But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They . . . spread abroad his fame.—As in other cases, so in this, the command was not obeyed. The question has been raised, whether the zeal which thus showed itself was or not praiseworthy; and, curiously enough, has been answered by most patristic and Roman Catholic commentators in the affirmative, some even maintaining that the command was not meant seriously; and by most Protestant commentators in the negative. There can be no doubt that the latter take that which is ethically the truer view. “To obey is better than sacrifice,” better even than unrestrained emotion, better certainly than garrulous excitement.
A Dumb Demoniac Healed (Mt 9:32-34).
followed him in the way,
crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. These are the first we read of in this Gospel, that made their applications to Christ under the notion of the Messiah (for so much that compellation, Thou Son of David, importeth). He was to open the blind eyes, Isaiah 35:5 42:7, and was to be the Son of David, according to the prophecies of him; nor can any reason be given, why they called him the Son of David, but this their belief that he was the true Messias.
Have mercy on us: their petition is general, though without doubt they had a particular respect to their want of sight, and so our Saviour understood them. Others, that came to Christ for cure before, looked upon Christ as a man to whom God had given great power, and glorified God upon that account, as in Matthew 9:8. Their courage and boldness in the faith also appeared, in that they feared not the Pharisees decree made, as appeareth from John 9:22; for the Christ and the Son of David amongst the Jews at this time signified the same person, as appears by Matthew 22:42. Christ listens not unto them till he came into the house; there he saith,
Believe ye that I am able to do this? Christ forgetteth not the prayer of faith, though he doth not give a present answer according to our expectation, that he may continue us in our duty, and quicken us yet to further importunity. Our Lord puts the common test upon them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? There is no absolute particular promise for good things of a temporal concern; it is enough for us in those cases to believe that God is able to do the thing, and that he will do it if he seeth it be for our good; he only therefore questions their faith as to his power. In their former owning him as the Messiah, the Son of David, they had declared that they believed his kindness to the sons of men.
They said unto him, Yea, Lord, we believe thou art able; and we believe thee the Messiah, come to do good, and we have a trust in thee thou wilt do it; for this cause we are come, we cry unto thee.
Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. See the mighty power of the prayer of faith.
Their eyes were opened, that is, their visive faculty was restored, or given to them.
And Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. It was known they were blind, and men must know that they now saw; but he charges them not to publish it as done by him. The word used signifieth to command with authority, and with a threatening annexed: we have met with several such commands to persons cured, and none of them observed, nor the persons blamed by Christ for not observing them. We must say the parties sinned in publishing the things, unless the command was with some limitations not mentioned by the evangelists; but we are not able, either to give a just account why or how Christ commanded them, nor how they published the things, or were excusable in doing of it.
spread abroad his fame in all that country. This they did, not in contempt of Christ and his orders; but rather out of gratitude to their benefactor, and through an honest zeal to spread his honour and glory: though they are not to be commended for disregarding the command of Christ; for, not our affection, but Christ's will, is to be the rule of our actions.But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 9:31. ἐν ὅλῃ τ. γ. ἐκ. (vide remarks on Matthew 9:26).Verse 31. - But they, when they were departed; but they went forth and (Revised Version). The very moment that they left the house (cf, ver. 32) they disobeyed him. Observe that the phrases used in this verso are possibly due to a reminiscence of the similar phrases found in Mark 1:45 of the leper. Spread abroad his fame in all that country; land (Revised Version); ver. 26, note.
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