Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
5. And when Jesus had entered into Capernaum, a centurion came to him, beseeching him, 6. And saying, Lord, my servant is lying at home afflicted with palsy, and is grievously tormented. 7. And Jesus saith to him, When I shall come, I will heal him. 8. And the centurion answering him said, Lord, I do not deserve that thou shouldst come under my roof: but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9. For I am a man subject to the power of another, and I have soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth: and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 10. And when Jesus had heard these things, he wondered, and said to those who followed, Verily I say to you, not even in Israel have I found so great faith. 11. And I say to you, That many will come from the east and west, and will sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: 12. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast into the darkness that is without: weeping and gnashing of teeth will be there. 13. And Jesus said to the centurion, Go, and as thou believest, so may it be done to thee: and his servant was healed in that hour. 
1. Now, when he had finished all his words in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 2. And a servant of a certain centurion, who was very dear to him, was ill and near death. 3. And when he had heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, to entreat him, that he would come and heal his servant. 4. And when they had come to him, they entreated him earnestly, saying, He deserves that though shouldest do this for him: 5. For he loveth our nation, and himself hath built a synagogue. 6. And Jesus went with them. And when he was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, and they said to him, Lord, do not trouble thyself: for I do not deserve that thou shouldest enter under my roof. 7. And for this reason I did not reckon myself worthy to come to thee: but say in a word, and my servant will be healed. 8. For I am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9. And having heard these things, Jesus wondered at him, and he turned and said to the crowd that followed him, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found so great faith. 10. And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant, who had been sick, in good health.
Matthew 8:5. And when Jesus had entered Those who think that Matthew and Luke give different narratives, are led into a mistake by a mere trifle. The only difference in the words is, that Matthew says that the centurion came to him, while Luke says that he sent some of the Jews to plead in his name. But there is no impropriety in Matthew saying, that the centurion did what was done in his name and at his request. There is such a perfect agreement between the two Evangelists in all the circumstances, that it is absurd to make two miracles instead of one.
The band of soldiers, which the centurion had under his command, was stationed, I have no doubt, in the town of Capernaum, in the same manner as garrisons were usually appointed for the protection of the towns. Though he perceived the morals of the people to be very vicious and depraved, (for we know that Capernaum, being on the seacoast, must have been more dissolute  than other towns,) yet this did not prevent him from condemning the superstitions of his country, and acquiring a taste for true and sincere piety. He had not built a synagogue for the Jews without exposing himself to some hatred and to some risk: and the only reason why he loved that nation was, that he had embraced the worship of one God. Before Christ healed his servant, he had been healed by the Lord.
This was itself a miracle. One who belonged to the military profession, and who had crossed the sea with a band of soldiers, for the purpose of accustoming the Jews to endure the yoke of Roman tyranny, submits willingly, and yields obedience to the God of Israel. Luke says that this servant was very dear to him; and thus anticipates a doubt which might have arisen in the mind of the reader: for we know that slaves  were not held in such estimation, as to make their masters so solicitous about their life, unless by extraordinary industry, or fidelity, or some other virtue, they had secured their favor. By this statement Luke means, that this was not a low or ordinary slave, but a faithful servant, distinguished by many excellencies, and very highly esteemed by his master; and that this was the reason why he was so anxious about his life, and recommended him so earnestly. From both Evangelists it is evident that it was a sudden palsy, which, from the first attack, took away all hope of life: for slow palsies are not attended by severe pain. Matthew says, that he was grievously tormented, and Luke, that he was near death Both descriptions -- pain or agony, and extreme danger -- serve to enhance the glory of the miracle: and for this reason I am the more unwilling to hazard any absolute assertion as to the nature of the disease.
Luke 7:5. For he loveth our nation This was, no doubt, a commendation given him by the Jews on account of his piety:  for his love of a nation universally hated could proceed only from zeal for the Law, and from reverence for God. By building a synagogue, he showed plainly that he favored the doctrine of the Law. The Jews had therefore good grounds for saying that, as a devout worshipper of God, he had claims on Christ for receiving such a favor. They discover, at the same time, a marvellous stupidity in admitting, by their own acknowledgment, that a Gentile possesses that grace of God which they despise and reject. If they consider Christ to be the minister and dispenser of the gifts of God, why do they not receive the grace offered to them before bringing foreigners to enjoy it? But hypocrites never fail to manifest such carelessness and presumption, as not to hesitate to look upon God as under some sort of obligations to them, and to dispose of his grace at their pleasure, as if it were in their own power; and then, when they are satisfied with it, or rather because they do not deign to taste it, they treat it as useless, and leave it to others.
Matthew 8:8. Lord, I do not deserve that thou shouldest come under my roof Matthew's narrative is more concise, and represents the man as saying this; while Luke explains more fully, that this was a message sent by his friends: but the meaning of both is the same. There are two leading points in this discourse. The centurion, sparing Christ by way of honoring him, requests that Christ will not trouble himself, because he reckons himself unworthy to receive a visit from him. The next point is, that he ascribes to Christ such power as to believe, that by the mere expression of his will, and by a word, his servant may recover and live. There was astonishing humility in exalting so highly above himself a man who belonged to a conquered and enslaved nation. It is possible, too, that he had become accustomed to the haughty pretensions of the Jews, and, being a modest man, did not take it ill to be reckoned a heathen, and therefore feared that he would dishonor a Prophet of God, if he pressed him to enter the house of a polluted Gentile. However that may be, it is certain that he speaks sincerely, and entertains such reverence for Christ, that he does not venture to invite him to his house, nay, as is afterwards stated by Luke, he reckoned himself unworthy to converse with him. 
But it may be asked, what moved him to speak of Christ in such lofty terms? The difficulty is even increased by what immediately follows, only say the word, and my servant will be healed, or, as Luke has it, say in a word: for if he had not acknowledged Christ to be the Son of God, to transfer the glory of God to a man would have been superstition. It is difficult to believe, on the other hand, that he was properly informed about Christ's divinity, of which almost all were at that time ignorant. Yet Christ finds no fault with his words,  but declares that they proceeded from faith: and this reason has forced many expositors to conclude, that the centurion bestows on Christ the title of the true and only God. I rather think that the good man, having been informed about the uncommon and truly divine works of Christ, simply acknowledged in him the power of God. Something, too, he had undoubtedly heard about the promised Redeemer. Though he does not distinctly understand that Christ is God manifested in the flesh, (1 Timothy 3:16,) yet he is convinced that the power of God is manifested in him, and that he has received a commission to display the presence of God by miracles. He is not therefore chargeable with superstition, as if he had ascribed to a man what is the prerogative of God: but, looking at the commission which God had given to Christ, he believes that by a word alone he can heal his servant.
Is it objected, that nothing belongs more peculiarly to God than to accomplish by a word whatever he pleases, and that this supreme authority cannot without sacrilege be yielded to a mortal man? The reply is again easy. Though the centurion did not enter into those nice distinctions, he ascribed this power to the word, not of a mortal man, but of God, whose minister he fully believed Christ to be: on that point he entertained no doubt. The grace of healing having been committed to Christ,  he acknowledges that this is a heavenly power, and does not look upon it as inseparable from the bodily presence, but is satisfied with the word, from which he believes such a power to proceed.
Matthew 8:9. For I am a man subject to the power of another This comparison does not imply equality between the two cases, but is taken from the less to the greater. He forms a higher conception of the divine power, which is manifested in Christ, than of the authority which was possessed by himself over servants and soldiers.
