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full of leprosy, whom he cured. Luke v. 12. And it came to pass, when he ruas in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy, who seeing Jesus, fell on his face, (Mark, kneeling down to him) and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean. Lepers indeed were generally banished from towns, because their disease was almost always infectious. However, there were some exceptions, such as this man's leprosy, which, because it was of a less pestilent kind, the priests had permitted him the society of men. Mark says, he kneeled down to Jesus, beseeching him; Luke says, he fell on his face. In the eastern countries, prostration was the form of salutation claimed by great men. The leper, therefore, having in his salutation testified the highest reverence for Jesus, arose and put himself into the posture of a suppliant, as Mark observes.- Jesus, commiserating his afflicted condition, readily granted his request. Mark i. 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. When the miracle was performed, Jesus commanded the man not to speak of it till he obtained an authentic declaration of his cure from the priest, which would be a testimony to the people that he was really cured, and would procure him more ready admission into the society of men. 43. And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away, and saith unto him, 44. See thou say nothing to any man, but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded for a testimony unto them. But the man, instead of concealing the cure, was so overjoyed with the suddenness and greatness of the blessing, that he could not forbear publishing it every where; the effect of which was, that the people flocked after Jesus in such crowds with their sick, that for a while he could not conveniently appear openly in Capernaum, but was obliged to retire into a neighbouring wilderness to refresh his body with rest, and his spirit with meditation and prayer. 45. And he went out and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, (Luke, and great multitudes came together to hear him, and to be healed by him of their infirmities) in so much, that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places, (Luke, and prayed) and they came to him from every quarter, they came to him even in the wilderness.
Because this leper addressed Jesus with the words, which the leper made use of who was cured after the sermo! on the mount was preached, the persons and their cures have been judged the same; yet they were really diff rent, as was proved, g 27.
3 Q 2
♡ XXXI. ♡ XXXI. Jesus with his disciples crosses the lake. They are caught
in a storm, which Jesus by miracle turns into a calm. Matth. viii. 18,--27. Mark iv. 35,-*1. Luke viii. 22,—25.
THOUGH Jesus had retired into the wilderness after curing the leper, the people, excited by the fame of that miracle, came to him from every quarter. Wherefore, that he might effectually avoid the crowd, which was every moment increasing, he resolved to go to the other side of the lake, and commanded his disciples to accompany him. Matth. viii. 18. Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment 10 depart unto the other side. Upon this, a scribe (see on Luke xi. 44. $ 87.) who happened to be present, offered to follow him. But Jesus, know. ing that he had nothing in view but the pleasures and profits of the supposed kingdom, would not accept of his service, telling him, that he was quite mistaken if he proposed to better his worldly circumstances by attending him. 19. And a certain scribe came and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whither. soever thou
goest. 20. And Jesus saith' unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, (x«TeoxnWorres, sheltering places) but the son of man hath not where to lay his head. The phrase, son of man, is found in that celebrated prophecy, Dan. vii. 13. which describes the universal dominion to which Messiah, in quality of the son of man, was to be raised. This name, therefore, when applied to our Lord, at the same time that it denotes his human nature, carries along with it an idea of the glorious kingdom over which in his human nature he was to preside. Nevertheless, on several occasions it is used in a sense which carries an idea of deep humiliation, being the name given to the ancient prophers, on account of the contempt in which they were held by their countrymen. The willingness of this scribe to follow Jesus, though from a wrong motive, reproved the backwardness of a particular disciple, who being commanded to attend, excused himself upon pretence that he was obliged to wait on his aged father: 21. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 22. But Jesus said to him, Follow me, and let the dead bury their dead. Let such as are deal in sin, who have neither hope nor desire of immortality, and who are not devoted to my service as you profess to be, perform that office to your father when he dies; for
have a mind to be my disciple, you must not neglect my work by waiting for his death, which may not happen so soon as you are imagining
* It is generally supposed that Luke has given this branch of the history, chap. ix. 57. but it appears to be a very different passage. For here le
All things being now ready, the disciples took their Master aboard in the evening, and loosed from shore, attended by a number of other little boats which were full of people. Luke vili. 22. Now it came to pass on a certain dey, (Mark, the same day when the even was corne) that he went into a ship with his disciples. And he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. Mark iv. 36. And there were also with him other little ships. As they sailed, Jesus fell asleep in the stern, * fatigued with the work of the day. In the mean while, the weather suddenly changed, and a storm came on which threatened to sink them to the bottom. The tempest increased the horrors of the night; the sky loured, the wind roared, the sea and the clouds were driven with the fury of the storm. Now they were tossed up on the tops of the billows, then hurled down to the bottoni of the deep, buried
