LIFE OF CHRIST
A Harmony of the Gospels
And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and
journeying toward Jerusalem. (23) Then one said to Him, "Lord, are
there few who are saved?"
And He said to them, (24) "Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be
able. (25) When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut
the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to
you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' (26) then you will
begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught
in our streets.' (27) But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know
you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of
iniquity.' (28) There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when
you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the
kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. (29) They will come from
the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit
down in the kingdom of God. (30) And indeed there are last who will
be first, and there are first who will be last."
Strive to enter
||agonize, compete, strive
Signifying to "contend" as for the mastery.
Originally it was to contend for a prize in the public games;
and thus conveying a sense of struggle.
The word is kin to the "agony" of the garden (Luke 22:44),
and certainly teaches that one must put forth more personal effort than
merely casually "accept" salvation.
Many will seek ... will not be able
||They seek the wrong way
||They seek at the wrong time
||When the door is shut
||They seek in the wrong place
||They seek upon the wrong plea
||We ate and drank with you
||They seek with the mouth, but not with the heart
||Seek with the whole heart
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
This portion corresponds to Matthew 8:11,12.
It is the closest communion with the most eminent followers of God. But if
we desire to inherit the promises, we must be followers of them who
through faith and patience enjoy them.
We must imitate:
||OBEDIENCE unto death
EXPECTATION of good things to come
According to the Jewish idea, one of the main elements of the happiness of
the Messianic kingdom was the privilege of participating in splendid
festive entertainments along with the Patriarchs of the nation.
They shall come from the East ... West ... North ... South
That is, the Gentiles, in every part of the world, shall receive the
Gospel of the grace of God, when the Jews shall have rejected it, and will
have the privileges of the Chosen Ones in the Kingdom.
|(31) On that very
day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, "Get out and depart from
here, for Herod wants to kill You."
(32) And He said to them, "Go,
tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures
today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.'
(33) Nevertheless I must journey today, tomorrow, and the
day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish
outside of Jerusalem.
(34) "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the
prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I
wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her
brood under her wings, but you were not willing! (35)
See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to
you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say,
'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'"
Depart from here
He was on His way to Jerusalem (v. 22), probably from Perea, and thus away
from the jurisdiction of Herod.
Herod wants to kill you
Lactantius says that this Herod was the person who chiefly instigated the
Jewish rulers to put Jesus to death -
fearing lest he should be expelled from the kingdom, if Jesus should be
permitted to set up His Kingdom.
Haunted by guilty fears, probably, Herod wanted to get rid of Him, and
seems, from the Lord's answer, to have sent these Pharisees, under the
pretence of a friendly hint, to persuade Him that the sooner He got beyond Herod's jurisdiction the better it would be for His own safety. Jesus saw
through both of them, and sends the cunning ruler a message couched in
dignified and befitting irony.
Tell that fox
Describing his cunning and cowardice - that crafty, cruel enemy of God's
Jesus knew his heart, and saw that he covered his desire for the
destruction of Jesus under the pretence of zeal
for the law and welfare of the Jewish people. A symbol among the Jews appears
to have been the emblem of a wicked ruler, who united cunning with
cruelty, and was always plotting how he might aggrandize himself (increase
his power) by spoiling the people. The ultimate dream of Herod Antipas was
to attain the power and rule that his father, Herod the Great, had. Jesus
of Nazareth was another stepping stone in that direction, and Jesus saw
through his whole scheme.
I shall be perfected
Literally, "I am being perfected," or "completed."
Here He speaks of a
future day, "the third day," with a present accomplishment.
Another veiled reference to His death, and on the third day, His
A prophet ... perish outside of Jerusalem
"... for it will never do for a prophet to be destroyed away from Jerusalem" (Amplified New Testament).
An awful severity of satire upon "the bloody
city," of which He says in verse 34 "...
Jerusalem, who kills the
prophets, and stones them that are sent"
He could paraphrase it: "He seeks to kill me, does he? Ah! I must be
out of Herod' s jurisdiction for that. Go tell him that I neither fly from
him nor fear him, but Jerusalem is the prophet's slaughter-house and I
must go there."
