Romans 15:3
For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached you fell on me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) The reproaches. . . .—Literally, after the LXX. version of Psalm 69:9, one of those Psalms of suffering which, like Isaiah 53, afford a type of the sufferings of the Messiah.

Reproached thee fell on me.—The insults directed against God Himself fell upon His servants.

15:1-7 Christian liberty was allowed, not for our pleasure, but for the glory of God, and the good of others. We must please our neighbour, for the good of his soul; not by serving his wicked will, and humouring him in a sinful way; if we thus seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ. Christ's whole life was a self-denying, self-displeasing life. And he is the most advanced Christian, who is the most conformed to Christ. Considering his spotless purity and holiness, nothing could be more contrary to him, than to be made sin and a curse for us, and to have the reproaches of God fall upon him; the just for the unjust. He bore the guilt of sin, and the curse for it; we are only called to bear a little of the trouble of it. He bore the presumptuous sins of the wicked; we are called only to bear the failings of the weak. And should not we be humble, self-denying, and ready to consider one another, who are members one of another? The Scriptures are written for our use and benefit, as much as for those to whom they were first given. Those are most learned who are most mighty in the Scriptures. That comfort which springs from the word of God, is the surest and sweetest, and the greatest stay to hope. The Spirit as a Comforter, is the earnest of our inheritance. This like-mindedness must be according to the precept of Christ, according to his pattern and example. It is the gift of God; and a precious gift it is, for which we must earnestly seek unto him. Our Divine Master invites his disciples, and encourages them by showing himself as meek and lowly in spirit. The same disposition ought to mark the conduct of his servants, especially of the strong towards the weak. The great end in all our actions must be, that God may be glorified; nothing more forwards this, than the mutual love and kindness of those who profess religion. Those that agree in Christ may well agree among themselves.For even Christ - The apostle proceeds, in his usual manner, to illustrate what he had said by the example of the Saviour. To a Christian, the example of the Lord Jesus will furnish the most ready, certain, and happy illustration of the nature and extent of his duty.

Pleased not himself - This is not to be understood as if the Lord Jesus did not voluntarily and cheerfully engage in his great work. He was not "compelled" to come and suffer. Nor is it to be understood as if he did not "approve" the work, or see its propriety and fitness. If he had not, he would never have engaged in its sacrifices and self-denials. But the meaning may be expressed in the following particulars:

(1) He came to do the will or desire of God in "undertaking" the work of salvation. It was the will of God; it was agreeable to the divine purposes, and the Mediator did not consult his own happiness and honor in heaven, but cheerfully came to "do the will" of God; Psalm 40:7-8; compare Hebrews 10:4-10; Philippians 2:6; John 17:5.

(2) Christ when on earth, made it his great object to do the will of God, to finish the work which God had given him to do, and not to seek his own comfort and enjoyment. This he expressly affirms; John 6:38; John 5:30.

(3) he was willing for this to endure whatever trials and pains the will of God might demand, not seeking to avoid them or to shrink from them. See particularly his prayer in the garden; Luke 22:42.

(4) in his life, he did not seek personal comfort, wealth, or friends, or honors. He denied himself to promote the welfare of others; he was poor that they might be rich; he was in lonely places that he might seek out the needy and provide for them. Nay, he did not seek to preserve his own life when the appointed time came to die, but gave himself up for all.

(5) there may be another idea which the apostle had here. He bore with patience the ignorance, blindness, erroneous views, and ambitious projects of his disciples. He evinced kindness to them when in error; and was not harsh, censorious, or unkind, when they were filled with vain projects of ambition, or perverted his words, or were dull of apprehension. So says the apostle, "we" ought to do in relation to our brethren.

But as it is written - Psalm 69:9. This psalm, and the former part of this verse, is referred to the Messiah; compare Romans 15:21, with Matthew 27:34, Matthew 27:48.

The reproaches - The calumnies, censures, harsh, opprobrious speeches.

Of them that reproached thee - Of the wicked, who vilified and abused the law and government of God.

Fell on me - In other words, Christ was willing to suffer reproach and contempt in order to do good to others. tie endured calumny and contempt all his life, from those who by their lips and lives calumniated God, or reproached their Maker. We may learn here,

(1) That the contempt of Jesus Christ is contempt of him who appointed him.