The disci. ples exerted their utmost skill in managing their vessel, but to no purpose; the waves breaking in filled her, so that she began to sink. Their souls melted because of trouble : they gave themselves up for lost, and were on the very brink of perishing, when they ran to Jesus, shrieking out, Master, master, we perish. Their cries awoke him. He arose and rebuked the wind and the sea : the wind instantly became silent; the sea, which had well nigh swallowed them up, trembled at his rebuke; the huge waves sunk down on every side in a moment: And there was a great calm ; the sea was perfectly still around them, not a breath of wind moved, nor the least sound was heard, except from the oars and sails of the boats which composed this little fleet. Luke viii. 23. But as they sailed he fell asleep. Mark iv. 37. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, sa that it was now full
. (Matthew, the ship was covered with the Luke, they were filled with water, and they were in jeopardy.) 38. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow. Luke viïi. 24. And they came to him, and awoke
him, sus was beside the sea of Galilee; there he was passing through Samaria. Here a scribe being present when he ordered the disciples to carry him to the other side, offers to accompany him; there one comes running to him, as he travelled on the road, and of his own accord said that he would follow him. It is true, the answer given to both was the same; but it mighe easily be so, on supposition that the men had the same sentiments and dispositions. Sir Isaac Newton, however, supposing with most harmony writers, that the two evan. gelists are speaking of the same transaction, thinks that Jesus was now crossing the lake in his way to the feast of tabernacles, mentioned John vii. 2. But the circumstances both of time and place, distinctly marked by the two historians, overturn his hypothesis entirely.
Fatigued.] Some are of opinion that on this occasion Jesus fell asleep designedly, to give as it were an opportunity to the tempest to arise. However, as he went off in the evening, his falling asleep may have happened in the nigh. cime, and in common course, especially as he was fatigued.
him, saying, Master, master, we perish. The disciples having seen their Master perform many miracles, had abundant reason to rely on his power and goodness, even in a greater danger than
For though their vessel had sunk, he who gave sight to the blind, could have saved them all by making them walk firmly on the water, as he enabled one of them to do afterwards. Their timidity, therefore, was altogether culpable, and the reproof he gave them just. Matt. viii. 26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, Oye of little faith? You undertook this voyage at my command, and are you afraid that you perish in it ?-Having thus said, he arose and spake to the wind and to the sea as his servants, ordering them to be still. Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, (Mark, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still; and the wind ceased) and there was a great calm. After all was queit, he renewed his rebuke to the disciples for their want of faith, Mark iv. 40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith? Luke, Where is your faith ?) After having seen me perform so many miracles, it is extremely culpable in you to be thus overcome with fear. Did
you doubt of my power to protect you? The repetition of the rebuke was very proper, because the disciples, now that the storm was over, had leisure to attend to it, and because it contributed to make them more sensible of the evil of their fear. When the men, by the continuance of the calm, found what a great miracle was wrought, they were inexpressibly amazed, and their amazement was mixed with fear, because he had rebuked them so sharply. Luke viii. 25. And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, Mark, And they frared exceedingly, and said one to another) What manner of man is this? for he commandeth even the wind and water, and they obey him. This reflection, as well as their fear in time of the danger, may seem unaccountable, considering how many, and what miracles the disciples had been witnesses to. But both may be explained in some measure by the following remark :—that hitherto his miracles were generally upon diseased persons, and that
sed persons, and that he had given as yet no proofs of his dominion over the elements, the wind and the water, which it seems were thought less subject to human power than distempers. Or if this does not account for the reflection which the disciples made on seeing the present instance of Christ's power, it may be attributed to the fear and confusion they were in, occasioned by the greatness of the jeopardy from which they were but just delivered. Or it may have been the reflection, not of the disciples, but of the men in the other little boats, who being along with them, were partakers both of the danger and of the deliverance
• Matthew, Mark, and Luke, establish a connection between this storm and
the cure of the demoniacs of Gadara, affirming that Jesus expelled the demons immediately on his landing after that storm. But these events thus connected between themselves, the three evangelis's seem to have connected differently, with the precedent and subsequent passages in the history. For Matthew having related the storm and the core of ihe demoniacs, connects therewith the cure of the paralytic, and of the woman that had the flux of blood, the resurrection of Jairus' daughter, &c. then brings in the parable of the sower.
