Matthew 8

#Mt 8:1| XLIII. HEALING THE CENTURION'S SERVANT (At Capernaum.) #Mt 8:1,5-13 Lu 7:1-10| And when he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. Jesus proceeded from the mountain to Capernaum, which was now his home, or headquarters. See #Lu 7:1|. The multitudes which are now mentioned for the third time were not wearied by his sermon, and so continued to follow him. Their presence showed the popularity of Jesus, and also emphasized the fact that the miracles which followed the sermon were wrought in the presence of the vast throngs of people. (TFG 270) #Mt 8:2| XXXIV. JESUS HEALS A LEPER AND CREATES MUCH EXCITEMENT. #Mt 8:2-4 Mr 1:40-45 Lu 5:12-16| There came to him a leper and worshipped him. See TFG "#Mr 1:40|" and see TFG "Lu 5:12". #Mt 8:3| And he stretched forth his hand, etc. See TFG "#Mr 1:41|". And straightway his leprosy was cleansed. See TFG "#Mr 1:42|". #Mt 8:4| And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man. Several reasons are suggested why the Lord thus commanded silence: 1. It may have been better for the man not to mention his cure (#Joh 9:34|). 2. He required the decision of the priest to make him legally clean; and too much talk might so prejudice the priests as to lead them to refuse to admit his cure. 3. But the best reason is that it accorded with our Lord's general course, which was to suppress excitement, and thus prevent too great crowds from gathering about him and hindering his work. To take this view is to say that Jesus meant to prevent exactly what happened. But go, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. Though healed of his leprosy, the man was not legally clean until declared so by the priest. The priest alone could readmit him to the congregation. The local priest inspected the healed leper, and if he was found clean or cured, he was purified by the use of two birds, cedar wood, scarlet and hyssop, razor and bath. After seven days he was again inspected, and if still cured the priest repaired with him to the temple, where he offered the gift for his cleansing, which was three lambs, with flour and oil; or if the leper was poor, one lamb and two doves or pigeons, with flour and oil (#Le 14:19-22|). The healed leper was a testimony that Messiah, the great Physician, had come, and that he respected the law of Moses. This testimony was given both to priests and people. (TFG 180) #Mt 8:5| There came unto him a centurion. The context shows that this centurion or captain of a hundred men was a Gentile, but whether he was in the employ of Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, or an officer in the Roman army, is not clear, neither is very important. The army of Antipas, like that of other petty kings, was modeled after that of Rome. Beseeching him. See TFG "#Mt 7:3|". (TFG 270-271) #Mt 8:6| Lord, my servant lieth in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. Because palsy is not usually accompanied with suffering, some think that in this case it was combined with tetanus or lockjaw, a combination not infrequent in hot climates. But Sir R. Bennet, M.D., speaks thus: "In this instance we have probably a case of progressive paralysis, attended by muscular spasms, and involving the respiratory movements, where death is manifestly imminent and inevitable. In such a case there would be symptoms indicative of great distress, as well as immediate danger to life." As to palsy generally, see TFG "Mt 4:24" and see TFG "Mr 2:3". (TFG 271) #Mt 8:7| And he saith to him. That is, answering him as represented by his friends. See TFG "#Mt 8:5|". (TFG 272) #Mt 8:8| And the centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof. Not because his house was a poor one, for he was evidently well-to-do (#Lu 7:5|). But only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. See TFG "#Lu 7:7|". (TFG 272) #Mt 8:9| My servant. Not a soldier, but a household slave. Do this, and he doeth it. Having those over him, he knew how to obey, and having those under him, he knew how to be obeyed. He was familiar, therefore, with all the principles of obedience. Knowing from the healing of the nobleman's son, or from other reports concerning Jesus, that the realm of nature obeyed Jesus, he judged from his knowledge of earthly obedience that Jesus had those who could come and go for him, and who could carry his messages and enforce obedience to them. He felt that the presence of Jesus was not at all necessary to the healing. (TFG 272-273) #Mt 8:10| And when Jesus heard it, he marvelled. . . . I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. To some it seems strange that Jesus could marvel, but he had all the actual feelings of a man. However, we should note that Jesus is never said to have marveled but twice. In this case it was because of belief, and in the other (#Mr 6:6|), it was because of unbelief. Those who think that Jesus gave or gives faith should note this fact. If Jesus had given the centurion faith, he could not have been surprised to find that he had it; and, if he failed to bestow it upon the people of Nazareth, it would have been inconsistent in him to express surprise at their lack of it. It would seem, however, irreconcilable with the character and affectionate nature of Christ, to bestow faith in such profusion upon this Gentile stranger, and withhold every spark of it from his near kinsmen and fellow-townsmen. Faith is no miraculous gift. Faith means no more nor less than belief; and a man believes the Scripture facts in the same manner and by the same processes that he believes any other facts. (TFG 273) #Mt 8:11| And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west. Jesus here predicts the conversion of the Gentiles, since