10. Jesus wondered. Wonder cannot apply to God, for it arises out of what is new and unexpected: but it might exist in Christ, for he had clothed himself with our flesh, and with human affections. Not even in Israel have I found so great faith This is not spoken absolutely, but in a particular point of view. For, if we consider all the properties of faith, we must conclude that the faith of Mary was greater, in believing that she would be with child by the Holy Ghost, and would bring forth the only-begotten Son of God, and in acknowledging the son whom she had borne to be her God, and the Creator of the whole world, and her only Redeemer.
But there were chiefly two reasons why Christ preferred the faith of a Gentile to the faith of all the Jews. One was, that a slight and inconsiderable acquaintance with doctrine yielded so sudden and abundant fruit. It was no small matter to declare, in such lofty terms, the power of God, of which a few rays only were yet visible in Christ. Another reason was, that while the Jews were excessively eager to obtain outward signs, this Gentile asks no visible sign, but openly declares that he wants nothing more than the bare word. Christ was going to him: not that it was necessary, but to try his faith; and he applauds his faith chiefly on the ground of his resting satisfied with the bare word. What would another have done, and he too one of the Apostles? Come, Lord, see and touch. This man asks no bodily approach or touch, but believes the word to possess such efficacy as fully to expect from it that his servant will be cured.
Now, he ascribes this honor to the word, not of a man, but of God: for he is convinced that Christ is not an ordinary man, but a prophet sent by God. And hence may be drawn a general rule. Though it was the will of God that our salvation should be accomplished in the flesh of Christ, and though he seals it daily by the sacraments, yet the certainty of it must be obtained from the word. Unless we yield such authority to the word, as to believe that, as soon as God has spoken by his ministers, our sins are undoubtedly forgiven, and we are restored to life, all confidence of salvation is overthrown.
11. Many will come from the east and west In the person of the servant, Christ gave to the Gentiles a taste and a kind of first-fruits of his grace. He now shows, that the master is an example of the future calling of the Gentiles, and of the spread of faith throughout the whole world: for he says that they will come, not only from the neighboring countries, but from the farthest bounds of the world. Though this had been clearly foretold by many passages of the prophets, it appeared at first strange and incredible to the Jews, who imagined that God was confined to the family of Abraham. It was not without astonishment that they heard, that those who were at that time strangers, would be citizens and heirs of the kingdom of God: and not only so, but that the covenant of salvation would be immediately proclaimed, that the whole world might be united in one body of the Church. He declares, that the Gentiles, who shall come to the faith, will be partakers of the same salvation with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Hence we draw the certain conclusion, that the same promise, which has been held out to us in Christ, was formerly given to the fathers; for we would not have had an inheritance in common with them, if the faith, by which it is obtained, had not been the same. The word anaklithesontai, shall recline, contains an allusion to a banquet: but as we know, that the heavenly life does not require meat and drink, this phrase has the same meaning as if he had said, they shall enjoy the same life
12. But the children of the kingdom Why does he call those persons children of the kingdom, who were nothing less than children of Abraham? for those who are aliens from the faith have no right to be considered a part of God's flock. I:answer: Though they did not actually belong to the Church of God, yet, as they occupied a place in the Church, he allows them this designation. Besides, it ought to be observed that, so long as the covenant of God remained in the family of Abraham, there was such force in it, that the inheritance of the heavenly kingdom belonged peculiarly to them. With respect to God himself, at least, they were holy branches from a holy root, (Romans 11:16) and the rejection of them, which afterwards followed, shows plainly enough, that they belonged, at that time, to the family of God. Secondly, it ought to be observed, that Christ does not now speak of individuals, but of the whole nation. This was still harder to endure than the calling of the Gentiles. That the Gentiles should be admitted, by a free adoption, into the same body with the posterity of Abraham, could scarcely be endured: but that the Jews themselves should be driven out, to make way for their being succeeded by the Gentiles, appeared to them altogether monstrous. Yet Christ declares that both will happen: that God will admit strangers into the bosom of Abraham, and that he will exclude the children There is an implied contrast in the phrase, the darkness that is without It means that out of the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of light, nothing but darkness reigns. By darkness Scripture points out that dreadful anguish, which can neither be expressed nor conceived in this life. 
13. Go away, and as thou believest, so may it be to thee Hence it is evident how graciously Christ pours out his grace, when he finds the vessel of faith open. Though he addresses these words to the centurion, there can be no doubt that, in his person, he invites us all to strong hope. Hence we are also taught the reason why God is, for the most part, so limited in his communications to us: it is because our unbelief does not permit him to be liberal. If we open up the entrance to him by faith, he will listen to our wishes and prayers.
 "Et en ce mesme instant son garcon fut gairi;" -- "and at that very instant his servant was healed."
 "Plus pleines de dissolutions et de desbauches;" -- "more full of dissoluteness and debauchery."
 "Qu'on ne tenoit pas si grande conte de serfs;" -- "that they did not set so great value on slaves."
 "Il n' y a point de doute que les Juifs recommandent cest homme pour l'affection et le bon zele qu'il avoit a la crainte de Dieu." -- "There is no doubt that the Jews recommend this man for the affection and the good zeal which he had for the fear of God."
 "Il ne s'est pas estime digne d'aller parler a Christ;" -- "he did not think himself worthy to go and talk to Christ."
 "Toutefois Christ ne prend pas ces paroles comme dites de l'aventure et sans intelligence." -- "Yet Christ does not take these words as spoken at random and without understanding."
 "Pource que Christ avoit receu la vertu de donner gairison;"-- "because Christ had received the power of giving healing."
 "Laquelle la bouche de l'homme ne sauroit exprimer, ni ses sens comprendre en ce monde;" -- "which the mouth of man cannot express, nor his senses comprehend, in this world."
And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof:
Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
11. And it happened, when he departed, that he went into a city, which was called Nain, and many of his disciples, and a great multitude, went along with him. 12. And as he was approaching to the gate of the city, there was carried out a dead man, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and a great multitude from the city was with her. 13. And when the Lord saw her, he was moved with compassion towards her, and said to her, Weep not. 14. And approaching he touched the coffin, (and they who were carrying it stood still,) and said, Young man, I say to thee, Arise. 15. And he who was dead sat up, and began to speak, and he gave him to his mother. 16. And fear seized all, and they glorified God, saying, A great Prophet hath risen up among us, and God hath visited his people. 17. And this report concerning him was spread throughout all Judea, and all the neighboring country.
Luke 7:11. And it happened, that he went into a city. In all the miracles of Christ, we must attend to the rule which Matthew lays down. We ought to know, therefore, that this young man, whom Christ raised from the dead, is an emblem of the spiritual life which he restores to us. The name of the city contributes to the certainty of the history. The same purpose is served by what Luke says, that a great multitude from every direction followed him: for Christ had many attendants along with him, and many persons accompanied the woman, as a mark of respect, to the interment of her son. The resurrection of the young man was beheld by so many witnesses, that no doubt could be entertained as to its truth. There was the additional circumstance of its being a crowded place: for we know that public assemblies were held at the gates. That the dead man was carried out of the city was in accordance with a very ancient custom among all nations. Jerome says that, in his time, the city of Nain was still in existence, two miles below Mount Tabor, in a southerly direction.
