World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
Luke 10:16. He that heareth you heareth me. It is a mistake to suppose that this passage is a repetition of what we formerly met with in the Gospel of Matthew 10:40 he that receiveth you receiveth me 4747 Harmony, volume 1 p. 475. Then, Christ was speaking of persons, but now, of doctrine. The former receiving had a reference to offices of kindness; but now he recommends faith, which receives God in his Word. The general meaning is, that the godliness of men is ascertained by the obedience of faith; 4848 “Que la crainte de Dieu qui est es hommes, se monstre par l’obeissance de la foy;” — “that the fear of God which is in men is manifested by the obedience of faith.” and that those who reject the Gospel, though they may boast of being the most eminent of the worshippers of God, give evidence that they wickedly despise him.
We must now attend to the design of Christ. As a considerable portion of the world foolishly estimates the Gospel according to the rank of men, and despises it because it is professed by persons of mean and despicable condition, our Lord here contradicts so perverse a judgment. Again, almost all are so proud, that they do not willingly submit to their equals, or to those whom they look down upon as inferior to them. God has determined, on the other hand, to govern his Church by the ministry of men, and indeed frequently selects the ministers of the Word from among the lowest dregs of the people. It was, therefore, necessary to support the majesty of the Gospel, that it might not appear to be degraded by proceeding from the lips of men.
This is a remarkable commendation 4949 “C’est donc une louange et recommendation singuliere;” — “it is then a singular praise and recommendation.” of the outward ministry, when Christ declares, that whatever honor and respect is rendered to the preaching of men, provided that the preaching be faithful, God acknowledges as done to Himself. In two points of view, this recommendation is useful. Nothing ought to be a stronger encouragement to us to embrace the doctrine of the Gospel, than to learn that this is the highest worship of God, and a sacrifice of the sweetest odor, to hear him speaking by human lips, and to yield subjection to his word, which is brought to us by men, in the same manner as if he were descending from heaven or making known his will to us by angels. Again, our confidence is established, and all doubt is removed, when we learn, that the testimony of our salvation, when delivered to us by men whom God has sent, is not less worthy of credit, than if His voice resounded from heaven. To deter us, on the other hand, from despising the Gospel, he adds a severe threatening:
He that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. Those who disdain to listen to ministers, however mean and contemptible they may be, offer an insult, not to men only, but to Christ himself, and to God the Father. While a magnificent eulogium is here pronounced on the rank of pastors, who honestly and faithfully discharge their office, it is absurd in the Pope and his clergy to take this as a pretense for cloaking their tyranny. Assuredly, Christ does not speak in such a manner, as to surrender into the hands of men the power which the Father has given him, but only to protect his Gospel against contempt. Hence it follows, that he does not transfer to the persons of men the honor which is due to himself, but only maintains that it cannot be separated from his Word. If the Pope wishes to be received, let him bring forward the doctrine by which he may be recognized as a minister of Christ; but so long as he continues to be what he now is, a mortal enemy of Christ, and destitute of all resemblance to the Apostles, let him cease to deck himself with borrowed feathers.