The First Conflict with the Scribes and Pharisees.
SUMMARY.--The Palsied Man Healed.
The Charge of Blasphemy.
The Calling of Matthew.
The Feast at the House of Matthew.
Not the Whole, but the Sick Need a Physician.
New Wine in Old Bottles.
Plucking Corn on the Sabbath Day.
The Son of Man Lord of the Sabbath.
1. Again he entered Capernaum. After his first missionary
circuit of Galilee.
2-12. Many were gathered together. For notes on the healing of
this paralytic see
As we learn from Luke, among those gathered were Pharisees and scribes
from Judea, Jerusalem, and Galilee,
evidently by a preconcerted arrangement. The whole incident
illustrates: (1) The Divine power of Christ. He could assert that he
forgave sins without blasphemy. (2) The difference between Christ and
his apostles, none of whom claimed to forgive sins (see
(3) It affords a test for all priests who claim to forgive sin. If they
possessed power to forgive sins they would have power also to relieve
the body of the physical consequences of sin.
14. He saw Levi the son of Alphæus. Matthew Levi; the
apostle after this, but now a publican. On the call of Matthew and
Matthew's feast see notes on
and compare also
15. Sat at meat. At a meal.
In his house. Matthew's.
Many publicans. Gatherers of the Roman tax.
Sinners. Persons excommunicated from the synagogue.
18. Why do the disciples of John . . . fast? See notes on
Matt. 9:14, 15.
21. No man also seweth, etc. On this figure and that of old and
new bottles see notes on
Matt. 9:16, 17.
23. He went through the corn fields on the sabbath. See notes on
26. In the days of Abiathar, the high priest. In
1 Sam. 21:1-9,
Ahimelech is represented as the
high priest. Abiathar was his son and successor. The Revised Version
gives the text of the best MSS. by omitting "the high priest."
27. The sabbath was made for man. The Sabbath rest; that is, a
rest of one day in seven was made for man, not for Jews only. This
implies that it is to be a universal institution; that the good of man
requires it, and that it is not an arbitrary enactment, but a wise and
benevolent provision for the welfare of the race. Experience shows that
men are happiest, most moral, most prosperous and healthiest where it
is devoutly observed.
28. The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. This affirms the
Divine nature of Jesus. None but the Divine is Lord of a divine
institution. Since Christ is Lord of the Sabbath day, he has the right
to modify it, to adapt it to the new dispensation, and to change the
time of its observance from the last day of the week to the first, so
as to make it the memorial of the beginning of the New Creation,
instead of commemorating the rest from the first creation.