A STU DY OF THE HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS

Book 6

Lesson 37, Teaching in Parables (about seed), Matt. 13:1-35;
Mark 4:26-29

Lesson 38, A Parable About Treasures, Matt. 13:44-54

Lesson 39, Jesus in Galilee, Encounters Scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-23; John 7:1

Lesson 40, The Daughter of a Phoenician Woman Healed,
Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30

Lesson 41, A Speech Impediment Healed; 4,000 Fed, Matt. 15:29-38; Mark 7:31-8:9

Lesson 42, Meeting an “Adulterous Generation” Seeking a Sign, Matt. 15:39-16:12; Mark 8:10-26

Lesson 43, “I Will Build My Church,” Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21

Lesson 44, Jesus’ Prophecy of His Suffering, Matt. 16:21-28;
Mark 8:31-39; Luke 9:22-27


Lesson 37, Teaching in Parables (about seed), Matt. 13:1-35; Mark 4:26-29

1.   What does the word parable mean?

2.   Where was Jesus when he began teaching these parables?

3.   Give three elements of this parable. ________________________, __________, ________________

4.   What would the sower represent? What does the seed represent?

5.   What happened to the seed sown by the wayside? What does this teach?

6.   What happened to the seed that fell on rocky ground? What does this represent?

7.   What happened to the seed that fell among thorns? What does this represent?

8.   What happened to the seed that fell on good soil? What does this represent?

9.   Why did Jesus choose to speak in parables?

10.           What does “hearing” and “not hearing” mean?

11.           What prophecy was fulfilled in this?

12.           What was the second parable about seed that Jesus gave?

13.           Who does the man who slept represent? Who was his enemy?

14.           What is a tare? How is it different from good seed?

15.           Who do the servants represent and what was their wish?

16.           What were they told to do? Why do you think this was said?

17.           Jesus said, “the field is the world” (verse 38). What do you think the world here means?

18.           What does the explanation Jesus gave tell us about the future of the wicked?

19.           Describe what the text says about the size of the mustard seed and its growth.

20.           How does a mustard seed describe the Kingdom of Heaven?

21.           What prophesy did Jesus fulfill mentioned in verse 35?


Help with Lesson 37,

1.   PARABLE derived from a Greek word, which signifies, to compare things together, to form a parallel or similitude of them with other things. What we call the Proverbs of Solomon, which are moral maxims and sentences, the Greeks call the Parables of Solomon. In like manner, when Job answers his friends, it is said he took up his “parable,” Job 27:1; 29:1. In the New Testament the word parable denotes sometimes a true history, or an illustrative sketch from nature; sometimes a proverb or adage, Luke 4:23; a truth darkly or figuratively expressed, Matt. 15:15; a type, Heb. 9:9; or a similitude, Matt. 24:32. The parabolical, enigmatical, figurative, and sententious way of speaking, was the language of the Eastern sages and learned men, Psa. 49:4; 78:2; and nothing was more insupportable than to hear a fool utter parables, Prov. 26:7. ATSD

2.   Went Jesus out of the house] This was the house of Peter. See Matt. 17:24. Sat by the sea side.] The sea of Galilee, on the borders of which the city of Capernaum was situated. ACC

3.   the sower went forth to sow; some seeds; soil. (See Addendum _____)

4.   The sower is the one who seeds the soil. “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). It is referred to as the “seed of the kingdom” in Matt. 13:19.

5.   Some seeds fell by the way side. That is, the hard path or headland, which the plough had not touched, and where there was no opportunity for it to sink into the earth. AB
“The soil is the heart, the soul of man. Now there are some hearers to whom the word preached is like seed that a sower throws upon some footpath, or highway, the plough never turneth the earth upon it, or the harrow never goeth over it; so it lieth bare, and is trodden down by the feet of passengers, and the fowls of the air come and pick it up. So, saith our Saviour, there are some that hear the word, but never meditate upon it, never lay it to their hearts, never cover it with second thoughts; the wicked ones, the devils, who are afraid of the power of the word digested, (like the fowls of the air), by suggesting other thoughts, or by presenting other objects to them, catch away the word that was sown in their hearts. These are they whom I compared to the highway ground receiving the seed.” MP

6.   And these in like manner are they that are sown upon the rocky [places], etc. This shallow, rock-covered soil represents those who are deficient in tenacity of purpose. Those who receive the word, but whose impulsive, shallow nature does not retain it, and whose enthusiasm was as short-lived as it was vigorous. FG

7.   And others are they that are sown among the thorns, etc. This third class represents those who begin well, but afterwards permit worldly cares to gain the mastery. These today outnumber all other classes, and perhaps they have always been so. FG

8.   And those are they that were sown upon the good ground, etc. Christianity requires three things: a sower, good seed or a pure gospel, and an honest hearer. All hearers are not equal in faithfulness. But we are not to take it that the diversity is limited to the three rates or proportions specified. Of the four hearts indicated, the first one hears, but heeds nothing (Mark 4:4); the second one heeds, but is checked by external influences (Mark 4:5,6); the third heeds, but is choked by internal influences (Mark 4:7); the fourth heeds and holds fast until the harvest (Mark 4:8). Gallio exemplifies the first (Acts 18:17). Peter and Mark for a time exemplified the second (Mark 14:66-72; Acts 12:25; 13:13; 15:37-39). The rich ruler and Demas represent the third (Matt. 19:22; 2 Tim. 4:10), as does also Judas Iscariot. Cornelius and the Bereans (Acts 10:33; 17:11) show us examples of the fourth. FG

9.   Why speakest thou--in parables? the question shows that this was the first time he had addressed the multitudes in this manner. Compare with this chapter the sermon on the mount, in which there are only similitudes intermingled with plain address. FBN
Their question is, Why speakest thou to the people in parables which they do not understand? They cannot see the soul of thy meaning, through the body of thy parables. WB

10.           Therefore speak I to them in parables] On this account, viz. to lead them into a proper knowledge of God. I speak to them in parables, natural representations of spiritual truths, that they may be allured to inquire, and to find out the spirit, which is hidden under the letter; because, seeing the miracles which I have wrought, they see not, i.e. the end for which I have wrought them; and hearing my doctrines, they hear not, so as to profit by what is spoken; neither do they understand, oude suniousi, they do not lay their hearts to it. Is not this obviously our Lord’s meaning? Who can suppose that he would employ his time in speaking enigmatically to them, on purpose that they might not understand what was spoken? Could the God of truth and sincerity act thus? If he had designed to act otherwise, he might have saved his time and labour, and not spoken at all, which would have answered the same end, viz. to leave them in gross ignorance. ACC

11.           Isa. 6:9 – “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.” – Ezek. 12:2 – “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of the rebellious house, that have eyes to see, and see not, that have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house.”

12.           (Read Matthew 13:24-30.)

13.           Matt. 13:37 – “And he answered and said, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man.”
In general, the world may be termed the field of God; and in particular, those who profess to believe in God through Christ are his field or farm; among whom God sows nothing but the pure unadulterated word of his truth. ACC

14.           Zizania is equivalent to Arabic zuwan, the name given to several varieties of darnel of which Lolium temulentum, the “bearded darnel,” is the one most resembling wheat, and has been supposed to be degenerated wheat. On the near approach of harvest it is carefully weeded out from among the wheat by the women and children. Zuwan is commonly used as chickens’ food; it is not poisonous to human beings unless infected with the mold ergot. – ISBE
Sowed tares. By tares is probably meant a degenerate kind of wheat, or the darnel grass growing in Palestine. In its growth and form it has a strong resemblance to genuine wheat. But it either produces no grain, or that of a very inferior and hurtful kind. Probably it comes near to what we mean by chess. It was extremely difficult to separate it from the genuine wheat, on account of its similarity while growing. Thus it aptly represented hypocrites in the church. Strongly resembling Christians in their experience, and, in some respects, their lives, it is impossible to distinguish them from genuine Christians, nor can they be separated until it is done by the great Searcher of hearts at the day of judgment.: An enemy--the devil--hath done it. And nowhere has he shown profounder cunning, or done more to adulterate the purity of the gospel. AB

15.           Matt. 13:41 – “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity.”

16.           The servants are the faithful ministers of Christ who look after the farming endeavor for the Lord (Note “husbandry” in 1 Cor. 3:9). So the servants of the householder came--that is, Christ’s ministers. “And said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?--This well expresses the surprise, disappointment, and anxiety of Christ’s faithful servants and people at the discovery of “false brethren” among the members of the Church.” JFB

17.           The field is the world; for by the appointment of Christ the good seed of the gospel is to be sown among all nations, so that the visible church shall be coextensive with the world. FBN

18.           there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth--What terrific strength of language--the “casting” or “flinging” expressive of indignation, abhorrence, contempt (compare Psa. 9:17; Da 12:2): “the furnace of fire” denoting the fierceness of the torment: the “wailing” signifying the anguish this causes; while the “gnashing of teeth” is a graphic way of expressing the despair in which its remedilessness issues (see Matt. 8:12)! JFB.

