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Remarks.—At the time the events related in the lesson took place, Jesus was still in Galilee. He was about closing His ministry there. It was about six months before His death.
Verse 51. Should be received up: When He should ascend to heaven. So fully were His thoughts taken up with the event that should crown His victory in the great conflict in which He was about to engage, that all that still intervened seemed for the moment to be overlooked. Set his face: Was fixed and firm in His purpose. To Jerusalem: With a full knowledge of all that would befall Him there.
Verse 52. Messengers: Persons sent on some errand. Before his facer In advance of Him. A village of the Samaritans: The Samaritans were a people who had, years before, revolted from the Jewish nation. To make ready for him: To do whatever was necessary to insure a safe pas-age through the country, and provide proper entertainment for Himself and His companions.
Verse 53. They did not receive him: This was an act of incivility, as well as a breach of the laws of hospitality. We would go to Jerusalem .■ This ground of refusal evinced a spirit of selfishness worthy of rebuke. The Saviour, however, returned the slight only with love.
Verse 54. James and John .• They were not the messengers sent before, as they knew nothing of the refusal to receive Jesus, until they arrived with Him at the village. Fire to come down from heaven: They were greatly embittered by the treatment of the Samaritans. Their feelings gained the mastery over them, for the time being, and wrongly savored of revenge. As Elias did: They try to justify themselves in asking what they did, by referring to the case of Elijah, recorded in 2 Kings i. 10-12. Christians are only too often liable to be governed by the same spirit.
Verse 55. Rebuked them: They were promptly and faithfully reproved, as was richly deserved. What manner of spirit: They knew not what the spirit they manifested necessarily involved. It showed a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. It was not of the same nature as that, which actuated Elijah.
Verse 56. Son of man is not come:
The spirit manifested mistook the purpose of Christ's mission to this worldIt was not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. Save them both for this world, and for the world to come. Another village: When refused entertainment at one village, He went to another. This was in full accord with His peaceful spirit.
Verse 57. It came to pass as they went in the way.- The conversations related occurred while they were on their journey. Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.- This answer seems to have been prompted by the impulses of the moment. It may have been also, that he looked forward to some preferment.
Verse 58. Jesus said unto him. He did not reject his offer, nor absolutely refuse him permission to follow Him, but wished him "to count the cost." He wished him to know and weigh well what was involved in his proposal. The Son of man.- A title Jesus often applies to Himself, indicating His office as the Messiah. Not where to lay his head .Strong language, indicative of the greatest poverty; yet no exaggeration so far as related to His worldly possessions as man. The rewards attendant upon following Christ are not in this world, but in the world to come.
Verses 59, 60. Follow me. Christ, in this case, issued the summons Himself. It is short and decisive. Go and bury my father: This seems, at first sight, a reasonable plea for delay. But Jesu^, who sees into the heart, doubtless observed some unworthy motive lying back of it. Let the dead bury their dead: Let those of the world bury their dead. Go thou and preach: This is a higher and more pressing duty in present circumstances than the other.
Verses 61, 62. I will follow thee: This proposition comes from the individual himself. He adds, however, a plea for delay. Let me first bid them farewell: This seemed expressive of natural affection. There was, however, something wrong about it, in the circumstances. He seemed to have a wrong apprehension of what was involved ia following Christ It would not necessarily separate him even from his friends. And it betrayed too strong an interest in bis worldly concerns. He ■
wished to have them fixed first. Put his hand to the plough: Entered upon an important mission. Looking back.- Betraying a disposiiion to falter, like Lot's wife. Fit for the kingdom.- Is wanting in an essential qualification for following Christ in His humiliation, as well as for sharing in His glory.
Practical Thoughts.—This lesson teaches, that the true follower of Christ must look beyond the present world for his reward; be steadfast and unswerving in his purpose; expect and prepare to meet with discouragements; not misuse spiritual gifts for wrong purposes; be watchful against the wrong interpretation and application of Scripture; seek the spirit of the Gospel rather than that of the law; imitate Christ rather than Elijah; show a spirit of blessing rather than of cursing-; not look for rewards on earth in the service of heaven; forsake the fondest earthly ties, when their Master's work calls for it; and show decision and determination in their loyalty to His cause.
