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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1



V. 1-4

1) "When he was come down from the mountain," (katabantos de apo tou orous) "As he came down from the mountain," where He had given His inaugural address to His church, in the Sermon of the Mount, just southwest of Capernaum, Matthew 8:5; Matthew 5:6-7.

2) "Great multitudes followed him." (ekolouthesan auto ochloi polloi) "There followed him many crowds," called "great multitudes." This chapter begins an account of the miracle ministry of Jesus, attestations or signs by which men might believe Jesus was the Savior, John 20:30-31. In addition there were the prophetic signs He had already fulfilled by which men were to believe. Matthew 1:22-23; Matthew 2:5-6; Matthew 2:15; Matthew 2:17-18; Matthew 2:23; Matthew 3:1-3; Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:30-33; Matthew 4:2-17.

Verse 2

1) "And, behold, there came a leper," (kai idou lepros proselthon) "And behold a leper while approaching," coming closer and closer toward him, as recounted also Mr 1:40; Luke 5:12-14. Leprosy was a type of sin, as an abhorrent, unclean, and incurable disease that ravaged the body, as sin does the soul of man, Leviticus 13:14; 2 Kings 5:1.

2) "And worshipped him, saying," (prosekunei auto legon) "Worshipped him, saying repeatedly," bowing, failing down on the ground before Him, crying out as follows: Mr 1:40; Luke 5:12-12. He fell down on his face as an inferior to a superior, seeking a favor.

3) "Lord if thou wilt," (kurie ean theles) "Lord, if you are willing," earnestly willing I believe and I know, Mr 1:40; Luke 5:12. The leper knew who Jesus was and believed in Him but was not sure of Jesus’ willingness to heal him.

4) "Thou canst make me clean." (dunasai me kathraisai) "You are able to cleanse me," or "you are able, cleanse me." This is perhaps both a confession of faith and an earnest prayer, simultaneously offered, Mr 1:40; Luke 5:12.

Verse 3

1) "And Jesus put forth his hand," (kai ekteinas ten cheira) "And (Jesus) stretching out his hand," or when he had stretched out his hand, not to condemn or push him away, but to help; He was "moved with compassion," to touch him, to keep him from perishing, Mr 1:4; John 3:16.

2) "And touched him, saying," (hepsato auto legon) "He touched him saying," or while proceeding to touch him with hands upon him, to remove, not receive defilement, spoke out as follows: (See Leviticus 5:2-3; Hebrews 7:26).

3) "I will; be thou clean." (thelo katharisthetai) "I will, (to do it), be thou cleansed," from the 1) Loathsome, 2) Spreading, and 3) Incurable malady. It is a grand thought that Matthew’s first story of healing was of this unclean sinner, the leading type of an alien sinner, whom Jesus came to save, Luke 19:10. Jesus has a ready answer for a ready faith, Acts 16:31; John 6:37.

4) "And immediately his leprosy was cleansed." (kai eutheos ekaristhe autou he lepra) "And instantly his leprosy was cleansed." Note that this first recorded healing miracle was: 1) First, of an incurable disease, 2) Second, instantaneously done, and 3) Third, it was complete, as Mr 1:42 describes it, "Immediately the leprosy departed from him and he was cleansed;" This is the way Jesus saves, quickly; or regenerates by His Spirit, John 3:3-8; John 6:63; John 5:24; 1 John 5:1; Romans 1:16; Romans 10:8-13; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6.

This lesson teaches that: 1) The vilest sinner may come to Jesus, 2) The weakest sinner can come to Him, and, 3) To be delivered, the vilest sinner must be willing, to come, to be delivered from the eternal consequences of sin.

Verse 4

1) "And Jesus saith unto him," (kai legei auto ho lesous) "And Jesus said (directly) to him," to the trusting and pleading former leper whom he had just instantly healed, similar to other occasions, Matthew 9:30; Mr 5:43.

2) "See thou tell no man;" (hora medeni lipes) "See to it that you tell no one;" This was imperative of both mood and tone, Mr 1:43. The healing announcement was not to be made by the former leper. Such was restricted as a duty and privilege of a priest under the law, Leviticus 14:4-32; Isaiah 42:21.

3) "But go thy way, shew thyself to the priest," (alla hupage seatuon diekson to hierei) "But go (instead) and show yourself to the priest," Note our Lord came to fulfill the law of Moses, not to bypass its requirements, Luke 5:14.

4) "And offer the gift that Moses commanded," (kai prosenegkon to doron ho prosetaksen Mouses) "And offer the gift which Moses mandated," directed under the law, Leviticus 14:3; Deuteronomy 24:8; Luke 5:14. When the leper did not keep the matter quiet, or "low-key," Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, Mr 1:45.

