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The Clear Word 

A Ministry Of Mid-State Bible Fellowship 

 

MATTHEW EIGHT

 
MATTHEW 8:1

[1] When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
Did these large numbers of people follow Jesus because the loved Him?  For the most part no.  Jesus would have thousands around Him at one time just to see what they could get from Him.  And then you would have those who followed Jesus simply because they were curiosity seekers.  And then there were the "Jesus Groupies."  These are those who followed Jesus because He was the latest fad.  But a very low percentage of those who followed Him did so because they loved Him. 
 
From the miracles of the loaves and fish, we see that upwards to thirty thousand people, and perhaps at times even more than that,  would be following Jesus at one time.
 
We do know from Mark 5:24, that at times Jesus would thronged by thousands of people at one time. 
 
Mark 5:24...And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.




MATTHEW 8:2


[2] And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
When it comes to Jesus and this leper, why does Matthew put the word "behold?"  It is because this leper was not supposed to be around people at all.
 
Leviticus 13:45...And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.
 

However, this poor leper felt that he may only have one opportunity with Jesus for his healing and cleansing.  Therefore, he willing would risk the wrath of the crowd around him and even the possibility of his own life.
 
Notice how the leper approaches Jesus.  He approaches Him in the mannerism of humble contrition.  He approaches Jesus as one would approach a divine deity.  Notice also that Jesus does not stop him from worshiping Him as the angels would have stopped him. 
 
Revelation 19:10...And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
 
Also the leper would wish to conform his own personal will with that of Jesus.  He asks.  He request of Jesus for this healing.  Not ordering or demanding the healing.  He asks Jesus to heal him only if it would be in alignment with His own perfect will. 
 
James 4:13-15...Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: [14] Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. [15] For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
 
LEPROSY: This name leprosy is from the Greek lepra, by which the Greek physicians designated the disease from its scaliness. We have the description of the disease, as well as the regulations connected with it, in Leviticus 13:14 & Numbers 12:10-15.   There were reckoned six different circumstances under which it might develop itself:

1.  Without any apparent cause Leviticus 13:2-8
2.  Its reappearance 9-17
3.  From an inflammation 18-28
4.  On the head or chin 29-37
5.  In white polished spots 38-39
6.  At the back or in the front of the head 40-44

Lepers were required to live outside the camp or city Numbers 5:1-4 & 12:10-15. This disease was regarded as an awful punishment from the Lord II Kings 5:7 & II Chronicles 26:20.  

This disease "begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body piecemeal." "In Christ's day no leper could live in a walled town, though he might in an open village. But wherever he was he was required to have his outer garment rent as a sign of deep grief, to go bareheaded, and to cover his beard with his mantle, as if in lamentation at his own virtual death. He had further to warn passers-by to keep away from him, by calling out, ‘Unclean! unclean!' nor could he speak to any one, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involves an embrace."

That the disease was not contagious is evident from the regulations regarding it Leviticus 13:12-36 & II Kings 5:1. Leprosy was "the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man's inner nature, and renders him disqualified to enter the presence of a pure and holy God"

Our Lord cured lepers Matthew 8:2-3; Mark 1:40-42.  This divine power so manifested illustrates his gracious dealings with men in curing the leprosy of the soul, the fatal taint of sin.
 
Leprosy research has been given a great boost by the decoding of the genome of Mycobacterium leprae, the causative organism. This gives hope that more effective ways of managing the disease and its complications will be developed and that effective methods of prevention can be found. In the meantime, efforts are being made everywhere to change attitudes, so that leprosy is seen as a disease like any other, which can be treated through the general health services, just as other diseases are.





MATTHEW 8:3


[3] And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Imagine in this scenario, that the leprosy is sin and the leper is a repentant sinner.  He comes, in full faith, to Jesus wanting Jesus to touch him with the touch in which Jesus only could give. 
 
Notice Jesus does not scold him nor preach him a sermon.  Jesus can the genuine honesty in his heart.  And with that said, Jesus immediately cleanses and heals the man. 
 
This is the exact selfsame thing Jesus wants to do in the hearts and lives of unsaved persons all over the world.  He wants to heal and cleanse the hearts and lives of men and women worldwide of ravages and scars of sin.  People, just like you!