(2) we may see the kindness of the Lord Jesus in being willing thus to "throw himself" between the sinner and God; to "intercept," as it were, our sins, and to bear the effects of them in his own person. He stood between "us" and God; and both the reproaches and the divine displeasure due to them, "met" on his sacred person, and produced the sorrows of the atonement - his bitter agony in the garden and on the cross. Jesus thus showed his love of God in being willing to bear the reproaches aimed at him; and his love to "men" in being willing to endure the sufferings necessary to atone for these very sins.

(3) if Jesus thus bore reproaches, "we" should be willing also to endure them. We suffer in the cause where be has gone before us, and where he has set us the example; and as "he" was abused and vilified, we should be willing to be so also.

3. For even Christ pleased not—lived not to please

himself; but, as it is written—(Ps 69:9).

The reproaches, &c.—see Mr 10:42-45.

For even Christ pleased not himself: he backs his exhortation in Romans 14:1, with an argument taken from the practice of our Lord himself, who is our perfect pattern, and hath left us an example, that we should follow his steps: see John 13:15,34 1 Peter 2:21 1Jo 2:6 4:17. By Christ’s not pleasing himself, is meant his not indulging or sparing himself; he did not seek his own ease, nor to satisfy inclination of the human nature, which abhorreth pain, and the destruction of itself. He took such a course all along as sufficiently demonstrated that he respected our benefit, and not his own.

But; here is an ellipsis, something must he supplied to fill up the sense: either the meaning is, he pleased not himself, but others; or, he pleased not himself, but bore our infirmities and reproaches: or else, he pleased not himself, but it happened to him; or he so carried himself that it might be truly applied to him, which is written, &c.

As it is written; viz. in Psalm 69:9. That David uttered these words in the person of Christ, or as a type of him, may appear from John 2:17. Interpreters are divided about accommodating this testimony to the occasion for which it is brought. Either the meaning is, that Christ did willingly expose himself to all the reproaches and contumelies of men, in obedience to his Father’s will; or else, that he and the same concernments with God the Father, so that what befell God did also befall him; he was as tender of the Father’s honour as of his own: or else, that the sins of men, which are things that cast reproach upon God, were taken by Christ upon himself, and he bore them in his body upon a tree. Seeing then that Christ hath done so much for our sakes, and hath not sought his own ease and benefit, we ought also to seek the good of others, and to deny ourselves: see Philippians 2:6-8. For even Christ pleased not himself,.... He sought not his own ease, pleasure, profit, honour, and glory, but to do his Father's will and work, John 4:34; and he always did the things which pleased him, in his obedience, sufferings, and death; and sought not his own, but his glory: moreover, what he did and suffered were not for himself, but for us; he became incarnate for us; he obeyed, suffered, and died for us; he came not to be ministered to, to be attended upon as an earthly prince, enjoying his own ease and pleasure, things grateful to nature, but to minister to others, Matthew 20:28; hence he appeared in the form of a servant, did the work of one in life, and at last became obedient to death, even the death of the cross, Philippians 2:7, not but that he was well pleased in doing and suffering all this; it was his delight to do the will of God: it was his meat and drink to finish his work; yea, that part of it which was most disagreeable to flesh and blood, was most earnestly desired by him, even the baptism of his sufferings; and in the view of the salvation of his people, and of enjoying their company with him to all eternity, he endured the cross patiently, and despised the shame with pleasure, Hebrews 12:2, but then he met with many things which were far from being grateful to human nature; such as the hardness and unbelief of the Jews, with which he was grieved, their scoffs and insults, reproaches and jeers; the ignorance, frowardness, and moroseness of his own disciples, whose infirmities he bore; and at last the sufferings of death, that bitter cup, which he as man desired might pass from him; but, however, he submitted to his Father's will, Matthew 26:39; all which prove what the apostle here affirms. This instance of Christ, the man of God's right hand, the son of man, whom he has made strong for himself, the head of the church, the leader and commander of the people, bearing the infirmities of the weak, and not pleasing himself, is very pertinently produced, to enforce the above exhortations; who is an example to his people in the exercise of every grace, and the discharge of every duty; as in beneficence, forgiving of injuries, mutual love, meekness and humility, suffering of afflictions, and patience. The proof of it follows,

