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airIam2worship
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« Reply #435 on: August 28, 2007, 08:48:07 AM »

Mr 1:16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

Mr 1:17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.

Mr 1:18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

Mr 1:19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.

Mr 1:20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him.


WBN


In this history of our Saviour's calling the four disciples, Peter and Andrew, James and John, observe these particulars. 1. The meanness of the persons whom he calls, illiterate fishermen: Christ took hereby effectual care that his gospel should be known to be the power of God, and not the wisdom and device of man; and that the instruments should not carry away the glory of the work.
 
Observe, 2. Christ called his apostles by couples, two and two; first Peter and Andrew, then James and John: thereby signifying to us, that the work of the ministry requires the concurrence of all hands that are called to it. All the ministers of God should join their hearts and hands, and set their shoulders as on man to this great work; and all little enough, God knows, to carry it on with advantage and success.
 
Observe, 3. The work which they are called from, and called to: from being  fishermen, to be fishers of men; from catching fish with the labour of their tongues.
 
Observe, 4. Our Saviour's command, first to follow him, before they be sent out by him: Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. We must be Christ's disciples before we are his ministers; his followers, before we are his ambassadors: we must learn Christ before we preach him; otherwise we may fish for a livelihood, but not for souls.
 
Observe, 5. The gracious promise which Christ gives his apostles for their encouragement; namely, to qualify them for, and to succeed them in, their office: I will make you fishers of men. Faithfulness and care, diligence and endeavour, is our part; but the blessing and success is Christ's: our labour is only in the cast; Christ's power is wholly in the draught.
 
Some fish cleave to the rocks, others play upon the sands, more wallow in mud; and verily we shall labour all our days and catch nothing, if Christ do not bring our fish to the net, and enclose them in it, as well as asist us in the throwing and casting of it.
 
Observe, 6. The apostles' ready compliance with our Saviour's call. Straightway they forsook their father and friends, ship and nets, and followed Jesus. Whom Christ calls, he calls effectually: and draws whom he calls and works their hearts to a ready compliance with their duty.
 
Observe, 7. That upon their call to the ministry they leave off their trade, they forsake their ship and nets, and lie close to their ministerial employment. Teaching us, That the ministers of the gospel should wholly give themselves up to their great work, and not encumber themselves with secular affairs and worldly business. Nothing but an indispensable necessity, in providing for a family, can excuse a minister's incumbering himself with worldly concerns and business.
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« Reply #436 on: August 29, 2007, 08:52:06 AM »

Mr 1:21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.

Mr 1:22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.


WBN

Our Saviour having called his disciples, Peter and Andrew, James and John, to follow him, in order to their preaching of the gospel; here we may observe how he went himself along with them, teaching personally in the synagogues wherever he came: he did not send his apostles forth as his curates, and lie at home himself upon his couch of ease. What shall we say to those lazy fishermen that set others to the drag, but care only to feed themselves with the fish; not willing to wet their hands with the net, or take any pains themselves? Our Saviour did not thus; but when he sent forth his apostles, he still preached himself: he went into their synagogues and taught.
 
Observe farther, the success of his preaching; the people were astonished at his doctrine, struck with admiration, apprehending and believing him to be an extraordinary prophet sent from God.
 
Learn thence, That such is the efficacy of Christ's doctrine, especially when accompanied with the energy and operation of his Holy Spirit, that it makes all his auditors admirers; causing astonishment in their minds, and reformation in their manners.
 
Observe lastly, the reason of our Lord's success in preaching:  He taught as one having authority. He taught in his own name, as being Lord of his doctrine; not saying with the prophets, Thus saith the Lord: but I say unto you. And he wrought powerful miracles, which accompanied his doctrine. As Christ was careful to preserve the authority of his person and doctrine with the people; so is it the duty of his ministers to demean themselves amongst their people, that neither their authority may be contemned, nor their persons despised, but their doctrine and themselves reverenced and obeyed. Our Saviour having called his disciples, Peter and Andrew, James and John, to follow him, in order to their preaching of the gospel; here we may observe how he went himself along with them, teaching personally in the synagogues wherever he came: he did not send his apostles forth as his curates, and lie at home himself upon his couch of ease. What shall we say to those lazy fishermen that set others to the drag, but care only to feed themselves with the fish; not willing to wet their hands with the net, or take any pains themselves? Our Saviour did not thus; but when he sent forth his apostles, he still preached himself: he went into their synagogues and taught.
 
