2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
cp Mk. 2: 3-12.
The faith of those who brought this sick man to the Master was an essential element to the healing he received. 'Palsy' relates to being 'paralytic,' so he couldn't move; there was a measure of paralysis. It was necessary to have friends to help him in his infirmity. The friends uncovered the roof. Houses in the east in those times were generally made flat-roofed, that the inhabitants had the benefit of enjoying the fresh air on the roof, or using them as a place of meditation or prayer.
Originally they were made in the same format as the incense altar, therefore we often read that they went onto the rooftop to pray (cp. Exo. 30:3 mg). The rooftop became part of the praying schedule of the people.
Removing a part of the tiles, his friends took away the laths or timber, to which the tiles had been attached. They then had room to let down the afflicted man (see Lk. 5:19). This was a demonstration of outstanding faith in the Master's ability to cure their sick friend.
9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
Analyse most men's hearts, and self-comfort, self-prosperity, self- honour, self-pleasure, in some form or other, will be found the directing motive. Christ is made to wait on Mr. Self's convenience. It is a dangerous policy; for, without respect of persons, the Father, who judgeth every one's work, will shortly ask of the whole programme,
"Did ye it for Me?"
Christ stands now at the door and knocks. If we open to him and take him in as our friend and counsellor, dwelling in our heart by faith, he will become Captain, and will direct the whole course of things for us, and enable us to render a good account in the day when the great question is put.
But if we listen to other voices rather, and neglect the reading of the Word, giving heed only to the demands of business, the love of money, the claims of kindred, the wants of the flesh in houses, lands, clothes, eating, drinking, marriage, etc., Christ, after awhile, turns away from the door, and the Christless house, joined to its idols, is given over, at last, to desolation.
Christ means to bestow immortality and a kingdom, and, therefore, he asks a high price, even the whole heart and life. He is patient; but he will not, in the day of his glory, accept the homage of an eye-servant.
Bro Roberts - Comfort
10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
Matthew, as a publican, was a man in good circumstances....a company, not of the select order -- not such as would suit a punctilious "respectability" in that or any other age: -- a company made up of the lower class, the toiling class, and such even as were not irreproachable on the score of principle or behaviour. **
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
His rejoinder was one of the many master strokes that at last made the Pharisees afraid to encounter him. There was no rudeness in it; on the contrary, it was gentle and grave...It bore another way. The Pharisees were the righteous in their own estimation. Therefore, on their own premises, it was needless to look after them. **
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
The Scribes and Pharisees laid great stress on the divine obligation of the sacrifices, which were profitable to them. Jesus now reminds them that God, who had appointed the sacrifices, had also declared that those very sacrifices were not acceptable to Him, and even an abomination to Him, when offered without that sentiment of merciful kindness in which the institution had its very origin (Amos V. 21-24; Is. i. 11-17).**
**Nazareth Revisited Ch 20
Repentance is a change of mind and disposition, produced by "the exceeding great and precious promises" lovingly believed, and resulting in "the obedience of faith."
Metanioia - joy not sorrow. Thinking with Yahweh.
14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
The Pharisees approached the subject at first through John's disciples. Some of John's disciples had a difficulty about the difference between John's ways and Christ's. John was abstemious and given to periodical fasting, which he also enjoined upon his disciples, as befitting the exigencies of the spiritual reformation he had come to effect in preparation for Christ.
But Christ was a free eater, and laid no obligation of fasting upon his disciples.
**Nazareth Revisited Ch 20
15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
Fasting is a concomitant of mourning, and would be out of place in a joyful situation. This was the argument of his question, which assumed that he was the bridegroom, and that it was a happy circumstance for them to have him with them. So it was. He said so plainly.
"Me ye have not always" (Mar. xiv. 7). "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (Jno. ix. 5.) "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you" (xii. 35).
...He was the light of their eyes, and the joy of their heart, and the strength of their ways. His presence excluded the very idea of fasting.
**Nazareth Revisited Ch 20
27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
The people knew that the Messiah was to be the son of David. They were disposed to regard this man as the Messiah because of his mighty works. Therefore it was the popular mood to speak of him as the son of David **
28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
The Lord dealt with the matter in a much more interesting manner than by at once granting their request, as unskilful kindness would have done.... **
Israel were made to realise that while they could do nothing if God were not with them, He could not in a sense do His part unless they did theirs. God requires men humbly and faithfully and diligently to do their part as the condition and means of enabling Him to work out His purpose with and concerning them. In this beautiful combination we have to-
"Work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, while it is God who works in us to will and to do His good pleasure."
It is a noble and beneficent principle tending to keep back man from presumption, preserving a place for faith and wholesome activity while giving us the comfort of divine cooperation in all that we do according to His will. While the performance of our part is necessary, the accomplishment of final results is all of God, who can prosper or frustrate the devices of men or leave them altogether to their own ineffectual ways.
Ways of Providence Ch 27
30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
Jesus told them to enjoy the gift of God in quietness...How sadly noble the desire of Jesus to avoid public ovation while showing forth the glory and power of the Father in the performance of miracles: it is in harmony even with the poor specimens of worth and modest manhood we are sometimes permitted to know even now.
How unlike the impostor or charlatan to entreat the subjects of his benefaction to keep the matter secret! How like human nature, for the blind men to disregard Christ's request, and blaze the matter abroad to the utmost.
How godlike for Christ to let them persevere in their request before granting it: to even interpose an obstacle to put their earnestness to the test: and to extort a confession of their faith before imparting the coveted benefit.**
35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom minus the mystery in his own name, because it was still a hidden mystery, and must have so continued until he was "perfected." The apostles preached the same gospel with its mystery, because it was no longer hidden, but commanded to be proclaimed.
TC Feb 1888
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
They had no one to look after them with the needful wisdom, kindness, and power Men require looking after. They cannot manage themselves so as to live to any true purpose. They do not look after one another, but destroy one another. It has been the case in every age and country since Adam was sent out of Eden to shift for himself.
...He knew that the work before him was a brief teaching work of three years and a half, to be closed in that laying down of his life for the world, which excluded all idea of present triumph, and to be followed by a long absence during an appointed interval of darkness and silence. This knowledge would intensify the compassion with which he would tolerate the attendance of the shepherdless crowd, while leading him also to that non-committal attitude of which John speaks (Jno. ii. 24).
Nazareth Revisited Ch 18
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man