The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 8:2
And behold there came a leper…
As soon as he came down
from the mountain, and whilst he was in the way; though Luke says,
(Luke 5:12) "when he was in a certain city"; in one of the cities of
Galilee; one of their large towns, or unwalled cities, into which a
leper might come: he might not come into walled F2 towns, at least
they might turn him out, though without punishment: for the canon
runs thus F3,
``a leper that enters into Jerusalem is to be beaten; but if
he enters into any of the other walled towns, though he
has no right, as it is said, "he sitteth alone", he is not
to be beaten.''
Besides, this leper, as Luke says, was "full of leprosy", (Luke 5:12)
see the note there; and he might be pronounced clean by the priest,
though not healed, and so might go into any city or synagogue: the
law concerning such an one, in (Leviticus 13:1-13:59) is a very surprising
one; that if only there were some risings and appearances of the
leprosy here and there, the man was unclean; but if "the leprosy
covered all his flesh", then he was pronounced clean; and such was
this man: he was a very lively emblem of a poor vile sinner, full of
sin and iniquity, who is brought to see himself all over covered with
sin, when he comes to Christ for pardon and cleansing; and is so
considered by Christ the high priest, when he applies his justifying
righteousness and sin purging blood to his conscience. A leper, by the
Jews F4, is called (evr) , "a wicked" man; for they suppose leprosy
comes upon him for evil speaking. This account is ushered in with a
"behold", as a note of admiration and attention, expressing the
wonderfulness of the miracle wrought, and the seasonableness of it to
confirm the doctrines Christ had been preaching to the multitude. This
man came of his own accord, having heard of the fame of Christ;
and worshipped him
in a civil and respectful way, showing great
reverence to him as a man; which he did by falling down on his
knees, and on his face; prostrating himself before him, in a very
humble and submissive manner, as the other evangelists relate: for
that he worshipped him as God, is not so manifest; though it is
certain he had an high opinion of him, and great faith in him; which
he very modestly expresses,
saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean:
he was fully
assured of his power, that he could make him clean, entirely rid him
of his leprosy, which the priest could not do; who could only,
according to the law, pronounce him clean, so that he might be
admitted to company, but could not heal him of his disease: this the
poor man was persuaded Christ could do for him, and humbly submits
it to his will; of which, as yet, he had no intimation from him. And
thus it is with poor sensible sinners under first awakenings; they
can believe in the ability of Christ to justify them by his
righteousness, cleanse them by his blood; and save them by his grace
to the uttermost: but they stick at, and hesitate about his
willingness, by reason of their own vileness and unworthiness.
F2 Misn. Celim. c. 1. sect. 7.
F3 Maimon. Biath Hamikdash, c. 3. sect. 8. & in Misn. Celim. c. 1.
F4 Maimon. in Misn. Negaim, c. 12. sect. 5. & Bartenora in ib. sect. 6.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 8:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=008&verse=002>. 1999.