Four thousand fed by a miracle. (1-10) Christ cautions against
the Pharisees and Herodians. (11-21) A blind man healed. (22-26)
Peter's testimony to Christ. (27-33) Christ must be followed.
Our Lord Jesus encouraged the meanest to come to him for
life and grace. Christ knows and considers our frames. The
bounty of Christ is always ready; to show that, he repeated this
miracle. His favours are renewed, as our wants and necessities
are. And those need not fear want, who have Christ to live upon
by faith, and do so with thanksgiving.
Obstinate unbelief will have something to say, though
ever so unreasonable. Christ refused to answer their demand. If
they will not be convinced, they shall not. Alas! what cause we
have to lament for those around us, who destroy themselves and
others by their perverse and obstinate unbelief, and enmity to
the gospel! When we forget the works of God, and distrust him,
we should chide ourselves severely, as Christ here reproves his
disciples. How is it that we so often mistake his meaning,
disregard his warnings, and distrust his providence?
Here is a blind man brought to Christ by his friends.
Therein appeared the faith of those that brought him. If those
who are spiritually blind, do not pray for themselves, yet their
friends and relations should pray for them, that Christ would be
pleased to touch them. The cure was wrought gradually, which was
not usual in our Lord's miracles. Christ showed in what method
those commonly are healed by his grace, who by nature are
spiritually blind. At first, their knowledge is confused; but,
like the light of the morning, it shines more and more to the
perfect day, and then they see all things clearly. Slighting
Christ's favours is forfeiting them; and he will make those who
do so know the worth of privileges by the want of them.
These things are written, that we may believe that Jesus
is the Christ, the Son of God. These miracles of our Lord assure
us that he was not conquered, but a Conqueror. Now the disciples
are convinced that Jesus is the Christ; they may bear to hear of
his sufferings, of which Christ here begins to give them notice.
He sees that amiss in what we say and do, of which we ourselves
are not aware, and knows what manner of spirit we are of, when
we ourselves do not. The wisdom of man is folly, when it
pretends to limit the Divine counsels. Peter did not rightly
understand the nature of Christ's kingdom.
Frequent notice is taken of the great flocking there was
to Christ for help in various cases. All are concerned to know
this, if they expect him to heal their souls. They must not
indulge the ease of the body. As the happiness of heaven with
Christ, is enough to make up for the loss of life itself for
him, so the gain of all the world in sin, will not make up for
the ruin of the soul by sin. And there is a day coming, when the
cause of Christ will appear as glorious, as some now think it
mean and contemptible. May we think of that season, and view
every earthly object as we shall do at that great day.