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

In this chapter, we have an account of our Lord’s becoming Zaccheus’ guest, and His instructions on the occasion (1–10). The Parable of the pieces of money given out to traders in order to derive profit therefrom. The rewards given to the faithful servants, and the punishment of the unprofitable (11–28). Our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem (28–40). He weeps over Jerusalem. He drives the buyers and sellers out of the Temple (41–46). He teaches in the Temple. His enemies are prevented, through fear of the people, from destroying Him (47, 48).

1. As our Lord was approaching Jericho, He cured “the blind man” (18:35). Here, is a continuous description of our Lord’s journey. Near Jericho, He cured the blind man; in Jericho, He converts Zaccheus; He wastes not a moment of His time; He seizes every opportunity, and seeks for every befitting occasion of doing good.

“He walked,” that is, walking, He was passing through Jericho.

2. “And behold.” This calls attention to what follows, as a great and wonderful occurrence. “There was,” &c. He describes the man by name, Zaccheus; by his profession, “Chief of the Publicans;” by his possessions, “he was rich.”

Some say, that Zaccheus was a Gentile, which they infer from v. 9, “he also is a son,” &c. Others hold he was a Jew. The very name itself is Hebrew, signifying, pure, just. This seems more probable. The reason for the opposite opinion will be explained in v. 9.

“Chief of the Publicans.” (See Matthew 9:11.) If Zaccheus was a Gentile, he may be regarded as one of the Roman knights, or Maneipes, who farmed the public revenues. This class was held in high estimation (Cicero, Oratio 9, pro Plancio). These had under them, in the several provinces, a class of inferior collectors, generally natives of the country. The latter were regarded with the greatest horror among the Jews (loco citato). If he was a Jew, then, the designation, “chief of the Publicans,” denotes that, while he shared in the odium of the local collectors, he might be looked upon as a kind of middleman—or contractor—(Ellicott), between the Roman knights, who farmed the revenues, and the lower class of Publicans, who actually collected them, and in doing so harassed and oppressed the people. It denotes what we might term a Commissioner of the Customs (Kitto).

“And he was rich.” This is added, to denote the sacrifices he made in giving up his profession, and the difficulty in effecting his conversion (18:24).

3. “He sought to see Jesus, who He was.” The fame of our Lord was everywhere spread abroad. Zaccheus, having never seen Him, was anxious to know Him by personal appearance, and see what kind of person He was. But as our Lord was accompanied by a large crowd of people, who pressed closely around Him, Zaccheus could not succeed on account of his lowness of stature. His anxious desire to see our Lord arose, probably, not from curiosity. He seemed quite disposed and prepared to believe in Him, of whose miracles and marvellous works he heard so much.

4. Hence, “running before” Him, forgetful of his dignity, his riches, and the ridicule with which, no doubt, the crowd would be glad to overpower a “chief of Publicans,” he climbed up a Sycamore tree, which grew on the public road, by which our Redeemer was to pass, in order to get a glimpse at Him. “Sycamore,” which differs from Sycamine (17:6), denotes a species of tree, called “the Egyptian fig tree,” composed of a fig tree (συκος) and a mulberry tree (μωρος). It partakes of the nature of both; of the mulberry in its leaves, and of the fig tree in its fruit, which is like a fig in its shape and size. The fruit grows neither in clusters, nor at the end of the branches, but sticking to the end of the tree (Calmet—Pliny, Lib. 13, c. 7). Sycamore trees were very common in Palestine, especially in the low-lying valleys of the Jordan, where they grew to a considerable height. (3 Kings 10:27; 2 Paralip. 1:15; Amos 7)

5. “Looking up,” not casually, but by a lofty decree of Divine counsel, “He saw him,” not merely by the eyes of the body, but with the eyes of Divine mercy, which penetrated His inmost soul, and inspired Him with sentiments of true compunction and sorrow. Addressing him by name, whom He never saw before, He says: “Zaccheus, make haste and come down,” as if to say, thou hast ascended the tree in great haste; come down with the same haste.

“For, this day, I must abide,” in virtue of My benevolent charity towards yourself and your entire household. I have decreed to select your “house,” in preference to all the others in Jericho for My dwelling place this day. Zaccheus had, in soul and affection, offered Him a cordial invitation and welcome. “Promittit Christus se ad ejus domum venturum cujus desiderantis jam possederat animum” (St. Chrysostom, Hom. de Zaccheo); “Etsi vocem invitantis Jesus non audierat, viderat tamen affectum” (St. Ambrose). How long our Lord remained as Zaccheus’ guest, we cannot know for certain. Likely, He remained there for the greater part of the day, if not for the night.

