STUDY OF THE HARMONY OF THE GOSPELS
Lesson 45, Jesus at a feast in
Lesson 46, Jesus, the light of the
Lesson 47, Jesus and the man born
Lesson 48, Jesus, the good
Lesson 49, Seventy disciples sent
Lesson 50, The good Samaritan,
Lesson 51, Jesus in Mary and
Martha’s house, and the disciples wish to know how to
Lesson 45, Jesus at a feast
1. While the feast of verses 10 and 11 is not named, what festival would you conclude it was? (See help on this question).
2. What were the opinions people had about Jesus at this time?
3. Why were some fearful to speak openly about him?
4. Explain what Jesus meant in verse 17: “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.”
5. What lesson did Jesus try to teach the Jews regarding circumcision and working on the Sabbath?
6. When Jews said they knew where Jesus came from, and it confused them, how did Jesus respond as to his origin?
7. What is meant by “his hour had not yet come”?
8. What great invitation did Jesus give on the last day of the festival?
9. What did he mean by, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water?
10. What issue caused the division among the people?
11. What reason did the officers give to the chief priests and Pharisees for not taking Jesus into custody?
12. Who said, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” Where else is this man mentioned? (Think of at least two instances.
13. What problem did the Scribes and Pharisees bring to Jesus and what did they ask him to do?
14. What was Jesus’ reply?
15. What did Jesus say to the one they brought to him? (Does this mean he condoned what had been done?
1. He went up to show his obedience to his Father's commands, Ex 23:17. The feast of tabernacles was the same with the feast of ingathering in the end of the year, when they had gathered their labours out of the field, mentioned Exo. 23:16; and that was one of those three times (as appears from that chapter) when all the males in Israel were to appear before the Lord, John 7:17. Christ being born under the law, showeth a punctual obedience to it; and therefore, in obedience to it, he would go up: but his wisdom dwelt with prudence; and therefore he did not go up openly, not in any crowd of company, so as a public notice could be taken of him; but secretly, to teach us that we are not so strictly tied up to ritual precepts, which concern only rites and circumstances of worship, that we may not abate them sometimes for the performance of moral duties. It was a moral duty incumbent upon our Saviour to preserve himself, with what wisdom and prudence he could, from the rage of his enemies, till his time should fully come to yield up himself to their rage; which was the reason why he, who went up now singly, without any company, when he went up to the last passover, where he was to suffer, went up with all imaginable boldness and alacrity, leading the way, to their amazement, Mark 10:32. MP
2. The multitude were divided in their opinions concerning him: those who knew him best said, He is a good man. Those who spoke according to the character given him by the priests, &c., said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Those who spoke evil of him spoke out, because they had the rulers on their side; but those who spoke good of him were obliged to do it in private, because they feared these rulers. Calumny and slander are among the privileged orders; they stalk abroad with their thousand brazen mouths, and blast the reputation of the followers of God. Benevolence and candour are only on sufferance; and a whisper in secret is the most they are permitted to give in behalf of Christ and his followers, whose laws and maxims condemn a vicious world, and goad it to revenge. ACC
3. Verse 13. Spake openly of him. The word translated openly, here, is commonly rendered boldly. This refers, doubtless, to those who really believed on him. His enemies were not silent; but his friends had not confidence to speak of him openly or boldly--that is, to speak what they really thought. Many supposed that he was the Messiah, yet even this they did not dare to profess. All that they could say in his favour was that he was a good man. There are always many such friends of Jesus in the world who are desirous of saying something good about him, but who, from fear or shame, refuse to make a full acknowledgement of him. Many will praise his morals, his precepts, and his holy life, while they are ashamed to speak of his divinity or his atonement, and still more to acknowledge that they are dependent on him for salvation. AB
4. If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from myself. Those who would test the divinity of the doctrine of Christ can not do so by rendering a mere mechanical obedience to his teaching. A willing, heartfelt obedience is essential to a true knowledge of his doctrine. Such a disposition makes a good and honest heart in which the seeds of his kingdom must inevitably grow. But a spirit of disobedience is the general source of all skepticism. FG
Verse 22. But
of the fathers] That is, it came from the patriarchs.
