Luke 23:35
And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
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(35) And the rulers also with them derided him.—St. Luke uses the generic term for the members of the Sanhedrin, whom St. Matthew particularises as “chief priests, scribes, and elders.” The verb is the same as in 16:14, and implies the curled lip and distended nostril of scorn.

He saved others.—The words were, like those of Caiaphas (John 11:50), an unconscious prophecy, in part also an admission of the work that He had done, as in the case of Lazarus, in rescuing others from the power of death.

If he be Christ, the chosen of God.—It may be noted that this is the only passage in the New Testament in which the adjective “chosen,” or “elect,” is directly applied to Christ. The participle of the verb, is, however, found in the better MSS. of Luke 9:35, and the adjective is used of Him as the “stone, elect and precious,” in 1Peter 2:6.

Luke 23:35-37. And the people stood beholding — Him hanging on the cross, being, it seems, not at all concerned, but rather pleasing themselves with the spectacle. And the rulers — Whom, from their office, one would have supposed to be men of sense and men of honour, stood among the rabble; and derided him, saying, He saved others, let him save himself — Thus do they upbraid him for the good works he had done, as if it were indeed for these that they crucified him. They triumph over him as if they had conquered him, at the time that he was conquering sin and death for them! They challenge him to save himself from the cross, when he was saving others by the cross! See on Matthew 27:39-44. Let him save himself if he be Christ, the chosen of God — If he really be the true Messiah, the elect of God, and, in consequence of that divine choice, be the king of Israel, as he has often pretended, let him save himself from death, that we may see a demonstration of his saving power; and we will then believe him. Or, if he, as the Messiah, would deliver our nation from the Romans, (to do which they supposed would be the principal office of the Messiah,) let him deliver himself from the Romans that have him now in their hands. Thus these Jewish rulers ridiculed him, as captivated by the Romans instead of subduing them. The expression, ο του θεου εκλεκτος, the elect, or chosen of God, is taken from Isaiah 42:1, and appears to be one of those titles by which the Messiah was at that time distinguished. The soldiers also — Who kept guard at that time, joined with the rest of the spectators; and mocked him, coming and offering him vinegar — To drink in the midst of his agonies. Compare John 19:29. And saying — As the rulers and people had done; if thou be the king of the Jews — As thou hast frequently pretended to be, before thou undertakest to deliver them, save thyself — From our power, and thus begin to assert thy claim to a supreme authority. Their insult, it seems, did not lie in their offering our Lord vinegar, for that was the soldiers’ common drink, when mixed with water; (see note on Matthew 27:48;) but it lay in what they said to him when they offered it, reproaching him for pretending to be a king, when he was so poor and mean a person, and now about to expire as a malefactor. As this claim of being a king, seemed to the soldiers most derogatory to the Roman authority, it is no wonder that they grounded their insult on this, rather than his professing himself the Son of God. Thus the priests derided his claiming the title of the Messiah, and the Romans his claiming that of a king.23:32-43 As soon as Christ was fastened to the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him. The great thing he died to purchase and procure for us, is the forgiveness of sin. This he prays for. Jesus was crucified between two thieves; in them were shown the different effects the cross of Christ would have upon the children of men in the preaching the gospel. One malefactor was hardened to the last. No troubles of themselves will change a wicked heart. The other was softened at the last: he was snatched as a brand out of the burning, and made a monument of Divine mercy. This gives no encouragement to any to put off repentance to their death-beds, or to hope that they shall then find mercy. It is certain that true repentance is never too late; but it is as certain that late repentance is seldom true. None can be sure they shall have time to repent at death, but every man may be sure he cannot have the advantages this penitent thief had. We shall see the case to be singular, if we observe the uncommon effects of God's grace upon this man. He reproved the other for railing on Christ. He owned that he deserved what was done to him. He believed Jesus to have suffered wrongfully. Observe his faith in this prayer. Christ was in the depth of disgrace, suffering as a deceiver, and not delivered by his Father. He made this profession before the wonders were displayed which put honour on Christ's sufferings, and startled the centurion. He believed in a life to come, and desired to be happy in that life; not like the other thief, to be only saved from the cross. Observe his humility in this prayer. All his request is, Lord, remember me; quite referring it to Jesus in what way to remember him. Thus he was humbled in true repentance, and he brought forth all the fruits for repentance his circumstances would admit. Christ upon the cross, is gracious like Christ upon the throne. Though he was in the greatest struggle and agony, yet he had pity for a poor penitent. By this act of grace we are to understand that Jesus Christ died to open the kingdom of heaven to all penitent, obedient believers. It is a single instance in Scripture; it should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair of themselves; but lest it should be abused, it is contrasted with the awful state of the other thief, who died hardened in unbelief, though a crucified Saviour was so near him. Be sure that in general men die as they live.See the notes at Matthew 27:41-44.Lu 23:32-38, 44-46. Crucifixion and Death of the Lord Jesus.

(See on [1738]Joh 19:17-30).

See Poole on "Luke 23:34" And the people stood beholding,.... This dismal and affecting sight; insulting and reviling him, and wagging their heads at him, as did also those that passed by: and the rulers also with them derided him; the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, the members of the sanhedrim, whose characters should have restrained them from such an inhuman conduct. The phrase, "with them", is wanting in the Oriental versions, and in one of Beza's copies: saying,

he saved others; by healing their diseases, or raising them from the dead:

let him save himself; from death, by unnailing himself, and coming down from the cross; See Gill on Matthew 27:42.

if he be Christ; the Messiah, he and his followers give out he is; even the chosen of God, referring to Isaiah 42:1. The Arabic version reads, "the chosen Son of God", very wrongly; for Christ was not chosen to be the Son of God; he was so by nature; but he was chosen to be a servant, as the text cited shows, to be a Mediator between God and man, and the Saviour of his people.

