And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,
Verses 1-8. - Question of the priests and scribes as to the nature of the authority under which Jesus was acting. Verses 1, 2 - And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel. We are now in the midst of the so-called Passion week. Probably the events related in this chapter took place on the Tuesday. The first day of the week, Palm Sunday, was the day of the public entry into the city. The purification of the temple took place on the Monday, on which day also the barren fig tree was cursed. We are now considering the events of the Tuesday. The Greek word εὐαγγελιζομένου is especially a Pauline word; we find it rarely used save in his writings, and of course in those of St. Luke. St. Paul uses it twenty times, and St. Luke twenty-five. The chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, and spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? This appears to have been a formal deputation from the supreme council of the Sanhedrim The three classes here specified represented probably the three great sections of the Sanhedrin -
(2) scribes and rabbis,
These came upon him evidently with hostile intent, and surrounded him as he was walking in the temple. The jealous anger of the rulers of the Jews had been lately specially excited by the triumphant entry on Palm Sunday, and by the stir and commotion which the presence of Jesus had occasioned in the holy city. And in the last two or three days Jesus had evidently claimed especial power in the temple. He had publicly driven out the money-changers and vendors of sacrificial victims who plied their calling in the sacred courts. He had, in addition, forbade the carrying vessels across the temple (Mark 11:16), and had allowed the children in the temple, probably those attached to its choir, to shout "Hosanna!" to him as the Messiah. From the point of view of the Sanhedrin, such a question might well have been looked for. His interlocutors made quite sure that Jesus, in reply, would claim having received a Divine commission. Had he made openly such a formal claim in reply to their question, then he would have been cited before the supreme court to give an account of himself and his commission. Then, as they thought, would have been their opportunity to convict him out of his own mouth of blasphemy.
And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:
Verses 3-6. - And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men! And they reasoned with themselves saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. The reply of Jesus was one of strange wisdom. He - Jesus - as was well known, had been introduced to the people by this very John. If the Sanhedrin acknowledged John the Baptist as a divinely accredited messenger, then surely they could not question the claims of one borne special witness to by him, brought forward and introduced to public notice by him! If, on the other hand, the Sanhedrin refused to acknowledge the authority of John as a Heaven-sent messenger, which would have been the course they would have preferred, then the popularity and influence of the Sanhedrin would have been sorely imperilled, for the people generally held firmly that John the Baptist was really a prophet of the Lord. They even feared - as we read, "All the people will stone us" - personal violence on the part of the people whose favour they so zealously courted.
The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?
But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.
And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.
Verse 7. - And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. The reply of Jesus, which so perplexed the Sanhedrin, really inflicted a grave blow to their prestige, thus compelling the grave doctors of the Law, who claimed the right of deciding all momentous questions, to decline to pronounce a judgment on so grave a question as "the position of the Baptist," that mighty preacher who had so stirred and roused Israel and who had with his life paid the forfeit of his boldness in rebuking crime in high places, thereby no doubt enormously enlarging his already vast popularity with the people.
And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
Verse 8. - And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things. Jesus, on hearing their plea of ignorance, now contemptuously declines to answer the Sanhedrists' question in the direct way they desired, but at once proceeds to speak a parable which unmistakably contains the reply.
Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.
Verses 9-19. - Parable of the wicked husbandmen in the vineyard, and the simile of the corner-stone. Verse 9. - A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen. Under a very thin parabolic veil, Jesus foretells the awful tragedy of the next few days. He adopts a well-known imagery, and seems to say, "Listen to Isaiah's well-known story of the vineyard, the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, which is the house of Israel. I will expand it a little, that I may show you how it stands with you as regards this matter of 'authority,' that we may see whether you have as much respect for the ascertained will of God as ye pretend, so that ye should be sure to submit to me if only ye were satisfied that I was an accredited Messenger of God" (Professor Bruce). For a long time. Representing the nearly two thousand years of Jewish history.
And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.
