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Jesus Ministers to Crowds of People

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people. 24So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought to him all the sick, those who were afflicted with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics, and he cured them.


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Matthew 4:23. And Jesus went about all Galilee. The same statement is again made by Matthew in another place, (9:35.) But though Christ was constantly employed in performing almost innumerable miracles, we ought not to think it strange, that they are again mentioned, twice or thrice, in a general manner. In the words of Matthew we ought, first, to observe, that Christ never remained in one place, but scattered every where the seed of the Gospel. Again, Matthew calls it the Gospel of the kingdom, by which the kingdom of God is established among men for their salvation. True and eternal happiness is thus distinguished from the prosperity and joys of the present life.

When Matthew says, that Christ healed every disease, the meaning is, that he healed every kind of disease. We know, that all who were diseased were not cured; but there was no class of diseases, that was ever presented to him, which he did not heal. An enumeration is given of particular kinds of diseases, in which Christ displayed his power. Demoniacs (διαμονιζομένοι) is a name given in Scripture, not to all indiscriminately who are tormented by the devil, but to those who, by a secret vengeance of God, are given up to Satan, so that he holds possession of their minds and of their bodily senses. Lunatics (σεληνιαζομένοι)342342     Σεληνιάζομαι, like the adjective σεληνιαχὸς, is derived from σελήνη, the moon. Among, the Greeks and Romans, as well as among the Jews, certain violent diseases, the variations of which could not be easily explained, were supposed to be affected by the phases of the moon. Till lately, mental derangement was universally believed among ourselves to be influenced by similar causes; if indeed there be not some who still defend that opinion by plausible arguments. Scripture was not. intended to determine questions of physical science, in which inductive reasoning is a sufficient guide, but to declare those truths, which could never have been known without an express revelation. The term σεληνιαζομένοι, in this and similar passages, does not imply, that the sacred writers supported the common opinion, any more than the English word lunatic, used with equal freedom by philosophers and by the unlearned, countenances an exploded theory, — any more, in short, than the popular use of the phrases, the rising and setting of the sun, expresses a belief that it is the motion of the sun, and not of the earth, that produces the succession of day and night. — Ed. is the name given to those, in whom the strength of the disease increases or diminishes, according to the waxing or waning of the moon, such as those who are afflicted with epilepsy,343343     “Comitiali morbo.” The Romans gave the name of comitialis morbus to this disease, in consequence of the singular fact, that their comitia, or public assemblies, were instantly broken up, when any one present was seized with a fit of epilepsy. Ed. or similar diseases. As we know, that diseases of this sort cannot be healed by natural means, it follows that, when Christ miraculously healed them, he proved his divinity.




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