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The Great Commentary Of Cornelius À Lapide Volumes 1 To 8

2 Christ disputeth with the Pharisees touching divorcement: 13 blesseth the children that are brought unto him: 17 resolveth a rich man how he may inherit life everlasting: 23 telleth his disciples of the danger of riches: 28 promiseth rewards to them that forsake anything for the gospel: 32 foretelleth his death and resurrection: 35 biddeth the two ambitious suitors to think rather of suffering with him: 46 and restoreth to Bartimæus his sight.

Ver. 21. And Jesus regarding him, with a benignant and pleasant countenance, loved him, showed him marks of His love, taking his hand and smiling upon him, embracing and kissing him.

One thing is wanting unto thee, namely, for the perfection of a holy and evangelical life.

Follow Me. The Greek adds, Taking up thy cross. The Syriac has, Take thy cross, and come after Me.

Ver. 24. Little children (Vulg.); the Syriac, My sons. By His bland address He softens the hardness of the matter. He is like one who loves his children most dearly; and as such He would tell them the truth in sincerity, and persuade them to renounce riches as a bar to salvation.

That trust in riches. For rich men trust in their riches rather than in God, according to the saying in Proverbs (10:15), “The substance of a rich man is the city of his strength” (Vulg.). With difficulty, therefore, are they saved, because salvation cometh only from God. Wherefore those who wish to be saved must put their trust in God, and must ask and wait for salvation from Him, as the poor do. For inasmuch as they have no riches in which to trust, they are obliged to place all their hopes in God, according to the words (Ps. 14:6), “Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the Lord is his hope.” Therefore if rich men wish to be saved, let them turn their hope, their heart, their love from riches, and fix them upon God.

Ver. 30. Who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions: and in the world to come life everlasting. I have explained this hundredfold in S. Matt. 19:29. Mark here adds, with persecutions. The Arabic has, in tribulations. “Let him who has relinquished his possessions and friends for the love of Christ, and is set in the midst of persecutions, and is encompassed by them on every side, be faithful. For there will not be wanting a hundred, that is, very many, who will succour and cherish him, as brothers, fathers, and mothers.” So Jerome, Bede, &c.

This is added because in persecutions the believer especially needs the help and assistance of others., Also, because this is a rare and marvellous thing, that in persecution, when a man is wont to be left destitute of help and friends, and when all, through fear of danger, withdraw themselves from him, those who follow Christ experience the exact contrary, and find a hundred, i.e., very many to succour them.

Again, with persecutions may be taken thus—that persecutions and tribulations undergone for Christ’s sake are part of the reward which shall be given, together with the hundredfold, to those who follow Christ. For to suffer for Christ is a great gift of God, as the Apostle teaches (Phil. 2:19).

Ver. 32. They were in the way, from Jericho, … and Jesus went before them, as with alacrity, affording Himself as a guide in the way to the frightened Apostles, who shrank from Jerusalem, because they knew that Jesus was there sought for by the princes to be put to death. Yea, a decree had been made to that effect by their great council, the Sanhedrim (John 11:52). Whence it follows—

They were astonished, and following, were afraid. Gr. ἐθαμβοῦντο, i.e., they were astonished with great fear and dread. The imminent peril of death, says Bede, was the cause of their fear. They were amazed that Christ with so prompt and resolute a mind should bring Himself and His disciples into such open peril of death. They were afraid lest they might suffer and be put to death with Christ.

Ver. 38. Or be baptized with the baptism wherewith I am baptized. Christ calls His Passion a baptism, because He was to be evidently immersed and drowned in it, according to what David says of himself, but much more of Christ (Ps. 69:12), “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.”

Ver. 42. Ye know that they who seem to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them. Gr. κατακυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν, i.e., dominate over them, or against them. For who seem, the Gr. is οἱ δοκοῦντες, i.e., who please themselves, and rejoice in ruling. For none rule more imperiously and harshly than those who are delighted with ruling and commanding. Whence the Arabic translates, they who think themselves princes of the people are their lords, i.e., they exercise, as it were, a tyrannical domination over them.

Ver. 46. Bartimæus, the son of Timæus. This blind man, then, was called by a proper name, Bartimæus, i.e., the son of Timæus, as Bartholomew is the same as son of Ptolemy. The same was called also by the same name as his father Timæus. Timæus was the name of that Pythagorean philosopher who wrote the life of Pythagoras.

Moreover, Bartimæus is interpreted by Pagnini in three ways (in Nom. Hebraicis). The first is from S. Jerome, to the effect that Bartimæus means the blind son, or the son of blindness. He says that it is a Syriac name, but corrupted from Barsemia, or Barsamæus. Bar is son, semaia, blindness.

The second opinion is, that it means the son of honour; as if compounded of the Syriac bar, a son, and the Gr. τιμή, honour.

The third is, that it means the son of the admirer, or admirable corn, or admirable purity. For this was what the blind man received from Christ. For being illuminated in body, he was far more illuminated in his soul. For bar means meal, or wheat, or purity, as well as son. Tamah is to admire.

And followed Him in the way. Moraliter: Says the Gloss, Let us consider the way in which He goeth, and follow Him by humility and labours. The way is that of which He saith, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This is “the narrow way,” which leads to the heights of Jerusalem and Bethany, to the Mount of Olives, which is the mount of light and consolation; yea, which leads to Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem. The blind man therefore sees and follows, for he who rightly understands the life of Christ ought to follow and imitate it by his works.








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