« PreviousContinue »
But Jesus did not allow the devils to give it him, for the reasons to be mentioned, § 86. 25. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. The effect of this possession had been an epilepsy, for the spirit in possession is cailed an unclean one, and is said to have convulsed the man when he came out of him. 26. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, (xagažav) and cried with a loud voice, (Luke, when the devil had thrown him in the mids, i. e. cast him down on the ground) he came out of him, (Luke, and hurt him not). It is remarkable, that in all the cures of this distemper which our Lord performed, matters were so ordered, that the person to be cured was seized with it at the time of the cure, and raised from the stupor of the fit to perfect health in an instant. The reason was, that thus the reality and greatness both of the distemper and the cure were fully proved, to the conviction of every spectator. Mark i. 27. And they wore all amazed, insomuch that they questioned (Luke, spake) among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? (Luke, what a word is this, i. e. how powerful is this man's word or command) for with authority (Luke, with authority and power) commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him (uke, they come out). 28. And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee (Luke, the fame of him went out into every place of the the country round about.)
From the synagogue, Jesus went home to Peter's house, and cured his wife's mother who was ill of a fever. Luke iv. 38. And he arose out of the synagogue. Mark i. 29. And forthwith when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John, (Luke, Simon's house). 30. But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fe ver, and anon they tell him of her. 31. And he came and took her by the hand, and lift or up, (Luke, he stood over her, and † rebuked the fever) and immediately the fever left her. Her
Peter was a native of Bethsaida, and when first admitted to the honour of Christ's acquaintance, seems to have had his residence there. But happening to marry a woman of Capernaum, as is generally supposed, he removed thither with his brother Andrew, and there prosecuted their common business of fishing, in company with James and John the sons of Zebedee, who lived with them in one house.
Luke, ver 39. Rebuked the fover.] This is an expression of the same kind and signification with rebuking the winds and the sea, Matt. viii. 26, not that either the one or the other were considered by Christ as persons, but it intimates Fis authority over all diseases, and over the elements, being analogous to the figurative expressions in scripture, which represent not only all inanimate creatures as God's servants, but diseases, famine, pestilence, &c. as executioners, wairing on him to inflict punishment upon rebellious sinners. Thus, Hab. iii. 5 Before lim went the pestilence, and burning diseases went forth at his feet; a figure which excellently represents the divine power, to which all things are subject. See Psal. çiv. 7. cvi. 9,
cure was effected in an instant, and not slowly, like the cures produced in the course of nature, or by medicine. For though the length and violence of her distemper had brought her into a weak and languid state, her full strength returned all at once, insomuch, that rising up immediately, she prepared a supper for them, and served them while at meat (dinxori autos), shewing that she was restored to perfect health. Luke iv. 39. And immediateshe arose and ministered unto them.
The news of this miracle being spread through the town, those who had sick relations or friends, resolved to apply to Jesus for a cure. Only because it was the Sabbath, they did not come immediately to him. They waited till the holy rest was ended, which, according to the Jewish form of the day, was at sun-setting, and then they brought the sick in great numbers to him, fully persuaded that he would heal them. Mark i. 32. And at even, when the sun did set, (Luke, when the sun was setting) they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. 33. And all the city was gathered together at the door. The persons who attended the sick, or who brought them to be cured, together with the towns- people, whose curiosity and admiration was excited by the reports which were immediately spread abroad of the two miracles that day performed, made such a crowd at the door of Peter's house, that it looked as if all the city had been gathered together. However, what drew Christ's attention, was the diseased and the possessed. The sight of so many of the human kind in distress, moved him; he took pity on them, and cured them all. Luke iv, 40. And he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. also came out of many, crying out and saying, Thou art Christ 41. And devils the son of God: And he rebuked them, suffered them not to speak, for they knew that he was Christ. (See on Luke xi. 15. 9 86. Matt. viii. 16. And he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick-17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. By assuming the human nature, with its infirmities and diseases, as well as by his sufferings, he made atonement for sin, and freed men from the punishment of it, both temporal and eternal. Of this he now gave the clearest proof in his miracles, healing with sovereign authority all diseases originally inflicted on men as the temporal punishment of sin. Hence, the curing of these diseases is called by Christ himself, the forgiving of sin, Matt. ix. 2. see § 33. Christ's miracles augmenting his fame exceedingly, the crowds that were drawn together in Capernaum began to be troublesome: Wherefore, Mark i. 35. (And) in the morning rising up a great while before day, he went out and departed into a solitary place, (Luke, a desert place) and there prayed. But the people of Capernaum,
highly elated with the presence of so great a prophet, would not wait till he returned. They went out to the place of his retirement under the guidance of his disciples, and begged that their town might enjoy the favour of his presence always. 36. And Simon, and they that were with him, followed after him. 37. And when they had found him they said unto him, All men seek for thee. Luke iv. 42. And the people sought him, and came unte him, and stayed him that he should not depart from them.—But this being altogether inconsistent with the duties of his mission, he refused it and left them. Luke iv. 43. And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: (Mark i. 38. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also) for therefore am I sent. 44. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee: (Mark i. 39. throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.)
XXX. The first miraculous draught of fishes. Jesus makes a third tour through Galilee, and cures another leper. See § 27. . Mark i. 40,-45. Luke v. 1,-16.
AFTER Jesus returned home, his four disciples betook themselves as usual to their ordinary occupations; for in the following passage of the history, we find them washing their nets after having fished with them in the lake. But though they thus minded their worldly affairs, they did not neglect attending on the public instructions which their master gave from time to time in their own city.
