Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to him…
This interesting picture had evidently been impressed upon the minds of the apostolic witnesses, for all the evangelists record the fact that the occurrence took place as the sun was setting, or in the evening of the day. It was, indeed, a sight to be long remembered. Who can imagine the gratitude and joy which filled the hearts of husbands and wives, parents and children, as they that gracious presence and returned to their homes in health and strength?
I. THE SUPREME MALADY. The malady of maladies from which we suffer is sin. For sin is to the soul just what sickness is to the body.
1. Its essential nature. It is the radical disorder of the human spirit. The faculties of the soul, instead of doing that for which they were created, are helpless or are perverted, so that the man himself no longer walks with God, no longer speaks his praise, no longer works in his cause. The soul that was meant to find its life and its heritage in revering, honoring, rejoicing in, serving, glorifying God, is out of all happy relation with him, cannot do his will, may not even know who he is. Everything is in a state of disorder and helplessness.
2. Its various forms. As there are "divers diseases" of the flesh, as the sickness of the body takes a variety of forms - blindness, paralysis, fever, etc. - so does sin in the soul and in the life of man. It may appear as doubt, or disbelief, or even impious denial of God; or as the deliberate and determined rejection of his claims; or as a flagrant violation of his laws; or as a guilty inattention to his voice as he speaks to us in conscience, or in his Word, or in his Son; or as a prolonged and presumptuous procrastination, ever delaying to do what is recognized as the right and the wise thing.
II. THE ONLY CURE. As many of these sick ones knew not what else to do, to whom else they could apply; as they felt that the ordinary remedies and the human skill accessible to them must prove unavailing, and that, if this new and wonderful Healer did not help them, they must bear their burden of pain and helplessness through their future days; so may we feel respecting the supreme malady. Nothing merely human will prove to be a cure. Only a Divine hand can heal these deep wounds, these fatal ills. And how does Jesus Christ prove himself the one Healer of the heart?
1. By showing us our sin in its true light, as a grievous wrong done to our heavenly Father, and thus filling our souls with sorrow and shame concerning it.
2. By offering himself as that Divine One through whom it may be forgiven, and we be restored to the favor and friendship of God.
3. By leading us in every path of holiness and purity, and forming in us a righteous character and an obedient spirit.
III. AN EFFICACIOUS METHOD. "He laid his hands on every one of them." The touch of that Divine hand communicated health to the body, and at the same time hope and joy to the heart. It was not absolutely necessary that he should touch them; he could "speak the word only," and the patient would be healed. But he preferred to do so; it brought him, the Healer, into close and loving contact with those, whom he was healing. We, too, in our way, are healers after Christ. We aspire to move through our life, dispensing health and happiness to them that are sick and sad of soul. If we fail in part to do this, may it not be because we do not get into close enough contact with those whom we are endeavoring to bless? We must learn to be like our Lord, and lay our hands on every one of them, and then shall we be most likely to heal them. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
WEB: When the sun was setting, all those who had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.