8:1 And when he was come down from the mountain1, great multitudes followed him2. HEALING THE CENTURION'S SERVANT (At Capernaum.) Matthew 8:1,5-13; Luke 7:1-10
And when he was come down from the mountain. Jesus proceeded from
the mountain to Capernaum, which was now his home, or headquarters. See
Great multitudes followed him. The multitudes, which are now
mentioned for the third time in Matthew, 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.
8:2 And behold, there
came to him a leper and worshipped him1, saying, Lord, if
thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
JESUS HEALS A LEPER AND CREATES MUCH EXCITEMENT. Matthew
There came to him a leper and worshipped him. See Mark
1:40 and see Luke
8:3 And he
stretched forth his hand1, and touched him, saying, I
will; be thou made clean. And straightway his leprosy
And he stretched forth his hand, etc. See Mark
And straightway his leprosy was cleansed. See Mark
8:4 And Jesus saith
unto him, See thou tell no man1; but
go, show thyself to the priest2, and
offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them3.
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 (John
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. 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.
And offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
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 (Leviticus
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.
8:5 And when he was entered into Capernaum, there
came unto him a centurion1, beseeching
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. To reconcile Matthew and Luke, we have only to
conceive of the centurion as coming to the edge of the crowd about Jesus,
but modestly refraining from coming into the Lord's immediate presence. See Luke
8:6 and saying, Lord,
my servant lieth in the house sick of the palsy, grievously tormented1.
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
"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
As to palsy generally, see Matthew
4:24 and see Mark
8:7 And he saith unto him, I will come and
And he saith to him. That is, answering him as represented by his
friends. See Matthew
8:8 And the
centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come
under my roof1; but only say the
word, and my servant shall be healed2.
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 (Luke
But only say the word, and my servant shall be healed. The
centurion showed his great faith partly by believing that Jesus could heal
by a word, but chiefly in his lofty conception of Jesus as compared with
himself. The less faith we have, the less we esteem Jesus, and the more
faith we have, the less we esteem ourselves. As Jesus rises, we sink in the
scale of our estimation. The centurion's faith would have been wonderful
enough in an Israelite, but it was all the more wonderful when found in the
bosom, of a Gentile. The word "found" (Luke
7:10 it again (Luke
18:8). The elders, little knowing the wideness of our Lord's vision and
sympathy, supposed that Jesus would look upon the splendid synagogue erected
for the Jewish people as a sufficient motive for granting their request (Luke
7:5). Even the apostles were slow to learn that at heart Jesus knew
neither Jew nor Gentile.
8:9 For I also am a
man under authority, having under myself soldiers1: and I
say to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my
servant2, Do this, and he doeth it.
For I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers.
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
My servant. Not a soldier, but a household slave.
8:10 And when
Jesus heard it, he marvelled1, and said to them that
followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so
great faith, no, not in Israel2.
And when Jesus heard it, he marvelled. 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, it was because of
I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 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.
8:11 And I say
unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west1,
and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,
in the kingdom of heaven2:
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 (Isaiah
And shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom
of heaven. In this paragraph Christ's kingdom is set forth under the
simile of a great feast, a familiar simile with Jesus (Matthew
22:30). The Jews were accustomed to speak of the delights of the
Messianic kingdom as a feast with the patriarchs (Luke
14:15), but lost sight of the fact that Gentiles should share in its
cheer and fellowship (Isaiah
8:12 but the sons
of the kingdom1 shall be cast
forth into the outer darkness2: there
shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth3.
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 (Ephesians
2:2). Jesus here means, then, the Jews, to whom the kingdom belonged by
hereditary descent (Romans
Shall be cast forth into the outer darkness. 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 (Matthew
There shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. 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 (Matthew
21:43). Hell is absence from spiritual light, separation from the
company of the saved, lamentation, and impotent rage.
8:13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go
thy way; as thou hast believed, [so] be it done unto thee. And
the servant was healed in that hour1.
And the servant was healed in that hour. In the moment when Jesus
spoke, the servant was healed--not relieved, but healed.
8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter's
house1, he saw his wife's mother2
lying sick of a fever3.
HEALING PETER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW AND MANY OTHERS. (At Capernaum.) Matthew
Peter's house. See Mark
His wife's mother. See Mark
Sick of a fever. See Luke
8:15 And he
touched her hand1, and the fever left her; and she arose,
and ministered unto him.
He touched her hand, etc. See Mark
8:16 And when even
was come1, they brought unto him many possessed with
demons: and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were sick:
And when even was come, etc. See Mark
8:17 that it might
be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet1,
saying: Himself took our infirmities, and bare our
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet.
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 (John
14:34); and in the hour of his crucifixion, he became the world's
1:29; 1 Peter
8:18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes
about him, he gave commandments to depart unto the other side.
JESUS STILLS THE STORM
(Sea of Galilee; same day as the last section)
He gave commandment to depart to the other side. See note (Mark
8:19 And there
came a scribe1, and said unto him, Teacher, I will follow
thee whithersoever thou goest.
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.
8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The
foxes have holes1, and the birds of the heaven [have]
nests; but the Son of man2 hath
not where to lay his head3.
The foxes have holes. Caves, dens.
The Son of man. Daniel's name for the Messiah (Daniel
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
8:21 And another
of the disciples1 said unto him, Lord,
suffer me first to go and bury my father2.
And another of the disciples. This disciple must have been one of
the twelve, for these only were required to follow Jesus (Mark
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.
8:22 But Jesus saith unto him, Follow
me; and leave the dead to bury their own dead1.
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.
8:23 And when he
was entered into a boat, his disciples followed him1.
And when he was entered into a boat, his disciples followed him.
8:24 And behold, there
arose a great tempest in the sea1, insomuch that the boat
was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
There arose a great tempest in the sea. See Mark
8:25 And they came to him, and awoke him,
saying, Save, Lord; we perish1.
Save, Lord; we perish. See Mark
8:26 And he saith unto them, Why
are ye fearful, O ye of little faith1? Then he
arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea2; and there was a
Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? See Mark
He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea. See Mark
8:27 And the men marvelled, saying, What
manner of man is this1, that even the winds and the sea
What manner of man is this, etc. See Mark
8:28 And when he was come to the other side
into the country of the Gadarenes1,
there met him two possessed with demons2,
coming forth out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man could pass by
JESUS HEALS TWO GERGESENE DEMONIACS (Gergesa, now called Khersa.) Matthew
The country of the Gadarenes. See Mark
There met him two possessed with demons. See Mark
8:29 And behold, they cried out, saying, What
have we to do with thee1, thou Son of God? art
thou come hither to torment us before the time2?
What have we to do with thee. On this phrase, see John
Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? See Mark
8:32 And he said unto them, Go. And they
came out, and went into the swine: and behold, the
whole herd rushed down the steep into the sea, and perished in the waters1.
The whole herd rushed down the steep into the sea, and perished in the
waters. See Mark
8:33 And they that
fed them1 fled, and went away into the city, and told
everything, and what was befallen to them that were possessed with demons.
They that fed them. See Mark
8:34 And behold, all the city came out to
meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought [him]
that he would depart from their borders1.
They besought [him] that he would depart from their borders. See Mark