Week #123; Wed, May 06: Matthew 15–21

Week #123; Wed, May 06: Matthew 15:1–21:6

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Matthew 15:1, I. Traditions and Commandments; II. What Defiles a Person; III. The Faith of a Canaanite Woman; IV. Jesus Heals Many; V. Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

I. KEY TEXT (Traditions and Commandments): “Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” (15:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.'” (15:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.” (15:5-7)
2. CRITERIA: “You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'” (15:8-9)
3. CONDITION: “Additions to God’s laws reflect upon his wisdom, as if he had left out something which was needed, and which man could supply; in one way or other they always lead men to disobey God. How thankful ought we to be for the written word of God! Never let us think that the religion of the Bible can be improved by any human addition, either in doctrine or practice.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Our blessed Lord spoke of their traditions as inventions of their own, and pointed out one instance in which this was very clear, that of their transgressing the fifth commandment. When a parent’s wants called for assistance, they pleaded, that they had devoted to the temple all they could spare, even though they did not part with it, and therefore their parents must expect nothing from them. This was making the command of God of no effect.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The doom of hypocrites is put in a little compass; “In vain do they worship me.” It will neither please God, nor profit themselves; they trust in vanity, and vanity will be their recompense.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Cease all vanity.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (What Defiles a Person): “And he called the people to him and said to them, ‘Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.'” (15:10-11)
A. INFERENCE: “Then the disciples came and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?'” (15:12)
1. FINDINGS: “He answered, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.'” (15:13)
2. CRITERIA: “Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.'” (15:14)
3. CONDITION: “But Peter said to him, ‘Explain the parable to us. And he said, ‘Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” (15:15-18)
4. CAUSE: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” (15:19-20)
5. EFFECT: “But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.” (15:20)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “When Christ teaches, he will show men the deceitfulness and wickedness of their own hearts; he will teach them to humble themselves, and to seek to be cleansed in the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Faith of a Canaanite Woman): “And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.'” (15:21-22)
A. INFERENCE: “But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, ‘Send her away, for she is crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'” (15:23-24)
1. FINDINGS: “But she came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ And he answered, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and ‘throw it to the dogs.’ She said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters’ table.” (15:25-27)
2. CRITERIA: “Then Jesus answered her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.” (15:28)
3. CONDITION: Grace.
4. CAUSE: Faith.
5. EFFECT: Saved (healed)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek God’s grace in faith.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals Many): “Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there.” (15:29)
A. INFERENCE: “Whatever our case is, the only way to find ease and relief, is to lay it at Christ’s feet, to submit it to him, and refer it to his disposal. Those who would have spiritual healing from Christ, must be ruled as he pleases. See what work sin has made; what various diseases human bodies are subject to.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing.” (15:30-31)
2. CRITERIA: “When blind souls are made to see by faith, the dumb to speak in prayer, the maimed and the lame to walk in holy obedience, it is to be wondered at.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “. . . they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing.” (15:31)
4. CAUSE: “so that the crowd wondered . . .” (15:31)
5. EFFECT: “And they glorified the God of Israel.” (15:31)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Lord, increase our faith, and pardon our unbelief, teaching us to live upon thy fullness and bounty, for all things pertaining to this life, and that which is to come.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand): “Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” (15:32)
A. INFERENCE: “And the disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?'” (15:33)
1. FINDINGS: “And Jesus said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over.” (15:34-37)
2. CRITERIA: “Those who ate were four thousand men besides women and children.” (15:38)
3. CONDITION: “His power was also shown to the multitude, in the plentiful provision he made for them: the manner is much the same as before. All did eat, and were filled. Those whom Christ feeds, he fills. With Christ there is bread enough, and to spare; supplies of grace for more than seek it, and for those that seek for more.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Let us be quick to read the divine intention in very simple incidents, and to learn that all God’s past dealings contain lessons for the present!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary, Mark 8:1-10)
5. EFFECT: “Do not suppose that these miracles were confined to His earthly life. He is still the great storehouse of divine and healing energy. He is still moved with compassion, and longs to help each weary and sin-sick soul.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary, Matthew 15:32)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Lord, increase our faith, and pardon our unbelief, teaching us to live upon thy fullness and bounty, for all things pertaining to this life, and that which is to come.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Matthew 16:1, I. The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs; II. The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees; III. Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ IV. Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection; V. Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

I. KEY TEXT: (The Pharisees and Sadducees Demand Signs): “And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.” (16:1)
A. INFERENCE: “He answered them, ‘When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” (16:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.’ So he left them and departed.” (16:4)
2. CRITERIA: “The Pharisees and Sadducees were opposed to each other in principles and in conduct; yet they joined against Christ. But they desired a sign of their own choosing: they despised those signs which relieved the necessity of the sick and sorrowful, and called for something else which would gratify the curiosity of the proud. ” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “It is great hypocrisy, when we slight the signs of God’s ordaining, to seek for signs of our own devising.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Pride.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “He departed them.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The signs of God’s ordaining are sufficient.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT: (The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees): “When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Watch and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ And they began discussing it among themselves, saying, ‘We brought no bread.'” (16:5-7)
A. INFERENCE: “But Jesus, aware of this, said, ‘O you of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?” (16:8-10)
1. FINDINGS: “‘How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread? Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ Then they understood that he did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” (16:11-12)”
2. CRITERIA: “Christ speaks of spiritual things under a similitude, and the disciples misunderstand him of carnal things. He took it ill that they should think him as thoughtful about bread as they were; that they should be so little acquainted with his way of preaching.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Then understood they what he meant. Christ teaches by the Spirit of wisdom in the heart, opening the understanding to the Spirit of revelation in the word.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Carnal things.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary) The germs of hurtful and false doctrine are as thick as microbes. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Spiritual revelation in the word.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Focus not on the carnal things; keep focus on Spiritual things.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ): “Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?'” (16:13)
A. INFERENCE: “And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?'” (16:14-15)
1. FINDINGS: “Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'” (16:16-17)
2. CRITERIA: “And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.” (16:18-20)
3. CONDITION: “But all pretensions of any man, either to absolve or retain men’s sins, are blasphemous and absurd. None can forgive sins but God only. And this binding and loosing, in the common language of the Jews, signified to forbid and to allow, or to teach what is lawful or unlawful.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (16:18)
5. EFFECT: “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (16:19)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Believe as did Peter, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (16:16)

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection): “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on third day be raised.” (17:21)
A. INFERENCE: “And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, ‘Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.'” (17:22)
1. FINDINGS: “But he turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me.” (17:23)
2. CRITERIA: “You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (17:23)
3. CONDITION: “Whatever appears to be a temptation to sin, must be resisted with abhorrence, and not be parleyed with. Those that decline suffering for Christ, savor more of the things of man than of the things of God.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary) NOTE: For 12 high level things that pertain to God, see: http://jwaministries.net/Gods_Strategic_Plan.gif
4. CAUSE: “Things of man” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “We do not read of any thing said or done by any of his disciples, at any time, that Christ resented so much as this. Whoever takes us from that which is good, and would make us fear to do too much for God, speaks Satan’s language.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary) NOTE: For choosing the right path at a fork in the road, see: http://jwaministries.net/Cartesian_3D_Cube.gif
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Follow Jesus” (13:41-43; 16:24-27)

V. KEY TEXT (Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus): “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (16:24-25)
A. INFERENCE: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.'” (16:26-27)
1. FINDINGS: “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (16:28) NOTE: Rather than interpreting Jesus’ promise as referring to His coming to establish His kingdom on earth, the context indicates that Jesus was referring to the transfiguration. The Greek word translated “kingdom” can also be translated “royal splendor,” meaning that the three disciples standing there would see Christ as He really is—the King of heaven—which occurred in the transfiguration. (GotQuestions.org on 16:28)
2. CRITERIA: “A true disciple of Christ is one that does follow him in duty, and shall follow him to glory. He is one that walks in the same way Christ walked in, is led by his Spirit, and treads in his steps, whithersoever he goes.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The Cross had always cast its shadow over our Lord’s path. He did not die as the martyr on whom death comes unexpectedly, but He stepped from the throne and became incarnate that He might die. Notice that solemn must, Mat_16:21.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “How soon Peter fell from his high estate! Beware! The voice that bids us spare ourselves is Satan’s. Self-pleasing ends in destruction.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Self-denial and self-sacrifice are the divine path to life. Let us be more eager to lose ourselves than to find ourselves; more set on the cross than on the glory; more eager to promote the well-being of others than our own.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Follow Jesus” (13:41-43; 16:24-27)

Matthew 17:1, I. The Transfiguration; II. Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon; III. Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection; IV. The Temple Tax

I. KEY TEXT (The Transfiguration): “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.” (17:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “And Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (17:4)
1. FINDINGS: “He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well please; listen to him.’” (17:5)
2. CRITERIA: “The three members of the Trinity were present together at the same time here. ‘The shekinah of His heart was for the most part hidden, but here it burst through the frail veil of flesh, Joh_1:14.'” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “We are wrong, if we look for a heaven here upon earth.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Now the disciples beheld somewhat of Christ’s glory, as of the only begotten of the Father.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It was intended to support their faith, when they would have to witness his crucifixion; and would give them an idea of the glory prepared for them, when changed by his power and made like him.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We must pass through varied experiences in our way to glory; and when we return to the world after an ordinance, it must be our care to take Christ with us, and then it may be our comfort that he is with us.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon): “And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, said, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.'” (17:14-16)
A. INFERENCE: “And Jesus answered, ‘O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” (17:17)
1. FINDINGS: “And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly.” (17:18)
2. CRITERIA: “Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.'” (17:19-20)
3. CONDITION: “See here an emblem of Christ’s undertaking as our Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ, whose souls are under Satan’s power; he is able to heal them, and as willing as he is able.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Not only bring them to Christ by prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which Satan’s strong-holds in the soul are beaten down.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There was also something in the malady which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection): “As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, ‘The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” (17:22-23)
A. INFERENCE: “And they were greatly distressed.” (17:23)
1. FINDINGS: “Christ perfectly knew all things that should befall him, yet undertook the work of our redemption, which strongly shows his love.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “What outward debasement and Divine glory was the life of the Redeemer! And all his humiliation ended in his exaltation.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Let us learn to endure the cross, to despise riches and worldly honors, and to be content with his will.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “. . . the work of our redemption.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “And all his humiliation ended in his exaltation and our redemption.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek his love.

IV. KEY TEXT (The Temple Tax): “When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, ‘Does you teacher not pay the tax?” (17:24)
A. INFERENCE: “He said, Yes.” (17:25)
1. FINDINGS: “And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, ‘What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?’ And when he said, ‘From others,’ Jesus said to him, ‘Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.'” (17:25-27)
2. CRITERIA: “Peter felt sure that his Master was ready to do what was right. Christ spoke first to give him proof that no thought can be withholden from him. We must never decline our duty for fear of giving offense; but we must sometimes deny ourselves in our worldly interests, rather than give offense.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “However the money was lodged in the fish, He who knows all things alone could know it, and only almighty power could bring it to Peter’s hook.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The power and the poverty of Christ should be mentioned together. ” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “If called by providence to be poor, like our Lord, let us trust in his power, and our God shall supply all our need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In the way of obedience, in the course, perhaps, of our usual calling, as he helped Peter, so he will help us. And if any sudden call should occur, which we are not prepared to meet, let us not apply to others, till we first seek Christ.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Matthew 18:1, I. Who is the Greatest?; II. Temptations to Sin; III. The Parable of the Lost Sheep; IV. If Your Brother Sins Against You; V. The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

I. KEY TEXT (Who is the Greatest?): “At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (18:1)
A. INFERENCE: “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (18:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (18:4-6)
2. CRITERIA: “Our Lord set a little child before them, solemnly assuring them, that unless they were converted and made like little children, they could not enter his kingdom.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Children, when very young, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, are free from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It is true that they soon begin to show other dispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age; but these are marks of childhood, and render them proper emblems of the lowly minds of true Christians.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Master therefore used a child for His text and preached a sermon on humility.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Temptations to Sin): “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!” (18:7)
A. INFERENCE: “And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.” (18:8-9)
1. FINDINGS: “Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men’s hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offenses.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save?” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Lost Sheep): “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (18:10-11)
A. INFERENCE: “What do you think?” (18:12)
1. FINDINGS: “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.” (18:12-13)
2. CRITERIA: “So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (18:14)
3. CONDITION: “We must not be childish, but childlike. See 1Co_13:11. The beauty of a little child is its unconsciousness, humility, simplicity, and faith.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “God’s best gifts are placed, not on a high shelf for us to reach up to, but on a low one to which we must stoop.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ’s kingdom abounds with the rare blending of the warrior and the child.” See 2Ki_5:14. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Be childlike.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (If Your Brother Sins Against You): “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.” (18:15-16)
A. INFERENCE: “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” (18:17)
1. FINDINGS: “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (18:18)
2. CRITERIA: “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (18:19-20)
3. CONDITION: “If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practiced every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples!” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

V. KEY TEXT: (The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant) “Then Peter came up and said to him, ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (18:21)
A. INFERENCE: “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.” (18:22)
1. FINDINGS: “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything. And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.” (18:23-27)
2. CRITERIA: “But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.” (18:28-34)
3. CONDITION: “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from you heart.” (18:35)
4. CAUSE: “Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we are backward to forgive the offenses of our brethren. This parable shows how much provocation God has from his family on earth, and how untoward his servants are.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “There are three things in the parable: (1) The master’s wonderful clemency. The debt of sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it. See here what every sin deserves; this is the wages of sin, to be sold as a slave. It is the folly of many who are under strong convictions of their sins, to fancy they can make God satisfaction for the wrong they have done him. (2) The servant’s unreasonable severity toward his fellow-servant, notwithstanding his Lord’s clemency toward him. Not that we may make light of wronging our neighbor, for that is also a sin against God; but we should not aggravate our neighbor’s wronging us, nor study revenge. Let our complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked, and of the afflictions of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left with him. (3) The master reproved his servant’s cruelty. The greatness of sin magnifies the riches of pardoning mercy; and the comfortable sense of pardoning mercy, does much to dispose our hearts to forgive our brethren.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We do not forgive our offending brother aright, if we do not forgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek the welfare even of those who offend us. How justly will those be condemned, who, though they bear the Christian name, persist in unmerciful treatment of their brethren! The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewing grace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from him.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Matthew 19:1, I. Teaching About Divorce; II. Let the Children Come to Me; III. The Rich Young Man

