CHAPTER 46 - GOD'S SYSTEM IS CON-PROOF
Matthew 19:30: But many who are first will be last, a special lesson, first, to the Jews. They had been called first by God, but the Gentiles who heard the call should soon enjoy special privileges. They would even be first in the kingdom, because of their greater readiness to receive the gospel. Our duty in the vineyard is to go to work as soon as the Lord calls us, and to do what he tells us.
Hebrews 4:13: There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before his eyes. And it is to him that we must all give an account of ourselves.
Matthew 20:16: So the last shall be first, and the first last - Not only with regard to the Jews and Gentiles, but in a thousand other instances. For many are called - All who hear the Gospel; but few chosen - Only those who obey it.
Matthew 21:32: For John came to you in the way of righteousness, but you didn't believe him. The tax collectors and prostitutes believed him. But even when you saw that, you didn't change your minds at last and believe him."
Matthew 18:6-8: "If anyone should cause one of these little ones to lose his faith in me, it would be better for that person to have a large millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. How terrible for the world that there are things that make people lose their faith! Such things will always happen---but how terrible for the one who causes them! If your hand or your foot makes you lose your faith, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to enter life without a hand or a foot than to keep both hands and both feet and be thrown into the eternal fire."
Woe unto the world because of offences! There will continue to be temptations and causes of stumbling in the world, which will lead thousands astray and cause much sorrow.
James 1:9-11: Humble believers should be proud because being humble makes them important. Rich believers should be proud because being rich should make them humble. Rich people will wither like flowers. The sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up plants. The flowers drop off, and the beauty is gone. The same thing will happen to rich people. While they are busy, they will die.
Matthew 15:4: For God commanded, saying, That he might not be thought to suggest this without any foundation, he gives them an instance, wherein a command of God was transgressed, by the observance of their tradition: the command he refers to, stands in Exodus 20:12: and is this;
Honor thy father and mother. This was a plain command of God, written with his own hand, and delivered by Moses to them; it was of a moral nature, and of eternal obligation: and to be understood, not merely of that high esteem parents are to be had in by their children, and of the respectful language and gesture to be used towards them, and of the cheerful obedience to be yielded to them; but also of honoring them with their substance, feeding, clothing, and supplying them with the necessaries of life, when they stand in need thereof; which is but their reasonable service, for all the care, expense, and trouble they have been at, in bringing them up in the world: nor did the Jews deny this to be the duty of children to their parents, and own it to be the sense of the commandment: they say, that this is the weightiest commandment among the weighty ones, even this, the honoring of father and mother; and ask,
"What is this honor? To which is replied, he must give him food, drink, and clothing; buckle his shoes, and lead him in, and bring him out.''
They indeed laid down this as a rule, and it seems a very equitable one that,
"When a man's father has any money, or substance, he must be supported out of that; but if he has none, he must support him out of his own.''
But then, as will be seen hereafter, they made void this command of God, and their own explications of it, by some other tradition. Moreover, Christ observes, that it is said,
Exodus 21:17: And he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death; temporal and eternal: and which is a positive command of God, made as a fence for the former; and is to be understood, not only of giving abusive language to parents, but of slighting, as the Hebrew word signifies, and neglecting them, taking no notice of them, when needy and in distress, to supply their wants. Now these commands of God, Christ shows the Jews transgressed by their tradition, as appears from the following verses.
Mat 12:33-37: Men's language discovers what country they are of, likewise what manner of spirit they are of. The heart is the fountain, words are the streams. A troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring, must send forth muddy and unpleasant streams. Nothing but the salt of grace, cast into the spring, will heal the waters, season the speech, and purify the corrupt communication. An evil man has an evil treasure in his heart, and out of it brings forth evil things. Lusts and corruptions, dwelling and reigning in the heart, are an evil treasure, out of which the sinner brings forth bad words and actions, to dishonour God, and hurt others. Let us keep constant watch over ourselves, that we may speak words agreeable to the Christian character.
Luke 14:11-14: For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the person who humbles himself will be exalted." Then he told the man who had invited him, "When you give a luncheon or a dinner, stop inviting only your friends, brothers, relatives, or rich neighbors. Otherwise, they may invite you in return and you would be repaid. Instead, when you give a banquet, make it your habit to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then you will be blessed because they can't repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
Even in the common actions of life, Christ marks what we do, not only in our religious assemblies, but also at our tables. We see in many cases, that a man's pride will bring him low, and before honor is humility. Our Saviour here teaches, that works of charity are better than works of show. But our Lord did not mean that a proud and unbelieving liberality should be rewarded, but that his precept of doing good to the poor and afflicted should be observed from love to him.
Matthew 18:3: Except ye be converted - Unless ye be saved from those prejudices which are at present so baneful to your nation, (seeking a temporal and not a spiritual kingdom), unless ye be clothed with the spirit of humility, ye cannot enter into the spirit, design, and privileges of my spiritual and eternal kingdom.
Matthew 19:18-23: The young man said to him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not give false testimony, Honor your father and mother,' and 'you must love your neighbor as yourself.'" The young man said to him, "I have kept all of these. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." But when the young man heard this statement he went away sad, because he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew16:25: For whosoever will save his life
That is, shall wish to save his life - at the expense of his conscience, and casting aside the cross, he shall lose it - the very evil he wishes to avoid shall overtake him; and he shall lose his soul into the bargain. See then how necessary it is to renounce one's self! But whatsoever a man loses in this world, for his steady attachment to Christ and his cause, he shall have amply made up to him in the eternal world.