Matthew Chapter 8
Mat 8:1 KJV When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
Mat 8:2 KJV And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
The Mountain he came down from was the Mount of Beatitudes—which today is in Arbel, Israel
saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean — As this is the only cure of leprosy recorded by all the three first Evangelists, it was probably the first case of the kind; and if so, this leper’s faith in the power of Christ must have been formed in him by what he had heard of His other cures. And how striking a faith is it! He does not say he believed Him able, but with a brevity expressive of a confidence that knew no doubt, he says simply, “Thou canst.” But of Christ’s willingness to heal him he was not so sure. — Jamieson-Fausset-Brown
The condition of leprosy is a model of sin and its effects. It is a contagious, debilitating disease that corrupts a man and makes him essentially dead while alive.
- Lepers were universally scorned by society and religion. They were especially despised by the Rabbis, who saw their state as the particular judgment of God.
- In Jesus’ time rabbis spoke about how badly they would treat lepers. One boasted that he refused to buy even an egg on a street where he saw a leper, another bragged that he threw rocks at lepers when he saw them.
You can make me clean: This leper wants more than healing. He wants cleansing, not only from the leprosy, but from all its debilitating effects on his life and soul. (Guzik)
Mat 8:3 KJV And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
And Jesus — or “He,” according to another reading, – “moved with compassion,” says Mark (Mar_1:41); a precious addition.
saying, I will; be thou clean — How majestic those two words! By not assuring the man of His power to heal him, He delightfully sets His seal to the man’s previous confession of that power; and by assuring him of the one thing of which he had any doubt, and for which he waited – His will to do it – He makes a claim as divine as the cure which immediately followed it.
And immediately his leprosy was cleansed — Mark, more emphatic, says (Mar_1:42), “And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed” – as perfectly as instantaneously. What a contrast this to modern pretended cures!– Jamieson-Fausset-Brown
Jesus often varied the manner of healing, and usually He chose a particular manner that would be meaningful to the afflicted individual.–Guzik
Mat 8:4 KJV And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
saith unto him, See thou tell no man — A hard condition this would seem to a grateful heart, whose natural language, in such a case, is “Come, hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for my soul” (Psa_66:16). We shall presently see the reason for it.
but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded — (Lev_14:1-57).
Lev 14:3-4 KJV And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; 4 Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:
for a testimony unto them — a palpable witness that the Great Healer had indeed come, and that “God had visited His people.” What the sequel was, our Evangelist Matthew does not say; but Mark thus gives it (Mar_1:45): “But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to Him from every quarter.” Thus – by an over-zealous, though most natural and not very culpable, infringement of the injunction to keep the matter quiet – was our Lord, to some extent, thwarted in His movements. As His whole course was sublimely noiseless (Mat_12:19), so we find Him repeatedly taking steps to prevent matters prematurely coming to a crisis with Him. (But see on Mar_5:19, Mar_5:20). “And He withdrew Himself,” adds Luke (Luk_5:16), “into the wilderness, and prayed”; retreating from the popular excitement into the secret place of the Most High, –JFB
Mar 1:40-45 KJV And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. 43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.
Mat 8:5 KJV And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
Mat 8:6 KJV And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
A centurion came to Him: The centurion is obviously a Gentile, because a centurion was an officer in the Roman Army. Most every Jew under Roman occupation felt a reason to hate this centurion, yet he comes to a Jewish teacher, and not for a selfish reason, but on behalf of his servant.
- The centurion had an unusual attitude towards his slave. Under Roman law, a master had the right to kill his slave, and it was expected that he would do so if the slave became ill or injured to the point where he could not work.
Pleading with Him: This shows that the centurion did not make a casual request. Matthew describes him as pleading with Jesus on behalf of his servant. (Guzik)
Luk 7:1-10 KJV Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 6 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.
Mat 8:7 KJV And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
I will come and heal him: Jesus did not hesitate to go to the centurion’s house, and we half wish the centurion would have allowed Him. Would Jesus have entered a Gentile’s house? It was completely against Jewish custom, but not against God’s law. (Guzik)
Both the leper and the centurion were “sure” of Jesus’ ability to heal.
We also get a look at how Jesus treated those who were not accepted by his society.
Are we that accepting of those others might look down upon?
Mat 8:8 KJV The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
A lesson of humility of mind in approaching the Lord on any subject; that we have nothing of right or merit to demand, only grace and mercy.
