Ver. 4. Moses permitted the injured husband to send away his wife, declaring that he had repudiated her. See Deut. xxiv. 1.
Ver. 5. Because of the hardness of their hearts, and to prevent the excesses they would otherwise have committed with regard to their wives. V.
Ver. 6. But from the beginning of the world it was not thus; for then God only formed one man and one woman, that they might be exclusively and invariably attached to each other.
Ver. 7. Hence it is written, (Gen. ii. 24, and Matt. xix. 5.) A man shall leave father and mother, and adhere to his wife.
Ver. 14. Unless we are possessed of the innocence and purity of little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. By the kingdom of heaven, we may here understand the truths of the gospel; for as a child never contradicts its teachers, nor opposes to them vain reasonings and empty words, but faithfully and readily receives their instructions, and with fear obeys them; so must we implicitly obey, and without any, the least, opposition, receive the word of the Lord. Ven. Bede.
Ver. 18. None is good. Of himself, entirely and essentially, but God alone: men may be good also, but only by a participation of God's goodness. Ch.
Ver. 20. We must recollect, that to the faithful observers of the Mosaic law, not only present goods were given, but the happiness of a future life promised. Hence our Lord with reason inquired, whether he had kept the commandments. The innocent life of this young man is deserving of our imitation. Ven. Bede.
Ver. 21. Loved him. We need understand no more by this, than that Christ gave him some marks of his tenderness for him, and for all men by his kind instructions, and invitations to a good and perfect life. Wi.
--- It is worthy of inquiry, how that could happen which the evangelist here mentions, how Jesus could love this young man; when, as it is here related, he did not follow the admonitions given him by Jesus Christ. The reason is, Christ loved him for his past behaviour, and his strict observance of the old law. S. Chrys. in S. Thom. Cat. aur.
Ver. 28. Although S. Peter had left but few things, he still calls them his all. For small things have power of attaching us to them, and of exciting our passions; therefore he that forsakes his small possessions, shall be a partaker of the blessings of Jesus Christ. Theophylactus.
Ver. 32. Christ goes before, to shew his eagerness to suffer the ignominies and torments of his approaching passion, for our salvation. Theophy.
--- But the disciples being already forewarned of what their Master was to suffer from the high priest and Scribes, went along the road to Jerusalem, with silent fear and trepidation, either lest they should be put to death with him, or lest he, whose life and doctrines they enjoyed, should fall into the hands of his enemies. But our kind Redeemer, foreseeing that the minds of his disciples were disturbed, comforts them with the assurance of his resurrection. Ven. Bede.
Ver. 35. S. Matt. (xx. 20.) says it was their mother, Salome, but probably at their solicitation, or at least with their connivance and consent.
Ver. 42. Who seem to rule over the Gentiles, &c. See Matt. xx. 25, and Luke xxii. 25. Wi.
Ver. 43. In vain then do men either seek for immoderate power, or sigh after human greatness; for, not power, but humility, is the sure and only path to the summit of perfection. He then proves to them by his own example, that if they would not believe his words, they might at least learn by his example. Ven. Bede.
Ver. 46. Bartimæus is a Syriac word, and signifies, son of Timæus.
Ver. 51. Let us endeavour sedulously to imitate the good example of this blind man, who did not ask for honours, riches, or other worldly advantages, but only that he might receive his sight; that he might behold the light with the blessed angels, to which faith alone can conduct us. Ven. Bede.
--- In this worse than Cimmerian darkness, how few are found, who pray as they ought for this all-necessary light of faith!!!