« הקודםהמשך »
abandoned, through our imprudent, though well-meaning, severity : à caution to be peculiarly observed in our conduct towards YOUNG persons; and not to be forgotten with respect to those who, like the disciples here in question, are training up for the ministerial office. .
Christ cures a woman by the touch of his garment, raises the daughter
of Jairus from the dead, and performs other miracles. MATT. ix, - 18–34. MARK V. 22, &c. Luke viii. 44, &c.
INTHEN Jesus was speaking these things to them in Matthew's
VV house, behold there came a certain ruler of the synagogue whose name was Jairus; and when he saw him, he fell down at his feet and worshipped him, and entreated him to come to his house; for he had one only daughter, about twelve years old, and she lay at the point of death. And he earnestly entreated him to go immediate. ly, saying, My little daughter is in the last extremity, or perhaps is even now dead : I beseech thee that thou wouldest come and lay thine hands on her, that she may recover, and I doubt not but she shall live. And Jesus arose and followed him, and so did his disciples.
Now as he was going, much people followed him, and pressed up. on him. And behold a certain woman who had laboured under a flux of blood for twelve years, and had suffered a great deal from many physicians, and spent all that she had upon them, but could not be healed by any, and was not at all the better, but rather grew worse ; having heard of Jesus, came in the crowd behind him, and touched the border (or fringe) of his garment. For she said within herself, If I may but touch his clothes, I shall be recovered. And immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of that distemper.And Jesus immediately knowing that vir. tue was gone out of him, by the concurrence of his will, turned about in the crowd, and said, Who has touched my clothes ? And all the rest denying it, Peter, and his disciples that were near him, said unto him, Sir, thou seest that the multitude are crowding around thee, and press thee on every side ; and dost thou say, Who has touched me? And Jesus said, somebody has touched me on some important design ; for I perceive that a healing virtae is gone out of me. And he looked round about to see her who had done this, and directed his eye towards her. And when the woman saw that she was not concealed, knowing what a work was wrought in her, she came fearful and trembling; and falling down before him, she told him all the truth, and declared to him before all the people, for what reason she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And Jesus o said unto her, Daughter, take courage, thy faith has made thee well; go in peace, and be free from thy distemper. And the woman was well from that hour.
While he was yet speaking, some messengers came from the house of the ruler of the synagogue, Jairus, and they said unto him, Thy daughter is dead! why therefore dost thou trouble the Master any further ? Trouble him not'r. But as soon as Jesus heard the word which was spoken, he says to the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe, and she shall still be recovered. And when he came into the ruler's house, he permitted none to follow him, except Peter and James, and John the brother of James, [with] the father and mother of the deceased maiden. And all wept and lamented her. And [when he saw the tumult, and the people who wept and cried aloud, and also the flute-players * making a mournful noise he says to them, Retire, and make way. Why do you lament and make this disturbance ? The damsel is not dead, but is asleep. And they derided him, well knowing that she was dead. But when he had put them all out, he takes the father and mother of the maiden, and those that were with him, and enters in where the damsel lay. And he took hold of her hand, and called, saying to her (in Syriac) Talitha cumi; which, being translated, signifies, Maiden (I say unto thee) rise up. And presently her spirit came back again, and she arose and walked ; for she was twelve years old. And he ordered that something should be given her to eat.-And her parents, and they all were exceedingly astonished; but Jesus strictly charged them that they should tell no man what was done. But it was soon published ; and the fame of it went abroad into all that country. And when Je. sus passed on from thence, two blind men followed him, crying out and saying, 0 thou Son of David, have compassion on us. And when he was come into the house to which he was going, the blind men came unto him ; and Jesus says to them, Do you believe that I am able to do this? They say unto him, Yes, Lord. Then he touched their eyes and said, Be it unto you according to your faith. And their eyes were immediately opened. And Jesus gave them a strict charge that they should tell no man. But when they were gone out, they spread his fame over all that country. And as they went out, behold [others] brought to him a dumb person possessed with a demon. And when, by the word of Jesus, the demon was expelled, the dumb man spake ; and the multitudes were astonished, saying, It was never seen so in Israel. But the Pharisees continued their blasphemous charge, and said, He casts out demons by the prince of the demons, without any regard to his former confutation of it.
REFLECTIONS. We have here a scene of complicated wonders, worthy to be had in everlasting remembrance. Any single story of this kind might justly move our admiration ; but when we are reading the life of Christ, such a constellation of miracles rises, that the number renders us less sensible of the lustre and glory of each. We may observe in the story of the distempered woman a mixture of weakness and of faith. She could not reasonably think to steal a cure, without the knowledge of him by whom it was wrought; or imagine a charm in the garment
* There were persons who made it their business to play on musical instruments, and sing to them, in lamentations for the dead. On the death of children fluies especially were used.
* MARK, “ When he was come in.”_LUKE, “ weep not."
that Christ wore, which could produce so glorious an effect, indepen. dent on his agency and will. Yet she acted as if she had thought thus; and a compassionate Redeemer commended her faith, and excused her infirmity. Such candour should we exercise towards those in whom we find any thing truly valuable ; not despising the day of small things, but ready to encourage and support the weak, and to commend whatever good we may discover in them.