19.           It is like a grain of mustard seed, . . . less than all the seeds that are upon the earth. That is, the smallest of all the seeds that are sown in a garden. FG

20.           Grain of mustard seed. The plant here described was very different from that which is known among us. It was several years before it bore fruit, and became properly a tree. Mustard, with us, is an annual plant; it is always small, and is properly an herb. The Hebrew writers speak of the mustard-tree as one on which they could climb, as on a fig-tree. Its size was much owing to the climate. All plants of that nature grow much larger in a warm climate, like that of Palestine, than in colder regions. The seeds of this tree were remarkably small:; so that they, with the great size of the plant, were an apt illustration of the progress of the church, and of the nature of faith, Matt. 17:20. AB

21.           Psa. 78:2-3 - I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, Which we have heard and known, And our fathers have told us.


Lesson 38, A Parable About Treasures, Matt. 13:44-54

1.   What is the “kingdom of Heaven?”

2.   What does the man in the next parable find and what does he do about it?

3.   How does this describe the kingdom of Heaven?

4.   What does a merchant find and what does he do with it?

5.   How does this tell us about the kingdom of Heaven and how we should value it?

6.   How does the Lord apply a parable about fishing to the kingdom of Heaven?

7.   What is meant by “every kind” of fish? What happens to the fish?

8.   Who will sever the good from the bad and when will this happen?

9.   What does “weeping and gnashing of teeth” say about eternal punishment?

10.           When Jesus asked his disciples if they understood all these things what was their answer? Do you believe they were right?

11.           Who did Jesus mean by “every Scribe who hath been made a disciple”?

12.           How is this one like a householder? What does he mean by bringing things new and old out of his treasure?

Help with Lesson 38,

1.   “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God”: In these quotations, and in others which might easily be adduced, it will be observed that the phrases “the kingdom,” “the kingdom of God,” “the kingdom of heaven” are used interchangeably.” ISBE
An expression used in the New Testament to signify the reign, dispensation, or administration of Jesus Christ. The ancient prophets, when describing the character of the Messiah, Da 2:44; 7:13,14; Mic 4:1-7, and even when speaking of his humiliation and sufferings, were wont to intersperse hint of his power, his reign, and his divinity. ATSD
Look up: John 18:36-37; Matt. 16:19; Col. 1:13; (Additional note: I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Continuing his metaphorical language, Jesus promised to Peter the keys; that is, the authority to lay down the rules or laws (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, however) for admission to or exclusion from the kingdom or church. This office was, of course, given to Peter in a secondary sense, since it must ever belong to Christ in a primary sense (Re 3:7). The figure of key-bearer is taken from Isa 22:22. Peter used the keys on the day of Pentecost to open the church to the Jews, and about seven years afterward, at Caesarea Palestinae, he used them again to admit the Gentiles. In fixing the terms of admission, he also fixed the terms of exclusion, for all who are not admitted are excluded. The keys as used by Peter have never been changed; that is to say, the terms of admission abide forever. Plurality of keys is merely part of the parabolic drapery, since cities were accustomed to have several gates, thus requiring a plurality of keys. The kingdom was not opened to Jews and Gentiles by different keys, since both were admitted on the same terms. FG

2.   We are not to imagine that the treasure here mentioned, and to which the Gospel salvation is likened, means a pot or chest of money hidden in the field, but rather a gold or silver mine, which he who found out could not get at, or work, without turning up the field, and for this purpose he bought it. Mark. Wakefield’s observation is very just: “There is no sense in the purchase of a field for a pot of money, which he might have carried away with him very readily, and as honestly, too, as by overreaching the owner by an unjust purchase.” ACC

3.   The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field; which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. The three parables in this section appear to have been addressed privately to the disciples. In the absence of banks and other trust repositories, the men of that day hid their treasures as best they could. The sudden death of the hider often resulted in the loss of all knowledge as to the whereabouts of the treasure. The parable speaks of such a lost treasure. Technically it belonged to the owner of the field, but practically it belonged to him who found it. Hence the finder conceals it again until he had made perfect his title to it by the purchase of the field. The gist of the parable does not require us to pass upon the conduct of the finder, which was certainly questionable. FG

4.   Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. -- (7) Few men understand how great the riches of the kingdom of heaven are, and that no man can be a partaker of them but he that redeems them with the loss of all his goods.

5.   So valuable is the kingdom of Heaven that it surpasses the worth of all other human endeavors and considerations. Like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls. Having found the pearl of great price, he values it above all else and parts with all he has to possess it.

6.   The design and scope of this parable also is to set forth the state of the gospel church, which is like a floor, where chaff is mixed with wheat; a field, where tares are mixed with good corn; a net, where bad fishes are involved with the good. As the wheat must not be removed out of the floor before the time of winnowing; nor the tares gathered out of the field before the time of reaping; nor the good fishes break through the net to get from the bad before the time of separation; so must not Christians forsake a church’s communion, because of the present mixture of good and bad in the church. For a mixed communion, in the church, and the good Christians communicating with the bad, do neither defile the ordinances of Christ, nor pollute those that sincerely join in them. WB

7.   Matt 22:10 - So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

8.   They sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they cast away. The judgment shall be with care, as when men, in the broad light of day, on the quiet beach, sit down to sort the fish. If the parable of the tares emphasizes the waiting, the parable of the net emphasizes the careful sorting.
FG

9.   Extreme pain due to the punishing effects of the horrible flames of fire.

10.           Jesus kindly asked them whether they understood these things. If not, he was still willing to teach them. He enjoined on them their duty to make a proper use of this knowledge, by speaking another parable.

11.           Jesus kindly asked them whether they understood these things. If not, he was still willing to teach them. He enjoined on them their duty to make a proper use of this knowledge, by speaking another parable. AB

12.           As a householder graces his banquet with things already in the house, and with other things which have just been provided, so a religious teacher must refresh his hearers out of both his past and his present experiences and study. Old lessons must be clothed in new garments. FG

 


Lesson 39, Jesus in Galilee, Encounters Scribes and Pharisees, Matt. 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-23; John 7:1

1.   What question did the Scribes and Pharisees ask Jesus?

2.   What was the reason the Scribes and Pharisees believed about washing hands?

3.   On what Old Testament law was this based? If not on some law what was their basis for hand washing prior to eating?

4.   Why do you think they would not enter the market place without bathing first?

5.   What prophecy did Jesus say they fulfilled?

6.   What makes worship vain? Does it still do that?

7.   What example did Jesus use from the law of Moses to show them they were making the word of God void? Please elaborate on this.

8.   Based on verse 14, it is normally possible to understand the word of God?

9.   What does Jesus say here that actually defiles a person?

10.           What did the disciples say to Jesus about what he had just told the Scribes and Pharisees? What answer did he give?

11.           What does he mean by, “Let them alone?”

12.           Why does John tell us Jesus would go to Galilee and not to Jerusalem?


Help with Lesson 39,

1.   Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with defiled hands? These Pharisees coming from Jerusalem could find nothing wherein Jesus or his disciples transgressed the law, so they eagerly grasped this transgression of the tradition as affording ground for an accusation. FG
But these customary washings were distinct from the ceremonial ablutions; in the former, water was poured upon the hands; in the latter the hands were plunged in water. When, therefore, some of the Pharisees remarked that our Lord’s disciples ate with ‘unwashen hands,’ it is not to be understood literally that they did not at all wash their hands, but that they did not wash them ceremonially according to their own practice. And this was expected of them only as the disciples of a religious teacher; for those refinements were not practiced by the class of people from which the disciples were chiefly drawn.” CGNT

2.   [Except they wash their hands] pugmh, the hand to the wrist – Unless they wash the hand up to the wrist, eat not. Several translations are given of this word; that above is from Dr. Lightfoot, who quotes a tradition from the rabbins, stating that the hands were to be thus washed. This sort of washing was, and still continues to be, an act of religion in the eastern countries. It is particularly commanded in the Koran, Surat v. ver. 7, “O believers, when ye wish to pray, wash your faces, and your hands up to the elbows - and your feet up to the ankles.” Which custom it is likely Mohammed borrowed from the Jews. The Jewish doctrine is this: “If a man neglect the washing, he shall be eradicated from this world.” But instead of pugmh, the fist or hand, the Codex Bezae has puknh, frequently: and several of the Itala have words of the same signification. Bathing is an indispensable prerequisite to the first meal of the day among the Hindoos; and washing the hands and the feet is equally so before the evening meal. ACC