I. KEY TEXT (Teaching About Divorce): “Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.” (19:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?’ He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (19:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “They said to him, ‘Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.'” (19:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “And I say to you: ‘whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.'” (19:9)
3. CONDITION: “The disciples said to him, ‘If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.’ But he said to them, ‘Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it.” (19:10-12)
4. CAUSE: “Cases about marriage have been numerous, and sometimes perplexed; made so, not by the law of God, but by the lusts and follies of men; and often people fix what they will do, before they ask for advice.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “When the gospel is really embraced, it makes men kind relatives and faithful friends; it teaches them to bear the burdens, and to bear with the infirmities of those with whom they are connected, to consider their peace and happiness more than their own. As to ungodly persons, it is proper that they should be restrained by laws, from breaking the peace of society.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “And we learn that the married state should be entered upon with great seriousness and earnest prayer.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Let the Children Come to Me): “Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray.” (19:13)
A. INFERENCE: “The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'” (19:13-14)
1. FINDINGS: “And he laid his hands on them and went away.” (19:15)
2. CRITERIA: “It is well when we come to Christ ourselves, and bring our children. Little children may be brought to Christ as needing, and being capable of receiving blessings from him, and having an interest in his intercession.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “We can but beg a blessing for them: Christ only can command the blessing. It is well for us, that Christ has more love and tenderness in him than the best of his disciples have.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “And let us learn of him not to discountenance any willing, well-meaning souls, in their seeking after Christ, though they are but weak.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Those who are given to Christ, as part of his purchase, he will in no wise cast out. Therefore he takes it ill of all who forbid, and try to shut out those whom he has received.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “And all Christians should bring their children to the Savior that he may bless them with spiritual blessings.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Rich Young Man): “And behold, a man came up to him, saying, ‘Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?’ And he said to him, ‘Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.'” (19:16-19)
A. INFERENCE: “He said to him, ‘Which ones?’ And Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” (19:18-19)
1. FINDINGS: “The young man said to him, ‘All these I have kept. What do I still lack?'” (19:21)
2. CRITERIA: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.'” (19:21)
3. CONDITION: “When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” (19:22)
4. CAUSE: “And Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.'” (19:23-24)
5. EFFECT: “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, ‘Who then can be saved?’ But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’ Then Peter said in reply, ‘See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have? Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.'” (19:25-30)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Nothing less than the almighty grace of God will enable a rich man to get over this difficulty.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Matthew 20:1, I. Laborers in the Vineyard; II. Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time; III. A Mother’s Request; IV. Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

I. KEY TEXT (Laborers in the Vineyard):“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.'” (20:1-7)
A. INFERENCE: “And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.'” (20:8)
1. FINDINGS: “And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius.” (20:9-10)
2. CRITERIA: “And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'” (20:11-12)
3. CONDITION: “‘But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I chose to give to the last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity? So the last will be first, and the first last.'” (20:13-16)
4. CAUSE: “The direct object of this parable seems to be, to show that though the Jews were first called into the vineyard, at length the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles, and they should be admitted to equal privileges and advantages with the Jews.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The parable may also be applied more generally, and shows: (1) That God is debtor to no man, (2) That many who begin last, and promise little in religion, sometimes, by the blessing of God, arrive at a great deal of knowledge, grace, and usefulness, (3) That the recompense of reward will be given to the saints, but not according to the time of their conversion.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “A man may go idle to hell, but he that will go to heaven, must be diligent.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time):“And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.'” (20:17-19)
A. INFERENCE: “Now He declares the method of His death, and tells how Gentiles would join with His own people in the tragedy of the Cross. He was no martyr, who went unknowing to his doom. He set His face to go to the Cross. Others die because they were born; He was born that He might die.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” (20:18-19)
2. CRITERIA: “And here, as before, he adds the mention of his resurrection and his glory, to that of his death and sufferings, to encourage his disciples, and comfort them.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “When we consider the need of the humiliation and sufferings of the Son of God, in order to the salvation of perishing sinners, surely we must be aware of the freeness and richness of Divine grace in our salvation.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Many desire the power of the throne, without being prepared to pay the price of suffering. Others say glibly and easily, We can, little realizing what their choice involves, and that nothing but the grace of God can make their vow possible of fulfillment. But it is sufficient! Only claim it.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “God will not fail you! Notice Mat_20:28. The Lord ministers to us all, daily, patiently, lovingly. He took on Him the form of a servant and became obedient.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Serve all men for His sake! We have to go down to reach His side.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (A Mother’s Request):“Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, ‘What do you want?’ She said to him, ‘Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at you left, in your kingdom.'” (20:20-21)
A. INFERENCE: “Jesus answered, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?’ They said to him, ‘We are able.'” (20:22)
1. FINDINGS: “He said to them, ‘You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” (20:23)
2. CRITERIA: “And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.” (20:24)
3. CONDITION: “But Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'” (20:25-28)
4. CAUSE: “Pride is a sin that most easily besets us; it is sinful ambition to outdo others in pomp and grandeur. To put down the vanity and ambition of their request, Christ leads them to the thoughts of their sufferings. It is a bitter cup that is to be drunk of; a cup of trembling, but not the cup of the wicked.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is but a cup, it is but a draught, bitter perhaps, but soon emptied; it is a cup in the hand of a Father, John 18:11.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It was a ransom for many, enough for all, working upon many; and, if for many, then the poor trembling soul may say, Why not for me?” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals Two Blind Men):“And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'” (20:29-30)
A. INFERENCE: “The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'” (20:31)
1. FINDINGS: “And stopping, Jesus called them and said, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, let our eyes be opened.'” (20:32-33)
2. CRITERIA: “And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.” (20:34)
3. CONDITION: “There is mercy enough in Christ for all that ask. They were earnest in prayer. They cried out as men in earnest.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “They were humble in prayer, casting themselves upon, and referring themselves cheerfully to, the Mediator’s mercy. They showed faith in prayer, by the title they gave to Christ. Surely it was by the Holy Ghost that they called Jesus, Lord. They persevered in prayer.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Jesus cured these blind men; and when they had received sight, they followed him.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “These miracles are our call to Jesus; may we hear it, and make it our daily prayer to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Matthew 21:1, I. The Triumphal Entry; II. Jesus Cleanses the Temple; III. Jesus Curses the Fig Tree; IV. The Authority of Jesus Challenged; V. The Parable of the Two Sons; VI. The Parable of the Tenants

I. KEY TEXT (The Triumphal Entry):“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.’ This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.'” (21:1-5)
A. INFERENCE: “The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.” (21:6-7)
1. FINDINGS: “Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’ ” (21:8-9)
2. CRITERIA: “When Christ would appear in his glory, it is in his meekness, not in his majesty, in mercy to work salvation. As meekness and outward poverty were fully seen in Zion’s King, and marked his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem, how wrong covetousness, ambition, and the pride of life must be in Zion’s citizens!” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.'” (21:10-11)
4. CAUSE: “Those that take Christ for their King, must lay their all under his feet. Hosanna signifies, Save now, we beseech thee!” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! But of how little value is the applause of the people!” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “When Jesus was come into Jerusalem all the city was moved; some perhaps were moved with joy, who waited for the Consolation of Israel; others, of the Pharisees, were moved with envy. So various are the motions in the minds of men upon the approach of Christ’s kingdom.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary) Applaud the Lord.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Cleanses the Temple):“And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.” (21:12)
A. INFERENCE: “He said to them, ‘It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” (21:13)
1. FINDINGS: “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were indignant, and they said to him, ‘Do you hear what these are saying?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” (21:14-16)
2. CRITERIA: “His works testified of him more than the hosannas; and his healing in the temple was the fulfilling of the promise, that the glory of the latter house should be greater than the glory of the former.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “If Christ came now into many parts of his visible church, how many secret evils he would discover and cleanse!” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “And how many things daily practiced under the cloak of religion, would he show to be more suitable to a den of thieves than to a house of prayer!” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Let us not ask small things. We honor Him by making great demands. Our greatest requests come far short of His generosity and resources.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “But remember it is not the outcry, but your need and your faith which will arrest His steps.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Jesus Curses the Fig Tree):“In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves.” (21:18-19)
A. INFERENCE: “And he said to it, ‘May no fruit ever come from you again! And the fig tree withered at once.” (21:19)
1. FINDINGS: “When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, ‘How did the fig tree wither at once?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.'” (21:20-22)
2. CRITERIA: “This cursing of the barren fig-tree represents the state of hypocrites in general, and so teaches us that Christ looks for the power of religion in those who profess it, and the savor of it from those that have the show of it. His just expectations from flourishing professors are often disappointed; he comes to many, seeking fruit, and finds leaves only.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “A false profession commonly withers in this world, and it is the effect of Christ’s curse. The fig-tree that had no fruit, soon lost its leaves. This represents the state of the nation and people of the Jews in particular. Our Lord Jesus found among them nothing but leaves.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “And after they rejected Christ, blindness and hardness grew upon them, till they were undone, and their place and nation rooted up.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Lord was righteous in it.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us greatly fear the doom denounced on the barren fig-tree.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (The Authority of Jesus Challenged):“And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?'” (21:23)
A. INFERENCE: “Jesus answered them, ‘I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?'” (21:24-25)
1. FINDINGS: “And they discussed it among themselves, saying, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.’ So they answered Jesus, ‘We do not know.’ And he said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.'” (21:26-27)
2. CRITERIA: “As our Lord now openly appeared as the Messiah, the chief priests and scribes were much offended, especially because he exposed and removed the abuses they encouraged.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Our Lord asked what they thought of John’s ministry and baptism. Many are more afraid of the shame of lying than of the sin, and therefore scruple not to speak what they know to be false, as to their own thoughts, affection, and intentions, or their remembering and forgetting.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Our Lord refused to answer their inquiry.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It is best to shun needless disputes with wicked opposers.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “But of what use was it to endeavor to satisfy these men who had refused to acknowledge the divine mission of the Forerunner! They would not speak out their inner convictions, because of the effect it would have on their worldly prospects. For such as these Christ has nothing. At all costs, we must be true to the inner light, that is, to God’s Spirit within us.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

V. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Two Sons):“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.” (21:28-30)
A. INFERENCE: “Which of the two did the will of his father?” (21:31)
1. FINDINGS: “They said, ‘The first.'” (21:31)
2. CRITERIA: “Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.” (21:31)
3. CONDITION: “For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him.” (21:32)
4. CAUSE: “And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.” (21:32)
5. EFFECT: “And it often happens, that the daring rebel is brought to repentance and becomes the Lord’s servant, while the formalist grows hardened in pride and enmity.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The parable of the two sons teaches that hard hearts may lie under fair words, while those of whom we expect least and whose first greeting is abrupt and disappointing, may later prove to be the most devoted and hopeful disciples. If a man repels the gospel with violence, he is more likely ultimately to be won than he who gives a polite and facile assent.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

VI. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Tenants):“There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.'” (21:33-37)
A. INFERENCE: “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.'” (21:38)
1. FINDINGS: “And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.” (21:39)
2. CRITERIA: “When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” (21:40)
3. CONDITION: “They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits of their seasons.” (21:41)
4. CAUSE: “Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes'” (21:42)
5. EFFECT: “Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (21:43-44)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “May Christ become more and more precious to our souls, as the firm Foundation and Cornerstone of his church. May we be willing to follow him, though despised and hated for his sake.” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

Week #124; Wed, May 13: Matthew 22–26

Week #124; Wed, May 13: Matthew 22:1–26:75

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Matthew 22:1, I. The Parable of the Wedding Feast; II. Paying Taxes to Caesar; III. Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection; IV. The Great Commandment; V. Whose Son is the Christ?