Note: The two times He speaks about the progression of 3 days (Vs. 32,33).
||Is prophetic concerning His death,
burial, and resurrection, at which time "cures" and power to
cast out devils were completed and procured for use by His "body,"
and at which time He was "perfected by obedience unto death."
||Is a statement concerning His natural
progress and journey toward Jerusalem at the time.
|(1) Now it happened, as He
went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat
bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely. (2)
And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy.
(3) And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and
Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"
(4) But they kept silent. And He took him and healed
him, and let him go. (5) Then He answered them,
saying, "Which of you, having a donkey or
an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him
out on the Sabbath day?" (6) And they could
not answer Him regarding these things.
(7) So He told a parable to those who were invited, when
He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:
(8) "When you are invited by anyone
to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one
more honorable than you be invited by him; (9) and
he who invited you and him come and say to you, 'Give place to
this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest
place. (10) But when you are invited, go and sit
down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes
he may say to you, 'Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have
glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.
(11) For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he
who humbles himself will be exalted."
(12) Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When
you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your
brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also
invite you back, and you be repaid. (13) But when
you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the
blind. (14) And you will be blessed, because they
cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of
(15) Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him
heard these things, he said to Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat
bread in the kingdom of God!"
(16) Then He said to him, "A certain
man gave a great supper and invited many, (17) and
sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were
invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' (18)
But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first
said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and
see it. I ask you to have me excused.' (19) And
another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going
to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' (20)
Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I
cannot come.' (21) So that servant came and reported
these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being
angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and
lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and
the lame and the blind.' (22) And the servant said,
'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.'
(23) Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the
highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house
may be filled. (24) For I say to you that none of
those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'"
To eat bread on the Sabbath
Some would wonder why there should be an invitation or dinner given on the
The Jews purchased and prepared the best dishes they could
procure for the Sabbath day, in order to do it honor.
Lightfoot give an
example of this custom from the rabbins: "Rabba Bar Rabh Houna went to the
house of Rabba Bar Rabh Nachman. He set before him three measures of rich
cake; to whom he said; 'How did you know of my coming?' The other
answered, 'Is there any thing more valuable to us than the Sabbath?' The
Gloss is: 'We do by no means prefer thee before the Sabbath; we got these
things ready in honor of the Sabbath, not knowing any thing of thy
They watched him
There were maliciously watching, which is the frequent meaning of the
word, and as this context plainly shows. The conduct of this Pharisee was
most detestable. Professing friendship and affection, he invited the
Lord to his table, merely that he might have a more favorable opportunity of watching His conduct, that he might accuse Him.
A disease of the body causing swelling due to excess water.
The face of
the patient is often very much bloated.
They chose the best places
The Jews at this period had adopted the system of "triclinia" from the
Greeks and Romans, and the "chief seat"
was the middle seat in the central "triclinium," or couch on which the
honored guest was reclining.
The closer one was to this coveted spot, the
more honored he was.
Give place to this man ... or ... go up higher
A reproduction of Proverbs 25 :6,7
|Do not exalt yourself in the presence of the king,
and do not stand in the place of the great; for it is better
that he say to you, "Come up here," than that you should
be put lower in the presence of the prince, whom your eyes
have seen. (NKJV)
The host did not hesitate to regulate the position of his guests after
they had settled it for themselves. He gave
the highest in rank the chief place, sending the men up or down as
Morier was at an entertainment in Persia where the
governor of Kashan entered and took the lowest place. The host, on
discovering him, pointed with his hand to an upper seat, which the
governor took, the other guests making way for him.
Began to make excuses
There were three excuses given which correspond to the tares in the
Parable of the Sower
(Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14):
||Must see his field
||Cares of the world
||Must prove his oxen
||Deceitfulness of riches
||Married a wife
||Pleasures of this life
The master of the house, being angry
The custom was that messengers were sent to invite the guests to a feast; when not only
relatives, but also all persons of the
same division of caste in the neighborhood, were invited.
