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kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

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.

17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.

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.

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

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

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

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

kingdom of God is at hand: 1 repent ye, and be. lieve in the gospel.


2 And passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become 3 fishers of men. 18 And straightway they left the nets, and fol19 lowed him. And going on a little further, he

saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending the 20 nets. And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.

a Matt. 4:18: Luke 5: 4......b Matt. 19:27; Luke 5: 11......c Matt. 4 : 21......d Matt. 4: 13; Luke 4: 31......e Matt. 7: 28......f Luke 4: 33. 1 Acts 19:4; 20: 21; Heb. 6: 1......2 For ver. 16-20, see Matt. 4: 18-22; comp. Luke 5: 2-11; John 1: 40-42......3 Matt. 13: 47...... 4 Matt. 4: 13; for ver. 21-28, see Luke 4: 31-37......5 See ch. 6: 2......6 ver. 39; see Matt. 4 : 23......7 See Matt. 7: 28, 29.

V. JESUS CALLING OTHER PREACHERS, 1620. The place. 16. The word sea in Hebrew was also used for a lake. It is important to remember throughout this history that the Sea of Galilee is a small lake twelve and a half miles long. Two pairs of brothers among the Twelve (and perhaps a third pair, Luke 5: 16, Marg., and K. J.). Three of these four had become followers of Jesus at an earlier time (John 1: 40-42), and were probably among his companions during the ministry in Judea (John 2:2, 12, 17; 3:22; 4: 2, 27). It will be worth while to look out these passages.

21 And they go into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the 22 synagogue and taught. And they were astonished at his teaching: for he taught them as 23 having authority, and not as the scribes. And straightway there was in their synagogue a man

ducement to repent and believe in the gospel, good news. The Greek word translated "repent" means change your mind. In the religious use, it means to change from sin to holiness, from the world's service to the service of God. Whoever really does this will feel deep sorrow for the sin he has committed, and will at once go to reforming his life. So it is often said that repentance includes sorrow for sin and reformation. But the exact idea of the Greek word is the change of mind, deciding to turn from sin to God. Many lay too exclusive a stress on grief, and on feeling in general. The prophets had often urged men to turn from their evil ways, e. g., Ezek. 33: 11; but Jesus urges it by a new and mighty motive, that the Messianic reign is near. So John the Baptist had done (Matt. 3:1). "Repent" and "believe." Only the believing will truly repent, only the penitent will fully believe the gospel (comp. Acts 20:2


If so, they had on reaching Galilee returned to their former occupation of fishing. 17. They are now called to leave their ordinary employ

ment and follow him continually-and he will train them to become preachers, fishers of men. 20. Notice that Zebedee had hired servants, and so his sons did not leave him to labor alone. The wife of Zebedee was named Salome (comp. Mark 15: 40 with Matt. 27: : 56), and will appear hereafter in the history (Matt. :20). Luke further mentions (ver. 4-8) on this occasion a miraculous draught of fishes, and Peter's confession of sin.


VI. JESUS SHOWING HIS AUTHORITY TO TEACH, 21-29. The place. With most of the recent inquirers we incline to think that Capernaum was at Tel Hum, and certainly it was on the northwestern shore of the lake. Jesus had visited it before his ministry in Judea (John 2: 12); he now makes it his home (Matt. 4: 18) and we shall find him there very often. Let us, then, take interest in Capernaum.

21. Teaching with authority. On the Jewish Sabbath, in the synagogue, the house in which the Jews met to worship. 22. He taught not as the scribes. These explained the law of Moses and decided questions of property, of religious ceremonies, of general right and. wrong, but always by quoting the decisions of older teachers and tribunals as handed down by tradition. Jesus did not repeat the teachings of others, but taught as having authority himself. This was to the Jews a new teaching (ver. 27) and their astonishment at it was often renewed. Compare at the close of the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 7:28, 29.

23-27. A miracle which shows his more than human authority. The Jews so understood it (ver. 27). 23. Unclean spirit. Demoniacal

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

25 And Jesus brebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

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

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.

