|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:14-21 The Pharisees took counsel to find some accusation, that Jesus might be condemned to death. Aware of their design, as his time was not come, he retired from that place. Face does not more exactly answer to face in water, than the character of Christ drawn by the prophet, to his temper and conduct as described by the evangelists. Let us with cheerful confidence commit our souls to so kind and faithful a Friend. Far from breaking, he will strengthen the bruised reed; far from quenching the smoking flax, or wick nearly out, he will rather blow it up into a flame. Let us lay aside contentious and angry debates; let us receive one another as Christ receives us. And while encouraged by the gracious kindness of our Lord, we should pray that his Spirit may rest upon us, and make us able to copy his example.
Verses 15-21. - Jesus withdraws, and although many follow him and are healed by him, he charges them not to make him known, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the Ideal Israelite, who is the object of God's love and delight, and will receive his Spirit and declare the revelation of him to the Gentiles; he will not strive or exalt himself, or use harshness towards the weak; and his meekness shall last until he has succeeded in his purpose of revealing God to men; for he shall succeed, and he shall be the object of the Gentiles' hope. Verse 15. - Vers. 15, 16 are found essentially in Mark 3:7, 12; the remainder of this section, the application of prophecy. here only. But when Jesus knew it; and Jesus perceiving it (Revised Version). Whether by his own unaided powers, or by intelligence brought him, is not stated. He withdrew himself (cf. Matthew 4:12, he departed, note) from thence. We see from the next clause that this withdrawal was not into any very retired spot, but rather away front the town in which he had been. His motives may have been partly to carry on his work more quietly elsewhere (fulfilling his own injunction, Matthew 10:23), and partly to avoid stirring up the excitement of partisans like those who a little later wished to seize him by force and make him king (John 6:15, where observe "withdrew"). And great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all. Almost verbally in Matthew 19:2.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But when Jesus knew it,.... Their consultation against him, as he did, not by any discovery made to him by men, but as the omniscient God; he withdrew himself from thence; from the synagogue and city, where he was, to the sea of Galilee, and his disciples with him, as Mark observes; not through fear, but because his time was not yet come, that he must suffer and die for his people; he had some other work to do first, and therefore rightly and wisely provides for his safety. And great multitudes followed him; from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and from beyond Jordan; and were joined by another multitude of people, who came from about Tyre and Sidon, as Mark relates: so that his departure was not so very private; nor was he forsaken by the common people, though the Pharisees were so offended with him. And he healed them all; that stood in need of healing, as many as had plagues and unclean spirits; practising agreeably to his doctrine, that it was lawful to do good on the sabbath day, and to heal the bodies as well as the souls of men.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence—whither, our Evangelist says not; but Mark (Mr 3:7) says "it was to the sea"—to some distance, no doubt, from the scene of the miracle, the madness, and the plotting just recorded.
and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all—Mark gives the following interesting details: "A great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship"—or "wherry"—"should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him. For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known" (Mr 3:7-12). How glorious this extorted homage to the Son of God! But as this was not the time, so neither were they the fitting preachers, as Bengel says. (See on Mr 1:25, and compare Jas 2:19). Coming back now to our Evangelist: after saying, "He healed them all," he continues:
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