Observe farther, the success of his preaching; the people were astonished at his doctrine, struck with admiration, apprehending and believing him to be an extraordinary prophet sent from God.
 
Learn thence, That such is the efficacy of Christ's doctrine, especially when accompanied with the energy and operation of his Holy Spirit, that it makes all his auditors admirers; causing astonishment in their minds, and reformation in their manners.
 
Observe lastly, the reason of our Lord's success in preaching: He taught as one having authority. He taught in his own name, as being Lord of his doctrine; not saying with the prophets, Thus saith the Lord: but I say unto you. And he wrought powerful miracles, which accompanied his doctrine. As Christ was careful to preserve the authority of his person and doctrine with the people; so is it the duty of his ministers to demean themselves amongst their people, that neither their authority may be contemned, nor their persons despised, but their doctrine and themselves reverenced and obeyed.
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« Reply #437 on: August 29, 2007, 08:59:33 AM »

Mr 1:23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,

Mr 1:24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

Mr 1:25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

Mr 1:26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

Mr 1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.


WBN


St. Mark having given an account of our Saviour's doctrine which he preached, verse 15, namely, the doctrine of faith and repentance, he now acquaints us in the remaining part of this chapter with the miracles which he wrought for the confirming of his doctrine, and they are three.
 
First, The  casting of a devil out of one possessed, verse 23.
 
Secondly, The curing of Peter's wife's mother of a fever, verse 29.
 
Thirdly, The cleansing of the leper, from verse 40, to the end of the chapter.
 
His first miracle was the casting of a devil out of one possessed. There was a man with an unclean spirit; That is, an unclean spirit did enter into him, and bodily possess him. Amongst the many calamities which sin has brought upon our bodies, this is one, that we are liable to be bodily possessed by Satan. The devil has an inveterate malice against mankind, seeking to ruin our souls by his suggestions and temptations, and to destroy our bodies by some means or other: but, blessed be God, though his malice be infinite, yet his power is limited and bounded; as he cannot do all he can.
 
O how much is it our interest, as well as our duty, by prayer to put ourselves morning and evening under the divine protection, that we may be preserved from the power and malice of evil spirits!
 
Observe, 2. The attribute or title given to the devil, he is called an unclean spirit. The devils, those wicked spirits of hell, are most impure and filthy creatures; impure by means of their original apostasy; impure by means of their actual and daily sins, such as murder, malice, lying, and the like, by which they continually pollute themselves; impure by means of their continual desire and endeavour to pollute mankind with the contagion of their own sin. Lord, how foul is the nature of sin, which makes the devil such a foul and unclean creature!
 
Observe, 3. This unclean spirit no sooner saw Christ, but he cried out.
 
Whence note, That the greatness of Christ's power (being the Son of God) over devils and wicked spirits is such, that it is very terrible and tormenting to them; it was terrible to them in his state of humiliation on earth, and made them cry out. But oh, how terrible will his power be to them at the great day, when Christ shall come in flaming fire, to render vengenance both to men and devils!
 
Observe, 4. The substance of the devil's outcry; Let us alone, what have we to do with thee? Art thou come to destroy us?
 
Where note, that though the devils are now as full of sin and discontent as they can be, yet are they not so full of misery and torment as they shall be. Art thou come to torment us before the time? says St. Matthew. Mt 8:29 and Art thou come to destroy us? says St. Mark: that is to bring upon us our full and final destruction.
 
Implying, that the devil has not yet his full judgment and complete damnation. Therefore there is certainly a day of judgment to come, and the devils are in chains of darkness, reserved to the judgment of that great day. But some by these words, Art thou come to destroy us? understand as much as, "Art thou come to restrain us from the exercise of our power?"
 
Learn we thence, That the devil thinks himself destroyed when he is restrained from doing mischief.
 
Observe, 5. The title which the devil put upon our Saviour; Jesus of Nazareth, the Holy One of God. Although there was ground for the common people's calling Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, because he was bred and brought up there, and lived there during his private life, till about thirty years of age; though he was not born there, but at Bethlehem; yet it is conceived that the devil gave this title to our Saviour in policy, to disguise the place of Christ's nativity, that so the Jews might not believe him to be the true Messiah, because he was of Nazareth, whereas the Messiah was to come out of Bethlehem, but Jesus of Nazareth. But how comes the next title out of the devil's mouth; The Holy One of God? Could an apostle, could Peter himself, make a profession beyond this? But how comes the devil to make it? For no good end or purpose, we may be sure; for he never speaks truth for truth's sake, but for advantage.
 