5) "For a testimony unto them." (eis marturion autois) "With reference to a testimony to them," that the priests might officially certify, as legal health officers of the Mosaic system, that the leper had been made clean, Matthew 5:17-19. Jesus respected the civil and religious laws He was under. This is an example of how He honored the law He was then fulfilling.

Verse 5


1) "And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum," (eiselthontos de autou eis kapharnaoum) "Then as he was entering into the city of Capernaum." The name Capernaum means "city of consolation." It is in upper Galilee, near the northwest side of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus resided during His Galilee ministry, a great commercial route leading from the SW into Damascus, Syria, Matthew 4:12-13; John 6:17.

2) "There came unto him a centurion," (proselthen auto- hekatontarchos) "A centurion approached him," a Roman officer in charge of an hundred soldiers. He is one of several centurions of which good things are recounted, Luke 7:5; Luke 23:47. This particular centurion built the Jews a synagogue, and was known for both wealth and piety.

3) "Beseeching him," (parakalon auton) "beseeching or repeatedly appealing to him," as also recounted, Luke 7:1-10.

Verse 6

1) "And saying, Lord," (kai legon kurie) "And repeatedly explaining to him, Lord," directly appealing to Jesus.

2) "My servant lieth at home sick of the palsy," (ho pais mou bebletai en te oikia paralutekos) "My young son-servant has been laid aside in the house as a paralytic," bedridden, unable to be brought to Jesus by the earnest centurion. The disease affects the nerves, muscles, and emotions of the victim. Mr 2:1-12 describes our Lord’s healing another paralytic.

3) "Grievously tormented." (deinos basanizomenos) "Being terribly tortured," or existing in a terrible state or condition of torture in his whole body. Luke 7:2 describes it "was sick and ready to die."

Verse 7

1) "And Jesus saith unto him," (legei auto) "Jesus said to him," to the centurion, to the Roman officer in charge of an hundred soldiers, who had come with heavy heart to Jesus, requesting mercy on his young son-servant, who would have cared for him in his old age.

2) "I will come and heal him." (ego elthon therapeuso auton) "I coming (while coming) will heal him." Our Lord graciously offered to go to the centurion’s home to heal this paralytic, a son-servant of the centurion. Jesus could have healed without coming to his home, John 4:49-53.

Verse 8

1) "The centurion answered and said, Lord," (apokritheis de ho hekatontarchos ephe kurie) "Then responding the centurion said, Lord," in an attitude of humility before and respect for Jesus, though the centurion was an high command army officer. Humility and respect for God and before holy things is always to be desired, Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 18:2; Proverbs 22:4.

2) "I am not worthy," (ouk eimi hikanos) "I am not (at all) worthy;" This was an index of great character for a Roman army officer to say to a Jew, Luke 15:19; Luke 15:21. Much like the prodigal said to his father upon his return.

3) "That thou shouldest come under my roof:" (hina mou hupo ten stegen eiselthes) "To merit or in order that you might enter under my roof," even come through the door into my home. Yet, Christ surely came into his heart because of this earnest man’s faith; Everyone, saint or sinner, who humbles himself in faith before the Lord shall be exalted, Job 22:29; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:5-6.

4) "But speak the word only," (alla monon eipe logo) "But you only say it (you will) in a word;" This expression indicates the centurion’s absolute faith in the power of the word of Jesus Christ, Hebrews 11:6; Psalms 107:19-20.

5) "And my servant shall be heated." (kai eathesetai ho pais mou) "And my young son-servant will be healed," or made whole. The centurion affirmed his faith in Jesus as Lord by telling how that soldiers under his command, as he represented the Roman army command, did his bidding because of the civil powers of the Emperor who backed him. He then concluded that Jesus as Lord over heaven’s power could command angelic realms and order diseases to cease, by His power, Luke 7:6-8.

Verse 9

1) "For I am a man under authority," (kai gar ego anthropos limi hupo eksousian) "Because I am also a man under authority," of Caesar, as a Roman commander of one hundred soldiers. With this illustration he indicated his belief in the authority of Jesus over sickness diseases, and demon spirits, Mr 1:27; Luke 9:1.

2) "Having soldiers under me:" (echon hup’ emauton stratiotas) "Continually having or holding soldiers under my command," to do what I did, instruct or command them to do.

3) "And I say to this man, Go, and he goeth;" (kai lego touto poreutheti kai poreuetai) "And I say to this one, go, or move, and he moves," as bidden. The centurion had faith to believe that Jesus could say to fever, palsy, leprosy, etc., "go" and it would go.

4) "And to another, Come, and he cometh;" (kai allo erchou kai erchetai) "And to another you come and he comes," in doing what he can, and should, and must, or suffer consequences of insubordination.