12. The only son of his mother. The reason which induced Christ to restore the young man to life was, that he saw the widow bereft of her only son, and had compassion on her: for he did not withhold his favor till some one requested it, as he did on other occasions; but anticipated the prayers of all, and restored the son to his mother, by whom nothing of this sort was expected. We have here a striking emblem of his freely bestowed compassion in raising us from death to life. By touching the coffin he intended perhaps to show, that he would by no means shrink from death and the grave, in order to obtain life for us. He not only deigns to touch us with his hand, in order to quicken us when we are dead, but, in order that he might raise us to heaven, himself descends into the grave.
14. Young man, I say to thee. By this word Christ proved the truth of the saying of Paul, that God calleth those things which are not, as they were, (Romans 4:17.) He addresses the dead man, and makes himself be heard, so that death is suddenly changed into life. We have here, in the first place, a striking emblem of the future resurrection, as Ezekiel is commanded to say, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord, [37:4.] Secondly, we are taught in what manner Christ quickens us spiritually by faith. It is when he infuses into his word a secret power, so that it enters into dead souls, as he himself declares,
The hour cometh, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear shall live, (John 5:25.)
16. And fear seized all A sense of the divine presence must have brought fear along with it: but there is a difference between the kinds of fear Unbelievers either tremble and are dismayed; or, struck with alarm, murmur against God: while devout and godly persons, moved by reverence, willingly humble themselves. Fear, therefore, is here taken in a good sense, because they gave the honor which was due to the power of God which they had beheld, and rendered to God not only homage, but thanksgiving.
God hath visited his people I understand this to refer not to every kind of visitation, but to that which would restore them to their original condition. Not only were the affairs of Judea in a depressed state, but they had sunk under a wretched and frightful slavery, as if God were not looking at them. The only remaining hope was, that God had promised to be their Redeemer, after they had endured very heavy calamities. I have no doubt, therefore, that they were excited by the miracle to expect an approaching restoration to prosperity: only they fall into a mistake as to the nature of the visitation Though they acknowledge and celebrate the unwonted grace of God in this respect, that a great Prophet hath risen up among us, yet this eulogium comes very far short of the dignity and glory of the promised Messiah. Hence it appears that the faith of that people was, at this time, exceedingly confused, and involved in many unfounded imaginations.
Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.
And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
1. And it happened that when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples,  he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities. 2. Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3. And said to him, Art thou he who was to come, or do we look for another? 4. And Jesus answering said to them, Go and relate to John those things which you hear and see. 5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor receive the message of the Gospel.  6. And blessed is he who shall not be offended at me.
18. And the disciples of John informed him of all these things; 19. And John called to him two of his disciples and sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he who was to come, or do we look for another? (Shortly afterwards.) 21. And in the same hour he cured many of diseases and plagues, and evil spirits, and to many who were blind he gave sight. 22. And he answering said to them, Go and relate to John those things which you have heard and seen, that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the Gospel is preached. 23. And blessed is he who shall not be offended at me. 
Matthew 11:1. And it happened that when Jesus had made an end In this passage Matthew means nothing more than that Christ did not desist from the exercise of his office, while the Apostles were laboring in another direction. As soon, therefore, as he sent them away, with the necessary instructions, to perambulate Judea, he performed the duties of a teacher in Galilee. The word commanding, which Matthew employs, is emphatic; for he means that they did not receive a commission to do what they pleased, but were restricted and enjoined as to the statements which they should make, and the manner in which they should conduct themselves.
2. Now when John had heard. The Evangelists do not mean that John was excited by the miracles to acknowledge Christ at that time as Mediator; but, perceiving that Christ had acquired great reputation, and concluding that this was a fit and seasonable time for putting to the test his own declaration concerning him, he sent to him his disciples. The opinion entertained by some, that he sent them partly on his own account, is exceedingly foolish; as if he had not been fully convinced, or obtained distinct information, that Jesus is the Christ. Equally absurd is the speculation of those who imagine that the Baptist was near death, and therefore inquired what message he should carry, from Christ's mouth as it were, to the deceased fathers. It is very evident that the holy herald of Christ, perceiving that he was not far from the end of his journey, and that his disciples, though he had bestowed great pains in instructing them, still remained in a state of hesitation, resorted to this last expedient for curing their weakness. He had faithfully labored, as I have said, that his disciples should embrace Christ without delay. His continued entreaties had produced so little effect, that he had good reason for dreading that, after his death, they would entirely fall away; and therefore he earnestly attempted to arouse them from their sloth by sending them to Christ. Besides, the pastors of the Church are here reminded of their duty. They ought not to endeavor to bind and attach disciples to themselves, but to direct them to Christ, who is the only Teacher. From the beginning, John had openly avowed that he was not the bridegroom, (John 3:29.) As the faithful friend of the bridegroom he presents the bride chaste and uncontaminated to Christ, who alone is the bridegroom of the Church. Paul tells us that he kept the same object in view, (2 Corinthians 11:2,) and the example of both is held out for imitation to all the ministers of the Gospel.
3. Art thou he who was to come? John takes for granted what the disciples had known from their childhood; for it was the first lesson of religion, and common among all the Jews, that Christ was to come, bringing salvation and perfect happiness. On this point, accordingly, he does not raise a doubt, but only inquires if Jesus be that promised Redeemer; for, having been persuaded of the redemption promised in the Law and the Prophets, they were bound to receive it when exhibited in the person of Christ. He adds, Do we look for another? By this expression, he indirectly glances at their sloth, which allowed them, after having been distinctly informed, to remain so long in doubt and hesitation. At the same time, he shows what is the nature and power of faith. Resting on the truth of God, it does not gaze on all sides, does not vary, but is satisfied with Christ alone, and will not be turned to another.
4. Go and relate to John As John had assumed for the time a new character, so Christ enjoins them to carry to him that message, which more properly ought to have been addressed to his disciples. He gives an indirect reply, and for two reasons: first, because it was better that the thing should speak for itself; and, secondly, because he thus afforded to his herald a larger subject of instruction. Nor does he merely supply him with bare and rough materials in the miracles, but adapts the miracles to his purpose by quotations from the Prophets. He notices more particularly one passage from the 35th, and another from the 61st, chapter of Isaiah, for the purpose of informing John's disciples, that what the Prophets declared respecting the reign of Christ was accomplished and fulfilled. The former passage contains a description of Christ's reign, under which God promises that he will be so kind and gracious as to grant relief and assistance for every kind of disease. He speaks, no doubt, of spiritual deliverance from all diseases and remedies; but under outward symbols, as has been already mentioned, Christ shows that he came as a spiritual physician to cure souls. The disciples would consequently go away without any hesitation, having obtained a reply which was clear and free from all ambiguity.
The latter passage resembles the former in this respect. It shows that the treasures of the grace of God would be exhibited to the world in Christ, and declares that Christ is expressly set apart for the poor and afflicted. This passage is purposely quoted by Christ, partly to teach all his followers the first lesson of humility, and partly to remove the offense which the flesh and sense might be apt to raise against his despicable flock. We are by nature proud, and scarcely anything is much valued by us, if it is not attended by a great degree of outward show. But the Church of Christ is composed of poor men, and nothing could be farther removed from dazzling or imposing ornament. Hence many are led to despise the Gospel, because it is not embraced by many persons of eminent station and exalted rank. How perverse and unjust that opinion is, Christ shows from the very nature of the Gospel, since it was designed only for the poor and despised. Hence it follows, that it is no new occurrence, or one that ought to disturb our minds, if the Gospel is despised by all the great, who, puffed up with their wealth, have no room to spare for the grace of God. Nay, if it is rejected by the greater part of men, there is no reason to wonder; for there is scarcely one person in a hundred who does not swell with wicked confidence. As Christ here guards his Gospel against contempt, he likewise reminds us who they are that are qualified to appreciate the grace of salvation which it offers to them; and in this manner, kindly inviting wretched sinners to the hope of salvation, raises them to full confidence.