3.   The tradition of the elders] The word paradosiv, tradition, has occupied a most distinguished place, both in the Jewish and Christian Church. Man is ever fond of mending the work of his Maker; and hence he has been led to put his finishing hand even to Divine revelation! This supplementary matter has been called paradosiv, from paradidomai, to deliver from hand to hand-to transmit; and hence the Latin term, tradition, from trado, to deliver, especially from one to another; -to hand down. Among the Jews TRADITION signifies what is also called the oral law, which they distinguish from the written law: this last contains the Mosaic precepts, as found in the Pentateuch: the former, the traditions of the elders, i.e. traditions, or doctrines, that had been successively handed down from Moses through every generation, but not committed to writing. The Jews feign that, when GOD gave Moses the written law, he gave him also the oral law, which is the interpretation of the former. This law, Moses at first delivered to Aaron then to his sons Eleazar and Ithamar; and, after these to the seventy-two elders, who were six of the most eminent men chosen out of each of the twelve tribes. These seventy-two, with Moses and Aaron, delivered it again to all the heads of the people, and afterwards to the congregation at large. They say also that, before Moses died, he delivered this oral law, or system of traditions, to JOSHUA, and Joshua to the ELDERS which succeeded him-THEY to the Prophets, and the PROPHETS to each other, till it came to JEREMIAH, who delivered it to BARUCH his scribe, who repeated it to EZRA, who delivered it to the men of the great synagogue, the last of whom was SIMON the Just. By Simon the Just it was delivered to ANTIGONUS of Socho; by him to JOSE the son of Jochanan; by him to JOSE, the son of Joezer; by him to NATHAN the Arbelite, and Joshua the son of Perachiah; and by them to JUDAH the son of Tabbai, and Simeon, the son of Shatah; and by them to SHEMAIAH and ABTALION; and by them to HILLEL; and by Hillel to SIMEON his son, the same who took Christ in his arms when brought to the temple to be presented to the Lord: by SIMEON it was delivered to GAMALIEL his son, the preceptor of St. Paul, who delivered it to SIMEON his son, and he to Rab. JUDAH HAKKODESH his son, who compiled and digested it into the book which is called the MISHNA; to explain which the two Talmuds, called the Jerusalem and Babylyonish Talmuds, were compiled, which are also called the Gemera or complement, because by these the oral law or Mishnah is fully explained. The Jerusalem Talmud was completed about A. D. 300; and the Babylonish Talmud about the beginning of the sixth century. This Talmud was printed at Amsterdam in 12 vols. folio. These contain the whole of the traditions of the elders, and have so explained, or rather frittered away, the words of God, that our Lord might well say, Ye have made the word of God of no effect by your traditions. In what estimation these are held by the Jews, the following examples will prove: “The words of the scribes are lovely beyond the words of the law: for the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the scribes are all weighty.” ACC

4.   And when they come from the market-place, except they bathe themselves, they eat not. Various types of uncleanness are specified in the Mosaic law. Traditions extended the idea of uncleanness so as to hold the man as probably unclean who had been in the marketplace, where he might have touched an unclean person, and to hold certain cups, pots, and brazen vessels as ceremonially unclean when neither the laws of Moses nor the laws of hygiene declared them to be so. Since the law of Moses ordered the unclean to dip himself in a bath for his cleansing, the tradition of the elders required a like dipping in these cases of uncleanness which they had invented. When we remember that bathing was a daily practice among the Pharisees, we are less surprised at this observance. As to the theory that the tradition of the elders was derived from Moses, Jesus here flatly contradicts it. There is no trustworthy evidence to show that it is of higher antiquity than the time of the return from the Babylonian captivity. FG

5.   Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written. Isa 29:13. Jesus does not deny their charge, but justifies his disciples by attacking the whole traditional system, basing his attack upon a pointed prophecy which condemns it. FG

6.   The Greek word for “vain” is mathn. It is defined as, “in vain, to no purpose, fruitlessly.” – ER. The worship of God must have the right object – God (Matt. 4:10), the right disposition and guidelines (John 4:24). Jesus accused these Pharisees of not having their hearts right, saying, “their heart is far from me (God).” He accused them of leaving the word of God for their traditions. This, he said, constitutes worship that is futile and has no purpose. God cannot be worshipped accidentally. There must be purpose.

7.   But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or his mother, That wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me is Corban, that is to say, Given to God. Leaving for a moment the main question concerning uncleanness and washing, Jesus makes good his indictment against their tradition by giving an example of the mischievous way in which it set aside God’s commandments. The law required the honoring of parents, and for any one to cast off his parents in their old age, thus subjecting them to beggary or starvation, was to do more than to speak evil of them. Such conduct was practically to curse them, and to incur the death penalty for so doing. But at this point the Pharisees interfered with their tradition, which taught that a son could say of that part of his estate by which his parents might be profited, It is a gift; that is, a gift to God, and by thus dedicating that part to God, he would free himself from his obligation to his parents. FG

8.   And he called to him the multitude again, and said unto them. Having been accused by the scribes and Pharisees of a breach of their tradition, Jesus points out to them generally the iniquity of tradition, for it lay within their power as leaders to remedy the whole system of things. Having done this, he turns to the multitude and answers before them as to the offense with which he is specifically charged. Thus he gives to the leaders general principles, and to the common people the single instance. FG – [Jesus would never tell anyone to do what is not possible. As he said, “hear and understand” he shows clearly that his teaching are understandable and expect all men to do so. (See John 7:17; 8:32).]

9.   These uncleannesses worked no spiritual defilement, but were merely typical of such; for the food in no way touched or affected the mind or soul, the fountains of spiritual life, but only the corporeal organs, which have no moral susceptibility. The Pharisees had erred in confusing legal and spiritual defilement, and had added error to error by multiplying the causes of defilement in their tradition. FG
That which cometh out of the man. His words; the expression of his thoughts and feelings; his conduct, as the expression of in- ward malice, anger, covetousness, lust, etc.
Defileth the man. Is really polluted, or offensive in the sight of God. They render the soul corrupt and abominable in the sight of God. AB

10.           Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, when they heard this saying? The entire speech offended them. He charged them with hypocrisy. He showed that their tradition, which they reverenced as a revelation from God, led them into sin, and he disturbed their self-complacency by showing that the ceremonial cleanness, which was founded on tradition, and in which they prided themselves, was worthless in comparison with the moral cleanness required by God’s law, which they had ignored. It grieved the disciples to see Jesus offend these reverend gentlemen from Jerusalem. Like many modern disciples their respect for men counteracted their zeal for truth. FG

11.           [Let them alone] afete autouv, give them up, or leave them. These words have been sadly misunderstood. Some have quoted them to prove that blind and deceitful teachers should not be pointed out to the people, nor the people warned against them; and that men should abide in the communion of a corrupt Church, because that Church had once been the Church of God, and in it they had been brought up; and to prove this they bring Scripture, for, in our present translation, the words are rendered, let them alone: but the whole connection of the place evidently proves that our blessed Lord meant, give them up, have no kind of religious connection with them, and the strong reason for which he immediately adds, because they are blind leaders. This passage does not at all mean that blind leaders should not be pointed out to the people, that they may avoid being deceived by them; for this our Lord does frequently, and warns his disciples, and the people in general, against all such false teachers as the scribes and Pharisees were; and though he bids men do that they heard those say, while they sat in the chair of Moses, yet he certainly meant no more than that they should be observant of the moral law when read to them out of the sacred book: yet neither does he tell them to do all these false teachers said; for he testifies in Matt. 15:6, that they had put such false glosses on the law, that, if followed, would endanger the salvation of their souls. ACC

12.           And from thence he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. The journey here is indicated in marked terms because it differs from any previously recorded, for it was the first time that Jesus ever entered a foreign or heathen country. Some commentators contend from the use of the word “borders” that Jesus did not cross over the boundary, but the point is not well taken, for Mark 7:31 shows that the journey led through Sidon. For the location of these cities. . . . Jesus withdrew to escape the opposition of his enemies and the mistaken movements of his friends. As he was not on a missionary tour, it was perfectly proper for him to enter heathen territory. FG


Lesson 40, The Daughter of a Phoenician Woman Healed, Matt. 15:21-31; Mark 7:24-30

 

1.   After his encounter with the Scribes and Pharisees, where did Jesus go?

2.   A woman comes to Jesus with a request. What did she request of Jesus?

3.   Where was this lady from? Check both Matt. 15:22 and Mark 7:25-26.

4.   What does the fact that she called Jesus “the son of David” indicate about her?

5.   How did Jesus first respond to her and how did he explain himself?

6.   What did the disciples urge Jesus to do?

7.   Who were the “lost sheep of the house of Israel?”

8.   Explain what he meant in Matt. 15:26.

9.   How did she take what he said to her?

10.           What kind of faith did the lady have?

11.           Where did Jesus go next and what did he do there? (Matt. 15:29-30).

12.           Who came to him there?

13.           Those who came to him saw the ___________  _______________, the ______________  ________________, and ______________  _____________________, and the ____________  _________________ _____________: and they _________________ the God of Israel.