5) "And to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it." (kai to doulo mou poieson touto kai poiei) "And to my slave, (I say) do this, and he does it," at my command, at once, obediently, to meet my personal needs or for my personal comfort. Jesus once rebuked the disciples for their failure, even to recognize His supernatural Lordship over nature, Luke 8:22-25.

Verse 10

1) "When Jesus heard it, he marvelled," (akousas de ho lesous ethaumasen) "Then upon hearing this Jesus marveled;" He solemnly paused to reflect and express approval, and commend the spirit of unworthiness, humility, and faith expressed by the Gentile centurion, Acts 20:19; Colossians 2:18; Colossians 2:23; 1 Peter 5:5.

2) "And said to them that followed," (kai eipen tois akolouthousin) "And he said to those who followed him," especially to His disciples and the crowd that followed, to teach them what constituted genuine character.

3) "Verily I say unto you," (amen lego humin) "Truly I tell you all," especially as followers of mine, whom I have called and chosen, John 15:16; John 15:27; Luke 9:23.

4) "I have not found so great faith," (par’ oudin heuron tosauten pisten) "From no one have I found such faith," later also shown, Matthew 9:2; Mr 2:5. Our Lord indicates that He has found faith of notable degree of discount among the Jews, His chosen people.

5) "No, not in Israel." (en to Israel) (oudeni) "No, not at all in Israel." the custodians or administrators of Israel’s Law and prophets that pointed to Him as Savior, Lord, and King, Acts 10:43; Revelation 19:10; Luke 16:31. It was among those of Israel, to whom Jesus first came, where such faith should have been expected, Luke 7:9; John 1:11-12.

Verse 11

1) "And I say unto you," (lego de humin) "And I tell you all," all who were hearing, both His disciples and the following multitudes, Matthew 8:1; Luke 7:11.

2) "That many shall come from the east and west," (hoti polloi apo anatolon kai dusmon eksousin) "That many will come from east and west," many people of faith, many who have been redeemed, both Jews and Gentiles, over all the earth, Isaiah 11:10; Revelation 5:11; Acts 11:18; Luke 13:28-29.

3) "And shall sit down with," (kai anaklithesantai mata) "And they shall sit down or reside with," as one reclines at a banquet, in the millennial era, when Jesus sits on David’s throne, to reign over the house of David, Luke 1:30-33.

a) (kai Abraam) "Abraham," father of the faithful, to whom the Abrahamic faith covenant was given, Genesis 12:1-3; Genesis 8:18; Ro 4:35.

b) (kai Isaak) "And with Isaac," to whom the faithful covenant was confirmed, Genesis 26:1-5.

c) (kai lakob) ’’And with Jacob," father of twelve sons from whom the twelve tribes of Abraham’s Faith­line covenant was further confirmed, Genesis 28:10-22; Genesis 49:1-28.

4) "In the kingdom of heaven" (en te basileia ’on ouranon) "in the kingdom of heaven’s future administrative day," over the earth, when the twelve apostles of the church shall "sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel," Luke 22:28-30.

Verse 12

1) "But the children of the kingdom," (hoi de huioi tes basilejas) "Yet, the heirs of the kingdom," the natural heirs of Abraham - those who never received Jesus Christ as Savior or became spiritual heirs of Abraham, such as Jesus attributed to many of those in His days, whom He called children of the Devil, though they claimed to be Abraham’s seed, John 8:3; John 8:13; John 8:19; John 8:21; John 8:24; John 8:33-34.

2) "Shall be cast out into outer darkness:" (ekbiethesontai eis to skotos to eksoteron) "Will be cast out into the outer darkness," a place of abandonment from fellowship with the redeemed of the ages then on earth, Matthew 25:10.

3) "There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (ekei estai ho klauthmos kai ho brugmos ton odonton) "There will be (become, come to exist) weeping and gnashing of teeth," for them, Matthew 13:41-42; Matthew 25:11-13. Because of their own loss and their envy of those who received and followed the Lord in His church by faith; See also Revelation 19:5-9.

Verse 13

1) "And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way;" (kai eipen ho lesous to hekatontarche hupage) "And Jesus said to the centurion, Go," to illustrate the faith you have expressed, Matthew 8:8. Go home without me and my disciples; this was spoken by our Lord in deep emotion.

2) "And as thou hast believed," (hos episteusas) "As you now believe," your blessing shall be as wide as the faith you expressed, that I could but speak the word and the ravage of paralysis would leave your son-servant of your aged years, Matthew 8:8-9.

3) "So be it done unto thee." (genetheto soi) "Let it be (come to be, occur) to you," Matthew 9:22; Matthew 9:27-30; See similar expression of blessings and salvation granted, as recounted Luke 7:50; Luke 8:48-50. His cure was as thorough as his faith.

