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The Twelve Apostles


Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness. 2These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed him.

The Mission of the Twelve

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Go nowhere among the Gentiles, and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7As you go, proclaim the good news, ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without payment; give without payment. 9Take no gold, or silver, or copper in your belts, 10no bag for your journey, or two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for laborers deserve their food. 11Whatever town or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy, and stay there until you leave. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town. 15Truly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.

Coming Persecutions

16 “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of them, for they will hand you over to councils and flog you in their synagogues; 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them and the Gentiles. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you at that time; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; 22and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

24 “A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; 25it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

Whom to Fear

26 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 27What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. 28Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30And even the hairs of your head are all counted. 31So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

32 “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; 33but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.

Not Peace, but a Sword

34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.


For I have come to set a man against his father,

and a daughter against her mother,

and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;


and one’s foes will be members of one’s own household.

37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.


40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”


17. But beware of men Erasmus has inserted the word these, (beware of these men,) supposing that the article has the force of a demonstrative pronoun.584584     “Erasme a traduit, De ces hornroes: pource qu'il luy a sembl, que l'article Grec qul est mis avec le nora denotoit quelques certains hommes.” — “Erasmus translated it, Of these men: because he thought that theGreek article, which is joined to the noun, denoted some particular men.” —Προσέχετε δὲ ἀπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων literally means but beware of THE men In Calvin's native tongue, les hommes denotes men in general, and in expressing the idea of the men, it became necessary to substitute ces for les, in order to avoid the circumlocution of les hommes, dont il s'agit But it would be proper to show cause why οἱ ἄνθρωποι should be here viewed as equivalent to πάντες ἄνθρωποι. Erasmus, writing in Latin, has supplied a defect of that language by almost the only means which he had in his power, the use of a demonstrative pronoun as a substitute for the definite article. “Cavete ab illis hominibus,” naturally interpreting τῶν ἀνθρώπων, as referring to the men who had just been described to the disciples as wolves, and in their intercourse with whom the utmost caution would be indispensable. — Ed. But in my opinion it is better to view it as indefinite, and as conveying a declaration of Christ, that caution ought to be exercised in dealing with men, among whom every thing is full of snares and injuries. But he appears to contradict himself: for the best way of exercising caution would have been to remain at home, and not to venture to appear in public. I reply, he points out here a different sort of caution, — not that terror and alarm which would keep them from discharging their duty, but a dread of being excessively annoyed by sudden calamities. We know that those who are surprised by unexpected afflictions are apt to fall down lifeless. Christ, therefore, desired that his disciples should foresee at a distance what would happen, that their minds might be early prepared for maintaining a conflict. In short, he sounds the trumpet to them, that they may quickly make ready for the battle: for as foresight, when it is excessive or attended by unnecessary anxiety, reduces many to a state of weakness, so many are intoxicated by an indolent security, and, rushing on heedlessly, give way at the critical moment.

For they will deliver you up to councils It may readily be inferred from these words, that the contests of which Christ forewarns the apostles must not be limited to the first journey, in which they met with nothing of this description. The object of this prediction is to prevent them from being ever cast down: for it was no ordinary attainment for poor and despised men, when they came into the presence of princes, to preserve composure, and to remain unmoved by any worldly splendor. He warns them, too, that not in Judea only, but in more distant places, they will be called to fight; and he does so, not merely for the purpose of preparing them by long meditation for that warfare, but that, as instructed and experienced masters, they might not scruple to yield themselves to heavenly guidance.

For a testimony to them and to the Gentiles This means that the will of God must be proclaimed even to foreign princes, and to distant nations, that they may be without excuse. Hence it follows, that the labor of the apostles will not be lost, for it will vindicate the judgment of God, when men shall be convicted of their obstinacy.

19. Be not anxious585585     “N'ayez point de souci;” — “have no anxiety.” A consolation is added: for in vain would Christ have given a hundred exhortations to the disciples, if he had not, at the same time, promised that God would be with them, and that through his power they would assuredly be victorious. Hence we infer, that Christ is very far from intending, by announcing those dangers, to abate the fervor of that zeal with which it would be necessary for the disciples to burn if they wished to discharge their duty in a proper manner. It is, no doubt, a great matter to endure the presence of princes; for not only fear, but even shame, sometimes overpowers well-regulated minds. What, then, may be expected, if princes break out into furious anger, and almost thunder?586586     “En sorte qu'il semblera quasi qu'ils foudroyent;” — “so that they will almost appear to thunder.” Yet Christ charges his disciples not to be anxious.