Speak the word only — He had this faith because his servants obeyed their authority, and he recognized that Jesus had still higher authority and could so command his messengers. (Russell)
The first degree of humility is to acknowledge the necessity of God’s mercy, and our own inability to help ourselves: the second, to confess the freeness of his grace, and our own utter unworthiness. Ignorance, unbelief, and presumption will ever retard our spiritual cure.(Clarke)
I am not worthy … – This was an expression of great humility. It refers, doubtless, to his view of his “personal” unworthiness, and not merely to the fact that he was a “Gentile.” It was the expression of a conviction of the great dignity and power of the Saviour, and of a feeling that he was so unlike him that he was not suitable that the Son of God should come into his dwelling. So every truly penitent sinner feels – a feeling which is appropriate when he comes to Christ. (Barnes)
Mat 8:9 KJV For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
The centurion also knew about the military chain of command, and how the orders of one in authority were unquestioningly obeyed – he sees that Jesus has at least that much authority.
c. The centurion also shows great sensitivity to Jesus, in that he wants to spare Jesus the awkward challenge of whether or not to enter a Gentile’s house – as well as the time and trouble of travel.
i. He didn’t know Jesus well enough to know that He would feel awkward in the least; but his consideration of Jesus in this situation is impressive. (Guzik)
Mat 8:10 KJV When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
When Jesus heard it, He marveled: The man’s understanding of Jesus’ spiritual authority made Jesus marvel. His simple confidence in the ability of Jesus’ mere word to heal shows a faith that is free of any superstitious reliance on merely external things. This was truly great faith, worthy of praise. (Guzik)
Reasoning from what he knows of the Roman kingdom, how orders given from a central authority can be despatched to the outskirts, and be executed there with as great certainty as if the Emperor himself had gone to do it, he concludes that the King of the spiritual world must in like manner have means of communication with every part of His dominion; and just as it was not necessary, even for a mere centurion, to do personally everything he wanted done, having it in his power to employ some servant to do it, so it was unreasonable to expect the King of heaven Himself to come in person and heal his servant: it was only necessary, therefore, that He should speak the word, and by some unseen agency the thing would be done. At once the Saviour recognises the man’s thoughtful intelligence on the subject, and, contrasting with it the slowness of mind and heart of those of whom so much more might have been expected, “He marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Expositor’s)
Mat 8:11 KJV And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
His heart yearned over the mere hearers of the word shut out at last: so here He yearns with a great yearning over His unbelieving countrymen, whose exclusion at last from the heavenly kingdom would be felt with all the sharper pain that such multitudes from far less favoured lands were safe within – at home, with the patriarchs of the chosen nation – while they, the natural heirs of the kingdom, were exiles from it for evermore. Hence the wail and warning which follow His hearty appreciation of the centurion’s faith: “And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast forth into the outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Expositor’s)
A feast was the Hebrew conception of heaven. The Jews thought they were secure of it, because of their descent from Abraham. Grace is not hereditary; to receive it, every man has to exercise a personal faith in Christ. Let us see to it that our religion is absolutely true, lest it land us in hopeless disappointment. (Meyer)
Many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham: The fact that such faith is present in a Gentile causes Jesus to announce that there will be Gentiles in the kingdom of heaven. They will even sit down to dinner with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! This was an earth-shattering idea to many of the Jewish people of Jesus’ day. (Guzik)
Mat 8:12 KJV But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
c. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness: As well, Jesus reminds his Jewish listeners that just as the Gentile’s racial identity is no automatic bar to the kingdom, their racial identity is no guarantee of the kingdom. (Guzik)
An outward profession may cause us to be called children of the kingdom; but if we rest in that, and have nothing else to show, we shall be cast out. (MHCC)
There is only “ONE” hope of our calling—and the Jews missed out on it as a nation.
We can also miss out on it if we have the same attitudes.
Shall be cast out into outer darkness … – It is not improbable that the image was taken from Roman dungeons or prisons. They were commonly constructed under ground. They were shut out from the light of the sun. They were, of course, damp, dark, and unhealthy, and probably most filthy. Masters were in the habit of constructing such prisons for their slaves, where the unhappy prisoner, without light, or company, or comfort, spent his days and nights in weeping from grief, and in vainly gnashing his teeth from indignation. (Barnes)
Cast out — Out of divine favor. Divine grace or favor was to continue with the Jew until three and a half years after the cross. (See the 70 week’s prophecy in Daniel 9)
Outer darkness — As outcasts from God’s favor and from the special light of prophecy which for 1800 years had enlightened them. If any of us do not walk carefully, we will not continue to be children of light.