I. KEY TEXT (The parable of the Wedding Feast): “And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.” (22:1-7)
A. INFERENCE: “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find. And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.” (22:8-10)
1. FINDINGS: “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.” (22:11-14)
2. CRITERIA: “The guests first invited were the Jews. When the prophets of the Old Testament prevailed not, nor John the Baptist, nor Christ himself, who told them the kingdom of God was at hand, the apostles and ministers of the gospel were sent, after Christ’s resurrection, to tell them it was come, and to persuade them to accept the offer.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (22:14)
4. CAUSE: “The reason why sinners come not to Christ and salvation by him, is, not because they cannot, but because they will not. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Making light of Christ, and of the great salvation wrought out by him, is the damning sin of the world.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)”
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Multitudes perish for ever through mere carelessness, who show no direct aversion, but are careless as to their souls. Also the business and profit of worldly employments hinder many in closing with the Savior. Both farmers and merchants must be diligent; but whatever we have of the world in our hands, our care must be to keep it out of our hearts, lest it come between us and Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Paying Taxes to Caesar): “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.’ And they brought him a denarius.” (22:15-19)
A. INFERENCE: “And Jesus said to them, ‘Whose likeness and inscription is this?'” (22:20)
1. FINDINGS: “They said, ‘Caesar’s.’ Then he said to them, ‘Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.'” (22:21)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ saw their wickedness. Whatever mask the hypocrite puts on, our Lord Jesus sees through it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Christ did not interpose as a judge in matters of this nature, for his kingdom is not of this world, but he enjoins peaceable subjection to the powers that be.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Christ is, and will be, the wonder, not only of his friends, but of his enemies.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.” (22:22)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “That coin indicated that the Romans were responsible for maintaining law and order. It was surely right that Caesar’s dues should be paid. But it was equally right to give to God the souls that He had redeemed. Are we as careful in rendering to God our hearts and lives as we are in paying our taxes and serving the state?” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Sadducees Ask About the Resurrection): “The same day ‘Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, ‘Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. So too the second and the third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For all had her.'” (22:23-28)
A. INFERENCE: “But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.’ And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching.” (22:29-33)
1. FINDINGS: “Having thus silenced them, our Lord proceeded to show the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection from the books of Moses. God declared to Moses that he was the God of the patriarchs, who had died long before; this shows that they were then in a state of being, capable of enjoying his favor, and proves that the doctrine of the resurrection is clearly taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “All errors arise from not knowing the Scriptures and the power of God. In this world death takes away one after another, and so ends all earthly hopes, joys, sorrows, and connections.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “How wretched are those who look for nothing better beyond the grave!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The great I AM would never have spoken of Himself as the God of the patriarchs, centuries after their earthly career had closed, unless they had been living somewhere still. It was certain that they were all alive; otherwise God would have said, ‘I was their God.'” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Death is not a chamber, but a passage; not an abiding-place, but a crossing over; not a state, but an act, an experience, a crossing of the bar, a going within the veil. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the myriads who have warred and stormed over the earth, are living as intensely as ever.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (The Great Commandment): “But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” (22:34-36)
A. INFERENCE: “An interpreter of the law asked our Lord a question, to try, not so much his knowledge, as his judgment.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.'” (22:37-40)
2. CRITERIA: “Our love of God must be sincere, not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbor as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Our Lord seemed to say: ‘Here is all Scripture in a nutshell; the whole range of human duty in a portable pocket form.’ We are reminded of Ecc:12:13. But what a magnificent definition is here given of pure and undefiled religion! (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The whole Law is gathered up in that one word love! See Rom:13:8-10.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Love.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Whose Son is the Christ?): “Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, ‘What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?’ They said to him, ‘The son of David.’ He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’? If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?’ And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.” (22:41-45)
A. INFERENCE: “When Christ baffled his enemies, he asked what thoughts they had of the promised Messiah? How he could be the Son of David and yet his Lord? He quotes Psalms 110:1.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “He took upon him human nature, and so became God manifested in the flesh; in this sense he is the Son of man and the Son of David.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The question which the Master propounded to the scribes can be solved only by the admission of His two natures-divine and human-as existing in His one person.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “As David’s Lord He is divine; as his son, He was born of the Virgin. See Mat. 1:1.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It behooves us above all things seriously to inquire, “What think we of Christ?”” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Is he altogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “May we daily be made more like to him, and more devoted to his service.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Matthew 23:1, I. Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees; II. Lament over Jerusalem

I. KEY TEXT (Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees): “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you–but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice.” (23:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (23:4-12)
1. FINDINGS: “The scribes and Pharisees explained the law of Moses, and enforced obedience to it. They are charged with hypocrisy in religion. We can only judge according to outward appearance; but God searches the heart.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Pride was the darling, reigning sin of the Pharisees, the sin that most easily beset them, and which our Lord Jesus takes all occasions to speak against. For him that is taught in the word to give respect to him that teaches, is commendable; but for him that teaches, to demand it, to be puffed up with it, is sinful. How much is all this against the spirit of Christianity!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The consistent disciple of Christ is pained by being put into chief places. But who that looks around on the visible church, would think this was the spirit required? It is plain that some measure of this antichristian spirit prevails in every religious society, and in every one of our hearts.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Pride.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Seven” woes (not living by what they preach, pride, exaltations, false oaths, hypocrites, greed and self-indulgence, righteousness in appearance only, lawlessness) of which Christ spoke to the Scribes and Pharisees are condemned and these things will come upon them. “The craving for this has been the temptation and bane of Christ’s ministers in every age.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Humble thy self.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Lament over Jerusalem): “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! ” (23:37)
A. INFERENCE: “How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” (23:37)
1. FINDINGS: “See, your house is left to you desolate.” (23:38)
2. CRITERIA: “For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” (23:39)
3. CONDITION: “Our Lord declares the miseries the inhabitants of Jerusalem were about to bring upon themselves, but he does not notice the sufferings he was to undergo. A hen gathering her chickens under her wings, is an apt emblem of the Savior’s tender love to those who trust in him, and his faithful care of them. He calls sinners to take refuge under his tender protection, keeps them safe, and nourishes them to eternal life.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The present dispersion and unbelief of the Jews, and their future conversion to Christ, were here foretold. Jerusalem and her children had a large share of guilt, and their punishment has been signal.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “But ere long, deserved vengeance will fall on every church which is Christian in name only.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In the mean time the Savior stands ready to receive all who come to him. There is nothing between sinners and eternal happiness, but their proud and unbelieving unwillingness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Matthew 24:1, I. Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple; II. Signs of the Close of the Age; III. The Abomination of Desolation; IV. The Coming of the Son of Man; V. The Lesson of the Fig Tree; VI. No One Knows That Day and Hour

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Foretells Destruction of the Temple): “Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.” (24:1)
A. INFERENCE: “But he answered them, ‘You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (24:2)
1. FINDINGS: “Christ foretells the utter ruin and destruction coming upon the temple. A believing foresight of the defacing of all worldly glory, will help to keep us from admiring it, and overvaluing it. The most beautiful body soon will be food for worms, and the most magnificent building a ruinous heap. See ye not all these things? It will do us good so to see them as to see through them, and see to the end of them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Our Lord having gone with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, he set before them the order of the times concerning the Jews, till the destruction of Jerusalem; and as to men in general till the end of the world.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “It is best to consider these paragraphs as containing a double reference. In the first place, up to Mat:24:28, they evidently deal with the approaching fall of Jerusalem.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Our Lord describes the events which were to mark the consummation of the age, Mat:24:3” (F. B. Meyer)
5. EFFECT: “Antichrists, disturbances of physical and national conditions, the persecutions which the infant Church must encounter, the progress of the gospel, and finally the swoop of the Roman eagles on their prey-all these were to mark the close of the Hebrew dispensation and the birth of the Christian Church.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be prepared to return with Him to the Mount of Olives.

II. KEY TEXT (Signs of the Close of the Age): “As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?'” (24:3)
A. INFERENCE: “And Jesus answered them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.” (24:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (24:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” (24:9-13)
3. CONDITION: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” (24:14)
4. CAUSE: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (24:14)
5. EFFECT: “When a people, by their sin, make themselves as loathsome carcasses, nothing can be expected but that God should send enemies to destroy them. It is very applicable to the day of judgment, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in that day, 2 Thessalonians 2:1.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us give diligence to make our calling and election sure; then may we know that no enemy or deceiver shall ever prevail against us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Abomination of Desolation): “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be.” (24:15-21)
A. INFERENCE: “And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” (24:22)
1. FINDINGS: “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” (24:23-24)
2. CRITERIA: “See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, Look, he is in the wilderness, do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms, do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.” (24:25-28)
3. CONDITION: “Concerning Christ’s second coming, it is foretold that there shall be a great change, in order to the making all things new. Then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds. At his first coming, he was set for a sign that should be spoken against, but at his second coming, a sign that should be admired.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Sooner or later, all sinners will be mourners; but repenting sinners look to Christ, and mourn after a godly sort; and those who sow in those tears shall shortly reap in joy. Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven. Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled. His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure. Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ’s second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids. That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment. Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (The Coming of the Son of Man): “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (24:29-31)
A. INFERENCE: “Just as one who looks across a mountainous country may count the successive ranks of sierras or ranges, but does not record the valleys that lie between, so our Lord, who speaks as the last of the Hebrew prophets, does not stop to notice the story of the Church, but confines Himself to the events which are specially Hebrew.” (F. B. Meyers Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Impenitent sinners shall see Him whom they have pierced, and, though they laugh now, shall mourn and weep in endless horror and despair.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The elect of God are scattered abroad; there are some in all places, and all nations; but when that great gathering day comes, there shall not one of them be missing. Distance of place shall keep none out of heaven. Our Lord declares that the Jews should never cease to be a distinct people, until all things he had been predicting were fulfilled.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “His prophecy reaches to the day of final judgment; therefore he here, ver. 34, foretells that Judah shall never cease to exist as a distinct people, so long as this world shall endure. Men of the world scheme and plan for generation upon generation here, but they plan not with reference to the overwhelming, approaching, and most certain event of Christ’s second coming, which shall do away every human scheme, and set aside for ever all that God forbids.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “That will be as surprising a day, as the deluge to the old world. Apply this, first, to temporal judgments, particularly that which was then hastening upon the nation and people of the Jews. Secondly, to the eternal judgment. Christ here shows the state of the old world when the deluge came. They were secure and careless; they knew not, until the flood came; and they believed not. Did we know aright that all earthly things must shortly pass away, we should not set our eyes and hearts so much upon them as we do.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “What words can more strongly describe the suddenness of our Savior’s coming! Men will be at their respective businesses, and suddenly the Lord of glory will appear. Women will be in their house employments, but in that moment every other work will be laid aside, and every heart will turn inward and say, It is the Lord!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Am I prepared to meet him? Can I stand before him? And what, in fact, is the day of judgment to the whole world, but the day of death to every one?” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

V. KEY TEXT (The Lesson of the Fig Tree): “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (24:32-35)
A. INFERENCE: “To watch for Christ’s coming, is to maintain that temper of mind which we would be willing that our Lord should find us in. We know we have but a little time to live, we cannot know that we have a long time to live; much less do we know the time fixed for the judgment.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Our Lord’s coming will be happy to those that shall be found ready, but very dreadful to those that are not. If a man, professing to be the servant of Christ, be an unbeliever, covetous, ambitious, or a lover of pleasure, he will be cut off.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Those who choose the world for their portion in this life, will have hell for their portion in the other life.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “May our Lord, when he cometh, pronounce us blessed, and present us to the Father, washed in his blood, purified by his Spirit, and fit to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Watchfulness is keeping awake! We are beset by temptations to sleep. Bunyan said that we are traveling over the Enchanted Ground, the air of which is very heavy and sleep-producing. How dull we are to perceive the unseen, or to meet the great opportunities of life! Broken up alludes to the mud or clay house which could not keep off the thief. Death breaks in and carries us away from all of our treasures. See 1Th:5:2; 1Th:5:4.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “We had best wait for our Lord while engaged in carefully discharging our appointed tasks. The Church is a big household in which each has his niche. “To labor is to pray;” to serve is to be ready. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The hour of our death is as uncertain as that of His coming in the clouds. For each, we should be ready!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

VI. KEY TEXT (No One Knows That Day and Hour): “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” (24:36)
A. INFERENCE: “For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (24:37-39)
1. FINDINGS: “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” (24:40-43)
2. CRITERIA: “But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.” (24:43)
3. CONDITION: “Therefore you also must be ready, for the son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (24:44)
4. CAUSE: “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.” (24:45-47)
5. EFFECT: “But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (24:48-50)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We had best wait for our Lord while engaged in carefully discharging our appointed tasks. The Church is a big household in which each has his niche. “To labor is to pray;” to serve is to be ready.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Matthew 25:1, I. The Parable of the Ten Virgins; II. The Parable of the Talents; III. The Final Judgment

I. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Ten Virgins): “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.” (25:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.” (25:5)
1. FINDINGS: “But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'” (25:6)
2. CRITERIA: “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'” (25:7-8)
3. CONDITION: “But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'” (25:9)
4. CAUSE: “And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.” (25:10)
5. EFFECT: “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'” (25:11-12)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (25:13)

II. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Talents): “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.” (25:14-15)
A. INFERENCE: “He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.” (25:14-18)
1. FINDINGS: “Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bring five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.'” (25:19-25)
2. CRITERIA: “But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.” (25:26-27)
3. CONDITION: “So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (25:28-29)
4. CAUSE: “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.” (25:30)
5. EFFECT: “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” (25:30)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us not envy sinners, or covet any of their perishing possessions.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Final Judgment): “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (25:31-34)
A. INFERENCE: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'” (25:35-36)
1. FINDINGS: “Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'” (25:37-39)
2. CRITERIA: “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'” (25:40)
3. CONDITION: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (25:41)
4. CAUSE: “For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you? Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.'” (25:42-45)
5. EFFECT: “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (25:46)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is God that makes heirs of heaven. We are not to suppose that acts of bounty will entitle to eternal happiness. Good works done for God’s sake, through Jesus Christ, are here noticed as marking the character of believers made holy by the Spirit of Christ, and as the effects of grace bestowed on those who do them. The wicked in this world were often called to come to Christ for life and rest, but they turned from his calls; and justly are those bid to depart from Christ, that would not come to him. Condemned sinners will in vain offer excuses. The punishment of the wicked will be an everlasting punishment; their state cannot be altered. Thus life and death, good and evil, the blessing and the curse, are set before us, that we may choose our way, and as our way so shall our end be.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Matthew 26:1, I. The Plot to Kill Jesus; II. Jesus Anointed at Bethany; III. Judas to Betray Jesus; IV. The Passover with the Disciples; V. Institution of the Lord’s Supper; VI. Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial; VII. Jesus Prays in Gethsemane; VIII. Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus; IX. Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council; X. Peter Denies Jesus

I. KEY TEXT (The Plot to Kill Jesus): “When Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, ‘You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” (26:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.'” (26:3-5)
1. FINDINGS: “Our Lord had often told of his sufferings as at a distance, now he speaks of them as at hand.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “At the same time the Jewish council consulted how they might put him to death secretly. But it pleased God to defeat their intention.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Jesus, the true paschal Lamb, was to be sacrificed for us at that very time, and his death and resurrection rendered public.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “How great the contrast between the plotting in the court of Caiaphas and the approaching love-ministry of Bethany!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Perhaps Mary was the only one who had really entered into the meaning of the Lord’s words and had realized the scenes of suffering that lay before Him.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Give us the spontaneous expression of love for Jesus” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Anointed at Bethany): “Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table.” (26:6-7)
A. INFERENCE: “And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, ‘Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.'” (26:8-9)
1. FINDINGS: “But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me.” (26:10-11)
2. CRITERIA: “”In pouring this ointment on my body, she had done it to prepare me for burial.” (26:12)
3. CONDITION: “‘Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.” (26:13)
4. CAUSE: “The pouring ointment upon the head of Christ was a token of the highest respect. Where there is true love in the heart to Jesus Christ, nothing will be thought too good to bestow upon him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “This act of faith and love was so remarkable, that it would be reported, as a memorial of Mary’s faith and love, to all future ages, and in all places where the gospel should be preached. This prophecy is fulfilled.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Love the Lord with the love of Mary.