Probably, (1.) He made this profession, that so he might bring the truth professes into suspicion, hoping that a truth which received testimony from the father of lies would be suspected.
 
(2.) It might perhaps be done that the people might believe that our Saviour had some familiarity with Satan, and did work miracles by his help, because he did confess him, and seem so much to honour him.
 
From this instance and example learn, That it is possible for a person to own and acknowledge Christ to be the true and only Saviour, and yet to miss of salvation by him. If a speculative knowledge, and a verbal profession, of Christ, were sufficient to salvation, the devil himself would not miss of happiness.
 
Observe, 6. How our Saviour rebukes the devil for his confession, and commands him silence; And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace. But why was this rebuke given the devil when he spake the truth?
 
  Ans. 1. Because Christ knew that the devil confessed this truth on purpose to disgrace the truth.
 
2. Because the devil was not fit person to make this profession. A testimony of truth from the father of lies is enough to render truth itself suspected. Yet the devil's evidence, that Christ was the holy One of God, will rise up in judgment against the wicked Pharisees, who shut their eyes against the miracles, and stop their ears against the doctrine, of the Holy One of God.
 
Observe lastly, How the unclean spirit obeys the voice of Christ, though with great reluctance and regret. When the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out. Christ is Lord over the wicked angels, and has an absolute power and authority to overrule them, and command them at his pleasure; if Christ says to the evil spirit, Come out, out he must come.
 
Yet observe the devil's spite at parting, he tears the man, tortures his body, throws him violently from place to place, showing how loth he was to be dispossessed. Where Satan has once gotten an hold, and settled himself for a time, how unwilling is he to be cast out of possession! yea, it is a torture and vexation to him to be cast out: it is much easier to keep him out than to cast him out. Satan may possess the body by God's permission, but he cannot possess our hearts without our own consent and approgbation: it will be our wisdom to deny him entrance into our souls at first, by rejecting his wicked motions and suggestions; for when once entered, he will, like the strong man armed, keep the house till a stronger than he casts him out.
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« Reply #438 on: August 30, 2007, 08:21:05 AM »

Mr 1:28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

Mr 1:29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Mr 1:30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

Mr 1:31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

WBN

 
The second miracle which our Saviour wrought in this chapter, to confirm the truth and authority of his doctrine was his raising up of  Peter's wife's mother from her bed of sickness.
 
Where note, 1. that St. Peter, now a disciple, and afterwards an apostle, was a married person. Neither the prophets of the Old Testament, nor the ministers of the New, did abhor the marriage-bed, nor think themselves too pure for an institution of their Maker. The church of Rome, by denying the lawfulness of priests' marriage, makes herself wiser than God, who says, Marriage is honourable amongst all men. Heb 13:1
 
Observe, 2. Peter, though a good man, and his wife's mother probably a gracious woman, yet is his family visited with sickness; strength of grace, and dearness of respect even from Christ himself, cannot prevail against diseases. God's own children are visited with bodily sickness as well as others.
 
Observe, 3. The charitable care of St. Peter, and the other disciples, forthwith to acquaint Christ with the condition of this sick person, Anon they tell him of her. The care of our fellow-christians, especially when of the number of our near and dear relations, in a time of sickness, is not to be deferred or delayed. Outward help for their bodies, and the spiritual help of our prayers for their souls, are both straightway to be afforded them.
 
Observe, 4. Christ's divine power manifested in this miraculous cure: He no sooner took her by the hand but the fever left her. The miracle was not in curing an incurable distemper, but in curing an ordinary distemper after a miraculous manner; namely,
 
1. By a touch of the hand.
 
2. The recovery was instantaneous and sudden: Immediately the fever left her.
 
3. The visible effects of her recovery instantly appeared: She arose and ministered unto Christ and his disciples.
 
That she could arise, argued her cure miraculous; that she did arise, and did minister to Christ, argued her thankfulness.
 
Learn thence, That after Christ hath graciously healed any of us, it ought to be our first work and care to administer unto Christ; that is, to employ our recovered health in the service of Christ, and to improve our renewed strength to the honour and glory of Christ.
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« Reply #439 on: August 31, 2007, 09:34:57 AM »

Mr 1:32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.