Help with Lesson 40

1.   Matthew’s statement that Jesus withdrew “into the parts” of Tyre and Sidon means his entrance into a Gentile country. Hitherto, he had remained, so far as the record informs us, within Jewish boundaries. His mission to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” accounts for this limitation in his field of labor. This first journey into foreign territory has the following apparent reasons to justify it. 1. Needed rest, resulting from the continuous strain incident to the multitudes flocking to him. We must not forget his human nature. 2. The possible danger from Herod who thought that he might be John the Baptist risen from the dead. 3. The intense and increasing hatred of the scribes and Pharisees because of his denunciations of their hypocrisy. 4. To escape for a time, at least, the misguided zeal of his friends who sought to make him king. (John 6:15.) It was appropriate that even God’s Son should not expose himself to unnecessary dangers. Tyre and Sidon were two Phoenician seaport towns on the Mediterranean coast, north of Galilee. GA

2.   A Canaanitish woman, whose daughter had an unclean spirit, had in some way learned of Jesus’ power to heal, and very earnestly besought him to heal her daughter. GA

3.   We are not told how she learned of his power, but from Mark 3:8 we learn that his fame had reached Tyre and Sidon long before this, and some from these cities were part of the multitudes that followed him in Galilee. Mark tells us that this woman was “a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race.” (Mark 7:26.) She was a descendant of the Canaanites, who were original inhabitants of that section. (Josh. 5:1; Judges 1:3033.) She was living under Greek government, and in the Syrophoenician country. GA
[Mark 7:26] - The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by race. The Macedonian conquest had diffused Greek civilization throughout western Asia till the word Greek among the Jews had become synonymous with Gentile. The term Canaanite was narrower and indicated an inhabitant of Canaan--that is, a non-Jewish inhabitant of Palestine. The term Syrophoenician was narrower still. It meant a Syrian in Phoenicia, and distinguished the Phoenicians from the other Syrians. Phoenicia was a narrow strip near the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea. It was some twenty-eight miles long with an average width of about one mile. Canaan means "lowland"; Phoenicia means "palmland." The Canaanites founded Sidon (Ge 10:19), and the Phoenicians were their descendants. HG

4.   Her calling Jesus the “Son of David” indicates she knew something of the Jewish expectation of a Messiah; her perfect reserve and respect, throughout the whole interview, showed she understood the Jewish feelings for her people. GA

5.   Answered not a Word. —- The suggestion of the disciples that Jesus send her away because “she crieth after us” strongly implies two things: 1. That they were then traveling on their way, and the wo man was following after them, earnestly repeating her cry for mercy; 2. that the disciples knew Jesus was seeking retirement and should dismiss her, lest her cries defeat his purpose by attracting more to him. Jesus’ not deigning to answer a word was a severe test on her faith, but God has often tested the faith of those most worthy of blessings. His silence also taught his disciples that rewards generally await those who make persistent efforts.

6.    Send her away; for she crieth after us. The woman by her loud entreaties was drawing to Jesus the very attention which he sought to avoid. The disciples therefore counseled him to grant her request for his own sake--not for mercy or compassion, but merely to be rid of her.

7.   The lost sheep of the house of Israel were the Jews. He came first to them. He came as their expected Messiah. He came to preach the gospel himself to the Jews only. Afterwards it was preached to the Gentiles; but the ministry of Jesus was confined almost entirely to the Jews. AB

8.   [Matt. 14:26] – “And he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs.” Children’s bread. The Jews considered themselves as the peculiar children of God. To all other nations they were accustomed to apply terms of contempt, of which dogs was the most common. The Mohammedans still apply the term dogs to Christians, and Christians and Jews to each other. It is designed as an expression of the highest contempt. The Saviour means to say that he was sent to the Jews. The woman was a Gentile. He meant, that it did not comport with the design of his personal ministry to apply benefits intended for the Jews to others.
Our Saviour did not intend to justify or sanction the use of such terms, or calling names. He meant to try her faith. As if he had said, “You are a Gentile. I am a Jew. The Jews call themselves children of God. You they vilify, and abuse, calling you a dog. Are you willing to receive of a Jew, then, a favour? Are you willing to submit to these appellations, to receive a favour of one of that nation, and to acknowledge your dependence on a people that so despise you?” AB

9.   The Woman’s Response.—Ignoring the plausibility of the reasoning, and the social barrier between Jews and Gentiles, she fell down at his feet and worshipped him, repeating her plea for help. Whether this occurred in the house or after leaving it is not stated, neither is it material. The point is that she realized her need of help so deeply that she would not be denied, if possible to avoid it. Doubtless, she put into that fervent appeal the full measure of earnestness and sincerity possible to her grieving heart. Such deep and true respect for divine things do not go unrewarded. GA

10.           Great is thy Faith.—Jesus approved of the womans persistence by saying to her: great is thy faith. The centurion said that if Jesus would only say the word, his servant would be healed. Jesus marveled at his words and said: 1 have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. (Matt. 8:10.) It is remarkable that these two upon whom Jesus bestowed his highest praise for faith were both Gentiles. Mark says that Jesus granted her request because of this saying—that is, that she was willing to receive but a crumb from the great store of the Lords mercy. Her faith was great because she turned apparently insurmountable obstacles into reasons for urging her plea. Her case is a personal illustration of the lesson taught in a later parable that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. (Luke 18:1.) It is not necessary to suppose that her faith included more than her unquestioning belief that Jesus had power to heal her daughter. The kingdom not yet being established, she cannot be considered a case of conversion to the full gospel. Her case is an example of great faith to accomplish what is possible; so was that of Abraham. That is the only scriptural use we can make of either. GA
For this saying go thy way; the demon is gone out of thy daughter. Thus by its ending this little incident illustrates the doctrine that men should pray and not faint (Luke 18:1-8). The womans experience has been often repeated by other parents who have prayed for children which, if not demon-possessed, was certainly swayed by diabolical influences. The womans faith is shown in many ways: 1. She persisted when he was silent. 2. She reasoned when he spoke. 3. She regarded this miracle, though a priceless gift to her, as a mere crumb from the table of his abundant powers. It is noteworthy that the two most notable for faith--this woman (Matt. 15:28) and the centurion (Matt. 8:10; Luke 7:9)--were both Gentiles. HG

11.           Return to Lake Galilee.—Matthew simply states that Jesus left the place where he healed the womans daughter and returned to the Sea of Galilee. Mark, however, describes briefly the journey and shows that he came to the east shore of the lake. (Mark 7:31.) He traveled north through Sidon, thence he must have gone east to the headwaters of the Jordan, when he turned south to finish his journey. This is made certain by Marks statement that; he came through the midst of the borders of Decapolis. In some mountainous place east of the lake he tarried some time. GA

12.           General Healings. - How long Jesus remained in the regions of Decapolis is not known, but from the number of healings mentioned, and the feeding of the four thousand that occurred before leaving, it must have been several days, at least. Our text contains a very general statement of the many kinds of healings, and the way the multitudes were affected. Mark, with his peculiar custom of giving details, selects one special case which he describes in full. (Mark 7:32-37.) In describing the one case, Mark does not deny in any manner that others were healed; he simply does not mention them, at all. A specific description of one sick person in a hospital is no implied denial that many other sick persons were there. Neither is Matthews general statement of the many healings in conflict with Marks detailed reference to a special one. AB

13.           The Diseases Mentioned.—The works of Jesus had already created such general interest that ordinary methods to avoid publicity did not succeed very long; even in desert places a multitude soon found him. The reports of his healings naturally caused the sick to seek him, and the well to bring their friends and relatives. The discases, listed again, show us how real the cures must have been. The lame included all who, in some manner, were unable to walk; the maimed were those who had some member of the body lost or useless; the blind and dumb were without ability to see and hear. Besides these, Matthew says, many others. Nothing but true miraculous power could heal the discases mentioned. Both the incurable nature of the discases and the promptness of the cures stamp the power as divine.They Glorified God.—It is not surprising that so many cures amazed the people, or that the nature of them should have caused them to glorify the God of Israel. If any of the Jewish leaders were present, it is not necessary to suppose that their opposition was giving way; but the multitudes who brought their sick to be healed and saw their efforts rewarded would have every reason for praising God. The healed certainly would have glorified God, and the disciples also had occasion for rejoicing. GA

 

 


Lesson 41, A Speech Impediment Healed and 4,000 Fed, Matt. 15:32-39; Mark 7:31-8:9

1.   To what place did Jesus go next?

2.   Where did Jesus go as he crossed the Sea of Galilee?

3.   As Jesus came near the Sea of Galilee, near the border of Decapolis, who was brought to Jesus for healing?

4.   How did Jesus heal this man?

5.   What does Ephphatha mean? How was the word used?

6.   What instructions did he give the man he healed?

7.   What reaction did the people around him have?

8.   Fill in the missing words: “And they were _________________  __________________ astonished, saying, He hath done all things well; he maketh even the _____________ to ___________________, and the _______________ to ____________________. (Mark 7:37).

9.   How did Jesus show his compassion on the people?

10.           How many loaves and fishes did he have this time?

11.           How many people did he feed?

12.           What shows they had more than enough?

13.           Where did he go next and how did he get there? (Compare Matt. 15:30 and Mark 8:10).
Help with lesson 41

1.   Decapolis - (From the Greek words,  deka, ten, and polis, a city,) a country in Palestine, which contained ten principal cities, on both of the Jordan, chiefly east, Mt 4:25; Mr 5:20; 7:31.  According to Pliny, they were, Scythopolis, Philadelphia, Raphanae, Gadara, Hippos, Dios, Pella, Gerasa, Canatha, and Damascus.  Josephus inserts Otopos instead of Canatha.  Though within the limits of Israel, the Decapolis was inhabited by many foreigners, and hence it retained a foreign appellation.  This may also account for the numerous herds of swine kept in the district, Mt 8:30; a practice which was forbidden by the Mosaic Law.