4) "And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour." (kai iathe ho pais en te hora ekene) "And the young boy was healed (of his paralysis) in that same hour." See also Luke 7:10. The faith of this Gentile centurion foreshadowed the bringing in of the Gentiles, also later expressed by a Roman centurion and his family, Acts 10:1-48.

Verse 14


1) "And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house," (kai elthon hi lesous eis ten oikian Petrou) "And as Jesus was entering into the house of Peter," near the synagogue in Capernaum, Matthew 8:5; Mr 1:21-29. James, John, and Andrew also resided there.

2) "He saw his wife’s mother laid," (eipen ten pentheran autou beblemene) "He saw his mother-in-law who had been laid aside," in a side room or apart from the flow of company, for health reasons, Mr 1:30. This passage indicates that Peter was a married man.

3) "And sick of a fever." (kai puressousan) "And fever-­stricken," or fever sick; Luke 4:38 reads, "and they (the four apostles, Peter, James, John, and Andrew) besought Him for her," healing.

Verse 15

1) "And he touched her hand," (kai hepsato tes cheiros autes) "And he (Jesus) touched her hand;" Luke 4:39 reads, "And he stood over her," showing compassion and care for her; See Matthew 8:3; 1 Corinthians 9:5.

2) "And the fever left her" (kai apheken auten ho puretos) "And the fever went away from or departed from her:" was borne away from her. Mr 1:31 continues, "And lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her." While Luke 4:39 reads, "And rebuked the fever, and it left her."

3) "And she arose and ministered unto them." (kai egerthe kai diekone! auto) "And she attended to, or ministered to him," to His common needs, Luke 8:2-3. While both Mark and Luke explain, "She ministered unto them," those in Peter’s house that day of healing, when Jesus came, Mr 1:31; Luke 4:39. The cure was complete and acknowledged by grateful service.

Verse 16

1) "When the even was come," (opsias de genomenes) "Then when evening came," arrived. There were two evenings, an early and a late, one before, one after sunset, Exodus 30:8. This appears to have occurred right after the first.

2) "They brought unto him many that were possessed with devils," (prosenegkan auto daimconizomenous pollous) "They brought to him many who were demon possessed," or demon controlled, those mentally and emotionally deranged or imbalanced. They were demonized, mentally and emotionally sick, beyond being personally responsible for their actions; they were brought there by and from among the crowds.

3) "And he cast out the spirits with his word," (kai eksebalen ta pneumata logo) "And he (Jesus) expelled (tossed or cast out) the spirits (demon spirits) with a word," a command or a single order or mandate, by the "word of His power," Hebrews 1:3; Luke 4:14; Luke 4:32.

4) "And healed all that were sick:" (kai pantas tous kakos echontas etherapeusen) "And he healed all those who were physically ill," in addition to those who were mentally and emotionally deranged by demon spirits who were brought to Him. He turned none away. There were no fake cures or evasions, Mr 1:32-34; Luke 4:40-41.

Note our Lord healed both the physically ill or disabled and the mentally ill with derangement caused by demon spirits over the emotional system of the victims. There are 17 New Testament accounts of His healing those with physical maladies and at least 6 examples of His healing the mentally deranged or demon possessed.

Verse 17

1) "That it might be fulfilled," (hopos plerothe) "So that, or in order that, it might be fulfilled," or was fulfilled, literally to attest the accuracy or trustworthiness of prophecy as a sign by which men should believe that Jesus is the Christ; Two kinds of signs, with many examples of each pointing to Jesus, were fulfilled before their eyes: 1) Prophetic signs, 2) Miraculous signs, John 20:30-31; Matthew 16:1-4.

2) "Which was spoken by Esaias the prophet" (to hrethen dia Isaiou tou prophetou) "The thing spoken through Isaiah the prophet," one of the Old Testament prophets whom Israel claimed to believe, Psalms 119:160; Isaiah 53:4; Hebrews 4:15.

3) "Saying, Himself took our infirmities," (legontos autos tas astheneias hemon elaben) ’He took or received our weaknesses," every weakness of the mind, body, and spirit of man from natural, carnal birth, Isaiah 53:5-6; Hebrews 4:15-16; Matthew 9:6.

This was given, not to emphasize the therapeutic miracle ministry of Jesus so much, as His ministry of compassion.

4) "And bare our sicknesses.” (kai tas nosous ebastasen) "And he bore the diseases," of us, the acquired, contracted diseases which we have, Isaiah 53:4, 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:21. This simply means that just as Jesus miraculously gave physical healing to all who came to Him, showing Him compassion for their maladies, in like manner He would die for and bear the eternal consequence of sin in every person who would come to Him for spiritual healing. Jesus did not promise to remove the carnal nature of man or the depravity of physical and emotional weakness of the old nature when one believes. Instantaneous physical and emotional problems or diseases are not removed in salvation.

