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33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.

'All the city."

from the city.

great part of the city. A great multitude

34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

They knew that he was the Messiah. If they had spoken, they would have made that known to the people. Jesus was not desirous, at that time, that it should be publicly announced, and therefore imposed silence on the evil spirits.

35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Luke says, iv. 42, it was day. The passage in Mark means in the original, very early, or while there was yet much appearance of night. The place in Luke means, at daybreak, at the beginning of day. Luke and Mark, therefore, refer to the same time, before it was fully light, or just at day-break. 'And departed into a solitary place and there prayed. If Jesus prayed, how much more important is it for us! If he did it in the morning, how much more important is it for us, before the world gets possession of our thoughts-before Satan fills us with unholy feelings; when we rise fresh from beds of repose, and while the world around us is still. He that wishes to enjoy religion will seek a place of secret prayer in the morning. If that is omitted, all will go wrong. Our piety will wither. The world will fill our thoughts. Temptations will be strong. How different too was the conduct of the Saviour from those who spend the precious hours of the morning in sleep. He knew the value of the morning hours-he rose while the world was still, and joined with the universal creation in offering praise to the every where present God.

36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.

'Simon.' Simon Peter. 'They that were with him.' The other apostles.

37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

All men seek for thee.' That is, many men, or multitudes. The inquiry after him was general.

38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.


'Next towns.' Towns in the neighbourhood of Capernaum. He proposed to carry the gospel to them, rather than that multitudes should leave their homes to attend on his ministry. Towns.' The word here rendered 'towns' denotes large places without walls. For therefore came I forth.' That is, came forth from God, or was sent by God. Luke says, iv. 43, for therefore am I sent.' Compare John xvi. 28. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world.' The meaning of this verse is, Since multitudes press to hear the word, let us go into the neighbouring towns also, for I was sent by God not to preach at Capernaum only, but throughout Judea.

39 And he preached in their synagogues, throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

And he preached in their synagogues.' See Matt. iv. 23. 'All Galilee." See Matt. ii, 22. And cast out devils.' See

Matt. iv. 24.

40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. 43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; 44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

And there came a leper,' &c. See notes on Matt. viii. 2—4. 'Kneeling down to him." He kneeled, and inclined his face to the ground, in token of deep humiliation, and earnest entreaty. Compare Luke v. 12. If thou wilt.' There was an acknowledgment of the almighty power of Jesus, and an appeal to his benevolence. Make me clean.' Canst heal me of this loathsome and offensive disease, render me legally clean, and restore me to the privileges of the congregation. And Jesus-touched him.' It was by the law considered as unclean to touch a leprous man. See Num. v. 2. The fact that Jesus touched him was evidence that the requisite power had been already put forth to heal him; that Jesus regarded him as already clean. I will.' Here was a most manifest proof of his own proper, divine power. None but God can work a miracle. Jesus does it by his own will-by an exertion of his own power. He was, therefore,

divine. See thou say nothing to any man.' The law of Moses required that the man who was healed of the leprosy should be pronounced clean by the priest, before he could be admitted again to the privileges of the congregation, Lev. xiv. Christ required him to be obedient to the law; to go at once to the priest, and not to make delay by stopping to converse about his being healed. It was of importance that the priest should pronounce it to be a genuine cure, that there might be no cavils among the Jews, against its being a real miracle. Offer those things,' &c. Two birds, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop. And after eight days, two he-lambs, without blemish, and one ewelamb, and fine flour, and oil, Lev. xiv. 4, 10. For a testimony unto them. Not to the priest, but to the people, that they may have evidence that it is a real cure.

45 But he went out and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

'Began to publish it much.' He was so deeply affected with it, that he followed the dictates of his own feelings, rather than the command of the Saviour. Jesus could no more enter openly into the city. The word 'could' only denotes that there was inconvenience in his doing it then; that he judged it best not then to enter into the city. His being in the city drew such crowds of people as tended to excite the opposition of civil rulers. "The city.' The city, or large town, where the leper was cured. The same reason for not entering that city applied also to others, so that he remained in the deserts, where the multitudes could come to him without any difficulty or opposition.


1 AND again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

Into Capernaum.' See note, Matt. iv. 13. 'After some days.' Probably he remained long enough in the desert to heal the sick that were brought to him, and to give instructions to the multitudes that attended his preaching. And it was noised,' &c. He entered the city, doubtless, privately; but his being there was soon known, and so great had his popularity become that multitudes pressed to hear him.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

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.

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"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


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