2.   [Mark 7:32] – “And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to lay his hand upon him.” - had an impediment &c. He was a stammerer, or tongue-tied; or else, it means that he was totally speechless, as may be collected from the words of the Jews, ver. 37, "He maketh the dumb to speak." Dr. Hammond. BFB
The man had evidently learned to speak before he lost his hearing. Some think that defective hearing had caused the impediment in his speech, but Mark 7:35 suggests that he was tongue-tied. HG

3.   He took him aside from the multitude privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue. He separated him from the crowd to avoid publicity (see TFG for Mark 7:36), and by signs indicating an intention to heal, Jesus gives him the assurance which in other cases he is accustomed to give by words. He evidently induced the man by signs to stick out his tongue. He then placed one finger of each hand in the man's ears, after which he spat. Where he spit is not said. He then touched with one or both his thumbs the man's tongue, and, speaking the healing word, the cure was accomplished. HG

4.   {be opened). Another one of Mark's Aramaic words preserved and transliterated and then translated into Greek. "Be thou unbarred" (Braid Scots). Jesus sighed (estenaxen) as he looked up into heaven and spoke the word ephphatha. Somehow he felt a nervous strain in this complex case (deaf, dumb, demoniac) that we may not quite comprehend. RWP
[Ephphatha]  Ethphathach, [Syriac] Syriac.  It is likely that it was in this language that our Lord spoke to this poor man: and because he had pronounced the word Ephphathach with peculiar and authoritative emphasis, the evangelist thought proper to retain the original word; though the last letter in it could not be expressed by any letter in the Greek alphabet. ACC

5.   And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it. Jesus was still seeking to suppress excitement. A very little encouragement from him would have brought together a multitude, the very thing which he was journeying to avoid. He therefore cautioned the people to be silent. But by a common freak of human nature, his desire to avoid publicity made him more wonderful in the eyes of the people, and thereby inspired a greater eagerness on their part to tell about him. HG

6.   And they were beyond measure astonished. Mark here coins a double superlative to express the boundlessness of their amazement.
Saying, He hath done all things well. Commendation upon the workman which had originally been bestowed upon his work (Gen. 1:31).

7.   He maketh even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. These were the people who had asked Jesus to depart from their coast on account of the loss of their swine (Mark 5:17). A complete change in their feelings had taken place since that day. HG

8.   I have compassion on the multitude. Because while seeking him in his mountain solitude many of them had been for three days without regular food. PNTC
In the feeding of the five thousand Jesus took compassion on the people and healed their sick (Matt. 14:14). Here the hunger of the multitude moves him to compassion (splagchnizomai, in both instances). So he is unwilling (ou thelô) to send them away hungry. Faint (ekluthôsin). Unloosed, (ekluô) exhausted. RWP

9.   The Lord accepts their association, and says, “How many loaves have ye?” Small as their store was, and utterly insignificant for the work proposed, he allows them to contribute it towards his grand design. They make a rapid inventory, and they speak of it in mournful tones: “Seven loaves, and a few little fishes.” Much like our own poor stock-in-trade for holy service. The loaves were by no means such masses of food as we intend by the English word; they were merely thin cakes. The fishes were few and little; more bones than anything else. So are our abilities slender, and marred with many disabilities; yet we must put all that we have into the common stock, and it will be enough in the hands of him who worketh all things. SCM

10.           Many things occurred between the incidents recorded in the two sections of our printed text. John records the following immediately after his record of the feeding of the five thousand: ‘Jesus therefore perceiving that they were about to come and take him by force, to make him king, withdrew again into the mountain himself alone.? Herod, who had beheaded John the Baptist, was a part of the Roman system of government. There was already a deep-seated spirit of rebellion in the people against the Romans. The beheading of John made them want to do something about it, and it seemed to them that Jesus would be an ideal leader to lead them Jn a war of liberation. To avoid any further clamor Jesus withdrew into a mountain alone. The next day, having crossed the sea, be said to those that followed him, ‘Ye seek me, not because ye saw signs, but because ye ate of the loaves, and were filled.’ Then Jesus gave an admonition which all should heed: ‘Work not for the food which perisheth, but for the food which abideth unto eternal life, which the Son of man shall give unto you.’ Jesus then delivered to them a discourse on the food they most needed, the bread of life. ‘I am the bread of life.’” GA

11.           So they did eat, and were filled: While we gladly wonder at this miracle of our Saviour in multiplying the loaves, let us well reflect upon our own condition. Whence is it that we obtain our continual provision for our wants? One and the same munificent hand doeth all. If the Israelites were fed with manna in the desert, and with corn in Canaan, both were done by the same power and bounty. If the disciples were fed by the loaves multiplied, and we are fed by grain multiplied in the earth, both are the act of one Omnipotence. What is this, but a perpetual miracle, which Thou, O God, workest for our preservation? Without Thee, there is no more power in the grain to multiply, than in the loaf. It is Thou that givest it a body of thy pleasure, and to every seed his own body. It is no reason that thy goodness should be less the subject of our praises, because it is universal. Neither yet, O God and Saviour, is thy hand closed with the gift of outward blessings. What abundance of heavenly doctrine dost Thou set before us; not according to our meanness, but according to thy state, are we fed; we are full of thy goodness; O let our hearts run over with thankfulness. BFB

12.           To keep up the connection the student should not fail to read the seventh chapter of Mark. After a controversy with the Pharisees about the tradition of the elders, Jesus went up into the borders of Tyre, then through Sidon and back through Decapolis. On this trip he went further north than at any other time. Soon thereafter Jesus found himself surrounded by a great multitude who had brought along nothing to eat. Their three days of fasting excited the compassion of Jesus. A return to their homes without food would be too much for some of them. “If I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way; and some of them are come from afar.” But the disciples did not see how that condition could be remedied. “Whence shall one be able to fill these men with bread here in a desert place?” For these disciples it would have been impossible, for there were to be had only seven loaves and a few small fishes. But all things are possible with God. At the command of Jesus the multitude seated themselves on the ground; but before passing out the food to the people, Jesus gave thanks. In this, as well as in other matters, Jesus set his disciples an example; and no disciple should fail to follow that example: GA

13.           On this occasion about four thousand were fed, and seven baskets were filled with what was left over. Here again more was taken up than they began with. The people therefore could see that a great miracle had been wrought, but Mark says not one word about the effect of this great miracle on the multitude. Yet such a miracle was bound to make a great impression on all who ate and were filled. GA


Lesson 42, Meeting an “Adulterous Generation” Seeking a Sign, Matt. 15:39-16:12; Mark 8:10-26

1.   What did the Pharisees and Sadducees ask of Jesus?

2.   How did he answer them?

3.   What did Jesus say would identify an “evil and adulterous” generation?

4.   Did Jesus refuse to give them what they asked for? If not what kind of sign did he promise them?

5.   What had the disciples forgotten to take with them after they crossed to the other side of the Sea?

6.   (Fill in the missing word) - Jesus said, “Take heed and beware of the ____________________ of the Pharisees and Sadducees. What did he mean by this? (Matt. 16:12).

7.   What miracle did Jesus remind his disciples of? What application did he intend for this to make?

8.   What was Jesus asked to do to a blind man? (Mark 8:22).

9.   Describe how Jesus restored his sight and how the blind man first saw.

10.           Describe how the man’s vision returned to normal.

11.           Where did Jesus send the man?


Help with Lesson 42

1.   And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him seeking of him a sign from heaven. They rejected his miracles as signs of his Messiahship, the Pharisees holding that such signs could be wrought by Beelzebub. See Mark 3:22; Matt. 12:24; Luke 11:15. They therefore asked a sign from heaven such as only God could give, and such as he had accorded to Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and Elijah, or such as Joel foretold (Joel 2:31).
[Trying him.] Testing the strength of his miraculous power. FG

2.    There shall no sign be given unto this generation--literally, “If there shall be given to this generation a sign”; a Jewish way of expressing a solemn and peremptory determination to the contrary (compare Heb. 4:5; Psa 95:11, Margin). “A generation incapable of appreciating such demonstrations shall not be gratified with them.” In Matt. 16:4 He added, “but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” JFB
No sign be given. That is, no such sign as they asked--to wit, a sign from heaven. He said a sign should be given, the same as was furnished by Jonas, Matt. 16:1. But this was not what they asked, nor would it be given because they asked it. AB

3.   [Wicked and adulterous generation]  The Jewish people are represented in the Sacred Writings as married to the Most High; but, like a disloyal wife, forsaking their true husband, and uniting themselves to Satan and sin. Seeketh after a sign, shmeion epizhtei, seeketh sign upon sign, or, still another sign. Our blessed Lord had already wrought miracles sufficient to demonstrate both his Divine mission and his divinity; only one was farther necessary to take away the scandal of his cross and death, to fulfill the Scriptures, and to establish the Christian religion; and that was, his resurrection from the dead, which, he here states, was typified in the case of Jonah. ACC