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

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

possession was polluting. These possessions are distinctly and often declared to be real by the evangelists and the Saviour himself, and so we accept them as real. They were sometimes accompanied by symptoms of epilepsy (9: 20) or insanity (ver. 2-5), which may have been either a result of the possession by demons or a prepa

a Matt. 8: 29......b ver. 34......c ch 9: 20......d Matt. 8: 14; Luke 4: 38.-1 See Matt. 8: 29......2 Comp. ver. 34; Acts 19: 15; James 2: 19......3 John 6: 69; Acts 3: 14; Rev. 3: 7; comp. Luke 1: 35; Heb. 7: 26; 1 John 2: 20...... 4 See Matt. 12: 16......5 ch. 9: 26......6 ch. 5: 7; Acts 8: 7......7 Comp. Matt. 8: 27..... 8 Acts 17: 19......9 For ver. 29-34, see Matt. 8: 14-16; Luke 4: 38-41......10 ver. 21, 23.


24 with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? 2I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus 4 rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, 26 and come out of him. And the unclean spirit,


5 tearing him and crying with a loud voice, came 27 out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What is this? a new teaching! with authority he commandeth even the unclean 28 spirits, and they obey him. And the report of him went out straightway everywhere into all the region of Galilee round about.

ration for it. If such possessions do not now exist, they may have been especially permitted at that time in order to make visible the conflict between evil spirits and the Word made flesh. 24. There seems to be here a confusion of consciousness between the man and the demon, we, us, I, while Jesus speaks to the evil spirit alone (ver. 25). Or by "we" and us "' the evil spirit may mean itself and other demons. The


29 And straightway, when they were come 10 out of the synagogue, they came into the house of


spirit recognizes him (ver. 24), but Jesus does not welcome such testimony (ver. 25), which would have been perverted by his enemies (see 3: 22).


28. His reputation as teaching with authority spreads into the scene of his future labors.

VII. HEALING MANY IN CAPERNAUM. 2931. Simon's wife's mother. Simon lives


at Capernaum and is married. Romanists persuade themselves that the pope is the successor of Simon Peter and yet hold that no pope nor priest can be allowed to marry. Yet twenty-five years after the ascension this Peter (Cephas) was carrying his wife with him on his apostolic journeys, and the other apostles were doing likewise (see 1 Cor. 9: 5). 29. He has a house, shared by his brother Andrew, and probably

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often hereafter visited by Jesus. 30. Sick of a fever. The shores of the lake are low and hot, six hundred feet below the level of the Mediterranean, and severe fever was not strange. Luke calls it a great fever (4:38). Straightway they tell him. They had just seen the healing in the synagogue. Mark often says 'straightway," e. g., in this chapter, ver. 10, 12, 18, 20, 21, 23, 28, 42; it belongs to his vivid style of narrating. 31. At once made well and strong, she ministered unto them, waited on them, which might include bringing water to wash hands and feet and oil for the head (Luke 7: 44-46), as well as the Sabbath meal, prepared the day before.

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30 Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now 1 Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever; and 31 straightway they tell him of her: and he came and took her by the hand, and raised her up; and the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

32. Many others healed. At sunset the Sabbath ended and they could carry burdens along the street. We must always remember that the Jewish day began and ended at sunset. Two classes of afflicted persons were healed, the sick and demoniacs (Marg.), corresponding to the two individual cases that morning. 33. This naturally collected a great crowd, all the city. The demons recognized him and wished to testify (Luke 4: 41), but he forbids it (ver. 34), as he had done that morning (ver. 25). His enemies soon began, notwithstanding his care, to accuse him of league with Satan (3:22).

VIII. RETIRING FROM THE EXCITED PEOPLE, HE HEALS ELSEWHERE IN GALILEE, 35-39. Here, as so often afterward, he takes pains to avoid a fanatical excitement among the



And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were sick, and them 33 that were 3 possessed with devils. And all the 34 city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick with divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and he suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.

a Matt. 8:16; Luke 4: 40......b ch. 3: 12; Luke 4: 41; see Acts 16: 17, 18......c Luke 4: 42......d Luke 4: 43......e Isa. 61: 1; John 16: 28; 17: 4......f Matt. 4: 23; Luke 4: 44......g Matt. 8: 2; Luke 5: 12.-1 1 Cor. 9: 5......2 ch. 9: 27; Acts 3: 7; 9: 41...... 3 See Matt. 4: 24......4 See Matt. 4: 23......5 ch. 3: 11, 12; comp. Acts 16: 17, 18......6 For ver. 35-38, see Luke 4: 42, 43...... 7 Luke 5: 16; see Matt. 14: 23......8 Comp. John 12: 19......9 Isa. 61: 1......10 Comp. Luke 4: 44......11 ver. 21.....12 For ver. 40-44, see Matt. 8:2-4; Luke 5: 12-14......13 ch. 10: 17; Matt. 17: 14; 27: 29......14 Comp. ch. 9: 22, 23; Matt. 9: 28.


