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ped him, saying: Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And 3 Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying: I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith 4 unto him: See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to
him, he comes to salute Jesus at is put in the place of the diseased some distance, and beseeches his person. The cure being instantainterposition.-Worshipped him, i. e. neous was an evidence of a miradid him obeisance, or prostrated cle; for when cured by human bimself before bim, as was done to means, the disorder would have persons of great distinction.—Lord. gone off by degrees, and not at Sir, or Master.—Thou canst make me clean. His request is modest 4. See thou tell no man. Jesus and trustful. He doubts not the not only cures him, but seeks to Saviour's power, he only prays that profit him yet further by bis advice. he might be disposed to exert it to Various reasons may have comcure him. The leper, according to bined in this prohibition. Luther the laws of Moses, was an unclean suggests that he may have done it person. His cure he naturally from humility. It was designed speaks of therefore as making him perhaps for the moral benefit of the clean, and taking off those social cured. Or to secure to him the disabilities under which he was advantages of the law, and of being suffering
pronounced clean by the priests, 3. Touched him. This act was which, owing to their opposition to significant. It implied that there Jesus, they might have been unwas a connection between Jesus willing to have done, had they and the cure of the leper. By the known who wrought the cure. He Jewish law, one who touched a lep- enjoins it on him to go his way, to er incurred uncleanness. It was a proceed directly to Jerusalem, and mark of confidence and a sign of obtain the certificate of his cure, power in Jesus, to touch one in, before it was published who was fected with this foul disease.I the author of it. Again, if he had will, be thou clean. An instance of gone forth proclaiming the deeds the sublimne, similar to that in Gené- of Jesus, it would have tended to sis: “Let there be light, and there arouse the Jews to declare Jesus was light.” The loathsome disease king, which they attempted to do retreais before the power of God, repeatedly, and which would have exerted by his Son. The Father excited the jealousy of the Rogives Jesus this control over the mans, the masters of the country. worst of maladies. Though he One or all of these reasons may have uses the personal pronoun ), it is induced Jesus, upon this and other by no means to be supposed that occasions, to forbid the proclaiıning Jesus possessed in himself the of his miracles by those upon power adequate to a cure. It was whom they were performed. If the gift of God. John v. 30. The the cure of the leprosy was an evisame power of working miracles dence of Messiahship according to was bestowed upon Moses, the the Jewish belief, there was the prophets, and apostles. And imme
at this time for the diately his leprosy was cleansed, i. e. cominand of Jesus, as he evidently the leper was cured. The disease did not wish to declare himself
the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony
unto them. 5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him 6 a centurion, beseeching him, and saying: Lord, my servant lieth at 7 home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith
prematurely, for he would thus bly a garrison of soldiers at Caperhave produced such an agitation, naum, a considerable city on the both among Jews and Romans, as north-west side of the Sea of Galito arrest his further course of lee. Luke represents the commupreaching and miracles. Mark, i. nications from the centurion to 45, relates that the man broke the Jesus as made through Jewish command of Jesus, who was after- friends, whilst Matthew introduwards obliged on that account to ces the Roman as preferring his live retired.—Priest-gift. request in his own person,
As Jesus shows his respect for the fore a man is often described as doing going dispensation, though its offi- 'a thing which he accomplishes cers had now become degenerate, through the agency of another, for and verifies his saying, that he example, building a house which came not to destroy the law. How he procures done;
we may, true and beautiful such moderation without any violence or wresting and dignity of conduct in one so of language, suppose that Matthew powerful ! Reformers may learn a exhibits the centurion as doing himgood lesson from their Master. self what he did in reality by means For the health regulations and sa of his friends. Luke is more micred offerings relative to leprosy, nute in his narration. He mentions see Lev. xiv.—Testimony unto them, that the centurion was very much i.e. an evidence to the public that attached to his servant, evincing the leper was cleansed. If the the benevolence of his feelings priests accepted the offering, it was even to one of inferior rank. He proof to the people that the disor- also describes the elders as strengthder was expelled.
