Matthew 8:2

if thou wilt. This may be the first instance in which our Lord put forth his power to cleanse a leper, and, if so, the hesitation and anxiety of the man is very naturally explained. His approach is that of a man who had his doubts and fears, but had also his confidences and hopes; and he very properly let his faith decide his action rather than his fears. We may look on him as a man doubting, but showing us how to deal with our doubts; and proving to us how easily our doubts may be dispelled, if we deal wisely with them; and we deal wisely when we do not keep them to ourselves, but turn them into prayers, and speak them out to God.

I. THE SPIRIT OF DOUBT. This can only be regarded as an evil thing. The spirit of trustfulness, receptiveness, is becoming to the child of God. A fashion of doubting, and a pride in doubting, as if it were something very clever, are in every way most mischievous, ruinous to our moral nature, because destructive of that which is the great glory of the creature, the capacity for trust. And yet it must also be seen and recognized that doubt is really the working of a necessary quality of mental manhood. He is not really a man who is unable to doubt. To see two sides of a thing, and have to choose between them, involves a period of doubting. The man who cannot doubt cannot have an intelligent faith. The basis of all moral decision is doubt that can weigh considerations. So it is a great thing to say, "We can doubt, yet we do believe." This leper may have heard of the great things Jesus had done, but the question came - Could he cleanse a leper? There was no settling that doubt; so he turned it into a prayer, and took it to Christ.

II. OUR ACTUAL DOUBTS. It may be well to notice what subjects those doubts chiefly concern. And we must deal, not with intellectual doubts, but with religious doubts - those which bear relation to our spiritual condition, our cleansing from sin. Letting the case of the leper be suggestive, we may notice that:

1. Our doubts may concern our need of Christ as a Saviour. It may be that we admit he is the Saviour, but we doubt our need of him as our Saviour.

2. Our doubts may concern the ability of Christ to save. We may incline to accept his good will, and to doubt his power. We may be disposed to say, "If thou canst. Doubt often makes men think there is something special in their case that puts them beyond the reach of Christ.

3. Our doubts may concern the good will of Christ. Everybody else shunned the leper; how well the man might fear that Christ would shun him too! But he took all his doubts to Christ. - R.T.

Master, I will follow Thee.
I. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST'S TREATMENT OF THE IMPETUOUS SCRIBE. He declares his determination to follow Christ, lead where He may. Christ checks rather than encourages the man. We may regard the determination of the scribe as — the resolution of an unreflecting emotionalist, and an ambitious worldling. Our Lord's words have important applications in our own day.

II. THE SUGGESTIVENESS OF CHRIST'S TREATMENT OF THE SHRINKING AND HESITATING DISCIPLE. Christ might have seen in this request a sensitive shrinking from the sacrifice and sufferings involved in following Him. The man had heard the words in verse 20, or Christ might have foreseen that to grant it, would be attended with fatal results to his yet unripened discipleship. Immediate decision was the essential conditions of his salvation.

(J. Taylor.)


1. The hasty follower who is the first who presents himself, and he is sifted by Christ.

2. The tardy follower is hastened by Jesus. He is called not to bury the dead, but to preach the life-giving word.

3. The last of the three followers is halting with a divided heart, and is reproved. It is not the claims of family, but the clinging of His own unloosened attachment that divides and detains Him.


(A. M. Stuart.)

I. High-sounding words are not always a proof of deeply rooted faith.

II. Christ should be followed for what He is in Himself, as well as for what He has to bestow.

III. The omniscience of Christ enables Him to detect the most hidden motives of men.

IV. The poverty of Christ may well excite our wonder and gratitude.

(H. G. Parrish, B. A.)

Every man has a "Master"; business, home, etc., command and we obey. Every person has a master passion, also every man is a master. Has the power of will; is a servant by consent. The resultant of these two facts, is necessitated relationship to something.

I. Christ is a valuable companion because He embodies a lofty and PERFECT MORAL IDEAL, the expression of the grandest conception of truth this world has ever known. He gives the idea and the grace to imitate it.

II. Christ is a PLEASANT companion. Imparts joy and sense of security — hope.

III. Christ is a SAFE guide. But if a man is to follow Christ there are some conditions which he must observe.

1. There must be a fixed purpose. "I will " must be will and not impulse only.

2. You will require courage.

3. You will have to take on the habits of the Lord Jesus. You cannot follow Him and be selfish and narrow.

(J. R. Day, D. D.)

It is not that you desire wrong things; it is not that you desire to avoid right things; but you say," Suffer me first to do the inferior, and then I shall be ready for the superior. Suffer me first to take care of myself. Suffer me first to take care of my household. Suffer me first to take care of my business. Suffer me first to take care of my party. Suffer me first to look after this enterprise, and then — "No! this constant habit of humbling the higher, and making it subordinate to the lower; this constant preference of the inferior to the superior, works demoralization. A man does not need to throw away his Bible, nor defy his God, nor sell his soul voluntarily. He only needs to say, "Suffer me first to do this lesser thing." The moment that is done, there will be another " Suffer me first" in its place. And so we shall put the inferior duties in the place of higher duties, and go through life, and fail at last.


A man fascinated with the idea of raising fruit, goes to the country and sets out his orchards with bright anticipations as to the result. But no sooner have his trees got well started than all nature becomes his tormentor. The frost blasts the blossoms. The worms gnaw the roots. The insects sting both blossom and roots. And when he has toiled year after year, and brought his trees into such a state that he thinks that he is going to have a profusion of delicious fruit, the black wart seizes his plum-trees, and the gum-canker attacks his cherry-trees, and the winterblight kills his pear-trees, and his apple-trees will not bear anyhow; and at last disgusted with raising fruit, he comes back to the city, and says, "I prefer, after all, that other people should be my pomologists. I have had enough of gardening."


Oh! what pictures there would be, if I could only take the trouble to learn to paint the things that I dream about! Such frescoes I Such magnificent renderings of magnificent scenes! Such portraitures! The trouble is, that while my imagination is fruitful enough, it is a shiftless and careless fruitfulness, and it never comes down lower than that, and dies in the nest where it was born. I think of things, and turn them over, and turn them over, and make pictures, and forget them, and make pictures, and forget them; but I am not an artist. An artist is a man whose wishes get down through his shoulders to his fingers; and he makes what he wishes he was going to make. He does. He turns into account that which would otherwise die as smoke or cloud. Men of reverie are like clouds that never rain. Men of function shower down resolutions in the form of drops, and results spring up from them.



1. The candid reception of His revelation.

2. It involves a surrender of ourselves to Christ as our Saviour and Governor.

3. It imparts an ardent solicitude for the prevalence of his religion.


1. Some are prevented from an immediate compliance with their convictions, by the notion that their happiness is to be found in the world, which they would be required to abandon.

2. Some by the remonstrances of worldly relatives and friends.

3. Some by some particular worldly object of pursuit, upon which, for the moment, they are intent, and which promises soon to leave them at liberty.

(J. Leifchild.)

I. THE MEN OF THE WORLD ARE BUT DEAD MEN. The sentence of death passed upon all men still abides: it is not repealed. As dead as men in their graves. You rotting above the ground, and they under (Romans 8:10). As there is in the sinner a seeming life, so is there in the righteous a seeming death. They may seek a new life.

1. They may become alive in their apprehensions of God.

2. They are alive in their devotions to God.

3. These awakened sinners are alive in their obedience to God.

II. As THE MEN OF THE WORLD ARE, SO ALSO ARE THE THINGS ABOUT WHICH THEY ARE CONVERSANT. They are dead things, they have no real life in them. They perish in the using. (W. Gilpin, M.A.)



1. As the Son of Man He was the federal representative of our race, in certain important respects. — He showed:

(1)That man has forfeited all right to shelter upon earth.

(2)That we should seek shelter elsewhere, and not look for our portion on earth.

2. In the work of our redemption it was needful for Jesus to stoop thus low.

(1)It was part of the penalty lie bore.