Verse 18

1) "Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him," (idon de ho lesous ochlon peri auton) "Then Jesus upon seeing the crowd around him;" They lingered out of wonder and gratitude for the miracles He had performed in making their sick folk well, from both physical and demonized afflictions, Matthew 8:16.

2) "He gave commandment," (ekeleusen) "He gave a command or order (to the disciples)," who went before to prepare transportation or clear the way for His movements from place to place, as His custom was, Luke 10:1.

3) "To depart unto the other side." (apelthein eis to peran) "To go away (now or sail away) unto the other side," the other (eastern side) of the Sea of Galilee, across from Capernaum in which area He had recently labored, Matthew 8:5; Mr 4:35; Luke 8:22. It appears that our Lord’s desire to be alone, to have some privacy, was the priority motive of this move, to escape from the crowds, as in Mr 6:31.

Verse 19


V. 19-22

1) "And a certain scribe came, and said unto him," (kai proselthon eis grammateus eipen auto) "And approaching one particular scribe said directly to him;" Scribes were official clerks and archives keepers of the laws of the Jews. They wrote or recorded and filed records of decisions of Jewish courts, and were copyists of the Old Testament Scriptures, Matthew 2:4.

2) "Master, I will follow thee," (didaskale alkoloutheso soi) "Teacher, I will follow you (around)," go along with you. The idea is, I think you are a teacher that it would be a credit to follow. He avowed a willingness to be identified with Jesus and recognize Him as a teacher but not as Savior or Lord.

3) "Whithersoever thou goest" (hopou ean aperche) "Wherever you may go," wherever you may choose to go, just any place, like a disciple. He was warm with enthusiasm.

The word scribe (Gk. grammateis) means writer and is derived from (Heb sopherim) meaning to write, record, count, calculate, or set in order. The office of Scribes, as technical writers and record keepers, (archivists) was a special place in the Old Testament order of teaching and classifying the precepts of both written and oral law and traditions of the Jews, 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25; 1 Kings 4:3; Jeremiah 8:8; Jeremiah 36:10; Jeremiah 36:12; Jeremiah 36:26.

These Scribes added to the law, Scripture, and precept records Six Things:

1) The Hallachoth, rabbi decisions on questions of rituals.

2) The Mishna, rabbi or codes resulting from those decisions.

3) The Talmud, made up of Mishna and Gemara.

4) The Midrashim, consisting of commentaries on the Old Testament.

5) The Hagada, Philosophical reasonings on the Old Testament.

6) The Kabbala, a listing of mystical interpretations they found in or invented meanings for the Scriptures, neither in harmony with the grammatical or lexical meaning of passages, allegorical or scriptural in nature.

Verse 20

1) "And Jesus saith unto him," (kai legei auto ho lesous) "And Jesus said to him directly," in an above board straightforward, factual manner or disclosure, the cost of discipleship, which the erudite, philosophical Jewish record keeping scholar had not considered.

2) "The foxes have holes," (hai alopekes pholeous echousin) "The foxes have, hold, or possess holes," as their homes, their refuge, their hiding place from storm, weather, and enemies, a place for their own for rest, sleep, and protection.

3) "And the birds of the air have nests;" (kai ta peteina tou ouranou kataskenoseis) "And the birds of the heaven have (their own) roosts," for rest and protection, appropriate to their nature, for their comfort and protection, in times of danger and storm, in crevices of the rocks, in holes in trees, or hidden away from predators.

4) "But the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." (ho de huios tou anthropou ouk echei pou ten kephalen kline) "But the Son (heir) of humanity possesses not even a place where he may lay his head," either physically or religiously, among His own people, John 1:11-12; Matthew 23:37-39. About eighty times our Lord referred to himself as the Son of man, indicating His humanity, that He wanted men always to remember. See also Daniel 7:13; Philippians 2:6-8; Hebrews 2:9-14; Matthew 10:36.

Our Lord had no earthly resting-place He could humanly call His own, 2 Corinthians 8:9; Luke 9:58; Php 6:7.


A little boy, between four and five years old, was one day reading to his mother in the New Testament, and when he came to these words, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head," his eyes filled with tears, his tender breast heaved, and at last he sobbed aloud. His mother inquired what was the matter; but, for some time, he could not answer her. At length, as well as his sobs would let him, he said, I am sure, mamma, if I had been there, I would have given Him my pillow."