6. “He makes no delay;” “tarda molimina nescit gratia spiritus sancti” (St. Ambrose). “Joyfully,” with great spiritual joy, on account of the unspeakable honour bestowed on him, which fully satisfied his longings to receive his Lord.

7. “When all,” &c., that is the crowd, among whom, doubtless, were some Pharisees and their adherents, also some Scribes. All held Publicans in unutterable horror and aversion. “They murmured,” as was their wont. from a feeling of self-righteousness and pride.

“A man that was a sinner,” a leader in the traffic of iniquity—a man of infamous profession. The Publicans were regarded in this light by the Jews. Zaccheus’ profession, or calling, was regarded as disgraceful among the Jews, and placed men on a level with the unbelieving heathens. Zaccheus, it would seem, was not above the temptations to rapacity and injustice, which the exercise of his office presented (v. 8).

8. “Standing,” that is, commencing suddenly to speak—similar is the phrase “stetit et ait” (10:40)—he thus addressed our Lord, in refutation of the crowd, who, probably, may have overheard him thus speaking, when our Lord entered his house, or, when He was leaving it. Others, take “standing,” literally, to denote his respectful and earnest attitude in presence of His Master. It is likely, that our Lord had, on entering the house of Zaccheus, delivered heavenly maxims, as was His went, on all occasions, regarding the several obligations of life, and the practice of all Christian virtues, uprightness and honesty amongst the rest, and that this elicited from him the following declaration.

“Behold,” as if to solicit attention to a matter deserving of admiration. He divides his goods into two parts, the first half to the poor; and thus, he would redeem his sins by mercy to the poor. “The half of my goods, I give to the poor.” “I give,” that is, am prepared and determined to “give,” to relieve the wants of the “poor,” and I now assign them for that purpose. This shows the thorough conversion of Zaccheus, and his resolution to practise the counsel of perfection, which, doubtless he heard, was given to the rich young man (chap. 18:22), a few days before. The remaining half of his property he reserves for the purpose of making the amplest restitution.

“And if I have wronged any man of any thing.” The Greek word for “wronged”—εσυκοφαντησα—means, to injure by false information, under threat of which money was often extorted (see chap. 3:14). He reserves the second half of his goods, not for himself, but to discharge amply the obligation of restitution, which the Publicans were generally liable to, owing to unjust exactions. “If,” does not imply doubt; it signifies, whatsoever injury I have done fraudulently to any man.

“I restore him fourfold.” So as not only to give back the amount taken, but more than amply compensate for any loss that may accrue to him from loss of property, lucrum cessans et damnum emergens. From his giving one-half his property to the poor, which must have been justly acquired—this is contradistinguished from the substance acquired fraudulently—and his giving back, restoring four times more than he unjustly possessed, it is clear, the most part of Zaccheus’ goods were justly acquired. His disinterestedness in divesting himself of the most of his property, to which men of his class were so inordinately attached, shows the thorough sincerity of his conversion. The law of Moses commanded restitution to a fourfold amount, only in case of stealth of sheep, and fivefold in case of the stealth of oxen (Exodus 22:1). But this did not apply to Zaccheus, whose unjust acquisitions were in money. In cases of voluntary restitution in other matters, the law required restitution of one-fifth in addition to the value of the principal (Leviticus 6:5; Numbers 5:6, 7). But Zaccheus went far beyond the requirements of the law, and proved by his acts the sincerity of his conversion. His words have not reference to the past. They contain no boasting of his past merits, as in the case of the proud Pharisee. They merely express his present resolve, as the effect of God’s grace and our Saviour’s visit, in regard to the future; and they convey an atonement for the blasphemies of the proud Pharisees, and tend to justify our Lord’s act, in dwelling with him, who shows himself to be different from what they charged him to be. Hence, he speaks only of his future acts, inspired by God’s grace, and out of necessity, in reply to the taunts of the proud Pharisees.

