is better than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34. And Jesus, when he saw that he had replied skillfully, said to him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And after that, no man ventured to put a question to him.
25. And, lo, a certain lawyer  rose up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26. And he said to him, What is written in the law? How readest thou? 27. He answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. 28. And he said to him, Thou hast answered right: do this, and thou shalt live. 29. But he wishing to justify himself, said to Jesus, and Who is my neighbor? 30. And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who even stripped him of his raiment, and, having wounded him, went away, leaving him half-dead. 31. And it happened that a certain priest came down that way, and having seen him, passed by. 32. And in like manner a Levite, going near the place, having approached and seen him, passed by. 33. And a certain Samaritan, on his journey, came to him, and when he saw him, was moved with compassion. 34. And approaching, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine; and, setting him on his own beast, conducted him to an inn, and took care of him. 35. And, next day, as he was departing, he drew out two denarii, and gave them to the landlord, and said to him, Take care of him, and whatever thou spendest more, when I return, I will repay thee. 36. Which therefore of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor to him who fell among robbers? 37. And he said, He who took compassion on him. Jesus therefore said to him, Go, and do thou in like manner.
Although I think that this narrative has nothing more than a resemblance to what is related by Matthew in the 22^nd, and by Mark in the 12^th chapter, of his Gospel, and that they are not the same; I have chosen to collect them into one place, because, while Matthew and Mark affirm that this was the last question by which our Lord was tempted, Luke makes no mention of that circumstance, and seems intentionally to leave it out, because he had stated it in another passage. And yet I do not dispute that it may be the same narrative, though Luke has some things different from the other two. They all agree in this, that the scribe put a question for the sake of tempting Christ; but he who is described by Matthew and Mark goes away with no bad disposition; for he acquiesces in Christ's reply, and shows a sign of a teachable and gentle mind: to which must be added, that Christ, on the other hand, declares that he is not far from the kingdom of God. Luke, on the other hand, introduces a man who was obstinate and swelled with pride, in whom no evidence of repentance is discovered. Now there would be no absurdity in saying that Christ was repeatedly tempted on the subject of true righteousness, and of keeping the Law, and of the rule of a good life. But whether Luke has related this out of its proper place, or whether he has now passed by the other question -- because that former narrative relating to doctrine was sufficient -- the similarity of the doctrine seemed to require me to compare the three Evangelists with each other.
Let us now see what was the occasion that led this scribe to put a question to Christ. It is because, being an expounder of the Law, he is offended at the doctrine of the gospel, by which he supposes the authority of Moses to be diminished. At the same time, he is not so much influenced by zeal for the Law, as by displeasure at losing some part of the honor of his teaching. He therefore inquires at Christ, if he wishes to profess any thing more perfect than the Law; for, though he does not say this in words, yet his question is ensnaring, for the purpose of exposing Christ to the hatred of the people. Matthew and Mark do not attribute this stratagem to one man only, but show that it was done by mutual arrangement, and that out of the whole sect one person was chosen who was thought to excel the rest in ability and learning. In the form of the question, too, Luke differs somewhat from Matthew and Mark; for, according to him, the scribe inquires what men must do to obtain eternal life, but according to the other two Evangelists, he inquires what is the chief commandment in the law. But the design is the same, for he makes a deceitful attack on Christ, that, if he can draw any thing from his lips that is at variance with the law, he may exclaim against him as an apostate and a promoter of ungodly revolt.
