Matthew Chapter 8:1-27


Matthew 8:1-2. When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him,

Great multitudes often count for nothing; it is here or there one who is the notable individual. There may be a great company come up outwardly to worship, but it is the soul that comes into contact with Christ that is the most worthy of observation. There is no “Behold!” when the great multitudes are mentioned by Matthew; but there is a “Behold!” before the record of the leper coming to Christ: “Behold, there came a leper and worshipped him.” Let us all be of the leper’s mind, let us worship Christ. Surely we may do so, if only out of gratitude for having escaped from so dire a disease; but, inasmuch as, spiritually, by nature that disease is upon us, we have good reason to come to Jesus as the “leper came, and worshipped him,”-

Matthew 8:2-3. Saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Come, then, to Christ, even though your faith be very incomplete. There may be, as there was with the leper, an “if” about it, and an “if” about a very vital point, namely, concerning the Master’s willingness; but he will shut his eye to that imperfection, and only look at that part of your faith which is acceptable to him, that is, your faith in his power. “Thou canst make me clean,” said the leper; and Christ dealt with him upon the terms of that “thou canst,” end as to the “If thou wilt,” he blotted that out by saying, “I will; be thou clean.” So, sinner, come to Jesus, even though the doubting phrase, “If thou wilt,” shall still linger on thy lip. If the leprosy shall show itself even there, in thine unbelief as to Christ’s willingness to cleanse thee, yet come to him, and he will say to thee, “I will; be thou clean;” and it shall be with you as it was with the leper: “immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Matthew 8:4. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man;

He will never say that to you, or to me; but while he was here on earth, our Lord was very modest and retiring. He wished to conceal himself as much as possible. He did not strive, nor cry, nor cause his voice to be heard in the streets. He sets us an example of what true power is; for true power does not flaunt itself before the eyes of men, or advertise itself at every corner of the street, but it longs rather to conceal itself, being well aware that it will have all the publicity that is needful, for such wonders cannot be hid.

Matthew 8:4. But go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

The man was to make his cleansing known in the legal way. Our Lord Jesus Christ was very scrupulous to observe the law while it still stood; and we also should take care not to observe that ceremonialism which has passed away, but diligently to keep that which still is of divine authority and of present force.

Matthew 8:5. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion,

There came, doubtless, a great number of people when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, but Matthew does not mention them; yet he does say, “There came unto him a centurion.” Notice how these individuals are brought out by the Scriptural narrative-“a leper”-“a centurion.” May there not also be some here who will come to Jesus, and prove in their own persons, or in the persons of others for whom they shall pray, his power to bless and save? The Lord grant it!

Matthew 8:5-8. Beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof:

What a blessed thing it is to have that sense of unworthiness! Some are very flippant in the expression of their piety; after they have heard half-a-dozen sermons, they attain to perfect holiness! I wish that they were half as deeply humbled, and knew half as much of themselves as this centurion did. “Lord, I am not worthy.” That is a good lesson for anyone to learn. Still, when we can say, “Lord, we are not worthy,” do not let us therefore think that Christ may not come to us. Let us ask him to come whatever we may be, for our want of worthiness must not stint or limit the condescension of our Divine Master. However, in this case, albeit that the centurion seemed almost to decline the privilege of having Christ come under his roof, yet he gave to Jesus high honour by believing in the power of his word even without his presence

Matthew 8:8-9. But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority,

He was, therefore, only a subordinate officer, for he was subject to his superiors.

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 left the Saviour to infer what he meant, namely, that Christ, who acted under the authority of God, could readily speak to palsies and fevers, and say to them, “Go,” and they would go, just as quickly as a soldier would obey his officer’s command. Brother, thou art a Christian, and thou hast known the Lord for twenty years,-hast thou as much faith as this Roman centurion had? Dost thou believe that thy Master’s word can remove sickness, that he can clear difficulties, that he can supply needs, that he can break bonds, that he can send, by whichsoever angel or man he chooses, whatsoever blessing he pleases? Oh, that we did all believe as truly as this man did!

