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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Matthew 8

Verses 5-13


48. Centurion’s servant; widow’s son (Matthew 8:5-40.8.13; Luke 7:1-42.7.17)

Back in Capernaum, a Roman centurion asked Jesus to heal one of his servants who was dying. However, he did not expect Jesus to come to his house. Being an army officer, he operated in a system of authority where he needed only to give a command and it was carried out. He believed that Jesus carried the authority of God, and he needed only to say the word and the servant would be healed (Matthew 8:5-40.8.9; Luke 7:1-42.7.8).

Jesus saw that this Roman had more faith than the Jews. He used the incident to warn the Jews that many of them would be left out of God’s kingdom, but Gentiles from countries far and near would, because of their faith, be included (Matthew 8:10-40.8.13; Luke 7:9-42.7.10).

In another northern town, Nain, Jesus raised a widow’s son to life. It seems that in this case he acted not because of any request, but solely because of the pity he felt for the woman. With her husband and her only son dead, she was faced with hardship and poverty for the rest of her life. Jesus therefore stopped the funeral procession and gave her son back to her (Luke 7:11-42.7.17).

Verses 18-22

81. The cost of being a disciple (Matthew 8:18-40.8.22; Luke 9:57-42.9.62)

Three men came to Jesus saying they wanted to be disciples, but they did not realize the sacrifices they would have to make in following Jesus. The first man was told to think seriously about his professed intentions, because following Jesus would bring with it physical hardship and discomfort (Luke 9:57-42.9.58). The second was warned that responsibilities towards Jesus must come before ordinary worldly responsibilities. The spiritually dead, whose interests are only in this life, can look after the everyday matters of life; the disciples of Jesus have to attend to the more important business of the kingdom of God (Luke 9:59-42.9.60). The third man was warned that Jesus’ disciples must give themselves to him completely. There is no place for those whose real interests are elsewhere (Luke 9:61-42.9.62).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Matthew 8". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". 2005.