4.   See help on number 2 above. The greatest of all “signs” is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

5.   This is the one miracle that all the writers record. (See Matt. 14:13-21; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14.) It is well to study what each writer says, for neither writer gives all the details. The multitude had rushed out to this place without giving any thought to the matter of food for the day; they were so carried away with the excitement of the hour that they gave no thought to their own needs. As it drew toward the close of the day, the matter of food became of interest. Putting together what all the writers say, the conversation between Jesus and his disciples must have been about as follows: Jesus said to Philip, “Whence are we to buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip answered, “Two hundred shillings’ worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little.” He answered, “Give ye them to eat.” The other disciples said, “Shall we go and buy two hundred shillings’ worth of bread, and give them to eat?” (The way this definite amount of money was mentioned shows rather clearly that this was the amount of money Jesus and the disciples had on hand at the time, but that amount of money would not buy enough bread that each one might have a little,) GA

6.   Leaven -- Sourdough which is kept over from one baking to another, in order to raise the new dough. Leaven was forbidden in the Hebrews during the seven days of the Passover, in memory of what their ancestors did when they went out of Egypt, they being then obliged to carry unleavened meal with them, and to make bread in haste, the Egyptians pressing them to be gone, Exo. 12:15,19. They were very careful in cleansing their houses from it before this feast began, 1 Cor. 5:6. God forbade either leaven or honey to be offered to him in his temple, Lev. 2:11. The pervading and transforming effect of leaven is used in illustration of the like influence on society, exerted by the purifying principles of the gospel, or by false doctrines and corrupt men, Matt. 12:23; 16:6-12; 1 Cor. 5:6-8. ATSD

7.   [Do ye not yet understand-the five loaves-neither the seven] How astonishing is it that these men should have any fear of lacking bread, after having seen the two miracles which our blessed Lord alludes to above! Though men quickly perceive their bodily wants, and are querulous enough till they get them supplied, yet they as quickly forget the mercy which they had received; and thus God gets few returns of gratitude for his kindnesses. To make men, therefore, deeply sensible of his favours, he is induced to suffer them often to be in want, and then to supply them in such a way as to prove that their supply has come immediately from the hand of their bountiful Father. ACC

8.   And they come unto Bethsaida. And they bring to him a blind man, and beseech him to touch him. Besought him to touch him. That is, to heal him; for they believed that his touch would restore his sight. AB

9.   And he took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. Jesus increased the sympathy between himself and the man by separating him from the crowd. Our greatest blessing can only come to us after we have been alone with God.
And when he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, Seest thou aught? The man's eyes were probably sore, and Jesus made use of saliva to soften and soothe them. But it was our Lord's custom to give variety to the manifestation of his power, sometimes using one apparent auxiliary means, and sometimes another; and also healing instantly or progressively, as he chose, that the people might see that the healing was altogether a matter of his will. FG

10.           Every man clearly. Could see their form and features. His sight was completely restored. Though our Lord did not by this, probably, intend to teach any lesson in regard to the way in which the mind of a sinner is enlightened, yet it affords a striking illustration of it. Sinners are by nature blind, 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 2:11; John 9:39. The effect of religion, or of the influence of the Holy Spirit, is to open the eyes, to show the sinner his condition and his danger, and to lead him to look on him whom he has pierced. Yet at first he sees indistinctly. He does not soon learn to distinguish objects. When converted, he is in a new world. Light is shed on every object, and he sees the Scriptures, the Saviour, and the works of creation, the sun, and stars, and hills, and vales, in a new light. He sees the beauty of the plan of salvation, and wonders that he has not seen it before. Yet he sees at first indistinctly. It is only by repeated applications to the Source of Light that he sees all things clearly. At first, religion may appear full of mysteries. Doctrines and facts appear on every hand that he cannot fully comprehend. His mind is still perplexed, and he may doubt whether he has ever seen aught, or has been ever renewed. Yet let him not despair. Light, in due time, will be shed on these obscure and mysterious truths. Faithful and repeated application to the Father of Lights in prayer, and in searching the Scriptures, and in the ordinances of religion, will dissipate all these doubts, and he will see all things clearly, and the universe will appear to be filled with one broad flood of light. AB

11.           [He sent him away to his house] So it appears that this person did not belong to Bethsaida, for, in going to his house, he was not to enter into the village.
This miracle is not mentioned by any other of the evangelists. It affords another proof that Mark did not abridge Matthew's Gospel. ACC


Lesson 43, “I Will Build My Church,” Matt. 16:13-20; Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21

1.   What was Jesus doing when he asked his disciples who the multitudes said he was? (Luke 9:18).

2.   What question did Jesus put before his disciples? Where was he when this took place?

3.   What answers did he get in return? (Think of reasons why people may have thought of Jesus as they did.)

4.   What does the term “Christ” mean?

5.   From what source was Peter’s correct answer revealed?

6.   When would the apostles have heard from heaven that Jesus was truly the Christ, the son of God?

7.   What did he promise to build?

8.   On what was he to build it? (Does this mean Peter was to be the foundation of the church?) (Read 1 Cor. 3:10-11).

9.   What authority did he give his apostles?

10.           What do you think is the import of the fact that Jesus “charged” his disciples to not tell anyone he was the Christ?

11.           When was this promise fulfilled?

12.           Does the singular word “church” indicate the purpose of Jesus for his people? If so, how?


Help with Lesson 43

1.   And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things. Since the apostles, by the mouth of Peter, had just confessed Jesus as Christ (Mark 8:29), it was necessary that their crude Messianic conceptions should be corrected and that the true Christhood--the Christhood of the atonement and the resurrection--should be revealed to them. In discourse and parable Jesus had explained the principles and the nature of the kingdom, and now, from this time forth, he taught the apostles about himself, the priestly King.
And be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the scribes. The Jewish Sanhedrin was generally designated by thus naming the three constituent parts.
And be killed, and after three days rise again. Very early in his ministry Jesus had given obscure intimations concerning his death (John 2:19-22; 3:14; Matt. 12:38-40), but these had not been understood by either friend or foe. Now that he thus spoke plainly, we may see by Peter’s conduct that they comprehended and were deeply moved by the dark and more sorrowful portion of his revelation, and failed to grasp the accompanying promise of a resurrection. FG

2.   The Lord's Question.— While alone with his disciples on the way Jesus gave this lesson on his Messiahship, a fundamental truth which they needed to thoroughly understand before he left them. He introduced the subject in a most fitting way to leave a lasting impression on their minds. Asking what opinion men generally had of himself was doubtless intended to lead to an expression of who the disciples thought him to be. He did not ask the question for information. He knew the hearts of the rulers, the multitudes, and his own disciples, but it was time that the twelve, especially, should be put on record regarding this great vital truth. GA

3.   Their First Answer.—The question brought out the exact issue to be settled. It was: Is this Jesus, whom we know as a son of man, also the Son of God? This latter expression the Jews understood to be equivalent to the Messiah. (Luke 22:67-71.) Since the miracles and matchless teaching of Jesus had to be accounted for in some way, it is not surprising that the variety of opinions expressed implied divine power in some form. None of them, however, conceded him to be the Christ. Herod thought he was John the Baptist raised from the dead. (Matt. 14:2.) Herod's supporters probably endorsed this view. (Mark 3:6; 8:15.) Rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, it was easy for some to conclude that he might be the Elijah who, they knew, must come first. (Mal. 4:5; Matt. 11:15; Mark 9:11-13.) Still others accounted for his powers by saying he might be Jeremiah or some other of the old prophets raised from the dead. Such belief may be the result of mistakenly thinking that Mal. 4:5 referred to the real Elijah, who had been dead for centuries. GA

4.   Christ -- Anointed, a Greek word, answering to the Hebrew MESSIAH, the consecrated or anointed one, and given preeminently to our blessed Lord and Savior.
The ancient Hebrews, being instructed by the prophets, had clear notions of the Messiah; but these became gradually depraved, so that when Jesus appeared in Judea, the Jews entertained a false conception of the Messiah, expecting a temporal monarch and conqueror, who should remove the Roman yoke and subject the whole world. Hence they were scandalized at the outward appearance, the humility, and seeming weakness of our Savior. The modern Jews, including still greater mistakes, form to themselves ideas of the Messiah utterly unknown to their forefathers.
The ancient prophets had foretold that the Messiah should be God, and man; exalted, and abased; master, and servant; priest, and victim; prince, and subject; involved in death, yet victor over death; rich, and poor; a king, a conqueror, glorious-and a man of grief, exposed to infirmities, unknown, in a state of abjection and humiliation. All these contrarieties were to be reconciled in the person of the Messiah; as they really were in the person of Jesus. ATSD

5.   And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Peter asserts this as an assured fact and not as a mere opinion. This confession embraces two propositions: 1. The office of Jesus--the Christ; 2. The divinity of Jesus -- the Son of God. The Christhood of Jesus implies his humanity, for as such he was to be the son of David. It also identifies him as the hero or subject of prophecy, the long-expected deliverer. In declaring Jesus to be the Son of God, Peter rose above the popular theories as to the personality of Messiah, for the Jews generally did not expect him to be divine. The term "living God" was used by prophets to express the contrast between dead idols and the supreme Being who is possessed of vitality, reason, and feeling. See Psa. 42:2; 84:2; Isa. 37:4,17; Jer. 10:10; 23:36; Dan. 6:20,26 Hosea 1:10. FG