III. KEY TEXT (Judas to Betray Jesus): “Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I deliver him over to you? And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.” (26:14-16)
A. INFERENCE: “There were but twelve called apostles, and one of them was like a devil; surely we must never expect any society to be quite pure on this side heaven. The greater profession men make of religion, the greater opportunity they have of doing mischief, if their hearts be not right with God. Observe, that Christ’s own disciple, who knew so well his doctrine and manner of his life, and was false to him, could not charge him with any thing criminal, though it would have served to justify his treachery.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “It is not the lack, but the love of money, that is the root of all evil. After he had made that wicked bargain, Judas had time to repent, and to revoke it; but when lesser acts of dishonesty have hardened the conscience men do without hesitation that which is more shameful.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “None of us should sit at the table of the Lord without careful self-examination and confession. We all need to say, Lord, is it I? and to ask that we may be clad in the white robes through His precious blood.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Remember, also, that they who in all humility and self-distrust fear lest they should commit the deed of treachery, are always the ones to whom it will be impossible.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The Lord had a great desire to eat this last meal with His own; and it was a proof of His loving anticipation of the strain to which they were to be exposed in soul and body, that He had made arrangements for it with some secret disciple.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “How glad this loving soul must have been to make the loan of that guest chamber!-but have you placed your heart at His disposal? See 1Co:5:7.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Make the loan of that guest chamber and anything else the Teacher needs.” (26:17)

IV. KEY TEXT (The Passover with the Disciples): “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, ‘Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover? He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.” (26:17-19)
A. INFERENCE: “When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, ‘Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.’ And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, ‘Is it I, Lord?'” (26:20)
1. FINDINGS: “He answered, He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me.” (26:23)
2. CRITERIA: “The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.'” (26:24)
3. CONDITION: “Judas, who would betray him, answered, ‘Is it I, Rabbi?’ He said to him, ‘You have said so.'” (26:25)
4. CAUSE: “Heart-searching examination and fervent prayer are especially proper before the Lord’s supper, that, as Christ our Passover is now sacrificed for us, we may keep this feast, renewing our repentance, our faith in his blood, and surrendering ourselves to his service.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It was a time of testing as well as of fellowship. None of us should sit at the table of the Lord without careful self-examination and confession. We all need to say, Lord, is it I? and to ask that we may be clad in the white robes through His precious blood. Remember, also, that they who in all humility and self-distrust fear lest they should commit the deed of treachery, are always the ones to whom it will be impossible.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Self-examine continuously.

V. KEY TEXT (Institution of the Lord’s Supper): “Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.'” (26:26-29)
A. INFERENCE: “This ordinance of the Lord’s supper is to us the Passover supper, by which we commemorate a much greater deliverance than that of Israel out of Egypt. Take, eat; accept of Christ as he is offered to you; receive the atonement, approve of it, submit to his grace and his government.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “This is my body; that is, spiritually, it signifies and represents his body. We partake of the sun, not by having the sun put into our hands, but the beams of it darted down upon us; so we partake of Christ by partaking of his grace, and the blessed fruits of the breaking of his body. The blood of Christ is signified and represented by the wine. He gave thanks, to teach us to look to God in every part of the ordinance. This cup he gave to the disciples with a command, Drink ye all of it. The pardon of sin is that great blessing which is, in the Lord’s supper, conferred on all true believers; it is the foundation of all other blessings.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “While we look at the outward signs of Christ’s body broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins, let us recollect that the feast cost him as much as though he had literally given his flesh to be eaten and his blood for us to drink.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The Passover looked back to the dread hour of the Exodus; the Supper links Calvary with the Second Advent. In partaking of it we should not confine ourselves to either retrospect or anticipation, but should endeavor to feed our souls with the very spirit and heart of our dear Lord, so as to absorb His divine strength, sweetness and love.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We need to feed on His flesh and drink of His blood after a mystical fashion, so that He may become the Life of our life.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The former things will have passed away-such was our Lord’s anticipation!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Self-examine continuously.

VI. KEY TEXT (Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial): “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, ‘You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.'” (26:30-32)
A. INFERENCE: “Peter answered him, ‘Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.'” (26:33)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ Peter said to him, ‘Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!’ And all the disciples said the same.” (26:34-35)
2. CRITERIA: “Improper self-confidence, like that of Peter, is the first step to a fall.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “There is a proneness in all of us to be over-confident. But those fall soonest and foulest, who are the most confident in themselves.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Those are least safe, who think themselves most secure.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Satan is active to lead such astray; they are most off their guard: God leaves them to themselves, to humble them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In addition to Peter, all the disciples said the same.” (26:35)

VII. KEY TEXT (Jesus Prays in Gethsemane): “Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here, while I go over there and pray.’ And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (26:36-38)
A. INFERENCE: “And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.'” (26:39)
1. FINDINGS: “And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed, ‘My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.’ And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.” (26:40-44)
2. CRITERIA: “Then he came to the disciples and said to them, ‘Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (26:45)
3. CONDITION: “Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (26:46)
4. CAUSE: “He who made atonement for the sins of mankind, submitted himself in a garden of suffering, to the will of God, from which man had revolted in a garden of pleasure. Christ took with him into that part of the garden where he suffered his agony, only those who had witnessed his glory in his transfiguration. Those are best prepared to suffer with Christ, who have by faith beheld his glory. The words used denote the most entire dejection, amazement, anguish, and horror of mind; the state of one surrounded with sorrows, overwhelmed with miseries, and almost swallowed up with terror and dismay.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “To be secured from this, we should watch and pray, and continually look unto the Lord to hold us up that we may be safe. Doubtless our Lord had a clear and full view of the sufferings he was to endure, yet he spoke with the greatest calmness till this time.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It was as though He knew and felt that though the past had gone beyond recall, yet further opportunities and testings were awaiting them and Him. These they would encounter and share in company. He is always saying to us, however unworthy-Let us be going.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

VIII. KEY TEXT (Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus): “While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.’ And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ And he kissed him.” (26:47-49)
A. INFERENCE: “Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, do what you came to do.’ Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.” (26:50)
1. FINDINGS: “And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (26:51-53)
2. CRITERIA: “But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (26:54)
3. CONDITION: “At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, ‘Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples left him and fled.” (26:55-56)
4. CAUSE: “No enemies are so much to be abhorred as those professed disciples that betray Christ with a kiss. God has no need of our services, much less of our sins, to bring about his purposes. Though Christ was crucified through weakness, it was voluntary weakness; he submitted to death.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “If he had not been willing to suffer, they could not conquer him. It was a great sin for those who had left all to follow Jesus; now to leave him for they knew not what. What folly, for fear of death to flee from Him, whom they knew and acknowledged to be the Fountain of life!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Others die because they are born; He was born that He might die.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IX. KEY TEXT (Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Council): “Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had gathered. And Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest, and going inside he sat with the guards to see the end.” (26:57-58)
A. INFERENCE: “Now the chief priests and the whole Council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, ‘This man said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.'” (26:59-61)
1. FINDINGS: “And the high priest stood up and said, ‘Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you? But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, ‘I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.’ Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Poower and coming on the clouds of heaven.'” (26:62-63)
2. CRITERIA: “Jesus said to him, ‘You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.'” (26:64)
3. CONDITION: “Then the high priest tore his robes and said, ‘He has uttered blasphemy, What further witnessed do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your judgment?’ They answered, ‘He deserves death.’ Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, saying, ‘Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” (26:65-68)
4. CAUSE: “The event is God’s, but the duty is ours. Now the Scriptures were fulfilled, which said, False witnesses are risen up against me. Christ was accused, that we might not be condemned; and if at any time we suffer thus, let us remember we cannot expect to fare better than our Master.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “When Christ was made sin for us, he was silent, and left it to his blood to speak. Hitherto Jesus had seldom professed expressly to be the Christ, the Son of God; the tenor of his doctrine spoke it, and his miracles proved it; but now he would not omit to make an open confession of it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Let us confess Christ’s name, and bear the reproach, and he will confess us before his Father’s throne.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

X. KEY TEXT (Peter Denies Jesus): “Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus the Galilean.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you mean.’ And when he went out to the other entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, ‘This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ And again he denied it with an oath: ‘I do not know the man.’ After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, ‘Certainly you too are one of them, for you accent betrays you.’ Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know the man.'” (26:69-74)
A. INFERENCE: “And immediately the rooster crowed.” (26:74)
1. FINDINGS: “And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’ And he went out and wept bitterly.” (26:75)
2. CRITERIA: “Peter’s sin was aggravated; but he fell into the sin by surprise, not as Judas, with design. But conscience should be to us as the crowing of the cock, to put us in mind of the sins we had forgotten. Peter was thus left to fall, to abate his self-confidence, and render him more modest, humble, compassionate, and useful to others.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The event has taught believers many things ever since, and if infidels, Pharisees, and hypocrites stumble at it or abuse it, it is at their peril. Little do we know how we should act in very difficult situations, if we were left to ourselves. Let him, therefore, that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall; let us all distrust our own hearts, and rely wholly on the Lord.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Peter wept bitterly. Sorrow for sin must not be slight, but great and deep. Peter, who wept so bitterly for denying Christ, never denied him again, but confessed him often in the face of danger.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “True repentance for any sin will be shown by the contrary grace and duty; that is a sign of our sorrowing not only bitterly, but sincerely.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Do not defect from the Lord.

Week #125; Wed, May 20: Matthew 27–Mark 4

Week #125; Wed, May 20: Matthew 27:1–Mark 4:41

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Matthew 27:1, I. Jesus Delivered to Pilate; II. Jesus Before Pilate; III. Crowd Chooses Barabbas; IV. Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified; V. Jesus is Mocked; VI. The Crucifixion; VII. The Death of Jesus; VIII. Jesus is Buried; IX. The Guard at the Tomb

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Delivered to Pilate): “When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor.” (27:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ They said, ‘What is that to us? See to it yourself. And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.’ So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.'” (27:3-10)
1. FINDINGS: “Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said, ‘You have said so.’ But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?’ But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. (27:11-14
2. CRITERIA: “”Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release for you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’ For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up.” (27:15-18)”
3. CONDITION: “Multitudes who choose the world, rather than God, for their ruler and portion, thus choose their own delusions. The Jews were so bent upon the death of Christ, that Pilate thought it would be dangerous to refuse. And this struggle shows the power of conscience even on the worst men.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Envy.” (27:18)
5. EFFECT: “Yet all was so ordered to make it evident that Christ suffered for no fault of his own, but for the sins of his people. How vain for Pilate to expect to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood of a righteous person, whom he was by his office bound to protect!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The blood of Christ is now upon us for good, through mercy, by the Jews’ rejection of it. O let us flee to it for refuge!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Before Pilate):“Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. The governor again said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release for you?’ And they said, ‘Barabbas.’ Pilate said to them, ‘Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said, ‘Let him be crucified!’ And he said, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Let him be crucified!'” (27:20-23)
A. INFERENCE: “How vain for Pilate to expect to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood of a righteous person, whom he was by his office bound to protect!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “None could bear the sin of others, except Him that had no sin of his own to answer for. And are we not all concerned? Is not Barabbas preferred to Jesus, when sinners reject salvation that they may retain their darling sins, which rob God of his glory, and murder their souls?” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “None of these expedients succeeded, and he drifted into the very act which his conscience had condemned from the first. He is a specimen of those weak men who want the right thing to be done, but will not adventure their own interests to get it done.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Having no malice against Jesus, Pilate urged him to clear himself, and labored to get him discharged.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The vacillation of Pilate made him a criminal. Weakness becomes sin. At first he evidently meant to release Jesus, but instead of saying so outright, he strove to bring about His release by indirect means and without committing himself.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Barabbas was released; Jesus was crucified.” (27:15-23)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The one hope for us all is to declare ourselves for the right and true, at once and from the start.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Crowd Chooses Barabbas):“So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.'” (27:24)
A. INFERENCE: “No judge ought to have asked the crowd what he should do. But every man has to do with Christ. He is ever standing before the bar of conscience, and each of us must accept or condemn, do homage or crucify.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “It is not easy to skip over the larger plan of God that was there making sure that the script was followed.” (Personal observation: see host home page at paragraph 5.III for links to graphic illustrations)
2. CRITERIA: “Since the ‘Lamb’s Book of Life was written before the foundation of the world, there is a hand at work bigger than we can grasp. Based on God’s desire to restore His perfect kingdom on Mount Zion, we must recognize there will be steps taken that will not be easy.” (Personal observation: see host home page at paragraph 5.III for links to graphic illustrations)
3. CONDITION: “If we do not pronounce for Him, we pronounce against Him.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We may wash our hands after the deed of treachery is done, but water will not avail for Pilate, for Lady Macbeth, or for us. We need the blood of Christ, ere we can be cleansed from all sin, 1 Jn:5:6.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Multitudes who choose the world, rather than God, for their ruler and portion, thus choose their own delusions.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Look for ‘God’s master plan as we visit all areas of His Word.” (Personal observation: see host home page at paragraph 5.III for links to graphic illustrations)