Verse 21

1) "And another of his disciples said unto him," (heteros de ton matheton eipen auto) "Then another (kind) of the disciples said to him;" One of His own disciples who was already following Him, a saved follower, in contrast with the unsaved scribe who apparently wanted to follow Him as a stenographer or record keeper with pay, for monetary reasons, Matthew 8:19-20; Matthew 5:20.

2) "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father." (kurie epitrepson moi proton apelthein kai thapsai ton patera mou) "Lord, allow or permit me to go away first and bury my father," Luke 9:59; Tradition says this was Philip looking back, as reported by Clement of Alexandria.

Verse 22

1) "But Jesus said unto him, Follow me;" (ho de leosus legei auto akolouthei moi) "Then Jesus responded to him, you follow me," to the hesitating disciple who was looking back, and wanted to turn back for a temporary period. Our Lord anticipated that one excuse or temptation sanctioned, or yielded to, or given approval, paved the way for another.

2) "And let the dead bury their dead." (kai aphes tous nekrous thapsai tous heauton nekros) "And leave or permit the dead to bury their own dead ones." The idea is let those who are "spiritually dead," bury the bodies of your relatives, that you do not turn back or interrupt from following me, as a true disciple, Luke 9:23-26. The call of Jesus requires immediate obedience.

Spiritual death refers to the state or condition of responsible lost people before they come to Christ. The prodigal son was said to have been dead (spiritually dead) when he was in the hog pen, Luke 15:24; See also Ephesians 2:5; Genesis 2:17.

Verse 23


V. 23-27

1) "And when he was entered into a ship," (lai em bant i auto eis to ploion) "As he embarked in the ship," the ship or boat that had been prepared according to His orders, Matthew 8:18: Mr 4:35,36; Luke 8:22.

2) "His disciples followed him," (akolouthesan auto hoi mathetai autou) "His disciples pursued or followed near him," some likely in "other little ships," that rowed alongside His as He crossed the Sea of Galilee, Eastward, Mr 4:36.

Verse 24

1) "And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea," (dai idou deismos megas egeneto en te thalasse) "And behold there came to be (arose) a great storm, earthquake-like, in the sea," the Sea of Galilee, as they were crossing. Violent storms often sweep down upon the sea over the surrounding mountains, even on a clear day, unexpectedly. Beside this sea our Lord had called or chosen His early disciples for His church, Matthew 15:16; Matthew 15:27.

2) "Insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves," (hoste to ploion kaluptesthai hupo ton kumaton) "So great that the ship (or boat) came to be enveloped by the waves," was being covered by waves, which came overboard and into the ship, Mr 4:37; Luke 8:23.

3) "But he was asleep." ((autos de ekatheuden) "But he was sleeping," the only-time our Lord is ever referred to as sleeping. It was upon a pillow or cushion, placed upon a seat in the stern, that He slept with a pure conscience as the storm raged without, and the waves now flowed overboard into the ship. But the Master of wind and water did not fear these, His servants. Jonah slept in a storm with an evil conscience, Jonah 1:5.

Verse 25

1) "And his disciples came to him," (kai proselthontes) "And approaching," or coming to Him, alarmed, frustrated, and helpless, in a state of panic.

2) "And awoke him, saying," (egeiran auton legontes) "They awoke him repeatedly saying," appealing to Him as their only hope of help, from the storm and from death, similar to the prophetic cry of Psalms 44:23-26. They would not have waked Him, if they could have helped it, but they were helpless.

3) "Lord, save us: we perish." (kurie soson apollumetha) "Lord, Save, we are perishing," or deliver us from the peril of the storm. There seemed to be no alternative, Mr 4:38; Psalms 107:28-30. They spoke as fear­-stricken men, though they were seasoned sailors.

Verse 26

1) "And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful," (Kai legei autois ti deiloi’ este) "And he chided them, why are you all fearful?" It was their fear that He rebuked.

2) "0 ye of little faith?" (oligopistoi) "0 you all of little faith?" Matthew 17:20. Even "little" faith is faith still. With weak faith, however, they went to Jesus, the right refuge, source, or hiding place and deliverance from the storm. The weak heart, the trembling hand of faith, may and must yet reach out to Jesus, in the midst of storms of life’s tempests, to find help from death, Mr 4:39,40; Luke 8:25; Matthew 16:8.

3) "Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and sea;" (tote egertheis epetimesin tois anemois kai te thalasso) "At that moment (right then) rising up he rebuked the winds and the sea," in their raging fury, not because they could hear, but His disciples could. Having first chided and calmed the disciples, He then turned and rebuked the tempest, calming the disciples, He then turned and rebuked the tempest, calming the storm at sea, speaking as an imperial ruler, a king.

