Matthew 8:19
And a certain scribe came, and said to him, Master, I will follow you wherever you go.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) A certain scribe came.—The facts that follow are placed by St. Luke, as we have seen, in quite another stage of our Lord’s ministry. The fact that it was a scribe that came is striking, as showing that the impression made by our Lord’s teaching was not confined to the “common people” that “heard him gladly.” As Nicodemus had already come confessing that He was a “Teacher come from God,” so in Galilee there was one whom the Sermon on the Mount, or some like discourse, had led to volunteer at least the show of discipleship.

8:18-22 One of the scribes was too hasty in promising; he proffers himself to be a close follower of Christ. He seems to be very resolute. Many resolutions for religion are produced by sudden conviction, and taken up without due consideration; these come to nothing. When this scribe offered to follow Christ, one would think he should have been encouraged; one scribe might do more credit and service than twelve fishermen; but Christ saw his heart, and answered to its thoughts, and therein teaches all how to come to Christ. His resolve seems to have been from a worldly, covetous principle; but Christ had not a place to lay his head on, and if he follows him, he must not expect to fare better than he fared. We have reason to think this scribe went away. Another was too slow. Delay in doing is as bad on the one hand, as hastiness in resolving is on the other. He asked leave to attend his father to his grave, and then he would be at Christ's service. This seemed reasonable, yet it was not right. He had not true zeal for the work. Burying the dead, especially a dead father, is a good work, but it is not thy work at this time. If Christ requires our service, affection even for the nearest and dearest relatives, and for things otherwise our duty, must give way. An unwilling mind never wants an excuse. Jesus said to him, Follow me; and, no doubt, power went with this word to him as to others; he did follow Christ, and cleaved to him. The scribe said, I will follow thee; to this man Christ said, Follow me; comparing them together, it shows that we are brought to Christ by the force of his call to us, Ro 9:16.And a certain scribe came ... - It is not improbable that this man had seen the miracles of Jesus, and had formed an expectation that by following him he would obtain some considerable worldly advantage. Christ, in reply to his professed purpose to follow him, proclaimed his own poverty, and dashed the hopes of the avaricious scribe. The very foxes and birds, says he, have places of repose and shelter, but the Son of man has no home and no pillow. He is a stranger in his own world - a wanderer and an outcast from the homes of people. Compare John 1:11.

Son of man - This means, evidently, Jesus himself. No title is more frequently given to the Saviour than this, and yet there is much difficulty in explaining it. The word "son" is used in a great variety of significations. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. The name "Son of man" is given to Jesus only three times in the New Testament Acts 7:56; Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14, except by himself. When he speaks of himself, this is the most common appellation by which he is known. The phrase "Son of God," given to Christ, denotes a unique connection with God, John 10:36. The name "Son of man" probably denotes a corresponding unique connection with man. Perhaps the Saviour used it to signify the interest he felt in man; his special love and friendship for him; and his willingness to devote himself to the best interests of the race. It is sometimes, however, used as synonymous with "Messiah," Matthew 16:28; John 1:34; Acts 8:37; John 12:34.

19. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. See Poole on "Matthew 8:20". And a certain Scribe came,.... "As they went in the way", Luke 9:57 to go to the sea side, in order to take shipping, and pass to the other shore;

and said unto him, Master, or Rabbi, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. One would have thought, that this man desired in good earnest to be a disciple of Christ, were it not for Christ's answer to him, who knew his heart: from whence it appears, that he, seeing the miracles which Christ wrought, and observing the fame of him among the people, began to think that he would be generally received as the Messiah; and by joining himself to him, promised himself much ease, honour, and wealth. These seem to be the motives, which prevailed upon him to take so sudden and hasty a step; for he did not wait to be called to follow Christ, as the other disciples were, but offers himself to be one; that is, to be one of his intimates, one of his apostles; and besides, he rashly promises to do that, which he knew nothing of, and which in some cases is impossible to be done.

{4} And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

(4) The true disciples of Christ must prepare themselves for all kinds of miseries.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 8:19. Εἷς γραμματεύς] Never, not even in passages like John 6:9, Matthew 21:19, Revelation 8:13 (in answer to Winer, p. 111 [E. T. p. 145]; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 74 [E. T. 85]), is εἷς equivalent to the indefinite pronoun τίς, to which the well-known use of εἷς τίς is certainly opposed, but is always found, and that in the N. T. as well, with a certain numerical reference, such as is also to be seen (Blomfield, Gloss. in Persas, 333) in the passages referred to in classical writers (Jacobs, ad Achill. Tat. p. 398, ad Anthol. XII. p. 455). It is used (Matthew 6:24) in the present instance in view of the ἕτερος about to be mentioned in Matthew 8:21; for this γραμματείς, Matthew 8:19, and the subsequent ἕτερος, were both of them disciples of Jesus. It is therefore to be interpreted thus: one, a scribe. It follows from Matthew 8:21 that this γραμματεύς already belonged to the number of Jesus’ disciples in the more general sense of the word, but he now intimated his willingness to become one of His permanent and intimate followers.