but as it is written, in Psalm 69:9;

the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me; which are the words of Christ unto his Father, as the whole psalm is to be understood not of David, but of the Messiah, as is clear from the citations out of it, and references to it in the New Testament; see John 2:17, compared with Psalm 69:9, and the meaning of them is, either that the reproaches which were cast on the house, worship, and ordinances of God, affected Christ as much as if they had been cast upon himself; which stirred up his zeal to take the method he did, to show his resentment at such indignities; see John 2:15, or that the same persons by whom the name of God was blasphemed, his sanctuary polluted, and his ordinances reproached, also reproached him; and he bore in his bosom the reproach of all the mighty people, which were in great plenty poured upon him; they reproached him with being a glutton, a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners, Matthew 11:19; they said he was a Samaritan, and had a devil, John 8:48, charged him with blasphemy and sedition, Matthew 26:65; and when on the cross, mocked, reviled, and wagged their heads at him, Matthew 27:39; all which he bore patiently, and reviled not again: moreover, by "reproaches" may be meant the sins of his people, by which the name of God was blasphemed, his law trampled upon with contempt, and the perfections of his nature, as his justice and holiness, dishonoured; and which fell upon Christ, not by chance, but by the appointment of God, and according to his own voluntary agreement; and which he bore in his own body, and made satisfaction for; which though he did willingly, in order to obtain some valuable ends, the salvation of his people, and the glorifying of the divine perfections, the honouring of the law, and satisfying of justice, yet the bearing of them, in itself, could not be grateful to him as such; neither the charge of sin, nor the weight of punishment; and in this respect he pleased not himself, or did that which was grateful to his pure and holy nature.

{2} For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

(2) A confirmation taken from the example of Christ, who suffered all things, to bring not only the weak, but also his most cruel enemies, overcoming them with patience, to his Father.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 15:3. Establishment of this duty by the pattern: for Christ also, etc.

ἀλλὰ, καθὼς κ.τ.λ.] but, as it is written, the reproaches of those reproaching thee fell on me. After ἀλλά a comma only is to be placed, and nothing is to be supplied, neither sibi displicuit with Erasmus, nor fecit with Grotius and others, nor ἐγένετο (Borger) and the like. Had Paul desired to express himself in purely narrative form, he would have written instead of σέ: Θεόν, and instead of ἐμέ: αὐτόν. But he retains the scriptural saying, which he adduces, literally, enhancing thereby the direct force and vivacity of the discourse. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:31; Winer, 534, 556 [E. T. pp. 719, 749].

The passage is Psalm 69:10 (literally after the LXX.), where the suffering subject is a type of the Messiah (comp. Romans 11:9; John 2:17; John 15:25; John 19:28).

That the reproaches of the enemies of God fell on Christ, i.e. that the enemies of God vented their fury on Christ, proves that Christ was bent on pleasing not Himself (for otherwise He would have abstained from taking these His sufferings upon Himself; comp. Hebrews 12:2-3, Php 2:6-8), but men, inasmuch as He in order to their redemption surrendered Himself, with full self-renunciation of His αὐτάρκεια, to the enmity against God of His adversaries. Calvin and others: “Ita se Domino devovisse, ut descinderetur animo, quoties sacrum ejus nomen patere impiorum maledicentiae videret,” so that the idea of self-denying devotion to the cause of God (so also de Wette and Philippi) is expressed. But according to the connection, it is the devotion of Christ, not for the cause of God, but for the salvation of humanity (see Romans 15:2), into fellowship of suffering with which He entered, that is to be proposed as an example. Comp. Matthew 20:28.

