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An Exposition Of The Gospels by The Most Rev. John Macevilly D.D.

In this chapter, St. Mark records our Lord’s reply to the captious questions of the Pharisees, on the subject of divorce, and His doctrine establishing the indissolubility of marriage (1–12). Our Lord blesses little children (13–16) He proposes to a young man, who consulted Him as to the securest means of obtaining life eternal, the observance of the counsels of Evangelical perfection (17–22). He took occasion, from the sadness which our Lord’s counsel caused this young man, to point out the difficulty for the rich to reach heaven (23–27). In answer to Peter, He points out the abundant reward in store for those who have left all for His sake (28–31). He predicts His bitter Passion and death (32–34). He refuses the petition for pre-eminence, preferred by the sons of Zebedee, and takes occasion to inculcate humility (35–45). He restores his sight to a blind man at Jericho (46–52).

1. “From thence,” His house in Capharnaum.

1–15. (See Matt. 19:1–15).

7, 8 “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh.” These are the words of Adam, spoken under the influence of inspiration; and hence, may be regarded as the words of God Himself, as is clear from the words of verse 9.

Two,” is not found in the present Hebrew copies of Genesis (2:24), from which these words are taken. Hence, some account for its insertion here, by saying, in the words of St. Jerome, that, in their quotations from the old Scriptures, the writers of the New Testament did not consider the words, but the meaning, and that the same holds true, when they quote the words of our Lord Himself, or purport relating them. But others, Patrizzi (in hunc locum), reply, that, ὅι δυο, or, those who were two, are found in the Greek, Syriac, Vulgate, and Chaldaic versions of Genesis, which fully bear out the reading of Matthew and Mark. So does the Samaritan version also quote the word, “two,” among those uttered by Adam. Hence, we are to conclude that the reading of this word is genuine, and that the readings of Genesis, in which it was omitted, are imperfect; and the whole force of our Redeemer’s argument is founded on the words, “one flesh.” Hence, He concludes, “they are one flesh,” which he confirms by the denial of the contrary. “Now they are not two.”

17–22. (See Matt. 19:16–22).

23–27. (See Matt. 19:23–26).

28–31. (See Matt. 19:27–30).

32. (See Matt. 20:17, 18, 19). This occurred about the last month of our Redeemer’s mortal life. “Going up to Jerusalem.” They had not yet reached Jerusalem, nor even Jericho, which is eighteen miles distant from it. The Jews, when speaking of going to Jerusalem, used the word ascending, or going up, and, when leaving it, descending, as Jerusalem was situated on hilly ground.

And Jesus went before them.” He usually, on His journeys, despatched some of His disciples before Him; but, on this occasion, to show the alacrity with which He voluntarily went to meet death, which was now impending, He went before. “And they were astonished,” at His fortitude. “And following, they were afraid,” for His personal safety. Possibly, from human infirmity, they may have feared for themselves also. As yet, the spirit of strength and fortitude had not descended on them. The words may mean, “they timidly followed.”

And taking the twelve apart,” from the others who accompanied Him on this, His final journey, “He began to tell them the things that should befal Him,” in order to dispel their fears, by knowing that He submitted to all this voluntarily; and that ignominy and death would be followed by glory and immortal life.

33, 34. For the third time, our Lord forewarns His Apostles of His coming Passion—1. Mark 8:31; 2. Mark 9:30; and now He does so, more fully and explicitly, to guard against the scandal of His Passion. But, on all occasions, in order to confirm their faith, He speaks of His glorious Resurrection and its circumstances, as there can be no clearer proof of His Divinity.

35–45. (See Matt. 20:20–28).

38. It was usual with our Lord to designate by the words, “chalice” and “baptism,” the sufferings and tortures which He was to undergo (Matt. 26:39–42; Mark 14:36; Luke 12:50; John 18:11).

46–52. (See Matt. 20:29–34).

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