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but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is Letrayed ! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
* The Son of man goeth. That is, the Messiah; the Christ. Note, Matt. viii. 20. Goeth.' Dies, or will die. The Hebrews often spoke in this manner of death, Psa. xxxix. 13. • As it is written of him. That is, as it is written or prophesied of him in the Old Testament. Compare Psa. xli. 9, with John xiii. 18. See also Dan. ix. 26, 27. Isai. liii. 4–9. Luke, xxii. 22, says, was determined! It was the previous intention of God to give him up to die for sin, or it could not have been certainly pre. dicted. It is also declared to have been by his determinate counsel and forekncwledge, Acts ii. 23. 'Woe unto that man,' &e. He shall be miserable. The crime is great and awful, and he will be punished accordingly. “It had been good,' &c. "That is, it would have been better for him if he had not been born; or it would be better now for him if he was to be as if he had not been born, or if he was annihilated. This was a proverbial mode of speaking among the Jews in frequent use.
If it be asked how this act of Judas could be a crime, when it was determined beforehand that the Saviour should be betrayed, and die in this manner, it may be answered, that the crime was what it was in itself, apart from any determination of God, a violation of all the duties he owed to God, and to the Lord Jesus; awful ingratitude, detestable covetousness and treachery, As such it deserved to be punished. The previous purpose of God did not force Judas to do this. In it he acted freely, of choice. He did just what his wicked heart prompted him to do. A previous knowledge of a thing, or a previous purpose to permit a thing, does not alter its nature, or cause it to be a different thing from what it is. This punishment of Judas proves also that sinners cannot take shelter for their sins in the decrees of God, or plead them as an excuse. God will punish crimes for what they are in themselves. His own deep and inscrutable purposes in regard to human actions will not change the nature of those actions, or screen the sinner from the punishment which he deserves.
25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I ? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
'Thou hast said.' That is, thou hast said the truth. It is so. Thou art the man. Compare verse 64 of this chapter with Mark xiv. 62.
26 | And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
See also Mark xiv. 22-26. Luke xxi. 15--20. 1. Cor. xi. 2325. As they were eating the paschal supper, near the close of the meal.
Luke adds, that he said, just before instituting the sacramental supper,' With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer.' This is a Hebrew manner of expression, signifying, I have greatly desired. He had desired it, doubtless, that he might institute the supper, to be a perpetual memorial of him; that he might strengthen them for their approaching trials; that he might explain to them the true nature of the passover; and that he might spend another season with them in the duties of religion, of worship. “Jesus took bread.' That is, the bread which they used at the celebration of the passover, unleavened bread made into thin cakes, easily broken and distributed. “And blessed it. Or sought a blessing on it; or gave thanks to God for it. The word rendered ' blessed, not unfrequently means to give thanks. Compare Luke ix. 16, and John vi. 11. • And brake it. This breaking of the bread represented the sufferings of Jesus about to take place his body bro. ken or wounded for sin. Hence Paul, 1 Cor. xi. 23, adds, this is my body which is broken for you. That is, which is about to be broken for you by death; or wounded, pierced, bruised, and suffering, to make atonement for your sins. This is my body.' This represents my body. This broken bread shows the manner in which body will be broken ; or this will serve to call my dying sufferings to your remembrance. It is not meant that his body would be literally broken as the bread was, but that the bread would be a significant emblem or symbol to recall to their remembrance his sufferings. This was a common mode of speaking among the Jews, and exactly similar to that used by Moses at the institution of the passover, Ex. xii. 11: 'It,' that is, the Lamb, “is the Lord's passover.' That is, the Lamb and the feast represent the Lord's passing over the houses of the Israelites. It serves to remind you of it. So Paul and Luke record Christ's words, “This is my body broken for you: this do in remembrance
This expresses the whole design of the sacramental bread. It is by a striking emblem to call to remembrance, in a vivid manner, the dying sufferings of our Lord. The sacred writers, moreover, often denote that one thing is represented by another, by using the word ‘is. See Matt. xiii. 37 : “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;' that is, represents the Son of man. Gen. xli. 26 : 'The seven good kine are seven years;' that is, represent or signify seven years. See also John xv. 1, 5. Gen. xvii. 10. The meaning of this important passage may be thus expressed : “ As I give this broken bread to you, to eat, so will I deliver my body to be afflicted and slain for your sins,'
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
* And he took the cup.' That is, the cup of wine which they used at the feast of the passover, called the cup of Hailel, o: praise, because they commenced then repeating the psalms with which they closed the passover. See ver. 30. This cup, Luke says. he took after supper. That is, after they had finished the ordinary celebration of eating the passover. The bread was taken while they were eating, the cup after they had done eating. And gave thanks. See on ver. 26. 'Drink ye all of it.' That is, all of you, disciples, drink of it.