❝ And in the morning, a great while before day. he rose up and went out, and departed into a 36 desert place, and there prayed. And Simon

and they that were with him followed after 37 him; and they found him, and say unto him, 388 All are seeking thee. And he saith unto them,

Let us go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also; for to this end came 39 I forth. 10 And 11 he went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out devils.


12 And there cometh to him a leper, beseeching him, and 18 kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, 14 If thou wilt, thou canst make me

multitude. The tendency to this distressed him and made him seek the support of long-continued, solitary prayer, just as he afterward did under similar circumstances (6: 46). 35. A great while before day is more exactly translated (Davidson) while it was still very dark, and thus is not even in appearance contradicted by Luke (4:42), "when it was day." A desert place, secluded and remote from towns (ver. 45). 36. They that were with him. Luke says (4: 42) "the multitudes." It would have been worse than useless to tell them of his wish to escape from their enthusiasm, so he only says he cannot confine his labors to one town as others need him also (ver. 38). 39. Throughout all Galilee, in popular language, not necessarily every acre or every town, but there were hundreds of towns, and this circuit of Galilee-the first of several, apparently-must have involved weeks and months of toilsome journeying and many severe trials to his loving heart. The synagogues gave facilities for reaching many hearers, especially on Sabbath (Saturday), Monday, and Thursday, and at several hours of the day. Casting out devils, demons. Matt. 4: 23-25 has a very strong statement as to this teaching and healing, probably referring to the whole ministry in Galilee. Let our thoughts run out after the Saviour thus journeying. Try to realize how extensive were his labors.

IX. HEALING A LEPER, 40-45. Leprosy was not commonly contagious, if ever, but was

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

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

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

44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

45 b 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.

ceremonially very polluting to a Jew, also loathsome to everybody, and persistently hereditary. This leper's humble and earnest appeal: we may ask in like terms for spiritual cleansing (ver. 40). Jesus' compassion. Touching does not pollute him, but makes the leper clean.

43. Charges him to tell no one. Strictly charged. Marg., sternly, is more exact. His telling would excite the multitudes (otherwise in 5: 19, in a region Jesus seldom visited). He must go quietly to the priest that the reality of the healing may be duly attested and the law complied with (Lev. 14). 44. Unto them, the Jews, showing that it was a real healing and that the miracle-worker encouraged no neglect of the law.

41 clean. And being moved with compassion, he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou made clean. 42 And straightway the leprosy departed from 43 him, and he was made clean. And he strictly

a Lev. 14: 3, 4, 10; Luke 5: 14......b Luke 5: 15......c ch. 2: 13.-1 Matt. 9: 30......2 ch. 1: 34; 5: 43; 7: 36; 8: 26; Matt. 9:30; 179; see Matt. 12: 16......3 Luke 17: 14......4 Lev. 14: 2-32......5 ch. 6: 11; Matt. 10: 18; 24: 14; Luke 9: 5; James 5: 3. ......6 ch. 7: 36; Matt. 9: 31; comp. Luke 5: 15, 16......7 2 Cor. 11: 26......8 ch. 2: 2, 13; 3:7; comp. John 6: 2.

45. With mistaken gratitude the man disobeys and much inconvenience follows. Jesus for some time cannot enter a city, except very privately, lest the crowded population become too much excited and think of political uprising against the Romans rather than of spiritual instruction and deliverance. He stays in retired and thinly inhabited districts of Galilee and prays (Luke 5: 16). Yet even to such districts people came from every direction in great multitudes (Luke 5: 15). Many of these doubtless heard his teaching with spiritual profit.


Demons. Demoniacal possession presents difficulties because it presents a mystery. Whatever the mystery in it, however, nothing is to be gained by denying the plain words of the New Testament on the subject. If we cannot comprehend it all now, we can leave the full explanation, as we must the explanation of many other things, to be made by and by. What is important is to get a clear idea of the matter as the Bible states it, fasten that, and be

charged him, and straightway sent him out, 44 and saith unto him, 2 See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, 3 show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing the things which Moses commanded, 5 for a testimony unto them. 45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to spread abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

not troubled by doubts and difficulties thereafter. These points should be noted:

1. The demons of the New Testament are not to be explained away by skeptical criticism as a manifestation of lunacy, a mental and physical malady merely, described by Jesus and the evangelists in highly figurative language. Their actual possession of the man as described is not to be denied" without disparaging the inspiration of the Gospels and the integrity or intelligence of our Lord."

