This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
Mark 3:7-12. Parallel passage: Matthew 12:15-21
I. THE POPULARITY OF JESUS. It was ever increasing, as is proved by this passage. A great multitude followed him from Galilee in the north; from Judaea and its capital in a central position; and from Idumaea in the far south, situated as it was between Judaea, Arabia, and Egypt; then from Peraea, east of the Jordan; the people of Tyre and Sidon also in the north-west; - all these, attracted by the fame of what Jesus was doing, flocked unto him. So great were the multitude and pressure that he directed his disciples to procure a little boat to keep close to him in order to escape the crowding (διὰ τὸν ὄχλον) and consequent confusion.
II. His power to heal. This appears to be as yet the main attraction. The miracles of healing were abundant, so much so that the afflicted sufferers actually fell against him (ἐπιπίπτειν), that by the contact their plagues might be removed. Unclean spirits also, wherever they saw him, kept falling down before him, crying out, "Thou art the of God."
III. PECULIARITY OF THE SYRIAC VERSION IN THIS PLACE. It strangely combines the two last classes in its rendering, namely, "Those that had plagues of unclean spirits, as often as they saw him, kept falling down before him." Our Lord, however, invariably reprobated and rejected their testimony, as if there were something insidious in it or injurious to his cause.
IV. THE PHYSICAL HEALTH RESTORED TO SO MANY AFFLICTED BODIES WAS A GUARANTEE OF SPIRITUAL HEALTH FOR THE SOUL. In all the ages, and in all the annals of medical science, and in all the countries of the world, we have account of one Physician, and only one, who was able to lay his hand on the aching head and diseased heart of suffering humanity, bringing immediate cure and effectual relief. No malady could resist his healing power, no sickness withstand his touch, and no illness remain incurable once he but spoke the word. No disease, however deep-seated in the system, or deadly in its nature, or inveterate from long duration, could baffle his skill or defy his power. Whether it was palsy, or dropsy, or asthma, or convulsions, or ulceration, or bloody issue, or fever, or even consumption, or, what was still worse, leprosy itself, - whatever the form of disease might be, he cured it. Persons labouring under organic defects - the deaf, the dumb, the blind, the lame - were brought to him, and he removed all those defects. Mental ailments also, as lunacy and demoniacal possession, all were relieved by him. Sometimes it was a word, sometimes a touch, again some external appliance, not as a remedy but to act as a conductor, or to show a connection instituted between the operator and the patient, but, whatever was the plan adopted, the power never failed to produce the desired effect. Now, whatever he did in this way to the body is proof positive of his ability and willingness to do the same and more for the soul. We may be diseased with sin so as to be loathsome in our own eyes and morally infectious to our neighbors and acquaintances; we may be leprous with sin so as to be cut off from the fellowship of the saints and the communion of the holy; we may be under the ban of man and the curse of heaven; yet if we approach this great Physician of soul as well as body, confiding in his power and trusting in his mercy, we shall obtain, and that without fail, healing and health for our diseased spirits and sin-sick souls. Thousands alive this day can testify from actual happy experience to the healing power of Jesus' word, the cleansing efficacy of his blood, and the renewing, purifying, and sanctifying influences of his Spirit. Millions this day in the realms of bliss above are enjoying the health and the happiness, the brightness and the beauty, the purity and perfection of that upper sanctuary, though on earth the diseases of their souls had been of the most desperate character - utterly incurable had it not been for the mercy and grace of this great Physician. And he is still the same - "the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever," and able as ever to "save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him."
V. A RECONCILIATION. It is thought by some that a discrepancy exists between the fourth verse of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah and the seventeenth verse of the eighth chapter of St. Matthew. But if we take the first clause of each verse as referring to bodily diseases, and the second clause to the diseases of the mind or soul, we shall have an instructive harmony in place of an insuperable difficulty or seeming discrepancy. The verbs will then be most suitable and appropriate: the nasa of the Hebrew, being general in its meaning, to take up in any way, or to take up in order to take away, will correspond in its generality of signification to ἔλαβε, to take in any way; while saval, for which ἐβάστασε of St. Matthew is an exact equivalent, is to bear as a burden. "Thus," says Archbishop Magee, in his invaluable work on the Atonement, "are Isaiah and Matthew perfectly reconciled; the first clause in each relating to diseases removed, and the second to sufferings endured. Thus too there is a close correlation between the removal of the diseases of the body and the expiation of the sins of our souls. - J.J.G.
The men of Nineveh shall rise in Judgment.I. TO SHOW THAT SUFFICIENT CAUSE IN THE DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE TWO, WHY THE REPENTANT NINEVITES SHOULD BE WITNESSES AGAINST THE IMPENITENT JEWS. NOW what account are we to give of this repentance of the Ninevites? At first sight it seems strange that so vast a result should have been wrought by the preaching of a solitary and unknown individual. Jonah had no miraculous credentials to give; but he had himself been the subject of miracle. God might be said to have raised him from the dead. The evidence was that of a resurrection; this is sufficient to produce conviction.
1. We may declare that far more evidence was afforded to the Jews of the resurrection of Christ, than to the Ninevites of the resurrection of Jonah. They had the same sign with greater clearness. The preaching of the resurrection by the apostles exceeded immeasurably any evidence granted to the Ninevites of the entombment of Jonah.
2. Then think of what a contrast there was between Jonah, void of all power of proving his commission by miracles, and our Redeemer displaying in the streets of Jerusalem and on the coasts of Judea, authority over diseases and death. If a mere report of the miracle concerning Jonah overcame the Ninevites, what can be urged in defence of the Jews, who gave no heed to their Teacher though they beheld Him with their own eyes exercising miraculous powers?