Weeping — Grief is indeed implied, but not one word about an eternity of grief and pain.
Gnashing of teeth — Signifying chagrin, disappointment, savage animosity; as in the case of Stephen, “They gnashed on him with their teeth.” (Act_7:54) Darkness respecting transpiring events and, ultimately, the severity of the trouble, figuratively called “weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
A metaphor describing trouble, distress, perplexity and persecution. (Russell)
The allusion in the text is, to the customs of the ancients at their feasts and entertainments; which were commonly made in the evening, when the hall or dining room, in which they sat down, was very much illuminated with lamps and torches; but without in the streets, were entire darkness: and where were heard nothing but the cries of the poor, for something to be given them, and of the persons that were turned out as unworthy guests; and the gnashing of their teeth, either with cold in winter nights, or with indignation at their being kept out. (Gill)
Mat 8:13 KJV And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Mat 8:14 KJV And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.
sick of a fever- “A great fever”, Luke says, Luk_4:38; a very violent one, which threatened with death, and must be very dangerous to an old person Evidently the casting out of the demon suggested to the minds of the disciples the power of our Lord to heal diseases.
He saw his wife’s mother lying sick: This clearly establishes the fact that Peter was married. The Roman Catholic church teaches that all priests must be celibate and unmarried, but the one they would call the first and greatest pope was certainly married.
It is recorded as an instance of Christ’s peculiar care of, and kindness to, the families of his disciples. Here we find, (1.) That Peter had a wife, and yet was called to be an apostle of Christ; and Christ countenanced the marriage state, by being thus kind to his wife’s relations. The church of Rome, therefore, which forbids ministers to marry, goes contrary to that apostle from whom they pretend to derive an infallibility. (2.) That Peter had a house, though Christ had not, Mat_8:20. Thus was the disciple better provided for than his Lord. (3.) That he had a house at Capernaum, though he was originally of Bethsaida; it is probably, he removed to Capernaum, when Christ removed thither, and made that his principal residence. Note, It is worthwhile to change our quarters, that we may be near to Christ, and have opportunities of converse with him. When the ark removes, Israel must remove and go after it. (4.) That he had his wife’s mother with him in his family, which is an example to yoke-fellows to be kind to one another’s relations as their own. Probably, this good woman was old, and yet was respected and taken care of, as old people ought to be, with all possible tenderness. (5.) That she lay ill of a fever. Neither the strength of youth, nor the weakness and coldness of age, will be a fence against diseases of this kind. The palsy was a chronical disease, the fever an acute disease, but both were brought to Christ. (Guzik)
Do you bring Christ to your family?
Do you bring him to your mother-in-law?
Mat 8:15 KJV And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
And she arose and served them: Peter’s mother-in-law shows a fitting response of those who have been touched by Jesus’ power – she immediately begins to serve. (Guzik)
In this healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, Jesus shows both simplicity and power. Jesus healed with the same authority that He cast out demons.
“Peter’s mother-in-law was suffering from what the Talmud called ‘a burning fever.’ It was, and still is, very prevalent in that particular part of Galilee. The Talmud actually lays down the methods of dealing with it. A knife made wholly of iron was tied by a braid of hair to a thorn bush. On successive days there was repeated, first, Exo_3:2-3; second Exo_3:4; and finally Exo_3:5. Then a certain magical formula was pronounced, and thus the cure was supposed to be achieved. Jesus completely disregarded all the paraphernalia of popular magic, and with a gesture and a word of unique authority and power, he healed the woman.” (Barclay)
And she served them: Peter’s mother-in-law responds the way we should when Jesus blesses us. She immediately served Jesus out of gratitude.
How many today, being released from spiritual fevers, arise to do vigorously the Lord’s business?
How do you respond when the Lord works in your life?
Mat 8:16 KJV When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
When the sun had set: Jesus is ministering after sundown, ending the Sabbath day (Mar_1:21). Freed from the Sabbath restrictions on travel and activity, the people come to Him freely to be healed. Then He healed many: It had been a busy day, and now Jesus ministers after nightfall to the whole city that had gathered together at the door. Jesus worked very hard to serve the needs of others, and always put their needs before His.
– Let us not seek for the loaves and fishes and physical healing, for after all these things do the Gentiles seek; but let us seek for spiritual health, strength and vigor.
How numerous the patients were; All the city was gathered at the door, as beggars for a handout. That one cure in the synagogue occasioned this crowding after him. Others speeding well with Christ should quicken us in our enquiries after him. Now the Sun of righteousness rises with healing under his wings; to him shall the gathering of the people be. Observe, How Christ was flocked after in a private house, as well as in the synagogue; wherever he is, there let his servants, his patients, be. And in the evening of the sabbath, when the public worship is over, we must continue our attendance upon Jesus Christ; he healed, as Paul preached, publicly, and from house to house.
Do those in our city know that we are the Lord’s?
In what ways can we “heal the broken hearted” and “afflicted” ?
Are we taking the opportunity to do so?
Mat 8:17 KJV That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
They brought to Him many: Jesus’ care for the individual is shown by the implication that Jesus dealt with each person individually, not in some cold, “assembly line” procedure.
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah: Matthew rightly sees this as a partial fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 53, which primarily refers to spiritual healing, but also definitely includes physical healing. In this, Matthew shows Jesus as the true Messiah in delivering people from the bondage of sin and the effects of a fallen world.
He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses: The provision for our healing (both physically and spiritually) is made by the sufferings (stripes) of Jesus; the physical dimension of our healing is partially realized now, but finally only in resurrection.
3. This section of Matthew shows four different people being healed, each one different from the other.
a. Different people were healed:
• A Jew with no social or religious privileges.
• A Gentile member of the army occupying and oppressing Israel.
• A woman, related to one of Jesus’ devoted followers.
• Unnamed multitudes.
b. Their requests were made in different ways:
• A direct request from the sufferer, made in his own faith.
• A request from one man for another, made in faith on behalf of a suffering man.
• No request made because Jesus came to the sufferer, so there was no evidence of faith from the healed.
• Sufferers that were brought to Jesus, with different kinds of faith.
c. Jesus used different methods to heal:
• Jesus used a touch that was forbidden.
• Jesus used a word spoken from afar.
• Jesus used a tender touch.
• Jesus used a variety of unnamed methods. (Guzik)
Himself — The gift which costs nothing cannot be so highly esteemed as that which costs much.
Took our infirmities — At his own expense, his own sacrifice.
“Touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” (Heb_4:15)
Greek, asthenioas; used in the singular when the sickness of Lazarus is spoken of (Joh_11:4); proof from the Scriptures that Jesus was sick and so able to sympathize with us in our sicknesses.
Greek, astheneo, meaning without strength. Our Lord, who had none of the imperfections of the fallen race, needed to take from men their sicknesses in order that he might be touched with a feeling of our infirmities.
The weaknesses going to him as “there went virtue out of him and healed” the multitude. (Luk_6:19)
“That he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God,” “in all points tempted like as we are.” (Heb_2:17-18; Heb_4:15-16)
It is expedient also that all who would be acceptable to God as members of the Bride should be similarly touched with a feeling of the world’s infirmities and have sufficient sympathy to voluntarily bear some of the sorrows and griefs of those about them.
A comparison of Isa. 53 with Heb_4:15 and Mar_5:30 and Luk_6:19 shows us clearly that this prophecy was completely fulfilled at the first advent. (Russell)
Mat 8:18 KJV Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
Mat 8:19 KJV And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go: With the miracles associated with the ministry of Jesus, following Him might have seemed more “glamorous” than it really was. Jesus may have received many spontaneous offers like this. (Guzik)
One of the scribes was too hasty in promising; he proffers himself to be a close follower of Christ. He seems to be very resolute. Many resolutions for religion are produced by sudden conviction, and taken up without due consideration; these come to nothing. When this scribe offered to follow Christ, one would think he should have been encouraged; one scribe might do more credit and service than twelve fishermen; but Christ saw his heart, and answered to its thoughts, and therein teaches all how to come to Christ. His resolve seems to have been from a worldly, covetous principle; but Christ had not a place to lay his head on, and if he follows him, he must not expect to fare better than he fared. We have reason to think this scribe went away.(MHCC)
Have you made promises to the Lord in haste?
Have you turned away?
Mat 8:20 KJV And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
And a certain scribe came … – It is not improbable that this man had seen the miracles of Jesus, and had formed an expectation that by following him he would obtain some considerable worldly advantage. Christ, in reply to his professed purpose to follow him, proclaimed his own poverty, and dashed the hopes of the avaricious scribe. The very foxes and birds, says he, have places of repose and shelter, but the Son of man has no home and no pillow. He is a stranger in his own world – a wanderer and an outcast from the homes of people. Compare Joh_1:11.
