Thou reproachest us - He alone who searches the heart could unmask these hypocrites; and he did it so effectually that their own consciences acknowledged the guilt, and re-echoed their own reproach.
Lawyers - Men learned in the law; but it is not known in what way the lawyers differed from the “scribes,” or whether they were Pharisees or Sadducees.
Thus saying, thou - He felt that the remarks of Jesus about loving the chief seats, etc., applied to them as well as to the Pharisees. His conscience told him that if “they” were to blame, “he” was also, and he therefore applied the discourse to himself.
Reproachest - Accusest. Dost calumniate or blame us, for we do the same things. Sinners often consider “faithfulness” as “reproach” - they know not how to separate them. Jesus did “not” reproach or abuse them. He dealt faithfully with them; reproved them; told them the unvarnished truth. Such faithfulness is rare; but when it “is” used, we must expect that people will flinch, perhaps be enraged. Though their consciences tell them they are “guilty,” still they will consider it as abuse.
How was it with the rebellious inhabitants of the antediluvian world? After rejecting the message of Noah, they plunged into sin with greater abandon than ever before, and doubled the enormity of their corrupting practices. Those who refuse to reform by accepting Christ find nothing reformative in sin; their minds are set to carry their spirit of revolt, and they are not, and never will be, forced to submission. The judgment which God brought upon the antediluvian world declared it incurable. The destruction of Sodom proclaimed the inhabitants of the most beautiful country in the world incorrigible in sin. The fire and brimstone from heaven consumed everything except Lot, his wife, and two daughters. The wife, looking back in disregard of God's command, became a pillar of salt. TM 75.1
How God bore with the Jewish nation while they were murmuring and rebellious, breaking the Sabbath and every other precept of the law! He repeatedly declared them worse than the heathen. Each generation surpassed the preceding in guilt. The Lord permitted them to go into captivity, but after their deliverance His requirements were forgotten. Everything that He committed to that people to be kept sacred was perverted or displaced by the inventions of rebellious men. Christ said to them in His day, “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?” And these were the men who set themselves up as judges and censors over those whom the Holy Spirit was moving to declare the word of God to the people. (See John 7:9-23, 27, 28; Luke 11:37-52.) TM 75.2Read in context »