5. The poor receive the message of the Gospel By the poor are undoubtedly meant those whose condition is wretched and despicable, and who are held in no estimation. However mean any person may be, his poverty is so far from being a ground of despair, that it ought rather to animate him with courage to seek Christ. But let us remember that none are accounted poor but those who are really such, or, in other words, who lie low and overwhelmed by a conviction of their poverty.
6. And blessed is he who shall not be offended in me. By this concluding statement Christ intended to remind them, that he who would adhere firmly and steadfastly to the faith of the Gospel must encounter offenses, which will tend to interrupt the progress of faith. This is said by way of anticipation, to fortify us against offenses; for we shall never want reasons for rejecting it, until our minds are raised above every offense. The first lesson, therefore, to be learned is, that we must contend with offenses, if we would continue in the faith of Christ; for Christ himself is justly denominated a
rock of offense and stone of stumbling, by which many fall, (1 Peter 2:8.)
This happens, no doubt, through our own fault, but that very fault is remedied, when he pronounces those to be blessed who shall not be offended in him; from which too we infer, that unbelievers have no excuse, though they plead the existence of innumerable offenses. For what hinders them from coming to Christ? Or what drives them to revolt from Christ? It is because he appears with his cross, disfigured and despised, and exposed to the reproaches of the world; because he calls us to share in his afflictions; because his glory and majesty, being spiritual, are despised by the world; and in a word, because his doctrine is totally at variance with our senses. Again, it is because, through the stratagems of Satan, many disturbances arise, with the view of slandering and rendering hateful the name of Christ and the Gospel; and because every one, as if on purpose, rears up a mass of offenses, being instigated by not less malignity than zeal to withdraw from Christ. 
 "Quand Iesus eut acheve de donner mandemens a ses douze disciples;" -- "when Jesus had finished giving injunctions to his twelve disciples."
 "Et l'Evangile est annonce aux poures;" -- "and the Gospel is preached to the poor."
 "Qui ne sera point scandalize, ou offense, en moy;" -- "who shall not be scandalized, or offended, at me."
 "Pource que tous non seulement sont bien aises de se retirer de Christ, mais aussi tachent malicieusement d'entrouver les moyens;" -- "because not only are all strongly disposed to withdraw from Christ, but they even endeavor maliciously to discover the means of doing so."
And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?
And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.
Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
7. And as they were departing, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness to see? A reed, which is shaken by the wind? 8. But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment?  Lo, they who wear soft clothing are in the houses of kings. 9. But what went you out to see? A Prophet? Yea, I say to you, and higher than a Prophet. 10. For this is he of whom it is written, Lo, I send my messenger before thy face, who will prepare the way before thee. 11. Verily, I say to you, Among those who are born of women, there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than Hebrews 12. And from the days of John the Baptist to this day, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13. For all the Prophets and the Law itself prophesied until John 14. And if you are willing to receive it,  he is Elijah, who was to come. 15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
24. And when the messengers of John had departed, he began to say to the multitude concerning John, What went you out into the wilderness to see? A reed, which is shaken by the wind? 25. But what went you out to see? A man clothed with soft garments?  Lo, they that live in magnificent attire, and in delicacies, are in the courts of kings. 26. But what went you out to see? A Prophet? Yea, I say to you, and more than a Prophet. 27. It is he of whom it is written, Lo, I send my messenger  before my face, who will prepare the way before thee. 28. For I say to you, Among those who are born of women, there is not a great Prophet than John the Baptist; yet he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
16. The Law and the Prophets (were) till John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and all press violently into it.
Matthew 11:7. And while they were departing Christ praises John before the people, in order that they may state from recollection what they have heard from him, and may give credit to his testimony. For his name was widely celebrated, and men spoke of him in lofty terms: but his doctrine was held in less estimation, and there were even few that waited on his ministrations. Christ reminds them, that those who went out to see him in the wilderness lost their pains, if they did not devoutly apply their minds and faculties to his doctrine. The meaning of the words, you went out into the wilderness, is this: "Your journey would have been an act of foolish and ridiculous levity, if you had not a fixed object in view. But it was neither worldly splendor nor any sort of amusement  that you were in quest of: your design was, to hear the voice of God from the mouth of the Prophet. If therefore you would reap advantage from your undertaking, it is necessary that what he spoke should remain fixed in your memory."
8. Clothed with soft garments Those who think that Christ here condemns the extravagance of a court are mistaken. There are many other passages in which luxury of dress, and excessive attention to outward appearance, are censured. But this passage simply means, that there was nothing in the wilderness to attract the people from every quarter; that every thing there was rude and unpolished, and fitted only to inspire disgust; and that such elegance of dress as delights the eyes is rather to be looked for in the courts of kings. 
11. Verily I say to you These words not only maintain the authority of John, but elevate his doctrine above the ancient prophets, that the people may keep in view the right end of his ministry; for they mistook the design of his mission, and, in consequence of this, derived almost no advantage from his discourses. Accordingly, Christ extols and places him above the rank of the prophets, and gives the people to understand that he had received a special and more excellent commission. When he elsewhere says respecting himself that he was not a Prophet, (John 1:21,) this is not inconsistent with the designation here bestowed upon him by Christ. He was, no doubt, a Prophet, like others whom God had appointed in his Church to be expounders of the Law, and messengers of his will; but he was more excellent than the Prophets in this respect, that he did not, like them, make known redemption at a distance and obscurely under shadows, but proclaimed that the time of redemption was now manifest and at hand. Such too is the import of Malachi's prediction, (Malachi 3:1,) which is immediately added, that the pre-eminence of John consisted in his being the herald and forerunner of Christ;  for although the ancient Prophets spoke of his kingdom, they were not, like John, placed before his face, to point him out as present. As to the other parts of the passage, the reader may consult what has been said on the first chapter of Luke's Gospel. 
There hath not arisen Our Lord proceeds farther, and declares that the ministers of the Gospel will be as far superior to John as John was superior to the Prophets. Those who think that Christ draws a comparison between himself and John have fallen into a strange blunder; for nothing is said here about personal rank, but commendation is bestowed on the pre-eminence of office. This appears more clearly from the words employed by Luke, there is not a greater Prophet; for they expressly restrict his eminence to the office of teaching. In a word, this magnificent eulogium is bestowed on John, that the Jews may observe more attentively the commission which he bore. Again, the teachers who were afterwards to follow are placed above him, to show the surpassing majesty of the Gospel above the Law, and above that preaching which came between them. Now, as Christ intended to prepare the Jews for receiving the Gospel, we ought also, in the present day, to be aroused to listen with reverence to Christ speaking to us from the lofty throne of his heavenly glory; lest he take revenge for our contempt of him by that fearful curse which he pronounces on unbelievers by Malachi in the same passage.
