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Jesus cures a Centurion's slave in Capernaum.
Luke vii 1,-10. See §"28.

HAVING finished his sermon, Jesus-went into Capernaum and cured a centurion's slave who was dangerously ill. Luke vii. 1. Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 2. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick and ready to die. 3. And wlien he heard of Jesus, he * sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. This centurion seems to- have been what they called a proselyte of righteousness; for he was a lover of the Jewish nation on account of their religion, and had built them a synagogue for worship, probably in some heathen country, the inhabitants of Capernaum standing in no need of such a favour. His attachment to the Jews, and his uncommon generosity, could not fail to make him greatly beloved in that country—Hence the elders of Capernaum, where he now resided, heartily espoused his cause on this occasion, for they presented his petition to Jesus, and urged it from the consideration of his character. 4. And ivhen they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this. 5. For he loveth tur nation, arid he hath built us a synagogue.—Jesus, who embraced every opportunity of doing good, whether to the bodies or souls of men, did not decline this that was now offered to him. He cheerfully went with the elders as they desired: But in the w^y, some of the centurion's friends whom he had sent, met JoVol. II. A sus

* Vcr. 3. Sent unto bim the elders of the Jwj.] These elders were not the most agtd ptisons'in Capernaum, but either the magistrates of the town, or the rulers of the synagogue, {cieyjc-jniytiyc-i). For as it was anciently tlie custom of the Jews, to intrust the management of public aflb.ii >i to persons advanced in years, as having most wisdom and experience, they called all who discharged those offices ciders, even when in laur times they were admitted to them, without any regard to their age at ill.

«os with a message from the centurion, in which he expressed the highest opinion of our Lord's power, and desired him not to take the trouble of coming, but to order the cure, which he knew he could easily do. 6. Then Jtiut tver.l with them. And when he •was now not far from the hcuse, the centurion sent friends to h'im% saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself, for J am nit worthy that th'.u ihouldest enter under my roof. 7. Wherefore neitherthought I myself worthy to come unto thee i but say in a *tti dt and my servant shall be healed. 8. For I also am a man under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth i and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. See on Matt. viii. 9. § 28. 9. When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed h.m, I say unto you, I have net found so great jaith, no, not in Israel. 10. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. The kindness of the centurion to his slave, and the anxiety he shewed to get him cured, was suitable to the character of an humane master, and exhibits an excellent pattern of duty very fit to be imitated by Christian masters, with whom it is but too common to treat their slaves and dependants, as if they wt re not creatures of the same rank with themselves, but of an inferior order.

See the reasons offered to prove this a different miracle from that which is recorded^ Mat. viii. 5. § 28.

J XL. The apostles receive their commission and instructions in Ca* pernaum. Mat. x. 1,—42. Mark iii. 19,—21. See § 58.

After curing the centurion's slave, Jesus went to Peter's hou«e, where he usually lodged- See on Matth. iv. 13. §25. He had been with, the disciples the whole precedingnight in the mountain, and with the multitude the greatest part of the day in the plain, probably without taking any meat. Wherefore, being come home, thev were going to eat something. But the citizens, brought together by the report of the miracle performed on the centurion's slave, surrounded the house in a tumultuous manner, and perhaps called on him to cure their sick, a favour which they thought he was bound in humanity to grant them, since he could do it without being personally present with the afflicted. Mjrk iii. 19. Ami they nvent into an house. 20. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. This rudeness incensed the disciples not a little. 21. And whin hi! friends heard of it, they went out to lay field on him, for they said, He is beside himself *.


* Vcr. It.] i\Tost translations render this verse as we do; but the mraninji which they give is false, and surh as suggest a very unbecoming id>a of our Lord, who oo no occasion behaved so as to give his friends


The multitude being dispersed, Jesus called his twelve apostles, and conferred on them the power of working miracles, in confirmation of the doctrine they were appointed to preach, delivered them their commission or authorized them to preach it, and gave them such instructions as he thought proper to fit them for discharging the duties of their new office. Mat. x. 1. And -when he had called unto him his twelve disciples. From Matthew's naming them the twelve, it appears that he considered them as elected before this, though he has given no account of it in his gospel—he gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out. Evil spirits are called unclean, because th y are wicked and delight in wickedness, which is the only pollution of a spMtual being, and because they excite men to the commission of it.—And to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of diseases. This power of working miracles was extremely necessary to the apostles, because being men of low degree, they could not otherwise have drawn the attention of the world, nor have gained credit to the unheard-of doctrines which they were to preach. 2. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: the first Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother. 3. Philip and Bartholomew, Tliomas and Matthew the publican, James the son of Alpheus and Lcbbeus whose sirname was Thaddeus. 4. Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. See § 37. where the history of the twelve apostles is given. 5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, namely, to preach the gospel and to work miracles (verse 7, 8.) and commanded them, saying, * Go not into the way of the


room to suspect that he was mad. The original runs thu«. K«» uxurxnK «> Svtv t|»x5<> xgamiraif ctvrm . tMyn y«j . «"< i|fmg. Oi x<cg'«VTV, thej that uiere <with him, namely in the house, (ver. ,',.) Oxutmhth, bearing, viz. the noise which the mob made at the door, tb'j went out, xjumis-ai u.vrni, to reitrain or quell, not Jesus, for he was in the house, (ver. 19.) but the multitude or mob, («utm. if, viz. either by dispersing them or keep

ing them out; for tbty said, (s£«mi, viz. The multitudi or mob is

mad. The sense the verb warm has without dispute, Uev. vii. 1. xfamrTOf T*5 anftvt, "holding, detaining, restraining, the four winds

of the earth."

* Ver. j. Go not into tlie way of the Gentiles.] It may seem strange that our Lord neither preached himself to the Gentiles, nor allowed his disciples to r>reach among them during his own life time; especially when it is considered, that he came into the world on purpose to destroy the polytheism of the heathens, their idol mediators, and their idolatrous won hip* and to establish the knowledge of the tiue God, and of the- only Mediator between Cod and man, and of the right method of obtaining his favour. IVit our wonder will cease, when the reason of his conduct is understood. As the Jews were the only people in the world who believed in the one true God, before his messengers attempted to preac h him to the heathens, it was fit that they should prove their mission to the conviction of the Jrws. instruct them more fully 1o the fundamental doctrines of religion.

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