Luke 23:40
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
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(40) But the other answering rebuked him.—On the legends connected with the penitent thief, see Notes on Matthew 27:44. Dysmas, or Titus, as they name him, had once before looked on the face of the Christ. He had been one of a band of robbers that attacked the holy travellers in their flight from Bethlehem, and had then pleaded for their lives. The Virgin Mother had blessed him. The child Christ had foretold his suffering and his repentance. Now, as he gazed on the face of the divine Sufferer, he recognised the features of the infant Jesus (Gosp. of Infancy, viii. 1-8; Gosp. of Nicodemus, i. 10). Confining ourselves to what St. Luke records, we may think of him as impressed by the holiness and patience of Him he looked on. What such a One claimed to be, that He must have a right to claim, and so the very words uttered in mockery, “Christ, the King of Israel,” became an element in his conversion. This, of course, implies that he cherished Messianic hopes of some kind, if only of the vague nature then common among his people. Yet deeper in the ground-work of his character there must have been the fear of God, the reverence and awe rising out of a sense of sin, the absence of which he noted in his companion. He accepted his punishment as just, and in so doing made it reformatory and not simply penal.

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.Dost not thou fear God ... - You are condemned to die as well as he. It is improper for you to rail on him as the rulers and Romans do. God is just, and you are hastening to his bar, and you should, therefore, fear him, and fear that he will punish you for railing on this innocent man.

Same condemnation - Condemnation to death; not death for the same thing, but the same "kind" of death.

40. Dost not thou—"thou" is emphatic: "Let others jeer, but dost thou?"

fear God—Hast thou no fear of meeting Him so soon as thy righteous Judge? Thou art within an hour or two of eternity, and dost thou spend it in reckless disregard of coming judgment?

in the same condemnation—He has been condemned to die, but is it better with thee? Doth even a common lot kindle no sympathy in thy breast?

See Poole on "Luke 23:34"

But the other answering, rebuked him,.... That is, the other malefactor made answer to him, and reproved him for his baseness and wickedness:

saying, dost not thou fear God; or "neither dost thou fear God", any more than these priests, people, and soldiers, that are acting such a barbarous and inhuman part to a man in misery: and wilt thou do the same, and show that thou art an impious wretch, now thou art just going out of the world, and neither fears God, nor regards man, and art without compassion to a fellow sufferer, adding sin to sin,

seeing thou art in the same condemnation? undergoing the same sort of punishment, though not on the same account, which might be the reason why they suffered on the same day: for the Jews say (a), they never judge (or condemn) two in one day, but one today, and the other tomorrow; but if they are in one transgression,

, "and one death", as an adulterer with an adulteress, they condemn them both in one day; but if the adulterer lies with a priest's daughter, seeing he is to be strangled, and she to be burnt, they do not execute them both in one day.''

(a) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 14. sect. 10.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
Luke 23:40. οὐδὲ φοβῇ σὺ τ. θ.: οὐδὲ may be connected with, and the emphasis may fall on, either φοβῇ, σὺ, or θεόν = (1) dost thou not even fear God, not to speak of any higher religious feeling? (2) dost not even thou, in contrast to these mockers of misery, fear, etc.? (3) dost thou not fear God, at least, if thou hast no regard for men? The position of οὐδὲ just before φοβῇ, casts the scale in favour of (1).

40. But the other] The ‘bonus latro,’ or ‘Penitent Robber,’is called by various traditional names, and in the Arabic ‘Gospel of the Infancy’ (an Apocryphal book) he is called Titus and Dysmas in Ev. Nicodem. X., and a story is told that he had saved the Virgin and her Child from his comrades during their flight into Egypt. There are robber caves in the Valley of Doves which leads from Gennesareth to Kurn Hattin (see on Luke 6:12), and he may have been among the crowds who hung on the lips of Jesus in former days. “Doubtless the Cross aided his penitence. On the soft couch conversion is rare.” Bengel.

Dost not thou fear God] Rather, Dost not thou even fear God?

Luke 23:40. Ὁ ἓτερος, the other of the two) The exceedingly hard cross rendered much help towards his repentance. Conversion seldom takes place on a soft and easy couch.—[ἐπετίμα αὐτῷ, rebuked him) Thou mayest see here combined penitence, faith, confession, prayer, reproof of the ungodly, and all that is worthy of the Christian man. The abuse of this most choice example is fraught with danger; the legitimate use of it is in the highest degree profitable.—V. g.]—οὐδὲ) Dost thou not even fear? Not to say, long for, have a desire after. [Fear is the first commencement in the reformation (rectifying) of the mind.—V. g.]—φοβῇ, fear) Therefore he himself was influenced by fear.—ὃτι, because, seeing that) This would have been quite sufficient cause for fearing.—τῷ αὐτῷ) the same, as He and I are.

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