Matthew 8:10-12. When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 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. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Some of the rank outsiders shall be brought in by rich mercy, while others, piously trained, nursed at the very gates of the Church, shall, nevertheless, for want of faith in Christ, be utterly cast away.

Matthew 8:13. 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.

Oh! pray for your friends, pray for your children, pray for your servants; and if you have faith like that of the centurion, according to your faith, so shall it be done unto you.

Matthew 8:14-15. And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Peter had a wife, you see. Romanists say that he was the first pope, therefore the first pope had a wife; and, mark you, if other popes had had wives, there would not have been any declaration of infallibility, for there is no man who will believe himself to be infallible if he has someone near enough to remind him that he is not. But one evil usually goes with another; so it is recorded here that Peter had a wife as a kind of incidental rebuke of the sin of compulsory celibacy that was yet to be committed by priests and popes.

Matthew 8:16. 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:

Was not that centurion a kind of prophet He had not long spoken about Christ’s command over this man and that before Christ had an opportunity of putting his words to the test. Jesus cast out devils, and cast out sicknesses,-

Matthew 8:17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

That is a singular quotation, and it teaches us that Christ has power to heal because he “himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Am I not to understand, from the connection here, that Jesus Christ’s power is to be seen in his sufferings, in his humiliation, and specially in his wounds, and in his death? He would have had no power to meet our maladies if he had not himself been compassed with infirmities for our sake. O blessed Master, thou dost teach us where power lies; not in grandeur, but in self-sacrifice; not in personal glory, but in personal humiliation.

Matthew 8:18-24. Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. 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 another of his disciples said ‘unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea,

We may go where Christ goes, and yet we may get into danger. Never judge the rightness of your path by the providence which attends it. You may have safe sailing to the port of destruction, and you may have a rough voyage when you are bound for heaven. “When he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea,”-

Matthew 8:24. Insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

Weary with his toil, he lay down to rest. There was his humanity serenely confident, and therefore sleeping through the storm; there was the glory of his innocence: “he was asleep;” and there was also the majesty of his deity, only waiting for the moment when he should arise and still the tumult of the winds and waves.

Matthew 8:25-27. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 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. But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?

Glory be to his blessed name! Amen.


Matthew Chapter 8:1-27


Matthew 8:1-2. When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper —

You see that particular mention is made of this one special case, and, in any congregation, while it may be recorded that so many people came together, the special case that will be noted by the recording angel will be that of anyone who comes to Christ with his own personal distresses, and who thereby obtains relief from them: “Behold, there came a leper” —

Matthew 8:2-3. And worshipped him, saying, Lord if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

His faith was not as strong as it might have been. There was an “if” in it; but, still, it was genuine faith, and our loving Lord fixed his eye upon the faith rather than upon the flaw that was in it, and if he sees in you, dear friend, even a trembling faith, he will rejoice in it, and bless you because of it. He will not withhold his blessing because you are not as strong in faith as you should be. Probably, you will have a greater blessing if you have greater faith; but even little faith gets great blessings from Christ. The leper said to him, “If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean;” so Christ answered to the faith that he did possess,” and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Matthew 8:4-7. 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. And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

He had not asked Christ to “come and heal him.” He wished his servant to be healed, but he considered that it was too great an honour for Christ to come to him. I am not sure, but I think that this man’s judgment is correct, — that, for Christ to come to a man is better than for healing to come to him. Indeed, brethren and sisters, all the gifts of Christ fall far short of himself. If he will but come, and abide with us, that means more than all else that he can bestow upon us.

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, 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.

From his own power over his soldiers and servants, he argued that Christ must have at least equal power over all the forces of nature; and, as a centurion did not need to go and do everything himself, but gave his orders to his servant, and he did it, so, surely, there could be no need for the great Commander, to whom he was speaking to honour the sick man with his own personal presence. He had simply to utter the command and it would be obeyed, and the centurion’s servant would be healed. Do you think this is an ingenious argument? It is so, certainly, but it is also a very plain and very forcible one. I have read or heard many ingenious arguments for unbelief, and I have often wished that half the ingenuity thus vainly spent could be exercised in discovering reasons for believing so, I am pleased to notice that this commander of a hundred Roman soldiers did but argue from his own position, and so wrought in his mind still greater confidence in Christ’s power to heal his sick servant. Is there not something about yourself, from which, if you would look at it in the right light, you might gather arguments concerning the power of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Matthew 8:10. 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.