Son of man – This means, evidently, Jesus himself. No title is more frequently given to the Saviour than this, and yet there is much difficulty in explaining it. The word “son” is used in a great variety of significations. See the notes at Mat_1:1. The name “Son of man” is given to Jesus only three times in the New Testament Act_7:56; Rev_1:13; Rev_14:14, except by himself. When he speaks of himself, this is the most common appellation by which he is known. The phrase “Son of God,” given to Christ, denotes a unique connection with God, Joh_10:36. The name “Son of man” probably denotes a corresponding unique connection with man. Perhaps the Saviour used it to signify the interest he felt in man; his special love and friendship for him; and his willingness to devote himself to the best interests of the race. It is sometimes, however, used as synonymous with “Messiah,” Mat_16:28; Joh_1:34; Act_8:37; Joh_12:34. (Barnes)
Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head: Jesus didn’t tell the man “No, you can’t follow Me.” But He told him the truth, without painting a glamorized version of what it like to follow Him. This is exactly the opposite of the technique used by many evangelists today, but Jesus wanted the man to know what it would really be like. (Guzik)
Had you been taught that God will fulfil all your wants if you come to Him?
Are you living in the lap of luxury?
Do you resent that you are not?
Mat 8:21 KJV And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
The procrastinating or entangled disciple.
As this is more fully given in Luke (Luk_9:59), we must take both together. “And He said unto another of His disciples, Follow Me. But he said,”
Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead — or, as more definitely in Luke, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God” (Luk_9:60). This disciple did not, like the former, volunteer his services, but is called by the Lord Jesus, not only to follow, but to preach Him. And he is quite willing; only he is not ready just yet. “Lord, I will; but” – “There is a difficulty in the way just now; but that once removed, I am Thine.” What now is this difficulty? Was his father actually dead – lying a corpse – having only to be buried? Impossible. As it was the practice, as noticed on Luk_7:12, to bury on the day of death, it is not very likely that this disciple would have been here at all if his father had just breathed his last; nor would the Lord, if He was there, have hindered him discharging the last duties of a son to a father. No doubt it was the common case of a son having a frail or aged father, not likely to live long, whose head he thinks it his duty to see under the ground ere he goes abroad. “This aged father of mine will soon be removed; and if I might but delay till I see him decently interred, I should then be free to preach the kingdom of God wherever duty might call me.” This view of the case will explain the curt reply, “Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.” (JFB)
Mat 8:22 KJV But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
Lord, let me first go and bury my father: Actually, this man did not ask for permission to dig a grave for his deceased father. He wanted to remain in his father’s house and care for him until the father died. This was obviously an indefinite period, which could drag on and on.
b. Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead: Jesus clearly states the principle that family obligations – or any other obligation – must not be put ahead of following Jesus. (Guzik)
Follow me — Jesus did not mean that the young man should not attend his father’s funeral, but that if he left the Lord’s service too long he might never return.
Let the dead — The legally dead. Here unbelievers are referred to as still dead because of having no union with the life-giver. He was referring to the mass of mankind, all dead under condemnation, and the one who believed in him was the only one that was even reckonedly alive. We are all walking in the valley of the shadow of death and are now far down below the mountain tops of life and perfection. From God’s standpoint all who are under the sentence of death are considered as though already dead.
“The hour is coming and now is when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God.” (Joh_5:25)
Bury their dead — The actually dead. Let the dead, the condemned and legally dead world, look out for its own affairs. There are plenty in the world who can attend to the earthly things. (Russell)
Do you make excuses for why you are not doing the Lord’s will?
Mat 8:23 KJV And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
Mat 8:24 KJV And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
A great tempest — Its violence may be judged from the fact that even the Apostles, who were experienced on the sea, were alarmed. Probably the Adversary was permitted to develop the storm on Lake Galilee for the very promise of the lesson it gave to the apostles. All are subject to the storms of life in which mighty billows threaten our destruction.
Picturing the experiences of the Church during the long night of 19 centuries in which she has been tempest-tossed.
But he was asleep — Evidently thoroughly exhausted with the labors of his journey and ministry. (Russell)
Suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea: The Sea of Galilee is well known for its sudden, violent storms. The severity of this storm is evident in the fact that the disciples (many of which were experienced fishermen on this very sea) were terrified.
Mat 8:25 KJV And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
Lord, save us — If we have trials and difficulties, or inner storms or passion, anger, resentment, we should cry unto the Lord for help.