Taking off the Shoes.
In Syria people never take off their caps or turbans when entering a house or visiting a friend, but they always leave their shoes at the door. The reason is that their floors are covered with clean mats and rugs, and in the Moslem houses the men kneel on the rugs to pray, and press their foreheads to the floor; so that it would not be decent or respectful to walk in with dirty shoes, and soil the sijady on which they kneel to pray. They have no foot-mats or scrapers, and it is much simpler and cheaper to leave the shoes, dirt and all, at the door.
It is very curious to go into the Syrian school-houses and see the piles of shoes at the door. There are new, bright red shoes, and old, tattered shoep, and kob-kobs and black shoes, and sometimes yellow shoes. The kob-kobs are wooden clogs, made to raise the feet out of the mud and water, having a little strap over the toe to keep it on the foot. You will often see little boys and girls running down steps and paved streets on these dangerous kob-kobs. Sometimes they slip, and then down they go on their noses, kob-kobs fly off and go rattling over the stones, and
little Ali, or Yusef, or whatever his name is, begins to shout, "Ya, irame! Ya, imme!" (Oh, my mother!) and cries, just like the little children in other countries. But the funniest part is to see the boys, when they come out of school and try to find their shoes. There will be fifty boys, and, of course, a hundred shoes, all mixed together in one pile. When school is out, the boys make a rush for the door. Then comes the tug of war. A dozen boys are standing and shuffling on the pile of shoes, looking down, kicking away the other shoes, running their toes into their own, stumbling over the kob-kobs, and then making a dash to get out of the crowd. Sometimes shins will be kicked and hair pulled, and tarbooshes thrown off, and a great screaming follow, which will only cease when the teacher comes with "Asia," or a stick, and quells the riot. That pile of shoes will have to answer for a good many school-boy fights and bruised noses and hard feelings in Syria. You will wonder how they can tell their own shoes. So do I. And the boys often wear off each other's shoes by mistake or on purpose and then you will see Selim running with one shoe on and one of Ibrahim's in his hand, shouting and cursing Ibrahim's father and grandfather, until he gets back his lost property—Selected.
A clergyman on his way to a missionary-meeting overtook a boy, and asked him about the road, aud where he was going.
"Oh!" he said, "I'm going to the meeting to hear about the missionaries."
"Missionaries!" said the minister. "What do you know about missionaries?"
"Why," said the boy, "I'm part of the concern. I've got a missionary-box, and I always go to the missionary-meeting I belong."
Every child should feel that he is "part of the concern," and that his work is just as important as that of any one else. Linch-pins are little things; but, if they drop out, the wagon is very likely to come to a stand-still. Every pin and screw should be in workingorder, and every child should be able to say, "I always go to missionary meeting. Why, I'm part of the concern!" KEY-NOTE.—" Thou Shalt Lovb Thy
APRIL 10. LESSON XV. 1881.
Palm Sunday. Luke x. 25-37.
The present Sunday in the Church Year, commemorates Christ's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem, shortly before His crucifixion.
Thk Subject.—THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
NEIGHBOUR AS TIIYSKLF."—Lev. xlx. 18.
25.' And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal lite?
26. He said untchim, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27. And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
30. And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31. And by chance there came down a certain
priest that way; and when passed by on the other side.
32. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34. And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37. And he said. He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Vbksb 25. What event in the history of Christ does the present Sunday in the Churoh year specially commemorate? What is the Koy-note of the lesson? When did the incident stated in the lesson occur? What was the profession of the person, with whom the Lesson opens? What was then the business of a lawyer? What did he do? What act do the words, he utood up, indicate? What is meant here by tempting himt What question did he ask? Is there any special significance in his using the first person singular, in asking his question? What is meant Dv to inherit eternal life t
26. What did Jesus answer him? What is meant by the- words, in the lawt What by the question. How readest thou t
27. What iind of answer did he return? What is the answer? What is meant by loving God with all thy heart t What by with all thy soul f What by with all thy strength T What by with all thy mind t What does the use of these four terms show as to what our love to God must be? What is meant by loving thy neighbor as thyself T
28. What did Jesus affirm of this answer? What did this admit as to its nature? What did He command him? What does this command mean?
