Come, Blessed Of My FATHER, Possess The Kingdom Prepared For You From The Foundation Of The World
Ye blessed of my Father.–The Greek is not identical with “blessed by my Father,” but means rather, “ye blessed ones who belong to my Father.”
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you.–Yes; not for Israel only, or those among the brethren who should in this life believe in Christ, had the kingdom been prepared, but for these also. For those who came from east and west and north and south (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:29)–for all who in every nation feared God and wrought righteousness (Acts 10:35)–had that kingdom been prepared from everlasting, though it was only through the work of Christ, and by ultimate union with Him, that it could be realised and enjoyed.
Verse 34. – Then. When the division is made, the sentences are pronounced. At death a separation between good and evil is in some sort made, as we learn by the parable of Dives and Lazarus; but the final award is not given till the great day. The King. He who had called himself the Son of man, here for the first and only time in Scripture names himself the King (comp. Matthew 27:11). He, the Messiah, takes his throne and reigns, King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), Lord of both the dead and the living (Romans 14:9). Unto them on his right hand. He speaks first to them, as more worthy than the others, and as he loves to reward better than to punish. How the sight and hearing of this first sentence must awake the remorse of the reprobate! Come. He calls them to be by his side, to share his kingdom and glory (John 12:26). Ancient commentators have tenderly expanded this invitation, conceiving it addressed individually to patriarch, prophet, apostle, martyr, saint; others have paraphrased it in affecting terms: “Come from darkness to light, from bondage to the liberty of God’s children, from about to perpetual rest, from war to peace, from death to life, from the company of the evil to the fellowship of angels, from conflict to triumph, from daily temptation and trial to stable and eternal felicity.” Ye blessed of (equivalent to by) my Father. So διδακτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, “taught of [i.e. by] God” (John 6:45). They were beloved by God, and were to be rewarded by the gift of eternal life. This was their blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Nothing is said about election or predestination, as if they were saved because they were blessed by the Father. There is a sense in which this is true; but they were rewarded, not because of their election, but because they used the grace given to them, and cooperated with the Holy Spirit which they received. Inherit (κληρονομήσατε, receive as your lot). “Of what honour, of what blessedness, are these words I lie said not – Take, but Inherit, as one’s own, as your Father’s, as yours, as due to you from the first. ‘For, before you were,’ saith he, ‘these things had been prepared, and made ready for you, forasmuch as I knew you would be such as you are ‘” (St. Chrysostom, in loc.). Christians are by baptism made in heritors of the kingdom of heaven, gifted with heavenly citizenship, which, duly used, leads to eternal glory. “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). From the foundation of the world (ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, a constitutione mundi). In other passages we have, “before (πρὸ) the foundation of the world” (John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4). The two expressions virtually correspond, implying God’s eternal purpose, “who willeth that all men should be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
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