And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.…
Notice in introduction one of the simplest instances of the way in which the three very various accounts of our Lord's life and works supply one another, add greatly to our information, and form a network of evidence of the authenticity of the narrative which it would seem impossible to gainsay. Observe -
I. THE GRACIOUS ACTION TAKEN BY THE SAVIOUR SO PROMPTLY ON THE FIRST SIGHT OF FAITH. Notice the fact that the forgiveness of the sins of the paralytic took precedence of the healing of his disease. Was this due to the specialty of the occasion, the large attendance of doctors of the Law and Pharisees? Was it due exclusively to something that the eye of Jesus saw in the spiritual condition of the paralytic - in that his heart's deepest desire was for forgiveness; or that there was special fitness in him to stand as an example, to all time herein, of one blessed to take the supreme good first, and find "all" the rest "added to him;" or to the sovereign and unerring will inscrutable?
II. A REMARKABLE AND REMARKABLY SIMPLE INSTANCE AND ILLUSTRATION OF FAITH WITH WORKS AND OF FAITH SHOWN BY WORKS. These works of themselves spoke for the faith that was behind them, as also for the intense desire that gave such definite outline to it. "Their" faith, no doubt, designates that betokened by the conduct of all concerned - the paralytic himself, and those who were hands, arms, and feet to him. The "works" of themselves asked help of the mighty Helper. And they showed the undoubting persuasion on the part of those who put forth their strength, and on the part of him, of whose suggestion perhaps it all came, where, and where alone, that help was to be had.
III. THE UNDOUBTED BLASPHEMY HEARD ON THIS OCCASION, BUT LAID ON THE WRONG PERSONAGE. The enemies of Christ, as they stood around, understood aright what he had done, what he had said, and to what the deep implication of these amounted. But they took up the position that he bad not done what he said, and could not do it, and that therefore he committed blasphemy in uttering it. Their hostility was a foregone conclusion, and had it not been so, there would have been reason on their side; and the language of Christ, and his action immediately following, allow this, within certain limits, for he remarks on the exact position, and offers and gives a proof. But their unbelief and disbelief were already deep-rooted in their heart - that "thinking evil in the heart," which he so distinctly saw, so pronouncedly marked.
IV. CHRIST'S CONDESCENDING AND MOST COMPLETE VINDICATION OF HIS LANGUAGE AND HIMSELF. The practical test he challenges, with dignity surpassing that of Elijah on Carmel! He does not volunteer it, but bids them "stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." And they do see it! Whether they will even now believe is another thing. Certain as it is that they have not made their own the beatitude, "Blessed are they who have not seen, and vet have believed," have they even entitled themselves to hear it said, "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed" ?
V. THE ATTITUDE AND DOCILITY OF THE PEOPLE, AS THESE RISE UP IN JUDGMENT AGAINST THE DOCTORS OF THE LAW AND PHARISEES. They "marvel;" they "glorify God;" and this not as the only Object of adoring praise and worship, but also as "the Giver of such power to men;" and they are "filled with fear." And they make confession, unstinted, undisguised, of the impression they have received: "We never saw it on this fashion;" "We have seen strange things to-day." - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.