Mr 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door.

Mr 1:34 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.


WBN

 
The evangelist here declares sundry other miracles wrought by our Saviour before the door of St. Peter's house, where he now was; he healed all the diseased that were brought unto him, and cast devils out of them that were possessed with them.
 
But how comes it to pass, that we read of so many possessed with devils in our Saviour's time, and so few either before or since?
 
   Ans. 1. Probably satan, perceiving that the Messiah was come in the flesh to destroy his kingdom, did rage the more, and discover great malice and enmity against mankind.
 
2. Perhaps Almighty God permitted Satan at that time to possess so many, that Christ might have occasion to manifest his divine power by casting satan out: and accordingly we find our Saviour dispossessing all that were possessed by satan.
 
It is added, that he suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. That is, Christ would not be made known to be the Son of God by the preaching of the devil, to whom it belonged not to publish the gospel, lest the world should take from thence an occasion to think that our Saviour held a correspondence with those wicked spirits, and that the miracles he wrought were performed by the devil's assistance, as being one in combination with him. Possibly the devil's owning Christ to be the Holy One of God, the Pharisees concluded that there was a compact and agreement betwixt them, and thereupon their affirmation was grounded, He casteth out devils by beelzebub.
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« Reply #440 on: August 31, 2007, 09:37:35 AM »

Mr 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

WBN

 
Observe here, 1. The duty performed by our Saviour, Namely, prayer, solitary and private prayer. He went by himself alone, out of the hearing of his disciples. The company of our best friends is not always seasonable, nor acceptable; there are times and cases when a Christian would not be willing that his dearest relations upon earth should hear that conversation which passes betwixt him and his God.
 
Observe, 2. Christ chooses the opportunity of the morning for prayer, he rises a great while before day to set about this work. Teaching us, that the morning is a fit season, yea, the best season, for private duties: now our spirits are freshest and our minds freest, before the distractions of the day break in upon us. It is better to go from prayer to business, than from business to prayer.
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« Reply #441 on: August 31, 2007, 09:49:38 AM »

Mr 1:36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.

Mr 1:37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

Mr 1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Mr 1:39 And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

WBN

 
Observe here two things: First, the great end of Christ in his incarnation and coming into the world, namely, as a Prophet sent from God to reveal his will, and to publish the doctrine of the gospel.  Therefore came I forth; that is, to preach and plant the gospel.
 
Secondly, It being Christ's design not only to plant but to propagate the gospel, he would not confine his ministry to any particular places, no, not to the great city of Capernaum, but resolves to preach the word in the smallest towns and villages. Leaving his ministers herein an instructive example, to be as willing to preach the gospel in the smallest villages, as in the largest cities, if God calls them thereunto.
 
Let the place be never so obscure and mean, and the congregation never so small and little, if God sends us thither, the greatest of us must not think it beneath us to go and instruct a handful of people.
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« Reply #442 on: August 31, 2007, 09:53:44 AM »

Mr 1:40 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.

Mr 1:41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

Mr 1:42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

Mr 1:43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;

Mr 1:44 And saith unto him, 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.

Mr 1:45 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.


WBN

The last miracle of our Saviour's recorded in this chapter, is the healing of a leper; he came, beseeching Christ to heal him, saying,  If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
 
Where observe, 1. He doth not question Christ's power, but distrusts Christ's willingness to heal him; Lord if thou wilt, thou canst. Christ's divine power must be fully assented to, and firmly believed, by all those that expect benefit by him, and healing from him.
 
Observe, 2. The great readiness of Christ to help and heal this distressed person. Jesus touched him, saying, I will, be thou clean.
 
By the ceremonial law, the leper was forbidden to be touched, therefore Christ's touching the leper showed him to be above the law, and that he was the Lord of it, and might dispense with it; and his healing the leper by the word of his mouth, and touch of his hand, showed him to be truly and really God. Leprosy among the Jews was an incurable distemper, called the finger of God, a disease of his sending, and of his removing.
 
Our Saviour therefore, as a proof of his being the true Messiah, tells John's disciples, that the lepers were cleansed, and the dead raised Mt 11:5 by him; which two being joined together, do imply, that the cleansing of lepers is as much an act of divine power as the raising of the dead.
 