9. “Jesus said to him.” The particle “to,” is interpreted by many to mean, of, or regarding him, to those present, as in Rom. 10, “ad Israel dicit,” that is, de Israel; “multi dicunt animæ meaæ,” that is, de anima mea; “non est salus ipsi in Deo ejus.”

“This day is salvation come to this house.” “This day,” shows that it was not of his past acts, but his present resolves, Zaccheus was speaking. “Salvation,” the fulness of faith, abundance of grace, thorough perfect conversion, not alone to Zaccheus himself, but to the entire family, in reward for the disinterested charity, and truly generous conduct of the head of the family, whose example they followed. Our Lord made his entire household, who, probably, may have been sharers in his sins of injustice, partakers of his abundant justification. They, too, received the grace of faith and justification, with the chief of the house.

“Because he also is a son of Abraham.” This may mean, that being one of Abraham’s carnal descendants, our Lord, who was sent first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, felt He was only exercising the duties of His office, in visiting him and converting him, the unjust murmurs of the crowd notwithstanding. According to this interpretation, the proximate reason of his conversion is not assigned. His conversion was not caused by his being one of the carnal descendants to Abraham, many of whom were left in their sins; in these words, a reason is assigned only for our Lord’s visiting and staying with him.

It may mean, that whether Jew or Gentile, he has proved himself to be a real spiritual son of Abraham, one of the sons of promise, for whom alone the inheritance of justification is reserved.

Some hold, that Zaccheus was a Gentile. But besides, that the word is of Jewish origin, signifying, pure, the crowd would have loudly reproached our Lord with having chosen the house of an unbelieving Gentile for His abode, if he were such, as was done in regard to Peter, even by the faithful, after having received the Holy Ghost. Nor are the words of this verse, “because he also, &c.,” opposed to this; “also,” although a Publican, and seeming out cast from religious society; or, “also,” as well as the others who believed in Me, and imitated the faith of Abraham. Moreover, if he were a Gentile, our Lord would hardly say in the presence of the multitude at this stage, when they were not prepared for it, that a Gentile was a son of Abraham, although he might be such, in a true spiritual sense (Gal. 3:9).

10. “For the Son of Man,” &c. In this, our Lord, redargues the murmuring crowd, by referring to His office, in coming into this world. He came to save the lost one especially, and in the first place, the lost ones of the house of Israel, such as Zaccheus was. This passage is read very appropriately in the Mass of the Dedication of Churches, to which it is very applicable. To churches dedicated and set apart for the oblation of the adorable sacrifice, the words will literally apply; “this day I must abide” (and abide permanently) “in thy house.” “This day, salvation is come to this house,” where the Lord of Glory deigns to dwell, in order to bestow on all who approach Him there, the abundance of all spiritual blessings.

11. “And as they were hearing these things,” viz., His disciples and the crowd, who were at the door awaiting our Lord’s exit from Zaccheus’ house, and had been attentively listening to the words spoken by our Redeemer and his host.

“He added and spoke a parable.” He proceeded to speak the following parable. The Evangelist assigns the reason, “because He was nigh to Jerusalem,” the capital city of Judea, only about eleven miles distant, or a few hours’ journey from Jericho. “And because they thought the kingdom of God should be immediately manifested.” Only one reason is assigned, though there are apparently two. The words mean, because being nigh Jerusalem, “they thought,” &c. The disciples of our Lord and others imagined that our Lord, who on former occasions went up comparatively alone, but, on this occasion, accompanied by vast crowds, increasing as He went along, was now on His way to inaugurate His long promised reign, so ardently expected by the Jewish nation. This reign, they imagined, would be a temporal kingdom, far exceeding, in point of splendour and magnificence, the temporal kingdom of Solomon, as is apparent, from several occurrences in the Gospel, and, especially from the request of the mother of the sons of Zebedee (Matthew 20:20). Hence, He is now saluted on entering Jerusalem, as the promised son of David, in whose regard the prophecies, both as to time and other circumstances, were literally fulfilled. Any thing uttered by our Lord, that clashed with their preconceived notions, was to them unintelligible and disheartening. It was to dissipate these notions, that our Lord spoke the following parable, in which He conveys, that until He returned again to earth, His glorious reign would not be manifested; that, in the interval, His servants should labour hard, by the good employment of the talents confided to them, to amass treasures of merits in expectation of it. Although this kingdom of His Church would be visibly established on earth—a light on a candlestick, a city on a hill, to which all nations would flock—still, the glorious ruler of that kingdom would be invisible, seen only through His visible Vicar, until, at the end of time, He would appear in glory, to reward His faithful servants, and trample on His enemies.