IV. KEY TEXT (Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified):“And all the people answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.” (27:25-26)
A. INFERENCE: “Crucifixion was a death used only among the Romans; it was very terrible and miserable. A cross was laid on the ground, to which the hands and feet were nailed, it was then lifted up and fixed upright, so that the weight of the body hung on the nails, till the sufferer died in agony.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Christ thus answered the type of the brazen serpent raised on a pole.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ underwent all the misery and shame here related, that he might purchase for us everlasting life, and joy, and glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (26:39)
4. CAUSE: “. . . there is a larger plan!” (Personal observation: see host home page at paragraph 5.III for links to graphic illustrations)
5. EFFECT: “He has made peace by the blood of His Cross; we have but to accept and be at rest.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Keep the cross in plain view, always.” (Personal observation: see host home page at paragraph 5.III for links to graphic illustrations)

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus is Mocked): “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.” (27:27-31)
A. INFERENCE: “Christ was led as a Lamb to the slaughter, as a Sacrifice to the altar. Even the mercies of the wicked are really cruel. Taking the cross from him, they compelled one Simon to bear it. Make us ready, O Lord, to bear the cross thou hast appointed us, and daily to take it up with cheerfulness, following thee.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? And when we behold what manner of death he died, let us in that behold with what manner of love he loved us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “He was delivered up that we might be delivered.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “As if death, so painful a death, were not enough, they added to its bitterness and terror in several ways.” (Matthew henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “In this unparalleled instance of divine grace, the upright is a ransom for the transgressors, the just for the unjust.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The guards understood that he pretended to a crown; to taunt him with that gave them some diversion, and an opportunity to make themselves and one another happy.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “All that will approve themselves disciples indeed, must follow Christ, bearing His cross.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)

VI. KEY TEXT (The Crucifixion): “As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, ‘He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trust in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.” (27:32-44)
A. INFERENCE: “He will not drink what would dull His keen sense of the momentous issues of the Cross.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” (27:37)
2. CRITERIA: “Here is no crime alleged against him. Pilate, instead of accusing Christ as a Criminal, proclaimed him a King.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He was numbered with the transgressors.” (Isa. 53:12)
4. CAUSE: Envy and anger. “He was, at his death, numbered among the transgressors, that we, at our death, might be numbered among the saints.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Every circumstance was contrived to his dishonor, as if the great Saviour were of all others the greatest sinner.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Keep fast hold of God the Father as did Jesus while enduring trouble.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume)

VII. KEY TEXT (The Death of Jesus): “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, ‘This man is calling Elijah.’ And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, ‘Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.’ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!'” (27:45-54)
A. INFERENCE: “There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among who were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.” (27:57-61)
1. FINDINGS: “The manner in which he breathed his last; between the third and the sixth hour, that is, between nine and twelve o’clock, as we reckon, he was nailed to the cross, and soon after the ninth hour, that is, between three and four o’clock, in the afternoon, he died.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “Faith in the Father was on display in worst moment for Jesus. ‘That our Lord Jesus, even when he was thus forsaken by his Father, kept hold of him as his God, nevertheless; ‘My God, my God; though forsaking me, yet mine.’ This supported him, and bore him up, that even in the depth of his sufferings God was his God, and this he resolves to keep fast hold of.'” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Darkness, earthquake, rocks split, curtain torn from top to bottom, the dead arose, enemies convicted, and many other miracles.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: God’s master plan was being rolled out for Jews, Gentiles, and Romans too. (Personal observation, see two graphic illustrations at links in host website home page in paragraph 5.III)
5. EFFECT: “The Father wanted Him back. ‘When Christ had overcome the sharpness of death, he opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Nothing can obstruct or discourage our access to heaven'” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Know that the Father wants His believers back too.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

VIII. KEY TEXT (Jesus is Buried): “When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean lined shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.” (27:57-61)
A. INFERENCE: “In the burial of Christ was nothing of pomp or solemnity. As Christ had not a house of his own, wherein to lay his head, while he lived, so he had not a grave of his own, wherein to lay his body, when he was dead.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Our Lord Jesus, who had no sin of his own, had no grave of his own.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The Jews designed that he should have made his grave with the wicked, should have been buried with the thieves with whom he was crucified, but God overruled it, so that he should make it with the rich in his death, Isaiah 53:9.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And although to the eye of man the beholding a funeral may cause terror, yet if we remember how Christ by his burial has changed the nature of the grave to believers, it should make us rejoice.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Fear not to entrust yourself to God in death. If you yield up your spirit and commend it to the Father’s hands, He will provide for it and for your body also. He has His Josephs everywhere. He will provide loving hands for the body, which was the shrine and casket of the precious jewel that He bought at so great a cost. Precious in His sight is the death of His saints, Psa.116:15.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The kings and princes of this world set themselves to guard the sepulcher of the Son of God by sealing-wax and sentries. They might as well have endeavored to restrain the bursting life of spring. Said the King of Terrors to Captain Corruption, “Take care to keep this Man’s body fast.” But what did this avail, when it had been ordained that he should not stay in Hades, nor even see corruption? Whatever your foes may do against you will not avail, if only you wait patiently for God. See Psa.40:1-17.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “And we are ever to imitate Christ’s burial in being continually occupied in the spiritual burial of our sins.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

IX. KEY TEXT (The Guard at the Tomb): “The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, ‘Sir, we remember how that imposter said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.’ Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.’ So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.” (27:62-66)
A. INFERENCE: “On the Jewish Sabbath, the chief priests and Pharisees, when they should have been at their devotions, were dealing with Pilate about securing the sepulcher. This was permitted that there might be certain proof of our Lord’s resurrection.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Pilate told them that they might secure the sepulcher as carefully as they could. They sealed the stone, and set a guard, and were satisfied that all needful care was taken.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “But to guard the sepulcher against the poor weak disciples was folly, because needless; while to think to guard it against the power of God, was folly, because fruitless, and to no purpose; yet they thought they dealt wisely.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “But the Lord took the wise in their own craftiness. Thus shall all the rage and the plans of Christ’s enemies be made to promote his glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The kings and princes of this world set themselves to guard the sepulcher of the Son of God by sealing-wax and sentries.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “They might as well have endeavored to restrain the bursting life of spring.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Know that: ‘There ain’t no grave gonna hold His body down’ . . . or mine or yours either. Victory! Search on: “ain’t no grave bellevue baptist church molly skaggs

Matthew 28:1-20, I. The Resurrection; II. The Report of the Guard; III. The Great Commission

I. KEY TEXT: (The Resurrection):“Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.’ So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.'” (28:1-10)
A. INFERENCE: “Ere the sun had risen and while the glory of the dawn was faint in the Eastern sky, the women were well on their way. But He whom they sought had gone. How often we look down into the grave of the dead past, and into the vault where we have buried twin-souls; or we peer for help into the diaries, prayers and rites of departed saints or a moribund church-but we do not find the Lord. The divine Leader of souls is not behind us, but before; not in the grave of the dead past, but in the van of the world’s march. Lo, he beckons us on to follow the Ascension mountain and the opened heaven!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Christ rose the third day after his death; that was the time he had often spoken of. On the first day of the first week God commanded the light to shine out of darkness. On this day did He who is the Light of the world, shine out of the darkness of the grave; and this day is from henceforward often mentioned in the New Testament, as the day which Christians religiously observed in solemn assemblies, to the honor of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Our Lord Jesus could have rolled back the stone by his own power, but he chose to have it done by an angel. The resurrection of Christ, as it is the joy of his friends, so it is the terror and confusion of his enemies.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The angel encouraged the women against their fears. Let the sinners in Zion be afraid. Fear not ye, for his resurrection will be your consolation. Our communion with him must be spiritual, by faith in his word. When we are ready to make this world our home, and to say, It is good to be here, then let us remember our Lord Jesus is not here, he is risen; therefore let our hearts rise, and seek the things that are above.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “He is risen, as he said. Let us never think that strange which the word of Christ has told us to expect; whether the sufferings of this present time, or the glory that is to be revealed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “It may have a good effect upon us, by faith to view the place where the Lord lay. Go quickly. It was good to be there, but the servants of God have other work appointed. Public usefulness must be chosen before the pleasure of secret communion with God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The disciples of Christ should be forward to make known to each other their experiences of communion with their Lord; and should tell others what God has done for their souls.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT: (Report of the Guard): “While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, ‘Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.’ So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.” (28:11-15)
A. INFERENCE: “What wickedness is it which men will not be brought to by the love of money! Here was large money given to the soldiers for advancing that which they knew to be a lie, yet many grudge a little money for advancing what they know to be the truth.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Let us never starve a good cause, when we see bad ones so liberally supported. The priests undertook to secure them from the sword of Pilate, but could not secure these soldiers from the sword of God’s justice, which hangs over the heads of those that love and make a lie. Those men promise more than they can perform, who undertake to save a man harmless in doing a willful sin.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “But this falsehood disproved itself. Had the soldiers been all asleep, they could not have known what passed. If any had been awake, they would have roused the others and prevented the removal; and certainly if they had been asleep, they never would have dared to confess it; while the Jewish rulers would have been the first to call for their punishment.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Again, had there been any truth in the report, the rulers would have prosecuted the apostles with severity for it. The whole shows that the story was entirely false. And we must not charge such things to the weakness of the understanding, but to the wickedness of the heart.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “God left them to expose their own course. The great argument to prove Christ to be the Son of God, is his resurrection; and none could have more convincing proofs of the truth of that than these soldiers; yet they took bribes to hinder others from believing.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The plainest evidence will not affect men, without the work of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Separate from the idea: “Men will believe any lie rather than God’s truth, because their hearts are evil.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Great Commission): “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (28:16-20)
A. INFERENCE: “All that see the Lord Jesus with an eye of faith, will worship him. Yet the faith of the sincere may be very weak and wavering. But Christ gave such convincing proofs of his resurrection, as made their faith to triumph over doubts.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “He now solemnly commissioned the apostles and his ministers to go forth among all nations. The salvation they were to preach, is a common salvation; whoever will, let him come, and take the benefit; all are welcome to Christ Jesus.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Christianity is the religion of a sinner who applies for salvation from deserved wrath and from sin; he applies to the mercy of the Father, through the atonement of the incarnate Son, and by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, and gives up himself to be the worshipper and servant of God, as the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons but one God, in all his ordinances and commandments.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Baptism is an outward sign of that inward washing, or sanctification of the Spirit, which seals and evidences the believer’s justification.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Let us examine ourselves, whether we really possess the inward and spiritual grace of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, by which those who were the children of wrath become the children of God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Believers shall have the constant presence of their Lord always; all days, every day. There is no day, no hour of the day, in which our Lord Jesus is not present with his churches and with his ministers; if there were, in that day, that hour, they would be undone.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Even so, Lord Jesus, be thou with us and all thy people; cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

Mark 1:1-45 I. John the Baptist Prepares the Way; II. The Baptism of Jesus; III. The Temptation of Jesus; IV. Jesus Begins His Ministry; V. Jesus Calls the First Disciples; VI. Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit; VII. Jesus Heals Many; VIII. Jesus Preaches in Galilee; IX. Jesus Cleanses a Leper

I. KEY TEXT (John the Baptist Prepares the Way): “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’ John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, ‘After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'” (1:1-8)
A. INFERENCE: “Always the message of John precedes that of Jesus Christ; first the changed attitude of the will, then faith. The greatness of the Baptist revealed itself in his humility. He saw what we must see, that a negative religion, symbolized by water, is not enough: we need to be set on fire.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Isaiah and Malachi each spoke concerning the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the ministry of John. From these prophets we may observe, that Christ, in his gospel, comes among us, bringing with him a treasure of grace, and a scepter of government.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “When God sent his Son into the world, he took care, and when he sends him into the heart, he takes care, to prepare his way before him. John thinks himself unworthy of the meanest office about Christ. The most eminent saints have always been the most humble. They feel their need of Christ’s atoning blood and sanctifying Spirit, more than others.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The great promise Christ makes in his gospel to those who have repented, and have had their sins forgiven them, is, they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; shall be purified by his graces, and refreshed by his comforts.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We use the ordinances, word, and sacraments without profit and comfort, for the most part, because we have not of that Divine light within us; and we have it not because we ask it not; for we have his word that cannot fail, that our heavenly Father will give this light, his Holy Spirit, to those that ask it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “to those who have repented, and have had their sins forgiven them, is, they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Ask, knock . . .

