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Then JESUS visited all Galilee, teaching in their Synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom [of heaven,] and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people; and was followed by great multitudes from Galilee, Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and from [Perea] beyond Jordan, Matt. iv. 23-25; Mark i. 39; Luke v. 15.
Among the most remarkable miracles he performed at this time, was the cure of the demoniac, at Capernaum, Mark i 21-28; Luke iv. 31-37.
THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
This divine discourse, which forms the finest exposition, and enlargement of the decalogue, (as shall be shewn in the ensuing article of the spirit of the Gospel,) appears to have been delivered, not on, or near, Mount Tabor, as usually supposed; but further north, according to the ingenious conjecture of Dr. Middleton, drawn from the definite expression of the scene of it, ro opos, the mountain*; which, as no mountain had been mentioned before, he supposes to represent "the mountain district" of Galilee, in the neighbourhood of Capernaum, which formed part of that great chain of mountains which runs through Palestine, nearly from north to south; and we may add, as distinguished from TоTOS Tεdivos, "a plain," or "flat place," contrasted therewith, which was the scene of an ensuing discourse †, Luke vi. 12-17, probably near the border of the lake of Galilee.
The season of its delivery is usually supposed to have been spring, from our Lord's illustration of the lilies of the field, Matt. vi. 28, or rather, as Michaelis conjectures, "the crown imperial," a beautiful and stately plant, common in the meadows of the east, and which blows early in spring. Middleton,
Middleton has shewn, p. 186, that ro opos, "the mountain," to which Lot was warned to fly, is contrasted with the cities of the plain, Gen. xix. 17; and where the spies of Joshua sheltered themselves, Josh. ii. 23, is explained, ǹ open, “the mountain district," ver. 22; and we may add, ǹ πετρη, "the rock," in the parable of the Sower, Luke viii. 6, is explained by TO TETρWdes, "the rocky or stoney ground," Mark iv. 5.
+ Several commentators reckon that Luke vi. 20, &c. records the same discourse as Matt. v. 1, &c. And a learned friend, Archdeacon Churton, thus ingeniously reconciles the apparent difference of place in the two Evangelists.
"The scene in Matthew was a mountain, opoç, as contrasted with the plain, or valley at the foot of it. But it was not on the summit [of the mountain], but on a level place, according to Luke, the first shelf, suppose, on the descent of the hill."
Greek article, p. 185, 192. See also Vol. I. of this work, p. 26, the month Adar.
The sermon was followed, and ratified, by a signal train of
1. The leper cured, Matt. viii. 1-4; Mark i. 40-44; Luke v. 12, 13.
2. The centurion's servant at Capernaum cured, Matt. viii. 5-13; Luke vii. 1-10.
3. The widow's son at Nain raised to life, Luke vii. 11-16. 4. The storm on the lake quelled, Matt. viii. 23—27; Mark iv. 35-41; Luke viii. 22-25.
5. A legion of demons sent from the two demoniacs into the swine, Matt. viii. 28-34; Mark v. 1-17; Luke viii. 27-37.
6. The bed-ridden paralytic cured, Matt. ix. 2-8; Mark ii. 2-12; Luke v. 18-26.
7. The woman cured of a bloody flux by touching his garment, Matt. ix. 20-22; Mark v. 25-34; Luke viii. 43-48.
8. Jairus' daughter raised to life, Matt. ix. 18-26; Mark v. 22-43; Luke viii. 41-56.
9. Two blind men restored to sight, Matt. ix. 27–31. 10. A dumb demoniac cured, Matt. ix. 32, 33.
Of these miracles, the most remarkable were,
THE LEPER CURED.
This Jewish leper was cured by two authoritative words, Oɛλw, KATAρiσONTI, “I will, be purified;" exactly corresponding to καθαρισθητι, the terms of the supplication, "LORD, if thou willest, thou art able to purify me."
Our Lord's injunction of secrecy to this leper and to others, “See thou tell no man," was founded in consummate prudence. For the purposes of his divine mission, it was necessary that he should perform many miracles, to command attention, and hold many discourses, to instruct the multitude, and discipline or train his Apostles for their future functions. Hence, in the beginning of his ministry, at least, he was obliged to keep himself as private as its nature would admit, in order to avoid giving umbrage to the ruling powers, the chief priests, Herod, and the Roman governor, by a premature celebrity; which might have
led them to cut him off before the time. In this particular cure, had "the officiating priests" at Jerusalem known that it was miraculous, they might, when "he shewed himself to them," as required by OUR LORD, in obedience to the law, Levit. xiv. 1-12, through envy, have refused to give him the certificate of his cure, which was necessary as a testimony unto his family and friends, to readmit him into society.
THE CENTURION'S SERVANT CURED *.
This pious, liberal, and lowly-minded heathen, the Roman centurion, stationed at Capernaum, did not think himself worthy to apply immediately to CHRIST, to cure a favourite servant; but employed the mediation of the elders of the Jewish Church at Capernaum; whose good will he had conciliated by his regard to their nation, and by building them a synagogue, or place of public worship, at his own expense. JESUS approved their intercession, and went with them. But when he was now not far from the house, either the Centurion himself, or some friends whom he deputed, came to spare OUR LORD the trouble of coming to the house; saying, "LORD, I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof; wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to go unto thee; but command, by a word, and my servant shall be cured: For even I, am a man in a subaltern station, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it:"-[But thou art THE LORD of all nature, whose commands thy angels, or ministering spirits, will more implicitly obey.]
