Twenty Second Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Matt.22.v.15.Sunday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634


GOSPEL Matt. 22:15-21 
At that time, the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might ensnare him in his talk. And they send to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, "Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, and carest not for any one: for thou regardest not the person of men. Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?" But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Shew me the tribute money." And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, "Whose is this image and superscription?" They say unto him, "Caesar’s." Then saith he unto them, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s."
SUNDAY MEDITATION

Immediately before this Gospel, as St. Matthew relateth, Christ propounded unto the chief Priests and Pharisees a loving Parable, of a King that made a marriage for his son, and invited guests to the marriage-Feast, and sent to them very lovingly again, & again to come away, for all things were ready, and expected their coming; but they ungratefully neglected him, and went one one way, & another another about their affairs, others took the messengers and after contumelious usage slew them; which when the king heard he was angry, and sent his army and slew them, and burned their City; & sent his servants to the highways, and streets, & brought in all they could find good and bad. 

This parable was a prediction, or foretelling that the Jews being called unto the marriage-feast of the faith of Christ, would refuse to come, that they would contumeliously use Christ and his Apostles that came to call them; that finally they would put him and them to death, to extinguish their Evangelical doctrine, that the Roman Emperors Titus and Vespasian should take and sack Jerusalem, destroy the people and burn the City, and that the Gentiles should be called unto the marriage feast in their place, whom the Jews esteemed as poor beggars that lie in the streets, and highways in comparison of them, who were the chosen people of God.

This sis Christ shadow out unto them under this parable, and they being learned and wise enough to understand that he covertly pointed at them, having also guilty consciences, that they were (as Christ said of them) such, as would neither enter into the kingdom of heaven themselves, nor suffer others to enter, that is to say, would neither receive the faith of Christ themselves, nor suffer others; they were displeased at it, and when they should have been thankful unto him for his fore warning them of mischief to come, that they might have avoided it, (one of the greatest benefits one friend can do unto another) even then, saith this present Gospel, they went away and consulted among themselves how to entrap him & sent their disciples to that purpose, asking him a dangerous question of State, as shall be declared in the next Meditation.

Let us take heed of such a (Then) that is to say, when our friends tell us, and forewarn us of our faults and follies, and give us good Council, that then, when we should be thankful unto them, we take it not oil at their hands, & care not to follow it, especially if they be our Pastors & preachers that have the care of our souls committed unto them to whom St. Paul in the person of St. Timothy his disciple, saith thus, I do testify before God, and Jesus Christ, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his coming and kingdom, preach the word of God, be instant, opportunity, importunately, reprove, obsecrate, rebuke, in all patient, and doctrine.

If St. Paul doth thus conjure Pastors, and preachers this to do, & the Church doth assign this place to be read for the Epistle in the Mass of Doctors, and Pastors, to put them in mind thereof; shall we not think it importeth others to hear them with patience, and thankfulness, and well as they to do it? Yes doubtless, & a great deal more, & great mischiefs will happen unto them if they do not, as did unto the ungrateful Jews for not harking to this parable, when Christ proposed it unto them, but went away, and consulted how to entrap him in his words.




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