And accordingly, it is said, Am I God, that this man sends to me to cure a man of his leprosy? 2Ki 5:7
 
Observe, 3. The certainty and suddenness of the cure was a proof of Christ's divine power; immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Christ not only cured him without means, but without the ordinary time required for such a cure. Thus Christ showed both power and will to cure him miraculously, who believed his power, but questioned his willingness.
 
Observe, 4. The cause, moving our Saviour to cure this leper; his bowels were moved with tender pity and compassion towards him. Christ's exercising acts of mercy and compassion, with such condolency and sympathizing pity, should by way of example teach us to be inwardly moved with tender compassion and mercy towards such as are in misery. We are not only to draw out our bread, but to draw out our soul, to the hungry.
 
Observe, 5. A twofold charge and command given by Christ to the leper after his cure.
 
First, to conceal and tell it to no man. Where the great modesty, humility, and piety, of Christ, is discovered, together with the care of his own safety. His modesty, in not desiring his good deeds should be published and proclaimed; his humility, in shunning vain-glorious applause and commendation; his piety, in desiring all honour and glory should redound entirely to God. And the care of his own safety appeared, lest the publishing of his miracles should create him untimely danger from the Pharisees.
 
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« Reply #443 on: September 04, 2007, 09:49:36 AM »

Mr 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

Mr 2:2 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.

WBN

 
In the last verse of the foregoing chapter we find how industriously our blessed Saviour withdrew himself from the concourse and throng of people which flocked after him from every quarter; and to show how little he affected the applause and commendation of the multitude,  he left the cities and was without in desert places. Hereby giving his ministers an instructive example to decline vain-glory, and to shun popular applause. But now the words before us show that our Saviour having entered (privately, as is probable) into the city of Capernaum, it is presently, noised and reported that he was in the house, and a mighty concourse and throng of people are after him; insomuch that neither the house, nor hardly the streets, could contain them.
 
Thence learn, That such as least seek after honour and applause from men, are oft-times most famous and renowned. Our Saviour was so far from seeking the people's praise and commendation, that he came into Capernaum without observation, and betook himself to his dwelling-house there; but the more he sought to lie hid, the more he was taken notice of.
 
Honour flies from them that pursue it, and pursues those that fly from it. The way to be honoured, is to be humble. God seldom honours a proud man, by making him either eminently serviceable or successful.
 
Observe farther, The people being come together, our Saviour takes the opportunity to preach; And he preached the word unto them. Teaching his ministers by his example, to embrace all opportunities, in season and out of season, on the Lord's day and on the week day, to edify our people by our ministry, by our public exhortations, by our private instructions, prudent admonitions, and holy examples.
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« Reply #444 on: September 04, 2007, 09:59:43 AM »

Mr 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

Mr 2:4 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.

Mr 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

Mr 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

Mr 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

Mr 2:8 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?

Mr 2:9 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?

Mr 2:10 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,)

Mr 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

Mr 2:12 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.

WBN


Here we have the relation of our Saviour's miraculous healing of one sick of the palsy at Capernaum.
 
Where observe, 1. The diseased and distressed person;  one sick of the palsy, which disease being a resolution and weakness of the nerves, enfeebles the joints, and confines the person to his bed or couch. As a demonstration of Christ's divine power, he was pleased to single out the palsy and leprosy, incurable diseases, to work a cure upon such as were afflicted with them.
 
Now this person was so great a cripple by reason of the palsy, that he was borne of four. He could not go, nor was capable of being led, but was carried by four in his bed or couch.
 
Observe, 2. As the grievousness of the disease, so the greatness of their faith. The man and his friends had a firm persuasion that Christ was clothed with a divine power, and able to help him, and they hoped in his goodness that he was also willing to help him. Accordingly, the roof of the Jewish houses being flat, they uncovered some part of it, and let the bed down with the sick man in it into the room where Christ was.
 
Observe, 3. No sooner did they exercise their faith in believing, but Christ exerts his divine power in healing. And see the marvellous efficacy of faith; it obtained not only what was desired, but more than was expected. They desired only the healing of the body, but Christ heals body and soul too. Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.
 
Thereby our Saviour shows them, that sin is the original cause of all bodily diseases; and consequently, that in sickness, the best way to find ease and deliverance from pain, is first to seek for pardon. The sense of pardon in some degree will take away the sense of pain.
 