MATTHEW 8:4


[4] And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Jesus wants to see this man get his life back.  We see this desire in John 10:10.  However, there is Biblical procedure to follow.  Though this man will soon be back with his family and friends, there is still procedure.
 
John 10:10...The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
 
Numbers 12:10-16...And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. [11] And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. [12] Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb. [13] And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee. [14] And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again. [15] And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again. [16] And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

He must first go to the priest and allow the priest to examine him and give him a clean bill of health. Then he must offer the offering as commanded by Moses in the Old Testament.
 
Leviticus 14:1-32... And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest:
[3] And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; [4] Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: [5] And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an  earthen  vessel  over  running water:  [6] As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:
[7] And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field. [8] And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days. [9] But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean. [10] And on the eighth day he shall take two he lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, and three tenth deals of fine flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and one log of oil. [11] And the priest that maketh him clean shall present the man that is to be made clean, and those things, before the LORD, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:  [12] And the priest shall take one he lamb, and offer him for a trespass offering, and the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: [13] And he shall slay the lamb in the place where he shall kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the holy place: for as the sin offering is the priest's, so is the trespass offering: it is most holy: [14] And the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and the priest shall put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: [15] And the priest shall take some of the log of oil, and pour it into the palm of his own left hand: [16] And the priest shall dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand, and shall sprinkle of the oil with his finger seven times before the LORD: [17] And of the rest of the oil that is in his hand shall the priest put upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the blood of the trespass offering: [18] And the remnant of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall pour upon the head of him that is to be cleansed: and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD. [19] And the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering: [20] And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean. [21] And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved, to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil; [22] And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering, and  the  other  a  burnt offering. [23] And he shall bring them on the eighth day for his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, before the LORD. [24] And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: [25] And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering, and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot: [26] And the priest shall pour of the oil into the palm of his own left hand: [27] And the priest shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the LORD: [28] And the priest shall put of the oil that is in his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of the trespass offering: [29] And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed, to make an atonement for him before the LORD. [30] And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves, or of the young pigeons, such as he can get; [31] Even such as he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before the LORD. [32] This is the law of him in whom is the plague of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth to his cleansing.




MATTHEW 8:5


[5] And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
A centurion was soldier who had proven himself time and time again in battle.  Most of all, a centurion had to prove himself to be heartless and deeply unsympathetic in battle.
 
Such a man would now approach Jesus in a way in which the Bible uses the word beseeching.  This centurion would have approached Jesus in such a mannerism to be begging and blubbering at the same time.  Yet Jesus demonstrated a deep compassion for this man.  And granted to him the desires of heart. 
 
Mark 15:39...And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

CAPERNAUM:  Capernaum is also known as Nahum's town, a Galilean city frequently mentioned in the history of our Lord. It is not mentioned in the Old Testament. After our Lord's expulsion from Nazareth in Matthew 4:13-16 & Luke 4:16-31,  Capernaum became his "own city." It was the scene of many acts and incidents of his life in the four Gospels. The impenitence and unbelief of its inhabitants after the many evidences our Lord gave among them of the truth of his mission, brought down upon them a heavy denunciation of judgement in Matthew11:23.   It stood on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee. The "land of Gennesaret," near, if not in, which it was situated, was one of the most prosperous and crowded districts of Palestine. This city lay on the great highway from Damascus to Acco and Tyre. It has been identified with Tell Hum, about two miles south-west of where the Jordan flows into the lake. Here are extensive ruins of walls and foundations, and also the remains of what must have been a beautiful synagogue, which it is conjectured may have been the one built by the centurion in Luke 7:5,  in which our Lord frequently taught in John 6:59; Mark 1:21 & Luke 4:33.  Others have conjectured that the ruins of the city are to be found at Khan Minyeh, some three miles further to the south on the shore of the lake. "If Tell Hum be Capernaum, the remains spoken of are without doubt the ruins of the synagogue built by the Roman centurion, and one of the most sacred places on earth. It was in this building that our Lord gave the well-known discourse in John 6; and it was not without a certain strange feeling that on turning over a large block we found the pot of manna engraved on its face, and remembered the words, 'I am that bread of life: your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead."
 
CENTURION: A centurion was a Roman officer in command of a hundred men, which a sixtieth part of a Roman Legion. Mark 15:39-45.
 
 Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was a centurion Acts 10:1 & 22.
 
