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when his servants met him, of whom having inquired “ the hour when his son began to amend,” the father, from their answers, was satisfied “ that it was at the same hour in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth.” By this miracle we see, that Jesus had power over objects, however far they might be from Him, and that at his word a cure was effected upon a person whom He had perhaps never met, whose disease in all probability had never been specified to him. His power being unlimited, He had only to say the word, and immediately that word took its desired effect; and that, which this miracle produced, is a sufficient evidence of its reality, for the nobleman “ believed, and his whole house."
The next miracle according to the best Harmonies was the miraculous draught of fishes. The narrative of St. Luke informs us, that there was a great multitude, who pressed upon Jesus to hear the word of God, who in all probability witnessed the miracle. . Jesus, it is recorded, entered into a ship, and commanded Simon, whose ship it was, to thrust out a little from the shore, that He might from thence teach the people. “ Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all
the night, and have taken nothing; nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake.” It is very evident from the use of the plural, that others beside Peter were in the ship; for it is said, “ And they beckoned unto their partners” to come and help them draw in the quantity of fish they had in their nets. The quantity indeed was so great, that they filled both ships, insomuch that they began to sink. This miracle, simple as it appears, could only have been wrought by the absolute power of the Son of God. For the fishermen had toiled all the night, the time when it was most likely to catch fish, and had caught nothing, yet in the day-time, at the very instant the net was let down, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes. Here there could be no deception. The conviction upon Simon was involuntary. By what he had seen, he believed Jesus to be the Son of God. So struck was he by the miracle, that he “ fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Only a conviction arising from an assurance, that Jesus was divine, could have caused an ignorant and uneducated fisherman to have attested the superhuman power, that our Lord manifested before these people. not,” said Jesus, “ from henceforth thou shalt catch men;" which words were fulfilled in the preaching of
the Gospel, especially in the conversion of the many thousands, who were added to the Church in a single day. The effect of this miracle evidenced its reality. “ And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.”
But the words “ Depart from me, O Lord," appear to show, that Peter having received a conviction of Christ's Divine Power, according to the idea of the ancient Hebrews, feared that his omnipotence might break forth with a consuming energy; for the Jews believed, that he who saw the manifested God would die. That we are correct in our interpretation of Christ's reply is apparent from the words έση ζωγρών, , which mean “ that thou shalt catch alive.”
The cure of the demoniac considerably tended to spread the fame of Jesus throughout all the region round about Galilee. And that fame must have had a good foundation, or so many would not have been converted by the visible demonstrations of the Divinity of our Saviour. The man possessed with an unclean spirit afforded our Lord an opportunity of manifesting his power “to destroy the works of the devil.” The recognition of Christ's character, as the Holy One of God, the ejectment of the unclean Spirit at Christ's command from the possessed, and the publicity of the miracle, are on the one hand indisputable demonstrations of Christ's Almighty Power; and, on the other, proofs that there was no collusion or fraud in its achievement. Nor shall we err (as St. Luke says, rís ó lóyos oúroç; but St. Mark, τι εστι τούτο; τίς ή διδαχή η καινή αύτη ;) in conjecturing, that, at the time when Jesus performed this stupendous miracle, He accompanied it with such didaxò, such doctrine, as led the people to infer his assertion of superhuman power, either before or after the evidence, which He gave of his words. The confession of the evil spirit, that He was the Holy One of God would have induced the delivery of such a doctrine; for we are by no means satisfied, that pyubontı means “hold thy peace.” The obedience of the unclean spirit was, at all events, a sufficient evidence of that Divine authority, "for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him."
The miracle that followed the cure of the demoniac was equally grand and convincing. It was the cure of Peter's mother-in-law, who was confined by a violent' fever. St. Matthew simply mentions her cure to have been effected by Christ touching her hand.
But as St. Mark more fully states, that He seized her hand, and lifted her up; St. Luke, that
He stood, over her, rebuked the fever, and took her hand, and lifted her up, we perceive the external circumstances of the cure. The words used both by St. Mark and St. Luke are evidence of the virulence of her complaint.
When Christ is said to have rebuked the fever, a demonstration of Divine authority is clearly implied; and the miracle was substantiated by the effects. The instantaneous restoration to health and active vigour, such as her attendance upon Christ and his disciples certifies us to have taken place, was so beyond the ordinary course of things, so contrary to the state, in which fevers commonly leave patients, that the fact must be accounted miraculous, the evidence of which must have been public in Capernaum at the time; and having been miraculous, the fact becomes another testimony of the Almighty power which Christ exercised, as the Son of God, and the predicted Messiah.
The miracles that Jesus performed were often in answer to the prayers or faith of the applicants. Thus "a leper came to Jesus, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean," i. e. one possessed of a cutaneous disorder came to Jesus, who instantly had compassion on him, "put forth