Do you cry to the Lord for help?
Can you rest in the Lord during storms and trials?
Mat 8:26 KJV And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
A great calm — Waters, thus lashed to a fury, cannot be quickly calmed except by a miracle.
Rebuked the winds — What the Lord is doing for the Church now, and what he will do in the future for the world. Illustrating the manner in which the time of trouble will come to an end.
Jesus would not have rebuked the storm if it had been caused by the Father. Satan probably thought he could destroy Jesus by this storm. (Russell)
Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? Jesus rebuked their fear and unbelief, not their request or waking Him. We shouldn’t think that Jesus was “cranky” from being awakened. Their problem was fear, and fear and unbelief go together. When we trust God as we should, there is little room for fear.
Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea: Jesus didn’t merely quiet the wind and the sea; He rebuked the winds and the sea. This, together with the disciple’s great fear and what Jesus will encounter at His destination has led some to believe that there is some type of spiritual attack in the storm.
How is your faith?
Mat 8:27 KJV But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
So the men marveled: The disciples are amazed. Such a powerful display over creation leads them to ask, Who can this be? (Guzik)
What manner of man — Not until the disciples learned this lesson were they prepared to trust him with all their trials, difficulties and interests. Similarly we, realizing that our Lord now has “all power in heaven and in earth” (Mat_28:18), can fully trust him and rest in his loving care.
The sea obey him — The power to deliver from literal waves gives confidence that he is able to deliver from every trouble. (Russell)
Do you know who the Lord is?
Mat 8:28 KJV And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
Mat 8:29 KJV And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
They cried out — Knowing their final destiny, they tremble as the time draws near. (Jam_2:19)
Thou Son of God — The devils acknowledged Christ when they had an object in so doing. Admitting his lordship and power over them.
To torment us — The word “torment” here does not have the same thought as our word torment. It would mean “do us distress,” as a landlord is said to put a tenant in distress for his rent; that is, he will put him out of the premises for failure to pay his rent. This was the language of the demons. Whatever the fallen spirits might say would not be good theology with any good Christian.
Before the time — The demons evidently understood that the time for the overthrow of the powers of evil was still future. Showing their expectation of some future termination of their present restraint or imprisonment, a culmination of judgment in their case. (Russell)
There met Him two demon-possessed men: The other gospel accounts mention only one of these men. This must be because there was one that was far more severe in his state of demonic possession, having many demons.
b. The demons knew who Jesus was (Jesus, You Son of God), even if the disciples didn’t (Who can this be? in Mat_8:27). (Guzik)
Mat 8:30 KJV And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
There was a herd of many swine: The region of Galilee was populated by both Jews and Gentiles, so this may have been a herd of pigs owned by Gentiles. But most commentators believe that since the pigs were unclean for Jews, they should not have been there, even if they were owned by a Gentile man.
Mat 8:31 KJV So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
So the devils — Not attempting to deny their own identity, but admitting his lordship and power over them. These evil spirits were surely beings and not merely a disease of the man’s mind; else, how could they enter the swine?
Besought him — Evidently fallen angels cannot impose themselves upon even the dumb animals until given some sort of permission. (Russell)
Mat 8:32 KJV And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
b. When they had come out, they went into the herd of swine: There is nothing really comparable to this in the Bible, the casting of a demon from a human to an animal. So why did Jesus do this?
i. The fact that the demons immediately drove the swine to destruction helps explain why Jesus allowed the demons to enter the pigs – because He wanted everyone to know what the real intention of these demons was. They wanted to destroy the man just as they destroyed the pigs. Because men are made in the image of God, they could not have their way as easily with the man, but their intention was just the same: to completely destroy him. (Guzik)
Wasn’t this unfair to the owner of the pigs? “‘But the owners of the swine lost their property.’ Yes, and learn from this how small value temporal riches are in the estimation of God. He suffers them to be lost, sometimes to disengage us from them through mercy; sometimes out of justice, to punish us for having acquired or preserved them either by covetousness or injustice.” (Clarke)
Mat 8:33 KJV And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
Mat 8:34 KJV And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
He would depart — So today, the multitudes are moved specially by temporal interests; the great blessings of the Lord go unnoticed.
Out of the coasts — Wherever the true gospel goes its effect is to cause division and uproar in the kingdom of darkness. (Russell)
They begged Him to depart from their region: We would think that the people of the region would be happy that these two demon-possessed men had been delivered. Perhaps they were more interested in their pigs than in people. (Guzik)