(2)He went down to the lowest of men.

(3)It was to illustrate the unearthliness of His religion.

III. Some additional reflections:

1. Christian, adore the humiliation and condescension of your loving Lord.

2. Be willing if need be to suffer shame and poverty with Him.

3. If more happily circumstanced be amazed and overwhelmed with gratitude at your superior lot.

4. Yet set not your affections on earthly possessions.

5. Nor despise poorer brethren.

6. If offering to follow Christ, count the cost.

7. In another sphere, how this saying is reversed.

(T. G. Horton.)

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 give Him my pillow."

I. CHRIST'S REMARK ON THE PROVISION MADE FOR THE HABITATION OF THE INFERIOR CREATURES. Men have reason, are able to contrive habitations for themselves; Providence hath furnished them with trees, stones, etc., for this end. Suitable provision also made for the inferior creatures. Tame animals are accommodated by the care of man; wild beasts directed by instinct to proper places (Job 39:27; Psalm 104:17).


1. How wise and faithful was Christ in this representation; how much instruction doth it convey to His followers. A test of sincerity.

2. The condecension of Christ in submitting to these hardships is truly admirable.

3. How reasonable is it that the disciples of Christ should be humble when they have, and contented when they have not, the comfortable accommodations of life!

4. With how much pleasure should we think of the exaltation and glory of Christ in heaven.

(J. Orton.)

Esaias, Isaac, Isaiah, Jacob, Jesus, Peter
Capernaum, Gadara, Galilee, Sea of Galilee
Able, Behold, Bowed, Bowing, Canst, Clean, Cleanse, Homage, Knelt, Leper, Pleasure, Power, Saying, Sir, Throwing, Willing, Wilt, Worship, Worshiped, Worshipped
1. Jesus cleanses the leper;
5. heals the centurion's servant,
14. Peter's mother in law,
16. and many others;
18. shows the cost of following him;
23. stills the storm on the sea;
28. drives the demons out of two men possessed;
31. and tells them to go into the pigs.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 8:2

     5138   bowing
     5161   kneeling

Matthew 8:1-3

     2015   Christ, compassion

Matthew 8:2-3

     2066   Christ, power of
     5182   skin
     5333   healing
     6109   alienation
     6689   mercy, of Christ
     8614   prayer, answers

Matthew 8:2-4

     5136   body
     5285   cures
     5390   leprosy
     5888   inferiority
     7340   clean and unclean
     7422   ritual
     8325   purity, nature of

The Touch that Cleanses
'When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 1. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. 3. And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; he thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4. 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.'--MATT. viii. 14. THE great collection
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Healing Christ
'Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.'--MATT. viii. 17. You will remember, probably, that in our Old Testament translation of these words they are made to refer to man's mental and spiritual evils: 'He bare our griefs and carried our sorrows.' Our evangelist takes them to refer, certainly not exclusively, but in part, to men's corporeal evils--'our infirmities' (bodily weaknesses, that is) 'and our sicknesses.' He was distinctly justified in so doing, both by the meaning of the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Swift Healing and Immediate Service
'And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose and ministered unto them.'--MATT. viii. 14-15. Other accounts give a few additional points. Mark:-- That the house was that of Peter and Andrew. That Christ went with James and John. That He was told of the sickness. That He lifted her up. Luke, physician-like, diagnoses the fever as 'great.' He also tells us that the sick woman's friends
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ Repressing Rash Discipleship
'And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow Thee whithersoever Thou goest. 20. 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.'--MATT. viii. 19-20. Our Lord was just on the point of leaving Capernaum for the other side of the lake. His intended departure from the city, in which He had spent so long a time, and wrought so many miracles, produced precisely opposite effects on two of the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Christ Stimulating Sluggish Discipleship
'And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22. But Jesus said unto him, Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead.'--MATT. viii. 21-22. The very first words of these verses, 'And another of His disciples,' show us that the incident recorded in them is only half of a whole. We have already considered the other half, and supplement our former remarks by a glance at the remaining portion now. The two men, whose treatment by Christ is narrated, are
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Peace-Bringer in the Natural World
'And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him. 24. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves; but He was asleep. 25. And His disciples came to Him, and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 26. 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. 27. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man la this, that even the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Peace-Bringer in the Spiritual World
'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. 29. 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? 30. And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. 31. So the devils besought Him, saying, If Thou cast us out, suffer us to go away
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Faith which Christ Praises
'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. 9. 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 I and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this; and he doeth it.'--MATT. viii. 8-9. This miracle of the healing of the centurion's servant is the second of the great series which Matthew gives us. It is perhaps not accidental that
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Cross and Crown.
At last He cried, with a loud voice: "It is finished!" Perhaps not many on earth heard it, or cared about it when they did hear it; but I can imagine there were not many in heaven who did not hear it, and if they have bells in heaven how they must have rung out that day; "It is finished! It is finished!" The Son of God had died that poor sinful man might have life eternal. I can imagine the angels walking through the streets of heaven crying: "It is finished!" and the mansions of that world ringing
Dwight L. Moody—Moody's Anecdotes And Illustrations