Luke 10:26. What is written in the law? He receives from Christ a reply different from what he had expected. And, indeed, no other rule of a holy and righteous life was prescribed by Christ than what had been laid down by the Law of Moses; for the perfect love of God and of our neighbors comprehends the utmost perfection of righteousness. Yet it must be observed, that Christ speaks here about obtaining salvation, in agreement with the question which had been put to him; for he does not teach absolutely, as in other passages, how men may arrive at eternal life, but how they ought to live, in order to be accounted righteous in the sight of God. Now it is certain that in the Law there is prescribed to men a rule by which they ought to regulate their life, so as to obtain salvation in the sight of God. That the Law can do nothing else than condemn, and is therefore called the doctrine of death, and is said by Paul to increase transgressions, (Romans 7:13,) arises not from any fault of its doctrine, but because it is impossible for us to perform what it enjoins. Therefore, though no man is justified by the Law yet the Law itself contains the highest righteousness, because it does not falsely hold out salvation to its followers, if any one fully observed all that it commands.  Nor ought we to look upon this as a strange manner of teaching, that God first demands the righteousness of works, and next offers a gratuitous righteousness without works; for it is necessary that men should be convinced of their righteous condemnation, that they may betake themselves to the mercy of God. Accordingly, Paul (Romans 10:5, 6) compares both kinds of righteousness, in order to inform us that the reason why we are freely justified by God is, that we have no righteousness of our own. Now Christ in this reply accommodated himself to the lawyer, and attended to the nature of his question; for he had inquired not how salvation must be sought, but by what works it must be obtained.
Matthew 22:37. Thou shalt love the Lord thou God. According to Mark, the preface is inserted, that Jehovah alone is the God of Israel; by which words God supports the authority of his law in two ways. For, first, it ought to be a powerful excitement to the worship of God, when we are fully convinced that we worship the actual Creator of heaven and earth, because indifference is naturally produced by doubt; and, secondly, because it is a pleasing inducement to love him, when he freely adopts us as his people. So then, that they may not hesitate, as usually happens in cases of uncertainty, the Jews are informed that the rule of life is prescribed to them by the true and only God; and, on the other hand, that they may not be kept back by distrust, God approaches to them in a familiar manner, and reminds them of his gracious covenant with them. And yet there is no reason to doubt that the Lord distinguishes himself from all idols, that the Jews may not be drawn aside from him, but may adhere to the pure worship of God himself. Now if uncertainty does not keep back the wretched worshippers of idols from being carried away to the love of them by impetuous zeal, what excuse is left for the hearers of the Law, if they remain indifferent, after that God has revealed himself to them?
What follows is an abridgment of the Law,  which is also found in the writings of Moses, (Deuteronomy 6:5.) For, though it is divided into two tables, the first of which relates to the worship of God, and the second to charity, Moses properly and wisely draws up this summary,  that the Jews may perceive what is the will of God in each of the commandments. And although we ought to love God far more than men, yet most properly does God, instead of worship or honor, require love from us, because in this way he declares that no other worship is pleasing to Him than what is voluntary; for no man will actually obey God but he who loves Him. But as the wicked and sinful inclinations of the flesh draw us aside from what is right, Moses shows that our life will not be regulated aright till the love of God fill all our senses. Let us therefore learn, that the commencement of godliness is the love of God, because God disdains the forced services of men, and chooses to be worshipped freely and willingly; and let us also learn, that under the love of God is included the reverence due to him.
Moses does not add the mind, but mentions only the heart, and the soul, and the strength; and though the present division into four clauses is more full, yet it does not alter the sense. For while Moses intends to teach generally that God ought to be perfectly loved, and that whatever powers belong to men ought to be devoted to this object, he reckoned it enough, after mentioning the soul and the heart, to add the strength, that he might not leave any part of us uninfluenced by the love of God; and we know also that under the word heart the Hebrews sometimes include the mind,  particularly when it is joined to the word soul What is the difference between the mind and the heart, both in this passage and in Matthew, I do not trouble myself to inquire, except that I consider the mind to denote the loftier abode of reason, from which all our thoughts and deliberations flow.
It now appears from this summary that, in the commandments of the Law, God does not look at what men can do, but at what they ought to do; since in this infirmity of the flesh it is impossible that perfect love can obtain dominion, for we know how strongly all the senses of our soul are disposed to vanity. Lastly, we learn from this, that God does not rest satisfied with the outward appearance of works, but chiefly demands the inward feelings, that from a good root good fruits may grow.