II. KEY TEXT (The Baptism of Jesus): “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'” (1:9-11)
A. INFERENCE: “Christ’s baptism was his first public appearance, after he had long lived unknown. How much hidden worth is there, which in this world is not known! But sooner or later it shall be known, as Christ was.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “He took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh; and thus, for our sakes, he sanctified himself, that we also might be sanctified, and be baptized with him, John 17:19. See how honorably God owned him, when he submitted to John’s baptism.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “He saw the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. We may see heaven opened to us, when we perceive the Spirit descending and working upon us. God’s good work in us, is sure evidence of his good will towards us, and preparations for us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Jesus was recognized by the Baptist, who beheld the opened heavens and the descending Spirit. If the Lord was thus anointed ere He commenced His life-work, how much more must we be! Hast thou become united with Him in His death, made one with Him in His resurrection, and anointed by that same Spirit?” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Sons of men must go the way of the Son of man, now under the opened heavens, then tempted of the devil; on one side the wild beasts, on the other the angels; now driven to loneliness, and then to the crowded street of the cities, there to gather disciples by the energy and beauty of a victorious life.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “He took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh; and thus, for our sakes, he sanctified himself, that we also might be sanctified, and be baptized with him, John 17:19.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Then go “to the crowded street of the cities, there to gather disciples by the energy and beauty of a victorious life.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (The Temptation of Jesus): “The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.” (1:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “The ministration of the good angels is matter of great comfort in reference to the malignant designs of the evil angels; but much more does it comfort us, to have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit in our hearts.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Mark is another witness who concentrates chiefly on his miracles. This Jesus is the Son of God. That truth is the foundation on which the gospel is built, and which it is written to demonstrate.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “The mistakes of the will are rectified, and the rough ground of the emotions; then a way is made for Christ’s comforts.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “The wilderness was an example of his Father’s care for him, that he was preserved from being torn in pieces by the wild beasts.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Christ himself was tempted, not only to teach us, that it is no sin to be tempted, but to direct us where to go for help when we are tempted. even to him who suffered, being tempted.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The good spirits were busy around him; the angels attended him.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Listen for his guidance from angels and his Word while in prayer.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Begins His Ministry): “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (1:14-15)
A. INFERENCE: “Jesus began to preach in Galilee, after that John was put in prison. If some be laid aside, others shall be raised up, to carry on the same work. Observe the great truths Christ preached.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “By repentance we give glory to our Creator whom we have offended; by faith we give glory to our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. Christ has joined these two together, and let no man think to put them asunder.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Those whom Christ calls, must leave all to follow him; and by his grace he makes them willing to do so. Not that we must needs go out of the world, but we must sit loose to the world; forsake every thing that is against our duty to Christ, and that cannot be kept without hurt to our souls.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “. . . the preaching of the gospel began, and thus it continues; still the call is, Repent, and believe, and live a life of repentance and a life of faith.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Christ will have followers. If he sets up a school, he will have students; if he sets up his standard, he will have soldiers; if he preaches, he will have hearers. Though Christ does not need the help of man, yet he is pleased to make use of it in setting up his kingdom. The business of ministers is to fish for souls, and win them to Christ. Ministers, in preaching the gospel cast the net into the waters.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “There is much in the doctrine of Christ that is astonishing; and the more we hear it, the more cause we see to admire it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Fish!

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus Calls the First Disciples): “Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.’ And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him.” (1:16-20)
A. INFERENCE: “The instruments Christ chose to employ in setting up his kingdom, were the weak and foolish things of the world; not from the great Sanhedrin or the schools of the rabbis, but picked from among the tarpaulins beside the Sea of Galilee.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “Though Christ does not need the help of man, yet he is pleased to make use of it in setting up his kingdom.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ honors those who are diligent in their business, and loving toward one another; so those were, whom Christ called. ” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He found them employed, and employed together, Industry and unity are good and pleasant, and there the Lord Jesus commands the blessing.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Those whom Christ calls, must leave all, to follow him; and by his grace he causes them to wish to do so.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “We must be loosely attached to the world, and forsake everything that is inconsistent with duty to Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “. . . not only relations, but companions, must be left for Christ, and old acquaintances.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

VI. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Spirit): “And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves saying, ‘What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.’ And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.” (1:21-28)
A. INFERENCE: “The devil is an unclean spirit, because he has lost all the purity of his nature, because he acts in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit of God, and by his suggestions defiles the spirits of men. There are many in our assemblies who quietly attend under merely formal teachers; but if the Lord come with faithful ministers and holy doctrine, and by his convincing Spirit, they are ready to say, like this man, What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “This unclean spirit hated and dreaded Christ, because he knew him to be a Holy One; for the carnal mind is enmity against God, especially against his holiness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “When Christ by his grace delivers souls out of the hands of Satan, it is not without tumult in the soul; for that spiteful enemy will disquiet those whom he cannot destroy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “What is this new doctrine? A work as great often is wrought now, yet men treat it with contempt and neglect.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “If this were not so, the conversion of a notorious wicked man to a sober, righteous, and godly life, by the preaching of a crucified Savior, would cause many to ask, What doctrine is this?” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “. . . emphasis is laid on the unresting labors of Jesus, who went about doing good.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Consider how much work we have to do, and how little time to do it in.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

VII. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals Many): “And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.” (1:29-34)
A. INFERENCE: “Wherever Christ comes, he comes to do good. He cures, that we may minister to him, and to others who are his, and for his sake. Those kept from public ordinances by sickness or other real hindrances, may expect the Savior’s gracious presence; he will soothe their sorrows, and abate their pains.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Observe how numerous the patients were.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “When others speed well with Christ, it should quicken us in seeking after him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Those who have the most business in public, and of the best kind, must yet sometimes be alone with God.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Early next day He had gone forth for prayer, and forthwith started on a mission throughout all Galilee. The second typical day is recorded in Mar.11:20-33; Mar. 12:1-44; Mar. 13:1-37.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Jesus did not sit still. He continued to do good.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Go and do likewise!

VIII. KEY TEXT (Jesus Preaches in Galilee): “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.’ And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.” (1:35-39)
A. INFERENCE: “He cured Peter’s mother-in-law, who was sick. . . . the hand that healed her, strengthened her, so that she was able to wait on to them; the cure equips for action.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “How numerous the patients were; the whole town gathered at the door, as beggars for charity. That one cure in the synagogue occasioned this crowding after him.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ was flocked after in a private house, as well as in the synagogue; wherever he is, there let his servants, his patients, be.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “How powerful the Physician was; he healed many who were brought to him. Nor was it some one particular disease, that Christ healed, but he healed those who had various diseases.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “His withdrawal to his private devotion; He prayed, prayed alone; to set us an example of secret prayer. Though as God he was prayed to, as man he prayed. He found time to be alone with his Father.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “We must go to the throne of grace, every day in the week.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Pray with every breath; stay continuously connected.

IX. KEY TEXT (Jesus Cleanses a Leper): “A leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.’ But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.” (1:40-45)
A. INFERENCE: “We have here Christ’s cleansing of a leper. It teaches us to apply to the Savior with great humility, and with full submission to his will, saying, “Lord, if thou wilt,” without any doubt of Christ’s readiness to help the distressed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “See also what to expect from Christ; that according to our faith it shall be to us. The poor leper said, If thou wilt. Christ readily wills favors to those who readily refer themselves to his will. Christ would have nothing done that looked like seeking praise of the people.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The news of Christ spread fast and far until it reached the outcasts from Jewish society, the very dregs of humanity. As the story of the wonderful miracles wrought by our Lord was pondered deeply by this man, He concluded that the only question which remained was that of Christ’s willingness to hear.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “As to His power there could be no doubt. But no one of all the religious world of that time had ever thought of extending a helping hand to such as he. Note the instantaneousness of our Lord’s response to this appeal.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “His love and power are commensurate; when you gauge the one, you have measured the other.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “But no reasons now exist why we should hesitate to spread the praises of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Build faith.

Mark 2:1-28, I. Jesus Heals a Paralytic; II. Jesus Calls Levi; III. A Question About Fasting; IV. Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Paralytic): “And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when thy had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, ‘Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’, he said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.’ And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God saying, ‘We never saw anything like this!'” (2:1-12)
A. INFERENCE: “It was this man’s misery that he needed to be so carried, and shows the suffering state of human life; it was kind of those who so carried him, and teaches the compassion that should be in men, toward their fellow-creatures in distress.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “True faith and strong faith may work in various ways; but it shall be accepted and approved by Jesus Christ. Sin is the cause of all our pains and sicknesses. The way to remove the effect, is to take away the cause.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Pardon of sin strikes at the root of all diseases. Christ proved his power to forgive sin, by showing his power to cure the man sick of the palsy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And his curing diseases was a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of the soul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. When we see what Christ does in healing souls, we must own that we never saw the like.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Most men think themselves whole; they feel no need of a physician, therefore despise or neglect Christ and his gospel.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “But the convinced, humbled sinner, who despairs of all help, excepting from the Savior, will show his faith by applying to him without delay.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Apply faith.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Calls Levi): “He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. And as he passed by, he saw Levi (Matthew) the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him. And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ And when Jesus heard it, he said to them. ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (2:13-17)
A. INFERENCE: “Matthew was not a good character, or else, being a Jew, he would never have been a publican, that is, a tax-gatherer for the Romans. However, Christ called this publican to follow him. With God, through Christ, there is mercy to pardon the greatest sins, and grace to change the greatest sinners, and make them holy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “A faithful, fair-dealing publican was rare. And because the Jews had a particular hatred to an office which proved that they were subject to the Romans, they gave these tax-gatherers an ill name.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “But such as these our blessed Lord did not hesitate to converse with, when he appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh. And it is no new thing for that which is both well done and well designed, to be slandered, and turned to the reproach of the wisest and best of men.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Christ would not withdraw, though the Pharisees were offended. If the world had been righteous, there had been no occasion for his coming, either to preach repentance, or to purchase forgiveness.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “We must not keep company with ungodly men out of love to their vain conversation; but we are to show love to their souls, remembering that our good Physician had the power of healing in himself, and was in no danger of taking the disease; but it is not so with us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “In trying to do good to others, let us be careful we do not get harm to ourselves.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be careful.

III. KEY TEXT (A Question About Fasting): “Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.” (2:18-22)
A. INFERENCE: “Strict professors are apt to blame all that do not fully come up to their own views.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Christ did not escape slanders; we should be willing to bear them, as well as careful not to deserve them; but should attend to every part of our duty in its proper order and season.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “In eternity the Friend of sinners will surround His table with saved sinners who have become His guests” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Two things Christ pleads in excuse of his disciples not fasting. 1. That these were easy times with them, and fasting was not so appropriate not as it would be hereafter. There is a time for all things. 2. That these were early days with them, and they were no so equipped for the severe exercises of religion as hereafter they would be.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Their Master came eating and drinking, and had not bred them up to the difficult services of religion as yet.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “God graciously considers the strength of young Christians who are weak and tender, and so must we.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Don’t make the yoke of Christ otherwise than it is, easy and sweet, and pleasant.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath): “One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’ And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?’ And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.'” (2:23-28)
A. INFERENCE: “The Sabbath is a sacred and Divine institution; a privilege and benefit, not a task and drudgery.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “God never designed it to be a burden to us, therefore we must not make it so to ourselves.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The Sabbath was instituted for the good of mankind, as living in society, having many wants and troubles, preparing for a state of happiness or misery.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Man was not made for the Sabbath, as if his keeping it could be of service to God, nor was he commanded to keep its outward observances to his real hurt.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Every observance respecting it, is to be interpreted by the rule of mercy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ defended his disciples by citing David where ritual observances must give way to moral obligations; and that may be done in a case of necessity, which otherwise may not be done.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The Sabbath is a sacred and divine institution; but we must receive and embrace it as a privilege and a benefit, not as a task and a drudgery.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

Mark 3:1, I. A Man with a Withered Hand; II. A Great Crowd Follows Jesus; III. The Twelve Apostles; IV. Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit; V. Jesus’ Mother and Brothers

I. KEY TEXT (A Man with a Withered Hand): “Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Come here.’ And he said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.” (3:1-6)
A. INFERENCE: “This man’s case was piteous; he had a withered hand, which disabled him from working for his living; and those that are so, are the most proper objects of charity. Let those be helped that cannot help themselves.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Christ looks at the root of bitterness in the heart, the blindness and hardness of that, and is grieved.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Let hard-hearted sinners tremble to think of the anger with which he will look upon them shortly, when the day of his wrath comes. The great healing day now is the Sabbath, and the healing place the house of prayer; but the healing power is of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The gospel command is like that recorded here: though our hands are withered, yet, if we will not stretch them out, it is our own fault that we are not healed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The spectators were very unkind, both to the patient and to the Physician; instead of interceding for a poor neighbor, they did what they could to hinder his cure.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “If Christ cured him now on the Sabbath day, they would accuse him as a Sabbath breaker.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “But if we are healed, Christ, his power and grace, must have all the glory.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (A Great Crowd Follows Jesus): “Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’ And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.” (3:7-12)
A. INFERENCE: “All our sicknesses and calamities spring from the anger of God against our sins. Their removal, or the making them blessings to us, was purchased to us by the blood of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “But the plagues and diseases of our souls, of our hearts, are chiefly to be dreaded; and He can heal them also by a word.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “This is the errand on which sickness is sent, to alert us to enquire after Christ, and apply ourselves to him as our Physician.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “They desired leave but to touch him, having faith to be healed, not only by his touching them, but by their touching him.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Diseases were effectively cured. He healed many.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Evil spirits were effectively conquered; those whom evil spirits had got possession of, when they saw him, trembled at his presence, and they also fell down before him, not to beseech his favor, but to turn away his wrath.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Carry the news.

III. KEY TEXT (The Twelve Apostles): “And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.'” (3:13-21)
A. INFERENCE: “Christ calls whom he will; for his grace is his own. He had called the apostles to separate themselves from the crowd, and they came unto him. He now gave them power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “May the Lord send forth more and more of those who have been with him, and have learned of him to preach his gospel, to be instruments in his blessed work. Those whose hearts are enlarged in the work of God, can easily bear with what is inconvenient to themselves, and will rather lose a meal than an opportunity of doing good.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Those who go on with zeal in the work of God, must expect hindrances, both from the hatred of enemies, and mistaken affection of friends, and need to guard against both.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “He called to him those he wanted.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Not such as we should have thought fittest to be called; but such as he thought fit to call, and determined to make fit for the service to which he called them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Christ calls whom he will.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Be willing to come to His call.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

IV. KEY TEXT (Blasphemy Against The Holy Spirit): “And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, ‘He is possessed by Beelzebul,’ and ‘by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.’ And he called them to him and said to them in parables, ‘How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin,’ for they were saying, ‘He has an unclean spirit.'” (3:22-30)
A. INFERENCE: “It was plain that the doctrine of Christ had a direct tendency to break the devil’s power; and it was as plain, that the casting of him out of the bodies of people, confirmed that doctrine; therefore Satan could not support such a design. Christ gave an awful warning against speaking such dangerous words.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “It is true the gospel promises, because Christ has purchased, forgiveness for the greatest sins and sinners; but by this sin, they would oppose the gifts of the Holy Ghost after Christ’s ascension.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Such is the enmity of the heart, that unconverted men pretend believers are doing Satan’s work, when sinners are brought to repentance and newness of life.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Christ gave them to take heed how they spoke such dangerous words as these; however they might make light of them, as only conjectures, and the language of free-thinking, if they persisted in it, it would end fatally for them; it would be found a sin against the last remedy, and consequently unpardonable.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Blaspheming the Holy Spirit = unpardonable sin.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Sin remains.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Do not blaspheme the Holy Spirit.