6.   And a voice came out of the heavens. Voices from heaven acknowledged the person of Christ at his birth, his baptism, his transfiguration and during the concluding days of his ministry. At his baptism Jesus was honored by the attestation of both the Spirit and the Father. But the ordinance itself was honored by the sensible manifestation of each several personality of the Deity--that the three into whose name we ourselves are also baptized.
Thou art. The “this is,” etc. of Matthew (Matt. 3:17) are probably the words as John the Baptist reported them; the “thou art,” etc., of Mark (Mark 1:11) and Luke (Luke 3:22), are the words as Jesus actually heard them. The testimony of the Father is in unreserved support of the fundamental proposition of Christianity on which the church of Christ is founded (Matt. 16:15-18). On this point no witness in the universe was so well qualified to speak as the Father, and no other fact was so well worthy the honor of being sanctioned by his audible utterance as this. The testimony of Christ’s life, of his works, of the Baptist, and of the Scriptures might have been sufficient; but when the Father himself speaks, who shall doubt the adequacy of the proof?
My beloved Son. See also Matt. 17:5. The Father himself states that relationship of which the apostle John so often spoke (Joh 1:1). Adam was made (Ge 1:26), but Jesus was begotten (Ps 2:7). Both were sons of God, but in far different senses. The baptism of Jesus bears many marked relationships to our own: 1. At his baptism Jesus was manifested as the Son of God. At our baptism we are likewise manifested as God’s children, for we are baptized into the name of the Father, and are thereby permitted to take upon ourselves his name. 2. At his baptism Jesus was fully commissioned as the Christ. Not anointed with material oil, but divinely consecrated and qualified by the Spirit and accredited by the Father. At baptism we also received the Spirit (John 3:5; Acts 2:38; 19:1-6), who commissions and empowers us to Christian ministry (Acts 1:8; 1 John 3:24).
In thee. Some make the phrases “in whom” and “in thee” (Mt 3:17; Lu 3:22) to mean more than simply a declaration that God is pleased with Jesus. They see in it also the statement that the Father will be pleased with all who are “in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:6).
I am well pleased. It is no slight condemnation to be well pleasing to God (Job 4:18). It is the Christian’s joy that his Saviour had this commendation of the Father at the entrance upon his ministry. FG

7.   Upon this rock I will build my church. On these words mainly rest the enormous pretensions of the Roman pontiff. It is therefore important (1) To remember that it is to Peter with the great confession on his lips that the words are spoken. The Godhead of Christ is the petra — the keystone of the Church, and Peter is for the moment the representative of the belief in that truth among men. (2) To take the words in reference: (a) to other passages of Scripture. The Church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Eph. 2:20, on Christ Himself, 2 Cor. 3:11. (b) To history; Peter is not an infallible repository of truth. He is rebuked by Paul for Judaizing, (Gal. 211-14). Nor does he hold a chief place among the Apostles afterwards. It is James, not Peter, who presides at the Council at Jerusalem. (e) To reason: for even if Peter had precedence over the other Apostles, and if he was Bishop of Rome, which is not historically certain, there is no proof that he had a right of confer-ring such precedence on his successors.

8.   My Church - The word ekklesia occurs twice in-Matthew and not elsewhere in the Gospels. . . . ekklesia in a Christian sense may be defined as the con­gregation of the faithful throughout the world, united under Christ as their Head. The use of the word by Christ implied at least:two things: (1) that He was founding an organized society, not merely preaching a doctrine: (2) That the Jewish ekklesia was the point of departure for the Christian ekklesia an in part its prototype. CGNT

9.   I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Continuing his metaphorical language, Jesus promised to Peter the keys; that is, the authority to lay down the rules or laws (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, however) for admission to or exclusion from the kingdom or church. This office was, of course, given to Peter in a secondary sense, since it must ever belong to Christ in a primary sense (Re 3:7). The figure of key-bearer is taken from Isa 22:22. Peter used the keys on the day of Pentecost to open the church to the Jews, and about seven years afterward, at Caesarea Palestinae, he used them again to admit the Gentiles. In fixing the terms of admission, he also fixed the terms of exclusion, for all who are not admitted are excluded. The keys as used by Peter have never been changed; that is to say, the terms of admission abide forever. Plurality of keys is merely part of the parabolic drapery, since cities were accustomed to have several gates, thus requiring a plurality of keys. The kingdom was not opened to Jews and Gentiles by different keys, since both were admitted on the same terms.
Whatsoever thou shalt bind . . . whatsoever thou shalt loose. The words "bind" and "loose" were commonly used among the Jews in the sense of forbid and allow. Abundant instances of this usage have been collected by Lightfoot. They relate to the binding and annulling of laws and rules. In this sense the word "loose," is used very many times in the New Testament, but it is translated by the word "break" or "broken" (Matt. 5:19; John 7:23; 10:35). The power here given to Peter was soon after extended to the rest of the apostles (Matt. 18:18). The apostles were to lay down, as they afterward did, the organic law of the new kingdom, defining what things were prohibited and what permitted. Their actions in this behalf would of course be ratified in heaven, because they were none other than the acts of the Holy Spirit expressed through the apostles. FG

10.           The question deals with whether Jesus was ready to fulfill his mission. Since his resurrection would defeat the powers of the hadean realm, he had to die and be raised again in order to win the conflict.
There remained some nine months before this prediction was to be fulfilled. It was announced to the apostles in private. Its public proclamation would probably have increased the opposition of his enemies; the apostles were not ready to defend it as is evident from the fact that Peter objected to it when it was stated.
From That Time.”—From that time till the end Jesus kept the apostles instructed as to these solemn events, by definitely predicting just how they would occur. This served to better prepare them for the trial to their faith, and to strengthen it afterwards by remembering all had been predicted by him so many times. GA

11.           Read and study Luke 24:44-47; Mark 9:1; Acts 2:1-47.

12.           Church from ekklesia is singular. The church belongs only to Christ and none other. Jesus prayed for there to be but one church (John 17:17-23). Inspired men pled with God’s people to be one (Phil. 1:27; Rom. 15:6-7; 1 Cor. 10-11; 3:1-3.

 


Lesson 44, Jesus’ Prophecy of His Suffering, Matt. 16:21-28; Mark 8:31-39; Luke 9:22-27

1.   When Jesus said to his disciples that he “must” go to Jerusalem to suffer, what does this mean?

2.   (Fill in the missing words) – “And ________________ took him, and began to _________________ him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee” (Matt. 16:22).

3.   What does the word “rebuke” mean? (See help on this).

4.   What did Jesus call Peter? Why would he do this? (Look up the meaning of the word Jesus used.)

5.   What is a “stumbling-block?”

6.   According to Mark’s account who were told what they must do to follow him? (Mark 8:34).

7.   (Fill in the missing words) – “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him ______________ himself, and take up his __________________, and follow me” (Matt 16:24).

8.   What does “deny” mean? What is to be denied?

9.   In Luke’s account, what is different in Luke 9:23 than what Matthew and Mark report?

10.           How does Jesus say one may save his or her life? What does this mean?

11.           What did Jesus say about values in life? (Mark 8:36-37).

12.           (Fill in the missing words) – “For whosoever shall be ____________________ of me and of my ___________________ in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man also shall be __________________________ of him, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38). (Should anyone ever be ashamed of the words of Jesus?)

13.           What does Jesus say about his disciples who are ashamed of him and his words?

14.           In Luke 9:27 what does Jesus say about the lifespan of some who were alive then?


Help with Lesson 44

1.   So the necessity (dei, must) of his suffering death at the hands of the Jerusalem ecclesiastics who have dogged his steps in Galilee is now plainly stated. Jesus added his resurrection "on the third day" (ti tritih meri), not “on the fourth day,” please observe. Dimly the shocked disciples grasped something of what Jesus said. AB
How that he must go unto Jerusalem, the form of expression is remarkable, must go, must suffer, &c. All these things were thus ordained by Providence, yet, as to outward appearance, depended entirely on man’s free agency. BFB

2.   [From that time forth began Jesus, &c.] Before this time our Lord had only spoken of his death in a vague and obscure manner, see Matt. 12:40, because he would not afflict his disciples with this matter sooner than necessity required; but now, as the time of his crucifixion drew nigh, he spoke of his sufferings and death in the most express and clear terms. Three sorts of persons, our Lord intimates, should be the cause of his death and passion: the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes. Pious Quesnel takes occasion to observe from this, that Christ is generally persecuted by these three descriptions of men: rich men, who have their portion in this life; ambitious and covetous ecclesiastics, who seek their portion in this life; and conceited scholars, who set up their wisdom against the wisdom of God, being more intent on criticising words than in providing for the salvation of their souls.  The spirit of Christianity always enables a man to bear the ills of life with patience; to receive death with joy; and to expect, by faith, the resurrection of the body, and the life of the world to come. ACC

