5:1 And 1 it came to pass, that, as the people a pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
(1) Christ reveals to the four disciples whom he
had taken unto himself the office of the apostleship, which would be committed
unto them in the future.
(a) Did as it were lie upon him, so desirous were
they both to see him and hear him, and therefore he taught them out of a ship.
And Simon answering said unto him, b
Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at
thy word I will let down the net.
(b) The word signifies someone that has rule over
2 And it came to pass, when he was in a
certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on [his] face,
and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
(2) Christ, by healing the leper with only his
touch and sending him to the priest, witnesses that it is he, through whom and
by whom, apprehended by faith, all we who are unclean according to the law are
pronounced to be pure and clean by the witness of God himself.
But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came
together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
(3) Christ would rather be well known by his
doctrine than by miracles, and therefore he departs from those that seek him
as a physician of the body, and not as the author of salvation.
And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were
Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town
of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord c
was [present] to heal them.
(4) Christ, in healing him that was sick from
paralysis, shows the cause of all diseases, and the remedy.
(c) The mighty power of Christ's Godhead showed
itself in him at that time.
5 And after these things he went forth,
and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said
unto him, Follow me.
(5) The Church is a company of sinners who are
repentant through the grace of Christ, who banquet with him to the great
offence of the proud and envious people of the world.
6 And they said unto him, Why do the
disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise [the disciples] of
the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?
(6) Hypocrites and ignorant men make a point of
making fasting and unimportant things a matter of holiness.
5:34 7 And
he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the
bridegroom is with them?
(7) Laws generally made without any consideration
of circumstances; for fasting and other things of like sort are not only
tyrannous but very harmful to the Church.