**It seems, the sermons which Jesus preached in the last tour had made a great impression on the people; for they either accompa nied him to Capernaum, or went thither soon after his return, in expectation of hearing him. This disposition he would not discourage; and therefore he went out to the lake, and taught them standing upon the shore. But the crowd growing continually greater, they pressed upon him to such a degree that he could not continue his discourse. He therefore went into Simon's boat and preached the word to them as they stood round upon the shore. Luke v. 1. And it came to pass, that as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennezareth, 2. And saw two ships standing by the lake; but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3. And he entered into one of them, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people out of the ship. The subject of his discourse at this time is not mentioned by the evangelist; he introduces the transaction only because it was followed by an extraordinary miracle, which he is going to relate. For Jesus having finished his sermon and dismissed the people, desired Simon, who was the owner of the boat, and his own disciple, to launch forth and let down
his net for a draught, intending by the multitude of fishes which he would make him catch, to shew him the success of his future preaching, even in cases where little success was to be expected. 4. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing. Nevertheless, as thy word I will let down the net.-And now the net was no sooner let down, than such a shoal of fishes ran into it, that it was in danger of breaking. 6. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake, or rather almost brake.When they inclosed this great multitude of fishes, they were, it seems, not far from the shore; for they beckoned to their companions who belonged to the other boat, to come and assist them. 7. And they beckoned to their partners which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them: And they came and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink, or rather almost sank. So great a draught of fishes had never been seen in the lake before. Wherefore, it could not miss being acknowledged plainly miraculous by all the fishermen present; especially as they had toiled in that very place to no purpose the whole preceding night, a season much more favourable than the day time for catching fish in such clear waters. Peter in particular was so struck with the thing, that he could not forbear expressing his astonishment in the most lively manner both by words and ges tures. Luke v. 8. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, who was in the boat with them, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. Peter's words on this occasion may be variously interpreted. For we may suppose, that, conscious of his iniquity, he was afraid to be in Christ's company, lest some infirmity of offence might have exposed him to more than ordinary chastisements, compare Judges vi. 22. xiii. 22.; or it being an opinion of the Jews, that the visits of prophets were attended with chastisements from heaven, 1 Kings xvii. 18. he might be struck with a panic, when he observed this proof of Christ's power. Or he may have said to his master, Depart, because he was not able to shew him the respect he deserved, and was not worthy to be in his company. In this latter sense, Peter's word's were VOL. I. 3 Q full
• Ver. 6. Almost brake.] So duggnyvuto must signify here, because if the net had been broken, they could not have caught the fishes. Besides, this translation is justified by w5i Evtiliodai aura in the following verse, which without dispute must be rendered so that they (almost) sank: thus likewise. Matth. ix. 18. my daughter agTI STEXEUTNOWV, is now (almost) dead, as is evident from Mark v. 23. Luke viii. 49. So also Luke xxi. 26. Men (almost) killed through fear. See the Commentary on these passages.
full of reverence and humility, being not unlike the centurion's speech so highly applauded by Jesus himself, " I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof."-Though Peter was the only person who spake on this occasion, the rest were not unaffected. It seems they all thought this a more notable miracle than the cures which he had performed on the sick. 10. And so quas also James and John the sons of Zebedee which were partners with Simon.—And Jesus said uuto Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. The fishes were brought together on this occasion by the power of Christ, to shew Peter and his companions, that from thenceforth they were to be employed in a more noble business; they were to catch men, that is, by the power of their doctrine were to draw them out of the gulf of ignorance, wickedness, and misery, in which they were immersed. -Doubtless, before this, the disciples entertained an high idea of their master, as they believed him to be Messiah. But the miracle of the fishes was such a striking demonstration of his power, that they became absolutely devoted to his will; and in the greatness of their admiration, followed him, neglecting their booty. This seems to be the evangelist's meaning in the eleventh verse, where he tells us, that, 11. (And) when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him †.
After the miraculous draught of fishes, by which Jesus reconcile his disciples to their work, he went with them through Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom as usual, and working miracles. This I think appears from Luke; for that evange list, after mentioning the willingness with which the disciples followed Jesus, relates how that in a certain city he met a man
* Ver. 10. Sholt catch men. en.] In the Greek, the expression is very emphatical autewies son (wyer, Thou shalt be employed in catching men alive, in allusion to those fishes and beasts that are caught, not to be killed, but to be put into ponds and parks.
This transaction being in all its parts entirely different from that related Matt, iv. 18. § 25. it is strange that any reader should have imagined them the There is not so much as the most distant resemblance between them, un less Christ's words to Simon and Andrew, Matth. iv. 19. I will make you fishers of men, be thought like his words to Simon, Luke v. 10. Fear not, from benceforth thou shalt catch men; or Matthew's reflection, iv. 22. And immediately they left the ship and their father end followed him, be thought like Luke's; And ruben theg bad brought their ship to shore, they forsook all and followed him. After the miracu lous draught of fishes which Luke speaks of, there was no call given the men to follow Christ. Only being out of measure astonisbed, they did not mind the spoil they had gotten, but left it to the care of Zebedee, and went with their master, first into the town, and immediately after through Galilee. This I take to be the meaning of the expression, and they followed him, not that from thenceforth they abandoned their occupations, and constantly accompanied him. They did not become Christ's constant attendants till afterwards, when he elected them among the twelve, whom he ordered to be with him always, Luke vi. 13. Mark iii. 14. § 37.