39. And the second is like it. He assigns the second place to mutual kindness among men, for the worship of God is first in order. The commandment to love our neighbors, he tells us, is like the first, because it depends upon it. For, since every man is devoted to himself, there will never be true charity towards neighbors, unless where the love of God reigns; for it is a mercenary love  which the children of the world entertain for each other, because every one of them has regard to his own advantage. On the other hand, it is impossible for the love of God to reign without producing brotherly kindness among men.
Again, when Moses commanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, he did not intend to put the love of ourselves in the first place, so that a man may first love himself and then love his neighbors; as the sophists of the Sorbonne are wont to cavil, that a rule must always go before what it regulates. But as we are too much devoted to ourselves, Moses, in correcting this fault, places our neighbors in an equal rank with us; thus forbidding every man to pay so much attention to himself as to disregard others, because kindness unites all in one body. And by correcting the self-love (philautian) which separates some persons from others, he brings each of them into a common union, and--as it were--into a mutual embrace. Hence we conclude, that charity is justly pronounced by Paul to be
the bond of perfection, (Colossians 3:14,)
and, in another passage, the
fulfilling of the law, (Romans 13:10;)
for all the commandments of the second table must be referred to it.
Luke 10:28. Do this, and thou shalt live. I have explained a little before, how this promise agrees with freely bestowed justification by faith; for the reason why God justifies us freely is, not that the Law does not point out perfect righteousness, but because we fail in keeping it, and the reason why it is declared to be impossible for us to obtain life by it is, that
it is weak through our flesh, (Romans 8:3.)
So then these two statements are perfectly consistent with each other, that the Law teaches how men may obtain righteousness by works, and yet that no man is justified by works, because the fault lies not in the doctrine of the Law, but in men. It was the intention of Christ, in the meantime, to vindicate himself from the calumny which, he knew, was brought against him by the unlearned and ignorant, that he set aside the Law, so far as it is a perpetual rule of righteousness.
29. But he wishing to justify himself. This question might appear to be of no importance for justifying a man. But if we recollect what was formerly stated, that the hypocrisy of men is elderly detected by means of the second table--for, while they pretend to be eminent worshippers of God, they openly violate charity towards their neighbors--it will be easy to infer from this, that the Pharisee practiced this evasion, in order that, concealed under the false mask of holiness, he might not be brought forth to light. So then, aware that the test of charity would prove unfavorable to him, he seeks concealment under the word neighbor, that he may not be discovered to be a transgressor of the Law. But we have already seen, that on this subject the Law was corrupted by the scribes, because they reckoned none to be their neighbors but those who were worthy of it. Hence, too, this principle was received among them, that we have a right to hate our enemies, (Matthew 5:43.) For the only method to which hypocrites can resort for avoiding the condemnation of themselves, is to turn away as far as they are able, that their life may not be tried by the judgment of the Law.
30. And Jesus answering said. Christ might have stated simply, that the word neighbor extends indiscriminately to every man, because the whole human race is united by a sacred bond of fellowship. And, indeed, the Lord employed this word in the Law, for no other reason than to draw us sweetly to mutual kindness. The commandment would have run more clearly thus: Love every man as thyself. But as men are blinded by their pride, so that every man is satisfied with himself, scarcely deigns to admit others to an equal rank, and withholds from them the duties he owes them, the Lord purposely declares that all are neighbors that the very relationship may produce mutual love. To make any person our neighbor, therefore, it is enough that he be, a man; for it is not in our power to blot out our common nature.