Circumcision was not, properly speaking, one of the laws of
the Mosaic institution, it having been given at first to
Abraham, and continued among his posterity till the giving
of the law: Gen. 17:9,10, &c.
Ye-circumcise a man.] That is, a male child: for every male child was circumcised when eight days old; and if the eighth day after its birth happened to be a Sabbath, it was nevertheless circumcised, that the law might not be broken, which had enjoined the circumcision to take place at that time, Le 12:3. From this and several other circumstances it is evident that the keeping of the Sabbath, even in the strictest sense of the word, ever admitted of the works of necessity and mercy to be done on it; and that those who did not perform such works on that day, when they had opportunity, were properly violators of every law founded on the principles of mercy and justice. If the Jews had said, Why didst thou not defer the healing of the sick man till the ensuing day? He might have well answered, Why do ye not defer the circumcising of your children to the ensuing day, when the eighth day happens to be a Sabbath?-which is a matter of infinitely less consequence than the restoration of this long-afflicted man. ACC
And I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is
true, whom ye know not. Our Lord here asserts their
ignorance as to his divine origin. Since he came from God,
and they did not know God, they consequently did not know
whence he came. FG
Ye know whence I am. This is a reply to their assertion that they did. If they really did they would know that he came from God. They did not even know God, or they would know him whom God sent. PNTC
Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am; you might have known me by the doctrine which I have taught, and the miracles which I have wrought among you; and you had known me, if you had not shut your eyes against the light, which shone in your face: or, you say and think that you know me. Others think that it is an irony, or as a question, Do you know me so well? If you did, you would know that I came not of myself, but was sent by my Father; and he that sent me is truth itself: but you know not the Father, and therefore cannot know me as indeed I am. MP
They sought therefore to take him. Because they
understood his language as referring to God and were
incensed that he should so openly declare them ignorant of
And no man laid his hand on him, because his hour was not yet come. Because it was not the will of God that he should be arrested at this time. FG
His hour. The proper and the appointed time for his death. See Matt. 21:46. AB
The feast of tabernacles (which is the first here
meant) lasted eight days; the first and last of which were
to be kept holy with religious assemblies and sacrifices;
and it was a custom among the Jews, upon that solemn day, to
offer up a pot of water unto God, which they drew out of the
fountain of Siloam: with reference to this custom, Christ
here cries with a loud voice, inviting the people to fetch
and draw from him, as from a living fountain, all the
sanctifying gifts and saving graces of the Holy Spirit.
Learn hence, That Jesus Christ is the original and fountain of all saving grace, whom, if we thirst after, repair to, and by faith depend upon, as a Mediator, we shall certainly receive what influences of grace soever we want and stand in need of. MH
Verse 37. In the last day. The eighth day of the festival. That great day. The day of the holy convocation or solemn assembly, Lev. 23:36. This seems to have been called the great day, 1st. Because of the solemn assembly, and because it was the closing scene. 2nd. Because, according to their traditions, on the previous days they offered sacrifices for the heathen nations as well as for themselves, but on this day for the Jews only (Lightfoot). 3rd. Because on this day they abstained from all servile labour (Lev. 23:39), and regarded it as a holy day. 4th. On this day they finished the reading of the law, which they commenced at the beginning of the feast. 5th. Because on this day probably occurred the ceremony of drawing water from the pool of Siloam. On the last day of the feast it was customary to perform a solemn ceremony in this manner: The priest filled a golden vial with water from the fount of Siloam (See Barnes for John 9:7), which was borne with great solemnity, attended with the clangour of trumpets, through the gate of the temple, and being mixed with wine, was poured on the sacrifice on the altar. What was the origin of this custom is unknown. Some suppose, and not improbably, that it arose from an improper understanding of the passage in Isa 12:3: "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." It is certain that no such ceremony is commanded by Moses. It is supposed to be probable that Jesus stood and cried while they were performing this ceremony, that he might, 1st. illustrate the nature of his doctrine by this; and 2nd. call off their attention from a rite that was uncommanded, and that could not confer eternal life.