Observe, 4. The exception which the scribes took against our Saviour for pronouncing that this man's sins were forgiven him. They accuse him of the sin of blasphemy: urging, that it is God's peculiar prerogative to pardon sin. Their doctrine was true, but their application false. Nothing more true, than that it is the greatest degree of blasphemy for any mere man to arrogate to himself the incommunicable prerogative of God, which consists, in an absolute and authoritative power to forgive sin. But then their denying this power to Christ of forgiving sin, which he had as God from all eternity, and as Mediator, God and man in one person, when here upon earth; this was blasphemy in them; the challenging of it, none in him.
 
Observe, 5. Our Saviour gives these scribes a twofold demonstration of his Godhead,
 
(1.) By letting them understand that he knew their thoughts: Jesus perceiving in his spirit that they reasoned within themselves. To search the hearts, and to know the thoughts and reasonings of men, but the prerogative of God only.
 
(2.) By assuming to himself a power to forgive sin; for our Saviour here, by assuming to himself a power to forgive sins in his own name, and by his own authority, doth give the world an undeniable proof and convincing evidence of his Godhead. For who can forgive sins but God only?
 
Observe, 6. The effect of this miracle upon the minds of the people; they marvelled and were amazed, but did not believe. They admire our Saviour for an extraordinary man, but did not believe him to be God.
 
Learn thence, That the sight of Christ's miracles is not sufficient to work faith in the soul, without the concurring operation of the Holy Spirit. The one may make us marvel, the other must make us believe.
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« Reply #445 on: September 05, 2007, 05:04:04 AM »

Mr 2:13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

Mr 2:14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

Mr 2:15 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.

Mr 2:16 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?

Mr 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

WBN


Observe here, 1. The unwearied pains and diligence which our Saviour used in the execution of his ministerial office and calling; no sooner had he done preaching in Capernaum, and healing the sick of the palsy; but he goeth out thence to the sea-side to preach there.
 
O blessed Saviour! How perpetually wert thou employed in the labours of thy calling, in the service of thy Father, and for the good of mankind! Thou wentest about doing good, setting a pattern for all thy ministers to follow. How doth the example of thy laborious diligence at once instruct and shame us!
 
Observe, 2. The number of our Lord's disciples not being filled up, observe what a free and gracious, unexpected and undeserved, choice he makes.  Levi, that is, Matthew, (for he hath both names,) a grinding publican, who gathered the taxes for the Romans, and was probably guilty, as others were, of the sins of covetousness, extortion, and oppression; yet he is called to follow Christ as a special disciple.
 
Learn thence, That such is the freeness of God's grace, that it calls and converts sinners unto Christ when they think not of him, nor seek unto him. Little did Levi now think of a Saviour, much less seek after him, yet he is at this time called by him.
 
Matthew, a publican, Zaccheus, an extortioner, Saul, a persecutor, all these are brought home to God, as instances and evidences of the mighty power of converting grace.
 
Observe, 3. Matthew's ready compliance with Christ's call; he arose, and followed him. When the inward call of the Holy Spirit accompanieth the outward call of the word, the soul readily complies, and presently yields obedience to the voice of Christ. Christ oft-times speaks by his word to our ears, and we hear not, we stir not; but when he speaks by his Spirit efficaciously to our hearts, satan shall not hold us down, the world shall not keep us back, but we shall with Levi instantly arise and follow our Saviour.
 
Observe, 4. Levi, or Matthew, to show his thankfulness to Christ, makes him a great feast. Christ invited Matthew to a discipleship, Matthew invites Christ to a dinner. The servant invites his Master, a sinner invites his Saviour. We do not find, that when Christ was invited to any table, that he ever refused to go: if a publican, if a Pharisee invited him, he constantly went; not so much for the pleasure of eating, as for the opportunity of conversing and doing good. Christ feasts us when we feast him.
 
Learn hence, That new converts are full of affection towards Christ, and very expressive in their love unto him. Matthew, touched with a sense of Christ's rich love, makes him a royal feast.
 
Observe, 5. The cavil and exception which the scribes and Pharisees made at our Lord's free conversation. They censure him for conversing with sinners; he justifies himself, telling them, that he conversed with them as their physician, not as their companion. They that are whole need no physician, says Christ, but they that are sick.
 
As if our Lord had said, "With whom should a physician converse, but with his sick patients? Now I am come into the world to do the office of a kind physician unto men, surely then I am to take all opportunities of conversing with them, that I may help and heal them, for they that are sick need the physician: but as for you scribes and Pharisees, who are well and whole in your own opinion and conceit, I have no hopes of doing good upon you: for such as think themselves whole desire no physician's help."
 