A refusal to
attend was considered as a great affront and insult.
It is probably to just such a
custom that He here refers.
3 FOOLISH MISTAKES (OR EXCUSES):
||Bought land without seeing it
||(or wanted to see it again)
||Bought oxen without seeing them
||(or wanted to see them again)
||Willing to leave his wife for other
things but not this
||(wasn't asked to divorce her -just come
to a dinner)
Let us again examine our PRIORITIES and
All 3 of these are good and important in their place, but they must not
become more important than the Lord!
Excerpts from Farrar:
(Life of Christ by Dr. Frederic W. Farrar Copyright: 1949)
| Jesus told them a parable to show that "to eat bread in the kingdom of
heaven" might involve conditions
which those who felt so very sure of doing it would not be willing to
accept. He told them of a king who had sent out many invitations to a
great banquet, but who, when the due time came, was met by general
One had his estate to manage, and was positively obliged to go and see a
new addition to it. Another was deep in buying and selling, and all the
business it entailed. A third was so lapped in contented domesticity that
his coming was out of the question.
The king, rejecting, in his anger, these disrespectful and dilatory
guests, bade his slaves go at once to the broad and narrow streets, and
bring in the poor and maimed, and lame and blind; and when that was done,
and there still was room, he sent them to urge in even the houseless
wanderers by the hedges and the roads. The
application to all present was obvious. The worldly heart - whether absorbed in
the management of property, or the acquisition of riches, or the mere
sensualists of contented comfort - was incompatible with any desire for the
true banquet of the kingdom of heaven.
The Gentile, the harlot, and the publican, the laborer of the roadside and
the beggar of the streets, these might be there in greater multitudes than
the Scribe with his boasted learning, and the Pharisee with his broad
phylactery. "For I say unto you," He added in His own person, to point
out the moral more immediately to their own hearts, "that none of those
men who were called shall taste of My Supper."
It was the lesson that He so often pointed, "To be invited is one thing,
to accept the invitation is another. Many are called, but few are chosen."
The call is urgent - "go quickly - compel them" - the feast
- the house must be filled.
|(25) Now great multitudes went with Him.
And He turned and said to them, (26) "If
anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife
and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also,
he cannot be My disciple. (27) And whoever does not
bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
(28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, does
not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to
finish it -- (29) lest, after he has laid the
foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to
mock him, (30) saying, 'This man began to build and
was not able to finish.' (31) Or what king, going to
make war against another king, does not sit down first and
consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who
comes against him with twenty thousand? (32) Or
else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a
delegation and asks conditions of peace. (33) So
likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot
be My disciple.
(34) "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor,
how shall it be seasoned? (35) It is neither fit for
the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has
ears to hear, let him hear!"
An idiom of preference.
From the Greek verb "miseo," which means to hate, detest, or abhor -
however, it is also used in the sense of
|regarding with less affection,
to love less, or
to esteem less.
It is in this second sense that the word is
here used, which is clarified in Matthew 10:37.
|He who loves father or mother more than Me is not
worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not
worthy of Me.
We see this same idiomatic expression used in Romans 9:13
|Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
The Hebrew idiom also appears in Genesis 29:30,31
|Jacob ... loved Rachel more than Leah
The lesson here emphasizes the necessity of determining:
As opposed to
|The priority of family wishes and opinions
|The priority of the will of God
It is inevitable that we must all eventually choose between the two.
cannot be my disciple - not only not allowed, but it is not in the realm of
possibility to follow Christ unless we love Him first and foremost.
3 Things Necessary To Be A Disciple Of Christ
||Love Him above all else
||Take up our cross and follow Him
All must bear the cross, but not necessarily all the same cross: each one
HIS OWN cross.
"Whoever does not persevere and carry his own cross and
come after Me, cannot be My disciple."
