Matthew 13:41
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
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(41) His angels . . . his kingdom.—The vision of One who stood before men outwardly as the carpenter’s son stretches forward to the far future, and sees that the angels of God and the kingdom are alike His.

All things that offend.—Literally, all stumbling-blocks; the word being explained by the clause that follows as including all that work iniquity. It lies in the nature of the case that the interpretation should recognise only the great broad divisions of good and evil, leaving the apportionment of rewards and punishments, according to the varying degrees of each, to be filled into the outline afterwards.

13:31-35 The scope of the parable of the seed sown, is to show that the beginnings of the gospel would be small, but its latter end would greatly increase; in this way the work of grace in the heart, the kingdom of God within us, would be carried on. In the soul where grace truly is, it will grow really; though perhaps at first not to be discerned, it will at last come to great strength and usefulness. The preaching of the gospel works like leaven in the hearts of those who receive it. The leaven works certainly, so does the word, yet gradually. It works silently, and without being seen, Mr 4:26-29, yet strongly; without noise, for so is the way of the Spirit, but without fail. Thus it was in the world. The apostles, by preaching the gospel, hid a handful of leaven in the great mass of mankind. It was made powerful by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts, who works, and none can hinder. Thus it is in the heart. When the gospel comes into the soul, it works a thorough change; it spreads itself into all the powers and faculties of the soul, and alters the property even of the members of the body, Ro 6:13. From these parables we are taught to expect a gradual progress; therefore let us inquire, Are we growing in grace? and in holy principles and habits?Declare unto us - That is, explain the meaning of the parable. This was done in so plain a manner as to render comment unnecessary. The Son of man, the Lord Jesus, sows the good seed - that is, preaches the gospel. This he did personally, and does now by his ministers, his providence, and his Spirit, by all the means of conveying "truth" to the mind. This seed was, by various means, to be carried over all the world. It was to be confined to no particular nation or people. The good seed was the children of the kingdom; that is, of the kingdom of God, or Christians. For these the Saviour toiled and died. They are the fruit of his labors. Yet amid them were wicked people; and all hypocrites and unbelievers in the church are the work of Satan. Yet they must remain together until the end, when they shall be separated, and the righteous saved and the wicked lost. The one shall shine clear as the sun, the other be cast into a furnace of fire - a most expressive image of suffering.

We have no idea of more acute suffering than to be thrown into the fire, and to have our bodies made capable of bearing the burning heat, and living on m this burning heat forever and forever. It is not certain that our Saviour meant to teach here that hell is made up of "material" fire; but it is certain that he meant to teach that this would be a proper "representation" of the sufferings of the lost. We may be further assured that the Redeemer would not deceive us, or use words to torment and tantalize us. He would not talk of hell-fire which had no existence, nor would the Saviour of people hold out frightful images merely to terrify mankind. If he has spoken of hell, then there is a hell. If he meant to say that the wicked shall suffer, then they will suffer. If he did not mean to deceive mankind, then there is a hell, and then the wicked will be punished. The impenitent, therefore, should be alarmed. And the righteous, however much wickedness they may see, and however many hypocrites there may be in the church, should be cheered with the prospect that soon the just will be separated from the unjust, and that they shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom—to which they never really belonged. They usurped their place and name and outward privileges; but "the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners [abide] in the congregation of the righteous" (Ps 1:5).

all things that offend—all those who have proved a stumbling-block to others

and them which do iniquity—The former class, as the worst, are mentioned first.

See Poole on "Matthew 13:43".

The Son of man shall send forth his angels,.... Meaning himself, whose ministers the angels are; who wait upon him, and are at his beck and command; even the thousand thousands that minister unto him; these will be sent forth by his orders, into the several parts of the world, where he has any churches, or an interest,

and they shall gather out of his kingdom: the Gospel church, over which Christ is king, where he rules and governs in the hearts of his people; and who are cheerfully and willingly obedient to his laws, under the influence of his Spirit and grace: but all who are in the visible Gospel church state, are not such; some are wicked and rebellious, and though they are suffered to continue, yet not always; for if not removed by censures and excommunications, they will be at last by angels; who will separate them from the saints:

even all things that offend; who are scandals to Christ, his church, and Gospel, by their wicked principles, or infamous practices; and who give offence, not only to God, and his righteous law, but lay stumbling blocks in the way of the children of God, and are the authors of divisions and offences among them:

and them that do iniquity; that do nothing else but iniquity; and who, though they profess to be religious persons, are secretly, or openly, workers of iniquity; and are even doing iniquity, in and whilst they are professing religion.

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Matthew 13:41. Αὐτοῦαὐτοῦ] they are His to serve Him whenever He chooses to command; “majestas filii hominis,” Bengel; comp. note on Matthew 8:20.

συλλέξουσιν ἐκ] pregnant expression, equivalent to: colligent et secernent ex.