For in that hour shall be given to you what you shall speak The Spirit will suggest words to them. The more a man distrusts himself through consciousness of his own weakness, the more is he alarmed, unless he expect assistance from another quarter. Accordingly, we see that the reason why most men give way is, that they measure by their own strength, which is very small or almost nothing, the success of their undertakings. Christ forbids the disciples to look at their own strength, and enjoins them to rely, with undivided confidence, on heavenly grace. “It is not,” he says, “your ability that is in question, but the power of the Holy Spirit, who forms and guides the tongues of believers to a sincere confession of their faith.”

That they may not be alarmed by their present deficiency, he assures them that assistance will come at the very instant when it is needed. Frequently does it happen that the Lord leaves believers destitute of the gift of eloquence, so long as he does not require that they give him a testimony, but, when the necessity for it arrives, those who formerly appeared to be dumb are endued by him with more than ordinary eloquence. Thus, in our own time, we have seen some martyrs, who seemed to be almost devoid of talent, and yet were no sooner called to make a public profession of their faith, than they exhibited a command of appropriate and graceful language altogether miraculous.587587     “Et de faict, nous avons veu de nostre temps aucuns martyrs, lesquels ayans este le reste de leur vie quasi muets, et n'ayans point de grace a parler, toutesfois quand Dieu les a appelez a rendre confession de leur foy devant les ennenmis, c’a este un miracle du don excellent qu'ils out eu de parlet et respondre pertinemment et avec grace.” — “And, in fact, we have seen, in our own time, some martyrs who having been the rest of their life, as it were, dumb, and having no gracefulness of speech, yet when God called them to make confession of their faith before enemies, the excellent gift which they possessed, of speaking and replying appropriately and gracefully, was quite miraculous.”

Yet it was not the will of Christ that the apostles should be free from all care: for it was advantageous to them to have such a measure of anxiety, as to supplicate and entreat that the Spirit might be given to them; but he desired to remove that deep and uneasy thought which almost always tends to perplex and embarrass. So long as men indulge in conjecture what is to take place, or whether this or the other thing will happen, and do not rely on the providence of God, they are kept in a wretched state of trouble and uneasiness. And, indeed, those who do not render such honor to the providence of God, as to believe that it will seasonably relieve their wants, deserve to be tormented in this manner.

Matthew 10:21. And the brother will deliver up the brother to death. He first gives warning what heavy calamities await them, and then adds a remarkable consideration, which sweetens all their bitterness. First, he announces that those circumstances which other men find to be the means of protection, or from which they obtain some relief, will prove to the disciples a fresh addition to their misery. Brothers, who ought to assist them when oppressed, to stretch out their hand to them amidst their distresses, and to watch over their safety, will be their mortal enemies.

It is a mistake however, to suppose that it happens to none but believers to be delivered up to death by their brethren: for it is possible that a father may pursue his son with holy zeal,590590     “Par un zele sainct et plaisant a Dieu;” — “by a zeal that is holy and pleasing to God.” if he perceives him to have apostatized from the true worship of God; nay, the Lord enjoins us in such a case (Deuteronomy 13:9) to forget flesh and blood, and to bestow all our care on vindicating the glory of his name.591591     “De maintenir la gloire de son nom, a fin que punition soit faite de l'outrage commis contre sa majeste;” — “to maintam the glory of his name, that punishment may be inflicted on the outrage comnntted against his majesty.” Whoever has fear and reverence for God will not spare his own relatives, but will rather choose that all of them should perish, if it be found necessary, than that the kingdom of Christ should be scattered, the doctrine of salvation extinguished, and the worship of God abolished. If our affections were properly regulated, there would be no other cause of just hatred among us.

On the other hand, as Christ not only restores the kingdom of God, and raises godliness to its full vigor, but even brings men back from ruin to salvation, nothing can be more unreasonable than that the ministers of so lovely a doctrine should be hated on his account. A thing so monstrous, and so contrary to nature, might greatly distress the minds of simple men:592592     “Les gens simples, et d'esprit paisible;” — “simple people, and of peaceable dispositions.” but Christ foretells that it will actually take place.