From this assertion of our Saviour these truths are suggested to us,
 
1.  That sin is the soul's malady, its spiritual disease and sickness.
 
2. That Christ is the Physician appointed by God for the cure and healing of this disease.
 
3.  That there are multitudes of sinners spiritually sick, whole yet think themselves sound and whole.
 
4.  That such, and only such, as find and feel themselves spiritually sick, are the subjects capable of Christ's healing.
 
  They that are whole need not the physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the (opiniatively) righteous, but the (sensible) sinner to repentance.

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« Reply #446 on: September 05, 2007, 11:14:35 AM »

Mr 2:18 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?

Mr 2:19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.


Mr 2:20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.



Mr 2:21 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.
{new cloth: or, raw, or, unwrought cloth}




Mr 2:22 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.
{bottles: or, sacks of skin}


WBN

Observe here, 1. A great difference betwixt John's disciples and Christ's in the matter of fasting. John's disciples imitated him, who was a man of an austere life, and much given to fasting; therefore he is said  to come neither eating nor drinking, Mt 11:1
 
On the other side, Christ's disciples follow him, who came eating and drinking, as other men did; and yet, though there was a great difference betwixt John's disciples and Christ's in matters of practice, they were all of one faith and religion.
 
Thence learn, That there may be unity of faith and religion among those who do not maintain an uniformity in practice. Men may differ in some outward religious observances and customs, and yet agree in the fundamentals of faith and religion. Thus did John's disciples and Christ's; the one fasted often, the other fasted not.
 
Observe, 2. In that the disciples of the Pharisees used to fast as well as John's disciples, we may learn, That hypocrites and wicked men may be, and sometimes are, as strict and forward in the outward duties of religion, as the holiest and best of christians; they pray, they fast, they hear the word, they receive the sacraments: they do, yea, it may be, they outdo and go beyond, the sincere christian in external duties and outward performances.
 
Observe, 3. The defensative plea which our blessed Saviour makes for the not fasting of his disciples; he declares that it was neither suitable to them, nor tolerable for them, thus to fast at present. Not suitable, in regard of Christ's bodily presence with them. This made it a time of joy and rejoicing, not of mourning and fasting.
 
Christ is the Bridegroom, and his church the bride; whilst therefore his spouse did enjoy his bodily presence with her, it was a day of joy and rejoicing to her, and mourning and fasting were improper for her. But when Christ's bodily presence shall be removed, there will be cause enough to fast and mourn.
 
Again, this discipline of fasting was not at present tolerable for the disciples; for they were raw, green, and tender, not fit for austerities; nor could bear as yet the severities of religion, no more than an old garment could bear a piece of new stiff cloth to be set into it, which will make the rent worse, if the garment comes to a stretch; or no more than old bottles can keep new wine.
 
As if our Saviour had said, "My disciples at present are tender and weak, newly called and converted; they cannot therefore bear the severities of religion presently; but ere long I shall leave them, and go to heaven, from whence I will send down the Holy Spirit upon them, which shall enable them to do all the duties which the gospel enjoins.
 
Now the intended lesson of instruction from hence is this, That it is hurtful and dangerous for young converts, for weak christians, to be put upon the severer exercises of religion, or to be urged to the performance of such duties as are above their strength. But they ought to be handled with that tenderness which becomes the mild and gentle dispensation of the gospel. Our Saviour here commends prudence to his ministers in treating their people according to their strength, and putting them upon duties according to their time and standing.
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« Reply #447 on: September 06, 2007, 03:02:28 AM »

Mr 2:23 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.

Mr 2:24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

Mr 2:25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

Mr 2:26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

Mr 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

Mr 2:28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.



WBN

Observe here, 1. The poverty, the low estate and condition, of Christ's own disciples in this world; they wanted bread, and are forced  to pluck the ears of corn to satisfy their hunger. God may, and sometimes doth, suffer his dearest children to fall in streights, to taste of want, for the trial of their faith, and dependence upon his power and providence.
 
Observe, 2. How the Pharisees (who accompanied our Saviour only with a design to cavil at, and quarrel with, every thing that either he or his disciples did) blame this action of the disciples, namely, the plucking the ears of corn on the sabbath-day.
 