12–27. Some hold the following parable to be substantially the same as that referred to by Matthew (25:14–30), although there may be some immaterial points of difference, both as to the time and place at which both were uttered. Others hold, they are different parables, uttered on two different occasions: this, before our Lord’s final approach to Jerusalem; that in St. Matthew, after it. Doubtless, the scope and object of both parables are substantially the same (see Matthew 25:14, &c.), although some Expositors, even in this, note a difference; in St. Matthew, the apparent object being to indicate the proportion that should exist between the amount of goods confided to us, and the gains secured by us; in this, to show that the different degrees of glory and reward to be bestowed on us, will be in proportion to our labours and to the gains secured for our Master.

Calmet observes, that in the following parable, two parts are to be carefully distinguished. The first, contained in vv. 12, 14, 15, 27, regards the rebellious subjects of a prince, who went abroad to secure a kingdom. The example was fresh in the memory of the Jews. Archelaus, about thirty-three years before this time, had gone to Rome to obtain the kingdom from Augustus, as was then required in the case of the rulers of Judea, who were at this time, the creatures of the Romans, and, therefore, independently of personal demerits and cruelty, hated by the Jews (v. 14). The Jews held Archelaus in special hatred and petitioned Augustus against him on account of his cruelties (Josephus, Antiq. Lib. 14, c. 11). Augustus paid no heed to their remonstrance, and he returned to inflict punishment on those who would not have him reign over them. Whether our Lord had Archelaus in view, or only spoke generally, the circumstances admirably suit his case. And so far as his going to receive a kingdom was concerned, it was a type of our Lord’s departure for heaven, to receive a kingdom and glory from His Father, as was his rejection a type of the rejection of our Lord by His people, and their dreadful punishment, shortly afterwards, at the hands of the Romans. This latter was a figure of the punishment to be inflicted at the last day, when our Lord shall come in majesty to judge the world. The second part of the parable has reference to the depositing of a certain amount of money by the prince in the hands of his servants, for the purposes of gain (vv. 13, 15 … 26).

“A certain nobleman went into a far country.” This chiefly refers to our Lord’s Ascension, to receive the kingdom and glory from His Father, whence He is to return in majesty at the last day. (See Matthew 25:14, &c.)

13. “Calling his ten servants, gave them ten pounds,” denotes the gifts, both natural and supernatural, bestowed on us by God, in order that we should employ them usefully, for His glory, as a means of receiving a reward at His coming. “Trade till I come.” There is a difference clearly perceptible here between this and the parable in St. Matthew, in which latter parable the sums given are unequal. The “pound,” in Greek—μνα—is supposed, by some, to equal in value the sixtieth part of a talent, which, in weight equals 3000 sicles. According to others, it was equal to 25 sicles, or 100 drachmæ, or denaria (£4, 1s. 3d.) The Hebrew mina was equal to 60 sicles, or 240 drachmæ. Whatever may have been its precise value, the “pound,” or mna, denoted the gifts for the use and proper employment of which, we are to render an account to God hereafter.

17. “Over ten cities.” A mode of remunerating faithful governors, common at this time (Matthew 25:20–23). It is meant to represent the glory bestowed in judgment, on God’s faithful servants.

19. “Five cities,” shows the different degrees of glory in store for the elect, proportioned to the different degrees of merit; one having gained ten; another, five; each being representative of different classes among the elect.

21. “Austere.” The Greek is αυστηρος—griping, grinding, heartless. The word in Matthew 25:24, is σκληρος—signifying the same.

27. This denotes the slaughter and utter ruin of the Jews at the taking of Jerusalem, and the dreadful punishment of the reprobate at the last day, when our Lord will trample on His wicked enemies.

28. “Having said these things, He went before,” &c. After having spoken the foregoing parable, which derived special significance from His being on His last journey to Jerusalem, where, by His death and sufferings, He was to earn for Himself, the kingdom of glory, in search of which He was afterwards to ascend. “He went before,” to show His alacrity in going quickly to the scene of His Passion.

Ascending up to Jerusalem.” The entire journey from Jericho to Jerusalem was an ascent.

29–37. (See Matthew 21:1–10.)