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus’ Mother and Brothers): “And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.’ And he answered them, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (3:31-35)
A. INFERENCE: “It is a great comfort to all true Christians, that they are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister as such, merely as relations in the flesh would have been, even had they been holy.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “Blessed be God, this great and gracious privilege is ours even now; for though Christ’s bodily presence cannot be enjoyed by us, his spiritual presence is not denied us.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The disrespect which Christ’s human family showed to him when he was preaching; they not only stood outside, but they sent someone in to call him.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “The respect which Christ showed to his spiritual kindred on this occasion. Now, as at other times, he comparatively neglected his mother. He looked on those seated around him, and pronounced those of them who not only heard, but did, the will of God, to be to him as his brother, and sister, and mother; as much esteemed, loved, and cared for, as his nearest relations.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “This is a good reason why we should honor those who fear the Lord, that we may share with the saints in this honor.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “This occasion brought balance between relations and kindred.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Give equal opportunity to relations and kindred.

Mark 4:1, I. The Parable of the Sower; II. The Purpose of the Parables; III. A Lamp Under a Basket; IV. The Parable of the Seed Growing; V. The Parable of the Mustard Seed; VI. Jesus Calms a Storm

I. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Sower): “Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'” (4:1-9)
A. INFERENCE: “This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it. There are many things we are concerned to know; and if we understand not the plain truths of the gospel, how shall we learn those more difficult! It will help us to value the privileges we enjoy as disciples of Christ, if we seriously consider the deplorable state of all who have not such privileges.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “In the great field of the church, the word of God is dispensed to all. Of the many that hear the word of the gospel, but few receive it, so as to bring forth fruit. Many are much affected with the word for the present, who yet receive no abiding benefit. The word does not leave abiding impressions upon the minds of men, because their hearts are not duly disposed to receive it. The devil is very busy about careless hearers, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Many continue in a barren, false profession, and go down to hell. Impressions that are not deep, will not last. Many do not mind heart-work, without which religion is nothing. Others are hindered from profiting by the word of God, by abundance of the world. And those who have but little of the world, may yet be ruined by indulging the body. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “God expects and requires fruit from those who enjoy the gospel, a temper of mind and Christian graces daily exercised, Christian duties duly performed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Let us look to the Lord, that by his new-creating grace our hearts may become good ground, and that the good seed of the word may produce in our lives those good words and works which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Note the perils of the hearer, that you may guard against the waste of precious seed.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Don’t waste seeds.

II. KEY TEXT (The Purpose of the Parables): “And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’ And he said to then, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” (4:10-20)
A. INFERENCE: “It has been given to you, but not to them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “Those only who are converted, have their sins forgiven them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “The farmer sows the Word.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He scatters in order to increase it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Christ was awhile sowing himself, when he went about teaching and preaching; now he sends his ministers and sows by their hand.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “That of the many who hear the word of the gospel, there are, comparatively, but few who receive it, so as to bring forth the fruits of it; here is but one in four, who comes to good.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Do not be a careless hearer.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

III. KEY TEXT (A Lamp Under a Basket): “And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’ And he said to them, ‘Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.'” (4:21-25)
A. INFERENCE: “Those who are good ought to do good.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “These declarations were intended to call the attention of the disciples to the word of Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “By his thus instructing them, they were made able to instruct others; as candles are lighted, not to be covered, but to be placed on a candlestick, that they may give light to a room.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Let but the word of Christ have the place it ought to have in a soul, and it will show itself in a good conversation.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “How quick the Master was to observe the meaning of natural symbols! To Him all things were unfoldings of eternal mystery, and the ways of men unconsciously mirrored the unseen. (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Are there bushels in your life?” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Use them as lamp stands, not as coverings.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Seed Growing): “And he said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.'” (4:26-29)
A. INFERENCE: “This parable of the good seed, shows the manner in which the kingdom of God makes progress in the world.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “It grows gradually: first the blade; then the ear; after that the full corn in the ear. When it is sprung up, it will go forward.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “The work of grace in the soul is, at first, but the day of small things; yet it has mighty products even now, while it is in its growth; but what will there be when it is perfected in heaven!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The mysterious co-operation of God in nature, and the gradual process of growth, are analogous to the co-working of the Holy Spirit with all faithful sowers of the Word, and the imperceptible stages through which the soul reaches maturity.” (F. B Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The good seed of the gospel sown in the world, and sown in the heart, does by degrees produce wonderful effects, but without noise” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The farmer cannot describe how it comes up; it is one of the mysteries of nature; It sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Help cover the field in green.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

V. KEY TEXT (The Parable of the Mustard Seed): “And he said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’ With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his won disciples he explained everything.” (4:30-34)
A. INFERENCE: “The work of grace is small in its beginnings, but comes to be great and considerable at last.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “Never were there such great things undertaken by such an inconsiderable handful, as that of the discipling of the nations by the ministry of the apostles.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “The gospel kingdom in the world, shall increase and spread to the remotest nations of the earth.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He spoke in parables, as much as they could understand; he drew his comparisons from those things that were familiar to them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “He did not say anything to them without using a parable.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “We can only wish we had had that exposition, as we had of the parable” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Express easy to recall and edit in the sowing of seeds.” (Matthew Henry Commentary in One Volume)

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus Calms a Storm): “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?'” (4:35-41)
A. INFERENCE: “Christ was asleep in the storm, to try the faith of his disciples, and to stir them up to pray. Their faith appeared weak, and their prayers strong.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “When our wicked hearts are like the troubled sea which cannot rest, when our passions are unruly, let us think we hear the law of Christ, saying, Be silent, be dumb.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “When without are fightings, and within are fears, and the spirits are in a tumult, if he say, “Peace, be still,” there is a great calm at once.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Why are ye so fearful? Though there may be cause for some fear, yet not for such fear as this.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Those may suspect their faith, who can have such a thought as that Jesus careth not though his people perish.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “How imperfect are the best of saints! Faith and fear take their turns while we are in this world; but ere long, fear will be overcome, and faith will be lost in sight.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Grow and nurture faith in prayer and the Word.

Week #126; Wed, May 27: Mark 5–9

Week #126; Wed, May 27: Mark 5:1–9:50

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Mark 5:1, I. Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon; II. Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon): “They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.” (5:1-5)
A. INFERENCE: “And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said ‘What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.’ For he was saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! And Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ He replied, ‘My name is Legion, for we are many.’ And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.” (5:6-10)
1. FINDINGS: “Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, ‘Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.’ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.” (5:11-13)
2. CRITERIA: “The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened.” (5:14)
3. CONDITION: “And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'” (5:15-19)
4. CAUSE: “And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.” (5:20)
5. EFFECT: “All men marveled, but few followed him. Many who cannot but wonder at the works of Christ, yet do not, as they ought, wonder after him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Know that demons do not die . . . they are fallen angels and are destined to go to the ‘Lake of Fire.’ Follow Jesus.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter): “And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.'” (5:21-24)
A. INFERENCE: “And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.” (5:25-27)
1. FINDINGS: “She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garment, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.” (5:27-29)
2. CRITERIA: “And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?'” (5:30-31)
3. CONDITION: “And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.” (5:32-33)
4. CAUSE: “And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.'” (5:34)
5. EFFECT: “As secret acts of sin, so secret acts of faith, are known to the Lord Jesus. The woman told all the truth. It is the will of Christ that his people should be comforted, and he has power to command comfort to troubled spirits. The more simply we depend on Him, and expect great things from him, the more we shall find in ourselves that he is become our salvation. Those who, by faith, are healed of their spiritual diseases, have reason to go in peace.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Go in faith.
B. INFERENCE: “While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?’ But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Do not fear, only believe.’ and he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, ‘Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.’ And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was.” (5:35-40)
1. FINDINGS: “Taking her by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.” (5:41-43)
2. CRITERIA: “Faith is the only remedy against grief and fear at such a time. Believe the resurrection, then fear not. He raised the dead child to life by a word of power. Such is the gospel call to those who are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is by the word of Christ that spiritual life is given. All who saw it, and heard of it, admired the miracle, and Him that wrought it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Though we cannot now expect to have our dead children or relatives restored, we may hope to find comfort under our trials.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: Faith.
5. EFFECT: Many witnesses were present for this miracle, enabling faith to grow exponentially.
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The reservoir of power is always full, but how few, how very few, have learned the secret of tapping it!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

Mark 6:1, I. Jesus Rejected at Nazareth; II. Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles; III. The Death of John the Baptist; IV. Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand; V. Jesus Walks on the Water; VI. Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret

I. KEY TEXT: (Jesus Rejected at Nazareth): “He went away from there and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get these things? What is the wisdom given to him? How are such mighty works done by his hands? Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, and Joses and Judas and Simon?'” (6:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “And Jesus said to them, A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” (6:4)
1. FINDINGS: “And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them.” (6:5)
2. CRITERIA: “And he marveled because of their unbelief.” (6:6)
3. CONDITION: “And he went about among the villages teaching.” (6:7)
4. CAUSE: “In the opening paragraph of this chapter, we learn of hatred and rejection of those who had enjoyed the rich privileges of being the neighbors and associates of our Lord from His earliest days. They could not discern the divine in the human, the heavenly under the earthly veil.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Lord is still in His Church through the Holy Spirit, but His power is limited and neutralized by our unbelief.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Faith is our capacity for God, and there are several conditions for its nurture and growth.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary) May Divine grace deliver us from that unbelief, which renders Christ a savor of death, rather than of life to the soul. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT: (Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles): “And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take for their journey except a staff–no bread, no bag, no money in their belts–but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.” (6:7-9)
A. INFERENCE: “And he said to them, ‘Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.'” (6:10-11)
1. FINDINGS: “So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. and they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.” (6:12-13)
2. CRITERIA: “Though the apostles were conscious to themselves of great weakness, and expected no worldly advantage, yet, in obedience to their Master, and in dependence upon his strength, they went out. They did not amuse people with curious matters, but told them they must repent of their sins, and turn to God. The servants of Christ may hope to turn many from darkness unto God, and to heal souls by the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “With what simplicity the Twelve were started on their mission. (6:7) But with what authority they spoke! Simplicity and power are closely allied.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The truly strong soul is not in need of the external surroundings and circumstances on which others lean; . . .” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “. . . and in proportion to our willingness to deprive ourselves of the sources of human confidence may we lay hold on and possess divine power.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Strive for authority over unclean spirits.” (6:7)

III. KEY TEXT (The Death of John the Baptist): “King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, ‘John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.’ But others said, ‘He is Elijah.’ And others said, ‘He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.’ But when Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.’ For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, ‘It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.'” (6:14-18)
A. INFERENCE: “And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.” (6:19-20)
1. FINDINGS: “But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you. And he vowed to her, ‘Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.’ And she went out and said to her mother, ‘For what should I ask?’ And she said, ‘The head of John the Baptist.'” (6:21-24)
2. CRITERIA: “And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, ‘I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.’ And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.” (6:25-26)
3. CONDITION: “And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.” (6:27-29)
4. CAUSE: “Better the dungeon with John than the palace with Herod, for conscience filled the palace with the ghost of the murdered Baptist!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The messenger may fall, but the message is taken up and passed on by a thousand lips.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The ways of God are unsearchable; but we may be sure he never can be at a loss to repay his servants for what they endure or lose for his sake.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand): “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.” (6:30-32)
A. INFERENCE: “Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.” (6:33-34)
1. FINDINGS: “And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat. But he answered them, ‘You give them something to eat.’ And they said to him, ‘Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?’ And he said to them, ‘How many loaves do you have? Go and see.’ And when they had found out, they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’ Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all.” (6:35-41)
2. CRITERIA: “And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men (plus many women and children).” (6:42-44)
3. CONDITION: “The people sought the spiritual food of Christ’s word, and then he took care that they should not want bodily food.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Notice how the upward look precedes the breaking and giving. There is enough for each, not of bread alone, but of fish; and the disciples are refreshed by another kind of ministry. So the Lord recreates us by turning exhausted energies into new channels. What threatens to overpower us brings Christ to our side.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “But His footsteps must be arrested, if we would have His company. Where Jesus is, storms cease and the sick are made whole.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Care was taken of the fragments that remained, with which they filled twelve baskets. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he would thus teach us, not to make waste.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus Walks on the Water): “Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.” (6:45-46)
A. INFERENCE: “And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them.” (6:47-48)
1. FINDINGS: “And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, for they all saw him and were terrified.” (6:48-50)
2. CRITERIA: “But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.'” (6:50)
3. CONDITION: “And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.” (6:51-52)
4. CAUSE: “He silenced their fears, by making himself known to them. Our fears are soon satisfied, if our mistakes are set right, especially our mistakes as to Christ.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “If Christ’s ministers now could cure people’s bodily diseases, what multitudes would flock after them! It is sad to think how much more most care about their bodies than about their souls.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “And no difficulties can hinder Christ’s appearance for his people, when the set time is come.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

VI. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals the Sick in Gennesaret): “When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was.” (6:53-55)
A. INFERENCE: “And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment.” (6:56)
1. FINDINGS: “And as many as touched it were made well.” (6:56)
2. CRITERIA: “We do not find that they were desirous to be taught by him, only to be healed.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “If ministers could now cure people’s bodily diseases what multitudes would attend them!” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “But it is sad to think how much more concerned most of men are about their bodies than about their souls.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “And great crowds followed him from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.” (Matthew 4:25)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Don’t forget the soul part; it’s eternal.