(Amplified New Testament)
To build a tower
Probably this means no more than a dwelling house, on the top of which
according to the Asiatic manner, battlements were built:
||To serve as a place on which to get fresh air
||To serve for refuge from and defense against an enemy
||To be used for prayer and meditation
Build a tower ... Make war
In these two parables, two things are taught, which come together into one
||It is better not to begin, than to
begin and not finish.
||They point out the absurdity of those
who undertook to be disciples of Christ, without considering what
difficulties they were to meet with, and what strength they had to
enable them to go through with the undertaking.
He that will be a true disciple of Jesus Christ shall require no less than
the mighty power of God to support him. Though the contest for salvation
be, on our part, an awfully unequal one, the human will, in the exercise
of that "faith which overcomes the world" (1 John 5:4), and nerved by
power from above, which "out of weakness makes it strong (Hebrews 11 :34;
1 Peter 1 :5), becomes heretical and will come off "more than conqueror."
But without ABSOLUTE SURRENDER OF SELF
the contest is hopeless.
|(1) Then all the tax
collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.
(2) And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying,
"This Man receives sinners and eats with them." (3)
So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
(4) "What man of you, having a
hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the
ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is
lost until he finds it? (5) And when he has found
it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And
when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors,
saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep
which was lost!' (7) I say to you that likewise
there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance."
Receives them in a tender manner; treats them with kindness;
does not drive them from his presence.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by
'Welcomes sinners,' into his company
(from the UBS Handbook Series. Copyright (c) 1961-1997, by
This was the very purpose for which Jesus came:
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."
A hundred sheep
Parables similar to this are frequent among the Jewish writers. The Lost
Sheep is an emblem of a heedless, thoughtless sinner: one who follows the
corrupt dictates of his own heart, without ever reflecting upon his
conduct, or considering what will be the issue of his unholy course
It is interesting that throughout the Scriptures we are referred to as
||No creature strays more easily than a
||None is more heedless
||None is so incapable of finding its way
back to the flock, when once gone astray
||It will bleat for the flock, and still
run on in an opposite direction
||None is more helpless when left to
itself - either to find sustenance or protection
||None is more defenseless
||None is more exposed to be devoured by
dogs and wild bests
||Even the fowls of the air seek their
(Clark says he has known ravens often attempt to destroy Iambs by
picking out their eyes)
This is the second time Jesus referred to lost sheep.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition,
Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)
||There it was designed to show the care
God takes for the preservation of believers, as a reason
why we should not offend them.
||Here it is designed to show the
pleasure God takes in the conversion of unbelievers, as a reason
why we should rejoice in it.
what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does
not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until
she finds it? (9) And when she has found it, she
calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with
me, for I have found the piece which I lost!' (10)
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the
angels of God over one sinner who repents."
A "drachme," equal to a roman "denarius," about 17 cents, or a day's wage.
All ten would total about $1.70.
In these two parables of the Lost Sheep
and the Lost Coin, we see:
||The Seeker's Loss
||The Seeker's Activity
||The Seeker's Persistence
||Seeks Until Found
||The Seeker's Love
||Brings It Back
||The Seeker's Joy
||Calls Friends & Neighbors to Rejoice
Parables of this type afford many useful allegories to preachers of the
Gospel, by which they may edify their hearers. But let us not loose sight
of the main reason of this portion - the murmurings of the Pharisees and
scribes because Jesus received publicans and sinners, and even ate with
Jesus answered the murmurings of these hypocritical self-styled judges with
these two parables, the basic meaning of which is: "You turn from these
lost ones with disdain, and because I do not the same, you murmur
at it: but a very different feeling is cherished in heaven. There, the
recovery of even one such outcast is watched with interest and hailed with
joy; nor are they left to come home of themselves or perish; for 10! Even
now the great Shepherd is going after His lost sheep, and the Owner is
making the diligent search for the lost property; and He is finding it, and bringing it back with joy,
and all heaven is full of this joy."
|(11) Then He said: "A
certain man had two sons. (12) And the younger of
them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods
that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood.