37. The multitude of His followers began to praise God with a loud voice, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David” (Matthew 21:9). “For all the mighty works they had seen,” the miracles, evidences of mighty power they saw performed by our Lord, such as that at Jericho (18:35, &c.; Matthew 20:29, &c.), but especially the resuscitation of Lazarus, on which account the crowd came to meet Him (John 12:18.)

38. “Peace in heaven.” May Heaven offended by sin be reconciled to men on earth, through the redemption and satisfaction to be made by this Son of David, who is destined to take away the enmity that existed between them owing to sin; whose sacred destined office it is to “make peace though the blood of His cross, both as to the things on earth and the things that are in heaven” (Coloss. 1:20; 2:14, 15). Thus appearing in heaven and presenting his wounds, He intercedes with His Father for us (Hebrews 9:24). Hence, the words will not differ much from those uttered by the Angels at His nativity, “Peace on earth to men;” because, Earth is one of the terms of reconciliation—Heaven the other, between which peace is to be established.

“And glory on high.” The consequence of this peace and reconciliation of man with God is, that the angels and saints shall, for ever, render thanks to God, and proclaim His boundless attributes of justice, mercy, goodness, &c., thus rendering Him glory.

39, 40. “The stones will cry out”—an hyperbolical form of expression, denoting it to be imposible, that His praises would not be proclaimed, since, if these were rebuked, God would miraculously animate the very stones to celebrate His triumph (see Matthew 21:11). Similar is the language (Habacuc 2:11), “For the stone shall cry out of the wall; and the timber that is between the joints of the building, shall answer,” addressed by the prophet to Joakim, King of Judea, who built great palaces from the unjust exactions wrung from his people; thus menacing him, that the buildings and their component parts shall proclaim his injustice and heartless exactions practised on his people. The stones did, in point of fact, bear witness to our Lord’s Divinity at His crucifixion, “vere filius Dei erat iste” (Matthew 26), and also when, in accordance with His prophecy (verse 44), a stone was not left upon another, the whole city being razed to the ground by Titus (see Matthew 24:2).

41. The only instances in which it is mentioned in the Gospel, that our Lord wept, are here, and at the resuscitation of Lazarus. No doubt, in both instances, He had mystical reasons in view. The impenitent Jerusalem and the dead Lazarus were both expressive figures of souls obstinately bent on their eternal ruin, being dead in sin.

We can here see how indifferent our Lord was to the acclamations He received; and how little He valued them, when He burst into tears while receiving them. We can also see His great charity for this wretched city, when seeing its obstinacy and unbelief, regardless of His own sufferings soon at hand, He wept, not over Himself; but “over it,” in view of the terrible destruction that was soon to overtake it, “si oblitus fui tui Jerusalem, oblivioni detur dextera mea,” &c. (Psalm 136:5.)

42. “If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace,” &c. Should “if,” be taken in its strict meaning, then the sentence would be suspensive, and no corresponding part expressed to finish it. Hence, some add, “if, &c.,” “thou would be careful to embrace this favourable opportunity of securing peace,” or, “thou wouldst, by no means, perish.” These authors say the sentence is suspensive, and broken by an aposiopesis, by no means uncommon in the language of grief, expressive of the sorrowful feelings and deep emotion of our Lord, who burst into loud sobs and cries before completing it, as is usual with men who begin to speak, while overwhelmed with grief, which chokes their utterance. Others give the Greek, ει (if) the meaning of ειθε, utinam, would! or, O! in which case, the sentence is complete, thus; O! or would! that thou hadst known, “thou also,” as well as I, or, rather, as well as this crowd, that now follow Me, singing joyous “Hosannas,” and attending to My teachings and doctrines.

“And that in this thy day.” “Thy day”—on which is verified, in thy presence, the prophecy of Zachary, regarding the advent of thy long expected Messiah, and deliverer—or, “thy day”—the entire term of My preaching in thy midst, given to thee as a special favour, crowning all the other special favours and privileges bestowed on thee from Heaven, preferably to all the other nations of the earth. “Thy day,” of My gracious visitation (v. 44).

“The things that are to thy peace.” That would establish and consolidate thy temporal prosperity, thy lasting, abiding spiritual felicity, instead of the terrible destruction which is speedily on its way to overwhelm thee. The things that would establish peace for thee, are faith in Me, as thy long expected Messiah, obedience to My teachings, repentance, conversion from thy sinful ways. These would be the means of securing peace with God, of warding off the fury of the Romans, when they would find that My kingdom, all spiritual, would not clash with their legitimate rights or pretensions.

