And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
Hearing of Jesus — Of his miracles, and of his arrival at Capernaum.
 And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.
 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
To the poor the Gospel is preached — Which is the greatest mercy, and the greatest miracle of all.
 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
When the messengers were departed — He did not speak the following things in the hearing of John's disciples, lest he should seem to flatter John, or to compliment him into an adherence to his former testimony. To avoid all suspicion of this kind, he deferred his commendation of him, till the messengers were gone; and then delivered it to the people, to prevent all imaginations, as if John were wavering in his judgment, and had sent the two disciples for his own, rather than their satisfaction.
 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
There is not a greater prophet than John — A greater teacher.
But he that is least in the kingdom of God — The least teacher whom I send forth.
 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
And all the people — Our Lord continues his discourse: justified God - Owned his wisdom and mercy in thus calling them to repentance, and preparing them for Him that was to come.
 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
But the Pharisees and scribes — The good, learned, honourable men: made void the counsel, the gracious design, of God toward them - They disappointed all these methods of his love, and would receive no benefit from them.
 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
They are like children sitting in the market place — So froward and perverse, that no contrivance can be found to please them. It is plain our Lord means, that they were like the children complained of, not like those that made the complaint.
 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
But wisdom is justified by all her children — The children of wisdom are those who are truly wise unto salvation. The wisdom of God in all these dispensations, these various methods of calling sinners to repentance, is owned and heartily approved by all these.
 And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat.
And one of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him — Let the candour with which our Lord accepted this invitation, and his gentleness and prudence at this ensnaring entertainment, teach us to mingle the wisdom of the serpent, with the innocence and sweetness of the dove. Let us neither absolutely refuse all favours, nor resent all neglects, from those whose friendship is at best very doubtful, and their intimacy by no means safe.
 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
A woman — Not the same with Mary of Bethany, who anointed him six days before his last passover.
 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
And Jesus said, Simon, I have somewhat to say to thee — So tender and courteous am address does our Lord use even to a proud, censorious Pharisee!
 Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
Which of them will love him most? — Neither of them will love him at all, before he has forgiven them. An insolvent debtor, till he is forgiven, does not love, but fly his creditor.
 And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
Thou gavest me no water — It was customary with the Jews to show respect and kindness to their welcome guests, by saluting them with a kiss, by washing their feet, and anointing their heads with oil, or some fine ointment.
 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
Those many sins of hers are forgiven; therefore she loveth much — The fruit of her having had much forgiven. It should carefully be observed here, that her love is mentioned as the effect and evidence, not the cause of her pardon. She knew that much had been forgiven her, and therefore she loved much.
 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
Thy faith hath saved thee — Not thy love. Love is salvation.