(13) And not many days after, the younger son gathered all
together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his
possessions with prodigal living. (14) But when he
had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he
began to be in want. (15) Then he went and joined
himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his
fields to feed swine. (16) And he would gladly have
filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one
gave him anything.
(17) "But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of
my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I
perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my
father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against
heaven and before you, (19) and I am no longer
worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired
(20) "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was
still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion,
and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. (21)
And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven
and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your
(22) "But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the
best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and
sandals on his feet. (23) And bring the fatted calf
here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; (24)
for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is
found.' And they began to be merry.
(25) "Now his older son was in the field. And as he came
and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
(26) So he called one of the servants and asked what these
things meant. (27) And he said to him, 'Your brother
has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your
father has killed the fatted calf.'
(28) "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his
father came out and pleaded with him. (29) So he
answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have
been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any
time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make
merry with my friends. (30) But as soon as this son
of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots,
you killed the fatted calf for him.'
(31) "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me,
and all that I have is yours. (32) It was
right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother
was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'"
The portion of goods
According to the Jewish law of inheritance, if there were but two sons, the elder would receive two portions, the younger the third of all
A man might, during his lifetime, dispose of all his
property by gift as he chose. If the share of the younger child was to
be diminished by gift or taken away, a person presumably near death must
make the disposition.
No one in good health could diminish, except by gift, the legal portion
of a younger son.
The younger son thus was entitled by law to his share, though he had no right to claim it during his father's lifetime (Clark
mentions the custom in the East where the son could demand his
inheritance from the father, and his father could not refuse. However, this appears to be in India, and there is no evidence that the Romans or
the Jews ever observed this custom).
The request must be regarded as asking a favor on the part of the Son, and on the part of the father, of granting that favor as a gift.
This is MAN, impatient of Divine control, desiring to be independent of
God, seeking to be his own master; that "sin of sins, in which all
subsequent sins are included as in their germ, for they are but the
unfolding of this one." (Trench)
Thus "God, when His service no longer appears a perfect freedom, and man
promises himself something for better elsewhere, allows him to make the
trial: and he shall discover, if need be by saddest proof, that to
depart from Him is not to throw off the yoke, but to exchange a light
yoke for a heavy one, and one gracious Master for a thousand imperious
tyrants and lords." (Trench)
To feed swine
This was considered one of the most degrading employments, not only by
Jews, but by other nations as well. Among the Egyptians, for example,
the swineherds were completely cut off from society. They could not
worship the gods, or marry even the lowest of the people.
Translated "husks" in the
The pods of the
carob tree, and means "little horns," because of their
The tree is about 30 feet high, with a crown of like spread, which matures fruit in 30 years, and has glossy evergreen leaves and
leguminous pods. The fleshy pods are from 6 to 10 inches long, and one
inch broad, with pea-like seeds embedded in a sweet pulp. It was a
staple cattle food throughout the Mediterranean basin, and the poor eat
the pods. Called "St. John's Bread" from a belief that carob pods rather
than insects were the locusts which John the Baptist ate.
quotes a Jewish saying, " When Israel is reduced to the carob-tree, and
they become repentant."
He came to himself
A striking expression, putting the state of rebellion against God as a
kind of madness.
It is a wonderful stroke of art,
|to represent the
beginning of repentance
||as the return of a sound consciousness
Little by little Satan will blind our understanding unless we remain
The best robe
That chief garment that was laid by, to be used only on birthdays or
The Robe represents DIVINE ROYALTY AND PURITY
Giving a ring was in ancient times a mark of honor and dignity.
proclamation was not in effect without
the stamp of the King's ring.
When Pharaoh gave Joseph the ring (Genesis
41:41,42), he gave Joseph the power and authority of Pharaoh himself.
The Ring represents DIVINE POWER AND AUTHORITY
Slaves went barefoot.
Those who were captive had their shoes taken off,
and when they were restored to liberty
their shoes were restored.
Also, the very poor did not have shoes.