 Other centurions are mentioned in Matthew 8:5-8; Luke 7:2-6; Acts 21"32; 22:25-26; 23:17-23; 24:23; 27:1; 6; 11; 31; 43 & 28:16.
 
 A centurion watched the crucifixion of our Lord Matthew 27:54 & Luke 23:47.  And when he saw the wonders attending it, exclaimed, "Truly this man was the Son of God." "The centurions mentioned in the New Testament are uniformly spoken of in terms of praise, whether in the Gospels or in the Acts. It is interesting to compare this with the statement of Polybius, verse 24,  that the centurions were chosen by merit, and so were men remarkable not so much for their daring courage as for their deliberation, constancy, and strength of mind."




MATTHEW 8:6


[6] And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
PALSY: Palsy is a shorter form of "paralysis." Many persons thus afflicted were cured by our Lord Matthew 4:24; 8:5-13; 9:2-7; Mark 2:3-11; Luke 7:2-10 & John 5:5-7.  The Apostles also healed those with the Palsy Acts 8:7 & 9:33-34. 

Today,  the  palsy  would  be  known  as
olivopontocerebral atrophy. 
 
Olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) is a neurodegenerative syndrome characterized by prominent cerebellar and extrapyramidal signs, dysarthria, and dysphagia. Those who study OPCA quickly learn that it is not a single entity, and that its nosology can be confusing. The umbrella term of OPCA includes common sporadic forms and uncommon genetic forms. In the genetic subgroup, all 3 major inheritance patterns (autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and X-linked) have been described. The classification scheme for autosomal dominant OPCA overlaps with that of autosomal dominant spinocerebellar atrophies (SCAs) and autosomal dominant cerebellar atrophies (ADCAs). In the sporadic type of OPCA, at least some of the cases are a subset of




MATTHEW 8:7


[7] And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
Notice that the response of Jesus was instantaneous. Jesus wanted to grant unto the centurion the desire of his heart.  That being, to see his servant healed.
 
Then there is the confidence of Jesus.  Jesus had no doubt that He could heal the servant.  And Jesus wished to pass this confidence on to the centurion. 




MATTHEW 8:8


[8] The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
The centurion sees Jesus as "the prophet" who reveals God.  Ths is why he is looking to Jesus for this miracle.  The centurion had absolute faith that Jesus could heal his servant.
 
The fact that the centurion was gentile by birth and a religious heathen by choice could be why he did not feel worthy for Jesus to come to his house.  Yet despite all of that, Jesus demonstrated a ready willingness to come to the man's house and render unto him the desire of his heart. 





MATTHEW 8:9


[9] For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
The centurion would be a man who understands military authority.  He understood when he gives an order, what must happen immediately.  Instance obedience.
 
The centurion that Jesus possessed the same identical authority.  The centurion also understood that his authority was to also be obeyed even over long distances. 
 
Therefore, he knew that even from far away, Jesus could give the order, and the illness that was slowly taking the life of his servant, would be immediately a thing of the past.
 
It is my opinion, that most of, if not all,  the Roman Army knew that Jesus was the Messiah, or someone of some profound mannerism of deity.




MATTHEW 8:10


[10] When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
This would be Jesus' way of saying..."finally, someone around he is getting the point!"
 
After that magnificent statement by the centurion, Jesus demonstrates being pleasantly overwhelmed.  Jesus would also indicate the perhaps the soldiers of the Roman Army may have a much better grasp on who and what He really is.
 
Look at the evidence.  Where does the evidence take you?  When you look at how hard Pilate worked to get Jesus in John 19, is it possible that the Romans in the final analysis knew that Jesus was something quite special?
 
For decades I have preached that the soldiers that performed the crucifixion we heartless, professional murderers just following orders.  Would it be possible, that the soldiers that carried out the crucifixion of Jesus, did so with a tear in their eye?




MATTHEW 8:11


[11] And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
In this scenario, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob represent the Nation of Israel and the blessing in which God would have for the Jews in the Kingdom of God.  The many who would come from the east and west represents all gentile nations. 
 
What Jesus is conveying to His listeners is, that His blessings for Israel are also for the gentiles as well.  And that in the millennial reign as well as in the eternal kingdom, the gentiles are just as welcomed to be there as the Nation of Israel. 
 
