Luke 23:35
(35) And the rulers also with them derided him.--St. Luke uses the generic term for the members of the Sanhedrin, whom St. Matthew particularises as "chief priests, scribes, and elders." The verb is the same as in 16:14, and implies the curled lip and distended nostril of scorn.

He saved others.--The words were, like those of Caiaphas (John 11:50), an unconscious prophecy, in part also an admission of the work that He had done, as in the case of Lazarus, in rescuing others from the power of death.

If he be Christ, the chosen of God.--It may be noted that this is the only passage in the New Testament in which the adjective "chosen," or "elect," is directly applied to Christ. The participle of the verb, is, however, found in the better MSS. of Luke 9:35, and the adjective is used of Him as the "stone, elect and precious," in 1Peter 2:6.

Verse 35. - And the people stood beholding. A hush seems to have fallen over the scene. The crowd of by-standers were awed as they at first silently gazed on the dying form of the great Teacher. What memories must have surged up in the hearts of many of the gazers - memories of his parables, his mighty miracles, his words of love; memories of the raising of Lazarus, and of the day of palms! Such a silent awe-struck contemplation was dangerous, the rulers felt, so they hastened to commence their mockery - "to clear," as Stier remarks, "the stifling air, and deafen the voice which was stirring even in themselves." "Look now," they would cry, "at the end of the Man who said he could do, and pretended to do, such strange, unheard-of things!" They seem soon to have induced many to join in their mocking cries and gestures, and so to break the awful silence.

23:32-43 As soon as Christ was fastened to the cross, he prayed for those who crucified him. The great thing he died to purchase and procure for us, is the forgiveness of sin. This he prays for. Jesus was crucified between two thieves; in them were shown the different effects the cross of Christ would have upon the children of men in the preaching the gospel. One malefactor was hardened to the last. No troubles of themselves will change a wicked heart. The other was softened at the last: he was snatched as a brand out of the burning, and made a monument of Divine mercy. This gives no encouragement to any to put off repentance to their death-beds, or to hope that they shall then find mercy. It is certain that true repentance is never too late; but it is as certain that late repentance is seldom true. None can be sure they shall have time to repent at death, but every man may be sure he cannot have the advantages this penitent thief had. We shall see the case to be singular, if we observe the uncommon effects of God's grace upon this man. He reproved the other for railing on Christ. He owned that he deserved what was done to him. He believed Jesus to have suffered wrongfully. Observe his faith in this prayer. Christ was in the depth of disgrace, suffering as a deceiver, and not delivered by his Father. He made this profession before the wonders were displayed which put honour on Christ's sufferings, and startled the centurion. He believed in a life to come, and desired to be happy in that life; not like the other thief, to be only saved from the cross. Observe his humility in this prayer. All his request is, Lord, remember me; quite referring it to Jesus in what way to remember him. Thus he was humbled in true repentance, and he brought forth all the fruits for repentance his circumstances would admit. Christ upon the cross, is gracious like Christ upon the throne. Though he was in the greatest struggle and agony, yet he had pity for a poor penitent. By this act of grace we are to understand that Jesus Christ died to open the kingdom of heaven to all penitent, obedient believers. It is a single instance in Scripture; it should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair of themselves; but lest it should be abused, it is contrasted with the awful state of the other thief, who died hardened in unbelief, though a crucified Saviour was so near him. Be sure that in general men die as they live.And the people stood beholding,.... This dismal and affecting sight; insulting and reviling him, and wagging their heads at him, as did also those that passed by: and the rulers also with them derided him; the chief priests, Scribes, and elders, the members of the sanhedrim, whose characters should have restrained them from such an inhuman conduct. The phrase, "with them", is wanting in the Oriental versions, and in one of Beza's copies: saying,

he saved others; by healing their diseases, or raising them from the dead:

let him save himself; from death, by unnailing himself, and coming down from the cross; See Gill on Matthew 27:42.

if he be Christ; the Messiah, he and his followers give out he is; even the chosen of God, referring to Isaiah 42:1. The Arabic version reads, "the chosen Son of God", very wrongly; for Christ was not chosen to be the Son of God; he was so by nature; but he was chosen to be a servant, as the text cited shows, to be a Mediator between God and man, and the Saviour of his people.

Luke 23:34
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