|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:35-38 Jesus visited not only the great and wealthy cities, but the poor, obscure villages; and there he preached, there he healed. The souls of the meanest in the world are as precious to Christ, and should be so to us, as the souls of those who make the greatest figure. There were priests, Levites, and scribes, all over the land; but they were idol shepherds, Zec 11:17; therefore Christ had compassion on the people as sheep scattered, as men perishing for lack of knowledge. To this day vast multitudes are as sheep not having a shepherd, and we should have compassion and do all we can to help them. The multitudes desirous of spiritual instruction formed a plenteous harvest, needing many active labourers; but few deserved that character. Christ is the Lord of the harvest. Let us pray that many may be raised up and sent forth, who will labour in bringing souls to Christ. It is a sign that God is about to bestow some special mercy upon a people, when he stirs them up to pray for it. And commissions given to labourers in answer to prayer, are most likely to be successful.
Verse 35. - Parallel passages: Mark 6:6 (Luke 13:22). And Jesus went about all the cities and (the, Revised Version) villages. The Revised Version rightly restricts the "all" to the cities (τὰς πόλεις πάσας καὶ τὰς κώμας). It would have been impossible to visit all the villages. A village was distinguished from a city by being
(1) unwalled (though occasionally towns were themselves unwalled);
(2) dependent on the cities (cf. Schurer, II. 1. p. 154, seq.). Teaching, etc. From this point the verse is identical with Matthew 4:23 (where see notes), except that the end of that verse, "among the people," is not found in the true text of our passage, but has been inserted thence. Its omission here and the alteration of the words," in all Galilee," to "all the cities and the villages," are both due to the wider scope of what follows. Observe that in Matthew 4:23 our Lord's circuit is the occasion of crowds resorting to him, and serves as an introduction to a full account of his personal teaching, while here it is the occasion of his sending representatives, and serves as an introduction to his commission to them. As to the phrase, "healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness," notice that the recurrence of terminology (Matthew 4:23; Matthew 10:1) falls in with the oral theory, especially in its catechetical form (cf. 'Introduction,' p. 9.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,.... He did not confine himself, and his acts of kindness and compassion, to his own city, Capernaum, but he took a circuit throughout all Galilee; and not only visited their larger and more principal cities and towns, but their villages also; doing good to the bodies and souls of men in every place, and of whatever state and condition.
Teaching in their synagogues; which were places of public worship, where prayer was made, the law and the prophets were read, and a word of exhortation given to the people; and which, it seems, were in villages, as well as in cities and towns: and indeed it is a rule with the Jews (h), that
"in what place soever there are ten Israelites, they ought to build a house, to which they may go to prayer, at all times of prayer; and such a place is called , "a synagogue".''
And hence we often read of (i) , "the synagogue of villages", as distinct from the synagogues of cities and walled towns; which confutes a notion of the learned Dr. Lightfoot (k), who thought there were no synagogues in villages. Now, wherever Christ found any of these, he entered into them, and taught the people publicly,
preaching the Gospel of the kingdom; the good news and glad tidings of peace and pardon, reconciliation and salvation, by himself the Messiah; all things relating to the Gospel dispensation; the doctrines of grace, which concern both the kingdom of grace and glory; particularly the doctrine of regeneration, and the necessity of having a better righteousness than that of the Scribes and Pharisees; the one as a meetness, the other as a title to eternal happiness:
and healing every sickness, and every disease among the people. As he preached wholesome doctrine for the good of their souls; for their spiritual health, and the cure of their spiritual maladies; so he healed all sorts of diseases the bodies of men were incident to, that were brought unto him; and by his miracles confirmed, as well as recommended, the doctrines he preached.
(h) Maimon Hilchot Tephilla, c. 11. sect. 1.((i) T. Bab. Megilla. fol. 26. 1. & Gloss. in ib. Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Megilla, c. 3. sect. 1. & Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 11. sect. 16. (k) In Mark i. 38. & Chorograph. ad Matt. c. 98.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mt 9:35-10:5. Third Galilean Circuit—Mission of the Twelve Apostles.
As the Mission of the Twelve supposes the previous choice of them—of which our Evangelist gives no account, and which did not take place till a later stage of our Lord's public life—it is introduced here out of its proper place, which is after what is recorded in Lu 6:12-19.
Third Galilean Circuit (Mt 9:35)—and probably the last.
35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people—The italicized words are of more than doubtful authority here, and were probably introduced here from Mt 4:23. The language here is so identical with that used in describing the first circuit (Mt 4:23), that we may presume the work done on both occasions was much the same. It was just a further preparation of the soil, and a fresh sowing of the precious seed. (See on Mt 4:23). To these fruitful journeyings of the Redeemer, "with healing in His wings," Peter no doubt alludes, when, in his address to the household of Cornelius, he spoke of "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil: for God was with Him" (Ac 10:38).
Jesus Compassionating the Multitudes, Asks Prayer for Help (Mt 9:36-38). He had now returned from His preaching and healing circuit, and the result, as at the close of the first one, was the gathering of a vast and motley multitude around Him. After a whole night spent in prayer, He had called His more immediate disciples, and from them had solemnly chosen the twelve; then, coming down from the mountain, on which this was transacted, to the multitudes that waited for Him below, He had addressed to them—as we take it—that discourse which bears so strong a resemblance to the Sermon on the Mount that many critics take it to be the same. (See on Lu 6:12-49; and Mt 5:1, Introductory Remarks). Soon after this, it should seem, the multitudes still hanging on Him, Jesus is touched with their wretched and helpless condition, and acts as is now to be described.
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