The Shoes represent DIVINE LIBERTY AND ABUNDANCE
The fatted calf
In ancient times the animals provided for public feasts were first
sacrificed to God.
The blood of the beast being poured out before God, by way of atonement for sin, the flesh was considered as consecrated, and the guests were considered as feeding on Divine food.
The Calf represents DIVINE RECONCILIATION AND ATONEMENT
Without Christ, we all fall into one of
these three categories:
||Knew it was lost but didn't know how to get back
||Did not know it was lost, and did not know how to be
||Knew he was lost and knew how to get back
Compare the Prodigal Son with the man in the parable of the
The Man in the Parable of the Good Samaritan
The Prodigal Son
||Left City of God
||Left House of Father
||Went Down to Jericho
||Went to a Far Country
||Fell among thieves
||Chose wicked Friends
||They Beat Him
||There was Great Famine
||Left for dead
||Found by Good Samaritan
||Accepted by his Father
Compare the Elder Brother and the Pharisees
||(Vs.2, 29, 30)
||(V s. 2, 30)
||Both were jealous of sinners
||(Vs. 2, 27-32)
||Both lacked love for sinners
||(V s. 2, 28)
||Both were sullen
||(Vs. 1, 2, 25-27)
||Both saw sinners blessed
||(V s. 1, 2, 26)
||Both were ignorant of what was happening
||(V s. 2, 28)
||Both were angry
||(V s. 3- 7, 28)
||Both were entreated
||(Vs. 7, 29, 30)
||Both claimed to be justified in their actions
||(Vs. 2, 28-32)
||Both sought to keep sinners from being blessed
||(Vs. 2, 28-32)
||Both had no mercy on sinners
||(Vs. 29; 18:9-14)
||Both bragged on themselves
||(Vs. 29; Mt. 23:28)
||Both were self-righteous
||(Vs. 29; 18:9-14; Mt. 23:3)
||Both claimed to keep the commandments
||(Vs. 2, 29)
||Both found fault
It may also be remarked, that those who were since called Jews and
Gentiles, were at first one family, and children of the same father: that the descendants of Ham and Japheth, from whom the principal part of
the Gentile world was formed, had fallen off from the true religion.
And now Jesus shows that the Gentiles, being received into the favor of
God, are made, with them, fellow heirs of the kingdom of heaven.
|(1) He also said to
His disciples: "There was a certain rich
man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that
this man was wasting his goods. (2) So he called him
and said to him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account
of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'
(3) "Then the steward said within himself, 'What
shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from
me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. (4) I have
resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship,
they may receive me into their houses.'
(5) "So he called every one of his master's debtors
to him, and said to the first, 'How much do you owe my master?'
(6) And he said, 'A hundred measures of oil.' So he said
to him, 'Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'
(7) Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' So
he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' And he said to him,
'Take your bill, and write eighty.' (8) So the
master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt
shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their
generation than the sons of light.
(9) "And I say to you, make friends for yourselves
by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you
into an everlasting home. (10) He who is faithful in
what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in
what is least is unjust also in much. (11) Therefore
if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who
will commit to your trust the true riches? (12) And
if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will
give you what is your own?
(13) "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will
hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the
one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
(14) Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also
heard all these things, and they derided Him. (15)
And He said to them, "You are those who
justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For
what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight
(16) "The law and the prophets were until John. Since that
time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is
pressing into it. (17) And it is easier for heaven
and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
(18) "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from
her husband commits adultery."
THIS PARABLE WAS SPOKEN TO THE DISCIPLES
The steward had general charge of the business of the house, and
especial care of the heir.
The office is a very ancient one. Abraham had
a steward, Eliezer (Genesis 15:2).
The steward was generally an old
faithful slave, though sometimes free men were so employed.
honorable position of the steward is seen in the fact that he was
considered to be ruler over the household.
He assigned to the members of the household their several duties, and
paid to each his or her wages.
He was the paymaster.
He kept the
household stores under lock and seal, giving out what was required; and
for this purpose received a signet ring from his master.
