And after that they dared not ask him any question at all.…
This is the subject of these verses; but they are suggestive of minor truths. We have -
I. A PROOF OF UTTER FALSITY. (Ver. 40.) How came these men to be afraid to ask questions of Christ? Others did not shrink from him, or fear to ask things of him. The children were not afraid of him; nor were "the strangers" - those not of Israel: nor were the women who waited on him and learned of him; nor the simple-hearted and genuine inquirers. It was only the men who sought his overthrow, because they dreaded his exposure; it was only those who shrank from his heart-searching gaze and his truth-telling words, that dared not approach him and ask questions of him. No man however ignorant, no child however young, need shrink from the Lord of love, from asking of him what he needs; it is only the false who are afraid.
II. THE TIME FOR AGGRESSIVE ACTION. The successful general may act long on the defensive, but he waits and looks for the moment of attack. Jesus bore long with the questionings of his enemies, but the time had come for him to ask something of them. We may well bear long with the enemies of Christ, but the hour comes when we must bear down upon them with convincing and humbling power.
III. THE OCCASIONAL DUTY OF PUTTING MEN INTO A DIFFICULTY. On this occasion our Lord placed his hearers in a difficulty from which he did not offer to extricate them. His prophetic function was to enlighten, to liberate, to relieve. But here was an occasion when he best served men by placing them in a difficulty from which they found no escape. Such service may be rare for a Christian teacher, but it does occur. There are times when we cannot render a man a better service than that of humbling him, of showing him that there are mysteries in presence of which he is a little child.
IV. THE WISDOM OF FURTHER INQUIRY. These Pharisees imagined that they knew everything about the Scriptures that could be known. They were learned, but they were unwise; they had a large verbal and literal acquaintance with their sacred books, but they had missed their deepest meaning. They had not inquired humbly, intelligently, reverently enough. How much more is there in our New Testament than we have yet found! What depth of wisdom in the words of Christi What enlightenment in the letters of his apostles! Though we may not have missed our Way so grievously as the scribes had done, yet may there be very much of Divine truth we have not yet discovered, which patient and devout inquiry will disclose.
V. THE LOWLINESS AND THE GREATNESS OF JESUS CHRIST. He is the Son of David, and he is also his Lord. We understand that better than the most advanced and enlightened of his disciples could at that point. "As concerning the flesh" he was "born of a woman, made under Law;" yet is he "exalted to be a Prince and a Savior;" Son of man and Son of God. Only thus could he be what he came to be:
1. Our Mediator between God and man.
2. Our Divine Savior, in whom we put our trust and find mercy unto eternal life; our Divine Friend, of whose perfect sympathy we can be assured; our rightful Lord, to whom we can bring the offering of our hearts and lives. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.