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the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 8

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 2

Leper ; leprosy was one of the most filthy, loathsome, and incurable of diseases.

Thou canst ; an expression of faith in his almighty power. Whenever Christ wills, our difficulties will be removed; and implicit confidence in him is a good preparation to receive his favor.

Verse 3

I will ; in this Jesus showed that he is almighty, according to his declaration in Revelation 1:8 .

Verse 4

Tell no man ; either tell no man till thou hast shown thyself to the priest, that his judgment of the cure may not be influenced by any report of the miracle; or do not noise abroad the matter, a command often given by our Lord to those whom he had healed. Compare The gift , Matthew 12:15-21 .

A testimony , Leviticus 14:1-32 ; that he was really cured, and might safely be again admitted into society.

Verse 5

Centurion ; a Roman officer who had command of a "century," consisting generally of about a hundred men.

Verse 8

Those who have the most exalted views of Jesus Christ, have humble and abasing views of themselves.

Verse 9

Under authority ; to my superior officers, and therefore knowing how to render prompt obedience.

Having soldiers under me ; and therefore knowing how to receive prompt obedience. He means to say, Just as I obey and am obeyed, so thou hast only to command, and diseases will come and go at thy bidding.

Verse 10

So great faith ; such strong confidence in the power of Christ to do whatever he pleased.

In Isreal ; among the Jews, whose spiritual advantages were much greater than those of any other people.

Verse 11

Many ; from among the Gentiles and people less favored with light. Many, with small advantages, look to Christ and live; while others, whose advantages are much greater, reject him and perish.

Verse 12

Children of the kingdom ; Jews favored with great privileges.

Outer darkness ; the darkness without the banqueting-hall, which is brightly illuminated. Compare Chap Matthew 22:13 . The banqueting-hall here represents the kingdom of heaven, and the outer darkness, hell.

Verse 14

Marriage is honorable in all, and is especially important in ministers of the gospel. A bishop who is the husband of one wife, is, in this respect, like the apostle Peter.

Verse 17

Took-bare ; took them upon himself, and thus took them away from us. Such is the plain meaning of this passage, quoted from Isaiah 53:4 . Bodily sickness is a part of the sorrow which sin has occasioned. By healing this, the Saviour shadowed forth the perfect redemption which he gives to our souls by taking our place, and being "wounded for our transgressions," and "bruised for our iniquities." Isaiah 53:5 ; 1 Peter 2:24 .

Verse 18

The other side ; of the sea of Galilee.

Verse 19

Follow thee ; in a special sense; become thy disciple and attendant. Persons sometimes express strong resolutions of becoming followers of Christ, without duly considering to what it will expose them, or what they must relinquish for his sake.

Verse 20

The Son of man ; the Son of man in a preeminent sense. Had Jesus been a mere man, this title, which he commonly applied to himself, could have had no significancy. But now, being God, he described himself by it as "God manifested in the flesh," 1 Timothy 3:16 .

Hath not where ; is destitute of a home and its comforts. He would have him understand that his followers must expect poverty and hardships, and be prepared to bear them. Poverty is no disgrace, unless brought upon men by their own fault. The poor resemble the Redeemer in their outward condition, more than the rich. He chooses for them, in this respect, that condition which, when on earth, he chose for himself.

Verse 22

Let the dead ; the spiritually dead.

Bury their dead ; the literally dead. Let those who are impenitent sinners without spiritual life bury your father, and do you now what I command you. The omniscient Saviour saw that such a command was necessary to impress upon that disciple the supreme importance of his service, and the necessity of making every earthly feeling and interest subordinate to it. Compare his command to the rich young man in chap. Matthew 19:21 . Our obligations to Christ are greater than to father, mother, or any earthly friends; and we should not let our regard for them hinder us from promptly obeying him.

Verse 26

O ye of little faith ; small confidence in my knowledge and power.

Rebuked the winds ; commanded them not to blow. For men to be fearful when following the directions of Christ, shows great want of confidence in him, and is both foolish and wicked.

Verse 28

The other side ; the east side of the sea of Galilee.

Gergesenes ; the region in which was situated the city of Gergesa, and also that of Gadara, mentioned Mark 5:1 .

The tombs ; these among the Jews were often excavations in hills and rocks, sometimes of great extent, with many apartments, which afforded shelter to those who had no better accommodations. The power and malice of unclean spirits is inconceivably great. It should be to us a matter of devout gratitude that they are made subject to the authority of Christ, and can harm none that put their trust in him.

Verses 28-34

Legion of devils. Matthew 8:28-34 ; Matthew 26:53 .

Verse 29

Before the time ; the day of judgment, the time appointed by God for their final torments. Even devils knew that God would fulfil his word, in punishing them at his own appointed time.

Verse 32

Go ; by this permission the reality of the existence of unclean spirits, and their terrible power and malice, were manifested in a most striking way.

Verse 34

Besought him that he would depart ; probably from fear lest his miraculous power should work them still greater worldly losses. Men who are not literally "possessed of devils," may still be influenced by evil spirits; and when so influenced, they are opposed to Christ, and wish him to depart from them. Covetousness leads men to act in the same way; and so debases them, that they prefer any thing by which they can make money, to the presence and glory of the Saviour.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Matthew 8". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/matthew-8.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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