The difference in time and place which, as regards the two incidents, Matthew 8:19-22 (in Mark they are omitted), is found in Luke 9:57-60, is not to be removed. The question as to which evangelist the preference is to be assigned in point of the historical faithfulness of his narrative, falls to be decided in favour of Matthew (Rettig in d. Stud. u. Krit. 1838, p. 240 ff.), as compared with the loose and indefinite account in Luke (Schleiermacher, Schneckenburger, Gfrörer, Olshausen, Arnoldi, Holtzmann), who, moreover, adds Luke 9:61 f.) still a third, and doubtless no less historical an incident with which he had been made acquainted. Schleiermacher inaptly refers ὅπου ἂν ἀπέρχῃ to the various roads by which Jesus might travel to Jerusalem (Schleiermacher, Schrift. d. Luk. p. 169). It is clear, however, from the fact of this narrative occurring so far on in Luke, that he cannot have supposed that the γραμματεύς was Judas Iscariot, and that the ἕτερος was Thomas (Lange). As far was he from supposing that the one was Bartholomew and the other Philip (Hilgenfeld), according to the discovery already made by Clement of Alexandria.

Observe, further, how quite differently Jesus answers the scribe with his supposed claims as compared with the simple-minded ἕτερος (Ewald), and how in addressing the latter He merely says, ἀκολούθει μοι.Matthew 8:19, εἶς, either “one, a scribe” (Weiss and very decidedly Meyer, who says that εἶς never in N. T. = τὶς), or “a certain scribe,” indefinite reference, so Fritzsche, falling back on Suicer, I., p. 1037, and more recently Bleek and others. Vide Winer, § xviii. 9, who defends the use of εἶς for τὶς as a feature of later Greek.—γραμματεὺς, a scribe! even one of that most unimpressionable class, in spirit and tendency utterly opposed to the ways of Jesus. A Saul among the prophets. He has actually become warmed up to something like enthusiasm. A striking tribute to the magnetic influence of Jesus.—ἀκολουθήσω: already more or less of a disciple—perhaps he had been present during the teaching on the hill or at the encounter between Jesus and the scribes in re washing (Matthew 15:1 f.), and been filled with admiration for His wisdom, moral earnestness and courage; and this is the result. Quite honestly meant, but.19. We are not told whether this scribe, thus brought face to face with privation and hardship, was daunted like the young ruler (ch. Matthew 19:16), or persevered like the sons of Zebedee (ch. Matthew 20:22).Matthew 8:19. Εἷς γραμματεὺς, κ.τ.λ., one Scribe, etc.) Out of so great a multitude, this man alone exhibits such an emotion. Yet he seems to have been fond of comfort, a Scribe less hardy than the fishermen. The Scribes came often to tempt our Lord.Verses 19-22. - Parallel passage: Luke 9:57-62. The would-be followers. (On this section, cf. by all means Trench, 'Studies in the Gospels,' pp. 156-167: 1867.) Notice that St. Luke

(1) places it almost at the beginning of the Great Episode, calling attention by it to the qualifications required of those who would follow the Lord Up to Jerusalem;

(2) adds a third example. So far as we have materials for deciding, the chronological position found in St. Matthew seems more probable. Verse 19. - And a certain scribe came; Revised Version, and there came a scribe. Contrast the order in ver. 2. There the leper was recognized as such before ever he came near, an emphasis being laid on him and his actions by the addition of "Behold;" here the official position is of but secondary importance. A certain; a (Revised Version); εϊς. The Hebrew numeral not uncommonly stands for an indefinite article (cf. Matthew 9:18. [Westcott and Hort]; 26:69). Trench's "one scribe... with, perhaps, an emphasis on the 'one' to mark how unfrequent such offers were," is tempting, but improbable. Scribe. St. Matthew alone records his profession. Perhaps because the distinction of Jewish classes presented itself more vividly to his mind than to St. Luke's. And said unto him; Master; better, with the Revised Version margin, teacher (διδάσκαλε). It may be that he recognized one who was superior in an important branch of his own occupation, or, less probably, that he willingly accorded to him a title due to his occupation (cf. John 3:2; and infra, Matthew 12:38). I will follow thee; ἀκολουθήσω (not ἐγὼ ἀκολουθήσω σοι). Self is placed in the background; he is wholly taken up with that which he proposes doing. Whithersoever thou goest. Though, as a scribe, he would naturally prefer quiet. Contrast John 6:66 (περιεπάτουν). But the discomforts would be greater than he expected. Observe, however, that there is no sign. in him of that φιλαργυρία of which he has been accused (Cram. Cat.). Trench strangely favours the suggestion that he was Judas. Is Revelation 14:4 a reminiscence of this offer?
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