Luke 13The visible dealings of Providence with men in this world are no certain indications of their real character; but are suited to teach them the evil of sin, and the necessity of forsaking it, the certainty of death, and the wisdom as well as duty of being at all times prepared for it. I tell you, Nay; sudden death is no evidence of peculiar wickedness; but death in any form is the effect of sin, and should remind us that we must repent of it, and be delivered from its power, or we shall perish. Tower in Siloam; probably in the wall of Jerusalem, near the south-east corner, where was the pool of Siloam. See comment on Joh 9:7. If those who enjoy the means of grace neglect them, and bring forth no fruits of holiness, God, in due time, will remove all such blessings from them, and leave them to endless barrenness and death. A spirit of infirmity; a spirit that kept her bowed together; for her infirmity is ascribed to the power of Satan, verse Lu 13:16. Hypocrite; he condemned Jesus for relieving on the Sabbath an infirm woman, who had suffered for eighteen years, when he would himself perform more labor for the relief of an animal from thirst for a single day. A daughter of Abraham; a descendant of Abraham and possessing his faith.Whom Satan hath bound--loosed; the allusion is to the loosing of an animal from the stall, verse Lu 13:15. Satan has bound down this woman as an ox or ass is bound to the stall. Jesus Christ delights to bless those who habitually attend public worship. Though Satan may have bound them in chains of sin for many years, Christ is able and willing to deliver them. He often shows this on the Sabbath in the house of God. 18-21. Parables of the mustard-seed and leaven. Mt 18:31-33. Divine grace in the heart may at first be small and feeble; men may hardly be able to perceive it; but by a proper use of the means, under the influences of the Holy Spirit, it will increase till its manifestations shall become visible to all. Strive; in the original, agonize, make immediate and strenuous effort.Strait gate; difficult entrance of the way of life. Mt 7:13,14.Shall not be able; they do not seek in season, nor in a proper way. Thus the Saviour answers the question virtually, though not directly. The striving of men to enter the way of life, is the means by which God enables them to do it; while the neglect of this till death, renders it certain that they will never enter it, or take a step towards heaven. The master--shut to the door; the reference is to the shutting of the door at a feast, after which none can be admitted. Compare Mt 25:10-12. The meaning is, that the day of grace is limited, and after it is closed, none who have continued to neglect it can obtain salvation.I know you not; he did not know them as his friends, because they had never been such. We have eaten and drunk in thy presence; they rely on their outward relation to Christ; but he teaches them that this can be of no avail to those who have not kept his commandments. Sit down in the kingdom of God; literally, recline in the kingdom of God, as at a joyous feast. The salvation of men does not depend upon either their outward position or the number or variety of their privileges, but upon the manner in which they improve them. Many who have had small advantages, and have moreover been despised and neglected, will be saved, because they have faithfully improved their opportunities; while others, who have had great advantages but neglected them, will be lost. Thus the contrast between men's standing in this world and in the world to come will be, in many cases, inconceivable great. Last--first--first--last; these solemn words have a twofold fulfilment. First, in this world: the scribes and Pharisees stood first in God's kingdom as to their outward position and privileges; but by rejecting Christ, they made themselves last, while the publicans and sinners and the gentile nations, who they despised, by receiving him, became first; and so it has often been since. Secondly, in the world to come, where many that have stood high in reputation and outward privileges will be thrust down to hell, and many that have here been despised and persecuted will be exalted to glory everlasting. That fox; sly, subtle, mischievous man.To-day and to-morrow; a short time.I shall be perfected; shall have completed my work. I must walk; act openly for a few days, then go up to Jerusalem, and die.It cannot be; this is an instance of the manner in which the word cannot is sometimes used in the Bible, as describing what is not common, what is difficult, and will not take place.Out of Jerusalem; here the great council of the Jewish nation and the Roman governor held their courts; here criminals were tried; and here most of the prophets who had been murdered were put to death. The persevering wickedness of sinners greatly grieved the Lord Jesus Christ. He would gladly have received them, and given them his salvation; but they refused to accept it, and thus became the guilty authors of their own destruction. 34, 35. Lamentation over Jerusalem. Mt 23:37-39.
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