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THE HISTORY OF OUR LORD,
QUESTION AND ANSWER.
DESIGNED FOR THE USE OF BIBLE CLASSES.
BY MRS. HENDERSON.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.
What does the sixteenth Chapter of this Gospel con
1. OUR LORD'S REPROOF OF THE PHARISEES FOR
2. HIS WARNING TO THE DISCIPLES AGAINST FALSE DOCTRINE.
3. PETER'S PROFESSION OF FAITH; AND THE HONOUR
PUT UPON HIM.
4. OUR LORD'S PREDICTION OF HIS APPROACHING SUFFERINGS.
5. THE GREAT QUESTION OF PROFIT AND Loss.
1. Where was our Saviour at this time? In the coasts of Magdala. Who came to him there? "The Pharisees also with the Sadducees." Who were the Pharisees? See iii. 7. Who were the Sadducees? See iii. 7. Did these Pharisees and Sadducees come to Jesus, with a desire to ascertain whether he really was the Messiah? No; they came "tempting" him. What does the word tempt here signify? To ensnare. Does the word tempt always signify to ensnare? No: it is generally used in the sense of trying a person's principles.* How did they tempt him? By desiring "that he would
* As Gen. xxii. 1.
show them a sign from heaven.” What did they mean by a sign from heaven? See xii. 38. Was this the second or the third time of their asking for a sign from heaven? The third time.* Why were they so importunate for a sign from heaven? To prevent the common people from acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah, on account of the signs they beheld on earth. What signs? His miracles; particularly his furnishing a table in the wilder ness.t Were not those miracles sufficient to have convinced the Pharisees and Sadducees? Yes; if they had been candid, and desirous of knowing the truth. Had there never been a sign from heaven attesting the truth of our Saviour's mission? Yes; there was a voice from heaven at his baptism.‡ Were any of the Pharisees and Sadducees present on that occasion? That is not certain; but they could not be ignorant of the testimony of John the Baptist concerning it.§ What useful lesson may we learn from the conduct of the Pharisees and Sadducees in asking a sign? That it is only deceiving ourselves, to lay so much stress on the means we have not, whilst we are despising those which we possess.
2. What answer did our Lord make to this request of the Pharisees and Sadducees? "He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will
* 1st time, John ii. 18.
Matt. xii. 38.
+ Ps. lxxviii. 19, in connexion with the miracle,Matt. xv. 32-38.
Matt. iii. 17.
§ John i. 32.
be fair weather, for the sky is red." Why did our Lord refer to their skill in judging of the weather? To show that they had much more discernment in the things of this life than in matters of religion. Is it ever the case with us, that we show more discernment about the things of this life than in matters of religion? It is too much the case, even with the friends of Jesus; and altogether so with his enemies. Which are of greater importance, the things of time, or those of eternity? Those of eternity. What is the cause, that we are so much more clever and discerning in the affairs of this world, than in those which relate to the salvation of our souls? Because we think more, and with deeper interest, about the present life, than about that which is to come. Is it wise so to do? No; it is folly and madness.
3. In the morning, how did the Jews judge of the weather? They said, "It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and lowring." Were the Jews very weather-wise? Yes; they published an annual almanack, on the rains of each coming year. And were their calculations generally correct? Yes; they valued themselves on the correctness of these calculations. Are we able thus to judge of the weather beforehand? Not so accurately; the seasons were much more steady, in Judea, than they are with us. In order to judge of the weather with precision, what must the Jews have done? They must have paid great attention to the signs and seasons. What signs? The signs