ening their entreaty by mentioning 5–13. Parallel to Luke vii. 1- that he was friendly to the Jews, 10. The accounts vary in unim- and had built a synagogue for portant particulars, as we might them, thus manifesting his piety to suppose they naturally would, com God. ing from independent witnesses. 6. Lord. Sir, a title of respect Slight differences and discrepan- to a stranger.—My servant. Or, ces, instead of overthrowing, con slave. Though in this abject and firm the fidelity of the narrators, menial condition, the centurion, foland the truth of the facts.
lowing the dictates of a good heart, 5. Capernaum.' A town on the loves him, and cares for him as for Sea of Galilee. See note on chap. a child.---Lieth sick of the palsy. iv. 13.-There came unto him a cen Luke does not name the malady, turion. This was a Roman officer but says that he was ready to die." who commanded one hundred men. Matthew says he was “grievously Judea was kept in subjection by tormented.” Palsy is not usually troops garrisoned in the principal attended by excessive pain. But cities and towns. There was proba- Jabn calls the palsy of the New
unto him: I will come and heal him. The centurion answered 8 and said : Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and 9 I say to this man: Go, and he goeth ; and to another: Come, and he cometh ; and to my servant: Do this, and he doeth it. When 10 Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed: Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
Testament a disease of very wide trating trust saw at a glance that a import, and supposes that this per- miraculous cure could be wrought sou had the “cramp, which in orien at a distance as easily as when the tal countries is a fearful malady, worker was present himself. subjecting the patient to exquisite 9. This verse may be thus parasufferings, and inducing death in a phrased, and the sense will be more few days.” In the present case pal- prominent: “ Although I am mysy approximated to apoplexy. self under the coinmand of superior
7. I will come and heal him. That officers, yet, having soldiers under was his intention, but a change of me, I say to one, Go, and he goeth, circumstances rendered it proper and to another, Come, and he cointo alter it. The strong faith of eth, and to my servant, Do this, and the centurion made it unnecessary he doeth it.” The Roman soldiers for bim to go to the house ; for he were under the most rigid disbelieved that Jesus could work a cipline. The illustration is miracle at a distance, and thought striking and apposite one. It is an hinself unworthy of receiving him argument from the less to the greater. under his own roof.
As much as to say, If I, who hold 8. I am not worthy, &c. The a subordinate office, and am subJews avoided intercourse with the ject to the control of others, receive Gentiles as unclear. Acts x. 28. instant obedience from my soldiers The Roman felt therefore that his and servants, how much more can house was undeserving of the honor you, who have supernatural power, of having a great prophet enter it. cure disorders by a word. You He expresses a deep and genuine have but to speak, and it is done. Humility, the fruit no doubt of a The fitness of the comparison evintender religious sensibility. How ces the calm, full confidence of the refreshing to find a heathen like centurion. him, as it were, a native Christian ; 10. Marvelled. He wondered, he a piece of human nature retaining deemed the faith of the centurion its divine image; a Roman reli- remarkable. So great faith, no, not gious; a soldier humane; an officer in Israel. The kind of faith here humble! A brigbt light shining in spoken of was a belief in Jesus' a dark place !-Speak the word only. power to work miracles, and work His opinion of Jesus was as exalted them too at a distance. The cenas that of himself was lowly. His turion had manifested great confaith is equal to his modesty. To fidence in Christ's supernatural speak the word only is to give mere- gifts, believed that he could not ly a verbal command. His pene- only heal his servant, but could do
11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west,
and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the king12 dom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast
out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of 13 teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion : Go thy way, and as thou
it without entering the house where they will be admitted to the heavenhe was.
This was more implicitly feast with the patriarchs themand larger confidence than any selves. Or, to drop the figure, the Jew bad reposed in him. Among Gentiles will be admitted to the the chosen people, who were most privileges and blessings of the Meshighly favored with religious privi- siah's kingdom in this world and the leges, he found none so ripe in his world to come; a kingdom which confidence as this foreigner and was thought to be the exclusive soldier. He might well marvel and possession of the patriarchs and wonder that the last should be first, their descendants. and the first last.