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
'For this is my blood.” This represents my blood; as the bread did his body. Luke and Paul vary the expression, adding what Matthew and Mark have omitted. This cup is the new testament in my blood. The phrase new testament,' should have been rendered new covenant, referring to the covenant or compact that God was about to make with men through a Redeemer. The old covenant was that which was made with the Jews by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. See Ex. xxiv. 8. In allusion to that, Jesus says, “this cup is the new covenant in my blood;' that is, ratified, or sealed and sanctioned by my blood. Anciently, covenants or contracts were ratified by slaying an animal, by the shedding of its blood; imprecating similar vengeance if either party failed in the compact. Which is shed for many for the remission of sins. In order that sins may be remitted or forgiven. That is, this is the appointed way by which God will pardon transgressions. That blood is efficacious for the pardon of sin, because it is the life of Jesus; the blood being used by the sacred writers as representing life itself, or as containing the elements of life, Gen. ix. 4. Lev. xvii. 14. When, therefore, Jesus says his blood was shed for many, it is the same as saying that his life was given for many. His life was given for sinners as their substitute. By his death on the cross, the death or punishinent due to all believers is removed, and their souls are saved. He endured so much suffering, bore so much agony, that God was pleased to accept it in the place of the eternal torments of all the redeemed. The interests of justice, the honour and stability of his government, would be as secure in saving them in this manner, as if the suffering were inflicted on them personally in hell. That he died in the stead or place of sinners, is abundantly clear from the following passages of scripture, John i. 29. Eph. v. 2. Heb. vii. 27. 1 Jolin ii. 2; iv. 10. Isa. liii. 10. Rom. viii. 32. 2 Cor. v. 15.
29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
That is, the observance of the passover, and of the sites sha. qowing forth future things, here end. I am about to die. The design of all these types and shadows is about to be accomplished. Hereafter we will partake together of the thing represented by these types and ceremonial observances; the blessings and triumphs of redemption. Fruit of the vine.? Wine, the fruit or produce of the víne, made of the grapes of the vine. Until that day. The time when they should be received to heaven. "When I drink it new with you. Not that he would partake with them of literal wine there, but of the thing represented by it. The kingdom of heaven is often represented under the image of a feast. It means, here, that he will partake of joy with them in heaven; that they will share together the honours and happiness of the heavenly world. : New. In a new manner; or, perhaps, afresh. “In my Father's kingdom.? In heaven.
30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
The passover was observed by the Jews by singing or chanting the 115th, 114th, 115th, 116th, 117th, and 118th psalms. “Mount of Olives,
' see note, Matt. xxi. 1. 31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
Jesus foretells the fall of Peter. This is also recorded in Mark xix. 27-3). Luke xxii. 31- 34. John xüi. 36-38. “Then said Jesus unto them,' &c. T'he occasion of his saying this was, Peter's bold affirmation that he was ready to die with Christ, John xiii. 36. 'All ye shall be offended because of me.' See note, Matt. v. 29. It means, here, you will all stumble at my being taken, abused, and set at naught; will be ashamed to own me as a teacher, and to acknowledge yourselves as my disciples. • For it is written,' &c. See Zech, xiii. 7. This is affirmed here to have reference to the Saviour, and to be fulfilled in him. 'I will smite.' This is the language of God the Father. 'I will smite,' means either that I will give him up to be smitten, compare Ex. iv. 21. with viii. 15, &c., or that I will do it myself. Both of inese things were done. God gave him up to the Jews and Romans, and left him to suffer deep and awful sorrow's, to bear the burden of the world's atonement alone. See Mark xv. 34. “The shepherd.' The Lord Jesus, the shepherd of his people, John x. 11, 14. "The sheep.' This means here particularly the apostles. It also refers sometimes to all the followers of Jesus, the friends of God, John x. 16. Psa. c. 3. “Shall be scattered abroad.
This refers to their fleeing, and was fulfilled in that. See verse 56 of this chapter.
32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
He did not mean that he would not first appear to some of them, but that he would meet them all in Galilee. This was done. See Mark xvi. 7. Matt. xxviii. 16. 'Galilee.' See note, Matt. ii. 22.
33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
This confidence of Peter was entirely characteristic. He was ardent, sincere, and really attached to his Master. Yet this declaration evinced too much reliance on his own strength, and ignorance of himself, and of the trials which he was soon to pass through. And it most impressively teaches us, that all promises to adhere to Jesus should be made relying on him for aid ; that we little know how feeble we are, till we are tried; that christrans may be left to great and disgraceful sins, to show them their weakness. See note on Luke xxii. 31-33.
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
*This night. It was in the evening when this was spoken, after the observance of the passover, and we may suppose at about nine o'clock. “Before the cock crow.' Mark and Luke add, before the cock crow twice. The cock is accustomed to crow twice, once at midnight, and once in the morning, at break of day. See Mark xiii. 35. The latter was the time familiarly known as the cock-crowing, and of this Matthew and John speak, without referring to the other. Mark and Luke refer to the other, speak of the second crowing, and mean the same time; so that there is no contradiction between thern. 'Deny me thrice. That is, as Luke adds, deny that thou knowest me. See ver. 74.
35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
Will not deny thee.' Will not deny my connexion with thee, or that I knew thee.
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
The account of Jesus' agony in Gethsemane is also recorded in Mark xiv. 32–42. Luke xxii. 39–46. John xviii, 1. After