Wasting his goods
Literally "was wasting;" not merely a past offence, but something going
on at the time. He was not only being profuse and profligate, but he was
accused of embezzling his master's substance.
Cannot dig ... ashamed to beg
He could not submit to become a common day laborer, which was both a
severe and base employment, and he was ashamed to beg. As these were the
only honest ways left to him, he found he must continue the system of
dishonesty in order to provide for his idleness and luxury. It seems
strange that he is ashamed to beg, but not ashamed to embezzle.
They may receive me
That is, the debtors and tenants, who paid their debts and rents, not in
money, but in "kind;" such as wheat, oil, and other produce of their
A hundred measures of oil
Measures in this verse is "batous" - "baths."
bath was a Hebrew
measure, but the amount is uncertain, since, according to Edersheim, there were three kinds of measurement in use in Palestine:
||The original Mosaic
||Corresponding with the Roman
||That of Jerusalem
||Which was a fifth larger
||The common Galilean measurement
||Which was more than a fifth larger than the
His debt was approximately about 7 1/2 to 9 gallons of oil, and the
steward reduced it in half.
A hundred measures of wheat
Measures here is "korous" -"cors."
The cor was 10 baths; the
dry and fluid measures being the same.
His debt was approximately 75 to 90 gallons of wheat, and 1/5 to 60-72
gallons, or 80 cors reduced it.
Commended the unjust steward
The master of the steward merely acknowledged that the steward had made
quite a plan to provide for himself.
There was nothing the master could do about it, for the debtors would
stand by the steward because it was to their benefit. The master could
not prove that the new contracts were not the old ones.
This account of an Asiatic custom from Capt. Hadley' s Hindostan
|A certain deputy, while his master was gone, established a
court of justice. Having searched for a good many debtors and their
creditors, he learned the accounts of their bonds. He then made an
agreement with them to get the bonds out of the bondsmen's
hands for half the debt, if they would give him one fourth. Thus, any
debtor for 100 rupees, having given 50 to the creditor, and 25 to this
knave, got his bond for 75 rupees.
Shrewd - the KJV translates it "wise", and "wisely"
However, it is not necessarily wise in a good and acceptable sense, as if the unjust
steward had done the right thing, but "shrewd," or "sagacious."
Make friends ... by unrighteousness mammon
This was possibly a parenthetical expression aside to Judas
Jesus was not suggesting that they go out and embezzle.
This is contrary to Vs. 10-13, and all other Scriptures that teach that
riches gained unjustly must be restored to the rightful owners.
that riches gained by unjust means are sanctioned by Jesus, or that they
gain one a passport to heaven if they are sanctified to God, is a
perversion of the words of Jesus.
Syriac Peshitta has:
"And I also say to you, Use this earthly wealth, however acquired,
to make friends so that
When it is gone, they will receive you and you will have everlasting
The point of this remark is the NECESSITY OF PREPARATION FOR THE FUTURE.
Jesus qualified this by His explanation in verses 10-13.
faithfulness and honesty ... the importance of being trustworthy, and the
rewards involved in such.
He also emphasizes the impossibility of "serving" (being a slave to) riches and possessions, while at the same time claiming to be a servant
of God. As the love of one is the "root of all evil," and the love of
the other is the root of all good, He says it is absolutely impossible
to love both, and the one you love is the one you serve.
was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen
and fared sumptuously every day. (20) But there was
a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at
his gate, (21) desiring to be fed with the crumbs
which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and
licked his sores. (22) So it was that the beggar
died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich
man also died and was buried. (23) And being in
torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar
off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
(24) "Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy
on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in
water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'
(25) But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that in your
lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus
evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented.
(26) And besides all this, between us and you there is a
great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to
you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.'
(27) "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you
would send him to my father's house, (28) for I have
five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come
to this place of torment.' (29) Abraham said to him,
'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'
(30) And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to
them from the dead, they will repent.' (31) But he
said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'"
The story of two beggars - One in this life -
One in the next life
This account has been referred to parable, and, indeed,
Jesus used it in a parabolic sense, in order to illustrate a
spiritual truth. However, we must not forget that Jesus said,
"There was a certain rich man. ..."