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. viii. 23, "And when He was Entered into a Boat," Etc.
1. By the Lord's blessing, I will address you upon the lesson of the Holy Gospel which has just been read, and take occasion thereby to exhort you, that against the tempest and waves of this world, faith sleep not in your hearts. "For the Lord Christ had not indeed death nor sleep in His power, and peradventure sleep overcame the Almighty One as He was sailing against His will?" If ye believe this, He is asleep in you; but if Christ be awake in you, your faith is awake. The Apostle saith, "that Christ
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. viii. 8, "I am not Worthy that Thou Shouldest Come under My Roof," Etc. , and of the Words Of
1. We have heard, as the Gospel was being read, the praise of our faith as manifested in humility. For when the Lord Jesus promised that He would go to the Centurion's house to heal His servant, He answered, "I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and he shall be healed." [2163] By calling himself unworthy, he showed himself worthy for Christ to come not into his house, but into his heart. Nor would he have said this with so great faith and humility, had
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Heaven and Hell
To-night, I shall, I hope, encourage you to seek the road to heaven. I shall also have to utter some very sharp things concerning the end of the lost in the pit of hell. Upon both these subjects I will try and speak, as God helps me. But, I beseech you, as you love your souls, weigh right and wrong this night; see whether what I say be the truth of God. If it be not, reject it utterly, and cast it away; but if it is, at your peril disregard it; for, as you shall answer before God, the great Judge
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: 1855

Twenty-Seventh Day. Activity in Duty.
"I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work."--John, ix. 4. How constant and unremitting was Jesus in the service of His Heavenly Father! "He rose a great while before day;" and, when His secret communion was over, His public work began. It mattered not to Him where He was: whether on the bosom of the deep, or a mountain slope--in the desert, or at a well-side--the "gracious words" ever "proceeded out of His mouth." We find, on one touching
John R. Macduff—The Mind of Jesus

Healing the Centurion's Servant.
(at Capernaum.) ^A Matt. VIII. 1, 5-13; ^C Luke VII. 1-10. ^c 1 After he had ended all his sayings in the ears of the people, ^a 1 And when he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. ^c he entered into Capernaum. [Jesus proceeded from the mountain to Capernaum, which was now his home, or headquarters. The multitudes which are now mentioned for the third time were not wearied by his sermon, and so continued to follow him. Their presence showed the popularity of Jesus, and also
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Healing Peter's Mother-In-Law and Many Others.
(at Capernaum.) ^A Matt. VIII. 14-17; ^B Mark I. 29-34; ^C Luke IV. 38-41. ^c 38 And he arose out of the synagogue [where he had just healed the demoniac], ^b 29 And straightway, when they were come out of the synagogue, they came { ^c entered} ^b into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. [Peter and Andrew had dwelt at Bethsaida (John i. 44). They may have removed to Capernaum, or Bethsaida, being near by, may be here counted as a part, or suburb, of Capernaum. Its name does not contradict
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Stills the Storm.
(Sea of Galilee; Same Day as Last Section) ^A Matt. VIII. 18-27; ^B Mark IV. 35-41; ^C Luke VIII. 22-25. ^b 35 And that day, { ^c one of those days,} ^b when the even was come [about sunset], ^a when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. { ^b he saith unto them, Let us go over unto the other side.} [Wearied with a day of strenuous toil, Jesus sought rest from the multitude by passing to the thinly settled on the east side of Galilee.] ^a 19 And there
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Heals Two Gergesene Demoniacs.
(Gergesa, Now Called Khersa.) ^A Matt. VIII. 28-34; IX. 1; ^B Mark V. 1-21; ^C Luke VIII. 26-40. ^b 1 And they came to the other side of the sea [They left in the "even," an elastic expression. If they left in the middle of the afternoon and were driven forward by the storm, they would have reached the far shore several hours before dark], ^c 26 And they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is over against Galilee. ^a 28 And when he was come into the country of the Gadarenes. ^c 27 And
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