3. How different were the messages which the two prophets delivered. Jonah brought nothing but tribulation; Christ merciful promises.
4. Jonah could not have shown any sympathy with those whose destruction he was commissioned to predict, for he was displeased that his prediction was not accomplished. But how different the deportment of Christ. He had to predict the desolation of a mighty capital; but He did it with burning tears. If the Ninevites gave heed to the prophet of wrath, how much more should the Jews to a messenger who would rejoice if repentance should turn away their woe.
II. THE PRACTICAL LESSON'S WHICH THE REFERENCE TO THE LAST JUDGMENT MAY HAVE BEEN INTENDED TO FURNISH. One man is, or one set of men are, summoned to give evidence against another at the judgment seat. The young man who died in his prime, the victim of his passions, will be tried as the sensualist. Who will give evidence? A father's voice will testify, "I warned him." The child will witness against the negligent parent. The faithful pastor will witness against the nominal Christian. The man of toil and poverty, who did good, will witness against the wealthy worldling. The heathen may witness against us.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)1. Man shunning God's presence.
2. God's awful wrath in consequence of man's departure from Him.
3. The vain attempts made by man to propitiate an offended God.
4. The Divine method of propitiation by the death of Jesus Christ.
5. The triumph of Christ over death and hell.
(E. M. Goulburn, B.C. L.)
I. THEIR FORMER ADVANTAGES WERE GREATER. The Ninevites were idolaters; had no sacred history to rouse them to reflection; no law-giver like Moses; no judges like Samuel; no kings like David; no teachers like the prophets; no precious promises to inspire them with hope.
II. THE MESSENGER SENT TO THEM WAS MORE ENCOURAGING. Nineveh was only threatened with destruction. The Jews were urged to reform.
III. THE PREACHER WHO NOW ADDRESSED THEM WAS MORE WORTHY OF REGARD. Jonah was a man; had no compassion on Nineveh; wrought no miracle; had no power to forgive; suffered slightly; his example unworthy of imitation. Our privileges are greater than the Jews. "To whom much is given, of him much will be required."
(F. J. A.)I. NINEVEH AND ITS SIN.
II. NINEVEH AND ITS REPENTANCE.
III. NINEVEH AND ITS TESTIMONY.
1. A past testimony. It speaks to us, and says, Repent.
2. A future testimony. Its inhabitants shall rise against us in the day of judgment.
(H. Bonar, D. D.)I. There are different degrees of advantage, involving different amounts of responsibility.
II. Reluctant witness-bearing will be heard in the judgment of those the less advantaged in condemnation of the greater.
(W. M. Punshon, LL. D.)I. The striking signification of his name. Jonah signifies dove — a striking emblem of the meek and gentle Jesus.
II. As a proclaimer of God's will to men.
III. In his sufferings and deliverance. Jonah, after all, very imperfectly typified Christ.
PeopleBeelzebub, David, Isaiah, Jesus, Jonah, Jonas, Ninevites, Solomon
TopicsTRUE, Fulfil, Fulfill, Fulfilled, Isaiah, Prophet, Saying, Spoken
Outline1. Jesus reproves the blindness of the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath,
3. by scripture,
9. by reason,
13. and by a miracle.
22. He heals a man possessed that was blind and mute;
24. and confronting the absurd charge of casting out demons by Beelzebub,
32. he shows that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven.
36. Account shall be made of idle words.
38. He rebukes the unfaithful, who seek after a sign,
46. and shows who is his brother, sister, and mother.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesMatthew 12:15-17
6641 election, responsibilities
2327 Christ, as servant
LibraryAn Attempt to Account for Jesus
'But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons.'--MATT. xii. 24. Mark's Gospel tells us that this astonishing explanation of Christ and His work was due to the ingenious malice of an ecclesiastical deputation, sent down from Jerusalem to prevent the simple folk in Galilee from being led away by this new Teacher. They must have been very hard put to it to explain undeniable but unwelcome facts, when they hazarded such a preposterous …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
'Make the Tree Good'
'A Greater than Jonas'
'A Greater than Solomon'
The Pharisees' Sabbath and Christ's
On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xii. 32, "Whosoever Shall Speak a Word against the Holy Spirit, it Shall not be Forgiven Him, Neither In
On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xii. 33, "Either Make the Tree Good, and Its Fruit Good," Etc.
Sweet Comfort for Feeble Saints
How to Read the Bible
Strength in the Weak.
Identity of Christ's Character.
What are Evidences of Backsliding in Heart.
Lesser and Fuller Forms.
Jesus Defends Disciples who Pluck Grain on the Sabbath.
Jesus Heals Multitudes Beside the Sea of Galilee.
Blasphemous Accusations of the Jews.
Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
Christ's Teaching as to his Mother and Brethren.
Jesus Defends Healing a Withered Hand on the Sabbath.
The Acceptance of the Christian Conception of Life Will Emancipate Men from the Miseries of Our Pagan Life.
The Two Sabbath-Controversies - the Plucking of the Ears of Corn by the Disciples, and the Healing of the Man with the Withered Hand
The First Peræan Discourses - to the Pharisees Concerning the Two Kingdoms - their Contest - what Qualifies a Disciple for the Kingdom of God, And
Opposition to Jesus.
The Cardinal was Seated, -- He Rose as Moretti Appeared. ...
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