The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God denote the new condition of the Church, as in other passages which have already occurred; for it was promised that at the coming of Christ all things would be restored. He that is least in the kingdom. The Greek word mikroteros, which I have rendered least, is in the comparative degree, and signifies less; but the meaning is more clearly brought out, that all the ministers of the Gospel are included. Many of them undoubtedly have received a small portion of faith, and are therefore greatly inferior to John; but this does not prevent their preaching from being superior to his, because it holds out Christ as having rendered complete and eternal satisfaction by his one sacrifice, as the conqueror of death and the Lord of life, and because it withdraws the veil, and elevates believers to the heavenly sanctuary.
12. Since the days of John I have no doubt that Christ speaks honorably of the majesty of the Gospel on this ground, that many sought after it with warm affection; for as God had raised up John to be the herald of the kingdom of his Son, so the Spirit infused such efficacy into his doctrine, that it entered deeply into the hearts of men and kindled that zeal. It appears, therefore, that the Gospel, which comes forward in a manner so sudden and extraordinary,  and awakens powerful emotions, must have proceeded from God. But in the second clause is added this restriction, that the violent take it by force The greater part of men were no more excited than if the Prophets had never uttered a word about Christ, or if John had never appeared as his witness; and therefore Christ reminds them, that the violence, of which he had spoken, existed only in men of a particular class. The meaning therefore is, A vast assembly of men is now collected, as if men were rushing violently forward to seize the kingdom of God; for, aroused by the voice of one man, they come together in crowds, and receive, not only with eagerness, but with vehement impetuosity, the grace which is offered to them. Although very many are asleep, and are no more affected than if John in the wilderness were acting a play which had no reference to them, yet many flock to him with ardent zeal. The tendency of our Lord's statement is to show, that those who pass by in a contemptuous manner, and as it were with closed eyes, the power of God, which manifestly appears both in the teacher and in the hearers, are inexcusable. Let us also learn from these words, what is the true nature and operation of faith. It leads men not only to give, cold and indifferent assent when God speaks, but to cherish warm affection towards Him, and to rush forward as it were with a violent struggle.
Luke 16:16. The Law and the Prophets were till John Our Lord had said that the earnestness of the people was a prelude to those things which the Prophets had foretold as to the future renovation of the Church. He now compares the ministry of John to the Law and the Prophets "It is not wonderful," he tells us, "that God should now act so powerfully on the minds of men; for he is not as formerly, seen at a distance under dark shadows, but appears openly and at hand for the establishment of his kingdom." Hence it follows, that those who obstinately reject John's doctrine are less excusable than those who despised the Law and the Prophets
Matthew 11:13. All the Prophets and the Law itself Prophesied. The word prophesied is emphatic; for the Law and the Prophets did not present God before the eyes of men, but represented him under figures and shadows as absent. The comparison, we now perceive, is intended to show, that it is highly criminal in men to remain indifferent, when they have obtained a manifestation of the presence of God, who held his ancient people in suspense by predictions. Christ does not class John with the ministers of the Gospel, though he formerly assigned to him an intermediate station between them and the Prophets. But there is no inconsistency here: for although John's preaching was a part of the Gospel, it was little more than a first lesson.
14. And if you are willing to receive it He now explains more clearly in what manner John began to preach the kingdom of God It was in the character of that Elijah, who was to be sent before the face of God, (Malachi 4:5.) Our Lord's meaning therefore is, that the great and dreadful day of the Lord, which Malachi described, is now beheld by the Jews, when Elijah, who was there promised, discharges his office as a herald. Again, by this exception, if you are willing to receive it, he glances at their hardened obstinacy, in maliciously shutting their eyes against the clearest light. But will he cease to be Elijah, if he shall not be received? Christ does not mean that John's official character  depends on their approbation; but having declared that he is Elijah, he charges them with carelessness and ingratitude, if he does not obtain that respect to which he is entitled.
15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. We know that it is customary with Christ to introduce this sentence, whenever he treats of subjects which are highly important, and which deserve no ordinary attention.  He reminds us, at the same time, of the reason why the mysteries of which he speaks are not received by all. It is because many of his hearers are deaf, or at least have their ears closed. But now, as every man is hindered not only by his own unbelief, but by the mutual influence which men exercise on each other, Christ here exhorts the elect of God, whose ears have been pierced, to consider attentively this remarkable secret of God, and not to remain deaf with unbelievers.
 "Un homme vestu de precieux vestemens?" -- "A man clothed with costly garments?"
 "Si vous le voulez recevoir, ou, et si vous voulez recevoir mon dire;" -- "if you are willing to receive it, or, and if you are willing to receive my saying."
 "Vestu de precieux vestemens?" -- "clothed with costly garments?"
 "Mon messager, ou, Angel;" -- "my messenger, or, Angel."
 "Ni autre passe-temps et amusement vain;" -- "nor other pastime nor vain amusement."
 "Que pour voir de beaux vestemens et autres choses agencees bien proprement il faut plustost aller es Cours des Rois;" -- "that in order to see fine dresses, and other things very neatly arranged, we must rather go to the courts of kings."
 "Pource qu'il est le Heraut marchant devant Christ pour luy faire honneur;" -- "because he is the Herald marching before Christ to do him honor."
 Harmony, volume 1.[p.20.
 "Laquelle tant soudainement gaigne les coeurs des hommes d'une facon non accoustumee, et y cause des mouvemens merveilleux;" -- "which so suddenly gains the hearts of men in an unusual manner, and excites in them wonderful emotions."
 "L'estat et la commission de Iean;" -- "John's rank and commission."
 "Et qui ne doit pas estre escoutee par acquit;" -- "and which ought not to be listened to in an indifferent manner."
But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.
This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
16. But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children, who sit in the market-place, and call out to their companions, 17. And say, We have played on the flute to you, and you have not danced; we have sung mournful airs to you, and you have not lamented. 18. For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Lo, a man who is a glutton and a wine-bibber,  a friend to publicans and sinners; and Wisdom is justified by her children.
29. And all the people hearing, and the publicans, justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.  30. But Pharisees and Lawyers  despised  the counsel of God in themselves,  having not been baptized by him. 31. And the Lord said, To what then shall I compare the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 32. They are like children sitting in the market-place, and calling out to each other, and saying, We have played on the flute to you, and you have not danced; we have sung mournful airs to you, and you have not wept. 33. For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, He hath a devil. 34. The Son of man came eating and drinking, and you say, Lo, a man gluttonous and a wine-bibber, a friend to publicans and sinners.  35. And Wisdom is justified by all her children.
Luke 7:29. And all the people hearing. This part is left out by Matthew, though it throws no small light on the connection of the words; for it was this circumstance which gave rise to Christ's expostulation, when he perceived that the scribes persisted so obstinately in despising God. The substance of this passage is, that the common people and the publicans gave glory to God; while the Scribes, flattering themselves with confidence in their own knowledge, cared little for what Christ said. At first sight, this tends only to obscure, and even to disfigure, the glory of the Gospel, that Christ could not gather disciples to himself, except from the dregs and offscourings of the people; while he was rejected by those who had any reputation for holiness or learning. But the Lord intended, from the beginning, to hold out this example, that neither the men of that age, nor even posterity, might judge of the Gospel by the approbation of men; for we are all by nature inclined to this vice. And yet nothing is more unreasonable than to submit the truth of God to the judgment of men, whose acuteness and sagacity amounts to nothing more than mere vanity. Accordingly, as Paul says, "God hath chosen that part which is weak and foolish in the eyes of the world, that he may cast down from its height whatever appears to be mighty and wise," (1 Corinthians 1:27.) Our duty is to prefer this foolishness of God, to use Paul's expression, (1 Corinthians 1:25,) to all the display of human wisdom.