A Sabbath in Capernaum
It was the Holy Sabbath - the first after He had called around Him His first permanent disciples; the first, also, after His return from the Feast at Jerusalem. Of both we can trace indications in the account of that morning, noon, and evening which the Evangelists furnish. The greater detail with which St. Mark, who wrote under the influence of St. Peter, tells these events, shows the freshness and vividness of impression on the mind of Peter of those early days of his new life. As indicating that
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Return to Capernaum - Healing of the Centurion's Servant.
We are once again in Capernaum. It is remarkable how much, connected not only with the Ministry of Jesus, but with His innermost Life, gathers around that little fishing town. In all probability its prosperity was chiefly due to the neighbouring Tiberias, which Herod Antipas [2583] had built, about ten years previously. Noteworthy is it also, how many of the most attractive characters and incidents in the Gospel-history are connected with that Capernaum, which, as a city, rejected its own real glory,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Christ Stills the Storm on the Lake of Galilee.
IT was the evening of that day of new teaching, and once more great multitudes were gathering to Him. What more, or, indeed, what else, could He have said to those to whom He had all that morning spoken in Parables, which hearing they had not heard nor understood? It was this, rather than weariness after a long day's working, which led to the resolve to pass to the other side. To merely physical weariness Jesus never subordinated his work. If, therefore, such had been the motive, the proposal to
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

At Gerasa - the Healing of the Demonised.
THAT day of wonders was not yet ended. Most writers have, indeed, suggested, that the healing of the demonised on the other side took place at early dawn of the day following the storm on the Lake. But the distance is so short that, even making allowance for the delay by the tempest, the passage could scarcely have occupied the whole night. [2899] This supposition would be further confirmed, if the evening' when Jesus embarked was what the Jews were wont to call the first evening,' that is, the time
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Essential Character of the Work of Jesus.
Jesus, it will be seen, limited his action entirely to the Jews. Although his sympathy for those despised by orthodoxy led him to admit pagans into the kingdom of God--although he had resided more than once in a pagan country, and once or twice we surprise him in kindly relations with unbelievers[1]--it may be said that his life was passed entirely in the very restricted world in which he was born. He was never heard of in Greek or Roman countries; his name appears only in profane authors of a hundred
Ernest Renan—The Life of Jesus

Christ the Son of Man.
"The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head" (Matt. viii. 20). "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" (Matt. xvi. 13). "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life" (John iii. 14). It is a matter of profound gratitude that our Saviour was a man. "The Son of man," as well as "the Son of God," was essential to His great work
Frank G. Allen—Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel

Kingo's Church Hymns
Kingo's church hymns naturally differ from his spiritual songs. They are more objective in form and less fiery in spirit. Most of them follow their themes quite closely, reproducing in many instances even the words of their text. Kingo is too vital, however, to confine himself wholly to an objective presentation. Usually the last stanzas of his hymns are devoted to a brief and often striking application of their text. He possessed to a singular degree the ability to express a thought tersely, as
Jens Christian Aaberg—Hymns and Hymnwriters of Denmark

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