Verses 10-12. - He sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard. After the pains and care bestowed upon the vineyard, that is, after the many mighty works done in Israel's behalf, the Lord of hosts looked for fruits of gratitude and fidelity in some proportion to the mighty favours which it had received from him. The people were intended to be the example to, and the educators of, the world, and, instead of carrying out these high functions, they lived the poor selfish life so sadly depicted in the long story contained in the historical and prophetical books. "He looked that it [his vineyard] should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes" (Isaiah 5:2). But the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. These represent the prophets, those faithful servants of the Lord, whose toils and trials and fate are painted in the Epistle to the Hebrews (11.) in such glowing and eloquent language. And again he sent. In vers. 11 and 12, προσέθεο πέμψαι, literally, "he added to send another" - a Hebraism. This shows St. Luke here based his account on a Hebrew (Aramaic) original. Professor Bruce well puts the thoughts which possessed the wicked husbandmen thus: "When the servants came for fruit, they were simply surprised. 'Fruit! did you say? We have occupied the position of vine-dressers, and have duly drawn our wages: what more do you want?' Such was the actual fact in regard to the spiritual heads of Israel. They were men who never thought of fruit, but only of the honour and privilege of being entrusted with the keeping of the vineyard. They were triflers, men utterly devoid of earnestness, and the practical purpose of the property committed to their charge they habitually forgot. Generally speaking, they had utterly lost sight of the end of Israel's calling." Their anger flamed forth when accredited messengers of the Lord visited them and reminded them of their forgotten duties; they vented their furious wrath by persecuting some and killing others of these faithful men.
And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.
And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.
Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.
Verse 13. - Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do! I will send my beloved son. The guilt of the husbandmen who acted as vine-dressers here reached its highest measure. The words represented here by Jesus as spoken by God, possess the deepest doctrinal value. They, under the thin veil of the parable-story, answer the question of the Sanhedrim (ver. 2), "By what authority doest thou these things?" The deliberative words, "What shall I do?" recall the Divine dialogue alluded to in Gem. 1:26. St. Luke here represents the Father as calling the Son, "my Beloved." St. Mark adds that he was an only Son. Such sayings as this, and the remarkable prayer of Matthew 11:25-27, are a clear indication of the Christology of the synoptists. Their estimate of the Person of the blessed Son in no wise differed from that given us by St. John at much greater length and with fuller details.
But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.
Verse 14. - But when the husbandmen saw him; they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. The husbandmen are represented as knowing the son and heir. Nor can we resist the conclusion that some at least of those grave learned men who sat in the Sanhedrim as priests or scribes well knew who the Speaker of the awful words claimed to be, and, in resisting him and seeking his destruction, were deliberately sinning against the voice of their own hearts.
So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?
Verses 15, 16. - So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. The parable-story of itself was an improbable one. The conduct of the husbandmen, the long patience of the owner of the vineyard, his last act in sending his beloved and only son, ? all this makes up a history without a parallel in human experience. Yet this is an exact sketch of what did actually take place in the eventful story of Israel! What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. Again a hint of a solemn deliberation in heaven, a prophetic picture of the future of the Jewish race fulfilled with terrible exactness. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid! Well understood they the Speaker's meaning here. He foreshadowed, in no veiled language, the utter ruin of the Jewish polity. When they heard this, forgetting to be scornful, they exclaimed, in deprecation of the ominous and terrible prediction, Μὴ γένοιτο! which we render accurately, though not literally, "God forbid!"
He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?
Verses 17, 18. - And he beheld them, and said, What is this then thai; is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. In spite of the deprecating expression, the severity of the tone of Jesus increases in his next words, when, looking at them with grave anger (ἐμβλέψας), he proceeds to speak of himself under the figure of the rejected stone. Quoting a well-known psalm (Psalm 118:22), and using the imagery of Isaiah 8:14, 15 and Daniel 2:44, he describes his fortunes under the imago of a corner-stone - that stone which forms the junction between the two most prominent walls of a building, and which is always laid with peculiar care and attention. In Luke 2:34 of our Gospel Simeon refers to the same well-known prophetic saying. The husbandmen who had just been described as vine-dressers are now described as builders, and the murdered son is reproduced under the image of a corner, stone tossed aside as useless. In the first part of the picture, the earthly humiliation of Messiah is portrayed when the stone is laid in the earth. In the second, the stone falling from the top of the building represents the crushing of all earthly opposition by Messiah in his glory. Woe to the builders, then, who had scornfully rejected him
Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.
Verse 19. - And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them. Again the Sanhedrim take counsel. They long to arrest him on some capital charge; but they dared not, for the people, joined by the Passover pilgrims, had exalted him to the rank of a hero. Not a few evidently looked on him at that period as King Messiah, But the feeling of the great council was intensely bitter. They felt their power and influence was slipping away from them. These last parables were scarcely veiled attacks on them. In the last spoken words he had calmly announced that he was to die, and their hands were to carry out the bloody work. And then, in the simile of the corner-stone, he, in no ambiguous terms, told them that in killing him they will not be done with him, for that in the end they will be utterly crushed by his power.