22. But he who endured to the end shall be saved This single promise ought sufficiently to support the minds of the godly, though the whole world should rise against them: for they are assured that the result will be prosperous and happy. If those who fight under earthly commanders, and are uncertain as to the issue of the battle, are carried forward even to death by steadiness of purpose, shall those who are certain of victory hesitate to abide by the cause of Christ to the very last?

23. And when they shall persecute you. He anticipates an objection that might arise. If we must encounter the resentments of the whole world, what shall be the end of all this?593593     “Que sera ce a la fin, et que deviendrons-nous?” — “What shall be in the end, and what will become of us?” Though it may not be safe for them to remain in any place, yet Christ warns them not to despair, but, on the contrary, when they have been driven from one place, to try whether their labors in some other place may be of any avail. It is a mistake, however, to suppose that this is a bare permission: for it is rather a command given to the disciples, what it is the will of Christ that they should do. He who has sustained one persecution would willingly withdraw as a soldier who has served his time. But no such exemption is granted to the followers of Christ, who commands them to fulfill their whole course with unabated zeal. In short, the apostles are enjoined to enter into fresh contests, and not to imagine that, when they have succeeded in one or two cases, they have fully discharged their duty. No permission is granted to them to flee to a retired spot, where they may remain unemployed, but though their labor may have been unsuccessful in one place, the Lord exhorts them to persevere.

And yet the command implies also a permission. As to avoiding persecution, it ought to be understood in this manner: we must not condemn without distinction all who flee, and yet it is not every kind of flight that is lawful. Some of the ancients carried their zeal in this matter to an extreme and condemned flight as a species of disavowal. Were this true, some part of the disgrace would fall on Christ and his apostles. Again, if all without distinction are at liberty to flee, a good pastor could not be distinguished from a hireling during a season of persecution. We must abide by the moderation which Augustine recommends, when writing to Honoratus: No man must quit his station through timidity, either by betraying the flock through cowardice, or by giving an example of slothfulness; and yet no man must expose himself precipitately, or at random. If a whole church is attacked, or if a part of them is pursued to death, the pastor, whose duty it is to expose his life in place of any individual among them, would do wrong in withdrawing. But sometimes it may happen, that by his absence he will quell the rage of enemies, and thus promote the advantage of the church. In such cases, the harmlessness of the dove must be his guide, that effeminate persons may not seize on his conduct as an excuse for their timidity: for the flesh is always too ingenious in avoiding what is troublesome.

For verily I say to you. These words cannot be understood in the sense which some have given to them as relating to the first mission,594594     “Touchant le premier voyage, ou la premiere commission qu ont eue les apostres;” — “respecting the first journey, or the first commission which the apostles had.” but embrace the whole course of their apostleship. But the difficulty lies in ascertaining what is meant by the coming of the Son of man Some explain it as denoting such a progress of the gospel, as may enable all to acknowledge that Christ is truly reigning, and that he may be expected to restore the kingdom of David. Others refer it to the destruction of Jerusalem, in which Christ appeared taking vengeance on the ingratitude of the nation. The former exposition is admissible: the latter is too far-fetched. I look upon the consolation here given as addressed peculiarly to the apostles. Christ is said to come, when matters are desperate, and he grants relief. The commission which they received was almost boundless: it was to spread the doctrine of the Gospel through the whole world. Christ promises that he will come before they have traveled through the whole of Judea: that is, by the power of his Spirit, he will shed around his reign such luster, that the apostles will be enabled to discern that glory and majesty which they had hitherto been unable to discover.

24. The disciple is not above his master By his own example he now exhorts them to perseverance; and, indeed, this consolation is enough to banish all sadness, if we consider that our lot is shared with the Son of God. To make us feel deeper shame, he borrows a twofold comparison from what is customary among men. The disciple reckons it honorable to be placed on a level with his master, and does not venture to wish a higher honor, and again, servants do not refuse to share that condition to which their masters willingly submit. In both respects, the Son of God is far above us: for the Father has given to him the highest authority, and has bestowed on him the office of a teacher. We ought, therefore, to be ashamed of declining what he did not scruple to undergo on our account. But there is more need to meditate on these words than to explain them: for, in themselves, they are sufficiently clear.

25. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub This is equivalent to calling himself Lord of the Church, as the apostle, when comparing him to Moses and the prophets, (Hebrews 3:1,) says, that they were servants, but that he is the Son and heir. Though he bestows on them the honor of calling them brethren, (Hebrews 2:11,) yet he is the first-born (Romans 8:29) and head of the whole church; and, in short, he possesses supreme government and power. Nothing, therefore, can be more unreasonable than to wish to be accounted believers, and yet to murmur against God when he conforms us to the image of his Son, whom he has placed over all his family. To what sort of delicacy do we pretend, if we wish to hold a place in his house, and to be above the Lord himself? The general meaning is, that we carry our delicacy and tenderness to excess, if we account it a hardship to endure reproaches to which our Prince willingly submitted.

Beelzebub is a corrupted term, and would have been more correctly written Baalzebub. This was the name given to the chief of the false gods of the Philistines, who was worshipped by the inhabitants of Ekron, (2 Kings 1:2.) Baalim was the name of the inferior deities, whom the Papists of our day call patrons. Now, as Baalzebub means the patron of the fly, or of the flies, some have thought that he was so called on account of the great multitude of flies in the temple, occasioned by the number of sacrifices; but I rather conjecture that the assistance of the idol was implored against the flies which infested that place. When Ahazlah, under the influence of superstition, applied to him to be informed about his recovery, he gave him this name, which would appear from that circumstance not to be a term of reproach. But as the name gehenna was applied by holy men to hell, in order to stamp that place with infamy, so, in order to express their hatred and detestation of the idol, they gave the name Beelzebub to the devil. Hence we infer that wicked men, for the purpose of rendering Christ detestable to the multitude, employed the most reproachful term which they could invent, by calling him the devil, or, in other words, the greatest enemy of religion. If we happen to be assailed by the same kind of reproach, we ought not to think it strange, that what began in the head should be completed in the members.

Matthew 10:26. Fear them not therefore When the apostles saw the gospel so greatly despised, and recollected the small number of believers, they might be apt to throw away hope even for the future. Christ now meets this doubt, by declaring that the gospel would be widely spread, would at length rise superior to all the hindrances which might arise from men, and would become generally known. The saying, nothing is covered that shall not be revealed, has some appearance of being a proverb: but we restrict it in a special manner to the doctrine of salvation, which Christ promises will be victorious, whatsoever may be the contrivances of men to oppose it. Though he sometimes preached openly in the temple, yet, as his doctrine was rejected, it was still concealed in dark comers: but he declares that the time for proclaiming it will come; which, we know, happened shortly afterwards. In no part of the earth was there ever such thunder heard as the voice of the gospel, which resounded through the whole world. As this promise ought to fill them with courage, Christ exhorts them to devote themselves to it with boldness and perseverance, and not to be alarmed, though they see the gospel hitherto despised, but, on the contrary, to become its zealous preachers.

The passage which I have taken from Mark was, perhaps, spoken at a different time, and in a different sense: but as the sentences in that place are concise, I have followed the meaning which appeared to me the most probable. After having commanded the apostles to assemble burning lamps by sending out a bright light to a great distance, he immediately afterwards adds, nothing is hidden which shall not be revealed. Now the lamp of the gospel was kindled by the apostles, as it were in the midst of darkness, that by their agency it might be raised on high, and shine throughout the whole world. The passage in the eighth chapter of Luke’s Gospel is precisely alike. As to the passage in the twelfth chapter, there is no room to doubt that it has the same meaning, though there is a difference in the words: for Christ there commands the apostles to bring to light what they had spoken in darkness. This means, that hitherto they had only spoken in whispers about the gospel, but that their future preaching would be so public, that it would spread to the most distant parts of the world.

28. And fear not those who kill the body To excite his disciples to despise death, Christ employs the very powerful argument, that this frail and perishing lift ought to be little regarded by men who have been created for a heavenly immortality. The statement amounts to this, that if believers will consider for what purpose they were born, and what is their condition, they will have no reason to be so earnest in desiring an earthly life. But the words have still a richer and fuller meaning: for we are here taught by Christ that the fear of God is dead in those men who, through dread of tyrants, fall from a confession of their faith, and that a brutish stupidity reigns in the hearts of those who, through dread of death, do not hesitate to abandon that confession.