Because of the cross, all doors are open to whosoever will believe and receive.




 MATTHEW 8:12


[12] But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Here Jesus is pointing out that when it comes to Heaven or hell there is no distinction between Jew and gentile.  Being a Jew does not automatically make one immune to the flames of retribution because of a life of rebellion toward Jesus Christ.  As such, being a Jew also does not elevate one directly to Heaven at their demise.  Only by receiving Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior will make one immune to hell, and elevated to Heaven.  It is Jesus and Jesus only.  The road to Heaven begins at the foot of a blood stained cross.




MATTHEW 8:13


[13] And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
This gentile Centurion came to Jesus because he firmly believed that this Jewish Rabi could save the life of his servant.  He came because he believed. 
 
Here Jesus comforts his heart by letting him know that the faith of his belief was not in vain.  His servant will be healed just as he requested.
 
In many cultures, the phrase "go thy way," is a phrase of comfort and assurance.  Jesus wants to assure the centurion that his servant shall live. And at the time Jesus utters these words, at that same precise moment, the servant is healed.





MATTHEW 8:14


[14] And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever.
And now we see yet another sinless trait about Jesus.  He socialized.  He went into Peter's house.
 
Matthew 9:11...And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
 
Mark 2:15-16...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. [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?
 
Luke 5:30...But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and
sinners?
 
We see the social traits of Jesus are also to be displayed by Church Pastors today:
 
I Timothy 3:1-2...A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Titus 1:8...But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
 
This would be speculation and usually I do not delve into such mattes.  I try to eschew the speculative and hypothetical, however, I may wish to muse myself here for just a moment. 

It is possible that during the ministerial association of Peter and Jesus, that Peter's mother in law became a follower and servant of Jesus.  Jesus seemed to have no reservations about going into Peter's house and performing the miracle needed to protect the life of Peter's mother in law.
 
Also, Jesus wants Peter to know that the miracles Jesus does is not just for the crowd in attendance, but that this is also for all men.  Even for the Apostles. 




MATTHEW 8:15


[15] And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.
The method of healing by Jesus of extending his hand toward the one being healed, seems to be a standard practice on the part of Jesus:

Matthew 8:3...And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Ministered would mean to serve food.


Matthew 8:16-20
 


Verse 16


[16] When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:

Here Jesus demonstrates the power of  His spoken word over devils, evil spirits and all manner of sickness. 
 
Jesus did this with just His own spoken word.  We see Revelation 19:15, that with just His spoken word, Jesus is able to destroy the nations of the world:

Revelation 19:15...And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.




Verse 17


[17] That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Isaiah 53:4...Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 
ISIAH: The name Isaiah means the salvation of Jehovah.  Isaiah was the son of Amoz Isaiah 1:1 & 2:1 who was apparently a man of humble rank. His wife was called "the prophetess" Isaiah 8:3,  either because she was endowed with the prophetic gift, like Deborah in Judges 4:4 and Huldah in II Kings 22:14-20,  or simply because she was the wife of "the prophet" Isaiah 38:1.   He had two sons, who bore symbolical names.

He exercised the functions of his office during the reigns of Uzziah/Azariah,  Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah Isaiah 1:1. Uzziah reigned fifty-two years 810-759 B.C. and Isaiah must have begun his career a few years before Uzziah's death, probably 762 B.C.  He lived till the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, and in all likelihood outlived that monarch who died 698 B.C.,  and may have been contemporary for some years with Manasseh. Thus Isaiah may have prophesied for the long period of at least sixty-four years.

His first call to the prophetical office is not recorded. A second call came to him "in the year that King Uzziah died" Isaiah 6:1. He exercised his ministry in a spirit of uncompromising firmness and boldness in regard to all that bore on the interests of religion. He conceals nothing and keeps nothing back from fear of man. He was also noted for his spirituality and for his deep-toned reverence toward "the holy One of Israel."

