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Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead and the prophets ; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead ? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me, of whom ye say, that he is your Gop: Yet ye
have not known him, but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see iny day : and he saw it, and was glad.
Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
Then took they up stones to cast at him : but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
Although the Scribes and Pharisees refused to hear our Lorn, his divine eloquence converted many; for there were still amongst the Jews numbers who were sensible of their deficiences, and wished for salvation : to these God vouchsafed his grace, and they discerned and were ready to own the MESSIAH ; who, even before their lips could profess their faith in him, acknowledged them as disciples, and carefully cherished the good disu position he perceived in their minds, by promising them, that they should have proofs of the truth of the
Gospel, and ability to understand them, and that the truth should make them free. Which implied, that Christianity would clear their minds from those false prejudices to which they had hitherto been enslaved, and deliver them from the bondage of sin and the yoke of the ceremonial law. This expression gave great offence to some, who, forgetful of the Egyptian bondage, the Babylonian captivity, and their present subjection to the Romans, asserted, that the Jews had never been in bondage to any people. Instead of confuting this false assertion, our Lord, for the benefit of his true disciples, proceeded to explain his meaning; and solemnly declared, that all who committed sin were in a state of slavery; and far from having a right to be considered as the children of God, were at best but servants, and liable to be cast off; whereas the MESSIAH, being heir of God's family, had not only a perpetual establishment in it, but great power and authority: he, therefore, could deliver whom he pleased from the spiritual bondage of sin. Our LORD's words, Abraham rejoiced to see mby day, and he saw it and was glad, intimated that Abraham had been favoured with a particular revelation concerning the Messiah, and greatly rejoiced at the prospect of God's mercy to mankind. Our LORD's declaration that he had existence before Abraham was Keceived as downright blasphemy, and the Jews would have put him to death if he had not made use of his. miraculons power for the preservation of his life.
It has been repeatedly observed, that the WORD, which was unired to human nature in the person Saviour, was the same Divine Being who appeared to the Patriarchs as THE LORD, and to Moses under the name of I AM*, There is no other, being in the
* Exod. iii. 14.
universe besides God, to whom this title belongs ; which implies eternal existence, not measured by time, but the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Jésus, therefore, by appropriating to himself this appellation, proved that he was actually taken into union with God, who spake by him. Here, then, we plainly discover the great I AM, who delivered Israel from Egyptian bond. age, coming in the Messiah to bring eternal salvation to all who would accept his gracious offer.
As we learn from this discourse of our blessed SAVI. our, that continuing in the belief and practice of his divine doctrine will entitle us to that glorious liberty which belongs to none but the children of God, Tetus strive to be his disciples indeed; and not content our selves with the outward profession of Christianity, nor submit to be slaves to sin and Satan, but yield minds to the Son of God, rejoicing that we have found the great I AM, before whom none was, and after whom none will exist, even JEHOVAH; besides whom there is no SAVIOUR, who declared his parpose, and made it known, who hath done, and who shall undo: and let us remember that the doctrine of Christ is not of human invention, but proceeded immediately from God; it therefore must be our indispensable duty to receive it, and if it does not bring forth good fruits in us, it must be our own fault: for our blessed LORD has fully instructed us both in relation to faith and practice, and in his own incomparable life has set us a perfect pattern of every virtue.
THE SEVENTY DISCIPLES RETURN.-JESUS FORETELS
THE GREAT SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL, AND PRAISES HIS HEAVENLY FATHER. JESUS ANSWERS THE SCRIBE, THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN.
From Luke, Chap. x. And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, LORD, even the devils are subject unto us through
name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan, as lightning, fall from heaven,
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you: but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.
All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said pri. vately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that
For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them,
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
He said unto him, What is written in the law ? how readest thou ?
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.
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
But he, willing to justify himself, said unto JESUS, And who is my neighbour ?
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 de. parted, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was : and when he saw him, he had compas. sion on him,
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.
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.
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neigh. bour unto him that fell among the thieves ?