But Christ intended to draw the reply from the Pharisee, that he might condemn himself. For in consequence of the authoritative decision being generally received among them, that no man is our neighbor unless he is our friend, if Christ had put a direct question to him, he would never have made an explicit acknowledgment, that under the word neighbor all men are included, which the comparison brought forward forces him to confess. The general truth conveyed is, that the greatest stranger is our neighbor, because God has bound all men together, for the purpose of assisting each other. He glances briefly, however, at the Jews, and especially at the priests; because, while they boasted of being the children of the same Father, and of being separated by the privilege of adoption from the rest of the nations, so as to be God's sacred heritage, yet, with barbarous and unfeeling contempt, they despised each other, as if no relationship had subsisted between them. For there is no doubt that Christ describes the cruel neglect of brotherly kindness, with which they knew that they were chargeable. But here, as I have said, the chief design is to show that the neighborhood, which lays us under obligation to mutual offices of kindness, is not confined to friends or relatives, but extends to the whole human race.
To prove this, Christ compares a Samaritan to a priest and a Levite. It is well known what deadly hatred the Jews bore to the Samaritans, so that, notwithstanding their living close beside them, they were always at the greatest variance. Christ now says, that a Jew, an inhabitant of Jericho, on his journey from Jerusalem, having been wounded by robbers, received no assistance either from a Levite or from a priest, both of whom met with him lying on the road, and half-dead, but that a Samaritan showed him great kindness, and then asks, Which of these three was neighbor to the Jew? This subtle doctor could not escape from preferring the Samaritan to the other two. For here, as in a mirror, we behold that common relationship of men, which the scribes endeavored to blot out by their wicked sophistry;  and the compassion, which an enemy showed to a Jew, demonstrates that the guidance and teaching of nature are sufficient to show that man was created for the sake of man. Hence it is inferred that there is a mutual obligation between all men.
The allegory which is here contrived by the advocates of free will is too absurd to deserve refutation. According to them, under the figure of a wounded man is described the condition of Adam after the fall; from which they infer that the power of acting well was not wholly extinguished in him; because he is said to be only half-dead. As if it had been the design of Christ, in this passage, to speak of the corruption of human nature, and to inquire whether the wound which Satan inflicted on Adam were deadly or curable; nay, as if he had not plainly, and without a figure, declared in another passage, that all are dead, but those whom he quickens by his voice, (John 5:25.) As little plausibility belongs to another allegory, which, however, has been so highly satisfactory, that it has been admitted by almost universal consent, as if it had been a revelation from heaven. This Samaritan they imagine to be Christ, because he is our guardian; and they tell us that wine was poured, along with oil, into the wound, because Christ cures us by repentance and by a promise of grace. They have contrived a third subtlety, that Christ does not immediately restore health, but sends us to the Church, as an innkeeper, to be gradually cured. I acknowledge that I have no liking for any of these interpretations; but we ought to have a deeper reverence for Scripture than to reckon ourselves at liberty to disguise its natural meaning. And, indeed, any one may see that the curiosity of certain men has led them to contrive these speculations, contrary to the intention of Christ.
Matthew 22:40. On these two commandments. I now return to Matthew, where Christ says that all the Law and the prophets depend on these two commandments; not that he intends to limit to them  all the doctrine of Scripture, but because all that is anywhere taught as to the manner of living a holy and righteous life must be referred to these two leading points. For Christ does not treat generally of what the Law and the Prophets contain, but, in drawing up his reply, states that nothing else is required in the Law and the prophets than that every man should love God and his neighbors; as if he had said, that the sum of a holy and upright life consists in the worship of God and in charity to men, as Paul states that charity is
the fulfilling of the law, (Romans 13:10.)