And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
Verses 20-26 - The question of the tribute money. Verse 20. - And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take held of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor. In their intense hatred, conscious that the populace were on the whole in sympathy with Jesus, the Sanhedrim, to carry out their design on his life, determined to avail themselves of the hated Roman military police. Their hope henceforward is to substantiate a charge of treason against him. This was, in those troublous times, when insurrection against the detested Gentile rule was ever being plotted, a comparatively easy matter. The incident of the tribute money, which immediately follows, was part of this new departure in the Sanhedrin policy respecting the murder they so longed to see carried out.
And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:
Verses 21, 22. - And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly: Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? SS. Matthew and Mark both tell us that in this plot the Herodians were united with the Pharisees (and Sanhedrin). The great Nazareth Reformer was equally hateful to both these hostile parties; hence their union in this matter. It was a well and skilfully laid question. This "tribute" was a capitation tax - a denarius a head assessed on the whole population, the publicans who farmed it being answerable for it to the Roman treasury. As a direct personal tax it was most unpopular, and was looked on by scrupulous legalists and the more zealous Jews as involving a greater humiliation than the ordinary import or export customs dues. It occasioned at times popular tumults, as in the case of Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37). If Jesus answered the question in the affirmative "Yes, it is lawful for the Jews to give this tribute to Caesar," then the Pharisees would use this decision of his as a means of undermining his credit with the zealous populace. "See, after all," they would say, "this pretended Messiah of yours is but a poor-hearted traitor. Think of King Messiah paying tribute to a Gentile." If, on the other hand, the Master had said such payment of tribute was unlawful, then the Herodians, who were watching him, hoping for some such expression of opinion, would at once have denounced him to their Roman friends as One who taught the people - only too ready to listen to such teaching - lessons of sedition. In the latter case Pilate and the officials of Rome would have taken good care that the Galilaean Master had troubled the Sanhedrin no more.
Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?
But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?
Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's.
Verse 24. - Show me a penny; literally, a denarius, a coin of the value of 7.5 d., but really representing a larger sum in our money. It seems probable, from the language of Mark 12:15, 16, that his interrogators had to borrow the Roman coin in question from some of the neighbouring money-changers. These Jews would scarcely carry any but Jewish coins in their girdles. That the Roman denarius, however, was evidently a coin in common circulation in those days, we gather from the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's. "On one side would be the once beautiful but now depraved features of Tiberius; the title 'Pontifex Maximus' was probably inscribed on the obverse" (Farrar).
And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.
Verse 25. - And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's. As regarded the immediate issues the Lord's answer was in the affirmative: "Yes, it is lawful under the present circumstances to pay this tribute." The Roman money current in the land, bearing the image and title of the Caesar, bore perpetual witness to the fact that the rule of Rome was established and acknowledged by the Jewish people and their rulers. It was a well-known and acknowledged saying, that "he whose coin is current is king of the land." So the great Jewish rabbi Maimonides, centuries after, wrote, "Ubi-cunque numisma regis alicujus obtinet, illic incolae regem istum pro Domino agnoscunt." The tribute imposed by the recognized sovereign ought certainly to be paid as a just debt; nor would this payment at all interfere with the people's discharging their duties God-ward. The tithes, tribute to the temple, the offerings enjoined by the Law they revered, - these ancient witnesses to the Divine sovereignty in Israel might and ought still to be rendered, as well as the higher obligations to the invisible King, such as faith, love, and obedience. Tribute to the Caesar, then, the acknowledged sovereign, in no way interfered with tribute to God. What belonged to Caesar should be given to him, and what belonged to God ought to be rendered likewise to him. Godet, in a long and able note, adds that Jesus would teach the turbulent Jewish people that the way to regain their theocratic independence was not to violate the duty of submission to Caesar by a revolutionary shaking off of his yoke, but to return to the faithful fulfilment of all duties toward God, "To render to God what is God's was the way for the people of God to obtain a new David instead of Caesar as their Lord. To the Pharisees and Zealots, 'Render unto Caesar;' to the Herodians, 'Render unto God.'" Well caught the great Christian teachers their Master's thought here in all their teaching respecting an institution such as slavery, in their injunctions concerning rigid and unswerving loyalty to established authority. So St. Paul: "Be subject to the powers... not only from fear of punishment, but also for conscience' sake" (Romans 13:1 and 1 Timothy).
And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.
Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him,
Verses 27-40. - The scornful question of the Sadducees bearing on the doctrine of the resurrection, and the Lord's reply. Verses 27, 28. - Then came to him certain of the Saddducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. This is the only occasion related in the Gospels where our Lord comes in direct conflict with the Sadducees. They were a small but very wealthy and powerful sect. The high priests at this period and their families seem to have belonged generally to this party. They acknowledged as Divine the books of Moses, but refused to see in them any proof of the resurrection, or indeed of life after death. To the prophets and the other books they only attached subordinate importance. Supercilious worldliness, and a quiet indifference to all spiritual things, characterized them at this period. They come, comparatively speaking, little in contact with Jesus during his earthly ministry. While the Pharisee hated the Galilaean Master, the Sadducee professed to look on him rather with contempt. The question here seems to have been put with supercilious scorn. SS. Matthew and Mark preface the Lord's answer with a few words of grave rebuke, exposing the questioners' utter ignorance of the deep things involved in their query.
Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children.
Verses 29-33. - There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife. The question here put to the Master was a well-known materialistic objection to the resurrection, and had on several occasions Been asked by these shallow Epicureans - as the Talmud calls them - to the great rabbis of the schools of the Pharisees. Their usual answer was that the woman in question would be the wife of the first husband.
And the second took her to wife, and he died childless.
And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also: and they left no children, and died.
Last of all the woman died also.
Therefore in the resurrection whose wife of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
Verses 34-36. - And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: neither can they die any more. How different are the few rare pictures which our Master draws of the heaven-life to those painted by the great founders and teachers of other world-wide religions! In his world beyond the grave, while he tells us of a continuing existence, of varied and ever-increasing activity, in contradistinction to the Nirvana of Buddha, in these pictures of Jesus the sensual paradise of Mohammed, for instance, finds no place. Marriage is, according to our Lord's teaching, but a temporary expedient to preserve the human race, to which death would soon put an end. But in the world to come there will be no death and no marriage. We may assume from his words here that the difference between the sexes will have ceased to exist. They are equal unto the angels. Equal with the angels in being immortal; no death; no marriage. Jesus in this place asserts that angels have a body, but are exempt from any difference of sex. The angels are here introduced because our Lord was speaking with Sadducees, who (Acts 23:8) denied the existence of these glorious beings. He wished to set the seal of his teaching on the deeply interesting question of the existence of angels.
But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
Verses 37, 38. - Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush. You Sadducees, in your own arbitrary fashion, set aside the authority of the prophets and all sacred books save the Pentateuch; well, I will argue with you on your own, comparatively speaking, narrow ground - the books of Moses. Even he, Moses, is singularly clear and definite in his teaching on this point of the resurrection, though you pretend he is not. You are acquainted with the well-known section in Exodus termed 'the Bush :' what read you there?" When he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living; more accurately rendered, not a God of dead beings, but of living beings. The meaning of the Lord's argument is, "God would never have called himself the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, if these patriarchs, after their short lives, had become mere crumbling dust. God cannot be the God of a being who does not exist." So Josephus - who, however, no doubt drew his argument from these words of Christ, for this strong and conclusive argument from the Pentateuch for the immortality of man does not appear to have occurred to rabbis before the time of our Lord - so Josephus writes: "They who die for God's sake live unto God as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the patriarchs." The expression, "at the bush," should be rendered "in the Bush," that is, in that division of Exodus so named. So the Jews termed 2 Samuel 1. and following verses "the Bow;" Ezekiel 1. and following section, "the Chariot."
For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.
Then certain of the scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said.
Verses 39, 40. - Then certain of the scribes answering, said, Master, thou hast well said. And after that they durst not ask him any question at all. "This prompt and sublime answer filled with admiration the scribes, who had so often sought this decisive word in Hoses without finding it; they cannot restrain themselves from testifying their joyful surprise. Aware from this time forth that every snare laid for him will be the occasion for a glorious manifestation of his wisdom, they give up this method of attack" (Godet).
And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.
And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's son?