29. What did the lawyer then wish to do? What is meant by justifying himself t What question did he ask? Wnat was his purpose in asking this question?
30. Did Jesus give him a direct answer? What did he use so as to enable him to furnish his own answer? How does the parable open?
Who is meant by a certain man t From what place and to what place did he go down? How far were these two places apart? What happened to him on the way? Were thieves common in those days on that road? What did they do to him? In what condition did they leave bim? What is meant by stripped him f What by half dead t
31. Who came along that way? What was a priest f What is meant by chance t Did the priest see him? What did he do when he saw him? What is meant by passed by on the other side T Was it a proper act?
32. Who came next that way? What was a Levite f What did he do? Is there any special meaning in the words, When he was at the place, came and looked on him t
33. Who next came that way? What was a Samaritan? Did he also see him? How did the sight affect him? What is meant by that?
34. What was the first act his compassion prompted him to do? What the second? What the third? What the fourth? What the fifth? What do each of thesi acts mean?
35. What did he do on the morrow? How muoh are two pence worth? What did he tell the host to do? What is meant by taking care of him T What did he promise the host? Did he pass that way often, and was it likely that there would be any need to fulfill his promise?
36-37. What question did Jesus ask the lawyer? What did He mean by was neighbor t What did the lawyer answer? Why did he not use the word Samaritan t What did Jesus tell him to do? What is meant by this?
Remarks.—The incidents narrated in this lesson occurred at Jerusalem, about six months before Christ's death, whilst He was attending the feast of tabernacles.
• Verse 25. A certain lawyer: One familiar with the rules and regulations, civil and moral and religious, exercising a controlling interest over the whole of Jewish life, the interpretation and application of which belonged to his profession. Stood up: Arose for the purpose of speaking. Tempted him: Wished to try the depth of his intellect and knowledge of the law. There was not necessarily any malicious purpose in the case. What shall I do: Though he asks this question in the first person singular, yet he seems to have asked it for theoretical, rather than practical purposes. To inherit eternal life: He expected to be told to do some deed great in the eyes of the world. In this, however, he was disappointed.
Verse 26. In the] law: The words are few but emphatic. He refers him to his own law. How readest thou: This question was intended to draw out from him a statement of the law on the subject, and it answered its purpose.
Verse 27. He answering said: The answer is a remarkable one, giving a brief but complete summary of the law, and evincing his accurate knowledge of it. Love the Lord . . . with all thy heart: The heart, here, as distinguished from the soul and mind, must indicate particularly the sincerity or uprightness of our feelings and thoughts. With all thy soul: This refers to our emotional nature, as developed in the affections, and is expressive of fervor. With all thy strength: All our energies are to be enlisted into the discharge of this duty. With all tliy mind: This evidently refers to our intellectual nature, which lies at the very foundation of a proper love to God. The four terms, taken together, show that our love to God must be sincere, fervent, energetic and intelligent. Thy neighbor as thyself: The measure of our love to others is that which we cherish for ourselves; neither more nor less.
Verse 28. Thou hast answered right: A strong and candid admission of its correctness. This do, and thou shalt live: A clear duty with a certain reward. He who thus loves God and his neighbor
has begun to live, in the good sense of the term, here, and has an unfailing earnest of eternal life in the world to come.
Verse 29. Justify himself: Help himself out of the difficulty. Who is my neiglibor: He wished to divert attention from himself, as he felt he had come short of the requirements of the law, as stated by himself.
Verse 30. Jesus answering said: Jesus did not give a direct answer to the question, but chose rather to furnish the material for it in the form of a parable, for the lawyer's personal reproof, as well as for the instruction of others after him in regard to the nature and extent of benevolence and brotherly love. A certain man: This was doubtless a Jew, as he started from Jerusalem, and this tact gives special force to the teachings of the parable. Went down from Jerusalem to Jericho: From the mountain heights on which Jerusalem was built, to the vale of Jordan, in which Jericho stood, a distance of eighteen miles. Fell among thieves: The direct road between the two places, on which he traveled, was infested with robbers. Stripped him: Robbed him of his clothes and valuables. Half dead: Very much injured, so as to be unable to help himself; yet not beyond recovery, if he receive proper and timely help.