2. In the Gospels generally, demons are spoken of as spiritual beings, at enmity with God and having power to afflict man. "The description of them," says the scholarly article on "Demons" in Smith's "Dictionary," "is precisely that of a nature akin to the angelic in knowledge and powers, but with the emphatic addition of the idea of positive and active wickedness." But of their nature and origin Scripture is all but silent. From Christ's identification of Satan with Beelzebub (Matt. 12: 24-30; Mark 3: 22-30; Luke 11: 14-26) it appears that the demons are agents of Satan in his work of evil, are in fact"the angels of the devil" (Matt. 25: 41; Rev. 12: 7, 9), the "principalities and powers" against whom we 66 wrestle" (Eph. 6:12; see also Jude 6; James 2: 19; Acts 19: 12, 13, 15).

3. The simple truth as stated by Jesus shows that these demons could see, hear, speak, and reason, things which a disease certainly could not do. The personal character of the evil spirit instanced in the lesson is shown by the Saviour's rebuke, "Hold thy peace, and come out of him." If this means anything, it means as unmistakably as language can put it a recognition of the spirit's personality, and of that personality as distinct from the man. The demon is treated as a person as much as the man.

4. The demons recognized the divine authority


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

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.

5. It was natural that these evil spirits, which were firmly believed in by the Jews, should have been most excited at the time of the Master's appearance, and perhaps their active manifestation, which was confined closely to the time of Christ and the apostles, was permitted in order to prove his power over even the "spirits of the air." For the recognition of demoniacal possession in the Old Testament, see Lev. 19 : 31; 1 Sam. 28:7; 2 Kings 21:6; 22: 24. As given in the New Testament the cases stand clearly and entirely apart from all phenomena of this age, though spiritualism is by some attributed to the same class of spirits.

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

a Matt. 9:1; Luke 5: 18.—1 Comp. ch. 1: 45 (mg); Matt. 9: 1......2 For ver. 3-12, see Matt. 9: 2-8; Luke 5: 18-26

of Jesus. They knew the Son of God when the eyes of men saw him not. There could be no more vivid contrast of Christ's work for man than that presented by the ministry of his angels of light, with healing in their wings, binding up the broken heart, and that of these evil spirits, whose it was to tear and overpower and ruin the soul.

8. All who believe in the gospel (ver. 15) are called to speak of it to others: "He that heareth, let him say, Come" (Rev. 22:17); but some are called to make this their exclusive employment (ver. 18).

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AND when he entered again into 1Capernaum after some days, it was noised that he was in the 2 house. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, no, not even about the door: and he spake the word 3 unto them. 2 And they come, bringing unto him a man, sick of the palsy, borne of four.

9. Our Lord's new teaching was a fit occasion for working miracles, and his miracles confirmed his teaching.

10. To us also Jesus speaks as having authority, and we gladly believe whatever he said because he said it.

11. The supernatural and the natural here work in harmony, he heals her disease, she ministers to his comfort (ver. 30, 31; comp. 6: :43).

12. People may be enthusiastic in admiration of a religious teacher's outward power while they care sadly little for spiritual instruction.

Chap. 2. I. AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS, 1-12. After, or perhaps during, his journey about Galilee our Lord returns to Capernaum (ver. 1), which all the history shows to be more than any other place his home (1: 21; Matt. 4: 13). Here he teaches a new lesson (ver. 10) and confirms it by a new miracle.

1-5. The paralytic forgiven his sins. 1. Noised, better reported, literally heard. In the house, Marg. at home, perhaps making Peter's house his home (1:29); yet the circumstances of the following event appear to suggest a larger house than the fisherman is likely to have occupied. Crowds again (ver. 2), as before in Capernaum (1: 32, 33), thronging the house and about the door. They remember the many healings of 1 : 34 and doubtless hope to see the like again. 2. Spake, or more strictly, was speaking, was engaged in speaking when the sufferer arrived. Preached, as in King James, would be a very different Greek term. The word, viz., that the Messianic reign is near and they must repent and believe in the good news (1:15). Luke (5: 17) shows that some of those to whom he spoke were bitterly hostile.

3. A man sick of the palsy is literally a paralytic and ought to be so translated here and elsewhere. Our word palsy," a contraction of the word paralysis, now generally


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