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suspect that there is a deeper meaning in this miracle, than has been commonly imagined : we imagine that Christ here gave an evidence of the admission of the Gentiles into his Church. This Syrophænician by nation, but by birth a Greek, resident in the neighbourhood of idolatrous Tyre and Sidon, was probably not of the Jewish faith. The assignment of the title of Son of David to Christ will not prove the contrary; because she would naturally have known that He was so called by those who followed Him. If then we suppose Matt. xv. 24, to be interrogative, instead of affirmative, it will mean, according to Hebrew idiom, Am I only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel ? and we are inclined, by the sequel, to this opinion. The Jews, as we may perceive from many passages in the sacred writings, among other opprobrious epithets, called the Goim, or Gentiles, Dogs ; and the epithet is still almost universal in the East. When Jesus then said, “ Let the children first be filled,” his allusion was to the Jews: when the woman replied, “Yes, Lord ; yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs;" she implied, that after his salvation had been extended to the Jews, as it had already been, the Gentiles would be permitted to derive a benefit from it; in which we see a beautiful specimen of
oriental imagery. This was her “great faith ;” and for this “great faith,” her daughter was healed. This view of the miracle is one, which illustrates the manner in which our Saviour prepared the way for the reception of the Gentiles into his Church.
After this, Christ healed, on the coast of Decapolis, great multitudes, among whom were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others; but the cure most particularized is that of the deaf man, with an impediment in his speech. The words, “and he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers in his ears, and he spit and touched his tongue, and, looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha,” have given rise to many strange observations. It is, however, manifest, that Jesus accommodated Himself to the prejudices of the multitude, who might, on this occasion, have expected some external sign, which is more rational than the violation of the grammar, which makes the deaf man do these things. The miracle must be attributed to the Divine command, Ephphatha; not to the external circumstances.
This was succeeded by the miraculous feeding of the four thousand', in explanation of which our
* Without reckoning women and children, see Matt. xv. 38.
former observations will serve. For a similar reason we shall not discuss the cure of the blind man at Bethsaida.
The transfiguration on Mount Tabor was one of Christ's greatest miracles. It was a visible proof to the three present disciples, that He was God. On other occasions the same three disciples were equally favoured'. That at the transfiguration there was a change in Christ's external appearance, is certain from the word used by St. Matthew and St. Mark (uet Euoppón), compared with St. Luke's expression το είδος του προσώπου αυτού έτερον. The particulars of this change, his face shining as the sun, his raiment white as snow or as the light, and darting radiance from it (étaorgántwv, St. Luke), convince us, that the human form gave place to the Divine, and that the Godhead burst forth in its splendour and glory. Christ, by various miracles, had shown to his disciples, that He exerted the omnipotence of God. Here He revealed Himself to the three, who were afterwards most signalized, as God. Moses, whose life and whose laws had prefigured Him; Elijah, whether the true and unflinching prophet of the kingdom of Israel, or St. John the Baptist, whose earthly course had ended, who was the prophetic precursor of the Messiah, appeared to Him in glory, and spake of his decease to be accomplished in Jerusalem. It is remarkable, that in connexion with this appearance of Moses, St. Luke uses the word Eodos. The effect of these heavenly appearances on the disciples was partial sleep; but the words of Peter evince, that they were not entirely ignorant of what was passing. As he spake, a nimbus or bright cloud overshadowed them. This was accounted a symbol of the Divine Presence! Under the law God generally manifested Himself in a thick, dark cloud, well suited to its types : but here the divinity of the Son of God was attested from a clear, effulgent cloud, suited to the Gospel. The voice from heaven virtually announced the abrogation of the Mosaic law; it showed the fulfilment of Deut. xviii. 15; it proved that God's beloved Son was present, whom Moses had enjoined Israel to hear. The state into which the disciples were thrown, when the Evangelists say they fell on their faces, must have been an absence of consciousness; for we find Jesus touching them, exactly as by his touch He healed the infirm. We will merely remark, that the sequel leads us to suppose, that the Baptist was the person here mentioned as Elijah or Elias; in which we are further assured, because as Moses prepared the people for the law, so he, having prepared them for the minis
1 Matt. xxvi. 37. Mark v..37.
try of Christ, was the proper person to be associated with Moses in this scene; at the same time, calling to mind, that St. Peter, in his Epistle, mentions this solemn event.
During Christ's absence on Mount Tabor, a certain father had besought the nine remaining disciples to eject a Devil from his only son, who was deaf and dumb. Their efforts were in vain-" because of their unbelief.” On Christ's re-appearance the possessed was healed, and the witnesses were amazed at the mighty power of God.
The cure of the infirm woman in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, mentioned in Luke xiii. 10— 22, is so similar in all its circumstances to one which has been already discussed, that we shall content ourselves with merely naming it in its order. The ten lepers, who met Jesus entering a Samaritan village and were healed, of whom one only, and he a Samaritan, returned to ascribe glory to God, were instances also of the subjection of all things to his divine will, and the unbounded efficacy of his power. But in the narrative of this miracle we do not perceive particulars, on which our attention in this place requires to be fixed.
In the restoration of the blind man to sight, which