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the {f} chosen of God.

(f) Whom God loves more than all others.

Luke 23:35-38. According to the corrected text (see the critical remarks), it is not in Luke the people that mock (comp., on the other hand, Matthew 27:39 f.; Mark 15:29 f.), for they rather stand there as spectators, but the members of the Sanhedrim. δὲ καί refers merely to the ἐκμυκτηρίζειν of the ἄρχοντες. To the standing by and looking on of the people (not further sympathizing) is added, however, also mockery on the part of the members of the Sanhedrim. On ἐξεμυκτ. comp. Psalm 22:8, and see on Luke 16:14.

οὗτος] this fellow! with scornful contempt.

ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκλεκτός] Luke 9:35.

Luke 23:36 is not a misunderstanding of Matthew 27:48 (de Wette), but something special which the other evangelists have not got. A mocking offer, not an actual giving to drink; for here the offer was not made by means of a sponge, so that naturally Jesus could not accept the drink. The proceeding was a grim joke!

Luke 23:38. ἐπʼ αὐτῷ] over Him on the cross. The supplementary statement of the title on the cross (see on Matthew 27:37) explains the fact that the soldiers scoffed at Him as the King of the Jews.Luke 23:35. θεωρῶν: the people are now mere spectators. Have they begun to rue already when they see what their demand has come to? Observe the words θεωρίαν and θεωρήσαντες in Luke 23:48. When they had gazed long enough it came to decided poignant regret. Fickle mob!—οἱ ἄρχοντες: they alone, the rulers of the people, mock and sneer. The σὺν αὐτοῖς (T.R.) is a badly attested reading and clearly contrary to the spirit of the narrative.—ὁ ἐκλεκτός, the Elect One, and come to this? Incredible? No! thus all the truest sons and elect of God have fared in this evil world.35. beholding] The word implies that they gazed as at a solemn spectacle, Psalm 22:17; Zechariah 12:10. They seem as a body to have been far less active in insult than the others.

with them] These words are omitted in א, B, C, D, L, &c.

derided] The same strong word which is used in Luke 16:14; 1Es 1:51.

He saved others] They said this in the same spirit as the Nazarenes, Luke 4:23.

if he be Christ, the chosen of God] Literally, “if this man (contemptuously) be the Christ of God, the chosen.” For other insults see Matthew 27:40-43; Mark 15:29-32. Observe how the universal derision of what appeared to be such abject failure and humiliation enhances our estimate of the faith of the dying robber.Luke 23:35. [Ὁ λαὸς, the people) not the rabble (ὄχλοι) indiscriminately (whether Jews or Gentiles), as in Luke 23:48, but the Jewish people is here meant.—V. g.—θεωρῶν, beholding) The people no doubt feasted their eyes with that spectacle; for Luke states, that the rulers with them.[258] namely, with the people, derided the Saviour. But, a short while after, a check was put upon their fondness (lit. itching) for derision, Luke 23:48.—Harm., p. 564.]—σὺν αὐτοῖς) viz. with those who had crucified Him.[259] [Luke collects into one passage the mocking insults with which Jesus was harassed when being crucified, Luke 23:35-39. The inscription on the cross was itself an insult in the eyes of the heathens. For which reason, Luke makes mention of the vinegar also, which was offered to Him by the soldiers, sooner than the other evangelists.[260]—Harm., p. 566. Men of respectability do not usually, under ordinary circumstances, blend themselves with such scenes; but wantonness and desire of revenge in the present instance took away all regard for their own dignity. No one ever was derided with such sneers as was Jesus. See that you feel grateful to Him, and learn to endure meekly insults, especially when for His sake.—V. g.]—[ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκλεκτὸς, the chosen of GOD) It is not befitting, say they, that the chosen of GOD (if Jesus were really so) should die upon a cross.—V. g.]—οὗτος, this man) Used as a demonstrative, with contempt.

[258] σὺν αὐτοῖς is read in A Vulg. and Rec. Text. But BCDLQbc omit the words.—E. and T.

[259] But the Harm., quoted above, makes it with the people.—E. and T.

[260] Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36; John 19:29. But all these describe the second offering of the vinegar, in compassion, to refresh His thirst, just before death. Whereas Matthew 27:34, Mark 15:23, and Luke here, Luke 23:35. describes the vinegar, “mingled with gall,” offered in mockery, and at an earlier point of time—E. and T.Verse 35. - And the people stood beholding. A hush seems to have fallen over the scene. The crowd of by-standers were awed as they at first silently gazed on the dying form of the great Teacher. What memories must have surged up in the hearts of many of the gazers - memories of his parables, his mighty miracles, his words of love; memories of the raising of Lazarus, and of the day of palms! Such a silent awe-struck contemplation was dangerous, the rulers felt, so they hastened to commence their mockery - "to clear," as Stier remarks, "the stifling air, and deafen the voice which was stirring even in themselves." "Look now," they would cry, "at the end of the Man who said he could do, and pretended to do, such strange, unheard-of things!" They seem soon to have induced many to join in their mocking cries and gestures, and so to break the awful silence. Beholding

See on Luke 10:18.


See on Luke 16:14.

If he

The A. V. does not give the contemptuous emphasis on οὗτος, this fellow.

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