Verses 41-44. - The question rejecting Christ's being David's Son. Verse 41. - And he said unto them, How say they that Christ is David's Son? St. Matthew gives us more details of what went before the following saying of Jesus in which he asserts the Divinity of Messiah. Jesus asked the Pharisees, "What think ye of Christ? whose Son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord," etc.? (Matthew 22:42-44). This is one of the most remarkable sayings of our Lord reported by the synoptists; in it he distinctly claims for himself Divinity, partiei. pation in omnipotence. Unmistakably, lately, under the thinnest veil of parable, Jesus had told the people that he was Messiah For instance, his words in the parable of the "wicked husbandmen;" in the parable of "the pounds;" in his late acts in the temple - driving out the sellers and buyers, allowing the children in the temple to welcome him with Messianic salutation, receiving as Messiah the welcome of the Passover pilgrims and others on Palm Sunday as he entered Jerusalem. In his later parables, too, he had with startling clearness predicted his approaching violent death. Now, Jesus was aware that the capital charge which would be brought against him would be blasphemy, that he had called himself, not only the Messiah, but Divine, the Son of God (John 5:18; John 10:33; Matthew 26:65). He was desirous, then, before the end came, to show from an acknowledged Messianic psalm that if he was Messiah - and unquestionably a large proportion of the people received him as such - he was also Divine. The words of the psalm (110.) indisputably show this, viz. that the coming Messiah was Divine. This, he pointed out to them, was the old faith, the doctrine taught in their own inspired Scriptures. But this was not the doctrine of the Jews in the time of our Lord. They, like the Ebionites in early Christian days, expected for their Messiah a mere "beloved Man." It is most noticeable that the Messianic claim of Jesus, although not, of course, conceded by the scribes, was never protested against by them. That would have been glaringly unpopular. So many of the people, we know, were persuaded of the truth of these pretensions; Jesus had evidently the greatest difficulty to stay the people's enthusiasm in his favour. What the scribes persistently repelled, and in the end condemned him for, was his assertion of Divinity. In this passage he shows from their own Scriptures that whoever was Messiah must be Divine. He spoke over and over again as Messiah; he acted with the power and in the authority of Messiah; he allowed himself on several public occasions to be saluted as such: who would venture, then, to question that he was fully conscious of his Divinity? This conclusion is drawn, not from St. John, but exclusively from the recitals of the three synoptists.
And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
Verse 42. - And David himself saith in the Book of Psalms, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand. The Hebrew runs thus: "Jehovah said to my Lord (Adonai)." The Eternal is represented as speaking to Davids Lord, who is also David's Son (this appears clearer in St. Matthew's account, Matthew 22:41-46). The Eternal addresses this Person as One raised to sit by him, that is, as a Participator in his all-power, and yet this one is also David's Son! The scribes are asked to explain this mystery; alone this can be done by referring to the golden chain of Hebrew Messianic prophecy; no scribe in the days of our Lord would do this. Such passages as Isaiah 9:6, 7; Micah 5:2; and Malachi 3:1, give a complete and exhaustive answer to the question of Jesus.
Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?
Verse 44. - David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his Son? That Jesus was the acknowledged descendant of David during his earthly ministry, is indisputable; we need but refer to the cries of the populace on Palm Sunday, the words of the woman of Canaan, of blind Bartimaeus, and others. History bears its witness to the same fact. The Emperor Domitian, it is well known, summoned the kinsmen of Jesus, the sons of Jude, his so-called brother, to Rome as "the sons of David,"
Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,
Verses 45-47. - St. Luke's brief summary of the Lord's denunciation of the scribes and others. Verses 45, 46. - Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes. Here, in St. Matthew, follows the great denunciation of the Sanhedrist authorities with the other rabbis, Pharisees, and public teachers and leaders of the people. It fills the whole of the twenty-third chapter of the First Gospel. The details would be scarcely interesting to St. Luke's Gentile readers, so be thus briefly summarizes them. Which desire to walk in long robes. "With special conspicuousness of fringes (Numbers 15:38-40). 'The supreme tribunal,' said R. Nachman, 'will duly punish hypocrites who wrap their talliths round them to appear, what they are not, true Pharisees '" (Farrar).
Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
Verse 47. - Which devour widows' houses. Josephus specially alludes to the influence which certain of the Pharisees had acquired over women as directors of the conscience. For a show; rather, in pretence. "Their hypocrisy was so notorious that even the Talmud records the warning given by Alexander Jannaeus to his wife on his deathbed against painted Pharisees. And in their seven classes of Pharisees, the Talmudic writers place 'Shechemites,' Pharisees from self-interest; 'Stumblers,' so mock-humble that they will not raise their feet from the ground; 'Bleeders,' so mock-modest that, because they will not raise their eyes, they run against walls, etc. Thus the Jewish writers themselves depict the Pharisees as the Tartuffes of antiquity" (Farrar). Shall receive greater damnation; rather, judgment. The translators of our beautiful English version are most unhappy in their usual rendering of κρίμα.