Verse 31. By chance: Without any special previous arrangement, so far as man is concerned. A certain priest: One who took part in the service of the temple. Jericho was a city of priests. That way: Along where the injured man lay by the wayside. When he saw him: The place was so public that he could not fail to see him. Passed by on the other side: Though he was evidently moved by the sight, yet in passing he got as far from him as he could. Resisting the promptings of sympathy leads to such behaviour.
Verse 32. A Levite: One of the tribes of Levi; a lower order of priests, who performed menial services about the temple. When at the place, came and looked on him: He approached nearer than the priest; still, when he saw him, he imitated the bad example of the priest, stifling all feeling of compassion.
Verse 33. Samaritan: (See previous lesson, verse 52). The Samaritans were
despised by the Jews. The latter looked on them with contempt. When he saw him, he had compassion on him: The sight of the wounded man caused his pity to move. He not only felt for him, but also did for him.
Verse 34. He went to him: This was the first act, to which his pity led. Bound up his wounds, pouring oil and wine into them. This was necessary to bring them into a condition that would insure their healing up. Set him on his mm beast: Probably an ass. He placed him on its back, and walked by its side, holding him on. Brought him to an inn: A place of public entertainment. Took care of him: Had him made as comfortable as possible, and watched over him during the night, attending to his wants.
Verse 35. On the morrow, when he departed: He must needs go on his journey
making proper provision for the object of sympathy. * Took out two pence and gave them to the host: Supposed to
our neighbor assumes divers forms: 1. In a family it is tenderness and care 2. In a neighborhood, courtesy. 3. In friendship, sympathy. 4. In business, integrity. 5. In distress, mercy. 6. To our country, patriotism. 7. To the world, benevolence. 8. To the Church, brotherly kindness.
Every House has its Cross.
A widow lady was almost in despair fiom the variety of hinderances, vexations, and disappointments she had to endure. She was quite overwhelmed with her domestic crosses, and had scarcely the heart to go on with her daily conflicts. "No other roof", she complained, "is so constantly beset with misery as mine." She had no idea that but he could not do so, without j any neighbor of her's was half so crossed
as herself; judging as she did from outward appearances. But it pleased God be to teach her a lesson, through the inworth from fifteen to seventeen cents. | strumentality of a dream, which was
Though it seems to us a small sum, yet, at that time, it was sufficient to pay lor several days. Take care of him .• Give him all the attention he needs. Wien I come again: It is to be inferred from this, that he was accustomed to travel that road, and was probably known to the landlord. Whatsoever thou spendest more .... I will repay thee: His case
the wholesomest medicine of which she could have partaken.
One night she dreamed that a whole town stood before her, and every house in it bore a cross against its door; on one it was a very large one, on the next it was of less size, and on others, though they were few, it was but a small one. 1 Among all the crosses, however, cone
might, probably, require more attention j appeared to her so inconsiderable and than two pence would pay for. If so, he light to carry as that at her own door
would pay him. h.s charity.
Verse 3G. Was neighbor.
Be asked no help in She awoke a new creature. What she had seen she understood; and she recolActed a lected Christ's saying, "If any man will
neighbor's part toward an injured fellow j come after me, let him deny himself,
man. The question was put direct to the lawyer to elicit from him the answer to his own question.
Verse 37. He that showed mercy: The lawyer did not say, "The Samaritan." He purposely avoided the use of this term. Still he could not fail to admit the truth taught by so practical an illustration. Go and do thou likewise: There is a significance in the use of the word go, as well as do. He would teach the lawyer, that it was his duty not to linger about) theorizing about religion, but to put it into immediate actual practice. The same direction is applicable to all captious critics. Practical, Thoughts.—This love to
and take up his cross and follow me." She fell down upon her knees at once, and prayed God to pardon her for her complaining, murmuring, and repining spirit, and besought Him to release her from it, and fill her with a spirit of patience, submissiveness, and content with His orderings. And she implored Him also to endow her with His strengthening grace to bear her crops, which from that hour forward she found to be light, as compared with the cross her own weakness had given her to bear." "Yes," she exclaimed, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me, for his yoke is easy and his burden is light."