We must attend to the distinction between the two opposite kinds of fear. If the fear of God is extinguished by the dread of men, is it not evident that we pay greater deference to them than to God himself? Hence it follows, that when we have abandoned the heavenly and eternal life, we reserve nothing more for ourselves than to be like the beasts that perish, (Psalm 49:12.) God alone has the power of bestowing eternal life, or of inflicting eternal death. We forget God, because we are hurried away by the dread of men. Is it not very evident that we set a higher value on the shadowy life of the body595595     “La vie de ce corps, laquelle n'est qu'une fumee;” — “the life of this body, which is but a vapor,” (James 4:14.) than on the eternal condition of the soul; or rather, that the heavenly kingdom of God is of no estimation with us, in comparison of the fleeting and vanishing shadow of the present life?

These words of Christ ought therefore to be explained in this manner: “Acknowledge that you have received immortal souls, which are subject to the disposal of God alone, and do not come into the power of men. The consequence will be, that no terrors or alarms which men may employ will shake your faith. “For how comes it that the dread of men prevails in the struggle, but because the body is preferred to the soul, and immortality is less valued than a perishing life?”

Matthew 10:29. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? Christ proceeds farther, as I have already hinted, and declares that tyrants, whatever may be their madness, have no power whatever even over the body: and that therefore it is improper in any persons to dread the cruelty of men, as if they were not under the protection of God. In the midst of dangers, therefore, let us remember this second consolation. As God is the guardian of our life, we may safely rely on his providence; nay, we do him injustice, if we do not entrust to him our life, which he is pleased to take under his charge. Christ takes a general view of the providence of God as extending to all creatures, and thus argues from the greater to the less, that we are upheld by his special protection. There is hardly any thing of less value than sparrows, (for two were then sold for a farthing, or, as Luke states it, five for two farthings,) and yet God has his eye upon them to protect them, so that nothing happens to them by chance. Would He who is careful about the sparrows disregard the life of men?

There are here two things to be observed. First, Christ gives a very different account of the providence of God from what is given by many who talk like the philosophers, and tell us that God governs the world, but yet imagine providence to be a confused sort of arrangement, as if God did not keep his eye on each of the creatures. Now, Christ declares that each of the creatures in particular is under his hand and protection, so that nothing is left to chance. Unquestionably, the will of God is contrasted with contingence or uncertainty598598     “La volonte de Dieu est mise a l'opposite de ce que tels Philosophes appellent Contingence: par lequel mot ils signifient un accident qui vient de soy és choses, sans qu’il y ait une certaine conduite d’enhaut.” — “The will of God is contrasted with what such Philosophers call Contingence: a term by which they denote an accident which comes of its own accord in events, without any fixed direction of it from above.” , And yet we must not be understood to uphold the fate of the Stoics,599599     We have formerly adverted to a leading tenet of the Stoics, that the distinction between pleasure and pain is imaginary, and that consequently the highest wisdom consists in being utterly unmoved by the events of life. The present allusion is to their notion of Fate, a mysterious and irresistible necessity, over which those beings whom they blindly worshipped were supposed to have as little control as the inhabitants of the earth. Calvin demonstrates that the serenity of a Christian differs not more widely from Stoical apathy, than the doctrine of a special Providence which is here taught by our Savior differs from Stoical Fate; that the believer in Providence adores the high and lofty One that inhabiteth, eternity, (Isaiah 57:15,) who hath, prepared His throne in the heavens, and whose kingdom ruleth over all, (Psalm 103:19;) and, far from viewing the will of God as swayed by a higher power, traces every event to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, (Ephesians 1:11.) — Ed for it is one thing to imagine a necessity which is involved in a complicated chain of causes, and quite another thing to believe that the world, and every part of it, is directed by the will of God. In the nature of things, I do acknowledge there is uncertainty:600600     “Je confesse bien que si on regarde la nature des choses en soy, on trouvera qu'il y a quelque Contingence;” — “I readily acknowledge that, if the nature of things in itself be considered, it will be found that there is some uncertainty.” but I maintain that nothing happens through a blind revolution of chance, for all is regulated by the will of God.