ὀνειδισμός belongs to later Greek. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 512.Romans 15:3. καὶ γὰρ ὁ Χριστὸς κ.τ.λ. The duty of not pleasing ourselves is enforced by the example of Christ: He did not please Himself either. If this required proof, we might have expected Paul to prove it by adducing some incident in Christ’s life; but this is not what he does. He appeals to a psalm, which is in many places in the N.T. treated as having some reference to Christ (e.g., John 2:17 = Psalm 69:9, John 15:25 = Psalm 69:4, Matthew 27:27-30 = Psalm 69:12, Matthew 27:34 = Psalm 69:21, Romans 11:9 = Psalm 69:22, Acts 1:20 = Psalm 69:25 : see Perowne, The Psalms, i., p. 561 f.); and the words he quotes from it—words spoken as it were by Christ Himself—describe our Lord’s experiences in a way which shows that He was no self-pleaser. If He had been, He would never have given Himself up willingly, as He did, to such a fate. It is hardly conceivable that σε in Paul’s quotation indicates the man whom Christ is supposed to address: it can quite well be God, as in the psalm. Some have argued from this indirect proof of Christ’s character that Paul had no acquaintance with the facts of His life; but the inference is unsound. It would condemn all the N.T. writers of the same ignorance, for they never appeal to incidents in Christ’s life; and this summary of the whole character of Christ, possessing as it did for Paul and his readers the authority of inspiration, was more impressive than any isolated example of non-selfpleasing could have been.3. For even Christ] Here first in the Epistle St Paul explicitly quotes the Lord’s Example. He soon repeats the reference, Romans 15:7. The main burthen of the Epistle has been His Sacrifice; but the more the Sacrifice is apprehended, the more powerful will the Example be felt to be. It will emphatically be “not merely a model, but a motive.”

pleased not himself] “Not My will, but Thine be done.”

To Messiah Himself, as to His people, suffering was in itself “not joyous, but grievous;” and, in that sense, it was against His will. The doing of His Father’s will involved sufferings; and in those sufferings He “pleased not Himself,” while yet He unutterably “delighted to do the will of Him that sent Him.” (Psalm 40:8; John 4:34.)

as it is written] Psalms 69 (LXX. 68):9. The quotation is verbatim with LXX.—It has been doubted whether we are meant in this passage to view the Saviour as preferring the Father’s pleasure, or Man’s salvation, to His “own will.” The context (Romans 15:1-2) favours the latter; the words of the quotation favour the former. But as the two objects were inseparable in our Lord’s work, both may well be in view here. His “bearing reproach” was the necessary path, alike to “finishing His Father’s work,” and to saving the lost.

Does not St Paul here allude specially to the conflict of Gethsemane, and to the outrages which our Lord patiently bore just afterwards? He had scarcely said “Thy will be done,” when the awful “reproaches” of His night of shame and insult began.

reproached thee] God was “reproached” in effect, by those who, while claiming to act in His Name, were teaching and practising all that was alien to His love and holiness.—Such persons, when they beheld His true Likeness in His Son, inevitably hated and rejected it.Romans 15:3. Ὁ Χριστὸς, Christ) who alone was truly δυνατὸς, strong, comp. Romans 15:1 with ch. 5 and 6: δυνατοὶ strong, ἀσθενεῖς weak.—οὐχ ἑαυτῷ, not Himself) Admirable συγκατάβασις, condescension! Not Himself but us, Romans 15:7-8; Psalm 69:32 : Christ procured ἀρέσκειαν, what is well-pleasing to God for those, who see and are glad [Referring to Psalm 69:32, which see].—ἀλλὰ) but, viz., He took that upon Himself, which is written.—γέγραπται, it is written) Psalm 69:10, with which comp. Romans 15:11-12, in the latter hemistich of either, it matters not which.—οἱἐμὲ) So the LXX.—ἐπέπεσον, fell on) By right Christ might have borne Himself as God, and have enjoyed Divine honours, but He did not use His right, for our sakes, Php 2:6. He indeed thoroughly felt the reproaches, which wicked men cast upon God, with that sorrow, which they ought to have felt, who gave utterance to them; and He Himself bore and expiated those reproaches as patiently, as if He Himself had been the guilty person. His whole sufferings are here intended; He at that time performed the office of a minister [a servant], Matthew 20:28. [At that time, He did not please Himself, but He interposed Himself, in order that in respect to [in the case of] all who had dishonoured GOD, GOD might receive what was well-pleasing [“caperet beneplacitum.” Or rather, that God might by the atonement, be enabled to exercise good-will consistently with justice]. It behoved Him to endure many things with patience, Romans 15:1; Romans 15:4.—V. g.]
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