Struck with such exalted and sublime conceptions of his almighty power, JESUS marvelled, and said unto the Jews that followed him, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel!"—And he said unto the centurion, or to his deputies, "Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee." And his servant was cured in the self same hour.
There is some variation between the accounts of Matthew and Luke; in the former he addresses CHRIST in person, in the latter by proxy; both, therefore, are reconcileable on the maxim of the Civilians, Qui facit per alium, facit per se, the proxy representing the person. In the main points both agree, 1. the miracle was wrought at Capernaum; 2. the sick servant of Luke, (dovλoç,) is also called (Tai,) "boy," vii. 3-7, as well as by Matthew; 3. the speech is the same, LORD, I am not worthy, &c. and, 4. the commendation, I have not found so great faith, &c.
THE WIDOW'S SON RESTORED TO LIFE.
The two preceding miracles were wrought by intercession. This was spontaneous; the sole effect of his "tender compassion, (ɛondayɣvon,) for the widow," whose only son was carrying out to be interred, at Nain, near Mount Tabor, and much people of the city were with her, attending the funeral; to mark their regard for the deceased, and respect for her. He stopped the procession, he touched the bier, and he uttered two authoritative words, Neavioke, eyεpInTi, Youth, arise! and immediately he sat up, and began to speak; and CHRIST delivered him to his mother.
JAIRUS' DAUGHTER RESTORED.
She also was instantly raised, by two authoritative words in the Syro-Chaldaic, or vernacular tongue, Talitha Kumi, "Damsel arise !"
THE SECOND PASSOVER *.
As the chief priests and Pharisees had taken umbrage at our Lord's proceedings during the first passover at Jerusalem, and at the progress of his baptism afterwards in Judea; which made it advisable for Him to remove out of their jurisdiction into Galilee, where the three first Evangelists particularly relate his proceedings, omitting those. in Judea; So John resumes here the narrative of his proceedings there at the second passover, which OUR LORD attended.
The chronology of this passover has been embarrassed by the indefinite description of St. John, oprη Twv Iovdawv, "a feast of the Jews," v. 1, which will equally apply to those of Pentecost, or of Tabernacles. But the correcter reading appears to be ǹ ¿oprη, "the feast," by way of eminence, as the Passover was styled, Luke ii. 42; John iv. 45, xi. 56, xii. 12; and it is supported by the two Syriac Versions, (the Peshito and Philoxenian,) the Coptic; by twenty-five MSS. including three of the oldest; see Griesbach, edit. 2; and by sixteen MS. of Matthai's collection. By the fragm. edit. Aldin. and by the Fathers Irenæus, Eusebius, Cyril, Theophylact. See Scaliger, Emend. Temp. p. 555. The present reading, indeed, is the only instance, out of seventeen, in John's Gospel, in which toprŋ is anarthrous, or occurs without the article, which is a strong argument for its insertion here too. It is also required by the context; from the position of this feast, as the second Passover, v. 1, between the first, noticed John ii. 13, iv. 45, and the third, John vi. 4. The phrase кal' έoprηy, is applied to the Passover, Matt. xxvii. 15; compare John xviii. 39. Not a reasonable doubt, therefore, can remain of the propriety of this adjustment of the second Passover, A.D. 29. Middleton, in his valuable work on the Greek article, has shewn, p. 350, that even oprŋ, without the article, may denote the Passover, from John xix. 14.
THE CRIPPLE CURED ON THE SABBATH DAY.
This astonishing miracle of restoring to the use of his limbs a cripple, who had continued so for thirty-eight years, excited, more strongly, the indignation of the Pharisees, for the supposed breach of the sabbath; and also because JESUS vindicated it by HIS FATHER'S example, working on all days continually, who "neither slumbers nor sleeps." “MY FATHER worketh hitherto, and I work ;" and as he afterwards declared, "THE SON OF MAN is Lord even of the Sabbath." For these complicated crimes, as they imagined, of breaking the sabbath, and of blasphemy, in "calling GOD his peculiar Father, making himself like GOD," they sought to kill him, John v. 1—18, viii. 54, x. 33-36, Mark ii. 28.
On this occasion our blessed Lord boldly and authoritatively avowed his high dignity as the SON OF GOD, invested by THE FATHER with his own powers, who loved him; and gave him full judicial authority to raise all mankind to life, as Daniel's "Son of Man" at the first, and at the general resurrections; in the last of which, he was to reward or punish them according to their works, ver. 19-30. This may be considered as the continuation of his discourse with Nicodemus; and shall be explained in the last article of the Spirit of the Gospel.
He then proceeded to support these solemn asseverations, that they might not rest merely on his own authority; by stating his credentials, ver. 31.
1. The testimony of John the Baptist in his favour, to whom they had sent a deputation to enquire; and whom, for some time, they respected as a prophet and a righteous man, ver. 32-35. With this testimony he afterwards confounded his enemies, when they questioned by what authority he acted, when he purged the temple a second time, by reducing them to the dilemma of either acknowledging, or denying John's divine mission as a Prophet: the former would unavoidably bind them to admit CHRIST'S authority, the latter would exasperate the multitude. They declined, therefore, to answer his question, and so he refused to answer theirs: "Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things," Matt. xxi. 23--27, Mark xi. 2733, Luke xx. 1-8.
Ioov T Oε is the same as toa Oey, Phil. ii. 6, or tσ00ɛoç, "godlike," Homer; so ισαγγελοι, "like angels," Luke xx. 36.