In early youth Isaiah must have been moved by the invasion of Israel by the Assyrian monarch Pul II Kings 15:19, and again, twenty years later, when he had already entered on his office, by the invasion of Tiglath-pileser and his career of conquest. Ahaz, king of Judah, at this crisis refused to co-operate with the kings of Israel and Syria in opposition to the Assyrians, and was on that account attacked and defeated by Rezin of Damascus and Pekah of Samaria II Kings 16:5 & II Chronicles 28:5-6. Ahaz, thus humbled, sided with Assyria, and sought the aid of Tiglath-pileser against Israel and Syria. The consequence was that Rezin and Pekah were conquered and many of the people carried captive to Assyria II Kings 15:29; 16:9 & I Chronicles 5:26. Soon after this Shalmaneser determined wholly to subdue the kingdom of Israel. Samaria was taken and destroyed 722 B.C. So long as Ahaz reigned, the kingdom of Judah was unmolested by the Assyrian power; but on his accession to the throne, Hezekiah 726 B.C.,  who "rebelled against the king of Assyria" II Kings 18:7,  in which he was encouraged by Isaiah, who exhorted the people to place all their dependence on Jehovah Isaiah 10:24 & 37:6, entered into an alliance with the king of Egypt Isaiah 30:2-4.  This led the king of Assyria to threaten the king of Judah, and at length to invade the land. Sennacherib 701 B.C. led a powerful army into Palestine. Hezekiah was reduced to despair, and submitted to the Assyrians II Kings 18:14-16.  But after a brief interval war broke out again, and again Sennacherib led an army into Palestine, one detachment of which threatened Jerusalem Isaiah 36:2-22 & 37:8. Isaiah on that occasion encouraged Hezekiah to resist the Assyrians Isaiah 37:1-7,  whereupon Sennacherib sent a threatening letter to Hezekiah, which he "spread before the Lord" Isaiah 37:14.  The judgement of God now fell on the Assyrian host. "Like Xerxes in Greece, Sennacherib never recovered from the shock of the disaster in Judah. He made no more expeditions against either Southern Palestine or Egypt." The remaining years of Hezekiah's reign were peaceful II Chronicles 32:23 & 27-29.  Isaiah probably lived to its close, and possibly into the reign of Manasseh, but the time and manner of his death are unknown. There is a tradition that he suffered martyrdom in the heathen reaction in the time of Manasseh
 
PROPHET: The English word prophet comes from the Hebrew word nabi.  Meaning  "to bubble forth, as from a fountain," hence "to utter" Psalms 45:1.   This Hebrew word is the first and the most generally used for a prophet. In the time of Samuel another word, ro'eh, "seer", began to be used I Samuel 9:9.  It occurs seven times in reference to Samuel. Afterwards another word, hozeh, "seer" II Samuel 24:11 was employed. In I Chronicles 29:29 all these three words are used: "Samuel the seer (ro'eh), Nathan the prophet (nabi'), Gad the seer" (hozeh). In Joshua 13:22  Balaam is called (Heb.) a kosem "diviner," a word used only of a false prophet.

The "prophet" proclaimed the message given to him, as the "seer" beheld the vision of God.  Numbers 12:6-8.  Thus a prophet was a spokesman for God; he spake in God's name and by his authority Exodus 7:1.   He is the mouth by which God speaks to men Jeremiah 1:9 & Isaiah 51:16, and hence what the prophet says is not of man but of God II Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 3:7; Acts 4:25 & 28:25.  Prophets were the immediate organs of God for the communication of his mind and will to men Deuteronomy 18:18-19.  The whole Word of God may in this general sense be spoken of as prophetic, inasmuch as it was written by men who received the revelation they communicated from God, no matter what its nature might be. The foretelling of future events was not a necessary but only an incidental part of the prophetic office. The great task assigned to the prophets whom God raised up among the people was "to correct moral and religious abuses, to proclaim the great moral and religious truths which are connected with the character of God, and which lie at the foundation of his government."

Any one being a spokesman for God to man might thus be called a prophet. Thus Enoch, Abraham, and the patriarchs, as bearers of God's message Genesis 20:7; Exodus 7:1; Psalms 105:15;  as also Moses Deuteronomy 18:15 34:10 & Hosea 12:13, are ranked among the prophets. The seventy elders of Israel Numbers 11:16:29,  "when the spirit rested upon them, prophesied;" Asaph and Jeduthun "prophesied with a harp" I Chronicles 25:3,  Miriam and Deborah were prophetesses Exodus 15:20 & Judges 4:4.  The title thus has a general application to all who have messages from God to men.

