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About the door.' In the court or yard before the door. They could not get near enough to hear him. 'Preached the word unto them. The word of God; the revelation or doctrine which he came to deliver.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

See this miracle explained in Matt. ix. 2-8. 'Palsy.' See note, Matt. iv. 24. 'Borne of four.' Borne on a couch, Matt. ix. 2, by four men.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

"The press. The crowd, the multitude of people. Jesus was probably in the large open area, in the centre of the house. See note, Matt. ix. 1-8. The people pressed into that area, and blocked up the door so that they could not have access to him. "They uncovered the roof where he was.' It is not improbable that they ascended a neighbouring house, and came over the hall, where Jesus was. They removed the curtain or awning, drawn over the area, so that they might let the man down before him. 'When they had broken it up.' When they had removed the awning, and a part of the railing, so that they could let the man down.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

'Their faith.' Their confidence or belief, that he could heal him. Son.' Literally, child. See note, Matt. i. 1. In this place, it denotes affection or kindness. It was a word of consolation -an endearing appellation, applied by the Saviour to the sick man, to show his compassion, to inspire confidence, and to assure him that he would heal him.

6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this mun thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy.)

11 I say

unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

'We never saw it on this fashion.' Literally, 'We never saw it so.' We never saw any thing like this.

13 And he went forth again by the sea-side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

'By the sea-side.' That is, by the sea of Tiberias ; see note, Matt. iv. 13.

14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alpheus, sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

'Levi the son of Alpheus.' The same as Matthew the writer of the gospel. It was not uncommon among the Jews to have two names. "The receipt of custom.' See note, Matt. ix. 9.

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

Sat at meat in his house.' The phrase means as he reclined at his meal or as he was eating.' This feast was made by Matthew, in honour of the Saviour. See Luke v. 29. 'Publicans.' See note, Matt. v. 47. 'Sinners.' Sinners of abandoned character-fit companions of publicans-great sinners. There were many.' That is, many disciples. There is no doubt that our Saviour, in the early part of his ministry, was extremely popular. Multitudes of the common people attended him, and gave conclusive evidence that they were his disciples.

16 And when the scribes and pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? 17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physi cian, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

See Matt. ix. 11-13.

18 And the disciples of John and of the pharisees used to fast and they come and say unto him, Why

do the disciples of John and of the pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

Were accustomed often to fast. Compare Luke v. 33; xviii. 12. 'And they come and say.' The disciples of John came, Matt. ix, 14.

19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. 22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred but new wine must be put into new bottles.

See Matt, ix. 15—17.

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn-fields on the sabbath-day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

See Matt. xii. 1-8. 'The corn-fields.' The fields sown with grain, wheat or barley. To pluck the ears of corn.' They were hungry. See Matt. They therefore gathered the wheat or barley as they walked, to satisfy their appetite. Though our Lord was with them, and though he had all things at his control, yet he suffered them to resort to this mode, the mode of the poor and the needy, to supply their wants. Poverty is not disgrace; God often suffers it for the good of his people; he will take care, in some way, that their wants shall be supplied. It was lawful for them to do this. See Deut. xxiii. 25.

24 And the pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath-day that which is not lawful?

'That which is not lawful.' That is, that which they esteemed to be unlawful on the sabbath day. It was made lawful by Moses, without any distinction of days.

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him?

'Have ye never read,' &c. See note, Matt. xii. 3.

26 How he went into the house of God in the days

of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shew-bread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

'Abiathar the high priest.' From 1 Sam. xxi. 1, it appears that Abimelech was high priest at the time here referred to; and from 1 Sam. xxiii. 6, it appears that Abiathar was the son of Abimelech. For a long time, during David's reign, he was high priest; it became natural therefore to associate his name with that of David; to speak of David as king, and Abiathar the high priest of his time. This will account for the fact that he was spoken of rather than his father. At the same time it was strictly true, that this was done in the days of Abiathar, who was afterwards high priest, and was familiarly spoken of as such. Shewbread; see note, Matt. xii. 4.

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath :

'The sabbath was made for man.' For his rest from the cares and anxieties of the world, to give an opportunity to call off his attention from earthly concerns, and to direct it to the concerns of eternity. It was a kind provision for man, that he might refresh his body by relaxing his labours; that he might have undisturbed time to seek the consolations of religion, and that he might render to God that worship which is most justly due to him as the Creator, Preserver, Benefactor, and Redeemer of the world. And it is easily capable of proof, that no institution has been more signally blessed to man's welfare than the Christian sabbath. To that we owe, more than to any thing else, the peace and order of a civilized community. Where there is no sabbath, there is ignorance, vice, disorder, and crime. Where that day is observed as it should be, order prevails, the poor are elevated in their condition, and the community puts on the appearance of neatness, industry, morality, and religion. The sabbath was, therefore, pre-eminently intended for man's welfare, and the best interests of mankind demand that it should be sacredly regarded as a merciful appointment of Heaven, intended for our best good. Not man for the sabbath.' Man was made first, and then the sabbath was appointed for his welfare, Gen. ii. 1-3. The sabbath was not first made or contemplated, and then the man made with reference to that. Since, therefore, the sabbath was intended for man's real good, the law requiring it must not be interpreted so as to oppose the same. It must be interpreted in consistency with a proper attention to the claims of mercy, still, however, in accordance with man's real good on the whole, and with the law of God. The law of God contemplates man's real good on the whole, and we have no right, under the plea that the sabbath was made for man, to do any thing contrary to

what the law of God admits. It would not be for our real good, but for our real and eternal injury, to devote the sabbath to vice, to labour, or to amusement.

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

See note, Matt. xii. 8.


i AND he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. 2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. 3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

See this explained in Matt. xii. 9-13.

4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? but they held their peace.

It seems to have been a maxim with the Jews, that not to do good when we have an opportunity, was to do evil; not to save life, was to kill, or to be guilty of murder. If a man has an opportunity of saving another man's life and refuses to do it, he is evidently guilty of his death. On this principle our Saviour puts this question to the Jews, whether it was better for him, having the power to heal this man, to do it, or to allow him to remain in this suffering condition. The ability to do good imposes an obligation to do it. He that has the means of feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked, and instructing the ignorant, and sending the gospel to the destitute, and who does it not, is guilty; for he is practically doing evil; he is suffering evils to exist which he might remove. So the wicked will be condemned in the day of judgment, because they did it not, Matt. xxv. 45.

5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other

'With anger. With a severe and stern countenance; with indignation at their hypocrisy and hardness of heart. This was not hatred of the men whose hearts were so hard; it was hatred of the sin which they exhibited, joined with extreme grief that neither his teaching, nor the law of God, nor any means which

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