4) "And there was a great calm." (kai egeneto galene megale) "And there came to be a great calm," by the word of His power, by His strength, Psalms 65:6-7; Psalms 89:8-9. Our Lord demonstrated in three special ways that He was and is the Son of God; 1) First, by prophetic signs that He fulfilled in His life, from His virgin birth until His sacrificial and vicarious death and victorious resurrection; 2) Second, by the miracles He performed, and 3) Third, by His resurrection. These signs He left as historical kinds of evidence of His Deity and Divinity that men might believe and be saved, John 20:30-31.

Verse 27

1) "But the men marvelled, saying," (hoi de anthropoi ethaumasan legontes) "Then the men marveled saying among themselves," much as they did in His miracle over nature, when He caused the fig tree to wither and die, Matthew 21:19-20.

2) "What manner of man is this" (potapos estin houtos) "What sort (of man) is this;" When they came to Jesus in despair, to awaken Him, they perhaps in their "little" faith, only expected Him to awaken and help them bail water or row, in physically doing a man’s part in a crisis; But He did as the Divine Son "Exceeding abundant above what" they had either asked or thought, Ephesians 3:20.

3) "That even the winds and the sea obey him!" (hoti kai hoi anemoi kai he thalassa auto hupakouousin) "That even the winds and the sea obey him," instantly. Nature, in anarchy, obeyed her maker’s command. When crying, weeping, despairing, perishing, sinking sinners come to Jesus in such crisis of a troubled soul, Jesus says to the storm in the soul of the wicked, "be still," or "be gone," and the storm vanishes, replaced by a peace and calm and rest of the soul, unknown and unknowable to the unrepentant sinner, Isaiah 57:20-21; Psalms 145:18-19; Matthew 11:28-29; Romans 5:1.

Lessons here taught are:

1) Undertake nothing as an enterprise, in which Jesus cannot go with you.

2) Be certain that Jesus is in your vessel on life’s sea.

3) Be sure that you can know the difference between storms that you have provoked, and those God has appointed.

4) Be sure that all your choices and decisions in sailing are in the will of God. By these you too may be calm in the midst of storms, Isaiah 26:3.

Verse 28


1) "And when he was come to the other side," (kai elthontos autou eis to peran) "And when he came to the other side," beyond the sea, across from Capernaum, to the southeast, as recounted also Mr 5:1-21; Luke 8:26-40.

2) "Into the country of the Gergesenes" (eis ten choran ton gadarenon) "Into the country of the Gadarenes," on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, known as the Golan Heights today, also known as the country of Gadara. The people are called Gadarenes, Mr 5:1.

3) "There met him two possessed with devils," (hupentesan auto duo daimonizomenoi) "There met him two demon possessed men," or demon-controlled, demon-dominated men, Matthew 7:22. Mark and Luke give in more detail what happened to one of the two. They mention only one, in more detail.

4) "Coming out of the tombs," (ek ton mneneion ekserchomenoi) "Coming out of the tombs, or out from among the tombs," the area of their quarantined restricted exile. Tombs were hewn out of the limestone hillsides nearby.

5) "Exceeding fierce," (chalepoi lian) "Exceedingly dangerous," ferocious, raving maniacs, lunatic, or dangerous madmen.

6) "So that no man might pass by that way." (hoste me ischuein tina paralthein dia tes hodou ekeines) "So that no one was able to pass through that way," safely, without danger of being harmed. It was a place to be shunned as dangerous. Nobody cared to go near these madmen.

Verse 29

1) "And, behold, they cried out, saying," (kai idou ekrazan legontes) "And behold they (the two demon deranged men) cried out repeatedly saying;" Demon possessed men are never at peace, night or day, but their inner conscience and soul are screaming out in torments, like never-ceasing waves of the seas, Isaiah 57:20-21.

2) "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?" (ti pro kairou basanisai humas) "What (are you) to us and are we to you, Son of God?" Unclean demons and men are ill at ease in the presence of God, holy people, and in holy places, Luke 5:8; Acts 24:25. They recognized Jesus as the Messiah, their most dangerous foe.

3) "Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (elthes hode pro kairou basonisai hemas) "Have you deliberately come here to us before (the season) time to torture us?" Matthew 25:41; Luke 16:28; Revelation 19:20. This indicates that these demons were the same persons referred to as fallen angels who are reserved under chains (or restrictions) of darkness until the final day of judgment, Judges 1:6; 2 Peter 2:4; Hebrews 2:2. From these passages it may therefore be concluded that demons and fallen angels, as disembodied spirits, are identical beings in consort with Lucifer, the Devil, under whose jurisdiction they jointly fell with him, and like him, are under chains or held in (certain restrictions) waiting doom at the final day of judgment.

Verse 30

1) "And there was a good way off from them," (de makran ap’ auton) "Now there was afar off (in the distance) from them," from the two demon-possessed men and Jesus and His disciples, yet in view of them, there in the neighborhood.