The second thing to be observed is, that we ought to contemplate Providence, not as curious and fickle persons are wont to do, but as a ground of confidence and excitement to prayer. When he informs us that the hairs of our head are all numbered, it is not to encourage trivial speculations, but to instruct us to depend on the fatherly care of God which is exercised over these frail bodies.

31. You are of more value This is true in general of all men, for the sparrows were created for their advantage. But this discourse relates peculiarly to the sons of God, who possess a far higher right than what they derive from creation. Now the rank which belongs to men arises solely from the undeserved kindness of God.

Matthew 10:32. Whosoever therefore shall confess me He now applies to his present subject what he formerly said in a general manner about contempt of death: for we must struggle against the dread of death, that it may not keep us back from an open confession of faith, which God strictly demands, and which the world cannot endure. For this purpose the disciples of Christ must be bold and courageous, that they may be always ready for martyrdom. Now confession of Christ, though it is regarded by the greater part of men as a trifling matter, is here represented to be a main part of divine worship, and a distinguished exercise of godliness. And justly is it so represented: for if earthly princes, in order to enlarge and protect their glory, and to increase their wealth, call their subjects to arms, why should not believers maintain, at least in language, the glory of their heavenly King?

It is therefore certain that those persons extinguish faith, (as far as lies in their powers) who inwardly suppress it, as if the outward profession of it were unnecessary. With good reason does Christ here call us his witnesses, by whose mouth his name shall be celebrated in the world. In other words, he intends that the profession of his name shall be set in opposition to false religions: and as it is a revolting matter, he enjoins the testimony which we must bear, that the faith of each person may not remain concealed in the heart, but may be openly professed before men. And does not he who refuses or is silent deny the Son of God, and thus banish himself from the heavenly family?

A more public confession of faith, no doubt, is demanded from teachers than from persons in a private station. Besides, all are not endued with an equal measure of faith, and in proportion as any one excels in the gifts of the Spirit, he ought to go before others by his example. But there is no believer whom the Son of God does not require to be his witness. In what place, at what time, with what degree of frequency, in what manner, and to what extent, we ought to profess our faith, cannot easily be determined by a fixed rule: but we must consider the occasion, that not one of us may fail to discharge his duty at the proper time. We must also ask from the Lord the spirit of wisdom and courage, that under his direction we may know what is proper, and may boldly follow whatever we shall have ascertained that he commands us.

Him will I also confess. A promise is added to inflame our zeal in this matter. But we must attend to the points of contrast. If we draw a comparison between ourselves and the Son of God, how base is it to refuse our testimony to him, when on his part he offers his testimony to us by way of reward? If mortals, and men who are of no worth, are brought into comparison with God and the angels and all the heavenly glory, how much more valuable is that which Christ promises than that which he requires? Although men are unbelieving and rebellious, yet the testimony which we deliver to them is estimated by Christ as if it had been made in the presence of God and of the angels.

Thus also by way of amplification, Mark and Luke602602     This is a blunder: for the clause in question is not found in Luke, but in Mark only. The french version sets the matter right. — Ed. add, in this adulterous and sinful generation; the meaning of which is, that we must not imagine our labor to be lost, because there is a want of proper disposition in our hearers. Now if any one is not sufficiently moved by the promise, it is followed by an awful threatening. When Christ shall make his appearance to judge the world, he will deny all who have basely denied him before men Let the enemies of the cross now go away, and flatter themselves in their hypocrisy, when Christ blots their names out of the book of life: for whom will God acknowledge as his children at the last day, but those who are presented to him by Christ? But he declares that he will bear witness against them, that they may not insinuate themselves on false grounds. When it is said that Christ will come in the glory of the Father and of the angels, the meaning is, that his divine glory will then be fully manifested; and that the angels, as they now surround the throne of God, will render their services to him by honoring his majesty. The passage from the twelfth chapter of Luke’s Gospel corresponds to the text of Matthew. What we have inserted out of the ninth chapter, and out of Mark, appears to have been spoken at another time: but as the doctrine is quite the same, I have chosen to introduce them together.

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