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the designs of God prove contrary to our wishes, what are we tempted to conclude? We are tempted to say, as Jacob did, All these things are against me.* Are those things against us which appear to be so? Not if we are the heirs of promise. Who are the heirs of promise? Those who, by faith in Jesus Christ, have a title to the promises. Are the promises so large as to comprehend all things that concern us, whether joyous or grievous? Yes; it is written, All things are yours.† Can it be said to unconverted characters, All things are yours? No; all things are against them, as long as they are against God. In what sense are all things ours, if we are believers? By working together to promote our true happiness. Did our Lord always conclude the prediction of his sufferings by the mention of his resurrection? Yes. For what reason? See xvi. 21. Did the disciples take the rich comfort thus designed for them? No; for they understood not that saying. What saying did they not understand? That the third day he should be raised again. Why did they not ask the meaning? They were afraid to ask him.‡ Was not our Lord always very accessible and kind, and willing to teach his disciples? Yes. Why then were they afraid to ask him? Because they were ashamed of their own ignorance and stupidity. When does a feeling of shame prompt us to conceal our ignorance? When it is mixed with pride. Is it not desirable

* Gen, xlii. 36.

+1 Cor. iii. 21.

Mark ix. 32.

to have our ignorance removed? Yes.

If so,

what is the best means to that end? To seek know. ledge and wisdom out of the mouth of the Lord.* 24. What is the next place at which our Lord and his disciples stopped, on their journey through Galilee? Capernaum. Where did Jesus lodge when he was

at Capernaum? At Peter's house.

arrival this time, who came to the house?

Upon his "They

Were

that received tribute-money came to Peter." these men publicans, come to levy government taxes? No; they were collectors of money for the service of the temple. What temple? The temple of the How often was this tribute

Lord at Jerusalem.

paid? Yearly. Who paid it? Every Jew above

age. What sum was paid?

What was the value of a shekel

twenty years of

Half a shekel.t

in English money?

About half-a-crown.

How

much then, in our money, did each individual pay?

Fifteen pence. less in Nehemiah's time? Yes.‡ Why was it so? Because the Jews were in a very low state at that time.|| When this money was collected, where was it deposited? In a part of the temple called the treasury.§ Was this small sum, per head, all that it cost the Jews to support the worship of the temple? No; their sacrifices and offerings were very expensive. Does it cost us as much to support

Was not the sum required rather

our worship? No; not nearly so much.

Prov. ii. 6. + Exod. xxx. 15.

Nehem. ii. 17.

When

Nehem. x. 32.

Mark xii 41.

was.

Did

the collectors of this tribute-money came to Peter, what did they say? "Doth not your Master pay tribute?" Was it expected that every Jew would pay this contribution toward the service of the temple? Yes. Why then did these collectors ask, "Doth your Master pay tribute?" It was a civil way of asking whether he would pay it to them at Capernaum, or put it into the treasury at Jerusalem. 25. What did Peter answer? "He saith, Yes." Peter immediately apply to Christ on this subject? No; not until he went into the house where Jesus Was not Peter in the house when the collectors came to him? No; he was probably in the porch, or gateway, where the master of the house received visits and transacted business. Was the porch, or gateway of an Eastern house a suitable place for receiving visitors and transacting business? Yes; it was fitted up for the purpose, with benches on each side. Did the collectors wait for the money? No; there was an collectors sat to receive it. to speak to his Master about "Jesus prevented him.” him? By mentioning the subject himself. did our Lord say to Peter? "What thinkest thou Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers ?" Who are meant by strangers? Those who are not members of their families.

appointed day when the When Peter was going it, what did Jesus do? How did Jesus prevent

26. What was Peter's opinion on this point?

What

"Peter

saith unto him, of strangers." What inference

did our Lord draw from the taxation of strangers? "Then are the children free." Whose children?

Free from what?

From

When our Lord

The children of a king.
the obligation of paying tribute.

spoke of the children of a king, to whom did he refer? To himself, as the Son of the great King. What lesson did our Lord design, in these words, to teach Peter? That He, who was the Son of God and Lord of the temple, could not be under any obligation to contribute to the service of the temple.* 27. Did our Lord insist upon his right, as the Son of God, to be excused from paying tribute to the temple-service? No; he immediately provided for the payment of it. What motive did he assign for

paying that, which could not strictly be required of him? "Notwithstanding, lest we offend them." Lest they should offend whom? The Jewish priests. How would the priests have been offended by our Lord's refusing to pay tribute? Because it would have seemed like putting a slight on the templeservice. Are appearances of any importance, so long as we avoid what is positively wrong? Yes; we are commanded to abstain from all appearance of evil.† What did our Lord do on this occasion, rather than have the appearance of despising the temple-service? He wrought a miracle. What is a miracle? See iv. 2. Was it necessary for our Lord to work a miracle? Yes. Why so? To supply the necessary sum of money for paying

*Matt. xii. 6.

t1 Thes. v. 22.

the tribute.

What directions did he give to Peter on the subject? "Go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up." What was he then to do? "And when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money; that take, and give unto them for me and thee." Who brought the money into the fish's mouth at that very time? Christ. Who knew that it was there? Christ. Who made that same fish to come up and seize Peter's hook? Christ. all this done by his own power and knowledge? Yes. What should we particularly notice in this part of our Lord's history? The proof it affords of our Saviour's omniscience. What is omniscience?

Perfect knowledge of all things.

Was

Can omniscience

be the attribute of any mere creature? No; it belongs to God alone. What, then, does the foregoing miracle prove? The divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

CHAPTER XVIII.

What does the eighteenth Chapter of this Gospel

contain?

1. SUNDRY INSTRUCTIONS OF OUR LORD TO HIS DISCIPLES; and,

2. THE PARABLE OF THE KING WHO TOOK ACCOUNT OF HIS SERVANTS.

1. What time is here mentioned? "At the same time." What is meant by the same time? The

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