Justified God. This is a very remarkable expression. Those who respectfully embrace the Son of God, and assent to the doctrine which he has brought, are said to ascribe righteousness to God. We need not therefore wonder, if the Holy Spirit everywhere honors faith with remarkable commendations, assigns to it the highest rank in the worship of God, and declares that it is a very acceptable service. For what duty can be deemed more sacred than to vindicate God's righteousness? The word justify applies generally, no doubt, to every thing connected with the praises of God, and conveys the idea, that God is beheld with approbation, and crowned with glory, by the people who embrace that doctrine of which He is the author. Now, since faith justifies God, it is impossible, on the other hand, but that unbelief must be blasphemy against him, and a disdainful withholding of that praise which is due to his name. This expression also teaches us, that men are never brought into complete subjection to the faith until, disregarding the flesh and sense, they conclude that every thing which comes from God is just and holy, and do not permit themselves to murmur against his word or his works.
Having been baptized with the baptism of John. Luke means that the fruits of the baptism which they had received were then beginning to appear; for it was a useful preparation to them for receiving the doctrine of Christ. It was already an evidence of their piety that they presented themselves to be baptized. Our Lord now leads them forward from that slender instruction to a higher degree of progress, as the scribes, in despising the baptism of John, shut against themselves, through their pride, the gate of faith. If, therefore, we desire to rise to full perfection, let us first guard against despising the very least of God's invitations,  and be prepared in humility to commence with small and elementary instructions. Secondly, let us endeavor that, if our faith shall have a feeble beginning, it may regularly and gradually increase.
30. Despised the counsel of God within themselves. The counsel of God is mentioned by way of respect, as contrasted with the wicked pride of the scribes; for the term counsel carries along with it a dignity, which protects the doctrine of God against the contempt of men. Literally, Luke says, that they despised Against Themselves: and indeed I do not disapprove of the meaning which is preferred by some, that the scribes were rebellious to their own destruction. But as Luke's narrative is simple, and as the preposition eis is often used in the sense of en I have chosen rather to translate it, within themselves; as meaning, that although they did not openly and expressly contradict, yet as they inwardly swelled with hidden pride, they despised within themselves
31. To what shall I compare? He does not include all the men of his age, but speaks particularly of the scribes and their followers. He charges them with this reproach, that while the Lord endeavored, by various methods, to draw them to himself, they repelled his grace with incorrigible obstinacy. He employs a comparison, which was probably taken from a common amusement of children; for there is probability in the conjecture, that the children divided themselves into two bands, and sang in that manner. And, indeed, I think that, in order to abase the pride of the scribes, Christ intentionally borrowed from children the materials of his reproof: thus declaring that, however distinguished they were, nothing more was necessary to condemn them than a song which children were wont to sing in the market-place for their amusement.
33. For John the Baptist came. Leading an austere life, he thundered out repentance and severe reproofs, and sung, as it were, a plaintive song; while the Lord endeavored, by a cheerful and sprightly song, to draw them more gently to the Father. Neither of those methods had any success, and what reason could be assigned except their hardened obstinacy? This passage also shows us, why so wide a difference existed, as to outward life, between Christ and the Baptist, though both had the same object in view. Our Lord intended, by this diversity, and by assuming as it were a variety of characters, to convict unbelievers more fully; since, while he yielded and accommodated himself to their manners, he did not bend them to himself. But if the men of that age are deprived of every excuse for repelling, with inveterate malice, a twofold invitation which God had given them, we too are held guilty in their persons; for God leaves not untried any sort of pleasing melody, or of plaintive and harsh music, to draw us to himself, and yet we remain hard as stones. They called John a demoniac, just as persons of unsound mind, or whose brain is disturbed, are usually called madmen.
34. The Son of man came. To eat and drink means here nothing more than to live in the customary way; as Christ says that John came neither eating nor drinking, because he confined himself to a peculiar diet, and even abstained from ordinary food. This is more fully expressed by the words of Luke, neither eating bread nor drinking wine. Those who think that the highest perfection consists in outward austerity of life, and who pronounce it to be an angelical life when a person is abstemious,  or mortifies himself by fasting, ought to attend to this passage. On this principle John would rank higher than the Son of God; but, on the contrary, we ought to maintain, that
bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness
And yet we must not make this a pretense for giving a loose rein to the flesh, by indulging in luxuries and effeminacy: only we must beware of superstition, lest foolish men, imagining that perfection lies in matters of a purely elementary nature, neglect the spiritual worship of God. Besides, while Christ accommodated himself to the usages of ordinary life, he maintained a sobriety truly divine, and did not encourage the excesses of others by his dissimulation or by his example.
35. And Wisdom is justified This passage is variously explained by commentators. Some maintain that Wisdom was acquitted by the Jews, because, conscious of guilt, and judges of their own unbelief, they were compelled to acknowledge, that the doctrine which they rejected was good and holy. By the children of Wisdom they understand the Jews who boasted of that title. Others think that it was spoken in irony: "It is in this manner that you approve of the Wisdom of God, of which you boast that you are the children?" But as the Greek preposition apo  does not properly relate to an agent, some explain it, that Wisdom is acquitted by her children, and is no longer under obligation to them, in the same manner as when an inheritance is transferred to another. Thus Paul says, that Christ was justified (dedikaiotai) from sin, (Romans 6:7,) because the curse of sin had no longer any power over him.
Some interpret it more harshly, and with greater excess of freedom, to mean that Wisdom is estranged from her children But granting that this were the import of the Greek preposition, I look upon the other meaning as more appropriate, that Wisdom, however wickedly she may be slandered by her own sons, loses nothing of her worth or rank, but remains unimpaired. The Jews, and particularly the scribes, gave themselves out as children of the Wisdom of God; and yet, when they trod their mother under their feet, they not only flattered themselves amidst such heinous sacrilege, but desired that Christ should fall by their decision. Christ maintains, on the contrary, that, however wicked and depraved her children may be, Wisdom remains entire, and that the malice of those who wickedly and malignantly slander her takes nothing from her authority.
I have not yet brought forward that meaning which appears to my own mind the most appropriate and natural. First, the words of Christ contain an implied contrast between true children and bastards, who hold but an empty title without the reality; and they amount to this: "Let those who haughtily boast of being the children of Wisdom proceed in their obstinacy: she will, notwithstanding, retain the praise and support of her own children. Accordingly, Luke adds a term of universality, by all her children; which means, that the reluctance of the scribes will not prevent all the elect of God from remaining steadfast in the faith of the Gospel. With respect to the Greek word apo, it undoubtedly has sometimes the same meaning as hupo. Not to mention other instances, there is a passage in Luke's Gospel, (17:25,) where Christ says, that he must suffer many things, kai apodokimasthonai apo tos geneas tautes, and be rejected By this generation. Everybody will admit, that the form of expression is the same as in the corresponding clause.  Besides, Chrysostom, whose native language was Greek, passes over this matter, as if there were no room for debate. Not only is this meaning more appropriate, but it corresponds to a former clause, in which it was said, that God was justified by the people, (v. 29.) Although many apostates may revolt from the Church of God, yet, among all the elect, who truly belong to the flock, the faith of the Gospel will always remain uninjured.