Although we refer to it as a "parable," the facts of
the illustration stand as fact - not as merely a hypothetical
case conjured up to make a point. The men were real, and the
situation was literal!
This verb is in the "imperfect" tense - "was being clothed."
It denotes his Habitual Attire - it was a way of life - always living in
Originally the purple fish from which the color was obtained, and
thence applied to the color itself.
Several kinds of these were found in the Mediterranean.
The color was contained in a vein about the neck.
Under the term "purple" the ancients included three
The dye was permanent.
||A deep violet, with a black or dusky tinge
||Deep scarlet or crimson - the Tyrian purple
||The deep blue of the Mediterranean
Alexander is said by Plutarch to have found in the royal palace at Susa
garments that preserved their freshness
of color though they had been laid up for nearly two hundred years; and
Mr. St. John relates that a small pot of the dye was discovered at Pompeii
that had preserved the tone and richness attributed to the Tyrian purple.
This fixedness of color is alluded to in Isaiah 1:18 - " ...though your
sins were as scarlet. ..."
From the Greek word "byssus."
Yellowish flax, and the linen made from it.
Herodotus says it was used for
enveloping mummies, a statement confirmed by microscopic examinations. He
also speaks of it as a bandage for a wound.
Some of the Egyptian linen was so fine that it was called "woven air."
Gardner Wilkinson says that some in his possession was, to the touch, comparable to silk, and not inferior in texture to the finest cambric. It
was often as transparent as lawn, a fact illustrated by the painted
sculptures, where the entire form is often made distinctly visible through
the outer garment.
This material was enormously costly.
Also in a continuous tense - "...habitually ... reveled and feasted and
made merry in splendor every day."
(Amplified New Testament)
From "ebebleto," "was thrown" - he
was cast carelessly down by his bearers and left there.
" ...there was (carelessly) dropped down and left a certain utterly
destitute man (reduced to begging alms) and covered with (ulcerated)
Desiring to be fed
"Eagerly" and not receiving what he desired.
The same thing is implied in
the story of the prodigal, where the same word is used, "...he would
gladly have filled his stomach," but the pods did not satisfy his hunger.
As the rich man lived in continual luxury and satisfaction,
in continual pain, misery, want, and hunger.
With the crumbs
Some suppose that by these "crumbs" are meant the pieces of bread where
with it was customary at table to
wipe the fingers, an act rendered necessary by the practice of conveying
the food to the mouth by means of the hand (in other words, the bread
served the purpose of a napkin).
When the fingers were thus wiped, the
fragments of bread that had been used for this purpose were thrown to the
ground, where the dogs were allowed to get them.
We see by this the connection with the closing part of the text: "...the dogs came and licked his sores."
With the dogs he had his food, and
the compassionate beasts not only permitted him to partake of their food, but also nursed him in his sickness.
A Rabbinical phrase, equivalent to being with Abraham in Paradise.
Israelite Abraham seems the personal center and meeting-point of
The Rich Man
||Clothed in purple and fared
sumptuously ever day
||A beggar full of sores that the dogs
||Died and his body was buried with a
||Died and his body was disposed of
||His soul went to hell
||His soul was carried by the angels to
||Cried for mercy and begged for Lazarus
to cool his tongue with a drop of water
||He was in comfort, ease, and luxury
||Concerned about those he had left
behind, and led astray
||Had no regrets of the past life
||Retained soul and spirit faculties
capable of feelings, emotions, and all other soul passions
||Retained soul and spirit faculties
capable of enjoyment of eternity with God
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses
his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is
himself destroyed or lost? (NKJV)
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for
Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish,
that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my
own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is
through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by
faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection,
and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His
death, if, by any means, I may attain to the
resurrection from the dead. (NKJV)
(End of Lesson Eighteen)