But while the prophetic gift was thus exercised from the beginning, the prophetical order as such began with Samuel. Colleges, "schools of the prophets", were instituted for the training of prophets, who were constituted, a distinct order I Samuel 19:18-24; II Kings 2:3-15 & 4:38, which continued to the close of the Old Testament. Such "schools" were established at Ramah, Bethel, Gilgal, Gibeah, and Jericho. The "sons" or "disciples" of the prophets were young men II Kings 5:22 & 9:1-4,  who lived together at these different "schools" 4:38-41. These young men were taught not only the rudiments of secular knowledge, but they were brought up to exercise the office of prophet, "to preach pure morality and the heart-felt worship of Jehovah, and to act along and co-ordinately with the priesthood and monarchy in guiding the state aright and checking all attempts at illegality and tyranny."

In New Testament times the prophetical office was continued. Our Lord is frequently spoken of as a prophet Luke.  Luke 13:33 & 24:19.  He was and is the great Prophet of the Church. There was also in the Church a distinct order of prophets I Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 2:20 & 3:5, who made new revelations from God. They differed from the "teacher," whose office it was to impart truths already revealed.
 
Here in this verse we see that Jesus confirms the person of Isaiah.  It confirms that Isaiah did exist, that he was a prophet and that the manuscript which he wrote is reliable for truth and theology.




Verse 18


[18] Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.

At any time Jesus would have thousands of people around Him at one time.  We at looking at upwards of 25,000 to 30,000 at any time.
 
We also see another sinless trait of Jesus.  That being, if at any given time He would need to, Jesus would give a command like that of a military leader.




Verse 19


[19] And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.

SCRIBES:   Scribes anciently held various important offices in the public affairs of the nation. The Hebrew word so rendered (sopher) is first used to designate the holder of some military office Judges 5:14.  The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king II Samuel 8:12; 20 :25; I Chronicles 18:16; 24:6; I Kings 4:3; II Kings 12:9-11 & 18:18-37.  They discharged various other important public duties as men of high authority and influence in the affairs of state.

There was also a subordinate class of scribes, most of whom were Levites. They were engaged in various ways as writers. Such, for example, was Baruch, who "wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord" Jeremiah 36:4 & 32.

In later times, after the Captivity, when the nation lost its independence, the scribes turned their attention to the law, gaining for themselves distinction by their intimate acquaintance with its contents. On them devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it to others Ezra 7:6-12; Nehemiah 8:1-13.  It is evident that in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions Matthew 23, thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles "scribes" and "lawyers" are in the Gospels interchangeable Matthew 22:35; Mark 12:28 & Luke 20:39.  They were in the time of our Lord the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles Acts 4:5 & 6:12.   
Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers. Thus Gamaliel advised the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with "teaching in this name," to "refrain from these men and let them alone" Acts 5:34-39 & 23:9.  
 
The Greek word  akoloutheo, from which we get the English word follow, denotes that this scribe was willing to leave his posh life in the Jewish Religiosity, and become an actual disciple of Jesus.  Jesus does not tell this Scribe no.  Instead, Jesus advises him to count the cost of being one of Jesus' disciples.




Verse 20


[20] And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Matthew 6:25-34...Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [26] Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? [27] Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? [28] And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: [29] And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. [33] But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
 
When one looks at the life of being a disciple of Jesus, one would focus on the romantic allure in which the lifestyle would seem to offer. This will be a total delusion on the part of the prospective disciple. 
 
Being a disciple of Christ, is a lifestyle whereby one needs to count the cost before attempting such a life.

Matthew 8:21-25
 



Verse 21


[21] And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.

In the days of Jesus, it would be customary for a family to bury their dead in a traditional grave location.  Then, after one year, it would be incumbent upon the eldest son to take the body out of the tomb and have the persons bones pulverized to dust.  Then the bone dust was placed into a box known as an ossuary and then replaced back into the tomb.
 
 


Verse 22


[22] But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Jesus uses very definitive words with a very definite tone of voice. 
 
Jesus tells this young man, to let the world the flesh and the devil, bury the world the flesh and the devil.  To allow the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, bury the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
 

Apparently, this young man wants to attempt to follow Jesus with one foot in the world and the other foot into Jesus.  Jesus is telling this man that this will not work.  He needs to make a final decision.  Will his love, loyalty and allegiance be with the world, or will his love, loyalty and allegiance be toward Jesus?  You can never successfully follow Jesus until this finalized decision is made.