Whereas Mark. having related the cure of the paralytic, and some other facts, brings in the parable of the sower, &c. and after these parables, the storm, the cure of the demoniacs, and of the woman that had the Aux of blood, and the resurrection of Jairus' daughter. The order observed by Luke in this part of his history, is the same with that of Mark. It is evidene therefore that one or other of the historians has neglected the order of time here, unless the storm and cures which Mark and Luke speak of, were different from the storm and cures mentioned by Matchew. Those who have weighed the examples produced in the illustration of the fourth Prelim. Observ, mighe perhaps be inclined to think them really different, were it not that the cure of the woman afflicted with the flux of blood, and the resurrection of the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, wherewith they stand connected in Matthew, must likewise on this supposition be reckoned different from the cure of the woman afflicted with the flux of blood, and the resurrection of the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, with which they are connected in Mark and Luke. Wherefore, as a transposition seems necessary here, on the closest examination of the series of the history, I believe it will appear that Mark, from chap. iv. 35. to the beginning of chap. vi. and Luke from chap. viii. 22. to the end, that is to say, the history which these evangeliscs have given of the storm, of the demoniacs, of the woman that had the flux of blood, and of Jairus' daughter, must be transposed so as to make them agree with Matthew for the following reason: that the three histories will by that and the other transposition mentioned in the preface, agree with one another throughout; whereas, if we shall transpose Matthew here to make him agree with Mark and Luke, it will occasion many other transpositions, which by all means ought to be avoided. Besides, we find here a proper place in Mark's history for inserting the passage to be transposed. For in the end of his first chapter we are told, that the cure of the leper, performed by Jesus in his last tour through Galilee, augmented his fame to such a degree, and occasioned such crowds of people to gather round him, that he found it inconvenient to go publicly into the town; I suppose he means the town of Capernaum where Jesus usually resided, and where it seems the news of the miracle had reached. Farther, we are told that though Jesus retired into the wilderness to shun the crowds, they came to him from every quarter. In the beginning of the second chapter, the same evangelist observes, that after some days Jesus entered again into Capernaum, and cured the paralytic that was let down through the riling. These circumstances joined, render is probable that Jesus now retired somewhere from the multitude which focked to him in the desert. Accordingly Matthew informs us, that about this time Jesus passed to the other side of the lake, and cured the demoniacs of Gergasa. These transactions therefore may very fitly be placed between the cleansing of the leper in one of the towns of Galilee, and the cure of the paralytic in Capernaum, so as to fill up the vacancy in Mark's history abovementioned ; and that notwithstanding both he and Luke have given an account of the storm, and of the miracles which followed it, in another place of their gospels.
Bue it may be objected, that according to this scheme the connection between the parable of the sower and the storm is dissolved, nocwithacanding Mark seems to assert it pretty strongly, chap. iv. 35, 36. not asyer AUTOS &Y" EXEHYT Th muiga, &c. I say seems to assert it, because on a more narrow examination of the passage, I am confident it will appear that he does not assert any connection here at all, but rather the contrary, They who are acquainted with the sacred writings muse know, that the Jews used the worá days, co signify time in general. Thus, Judges xix. I. the phrase, in those days, has plainly that meaning. Wherefore (sv sxeyn en aquesque) in that day, the transition under consideration by an enal