3.   And he spake the saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. Evidently Peter regarded Jesus as overcome by a fit of despondency, and felt that such talk would utterly dishearten the disciples if it were persisted in. His love, therefore, prompted him to lead Jesus to one side and deal plainly with him. In so doing, Peter overstepped the laws of discipleship and assumed that he knew better than the Master what course to pursue. In his feelings he was the forerunner of those modern wiseacres who confess themselves constrained to reject the doctrine of a suffering Messiah. FG

4.   Rebuke - In the New Testament “to rebuke” is most often the translation of epitimao (Matt. 8:26; 16:22; 17:18, etc.); also in the King James Version of elegchw, always in the Revised Version (British and American) rendered “reprove” (1 Tim. 5:20; Titus 1:13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Rev. 3:19). Another word is epiplettw (once, 1 Tim. 5:1); “without rebuke” in Phil. 2:15 is in the Revised Version (British and American) “without blemish.” On the other hand, the Revised Version (British and American) has “rebuke” for several words in the King James Version, as for “reprove” (2 Kings 19:4; Isa. 37:4), “reproof” (Job 26:11; Prov. 17:10), “charged” (Mark 10:48). In Isa. 2:4; Micah 4:3, the English Revised Version has “reprove” for “rebuke,” and in the margin “decide concerning,” which is text in the American Standard Revised Version. In Eccl. 11:7 we have the wise counsel: “Understand first, and then rebuke” ATSD

5.   A stumbling-block unto me (skandalon ei emou). Objective genitive. Peter was acting as Satan’s catspaw, in ignorance, surely, but none the less really. He had set a trap for Christ that would undo all his mission to earth. “Thou art not, as before, a noble block, lying in its right position as a massive foundation stone. On the contrary, thou art like a stone quite out of its proper place, and lying right across the road in which I must go--lying as a stone of stumbling.” ACC

6.   And he called unto him the multitude with his disciples. Despite the efforts of Jesus to seek privacy, the people were still near enough at hand to be called and addressed. FG
Although Jesus was in a region of country he had not before visited, a multitude soon gathered about him. It appears that they stood off and did not press upon him, as some of the crowds in Galilee had done; for it said that he called them unto him. GA

7.   Deny himself” and “take up his cross.” It is said that the condemned criminal had to carry his own cross to the place of execution, suffering the taunts and jeers of the people along the way. O the shame of it! The most hardened criminal must have felt the sting of it. So the cross is a symbol, not only of death, but of shame and reproach also. The world scoffs at the Christian and persecutes him, and this cross he must bear — not grudgingly and rebelliously, as did the condemned criminal, but voluntarily, willingly, gladly, even though it lead to death. “And follow me.” In the life that he lived and the sufferings he endured, Jesus left an example for us to follow (1 Pet. 2:21; 1 John 2:6). GA

8.   Deny - “to deny utterly,” to abjure, to affirm that one has no connection with a person, as in Peter's denial of Christ, Matt. 26:34-35,75; Mark 14:30-31,72; Luke 22:34,61. WEV
There must be the desire and the will to come. And if any one wills to come, “let him deny himself.” This, of course, means that he must give up his life of ease and self-indulgence, but it means more than that. He must give up his own ways—must bring his own will into subjection to the Lord’s will. We like to have our own way, we like to follow our own ideas of things, we like the idea of doing as we please; but even in this matter we must deny ourselves, and usually this is the most difficult point in denying self. GA

9.   Matt. 16:24 – “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Mark 8:34 – “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”
Luke 9:23 – “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” - daily-Therefore that day is lost wherein no cross is taken up. JWN.

10.           Save—Lose; Lose—Save.—Jesus here speaks of life in a lower and a higher sense. Whosoever devotes himself to the interests and pleasures of this present life shall lose eternal life and also the best things of this life; whosoever seeks eternal life, though he lose this life, shall gain the life that is life indeed. What if the way of the cross does lead to death? It will be only the losing of temporal life, but the gaining of the life that is infinitely more important. GA

11.           Profit and Loss.—To gain the whole world would be only a temporal gain. What would that amount to, if a person lost his life in gaining it? No temporary gain can compensate for the loss of eternal life. In losing that, we lose all things else. We need to cultivate a true sense of values. No Exchange Price.—There is nothing that a man can give in exchange for his lost soul. You may now give your all to the Lord and be rewarded with eternal life, but after death you will have nothing to give. GA

12.           Ashamed    words      ashamed

13.           Ashamed.—It seems strange that any one should be ashamed of Christ; yet it I§ even so. Ashamed of our Creator, ashamed of him who died for us, ashamed of him who is King of kings, and who holds our destinies in his hands! Of such Christ will be ashamed in their greatest hour of need.GA
Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words - That is, avowing whatever I have said (particularly of self denial and the daily cross) both by word and action. Matt. 10:32; Luke 9:26; 12:8. FG

14.           Not taste of death fill they see the kingdom of God — “see it come with power” (Mark 9:1); or see “the Son of man coming in His kingdom” (Matt. 16:28). The reference, beyond doubt, is to the firm establishment and victorious progress, in the lifetime of some then present, of that new Kingdom of Christ, which was destined to work the greatest of all changes on this earth, and be the grand pledge of His final coming in glory. JFB
The mention of his final coming suggested one nearer at hand which was to be accomplished during the life of most of those present, since none but Jesus himself and Judas were to die previous to that time. The kingdom was to come and likewise the King. The former coming was literal, the latter spiritual. Those who refer this expression to the transfiguration certainly err, for no visible kingdom was established at that time. The expression refers to the kingdom which was organized and set in motion on the Pentecost which followed the resurrection of Jesus. It was set up with power, because three thousand souls were converted the first day (Ac 2:41), and many other gospel triumphs speedily followed. HG


Addendum to Lesson 37

The Parable Of The Sower

The parable of the sower is true to nature in every detail. As people lived in towns and cities, the farmer literally went forth to sow. Jesus did not recite the facts of the parable for the purpose of teaching his hearers anything about farming; they were acquainted with all the facts he stated. Before explaining the meaning of the parable, he told the disciples why he spoke in parables. To have taught the multitudes in plain language the lessons he taught in these parables would have stirred up more opposition from the Pharisees, for their ideas of the kingdom-to-be resembled nothing that was set forth in these parables. Their hearts were hardened against such teaching, so materialistic were they. As Jesus himself explained the parable in verses 18-23, it is best to consider the facts of the parable and the explanation as we proceed.

The Seed.—The seed in the parable represents the word of God. “The sower soweth the word.” (Mark.) “The seed is the word of God.” (Luke.) Just as the germ of vegetable life is in the seed, so is the germ of spiritual life in the word, the seed of the kingdom. The Sower.—The sower in the parable represents the one who preaches the word. Primarily Jesus is the sower, but all who teach and preach the word are sowers.

The Soil.—The soil represents human hearts. Jesus makes this truth very clear in his explanation of the parable. There are various conditions of human hearts just as there are various conditions of soil.

The Wayside Soil.—Beaten paths ran along beside the grainfields. In broadcasting grain some would fall in these paths. The explanation: “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and under-standeth it not, then cometh the evil one, and snatcheth away that which hath been sown in his heart.” Luke's report says that the devil takes away the word out of the heart, that they may not believe and be saved.” The devil knows that there is no chance then for them to believe. These wayside hearts have been so abused by allowing every sort of idea, notion, and whim to run over them, that no serious impression can be made upon them. Perhaps these are they who boast of having open minds. Some people have an open mind like an open road over which everything is allowed to pass and on which nothing stays!

The Stony Ground.—Shallow soil on an underlying rock will soon warm up and cause the seed to come up and grow till dry weather and the hot sun kills it. This condition of soil represents the emotional person, who, having heard the word, accepts it with joy; but lacking in stability of purpose, “when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway he stumbleth.” The soil is too shallow.

The Thorny Ground.—There was nothing wrong with this soil, excepting that it had not been properly cleared of thorns and weeds. These noxious growths represent the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the pleasures of life, and the lust of other things. Other things, as well as evil passions, may choke out the word. Some people allow the cares of life to so weigh them down as to crush out the word; the cares of life include all the problems of living, even moral and religious matters. Some people become so absorbed in affairs of the church that they forget that God has anything to do with it! To prevent all these things we need constantly to study the word and to meditate on divine things.

The Good Ground.—The good ground yielded fruit—thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold. There are two main kinds of soil represented in the parable, namely, the nonproductive and the productive. Each kind has three grades, six in all. “And he that was sown upon the good ground, this is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it.” Such a one bears fruit. To understand the word means more than just to know what it takes to make a Christian—to know this and to obey it puts the person where he can bear fruit. The stony and the thorny ground hearers did that—each produced plants in the kingdom, but neither bore fruit. To understand the word is to comprehend what it really means to be a Christian, to know our duties and responsibilities, together with the advantages and rewards of the Christian life. The one who is fully persuaded as to what Christianity is and what it means to him will live the Christian life and bear fruit. The trouble is so many professed Christians have such little conception as to what it is all about. – R.L. Whiteside, Annual Lesson Commentary, Gospel Advocate, pp. 391-292, Dec. 17, 1939

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