ἐκ τῆς βασιλ. αὐτοῦ] for the judgment will take place as soon as the earth has undergone that process of renovation (Matthew 24:29 f.; 2 Peter 3:13) which is to transform it into the scene of the Messiah’s kingdom. Moreover, the separation about which Jesus here speaks is a separation of persons—of the good on the one hand, from the bad on the other, which, again, is the only means of likewise effecting a separation between good and bad things. Comp. Matthew 24:31. Jesus distinguishes only between σκάνδαλα and δίκαιοι, without recognising any intermediate classes of men (Matthew 25:32 f.), a view which subsequently found its explanation in the doctrine of faith and of justification by faith. The question as to whether or not there are various degrees of felicity for the righteous, as of punishment for the wicked, is one upon which the present passage does not touch.

σκάνδαλα] stumbling-blocks, i.e. men who, through their unbelief and sin, may put temptation in the way of others. Comp. Matthew 16:23. Euth. Zigabenus is correct, so far as the substantial meaning is concerned, when he observes: σκάνδαλα καὶ ποιοῦντες τὴν ἀνομίαν τοὺς αὐτοὺς ὀνομάζει. For this abstract way of designating individuals by means of the characteristic feature in their character, see Kühner, II. 1, p. 10 f. The ἀνομία is immorality, as in Matthew 7:23, Matthew 23:28, Matthew 24:12.

Matthew 13:41. ἀποστελεῖ: cf. chap. Matthew 24:31.—συλλέξουσιν, collect, and so separate.—τὰ σκάνδαλα: abstract for concrete; those who create stumbling blocks for others.—καὶ, epexegetical, not introducing a distinct class, but explaining how the class already referred to cause others to stumble.—ποιοῦντας τ. ἀνομίαν: cf. Matthew 7:23, where for ποι. stands ἐργαζόμενοι. Has ἀνομίαν here the technical sense of religious libertinism, or the general sense of moral transgression? Assuming the former alternative, some critics find here the sign-mark of a later apostolic time.

Matthew 13:41. Αὐτοῦ, His—Αὐτοῦ, His) Such is the majesty of the Son of Man. His are the angels (see the end of Matthew 13:39); His is the kingdom of heaven; His is the world; cf. Matthew 13:24, with Matthew 13:38.—βασιλείας, the kingdom) which is the kingdom of grace.—σκάνδαλα, stumbling-blocks) obstacles, which had hindered the good seed even in the case of others. The punishment of these is peculiarly great.[636]

[636] Τήν ἀνομίαν, iniquity) for their part—to the utmost of their ability, and as far as in them lies.—V. g.

Verse 41. - The Son of man. Observe how expressly Christ identifies the Sower with the Lord of the angels. Shall send forth (ἀποστελεῖ) - as his representatives (Matthew 10:2, note) - his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom - though they are now there - all things that offend, and them which do iniquity (πάντα τὰ σκάνδαλα καὶ τοῦς ποιοῦντας τὴν ἀνομιάν); all things that offend (that cause stumbling, Revised Version); Matthew 5:29, note. In itself it would naturally be understood of persons, in accordance with the meaning of "tares." But what is its relation to the following clause, for this latter cannot be merely tautological? There are two answers:

(a) The two phrases bring out different aspects under which the persons are regarded. They, as "sons of the evil one," are both stumbling blocks to others ("the sons of the kingdom"), and also active workers of lawlessness (vide infra). They sin against men (cf. Matthew 24:24b) and against God.

(b) The first term regards not so much them as their actions - their scandalous acts (Goebel); the second, the persons themselves. The former of the two answers seems preferable, as keeping closer to the parable. It also agrees with the personal use of σκάνδαλον in Matthew 16:23, and the use of αὐτούς alone in the next clause. With respect to the whole phrase, observe:

(1) It is taken partly from Zephaniah 1:3 (Hebrew), "I will consume [the verb אָסֵפ would readily lend itself to the interpretation 'gather']... the stumbling blocks with the wicked (המכשלות את־הרשעים... אספ)."

(2) Yet, as it stands, it is taken partly also from Psalm 37:1, for the Greek of them that do iniquity is the same as in the LXX. there. Besides, the context (comp. Kirkpatrick) is not dissimilar; it is that the righteous should not be envious at the prosperity of the wicked, for it is only transitory, "They shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb."

(3) The phrase, them which do iniquity (rather, lawlessness; Matthew 7:23, note), looks as though St. Paul's teaching of "the man of sin" (ὁ ἄνθρωπος τῆς ἀνομίας: Westcott and Hort, in 2 Thessalonians 2:3; cf. 7, 8) might have some basis in the direct teaching of the Lord (cf. ver. 43, note; and on this question generally, Chase, 'The Lord's Prayer,' etc., p. 19).

(4) Ephraem Syrus, evidently quoting this passage, but in the form in which, presumably, it existed in the 'Diatessaron,' deduces from it that the earth will be the abode of the glorified saints: "Quod autem dicit: Mandabit domum regni sui ab omni scandalo, intellige de terra et rebus creatis, quas renovabit, ibique justos suos collocabit" (Resch, 'Agrapha,' p. 295). Matthew 13:41
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