And therefore some ill-informed persons are mistaken in interpreting this saying of Christ, as if we ought to seek nothing higher in the Law and the Prophets. For as a distinction ought to be made between the promises and the commandments, so in this passage Christ does not state generally what we ought to learn from the word of God, but explains, in a manner suited to the occasion, the end to which all the commandments are directed. Yet the free forgiveness of sins, by which we are reconciled to God, -- confidence in calling on God, which is the earnest of the future inheritance, -- and all the other parts of faith, though they hold the first rank in the Law, do not depend on these two commandments; for it is one thing to demand what we owe, and another thing to offer what we do not possess. The same thing is expressed in other words by Mark, that there is no other commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:32. Master, thou hast spoken well, and with truth. Mark alone mentions that the scribe was softened down; and it is worthy of notice that, though he had attacked Christ maliciously, and with the intention of taking him by surprise, not only does he silently yield to the latter, but openly and candidly assents to what Christ had said. Thus we see that he did not belong to the class of those enemies whose obstinacy is incurable; for, though they have been a hundred times convinced, yet they do not cease to oppose the truth in some manner. From this reply it may also be concluded, that Christ did not precisely include under these two words the rule of life, but embraced the opportunity which presented itself for reproving the false and hypocritical holiness of the scribes, who, giving their whole attention to outward ceremonies, almost entirely disregarded the spiritual worship of God, and cared little about brotherly kindness. Now though the scribe was infected by such corruptions, yet, as sometimes happens, he had obtained from the Law the seed of right knowledge, which lay choked in his heart, and on that account he easily allows himself to be withdrawn from the wicked custom.
33. Is better than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices. But it appears to be incongruous that sacrifices, which are a part of divine worship, and belong to the first table of the Law, should be reckoned of less importance than charity towards men. The reply is, Though the worship of God is greatly preferable, and is more valuable than all the duties of a holy life, yet its outward exercises ought not to be estimated so highly as to swallow up brotherly kindness. For we know that brotherly kindness, in itself and simply, is pleasing to God, though sacrifices are not regarded by him with delight or approbation, except with a view to another object. Besides, it is naked and empty sacrifices that are here spoken of; for our Lord contrasts a hypocritical appearance of piety with true and sincere uprightness. The same doctrine is to be found very frequently in the prophets, that hypocrites may know that sacrifices are of no value, unless spiritual truth be joined to them, and that God is not appeased by offerings of beasts, where brotherly kindness is neglected.
34. But when Jesus saw. Whether this scribe made any farther progress is uncertain; but as he had shown himself to be teachable, Christ stretches out the hand to him, and teaches us, by his example, that we ought to assist those in whom there is any beginning either of docility or of right understanding. There appear to have been two reasons why Christ declared that this scribe was not far from the kingdom of God. It was because he was easily persuaded to do his duty, and because he skillfully distinguished the outward worship of God from necessary duties. Nor was it so much with the design of praising as of exhorting him, that Christ declared that he was near the kingdom of God; and in his person Christ encourages us all, after having once entered into the right path, to proceed with so much the greater cheerfulness. By these words we are also taught that many, while they are still held and involved in error, advance with closed eyes towards the road, and in this manner are prepared for running in the course of the Lord, when the time arrives.
And after that, no man ventured to put a question to him. The assertion of the Evangelists, that the mouth of adversaries was stopped, so they did not venture any more to lay snares for Christ, must not be so understood as if' they desisted from their wicked obstinacy; for they groaned within, like wild beasts shut up in their dens, or, like unruly horses, they bit the bridle. But the more hardened their obstinacy, and the more incorrigible their rebellion, so much the more illustrious was Christ's triumph over both. And this victory, which he obtained, ought greatly to encourage us never to become dispirited in the defense of the truth, being assured of success. It will often happen, indeed, that enemies shall molest and insult us till the end, but God will at length secure that their fury shall recoil on their own heads, and that, in spite of their efforts, truth shall be victorious.
 "Un docteur de la loy;" -- "a doctor of the law."
 "S'il s'en trouvoit quelqu'un qui observast entierement ce qu'elle commande;" -- "if any one were found who observed entirely what it commands."
 "Un abbreg? ou sommaire de la Loy;" -- "an abridgment or summary of the Law."
 "Moyse a fort bien et sagement comprins le tout en ce sommaire;" -- "Moses has very properly and wisely comprehended the whole in this summary."
 "L'entendement;" -- "the understanding."
 "Car l'amour qu'ont les enfans de ce monde les uns envers les autres n'est point une vray amour, mais est une amour mercenaire;" -- "for the love which the children of the world have for each other is not a true love, but is mercenary love."
