Commentary

2 Corinthians 3

Paul had just spoken of the way in which he preached the Word, but this did not mean that he wished to commend himself to the Corinthians, or that he needed others to commend him. The fact was that they themselves were his "letter of commendation," being so evidently, in spite of their sad faults, the fruit of a genuine work of God through him. He speaks of them as an epistle in two ways. First as written in his own heart. In so saying, we believe he wished them to realize how deeply th...

2 Corinthians 2

The apostle had made up his mind that he would postpone his visit until it could be made under happier circumstances: and now, as he wrote this second letter, the heaviness was passing and brighter things coming into view. His first letter had made them sorry, as he intended it should, and their sorrow now made him glad, as verse 2 of chapter 2 shows. It had been sent ahead on its mission so that when he did come amongst them it might be with confidence established, and with joy. I...

2 Corinthians 1

During the stay at Ephesus, Timothy had been sent in advance into Macedonia (Acts 19: 22), which accounts probably for the omission of his name at the beginning of the first epistle. By the time the second was written both Paul and Timothy were in Macedonia, and hence his name appears. The opening salutation given, the Apostle at once gives expression to the thankfulness and comfort and encouragement that filled his heart. He traces it all back to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus ...

Luke 11

Once again we find the Lord in prayer, and this awakened in His disciples a desire to be taught to pray. As yet they did not possess the Spirit as we do today, and hence "praying in the Holy Ghost" (Jude 20), and the help and intercession of the Spirit, of which Romans 8: 26, 27, speaks, could not be known by them as we may know it. At this period the Lord was their "Comforter" and Guide from without: we have "another Comforter," who is within. In response, the Lord gave them the patter...

Luke 10

The disciples having been instructed in this way, the Lord still further extended the scope of the witness that had to be rendered in connection with His presence on earth, by appointing and sending forth seventy other disciples, two and two before His face. This saying as to the greatness of the harvest and the fewness of the labourers, seems, according to Matthew 9: 37, 38, to have been uttered on another occasion. There, the prayer is answered by the sending forth of the twelve: here...

Luke 9

The disciples had now had full opportunity of learning their Master's spirit and methods and power; so they were sent forth, and verses 1-6 tell us how they were commissioned. "Then He called . . . and gave . . . He sent . . . He said . . ." The order of the four verbs is very instructive. His is the choice and not ours. But then He not only calls but also gives the authority and power adequate for the service to which He calls. Not until that power is given does He send. And then in se...

Mark 10

The opening of this chapter brings us near to the closing scenes of the Lord's life. He was on the farther side of Jordan but near the borders of Judaea, and the Pharisees appeared, opposing Him by tempting Him. By raising questions as to marriage and divorce, they expected to entangle Him in some contradiction of the things that Moses had commanded, and so find a point of attack. The Lord did not contradict Moses, but He went behind him to God's original thought in the creation of...

Mark 9

These words, if they at all realized their import, must have come to the disciples as a great blow. Hence the Lord, in His tender consideration for them, proceeded to give them very ample assurance as to the reality of the glory that is to come. They had expected God's kingdom to come with power and glory in their lifetime, and that illusion being dispelled, they might easily jump to the conclusion that it was not coming at all. Hence the three disciples, who seemed to be leaders among ...

Mark 8

When the five thousand were fed, as recorded in Mark 6, the disciples took the initiative by calling their Master's attention to the needy condition of the crowd. On this second occasion the Lord took the initiative, and drew His disciples' attention to their need, expressing His compassion and concern on their behalf. As on the first occasion so again now the disciples have simply man before them, and think only of his powers which are wholly unequal to the situation. They had not yet ...

Mark 7

As we commence this chapter the opposition of the religious leaders again comes to light. The disciples, filled with labour-as verse 31 of the previous chapter has told us-were not observing certain traditional washings, and this roused the Pharisees, who were the great sticklers for the tradition of the elders. The Lord accepted the challenge on behalf of the disciples, and answered by a searching exposure of the whole Pharisaic position. They were hypocrites, and He told them so. ...
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