Mark 7:1, I. Traditions and Commandments; II. What Defiles a Person; III. The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith; IV. Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

I. KEY TEXT (Traditions and Commandments): “Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands? And he said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ‘You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.'” (7:1-7)
A. INFERENCE: “And he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! . . .” (7:9)
1. FINDINGS: “. . . For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’; and ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, ‘Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is given to God)–then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.'” (7:10-13)
2. CRITERIA: “One great design of Christ’s coming was, to set aside the ceremonial law; and to make way for this, he rejects the ceremonies men added to the law of God’s making. Those clean hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples, and requires of them, are very different from the outward and superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “But if a man conformed to the traditions of the Pharisees, they found a device to free him from the claim of this duty.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The Pharisees laid great stress on ritual. They followed endless rules, both intricate and troublesome, as to ablutions and outward ceremonials. So long as their devotees were careful in the minor observances, they were permitted a wide license so far as the weightier matters of the Law were concerned. This is a natural tendency of the human heart. ” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “In the life of true holiness everything depends on the control of the thoughts. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” With infinite wisdom the wise man said, “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life,” and Jesus put “evil-thoughts” first in the black category of the contents of the evil heart.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “That the hands should be often washed, that vessels of household use should be kept cleansed, that there should be decorum and neatness in the outward life, all these customs are good. But it becomes thee to inquire whether thou art not more eager for the outward than the inward cleanliness. “Create in me a clean heart,” should be thy constant prayer.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (What Defiles a Person): “And he called the people to him again and said to them, ‘Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.'” (7:14-16) Some manuscripts add verse 16: “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
A. INFERENCE: “And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.” (7:17)
1. FINDINGS: “And he said to them, ‘Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled? (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (7:18-19)
2. CRITERIA: “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (7:20-23)
3. CONDITION: “Our wicked thoughts and affection, words and actions, defile us, and these only.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “As a corrupt fountain sends forth corrupt streams, so does a corrupt heart send forth corrupt reasonings, corrupt appetites and passions, and all the wicked words and actions that come from them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “A spiritual understanding of the law of God, and a sense of the evil of sin, will cause a man to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to keep down the evil thoughts and affection that work within.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek grace.

III. KEY TEXT (The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith): “And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.” (7:24)
A. INFERENCE: “But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet.” (7:25)
1. FINDINGS: “Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.'” (7:26-27)
2. CRITERIA: “But she answered him, ‘Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs. And he said to her, ‘For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.'” (7:28-29)
3. CONDITION: “And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.” (7:30)
4. CAUSE: “Christ never put any from him that fell at his feet, which a poor trembling soul may do. As she was a good woman, so a good mother. This sent her to Christ. His saying, Let the children first be filled, shows that there was mercy for the Gentiles, and not far off. She spoke, not as making light of the mercy, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a crumb.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Thus, while proud Pharisees are left by the blessed Savior, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners, who look to him for children’s bread. He still goes about to seek and save the lost.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Meet Him when he comes.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Deaf Man): “Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis.” (7:31)
A. INFERENCE: “And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him.” (7:32)
1. FINDINGS: “And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one.” (7:33-36)
2. CRITERIA: “Our Lord used more outward actions in the doing of this cure than usual. These were only signs of Christ’s power to cure the man, to encourage his faith, and theirs that brought him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” (7:36-37)
4. CAUSE: “Though we find great variety in the cases and manner of relief of those who applied to Christ, yet all obtained the relief they sought. Thus it still is in the great concerns of our souls.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “When we stand in the light of eternity, we also shall say, as our Lord’s contemporaries did, ‘He hath done all things well.'” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Likewise, do all things well.

Mark 8:1, I. Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand; II. The Pharisees Demand a Sign; III. The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod; IV. Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida; V. Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ; VI. Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand): “In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat.'” (8:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “‘And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.’ And his disciples answered him, ‘How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?'” (8:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “And he asked them, ‘How many loaves do you have?’ They said, ‘Seven.’ And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.” (8:4-8)
2. CRITERIA: “And there were about four thousand people (plus women and children). And he sent them away.” (8:9)
3. CONDITION: “And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.” (8:10)
4. CAUSE: “His favors are renewed, as our wants and necessities are. And those need not fear want, who have Christ to live upon by faith, and do so with thanksgiving.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Notice the Master’s tender considerateness. (8:1-9) He would not have the people faint on their way home.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It is good for those who follow Christ, to keep together. Christ fed them all. Christ’s sheep must abide in the flock, and in truth they shall be fed.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (The Pharisees Demand a Sign): “The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.” (8:11)
A. INFERENCE: “And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.'” (8:12)
1. FINDINGS: “And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side.” (8:13)
2. CRITERIA: “Obstinate unbelief will have something to say, though ever so unreasonable. Christ refused to answer their demand. If they will not be convinced, they shall not. Alas! what cause we have to lament for those around us, who destroy themselves and others by their perverse and obstinate unbelief, and enmity to the gospel!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “When we forget the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely, as Christ here reproves his disciples. How is it that we so often mistake his meaning, disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence?” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “They thought that He was referring to their carelessness in omitting to take bread. How little they realized that the cause lay far deeper!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Let us be quick to read the divine intention in very simple incidents, and to learn that all God’s past dealings contain lessons for the present!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be convinced by the miracles of Jesus.

III. KEY TEXT (The Leaven of the Pharisees and Herod): “Now they had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.” (8:14)
A. INFERENCE: “And he cautioned them, saying, ‘Watch out; beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.'” (8:15)
1. FINDINGS: “And they began discussing with one another the fact that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, ‘Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?” (8:16-18)
2. CRITERIA: “When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? They said to him, ‘Twelve.’ And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up? And they said to him, ‘Seven.'” (8:19-20)
3. CONDITION: “And he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?'” (8:21)
4. CAUSE: “How is it that we so often mistake his meaning, disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence?” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “When we thus forge the works of God, and distrust him, we should chide ourselves severely for it, as Christ does his disciples here.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Trust Jesus.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Heals a Blind Man at Bethsaida): “And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him.” (8:22)
A. INFERENCE: “And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Do you see anything?’ And he looked up and said, ‘I see men, but they look like trees, walking.'” (8:23-24)
1. FINDINGS: “Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (8:25)
2. CRITERIA: “And he sent him to his home, saying, ‘Do not even enter the village.'” (8:26)
3. CONDITION: “Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends. Therein appeared the faith of those that brought him. If those who are spiritually blind, do not pray for themselves, yet their friends and relations should pray for them, that Christ would be pleased to touch them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The cure was wrought gradually, which was not usual in our Lord’s miracles. Christ showed in what method those commonly are healed by his grace, who by nature are spiritually blind.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “At first, their knowledge is confused; but, like the light of the morning, it shines more and more to the perfect day, and then they see all things clearly.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There are three conditions to be fulfilled by those who have resolved to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. 1. We must deny self; 2. Each must take up his cross; 3. We must think more of others than of ourselves. If these are realized, the soul is following Christ and making progress, even though it deems itself stagnant or drifting back.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

V. KEY TEXT: (Peter Confesses Jesus as the Christ) “And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi.” (8:27)
A. INFERENCE: “And on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?” (8:28)
1. FINDINGS: “And they told him, ‘John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.’ And he asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Christ.’ And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.” (8:29-30)
2. CRITERIA: “These things are written, that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. These miracles of our Lord assure us that he was not conquered, but a Conqueror.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Concordance)
3. CONDITION: “Now the disciples are convinced that Jesus is the Christ; they may bear to hear of his sufferings, of which Christ here begins to give them notice. He sees that amiss in what we say and do, of which we ourselves are not aware, and knows what manner of spirit we are of, when we ourselves do not.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Concordance)
4. CAUSE: “The wisdom of man is folly, when it pretends to limit the Divine counsels.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Concordance)
5. EFFECT: “Peter did not rightly understand the nature of Christ’s kingdom (but he got the right answer: Jesus is the Christ.).” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Concordance)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Get the right answer like Peter.

VI. KEY TEXT: (Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection) “And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.” (8:31)
A. INFERENCE: “And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.” (8:32)
1. FINDINGS: “But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting you mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.'” (8:33)
2. CRITERIA: “And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.'” (8:34-38)
3. CONDITION: “Frequent notice is taken of the great flocking there was to Christ for help in various cases. All are concerned to know this, if they expect him to heal their souls. They must not indulge the ease of the body. As the happiness of heaven with Christ, is enough to make up for the loss of life itself for him, so the gain of all the world in sin, will not make up for the ruin of the soul by sin.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “And there is a day coming, when the cause of Christ will appear as glorious, as some now think it mean and contemptible.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “May we think of that season, and view every earthly object as we shall do at that great day.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Deny self, take up his cross, and follow him.

Mark 9:1, I. The Transfiguration; II. Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit; III. Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection; IV. Who Is the Greatest?; V. Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us; VI. Temptation to Sin

I. KEY TEXT: (The Transfiguration) “And he said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power (note Peter, James, and John below).'” (9:1)
A. INFERENCE: “And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.” (9:2-4)
1. FINDINGS: “And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.’ For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is my beloved Son, listen to him.’ And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.” (9:5-8)
2. CRITERIA: “And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.” (9:9)
3. CONDITION: “So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. And they asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?’ And he said to them, ‘Elijah does come first to restore all things, And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.” (9:10-13)
4. CAUSE: “Therefore we must own and accept him as our beloved Savior, and must give up ourselves to be ruled by him. Christ does not leave the soul, when joys and comforts leave it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Apostles had been gladdened by the promise of the coming Kingdom. The transfiguring light that shone from our Lord’s face differed from the shining of Moses’ face. With Moses the light was from without, and faded; but with Christ the light shone from within.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Note that Peter, James, and John did not taste death until they saw the kingdom of God after it has come with power on the Mount of Transfiguration. The rest of us must wait for it after death or at the rapture.

II. KEY TEXT: (Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit) “And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them.” (9:14)
A. INFERENCE: “And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ And someone from the crowd answered him, ‘Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked you disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” (9:15-18)
1. FINDINGS: “And he answered them, ‘O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you” How long am I to bear with you” Bring him to me.’ And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asking his father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ And he said, ‘From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, ‘I believe; help my unbelief!’ And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.'” (9:19-26)
2. CRITERIA: “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.” (9:27)
3. CONDITION: “And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it out?’ And he said to them, ‘This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.'” (9:28-29)
4. CAUSE: “If thou canst believe, it is possible that thy hard heart may be softened, thy spiritual diseases may be cured; and, weak as thou art, thou mayest be able to hold out to the end. Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and his grace will be sufficient for them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Whom Christ cures, he cures effectually. But Satan is unwilling to be driven from those that have been long his slaves, and, when he cannot deceive or destroy the sinner, he will cause him all the terror that he can.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The disciples (and us) must not think to do their work always with the same ease; some services call for more than ordinary pains.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT: (Jesus again Foretells Death, Resurrection) “They went on from there and passed through Galilee.” (9:30)
A. INFERENCE: “And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him.'” (9:30-31)
1. FINDINGS: “And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” (9:31)
2. CRITERIA: “But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.” (9:32)
3. CONDITION: “Still observe that when Christ spake of his death, he always spake of his resurrection, which took the reproach of it from himself, and should have taken the grief of it from his disciples.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: His pending death and resurrection; he wanted to prepare his disciples for the events ahead.
5. EFFECT: Uncertainty.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Trust Jesus, believe, follow.

IV. KEY TEXT: (Who IS the Greatest?) “And They came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you discussing on the way”‘ But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.” (9:33-34)
A. INFERENCE: “And he sat down and called the twelve.” (9:35)
1. FINDINGS: “And he said to them, ‘If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.’ And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.'” (9:36-37)
2. CRITERIA: “Those who are most humble and self-denying, most resemble Christ, and shall be most tenderly owned by him. This Jesus taught them by a sign; whoever shall receive one like this child, receives me.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “How constantly the Master speaks of the little ones! He says that we must be converted to become like them; that to cause them to stumble will involve terrible penalties; that they are not to be despised; that each has an angel of the Father’s presence-chamber appointed to his charge; that to seek and to save one He is prepared as the shepherd to traverse the mountains; that it is not the Father’s will that one of them should perish.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “How infinitely tender and humble was His love for them!” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: Humility.
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be humble.

IV. KEY TEXT: (Anyone Not Against Us is for Us) “John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.'” (9:38)
A. INFERENCE: “But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.'” (9:39)
1. FINDINGS: “‘For the one who is not against us is for us.'” (9:40)
2. CRITERIA: “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” (9:41)
3. CONDITION: “Our Lord blamed the apostles, reminding them that he who wrought miracles in his name would not be likely to hurt his cause.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “If sinners are brought to repent, to believe in the Savior, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives, we then see that the Lord works by the preacher.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “This is a reason why we must not disapprove of and discourage those who are serving the interests of Christ’s kingdom, though they may not in everything share our opinions and methods.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Embrace the work of Christ in others in the field of harvest.

V. KEY TEXT: (Temptations to Sin) “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.” (9:42)
A. INFERENCE: “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (9:43-47)
1. FINDINGS: “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (9:48-50)
2. CRITERIA: “It is repeatedly said of the wicked, Their worm dieth not, as well as, The fire is never quenched. Doubtless, remorse of conscience and keen self-reflection are this never-dying worm.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Surely it is beyond compare better to undergo all possible pain, hardship, and self-denial here, and to be happy for ever hereafter, than to enjoy all kinds of worldly pleasure for a season, and to be miserable for ever.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Like the sacrifices, we must be salted with salt; our corrupt affection must be subdued and mortified by the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Those that have the salt of grace, must show they have a living principle of grace in their hearts, which works out corrupt dispositions in the soul that would offend God, or our own consciences.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (9:50)