 "Par ur fausse glose et cavillation meschante;" -- "by their false gloss and wicked sophistry."
 "Restraindre ? ce sommaire;" -- "to limit to this summary."
He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
38. And it happened, while they were traveling, that he entered into a certain village; and a certain woman, called Martha, received him into her house. 39. And she had a sister called Mary, who also, sitting at the feet of Jesus, heard his word. 40. And Martha was cumbered about much serving; who stood, and said, Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore assist me. 41. And Jesus answering said to her, Martha, Martha, thou art anxious and distressed about many things. 42 But one thing is necessary: Mary hath chosen the good part, which shall not be taken from her.
38. And it happened that he entered into a certain village. This narrative shows, that Christ, wherever he came, did not devote himself to his private concerns, or consult his own ease or comfort; but that the single object which he kept in view was, to do good to others, and to discharge the office which had been committed to him by the Father. Luke relates that, having been hospitably received by Martha, as soon as he entered the house, he began to teach and exhort. As this passage has been basely distorted into the commendation of what is called a Contemplative life, we must inquire into its true meaning, from which it will appear, that nothing was farther from the design of Christ, than to encourage his disciples to indulge in indolence, or in useless speculations. It is, no doubt, an old error  , that those who withdraw from business, and devote themselves entirely to a contemplative, lead an Angelical life. For the absurdities which the Sorbonnists  utter on this subject they appear to have been indebted to Aristotle, who places the highest good, and ultimate end, of human life in contemplation, which, according to him, is the enjoyment of virtue. When some men were driven by ambition to withdraw from the ordinary intercourse of life, or when peevish men gave themselves up to solitude and indolence, the resolution to adopt that course was followed by such pride, that they imagined themselves to be like the angels, because they did nothing; for they entertained as great a contempt for active life, as if it had kept them back from heaven. On the contrary, we know that men were created for the express purpose of being employed in labor of various kinds, and that no sacrifice is more pleasing to God, than when every man applies diligently to his own calling, and endeavors to live in such a manner as to contribute to the general advantage. 
How absurdly they have perverted the words of Christ to support their own contrivance, will appear manifest when we have ascertained the natural meaning. Luke says that Mary sat at the feet of Jesus Does he mean that she did nothing else throughout her whole life? On the contrary, the Lord enjoins his followers to make such a distribution of their time, that he who desires to make proficiency in the school of Christ shall not always be an idle hearer but shall put in practice what he has learned; for there is a time to hear, and a time to act.  It is, therefore, a foolish attempt of the monks to take hold of this passage, as if Christ were drawing a comparison between a contemplative and an active life, while Christ simply informs us for what end, and in what manner, he wishes to be received.
Though the hospitality of Martha deserved commendation, and is commended, yet there were two faults in it which are pointed out by Christ. The first is, that Martha carried her activity beyond proper bounds; for Christ would rather have chosen to be entertained in a frugal manner, and at moderate expense, than that the holy woman should have submitted to so much toil. The second fault was, that Martha, by distracting her attention, and undertaking more labor than was necessary, deprived herself of the advantage of Christ's visit. The excess is pointed out by Luke, when he speaks of much serving; for Christ was satisfied with little. It was just as if one were to give a magnificent reception to a prophet, and yet not to care about hearing him, but, on the contrary, to make so great and unnecessary preparations as to bury all the instruction. But the true way of receiving prophets is, to accept the advantage which God presents and offers to us through their agency.
We now see that the kind attention of Martha, though it deserved praise, was not without its blemishes. There was this additional evil, that Martha was so delighted with her own bustling operations, as to despise her sister's pious eagerness to receive instruction.  This example warns us, that, in doing what is right, we must take care not to think more highly of ourselves than of others.