 "Gourmand et; yvrongne;" -- "a glutton and a drunkard."
 "Et tout le peuple qui oyoit cela, et les Peagers qui estoyent baptizez du baptesme de Iean, iustiferent Dieu." -- "And all the people who heard that, and the publicans who were baptized with the baptism of John, justified God."
 "Les Docteurs de la Loy;" -- "the Doctors of the Law."
 "Reietterent le conseil de Dieu;" -- "rejected the counsel of God."
 "En eux-mesmes, ou, a l'encontre d'eux-mesmes;" -- "in themselves, or, against themselves."
 "Ami des Peagers et gens du mauvaise vie;" -- "a friend of publican and persons of wicked life."
 "Gardons premierement de mespriser un seul moyen par lequel Die nous convie;" -- "let us first guard against despising a single method by which God invites us."
 "Quand un homme ne boira point de vin;" -- "when a person will drink no wine."
 "Le mot Grec que nous avons rendu par De;" -- "the Greek word which we have translated by."
 "On void bien que la ce mot De se rapporte a la personne qui fait, et non pas a celuy qui souffre;" -- "It is very evident that the word By relates to the person that acts, and not to him who suffers."
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
But wisdom is justified of all her children.
And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
36. And one of the Pharisees requested him to take food with him; and he entered into the house of the Pharisee, and sat down at table. 37. And, lo, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that he sat at table in the house of the Pharisee, brought an alabaster box of ointment:  38. And sitting at his feet behind him, and weeping, she began to wash his feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with ointment.  39. And the Pharisee, who had invited him, seeing it, said, speaking within himself, If this man were a Prophet, he would certainly know who and what sort of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner.  40. And Jesus answering, said to him, Simon, I have something to say to thee. And he said, Master, say on. 41. A certain creditor had two debtors: one owed five hundred pence, and another fifty. 42. And when they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both. Tell me then, which of them will love him more? 43. Simon answering said, I suppose that it will be he to whom he forgave more. And he said to him, Thou hast decided aright. 44. And turning to the woman, he said to Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thy house, thou gavest not water for my feet; but she hath moistened my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. 45. Thou gavest me not a kiss; but she, since the time that I entered, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. 47. For which reason I say to thee, Her many sins are forgiven, for she hath loved much; but he to whom less is forgiven loveth less. 48. And he said to her, Thy sins are forgiven thee. 49. And those who sat at table with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that even forgiveth sins? 50. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
36. And one of the Pharisees requested him. This narrative shows the captious disposition, not only to take, but to seek out, offenses, which was manifested by those who did not know the office of Christ. A Pharisee invites Christ; from which we infer, that he was not one of those who furiously and violently opposed, nor of those who haughtily despised his doctrine. But whatever might be his mildness, he is presently offended when he sees Christ bestow a gracious reception on a woman who, in his opinion, ought not to have been permitted to approach or to converse with him; and, accordingly, disowns him as a prophet, because he does not acknowledge him to be the Mediator, whose peculiar office it was to bring miserable sinners into a state of reconciliation with God. It was something, no doubt, to bestow on Christ the honor due to a prophet; but he ought also to have inquired for what purpose he was sent, what he brought, and what commission he had received from the Father. Overlooking the grace of reconciliation, which was the main feature to be looked for in Christ, the Pharisee concluded that he was not a prophet And, certainly, had it not been that through the grace of Christ this woman had obtained the forgiveness of her sins, and a new righteousness, she ought to have been rejected.
Simon's mistake lies only in this: Not considering that Christ came to save what was lost, he rashly concludes that Christ does not distinguish between the worthy and the unworthy. That we may not share in this dislike, let us learn, first, that Christ was given as a Deliverer to miserable and lost men,  and to restore them from death to life. Secondly, let every man examine himself and his life, and then we will not wonder that others are admitted along with us, for no one will dare to place himself above others. It is hypocrisy alone that leads men to be careless about themselves,  and haughtily to despise others.
37. A woman who was a sinner The words stand literally as I have translated them,(hetis hen hamaztolos.) Erasmus has chosen to take the pluperfect tense, who Had Been a sinner,  lest any one should suppose that at that time she still was a sinner But by so doing, he departed from the natural meaning; for Luke intended to express the place which the woman held in society, and the opinion universally entertained respecting her. Though her sudden conversion had rendered her a different person in the sight of God from what she had previously been, yet among men the disgrace attaching to her former life had not yet been effaced. She was, therefore, in the general estimation of men a sinner, that is, a woman of wicked and infamous life; and this led Simon to conclude, though erroneously, that Christ had not the Spirit of discernment, since he was unacquainted with that infamy which was generally known. 
40. And Jesus answering said. By this reply Christ shows how egregiously Simon was mistaken. Exposing to public view his silent and concealed thought, he proves himself to possess something more excellent than what belonged to the Prophets; for he does not reply to his words, but refutes the sentiment which he kept hidden within his breast. Nor was it only on Simon's account that this was done, but in order to assure every one of us, that we have no reason to fear lest any sinner be rejected by him, who not only gives them kind and friendly invitations, but is prepared with equal liberality, and--as we might say--with outstretched arms, to receive them all.
41. A certain creditor had two debtors The scope of this parable is to demonstrate, that Simon is wrong in condemning the woman who is acquitted by the heavenly judge. He proves that she is righteous, not because she pleased God, but because her sins were forgiven; for otherwise her case would not correspond to the parable, in which Christ expressly states, that the creditor freely forgave the debtors who were not able to pay. We cannot avoid wondering, therefore, that the greater part of commentators have fallen into so gross a blunder as to imagine that this woman, by her tears, and her anointing, and her kissing his feet, deserved the pardon of her sins. The argument which Christ employs was taken, not from the cause, but from the effect; for, until a favor has been received, it cannot awaken gratitude,  and the cause of reciprocal love is here declared to be a free forgiveness. In a word, Christ argues from the fruits or effects that follow it, that this woman has been reconciled to God.
44. And turning to the woman. The Lord appears to compare Simon with the woman, in such a manner as to make him chargeable with nothing more than light offenses. But this is spoken only in the way of concession. "Suppose now, Simon," he says, "that the guilt from which God discharges thee was light,  and that this woman has been guilty of many and very heinous offenses. Yet you see how she proves by the effect that she has obtained pardon. For what mean those profuse tears, those frequent kisses of the feet, that precious ointment? What mean they but to acknowledge, that she had been weighed down by an enormous burden of condemnation? And now she regards the mercy of God with fervor of love proportioned to her conviction that her necessity had been great."
From the words of Christ, therefore, we are not at liberty to infer, that Simon had been a debtor to a small amount, or that he was absolved from guilt.  It is more probable that, as he was a blind hypocrite, he was still plunged in the filth of his sins. But Christ insists on this single point, that, however wicked the woman may have been, she gave undoubted proofs of her righteousness, by leaving no kind of duty undone to testify her gratitude, and by acknowledging, in every possible way, her vast obligations to God. At the same time, Christ reminds Simon, that he has no right to flatter himself, as if he were free from all blame; for that he too needed mercy; and that if even he does not obtain the favor of God without pardon, he ought to look upon this woman's gifts, whatever might have been her former sins, as evidences of repentance and gratitude.