“But now,” or in reality, “they are hidden,” or were hidden “from thy eyes.” Wilfully blind, obstinate, and impenitent, you cannot open your eyes to the light, which from heaven has beamed upon you.

Maldonatus says, the objective case, governed by “if thou hadst known,” is not, “the things that are to thy peace;” but, the words, “For, the days shall come upon thee,” &c. If thou hadst known the misfortunes that are in store for thee, but which are now hidden from thy eyes, even “in this thy day, which is for thy peace,” that is, in which thou enjoyest such peace and security, thou wouldst not rejoice, but wouldst rather weep, even as I now weep on thy account. This would be a very smooth interpretation; but the Greek, τα προς ειρηνην σου, “the things that are for thy peace,” is opposed to it. And Maldonatus, without any authority, changes τα into τῆ, as if to agree with ημερα σου. No doubt, his interpretation would be very smooth, if there were any grounds for the change he makes in the original text, to suit it to his own notions of the meaning of the passage. Against his views, it might be said, that while weeping over Jerusalem, our Lord reproaches it with its blindness in not seeing what was placed before it; obstinately closing its eyes against the divine light; whereas, it could hardly be expected to see or know the evils that were hidden in the dark womb of futurity. And our Lord assigns, as the cause of this visitation, that they did not, as doubtless they should, know the day of His gracious visitation (v. 44), which seems to be the same as the words of this verse. In truth, all Maldonatus’ reasoning is founded on a groundless supposition, that the words should be changed, and on a dangerous tampering with the sacred text, to suit his own preconceived notions.

43. “For, the days shall come upon thee and thy enemies,” &c. A Hebrew form for saying, the days shall come upon thee, in which thy enemies shall, &c.—just as, “Ecce dies veniunt et suscitabo David,” &c., that is “dies, in quibus, suscitabo.” (Jerem. 33)

“Shall cast a trench,” that is, as the original Greek means, a rampart, or stockade, such as Titus afterwards raised.

“And compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side.” This was actually done by Titus, when he blockaded Jerusalem, by finally building round it—after the stockade had failed—a wall that could not be burnt, unlike the rampart or stockade.

44. “And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children.” Shall level the city with the dust, demolish the buildings, and destroy her inhabitants, by putting them to the sword, as applied to “children,” and dashing them against the very stones.

“And they shall not leave in thee a stone,” &c. (See Matthew 24:2.)

“Because thou hast not known the time,” &c. All these evils will come upon thee, because thou hast not attended to My gracious visitation—the offers of reconciliation and pardon I have made thee. Therefore, shall God justly punish thee. The word, “visitation,” though sometimes used to denote the exercise of justice, and due chastisement (Exod. 20:5; 32:34; Isaias 32:17), is here taken to denote a merciful “visitation,” such as our Lord’s, on His entrance, this day, into Jerusalem, and His entire life among men, “visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebis suæ; visitavit nos oriens ex alto.”

45. (See Matthew 21:12, &c.) This was the second time our Lord vindicated the sanctity of His Temple. The first occasion is recorded by St. John (2:14), as having occurred at the commencement of His sacred mission. The second, as recorded here, occurred at its close. Almost His first and last public acts were the driving out ignominiously of the profane traffickers from the Temple. St. Luke here omits our Lord’s retirement into Bethania, and the cursing of the barren fig-tree (Matthew 21:18–22; Mark 11:12–14), as these occurrences were already mentioned by Matthew and Mark.

47. In this we have a brief account, left us by St. Luke only, of the manner in which our Lord passed the few days between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. By night, He retired from the city to Mount Olivet, where He spent the whole night in prayer (21:37). He retired the first night to Bethania (Mark 11:11).

The Pharisees, &c., sought every opportunity of making away with Him.

48. “They found not,” &c. They could devise no effectual means for destroying Him, as the people hung upon His words.

“Very attentive.” The Greek means, “hung upon Him,” being charmed and captivated with His divine eloquence, the wisdom of His answers, and the commanding excellence of His teaching, on which account, the chief men, Scribes and Pharisees, dreaded His boundless influence (St. Mark 11:18).

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