Yet note, 1. It was not any theft which the disciples were charged with; for to take in our necessity so much of our neighbour's goods as we may reasonably suppose that, if he were present, and knew our circumstances, he would give us, is no theft. But it is the servile labour on the sabbath, in gathering the ears of corn, which the Pharisees scruple.
 
Whence observe, How zealous hypocrites are for the lesser things of the law, whilst they neglect the greater, and are superstitiously addicted to outward ceremonies, placing all holiness in the observation of them, neglecting moral duties.
 
Observe farther, 3. How our Saviour defends the action of his disciples in gathering the ears of corn in their necessity, by the practice and example of David. Necessity freed him from fault and blame in eating the consecrated bread, which none but the priests might lawfully eat. For in cases of necessity a ceremonial precept must give way to a moral duty. Works of mercy and necessity for preserving our lives, and for the better fitting us for sabbath-services, are certainly lawful for the sabbath-day.
 
Observe, 4. A double argument which our Saviour uses, to prove that the sabbath's observation may be dispensed with in a case of absolute necessity; 1. Drawn from the end of the sabbath's institution: the sabbath was made for man; that is, instituted of God for the good and benefit of mankind, both with respect to their souls and to their bodies. The outward observing and keeping of the sabbath is subordinate to the good of man, and therefore the good of man is to be preferred before the outward keeping of the sabbath.
 
2. Argument is drawn from the authority which Christ, the Institutor of the sabbath, has over it. The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath; that is, he has authority and power, both as God and as Mediator, to institute and appoint a sabbath, to alter and change the sabbath, to dispense with the breach of it upon a just and great occasion; and consequently, acts of mercy, which tend to fit us for works of piety, not only may, but ought to be done upon the sabbath-day: which was the proposition which our Saviour undertook to prove.
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« Reply #448 on: September 20, 2007, 12:49:06 PM »

Mr 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

Mr 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

Mr 3:3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

Mr 3:4 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.

WBN

 
The former part of this chapter reports to us a miraculous cure wrought by Christ upon a man who had a withered hand. The place where he wrought it, was the synagogue; the time when, was the sabbath-day; the manner how, was by speaking a word; the persons before whom, were the envious and malicious Pharisees. These men were always cavilling at our Saviour's doctrine, and slandering his miracles; yet our Saviour goes on with his work before their faces, without either interruption or discouragement.
 
Learn thence, That the unjust censures and malicious cavils of wicked men against us for well-doing, must not discourage us from doing our duty either towards God, or towards our neighbour. Though the Pharisees watched our Saviour, and when their envy and malice could find no occasion of quarrel, they could invent and make one; yet such was our Lord's courage and resolution, that he bids  the man which had the withered hand, stand forth: to show that he was resolved to heal him, notwithstanding their malicious purpose to accuse him for it as a breaker of the sabbath. Opposition met with in doing our duty, must not discourage us from doing good, if we will follow the example of our blessed Redeemer.
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« Reply #449 on: September 20, 2007, 01:04:39 PM »

Mr 3:5 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.

WBN

Observe here, 1. The Pharisees' sinful and graceless disposition, and that was hardness of heart. The heart of man is naturally hard, and full of obstinacy and enmity against Christ: but there is an acquired hardness, which continuance in sin occasions; the Pharisees laboured under both.
 
Observe, 2. A double affection which this hardness of heart found in the Pharisees did stir up in Christ: namely, anger and indignation, grief and commiseration:  He was grieved for the hardness of their hearts.
 
Learn hence, 1. That human passions are not sinful, and that the Christian religion doth not destroy natural affections.
 
2. That anger at sin, either in ourselves or others, if kept within its due bounds, is not only lawful but commendable. This passion of anger was found in him, in whom was no sin.
 
3. That our anger against sin ought to be accompanied with grief and compassion towards sinners. We should pour out our tears of compassion, when men pour forth their abominations.
 
4. That all sins, hardness of heart and unbelief are most grievous and offensive, nost displeasing and provoking to Jesus Christ: He looked about with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.
 
Observe, 3. The sudden and instantaneous cure which our Saviour wrought upon the man that had the withered hand: our Saviour did not touch him, but only said to him, Stretch forth thy hand, and it was presently cured.
 
Learn hence, That Christ's having absolute power over all bodily diseases and infirmities to cure them miraculously without means, only by a word speaking, is one argument that proves him to be truly and really God.
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