We have already beheld Christ frequently giving sight to the blind, and casting out evil spirits : but we have here a second instance of his power over death, and behold one under its dominion hearing the voice of the Son of God ! In how majestic, and yet in how gentle a manner, does he address himself to this admirable work! Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise. And immediately she heard and obeyed. Thus shall he, with equal ease, call forth myriads of his saints, who now seem perished in the dust : and it may be said with regard to them also, in reference to that day, They are not dead, but sleeh. The maiden, of whom we here read, arose only to a dying life ; a life which needed the support of food, and was in no respect more noble or more secure than that of other mortals : but we look for a better resurrection, in which all the infirmities of the body shall be left behind in the grave ; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying. In expectation of this, let us restrain immoderate sorrow when our pious friends are taken away : let us not make too much ado on the occasion, nor allow ourselves to be thrown into a tumult of passion, even when our children are stretched on the bed of death ; but believing in Christ, and governing ourselves by his precepts and maxims, let us in humble resignation, and submissive though mournful silence, wait the issues of his providence and grace; since he knows how, as in this instance, to over-rule the calamities of our families to the good of our souls, and even to strengthen our faith by those exercises which might seem most likely to overthrow it.
Christ renews his visit to Nazareth, where he is again rejected ; and
thence takes a circuit through the neighbouring country. MATT. xiii. 54, &c. ix. 35, &c. MARK vi. 1-6.
A ND he went out from thence, and came again into his own
A country ; and his disciples followed him. And when the sabbath was come, he began to teach in the synagogue. And many hearing him, were struck with amazement, and said, What wisdom is this which is given to him, that even such miracles are done by his hand* ? Is not this the carpenter, the son of the carpenter ? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not James and Joses, and Simon and Judas his brethren or kinsmen ? And are not all his sisters
* MATT.“ Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works.”
for kiswomen) here with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him.
But Jesus said unto them, a prophet is no where less esteemed than in his own country, and among his relations, even in his own family. And he could not there do any miracle, excepting that he laid his hands upon a few sick people, and cured them ; but he did not perform many mighty works on account of their unbelieft. And he wondered at their infidelity. And Jesus, departing from Nazareth, went round about all the neighbouring cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the good news of the kingdom; and healing every disease, and every malady among the people. And beholding the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were faint, and exposed as sheep that had no shepherd.
Then he says to his disciples, The harvest is indeed great, but the labourers are few : Therefore make your supplications to the Lord of the harvest, that he would thrust forth labourers into the harvest.'
REFLECTIONS. Since the blessed Jesus vouchsafed to renew his visit to Nazareth, where they had attempted to murder him on his first preaching among them, let us not be weary of well-doing; nor refuse to renew our attempts on the most obstinate sinners, where the interests of their immortal souls are concerned.-But though they were astonished at his wisdom, and could not but allow the mighty works that he had wrought; yet these ungrateful creatures went on to reject him, and in so doing were condemned out of their own mouth : nor can we be at any loss for instances of those who in later ages have fallen under the like condemnation.
He is spoken of as the carpenter; which intimates that he once wrought at that mean employment. What amazing condescension was this in the Son of God, and the Heir of all things, by whom also the worlds were made! Yet surely while the hands of Christ were employed in these daily labours, his soul was rising in holy contemplations and devout affections. So may we intermingle pious meditations with our secular cares, and have our conversation in heaven, while our dwelling is on earth! · How much did these Nazarenes lose by their obstinate prejudices against Jesus ! How many diseased bodies might have been cured, how many lost souls might have been recovered and saved, had they given hima a better reception ! May divine grace deliver us from that unbelief, which does as it were disarm Christ himself, and render him a savour of death, rather than of life, to our souls !
Still he continued his gracious labours, and, when rejected in one city, went and preached in another; still surrounded with a crowd of admirers, whom he viewed with tender regard. Let us ministers learn of him, tenderly to pity those who are faint and exposed to danger, and are as sheep having no shepherd. The extreme necessities of his churches in many places are but too apparent: let us earnestly
| Their unbelief prevented their application to him.
pray, that God would behold them with compassion ; that he would graciously provide for their instruction, and would thrust forth such labourers among them as may be diligent and faithful in their work, and prove the happy instruments of gathering in fruit to everlasting
Our Lord sends forth his apostles with instructions to preach the gospel:
MATT. X. l-15. MARK vi. 7-11. Luke ix. 1-5.
A ND Jesus, having called his twelve disciples together, he gave
them power and authority over all demons, or, unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every distemper, and every malady.Now the names of the twelve apostles are these : The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the publican ; James the son of Alpheus ; and Libbeus whose sirname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who even betrayed him. · These twelve Jesus sent forth by two and two, and commanded them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick, saying, Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, nor enter into any city of the Samaritans: But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, proclaim saying, The kingdom of heaven is approaching. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons; and as you have received freely, freely give. And he commanded them, that they should take nothing for their journey, except only a staff. And he said unto them, provide neither bread, nor money, neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses; nor a serip for your journey; nor think it needful to have two coats apiece ; nor even shoes*, but be shod just as you are with sandals ; nor yet take any staves, but those that you are used to walk with. For the latourer is worthy of his food, and all necessary supplies.
And he further said unto them, Into whatsoever city or village you enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and whatever house you enter in. to, continue there till you leave the place. And when you enter into any family, salute it as the usual custom is, saying, “ Peace be upon this house." And if the family be worthy, your peace shall come upon it: but if it be not worthy, your peace shall return unto you, in blessings on your own heads. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hearken to your words ; when you come out of that house or city, shake off the very dust of your feet, as a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable in the day of judgment, for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, than for that city.
REFLECTIONS. What abundant reason is there for humble thankfulness that the ambassadors of Christ were thus sent forth to preach the gospel, and
* A kind of short boots used in long journies,