2) "An herd of many swine feeding." (agele choiron pollon boskomene) "An herd of many pigs feeding," Matthew 7:6. They are declared to be "unclean," by the Mosaic law, and were not to be eaten as food by the Jews, Luke 15:15-16. They were either owned by Jews living among the Gentiles, who raised them for greedy gain, or by Gentiles, Deuteronomy 14:8.

Verse 31

1) "So the devils besought him, saying," khoi de daimones parekaloun auton legontes) "Then the demons jointly appealed to him, saying," repeatedly begging, Mr 5:11,12. The devils recognized Jesus as the Son of God and that their continued existence on earth was dependent on Him. 0 that all men would do this daily, La 3:21,22; Acts 17:28.

2) "If thou cast us out," ( ei ekbaheis hemas) "If you expel us (cast is out)," of these two men. They knew that He could, and acknowledged also that they had no right to be where they were, Luke 8:31.

3) "Suffer us to go away into the herd of swine." (aposteilon hemas eis ten agelen ton choiron) "Send us or direct us into the herd of feeding pigs." If they could not go into the swine without His permission, by whose permission were they in the man? This man, (Luke describes only one of the two lunatics) had perhaps admitted them voluntarily, or invited them into his life at first, then like a bandit, they had stayed there, holding the man tormented in his own house-body, Philippians 2:10.

Verse 32

1) "And he said unto them, Go." (kai eipen autois

hupagete) "And he said to them, Go ye" get out of the two men. It appears that demons may make either men or beasts their habitat, only by the permissive will of God; See also Job 1:1-22; Job 21:14.

2) "And when they were come out," (hoi de ekselthontes) "Then the demons (upon) coming out," of the two men, or had, obeyed the Lord and come out of the men, left them unpossessed.

3) "They went into the herd of swine:" (apelthon eis tous choirous) "Went away into the pigs:" as they had requested and chosen to do, Matthew 8:31.

4) "And behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place," (kai idou hormesen pasa he agele kata tou kremnou) "And behold all the herd rushed (wildly) down the precipice:" Demons cause both clean men and unclean men to act violently. Men choose liquor, narcotics, and illicit moral courses in life, that lead them no less to destruction, Hebrews 4:7; Proverbs 29:1.

5) "Into the sea," (eis ten thalassan) "Into the sea," of Galilee, at the Southeast side of the Sea, in self-destruction.

6) "And perished in the waters." (kai apethanon en tois hudasin) "And they died (drowned) in the waters," of the sea, as a result of their own request and choosing. In like manner sinners are doomed in hell, as a result of their own calloused choice in unbelief, Proverbs 1:21-28.

Verse 33

1) "And they that kept them fled," (hoi de boskantes ephugon) "Then the ones who were feeding them fled," swiftly ran or fled, out of fear and wonder, in panic.

2) "And went their ways into the city," (kai apelthontes eis ten polin) "And they went away into the city," of Gadara, the central area of their residence, where other swine herders likely lived also.

3) "And told every thing," (apengeilan panta) "They reported all things," in the ears of the astonished listeners, Luke 8:34. They told of the loss of all the swine, and the recovery of the two demon-possessed men.

4) "And what was befallen to the possessed of the devils." (kai ta tondiamonizomenon) "And what had happened regarding those demon-possessed ones," or those who had been demonized, and to the herd of two thousand swine, into which the demons had gone, Matthew 8:32; Matthew 7:22; Mr 5:13,14; Luke 8:31-34. They told their first hand views, as witnesses of what happened, not after interviewing Jesus.

Verse 34

1) "And, behold, the whole city came out," (kai idou pasa he polis ekselthen) "And behold all the city came out of their own accord," out of fear, mixed with wonder and curiosity, Mr 5:14.

2) "To meet Jesus:" (eis hupantesin to lesou) "With a view to a meeting with Jesus," Mr 5:15,16; When they arrived they found at least one of the former demon possessed already redressed, clean, and in his own mind, emotionally stable, Luke 8:35.

3) "And when they saw him, they besought him," (kai idontes auton parekalesan) "And upon seeing him they appealed to him," besought Him, Mr 5:17; Luke 8:36.

4) "That he would depart out of their coasts." (hopos metabe apo ton horion auton) "So that he might remove (himself) from their borders," the borders of the city limits or outskirts of Gadara, and from the entire area of Gadara, Mr 5:17-20; Luke 8:36-39. These people chose unclean hogs, rather than have Jesus, the Pearl of Great Price among them. They coveted riches and worldliness above the presence of Jesus among them, 1 Timothy 6:10-11; 1 John 2:15-17.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-8.html. 1985.
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