that fact is suggested to him by the faith of this centurion. The east and the west represent the extreme points of the compass in the directions in which the world was most thickly inhabited. But Jesus refers rather to spiritual separation than to geographical distances (#Mal 1:11 Isa 49:19 Jer 16:19 Zec 8:22|). (TFG 273-274) #Mt 8:12| But the sons of the kingdom. The child of anything in Hebrew phraseology expressed the idea of special property which one has in the thing specified, as, for instance, children of disobedience (#Eph 2:2|). Jesus here means, then, the Jews, to whom the kingdom belonged by hereditary descent (#Ro 9:4|). Shall be cast forth into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. In this paragraph Christ's kingdom is set forth under the simile of a great feast, a familiar simile with Jesus (#Mt 26:29 Lu 22:30|). The Jews were accustomed to speak of the delights of the Messianic kingdom as a feast with the patriarchs (#Lu 14:15|), but lost sight of the fact that Gentiles should share in its cheer and fellowship (#Isa 25:6|). Marriage feasts and other great feasts of the Jews were usually held in the evening. Inside, therefore, there would be joy and light and gladness, but outside there would be darkness and disappointment, tears and bitter self-reproach (#Mt 25:10-13|). The despised outcasts should be brought in and placed at the festal board, while the long-invited guests--the natural and fleshly heirs of Abraham's invitation--would be excluded (#Mt 21:43|). Hell is absence from spiritual light, separation from the company of the saved, lamentation and impotent rage. (TFG 274) #Mt 8:13| And the servant was healed in that hour. In the moment when Jesus spoke, the servant was healed--not relieved, but healed. (TFG 274) #Mt 8:14| XXXII. HEALING PETER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW AND MANY OTHERS. (At Capernaum.) #Mt 8:14-17 Mr 1:29-34 Lu 4:38-41| Peter's house. See TFG "#Mr 1:29|". His wife's mother. See TFG "#Mr 1:30|". Sick of a fever. See TFG "#Lu 4:38|". #Mt 8:15| He touched her hand, etc. See TFG "#Mr 1:31|". #Mt 8:16| And when even was come, etc. See TFG "#Mr 1:32|". #Mt 8:17| That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet. #Isa 53:4|. Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases. Isaiah's vision is progressive; he sees, first, a man of sorrows; second, a man sorrowful because he bore the sickness and sorrows of others; third, a man who also bore sin, and healed the souls of others by so doing. Such was the order of Christ's life. His early years were spent in poverty and obscurity; his days of ministry in bearing, by sympathy and compassion, the sicknesses and sorrows of others (#Joh 11:35 Mr 14:34|); and in the hour of his crucifixion, he became the world's sin-bearer (#Joh 1:29 1Pe 2:24|). (TFG 171) #Mt 8:18| LV. JESUS STILLS THE STORM (Sea of Galilee; same day as last section) #Mt 8:18-27 Mr 4:35-41 Lu 8:22-25| He gave commandment to depart unto the other side. See TFG "#Mr 4:35|". #Mt 8:19| And there came a scribe. Literally, "one scribe." The number is emphatic; for, so far as the record shows, Jesus had none of this class among his disciples. (TFG 341) #Mt 8:20| The foxes have holes. Caves, dens. The Son of man. Daniel's name for the Messiah (#Da 7:10-13|). Hath not where to lay his head. This scribe had heard the wonderful parables concerning the kingdom. He, like all others, expected an earthly kingdom and sought to have a place in it. Jesus so replied as to correct his false expectations. (TFG 341-342) #Mt 8:21| And another of the disciples. This disciple must have been one of the twelve, for these only were required to follow Jesus (#Mr 3:14|). Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. It may have been James or John, whose father, Zebedee, almost certainly died before Jesus did. He may have just heard of his father's death. {*} {*} I do not concur in this statement.--P. Y. P. (TFG 342) #Mt 8:22| Follow me; and leave the dead to bury their own dead. Let the spiritually dead bury the naturally dead. This was a very exceptional prohibition, intended to show not that it was ordinarily wrong to stop for burying the dead, but wrong when in conflict with a command from Jesus. God bids us recognize the claims of filial duty, but rightfully insists that our duties toward him are superior to those due our parents. (TFG 342) #Mt 8:23| And when he was entered into a boat, his disciples followed him. See TFG "#Mr 4:36|". #Mt 8:24| There arose a great tempest in the sea. See TFG "#Mr 4:37|". #Mt 8:25| Save, Lord; we perish. See TFG "#Mr 4:38|". #Mt 8:26| Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? See TFG "#Mr 4:40|". He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea. See TFG "#Mr 4:39|". #Mt 8:27| What manner of man is this, etc. See TFG "#Mr 4:41|". #Mt 8:28| LVI. JESUS HEALS TWO GERGESENE DEMONIACS (Gergesa, now called Khersa.) #Mt 8:28-34 9:1 Mr 5:1-21 Lu 8:26-40| The country of the Gadarenes. See TFG "#Mr 5:1|". There met him two possessed with demons. See TFG "#Mr 5:2|". #Mt 8:29| What have we to do with thee. On this phrase, see TFG "Joh 2:4". Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? The judgment-day, the time of punishment and torment (#Mt 25:41 2Pe 2:4 Jude 1:6|). (TFG 346) #Mt 8:32| The whole herd rushed down the steep into the sea, and perished in the waters. See TFG "#Mr 5:13|". #Mr 8:33| They that fed them. See TFG "#Mr 5:14|". #Mt 8:34| And, behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus. It was about half a mile from Khersa to the seashore. They besought him that he would depart from their borders. See TFG "#Mr 5:17|".
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