Matthew 8:1. When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
There was a charm about his preaching, not that he modified his
doctrine, or that he cut down his precepts; he spoke very plainly, very
searchingly, and yet the people came to hear him. There is a something
in the conscience of man that makes him turn away from that which
flatters him, and makes him hear, almost against his liking, that which
Matthew 8:2. And, behold,
Never mind about the crowd; fix your eye on the one man; behold, etc. —here is a mark of attention.
Matthew 8:2. There came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
He could not live in the city, but he might be found on the mount, in
the outskirts of the crowd, where he would hear that gracious voice;
and he came and “worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst
make me clean,” in which I detect no unbelief, but rather a very strong
faith. “If thou dost but will, I can be made clean.” And Jesus, seeing
the man was willing to dispense with any outward form used one.
Matthew 8:3. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him,
Not making himself unclean, as any other man would have done, but making him clean whom he touched.
Matthew 8:3. Saying, I will;
A word of encouragement.
Matthew 8:3. Be thou clean.
A word of power.
Matthew 8:3. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Christ’s grace, which usually wrought at once, in an instant, wrought
for ever — the man was cleansed, never to be sick again; cured
perfectly; the leprosy was cleansed.
Matthew 8:4. And Jesus said unto him, See thou tell no man;
Do not spread the news, the crowd is inconvenient already. It was not
only Christ’s modesty, but Christ’s wisdom to keep down the throng a
little, for they were too many which gathered about him.
Matthew 8:4. But go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
While the ceremonial law stood, Christ was very careful to pay it
honour. He came not to destroy, but he came to build up and to fulfill.
He would have this man go and get a certificate from the priest that he
was cleansed. Perhaps if he did not go at once, when it was found out
that Christ healed him, the certificate might have been denied, and the
man might not have been able to mingle with the company, so he sent him
away quickly, to go to the priest with his offering to get the
assurance that he was really cleansed. When Christ’s work is certified
by Christ’s voice, then is it sure indeed.
Matthew 8:5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum,
Which I may call his headquarters, he seems to have taken up his abode here for a time, to have gone to and fro to Capernaum.
Matthew 8:5. There came unto him a centurion,
An officer over a hundred men, of some importance in those days; a
small band of the Roman army placed in Herod’s territory, perhaps to
Matthew 8:5-6. Beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
Sir Risdon Bennett tells us that there is a species of palsy which is
accompanied with great pain, and we know, even from the apocrypha,
there is a case there of a man grievously tormented with palsy — not
exactly the same thing, perhaps, that we call palsy nowadays.
Matthew 8:7. And Jesus said unto him, I will come and heal him.
He did not say, “I will come and see him”; that would have been kind —
he did not say what you and I would say, “I will come and pray with
him”; that is all we can do — but “I will come and heal him.” Here is
the tenderness of man and the power of God.
Matthew 8:8-9. 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. For I am a man under authority,
Here was a great point — here was a man commissioned, a man authorized,
girt with authority; and he looked upon Christ in the same manner, sent
of God, under divine authority, girt about with a heavenly commission.
Matthew 8:9. 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.
He did not further explain. It is a pity sometimes when we explain
things to God in prayer, as I am afraid we often do, God knows what we
mean. And so here he did not explain his meaning; we can see it clearly
enough. “Thou too, O Christ, art under the authority of God, and sent
by him, and thou hast the powers of nature under thy control. Thou hast
but to say the word, and they go; do this, and they do it.”
Matthew 8:10. When Jesus heard it, he marveled,
He had marveled at men’s unbelief; now he marvels at their faith, so
that the thing which touches the wonder of God is man’s unbelief and
Matthew 8:10. And said to them that followed, Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel,
This man is not an Israelite; he is a Roman soldier; but I have never
found so much faith in those to the manner born as I find in this
Matthew 8:11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west,
From differing lands and extreme distances.
Matthew 8:11. And shall sit down
Or recline in ease and rest.
Matthew 8:11-12. With Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom,
Those born in Israel, who belong to the promised seed.
Matthew 8:12-13. Shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be
weeping and gnashing of teeth. 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 self same hour.
It is greatly important not only that we believe, but that we believe
as much as ever we can, that we believe all that Christ has spoken.
Some people, when they are converted, believe that they may fall from
grace, and they do; according to their faith, so is it unto them. If
they could believe for eternal life and lay hold on everlasting life,
they would find it so, for generally it is according to their faith
that it is unto them.