Verse 23


[23] And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

Unlike some of the people who crossed the life of Jesus, His disciples understood the key to following Jesus.  That being, where ever Jesus went, they followed Him. 
 
You will notice that when Jesus entered into a ship, there is no record that the disciples questioned where He was going.  They followed.




Verse 24


[24] And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

It is not unusual for a hurricane force storm to come in off the Mediterranean Sea and gravitate to the Sea of Galilee.  These tropical storms can be very violent.
 
However, this storm nor the veracity of this storm has taken Jesus by surprise.  We see here first, one of the sinless characteristics of the body of Jesus.  He would grow tired and need sleep.
 
Secondly, Jesus was not alarmed by the danger around Him.  When the hurricanes of our lives seem to attempt to overwhelm us, ant at times they will try, it is good to know that the same Jesus who was asleep in the back of the ship, was not taken by surprise nor was He alarmed by the circumstances.
 
As truly saved, born again believers, this same Jesus now literally lives inside of us.  This same Jesus who was in the back of the ship, now is literally there with us when the problems and troubles of life becomes something in which we must face.




Verse 25


[25] And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
 
IT IS VERY EASY FOR US TO BE CRITICAL OF SOMEONE WHO IS EXPERIENCING A DIFFICULT TIME IN WHICH WE OURSELVES ARE NOT GOING THROUGH!

 
On a very nice, sunny, peacefully placid Sunday Morning, we sit in our quiet suburban Church pews and we analyze the reaction of the disciples to this horrific hurricane which has come upon them.
 
We are critical of them for not having more faith in Jesus.  We are critical  of them for not putting their trust into the one who can calm the storm.  Let's take a look at that.
 
In analyzation, the disciples are in the middle of the Sea of Galilee in a boat.  It is in the middle of the night.  The night is so black that they literally would not be able see their hand in front of their faces.  They are trying to endure a killer hurricane.  They are lost.  Confused.  And very scared.  And they know that if something is not done quite quickly they are going to drown and die. 
 
They are left with one alternative and one alternative only.  They have nothing or no one else to turn to but this sleeping Jesus.  There is not one miracle in the Four Gospels that is listed that they have not seen Him perform.  Which brings them to this question.  Can Jesus do something about this storm?
 
So, they go and wake Jesus up.  And present to Him their dilemma.




 
Verse 26


[26] And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Matthew 17:20...And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
 
You can never rely on a close family member or friend to be your mentor.  In that, at times, mentor ship will require a brutal cruelty in order to get a point across.  Jesus needs to get a point across to the disciples now, that will assist them later in the ministry. 
 
They will need to learn that in the middle of the trials, testings and tribulations of the ministry, they can run to Jesus when they need Him.  He will always be there for them. 
 
And then they need to learn, then when they feel that their life and world is falling apart all around them, Jesus is not upset.  This does not bother Him.  Because not only is Jesus the Master of the winds, He .is also the Master of the Seas. 




Verse 27


[27] But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
Many of the disciples are experience nautical navigators on the Sea of Galilee.  They know the weather patterns of this body of water.  And they understand how vicious and brutal hurricanes can be in these waters. 
 
Jesus stands up in the middle of this storm and tells the storm "how dare you...be quiet!"  And instantly the storm is gone. 
 
This is a lesson which the disciples will lean for today, but it will be of a huge benefit to them in the future.  They learned today, that in the future, in the times of their lives and ministries, they can turn to Jesus when the storms of controversy, animosity, confrontation and hatred begins to rear it's ugly head.




Verse 28


[28] And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
GERGESENES:The Gergesenes/Gadarenes was a society of people who lived on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Both the account in Mark 5:1 and that in Luke 8:26 say this was "the country of the Gadarenes," and many manuscripts of Matthew have "Gadarenes." Gadara was an important city about eight miles southeast of the sea of Galilee and apparently was the political center of the entire region. Some manuscripts have "Geresenes" in Mark and Luke, both Gergesa and Gerasa were distinct cities, like Gadara, but the most probable reading seems to be "Gadarenes," which best fits the geographical implications in the three accounts.
 
Apparently, there were demon forces that found these two men very vulnerable to their satanic influences.  These demon forces exploited these vulnerabilities.  These vulnerabilities were exploited to the degree of body, soul, mind and spirit.  These two men had now lost all control of any faculty of their beings.
 