12. The children of the kingdom. 11. This and the following verses It is a Hebrew idiom to use the are not in Luke's history of the words sons and children in the cure of the centurion's servant, bút sense of title, possession, desire. they occur in another connection, Thus, the sons of death are those Luke xiii. 28, 29.-East and west, doomed to death. The child of i. e. many from all quarters of the Satan, a very bad person. The globe, from pagan nations, would Jews arrogated to themselves the enter the kingdom of heaven. Is. kingdom of the Messiah to the exxlv. 6. lix. 19. Jesus says that clusion of the Gentiles, and are the case of the Roman officer called the children of the kingdom. would not be a solitary one, but But Jesus reverses the picture; that multitudes of the Gentiles Jews are lost and Gentiles are would become members of the as saved.-Outer darkness-weeping sembly of the just made perfect. and gnashing of teeth. Ps. cxii. 10. This remark would serve to soften The metaphor is continued. The the prejudices of the Jews against kingdom of heaven has been comthe Gentiles. It was a kindred de- pared to a feast. Allusion is now claration to that of Peter, in Acts made to the warm, lighted apartx. 34, 35.-Sit down. Or, literally, ments of great splendor, where it recline with. The oriental posture is held, by way of contrast to the at table is not like ours, a sitting, darkness and wretchedness without, but a recumbent one. Those who or to gloomy subterranean duneat recline on couches. The figure geons into which slaves and prisonexpresses the joys of heaven by ers were sometimes cast. Out of a banquet, as spiritual things are the feast chamber all was dark and frequently imaged forth by earthly cold, and those expelled would things. Reference may be made to weep and gnash their teeth from the Jewish aversion to the Gentiles, shame and suffering. Some would which went so far as to exclude read, instead of gnashing, chattering them from their tables. The Gen- of teeth, as produced by the cold tiles have been held unworthy of into which they were
driven. the common courtesies of life, but These expressions describe the aw.
hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.
And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's 14 mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the 15 fever left her; and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the 16 even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils; and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick ; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias 17
ful calamities which would descend thither for the convenience of fishon the Jews, if they rejected the ing, after the marriage of Peter. Messiah. Mat. xxi. 43.
15. Arose, and ministered. Her 13. As thou hast believed, so be it being able to rise and entertain done unto thee. As you believe that them was conclusive proof that the I can cure one at a distance, so be cure was complete, and also miracit done. The temporal blessing, ulous, for no natural restoration which a confidence in the power of would have enabled her at once to Jesus' working miracles produced, resume her ordinary employments. may remind us of the incalculable 16. When the even was value of faith in securing to us The heat of the day would have things of far higher excellence, the been oppressive to the sick. We growth and peace and salvation of learn too front Mark i. 21, that the soul.-Was healed in the self- it was the Sabbath day, and the same hour.
Or, at that instant. regard of the people for its obserThe cure was immediate and per vance led them to postpone bringfect, which proved that it was mira- ing their sick friends until after culous. For when persons recover sundown, Mark i. 32, at which time from the palsy by natural means, the Sabbath ended, Lev. xxiii. 32, the cure is gradual. Jesus wrought and the next day began. Luke xiii. the miracle at a distance, and upon 14.—Devils, i. e. demons. See note a stranger; there could then have on Mat. iv. 24.-With his word. At been no room for anything, but à word, by the mere force of his reality and truth.
command.--Healed all that were 14-17. Parallel to Mark i. 29– sick. Which showed that he cured 34. Luke iv. 38–41.
them miraculously, for if he had 14. Peter's house. Jesus was possessed anything short of divine now in Capernaum. Mark calls it power, he would have cured some, the house of Simon Peter and An- and been unable to cure others. drew, and speaks of James and “ The Redeemer, surrounded by John-going with them to the house. crowds of such unhappy people Bethsaida was the city of Andrew who were bowed down by their and Peter, according to John i. 44, physical sufferings, exhibited, in the a place lying on the Sea of Galilee, healing power by which he relieved south from Capernaum. It is con their external wants, an image of jectured that this was the house that spiritual energy which he conthey occasionally resorted to, be- stantly exercises, through the powlonging to Peter's mother-in-law. er of his redemption, upon the Or perhaps they had removed hearts of men."