We must attend to the points of contrast, in which the woman is preferred to Simon. She moistened his feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head; while he did not even order water to be given, according to custom. She did not cease to kiss his feet, while he did not deign to receive Christ with the kiss of hospitality.  She poured precious ointment on his feet, while he did not even anoint his head with oil. But why did our Lord, who was a model of frugality and economy, permit the expense of the ointment? It was because, in this way, the wretched sinner testified that she owed all to him. He had no desire of such luxuries, was not gratified by the sweet odor, and did not approve of gaudy dress. But he looked only at her extraordinary zeal to testify her repentance, which is also held out to us by Luke as an example; for her sorrow, which is the commencement of repentance, was proved by her tears. By placing herself at Christ's feet behind him, and there lying on the ground, she discovered her modesty and humility. By the ointment, she declared that she offered, as a sacrifice to Christ, herself and all that she possessed. Every one of these things it is our duty to imitate; but the pouring of the ointment was an extraordinary act, which it would be improper to consider as a rule. 
47. Her many sins are forgiven Some interpret the verb differently, may her many sins be forgiven, and bring out the following meaning: -- "As this woman evinces by remarkable actions, that she is full of ardent love to Christ, it would be improper for the Church to act harshly and severely towards her; but, on the contrary, she ought to be treated with gentleness, whatever may have been the aggravations of her offenses." But as apheontai is used, in accordance with the Athic dialect, for apheintai, we must dispense with that subtlety of exposition which is disapproved by the context; for a little after, Christ uses the same words in his address to the woman, where the imperative mood would not apply. Here, too is added a corresponding clause, that he to whom less is forgiven loveth less
The verb, which is in the present tense, must, no doubt, be resolved into a preterite.  From the eager desire which she had manifested to discharge all the duties of piety, Christ infers that, although this woman might have been guilty of many sins, the mercy of God was so abundant towards her, that she ought no longer to be regarded as a sinner. Again, loving is not here said to be the cause of pardon,  but a subsequent manifestation, as I have formerly mentioned; for the meaning of the words is this: -- "They who perceive the display of deep piety in the woman form an erroneous judgment, if they do not conclude that God is already reconciled to her;" so that the free pardon of sins comes first in order. Christ does not inquire at what price men may purchase the favor of God, but argues that God has already forgiven this wretched sinner, and that, therefore, a mortal man ought not to treat her with severity.
48. Thy sins are forgiven. It may be asked, why does Christ now promise to her the pardon which she had obtained, and of which she had been assured? Some reply that these words were uttered, not so much on her own account, as for the sake of others. For my own part, I have no doubt that it was chiefly on her own account; and this appears more clearly from the words that follow. Nor ought we to wonder, that the voice of Christ again pronounces an absolution of the woman, who had already tasted his grace, and who was even convinced that he was her only refuge of salvation. Thus, at the present day, faith is previously necessary, when we pray that the Lord would forgive our sins; and yet this is not a useless or superfluous prayer, but the object of it is, that the heavenly Judge may more and more seal his mercy on our hearts, and in this manner may give us peace. Though this woman had brought with her a confident reliance on that grace which she had obtained, yet this promise was not superfluous, but contributed greatly to the confirmation of her faith.
49. And those who sat at table with him began to say within themselves. Hence we again learn, that ignorance of Christ's office constantly leads men to conceive new grounds of offense. The root of the evil is, that no one examines his own wretched condition, which undoubtedly would arouse every man to seek a remedy. There is no reason to wonder that hypocrites, who slumber amidst their vices,  should murmur at it as a thing new and unexpected, when Christ forgives sins.
50. Thy faith hath saved thee. To repress those murmurings,  and, at the same time, to confirm the woman, Christ commends her faith. Let others grumble as they may, but do thou adhere steadfastly to that faith which has brought thee an undoubted salvation.  At the same time, Christ claims for himself the authority which had been given to him by the Father; for, as he possesses the power of healing, to him faith is properly directed. And this intimates that the woman was not led by rashness or mistake to come to him, but that, through the guidance of the Spirit, she had preserved the straight road of faith. Hence it follows, that we cannot believe in any other than the Son of God, without considering that person to have the disposal of life and death. If the true reason for believing in Christ be, that God hath given him authority to forgive sins, whenever faith is rendered to another, that honor which is due to Christ must of necessity be taken from him. This saying refutes also the error of those who imagine that the forgiveness of sins is purchased by charity; for Christ lays down a quite different method, which is, that we embrace by faith the offered mercy. The last clause, Go in peace, denotes that inestimable fruit of faith which is so frequently commended in Scripture. It brings peace and joy to the consciences, and prevents them from being driven hither and thither by uneasiness and alarm.
 "Or voyci il y avoit une femme de la ville qui avoit este de mauvaise vie, laquelle ayant cognu qu'il estoit assis a table en la maison du Pharisien, apporta une boiste d'ongnement;" -- "but, lo, there was a woman of the city who was of wicked life, who, having learned that he sat at table in the house of the Pharisee, brought a box of ointment."
 "Et les frottoit d'ongnement;" -- "and rubbed them with ointment."
 "Car elle est de mauvaise vie;" -- "for she is of wicked life."
 "Que Christ a este donne pour liberateur au genre humain, miserable et perdu;" -- "that Christ was given as a deliverer to the human race, miserable and lost."
 "Qui fait que les hommes se me cognoissent;" -- "which makes men forget themselves."
 "Quoe fuerat peccatrix
 "Veu qu'il ne cognoist point l'infamie de la vie de ceste femme qui estoit notoire a un chacun;" -- "since he does not know the infamy of the life of this woman, which was notorious to every one."
 "Veu que le remerciment presuppose tousiours qu'on ait avant receuquelque bien;" -- "since gratitude always presupposes that some favor has been received."
 "Mettons le cas, Simon, que le fardeau des pechez, desquels Dieu t'a descharge fust petit;" -- "let us put the case, Simon, that the burden of the sins, from which God has discharged thee, was small."
 "Et s'il avoit este absous de la condamnation qu'il avoit encourue;" --"and if he had been absolved from the condemnation which he had incurred."
 "En lieu que l'autre n'a pas mesme daigne le baiser par une facon commune de civilite;" -- "whereas the other did not even deign to kiss him, according to an ordinary custom of civility."
 "A este un acte special et extraordinaire, duquel si on vouloit faire une reigle generale, ce seroit un abus;" -- "was a special and extraordinary act, of which, if we wished to make a general rule, it would be a mistake."
 "Combien qu'il faut resoudre le verbe du temps present en un temps passe: comme quand il dit, Ses pechez luy sont pardonnez: il faut entendre, Ont este pardonnez;" -- "though the verb must be resolved from the present tense into a past tense: as when he says, Her sins are forgiven, we must understand it to mean, Have been forgiven."
 "Il n'est pas dit ici que la dilection ou amour des hommes envers Dieu soit la cause de la remission des pechez;" -- "it is not here said that the loving, or the love of men towards God, is the cause of the forgiveness of sins."
 "Qui se plaisent et fiattent en leurs vices;" -- "who please and flatter themselves amidst their vices."
 "Pour reprimer les murmures de ces gens;" -- "to repress the murmurings of those people."
 "Qui t'a apporte certitude de salut;" -- "which has brought thee certainty of salvation."
And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.