SUMMARY.--The Coming of the Kingdom. The Transfiguration. Moses and Elias. The Elias That Must Come. The Boy with the Dumb Spirit. The Condition of Receiving Christ's Help. The Disciples Taught of Christ's Sufferings. Who Shall Be Greatest? The Narrowness of the Disciples Rebuked. A Cup of Cold Water in the Name of Christ. The Offending Hand or Eye.
35. Servant of all. The two conditions of true greatness are humility and service; not to be the servant of friends, or kindred, or of a class, or even of church members, but of all, like Christ.
38. John answered him, we saw one. The disciples had shortly before returned to Christ from their first missionary tour, in which they were empowered to cast out devils ( Matt. 10:8 ). The man here referred to they probably met during this tour. He must have been a disciple of Christ, who was enabled by his faith, yet without a commission, to cure the possessed--Abbott. Casting out devils in thy name. Really, and not in a wrong spirit, as did the Jewish exorcists ( Acts 19:13 Acts 19:14 ); for it was done in thy name. Such workers as this man believed in him, or they would not have used his name. He followeth not us. Did not join himself to the apostles as one of their followers.
39. Forbid him not. He neither praises nor blames him for following an independent course, and not working with his disciples. He simply declares that he must not be forbidden, and that those who work the same kind of work that we do should be regarded, not as enemies, but allies. Thousands, in every period of church history, have spent their lives in copying John's mistake. They have labored to stop every man who will not work for Christ in their way from working for Christ at all.--Ryle.
42. Cause one of these little ones . . . to stumble.. See notes on Matt. 18:6-10.
43. The fire that never shall be quenched. See note on Matt. 5:29. The fires that were occasionally lit in the literal Gehenna, or Tophet, were necessarily only temporary. They died out for want of fuel. It was to be otherwise with the "fire" of the other and ulterior Tophet. The "fire" referred to is, of course, a mere symbol of the sum total of certain dreadful realities, for which there are no adequate representations in human language.
48. Worm dieth not, . . . fire is not quenched. An expression borrowed from the last verse of Isaiah , and probably in current use among the Jews of our Savior's time, as applied to the state of future retribution.
49. For. Our Lord is alluding to the pervading idea of verses 45-48 . These sacrifices of hand, foot, eye, must be made; for--every one shall be salted with fire. Fire is used in the Scripture to denote suffering, persecution, trial, distress of any kind. Salt is used to denote permanence, preservation from corruption. Every one, good and bad, must suffer.
50. Have salt in yourselves. The spirit of self-sacrifice, and thus you will "have peace with one another."