Matthew 9:35
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.
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(35) And Jesus went about.—The verse is all but identical with Matthew 4:23, and may be described as recording our Lord’s second mission circuit in Galilee, in which He was accompanied probably by His disciples, whom, however, He had not as yet invested with a delegated authority as His “apostles,” or representatives. It is manifestly the beginning of the section which contains the great discourse of Matthew 10, and was intended to lead up to it.

Every sickness and every diseasei.e., every variety or type, rather than every individual case. The work of healing was, we must believe, dependent, as before, on the faith of those who came seeking to be healed. Of the two words, the former is in the Greek the stronger, and, though the relative significance of the English words is not sharply defined, it would, perhaps, be better to invert the renderings.

Matthew 9:35-36. Jesus went about all the cities, teaching in their synagogues — See on Matthew 4:23. When he saw the multitude he was moved with compassion — Having come from heaven to earth to seek and save lost sinners, he was affected to see such multitudes desirous of instruction, and yet destitute of it, and in danger of perishing without it, being either deserted or misled by their spiritual guides, and living in ignorance of the things which it most concerned them to know, and in a state of guilt and depravity. Because they fainted — The original expression: εκλελυμενοι, denotes here a kind of faintness, or weakness, which is caused by hunger and weariness. Perhaps the expression may refer partly to the fatigue of their frequent journeys in following Christ from place to place; for many of them came, not only from the several parts of Galilee, but also from Judea and Idumea, from beyond Jordan: and the borders of Tyre and Zidon. Faintness of soul, however, is undoubtedly intended here, rather than of body. And were scattered abroad — Gr. ερριμμενοι, an expression which, according to Elsner, means exposed to continual danger, as sheep having no shepherd. And yet this people had many teachers; they had scribes in every city, and the priests, whose lips should have dispensed knowledge, and at whose mouth the people should have sought the law, (Malachi 2:7,) were to be found in all parts of the land. But they had no teachers who cared for their souls; and none who were able, if they had been willing, to have given them such instruction as they needed. They had no pastors after God’s own heart. “The teachers just mentioned,” says Macknight, “were blind, perverse, lazy guides, who every day discovered their ignorance and wickedness more and more. They either neglected the office of teaching altogether, or they filled the people’s minds with high notions of ritual observances and traditions, to the utter disparagement of moral duties, which in a manner they trampled under foot; so that instead of serving God, they served their own glory, their gain, and their belly. Wherefore, any appearance of religion which they had, was wholly feigned and hypocritical; insomuch that they rather did hurt by it than were of real service to the interests of [piety and] virtue. Besides, the common people, being distracted by the disagreeing factions of the Pharisees and Sadducees, knew not what to choose or refuse. The case therefore called loudly for the compassion of Jesus, which indeed was never wanting to them at any time, for he always cherished the tenderest affection toward his countrymen; but it flowed particularly on this occasion, when he considered that they were in great distress for want of spiritual food.” And therefore being deeply touched with a feeling of their miserable condition, he resolved to provide some remedy for it; which, as the evangelist here states, he proceeded to do immediately, directing his disciples to intercede with God to send forth labourers into his harvest, and immediately afterward appointing and sending those labourers.

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.And Jesus went about all the cities and villages ... - That is, in all parts of Galilee, for his labors were, as yet, confined to that part of Palestine. Compare the notes at Matthew 4:24-25. 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 [1247]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 [1248]Lu 6:12-49; and [1249]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.

We met with these words Matthew 4:23, only there it was all Galilee, by which probably this text ought to be expounded: See Poole on "Matthew 4:23".

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.

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.
Matthew 9:35. Here we have the commencement of a new section, which opens, Matthew 9:35-38, with the introduction to the mission of the Twelve, which introduction has been led up to by the previous narratives. Comp. Matthew 4:23-25.

αὐτῶν] Masculine. Comp. Matthew 4:23, Matthew 11:1.

Matthew 9:35-38. These verses look both backwards and forwards, winding up the preceding narrative of words and deeds from chap. 5 onwards, and introducing a new aspect of Christ’s work and experience. The connection with what follows is strongest, and the verses might, with advantage, have formed the commencement of chap. 10. Yet this general statement about Christ’s teaching and healing ministry (Matthew 9:35) obviously looks back to Matthew 4:23-24, and, therefore, fitly ends the story to which the earlier summary description of the ministry in Galilee forms the introduction. It is, at the same time, the prelude to a second act in the grand drama (chap. Matthew 9:35 to Matthew 14:12). In the first act Jesus has appeared as an object of general admiration; in the second He is to appear as an object of doubt, criticism, hostility.

35–38. The Preaching of Jesus. The Harvest of the World

35. See ch. Matthew 4:23. All diseases, acute as well as chronic.

Matthew 9:35. Τῆς βασιλείας, of the kingdom) sc. of God.—πᾶσαν, κ.τ.λ., every, etc.) sc. of all who were brought to Him.

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.). Matthew 9:35
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