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An Exposition Of The Gospels by The Most Rev. John Macevilly D.D.

In this chapter, St. Mark records the cure of the paralytic—the blasphemies of the Scribes—the admiration of the multitude at witnessing the miracle (1–12). The vocation of St. Matthew—the murmuring of the Scribes, &c., at our Lord’s condescension in associating with sinners (13–16). Our Lord’s crushing replies to their malignant taunts (17–22). His vindication of the conduct of His Apostles, when passing through the corn field, they plucked ears of corn (23–28).

1. “And again He entered Capharnaum.” Most likely, privately, to avoid the crowds who were sure to follow Him (1:45). The same is clearly to be inferred from verse 2, in which it is said, “it was heard,” rumoured abroad, through the city, that He was in the house.

After some days.” The number of days is not determined. It must be considerable, as our Lord had preached in the synagogues throughout Galilee (1:39); and as this could have occurred only on Sabbath-days, several Sabbath-days must, therefore, have intervened between our Lord’s retiring from Capharnaum, after curing Peter’s mother-in-law, and His return referred to here. Hence, the reading found in some Latin and Greek copies, “after eight days,” is utterly impossible; as what is recorded in 1:39, could not be accomplished within eight days.

2. “In the house,” probably Peter’s house, where He used to resort to in Capharnaum (1:29). The space near the door could not contain the multitude that crowded to see and hear our Lord. The Evangelist mentions this, to show that there were numerous witnesses of the miracle he is about to record. St. Luke makes a similar statement, doubtless with the same object (c. 5:17), when about to record the same miracle

3. (See Matt. 9:2–8).

12. “All wondered.” The Greek word, εξιστασθαι, means, to be in ecstasy, and transported with wonder.

We never saw the like,” i.e., the people of Israel, God’s own chosen people, never witnessed in any preceding age, such miracles as these.

13. “Again to the sea side.” “Again,” because He had been there before (1:33). “And all the multitude came, and He taught them.” Very likely, there were many merchants and men intent on gain, who did not come to Peter’s house (1:33), to hear Him—although “all,” i.e., the greater part of “the city was gathered together at the door”—nor to where He cured the paralytic (v. 2), and, our Redeemer wishing to gain their souls, goes forth to the borders of the lake, where this class of negligent men were engaged in commercial pursuits. Hence, He teaches the multitude there. Likely, He had in view to call Matthew, who was employed there, as appears from the event.

14. (See Matt. 9:9–10).

15. “In his house,” i.e., the house of Levi or Matthew, who, we are informed by St. Luke (c. 5:29), “made a great feast in his own house,” for our Redeemer.

16, 17. (See Matt. 11:11, 12, 13).

18. (See Matt. 11:14).

19. (See Matt. 11:15).

21, 22. (See Matt. 11:16, 17).

23. “Again,” does not mean that the disciples repeated the act of plucking the ears of corn, as they did before. It refers to the Pharisees, who again took occasion to accuse our Lord, as they had done already (v. 6).

23–26. (See Matt. 12:1–5).

27. (See Matt. 12:8).

28. “Therefore.” There seems to be nothing in what precedes to warrant us in taking “therefore,” in its ordinary acceptation, as expressing a vis consequentiæ, unless it be thus supplemented: As the Son of man is Lord of all men; He is also Lord of all things created for man’s benefit, and therefore, Lord of the Sabbath, instituted for man. It is regarded by some interpreters, as simply conveying the chief or concluding reason of all. In short—in a word, passing over every other reason—“the Son of man,” &c.

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