Harmony of the Gospels

 Harmony of the Gospels

-AD 28-
Sea of Galilee
(15) Multitudes Healed
Matthew 12:15-21, Mark 3:7-12, Luke 6:17-19

 

-Matthew-

But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all; (Matthew 12:15)

“But when Jesus knew it,”  What did He know?  In verse 14, it said that the Pharisees had a meeting where they decided to destroy Him.  That’s why He left the area where He had healed the man with the withered hand.  He only left temporarily.  They will not touch Him until the appointed time.  Notice how many people that He healed; it was a great multitude and He healed them all.  Can you imagine the impression that made in His day?  It would be an absolutely amazing thing.  They had to accept Him or reject Him; it was impossible to be neutral.

Jesus is still controversial today.  The enemy is still after Him.  He is maligned in print, on the internet, and on the TV screen.  This is blasphemy and He will deal with them.  You will either be His friend or His enemy.  He will be your Savior or your judge.  You cannot get rid of Jesus Christ.

 

And charged them that they should not make him known: (Matthew 12:16)

Jesus worked quietly, avoiding publicity and acclaim, as much as He could.  He asked those that He healed not to tell others that He was the one who healed them.  However, His reputation grew rapidly and the great crowds that followed Him hindered His work so that He could not carry on His ministry as He wished.  He did not come into this world to be a miracle worker, but to present His credentials as the Messiah.  When they rejected Him, He continued on course to the cross where He died as our Savior.

 

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. (Matthew 12:17-20)

In verses 18-20, the one that is speaking is God, and He is speaking of Jesus.  In the Great Commission, Jesus said that we are to take the Gospel to all nations.  In that manner, “he shall show judgment to all nations.”  Jesus has been rejected by the religious leaders and therefore His disciples will be the ones to take the Gospel to the whole world.  His death on the cross and His resurrection will be preached to millions as the means whereby men have victory over sin and death.

A bruised reed is good for nothing; it is trash.  But He will bind up that reed, if he will let Him do so.  A smoking wick must be replaced or trimmed.  If one continues to reject Him, the smoking flax will break out in the fire of judgment.  The Lord won’t quench it, because He has given Man a free will.  Jesus Christ will reject neither the bruised reed nor the smoking flax, just as He calls for disciples those considered unacceptable by the religious authorities.

 

And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (Matthew 12:21)

He went first to Israel, and presented Himself as the Messiah of prophesy.  But when they rejected Him, the Gospel went out to the Gentiles.  His rejection and taking the Gospel to the Gentiles was also in prophesy.  In the book of acts we read that He commissioned Paul to be a missionary to the gentiles.  “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” (Acts 26:18)  And you and I are a product of that precious gift.  The Gospel is still going out, and it is still being received by people who are broken and hurting.  He is a wonderful Savior.  Have you told Him how much you love Him?

 

-Mark-

But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him, and from Judaea, And from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things he did, came unto him. (Mark 3:7-8)

Notice that people came from various areas to follow Him.  The huge crowd presented a danger to Him.  He may be overwhelmed by the mob.  His problem was the same as some celebrities have today; He needed protection from the crowd.  Therefore, He withdrew tactfully from the crowd, for He said “…..mine hour is not yet come.” (John 2:4)  Later on, He would move into the face of opposition in Jerusalem, but now He withdraws and the crowd follows Him.  So He withdrew because the crowd posed a danger to Him and hindered His work, and because the Pharisees wanted to kill Him.  This was Jesus’ response to human violence that will lead to the cross where human violence will be met with divine suffering.  Jesus suffered at the hands of His enemies rather than to make them suffer.  He taught non-retaliating mercy, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:38-48)  And He put it into practice, “And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.  And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest's, and smote off his ear.   Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.  Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?  (Matthew 26:50-54)  His divine power was made known in His suffering love.

 

And he spake to his disciples, that a small ship should wait on him because of the multitude, lest they should throng him.  For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. (Mark 3:9-10)

Jesus was concerned that the large crowd could press upon Him and injure Him, so He asked the disciples to have a small boat ready for them to get away in.  These verses say that He healed “many”, and that causes the crowd to become even more desperate to get close enough to get His attention or to touch Him.  Mobs can become unruly and dangerous in their enthusiasm to reach the object of their efforts.

 

And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.  And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known.  (Mark 3:11-12)

Demons recognized Him and declared Him to be the Son of God.  If men would have done the same, would He have established the kingdom at that time?  I believe that He would have, but God knew that He would be rejected and therefore the cross was in God’s plan and it was in prophesy.

 

-Luke-

And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.  And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. (Luke 6:17-19)

Jesus had not preached in some of the areas mentioned, but His reputation had spread there; for they came from Tyre, Sidon, Jerusalem and Judea.  It was a strange mixture of people that followed Him and not all of them were believers.  However, the great majority was the rank and file, the average person, who was poor, uneducated, and had little hope for a better life.  They were not there for healing; they came to hear Him speak and to see the miracles.  They hoped that He was the Messiah and that He would establish the Kingdom of God.  That was their one great hope to improve their life.  That’s why the Jews missed Him; He did not come the first time as King.  He came to save, and that meant that He had to go to the cross.

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