During the journey through Perea, the Lord is at- Matt. xix. 2. tended by great multitudes, whom He teaches and heals. Mark X. 1. Upon the way He is tempted by a lawyer, who asks Him Luke X. 25-37. how he shall inherit eternal life. In reply, He relates the parable of the good Samaritan. One of His disciples asks Luke xi. 1-13. for a form of prayer. He gives Him the form, and adds some remarks on the right method of prayer.
It is not improbable, as has been already observed, that the popularity of the Lord had somewhat diminished in Galilee before His final departure, in part through the open and active hostility of the Pharisees, in part that the novelty of His appearance had passed by, and in part through the increasingly repellent character of His teachings. But He was now entering upon a field of labor almost new, and yet prophetically foretold—7repav Tov lopWov, " beyond Jordan." Comparatively few in Perea, we may believe, had seen or heard Him; and the announcement of the Seventy that He was about to follow them, would naturally call general attention to His movements, and gather great crowds around Him. It is apparent, also, that the peculiar character of this journey gave new impulse to the prevalent Messianic expectations. It is mentioned by Matthew, (xix. 2,) in general terms, that He healed, but no specific cases are given. Mark speaks only of teaching.
We have no data to determine when the inquiry of the lawyer was made. It may have been early in the journey, whilst the Lord was yet on the border of Samaria •, and His reply derives a special significance from the fact that He Himself had just been rejected by the Samaritans. Still, the bitter hostility of the Jews to the Samaritans would have given point to the parable, wherever He may have been.
Luke (xi. 1) introduces the request for a form of prayer, with the remark, that " as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him,'5 &g. From this it has been inferred by some, as Oosterzee, that the incident stands here in its historical connection, and is inserted by Matthew out of its place in the Sermon on the Mount, (vi. 9-13.) It certainly appears more probable that it should be given in answer to a disciple than to the multitude ; and if it had been spoken on that occasion, it might have simply been referred to here. Still, many, as Meyer, make it to have been original in Matthew, and repeated here ; and others, as Alford, that it stands in close connection with what goes before in both Evangelists. Tholuck takes the distinction, that in the first instance it was generally given, but in the latter as a specific form. The difference of expression in the two cases is explained by the fact that Luke gives here, as often, a less complete report of Christ's words.