Notice how that the devils had relegated them to live with the dead and to act like the dead.  Their lives were quite typical of one who has been overwhelmed by the devil.  A life of death and loneliness.  




Verse 29


[29] And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Revelation 19:20...And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
 
Notice that Jesus is no more afraid of these demons than He was the storm which He had just gone through.  It is the opinion of some theologians that the storm was a ploy on the part of the devil to attempt to slay Jesus and/or His disciples.
 
The demons would be asking Jesus exactly what unfinished business would they be having at this time.  They are concerned that Jesus is here now to precipitate an event that is not supposed to happen for thousands of years.
 
In these verses we get some idea of the horrors of hell.  Upon the prospect of going to hell, the thoughts of hell terrorizes even the demons who are going there. 
 
Matthew 16:25-27...For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. [26] For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? [27] For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
 
Mark 8:34-38...And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
[35] For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. [36] For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? [37] Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? [38] Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.




Verse 30


[30] And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.
SWINE: The Hebrew word for swine is hazir.  The Greek word for swine is choiros
 
Swine was regarded as the most unclean and the most abhorred of all animals Leviticus 11:7; Isaiah 65:4; 66:3-17 & Luke 15:15-16. 
 
A herd of swine were drowned in the Sea of Galilee Luke 8:32-33..  Swine was spoken of figuratively in Matthew 7:6.  Please note here also Proverbs 11:22. 
 
Swine are frequently mentioned as a wild animal and is evidently the wild boar The Arab word for swine/wild boar is  khanzir.
 
Sine/wild boar are common among the marshes of the Jordan valley Psalms 80:13.
 
Apparently the swine were in this location because there were numerous small communities of gentiles in this Jewish region. 




 
Verse 31


[31] So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

As stated in the previous verse, swine was a contemptible animal to the Jews.  These devils would have been aware of that. 
 
However, these devils would rather face life in a herd of swine than to face the prospects of their forthcoming eternal and ultimate damnation in the abyss of the lake of fire.
 
Notice also, that the devils beg of Jesus.  They beseech, besought or beg of Jesus.  Which tells us that since we are the men and women of faith in Jesus Christ, is that the only way in which devils can ever attack us, is if we let them.  Now that Jesus Christ lives in us a saved, born again believers, they would be just as afraid of us now, as they were in the days of Jesus.




Verse 32


[32] And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
Apparently this takes place at a location where there was a steep cliff that led down to the sea. 
 
Notice that when the devils entered into the swine, that immediately the swine wanted to take their own lives.  This is one of the side effects of demonic influence into one's life.

Matthew 17:15...Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
 
Mark 9:17-18...And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; [18] And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
 
Luke 9:38-39...And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. [39] And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.
 
What we have here in Matthew, Mark and Luke is direct evidence that shows a demonic M.O. 
 
Notice that the swine take their own lives.  Notice that the swine die a very violent death.  Notice that the swine take their own lives through self-inflicted drowning.
 
The word is suicide.  This is never a pleasant subject but, unfortunately, it does happen. 
 
This is not to say that a suicide victim is demon possessed.  This is not to say that suicide victims are unsaved.  This is not to say that suicide victims automatically go to hell.  It does say that at some time in their life, demon activity does take control of their thinking and logic. 
 
What this does tell us, is that thought patterns that lead to suicide are from the devil. 
 
John 10:10...The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.




Verse 33


[33] And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
 
When the swine herders saw what happened with Jesus and the devils, they became very afraid and ran away.  They ran into the city and, apparently, told the entire incident to the governmental officials of the city.





Verse 34


[34] And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
What we do see here, is that in their opinion of the town folk, Jesus is bad for business.  Especially the swine business.
 
The people are afraid of this strange man who can perform so many miracles and has such a huge following.  And then to end it all, they see that even the demons of hell, not only fear Him, but obey Him as well. 
 
They do not order nor force Jesus to leave.  They besought Him.  This is begging on the part of the town people.  They beg Jesus to leave.  Which would indicate that after all that the people have seen, to some degree, they are afraid of Jesus and they feel the need to be cordial with Him.
 
I have no doubt that if they would have taken the time to get to know Him, this outcome would have been significantly different.
 
Luke 4:29...And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
 
Acts 16:39...And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.