“Not in Israel,” — where the light and the knowledge were, there was not such faith as this centurion possessed. This Roman soldier, rough by training and experience, who was more familiar with stern fighting men than with those who could instruct him concerning Christ, had more faith than Jesus had so far found “in Israel.”

Matthew 8:11-12. 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. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

This is a strange thing, yet it is continually happening still, despite its strangeness, that the persons, who are placed in such positions of privilege, that you naturally expect that they would become believers, remain unbelievers, while others, who are placed at a terrible disadvantage, nevertheless often come right out from sin, and right away from ignorance, and become believers in Christ. Oh, that none of us, who sit under the sound of the gospel from Sabbath to Sabbath, might be sad illustrations of this truth, while others, unaccustomed to listen to the Word, may be happy instances of the way in which the Lord still takes strangers, and adopts them into his family.

Matthew 8:13. 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.

Jesus will treat all alike according to this rule: “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” If thou canst believe great things of him, thou shalt receive great things from him. If thou dost think him good, and great, and mighty, thou shalt find him to be so. If thou canst conceive greater things of him than anyone else has ever done, thou shalt find him equal to all thy conceptions, and thy greatest faith shall be surpassed. It is a law of his kingdom, from which Christ never swerves: “According to thy faith, be it unto thee.”

Matthew 8:14-15. And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever, And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose and ministered unto them.

That was, perhaps, the most remarkable thing of all; for, when a fever is cured, it usually leaves great weakness behind it. Persons recovered of fever cannot immediately leave their bed, and begin at once to attend to household matters, but Peter’s wife’s mother did this. Learn, hence, that the Lord Jesus can not only take away from us the disease of sin, but all the effects of it as well. He can make the man, who has been worn out in the service of Satan, to become young again in the service of the Lord; and when it seems as if we never, even if converted, could be of any use to him, he can take away the consequences of evil habits, and make us into bright and sanctified believers. What is there that is impossible to him? In the olden time, kings claimed to have the power of healing with a touch. That was a superstition; but this King can do it, all glory to his blessed name! May he lay his gracious hand upon many of you; for, if it could heal before it was pierced, much more can it now heal every sin-stricken soul it touches.

Matthew 8:16-18. 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: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.

For he neither loved nor courted popularity, but did his utmost to shun it. It followed him like his shadow but he always went before it, he never followed it, or sought after it: “When Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.”

Matthew 8:19. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

How bold he is with his boasting! But Jesus knows that the fastest professors are often just as fast deserters, so he tests him before he takes him into the band of his followers.

Matthew 8:20. 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.

Christ means, — “Can you follow the Son of man when there is no reward except himself, — not even a place for your head to rest upon, or a home wherein you may find comfort? Can you cleave to him when the lone mountain side shall be the place where he spends whole nights in prayer while the dews falls heavily upon him? Can you follow him then? “This is a test of love which makes many to be “found wanting.”

Matthew 8:21-22. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

It must be Christ first, and father afterwards. We pay no disrespect to our dearest relatives and friends when we put them after Christ, that is their proper place. To put them before Christ, to prefer the creature to the Creator, is to be traitors to the King of kings. Whoever may come next, Christ must be first.

Matthew 8:23-26. And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. 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.

Probably no calm is so profound as that which follows the tempest of the soul which Jesus stills by his peace-speaking word. The calm of nature, the calm of long-continued prosperity, the calm of an easy temper, — these are all deceitful, and are apt to be broken by sudden and furious tempests. But, after the soul has been rent to its foundations, — after the awful ground-swell, and the Atlantic billows of deep temptation, — when Jesus gives peace, there is “a great calm.”

Matthew 8:27. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

We have often marvelled in the same way, but we know that it is not any “manner of man” alone, but that he, who was truly man, who was also “very God of very God,” the God-man, the man Christ Jesus, the mediator between God and men.


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