42. But one thing is necessary. Some give a very meager interpretation of these words, as if they meant that one sort of dish is enough.  Others make ingenious inquiries, but beside the purpose, about Unity.  But Christ had quite another design, which was, that whatever believers may undertake to do, and in whatever employments they may engage, there is one object to which every thing ought to be referred. In a word, we do but wander to no purpose, if we do not direct all our actions to a fixed object. The hospitality of Martha was faulty in this respect, that she neglected the main business, and devoted herself entirely to household affairs. And yet Christ does not mean that every thing else, with the exception of this one thing, is of no importance, but that we must pay a proper attention to order, lest what is accessory--as the phrase is--become our chief concern.
Mary hath chosen the good part. There is no comparison here, as unskillful and mistaken interpreters dream. Christ only declares, that Mary is engaged in a holy and profitable employment, in which she ought not to be disturbed. "You would have a good right," he says, "to blame your sister, if she indulged in ease, or gave herself up to trifling occupations, or aimed at something unsuitable to her station, and left to you the whole charge of the household affairs. But now, when she is properly and usefully employed in hearing, it would be an act of injustice to withdraw her from it; for an opportunity so favorable is not always in her power." There are some, indeed, who give a different interpretation to the latter clause, which shall not be taken away from her, as if Christ intended to say, that Mary hath chosen the good part, because the fruit of heavenly doctrine can never perish. For my own part, I have no objection to that opinion, but have followed the view which appeared to me to be more in accordance with Christ's design. 
 "Il est vray que ceste erreur n'est pas d'auiourd'huy, mais est bien ancien;" -- "it is true that this error is not of today, but is very old."
 "Some readers may happen to ask, Who were the Sorbonnists, or, as they are often called, the Doctors of the Sorbonne? In reply, I take the liberty of extracting from a volume, which I gave to the world a few years ago, a few remarks on this subject." -- "The College of the Sorbonne, in Paris, takes its name from Robert de Sorbonne, who founded it in the middle of the thirteenth century. Its reputation for theological learning, philosophy, classical literature, and all that formerly constituted a liberal education, was deservedly high. In the Doctors of the Sorbonne the Reformation found powerful adversaries. The very name of this University, to which the greatest scholars in Europe were accustomed to pay deference, would be regarded by the multitude with blind veneration. If such men as Calvin, Beza, Melancthon, and Luther, were prepared by talents and acquirements of the first order to brave the terrors of that name, they must have frequently lamented its influence on many of their hearers. Yet our author meets undaunted this formidable array, and enters the field with the full assurance of victory. Despising, as we naturally do, the weak superstitions and absurd tenets held by the Church of Rome, we are apt to underrate our obligations to the early champions of the Reformed faith, who encountered with success those veteran warriors, and contended earnestly (Jude, verse 3) for the faith which was once delivered to the saints."--(Biblical Cabinet, volume 30, p. 140.)--Ed.
 "Met peine de vivre en sorte qu' il apporte quelque profit a la societe commune des hommes;" -- "endeavors to live so as to yield some advantage to the general society of men."
 "Car il y a temps d'ouir, et temps de faire, et de mettre la main a la besongne;" -- "for there is a time to hear, and a time to act, and to put the hand to the work."
 "En la conduite du banquet, et bruit de mesnage;" -- "in the preparation of the entertainment, and the noise of household affairs."
 "Comme si Christ entendoit qu'il y a assez d'un mets, ou d'une sorte de viande;" -- "as if Christ meant that one dish, or one sort of food, is enough."
 "De Monade." -- "Les autres plus subtilement, mais mal a propos, traittans ici de l'unite: comme si par ce mot de Un, Iesus Christ eust voulu exlurre tout nombre;" -- "others more ingeniously, but inappropriately, treaying here of unity: as if, by the word One, Jesus Christ intended to exclude all diversity of employment."
 Calvin appears to interpret the words, which shall not be taken from her, not as a doctrinal statement, but as a command, or, at least, as marking out the line of conduct which ought to be pursued by Martha and others towards Mary. The good part, or, as he explains it, "the holy and profitable employment," shall not be take, from her. "She ought not to be disturbed," and "it would be an act of injustice to withdraw her from it." -- Ed.
And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.