And when Jesus was passed over again by ship to the other side, much people gathered to him: and he was near to the sea.…
Seldom do we find Christ going straight through with a course of teaching or work. Interruptions constantly occurring; many ministries making up the one great ministry. The more intimate connection of Ver. 21 is given in Matthew 9:18 ("while he yet spake these things"). Not that Matthew means that Christ was still at table, nor that Mark's order is wrong. The feast of Matthew (Mark 2:15) is not stated by Mark to have taken place in immediate succession to the conversion, but is narrated in the second instead of the fifth chapter, because of the obvious connection of the two events. Accepting, therefore, the order of the first Gospel, we see -
I. CHRIST INTERRUPTED.
1. In his teaching. (Ver. 21; Matthew 9:18.) Yet how full of interest the subjects - eating with publicans, and fasting! How significant these breaks! How natural, in a world so full of disturbing and changing influences as this!
2. In his intended mercy. As he goes to the ruler's house the incident of the woman in the crowd takes place (vers. 25 - 34), and he is delayed. Yet the prayer of Jairus was urgent, and broken with apprehensive emotion. Only this was still more pressing, for it was
(1) actual, present, long-endured suffering and shame;
(2) a demand of faith on behalf of its own possessor (not, as in Jairus's case, for another).
II. FRAGMENTS THAT MAKE A GRANDER WHOLE. We have no time to lament the breaking off - the seeming incompleteness - ere we are astonished at the commentary which is furnished in the incidents that follow. He is the great Physician - to the ruler's daughter, the woman with the issue, and the two blind men alike; the Bringer of joy, too, to many by his healing mercies and gracious words. All need him, if they only knew it; and, participating in the blessings of his presence, they cannot mourn or fast, but must needs rejoice. And so in the case of the ruler; the delay really rewarded his faith by an actual illustration of Christ's power, and so sustained him in the higher exercise of faith. "My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live" (Matthew 9:18). This is a picture of many lives. We cannot escape interruptions. Yet are we not therefore to abandon unity of purpose. We may fail to finish all we seek to do, or to do it as we would; but God holds the connecting harmony, and will reveal it at last - or even sooner. The sermon broken off, the merciful intention delayed or frustrated, may prove greater blessings in the event than if suffered uninterruptedly to proceed to a visible or immediate completeness within themselves. The life or work divinely interrupted, but pursued with unity of faith and purpose to the end, will be a grander, more Divine thing than otherwise it could possibly have been.
1. How infinite the resources of the Saviour!
2. His teaching is inseparable from action and life. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea.