And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came to the sea of Galilee, through the middle of the coasts of Decapolis.…
We may readily understand how, on the instant of working a miracle, a glance towards heaven might cause Christ to sigh. Wherefore had He descended from that bright abode if not to achieve its being opened to the lost race of man? And wherefore did He work miracles, if not to fix attention on Himself as the promised seed of the woman who, through obedience and death, was to reinstate our lineage in the paradise from which they had been exiled for sin? There was a sufficiency in the satisfaction which He was about to make, to remove the curse from every human being, and to place all the children of Adam in a more glorious position than their common parent had forfeited. But He knew too well that, in regard of multitudes, His endurances would be fruitless; fruitless, at least, in the sense of obtaining their salvation, though they cannot be in that of vindicating the attributes of God, and leaving the impenitent self-condemned at the judgment. Therefore, it may be, did Christ sigh; and that, too, immediately after looking up to heaven. I can read the sigh; it is full of most pathetic speech. "Yonder," the Redeemer seems to say, "is the home of My Father, of the cherubim and seraphim. I would fain conduct to that home the race which I have made one with Myself, by so assuming their nature as to join it with the Divine. I am about to work another miracle — to make, that is, another effort to induce the rebellious to take Me as their leader to yon glorious domain. But it will be fruitless; I foresee, but too certainly, that I shall still be despised and rejected of men." Then who can wonder that a sigh was interposed between the looking up to heaven and the uttering the healing word? The eye of the Redeemer saw further than our own. It pierced the vault which bounds our vision, and beheld the radiant thrones which His agony would purchase for the children of men. And that men — men whom He loved with a love of which that agony alone gives the measure — should refuse these thrones, and thereby not only put from them happiness, but incur wretchedness without limit or end — must not this have been always a crushing thing to the Saviour? and more especially when, by glancing at the glories which might have been theirs, He had heightened His thought of their madness and misery? I am sure that were we striving to prevail on some wretched being to enter an asylum where he would not only be sheltered from imminent danger, but surrounded with all the material of happiness, a look at that asylum, with its securities and comforts, would cause us to feel sorer than ever at heart, as we turned to make one more endeavour, likely to be useless as every preceding one, to overcome the obduracy which must end in destruction. Therefore ought we readily to understand why the Redeemer, bent only on raising to glory a race, of which He foresaw that myriads would voluntarily sink down to shame, gave token of a distressed and disquieted spirit, between looking towards heaven and working a miracle — as though the look had almost made Him reluctant for the work.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.