SUMMARY.--Offenders and Offences. The Power of Faith. The Ten Lepers Cleansed. The Kingdom of God. The Coming of Christ. Lot's Wife.
1, 2. It is impossible but that occasions of stumbling should come. See notes on Matt. 18:6, 7.
3, 4. If thy brother sin, rebuke him. See notes on Matt. 18:15-22. Observe that kind rebuke, as well as forgiveness, is a duty.
5, 6. Increase our faith. They desire more faith. In the face of the overwhelming odds against them, the general unbelief, and the fact that Jesus would not be the kind of a Christ that they and all the Jews had expected, they felt the need of more faith. As a grain of mustard seed. See notes on Matt. 13:32. Sycamine tree. A species of the fig. It should obey you. See notes on Mark 11:22-26.
7-10. Who is there of you? This parable is drawn from the Eastern usages where the same servant who works in the field often serves at the table. Gird thyself. The loose flowing garments needed to be girded up by the belt when one was serving. We are unprofitable servants. Our Master owes us no thanks when we serve him faithfully, for we have only done our duty. The heavenly reward to the faithful is of grace, not of debt (Rom. 11:6).
11-19. As he went to Jerusalem. When is uncertain. If on his last journey, it was when the Lord first departed from Galilee, before his teaching in Perea. Through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. From the west to the east, so as to cross the Jordan. There met him ten men that were lepers. For account of the leprosy, and the laws of Moses concerning it, see notes on Matt. 8:2. These lepers, excluded from other society, grouped together for company. Stood afar off. As required by the law of Moses (Lev. 13:46). Go and shew yourselves. To be officially pronounced clean, a certificate had to be obtained from the priests (see notes, Matt. 8:4). They were cleansed. As they went, an act of faith, they were healed. Not one would have been healed if he had disobeyed. One of them . . . turned back. To give glory to God, and thanks to Jesus for his salvation. A Samaritan. The nine were Jews; one belonged to the hated race. Where are the nine? What a striking illustration of the ingratitude of men! One returns, the alien; the other, saved from a living death, are heard no more. Thy faith hath saved thee. Saved him by leading him to obedience. His faith had added to it another grace, that of love. His faith had not only saved his body, but he had been born to the new life, his soul was saved.
20, 21. When the kingdom of God cometh. These Pharisees expected a visible, temporal kingdom. Cometh not with observation. As a visible, earthly monarchy, like that of David. Is within you. A kingdom that has its throne in the heart, on which Christ, the King, sits. It has to be formed by yielding our hearts to Christ.
22-24. Ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man. His second coming. The church longs for his appearing. See 2 Tim. 4:8. For as the lightning. See notes on Matt. 24:16-18. The remainder of the chapter is a condensed and fragmentary report of a part of Matthew, chapter 24.
31, 32. See notes on Matt. 24:16-18. Remember Lot's wife. By tarrying and looking back, the warning came to flee, she lost her life. So hesitation and delay at this great crisis will be perilous.
33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life. See notes on Matt. 10:39.
34-36. See notes on Matt. 24:37-41.
37. See notes on Matt. 24:28.