Jesus stood. In the temple, in the midst of thousands of the people. If any man thirst. Spiritually. If any man feels his need of salvation. See John 4:13,14; Matt. 5:6; Rev. 22:17. The invitation is full and free to all.
Let him come unto me, &c. Instead of depending on this ceremony of drawing water let him come to me, the Messiah, and he shall find an ever-abundant supply for all the wants of his soul. AB
9. Verse 38. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said] He who receives me as the Messiah, according to what the Scripture has said concerning me; my person, birth, conduct, preaching, and miracles, being compared with what is written there as ascertaining the true Messiah. Out of his belly-from his heart and soul; for in his soul shall this Spirit dwell. ACC
Some of the well disposed toward Jesus, seeing the
boldness with which he proclaimed himself, asserted that he
was the prophet spoken of by Moses (Deut. 18:15), which
prophet was thought by some to be the Messiah himself, and
by others to be no more than the Messiah's forerunner.
Still others of the multitude went further and asserted that he was the Christ. These latter were confronted by those who contended that Jesus was not born in the right place nor of the right family. These did not know that he had satisfied the very objections which they named. FG
11. Verse 46. Never man spake like this man.] Though these officers had gone on the errand of their masters, they had not entered into their spirit. They were sent to apprehend a seditious man, and a false prophet. They came where Jesus taught; they found him to be a different person to the description they received from their masters, and therefore did not attempt to touch or molest him. No doubt they expected when they told their employers the truth, that they would have commended them, and acknowledged their own mistake: but these simple people were not in the secret of their masters' malice. They heard, they felt, that no man ever spoke with so much grace, power, majesty, and eloquence. They had never heard a discourse so affecting and persuasive. So Jesus still speaks to all who are simple of heart. He speaks pardon-he speaks holiness-he speaks salvation to all who have ears to hear. No man ever did or can speak as he does. He teaches THE TRUTH, the whole TRUTH, and nothing but the TRUTH. ACC
Nicodemus -- One of them. That is, one of the great
council or Sanhedrim. God often places one or more pious men
in legislative assemblies to vindicate his honour and his
law; and he often gives a man grace on such occasions boldly
to defend his cause; to put men upon their proof, and to
confound the proud and the domineering. We see in this case,
also, that a man, at one time timid and fearful (comp.) John
3:1), may on other occasions be bold, and fearlessly defend
the truth as it is in Jesus. This example should lead every
man intrusted with authority or office fearlessly to defend
the truth of God, and, when the rich and the mighty are
pouring contempt on Jesus and his cause, to stand forth as
its fearless defender. AB
Nicodemus is also mentioned in John 3 and John 19:39.
Teacher, this woman hath been taken in adultery, in
the very act. In the presence of the woman and the form of
their accusation we see their coarse brutality. The case
could have been presented to Jesus without the presence of
the woman and without a detailed accusation. FG
The bringing of the woman before Jesus for judgment was a device similar to that in which he was asked to decide about the tribute money (Matt. 22:15-22 and notes thereon). The scribes and Pharisees cared nothing about the woman, but wished either to excite the people against Jesus or to embroil him with the Roman authorities. If he judged the woman worthy of death, that would anger the people, as capital punishment for adultery was becoming very unpopular. It would also bring him to the notice of the Roman governor, whose consent was necessary to the execution of a death sentence. That would have given the scribes and Pharisees a chance to accuse him of a political offense. TC
14. He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. Under the law (Deut. 17:7), the witnesses were to cast the first stone. Jesus maintained and vindicated the law, but imposed a condition which they had overlooked. The one who executed the law must be free from the same crime, lest by stoning the woman he condemn himself as worthy of a like death. There is no doubt that the words of Jesus impressed upon them the truth that freedom from the outward act did not imply inward purity or sinlessness (Matt. 5:27,28). FG
15. Hath no man condemned thee? Jesus had directed them, if innocent, to cast a stone, thus to condemn her, or to use the power which he gave them to condemn her. No one of them had done that. They had accused her, but they had not proceeded to the act expressive of judicial condemnation. AB
Lesson 49, Seventy disciples sent to Judea, Luke 10:1-24