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Matthew Chapter Eight


I. Content of the Chapter


The Manifestation of Power of the King

I.   On healing all kinds of diseases:

A. Healing the leper (v.1-4)

B. Healing the one that is lying paralyzed (v.5-13)

C. Healing the one that is sick with fever (v.14-15)

D. Healing ones that were demon-possessed and all who were sick (v.16-17)


II. On all kinds of regions:

A. His power is manifested in men’s hearts by attracting different kinds of people to follow Him (v.18-22).

B. His power is manifested in nature by calming the winds and the sea (v.23-27).

C. His power is manifested in the scope of spirits by casting out demons (v.28-34).


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Matt. 8:1 “When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.

   YLT: “And when he came down from the mount, great multitudes did follow him,”

Literal Meaning: “great multitudes followed Him” most of those who followed the Lord for their astonishment (see Matt. 7:28).

   Spiritual Meaning: “When He had come down from the mountain” The Lord’s coming down from the mountain symbolizes that He humbled Himself from heaven to earth.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The heavenly king humbled Himself to go along with His people (“He had come down from the mountain”) so that we who are not worthy of His grace have received His full grace.

2) The words of the Lord are with authority (Matt. 7:29) and therefore “great multitudes followed Him.”


Matt. 8:2 “And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’”

   YLT: “and lo, a leper having come, was bowing to him, saying, `Sir, if thou art willing, thou art able to cleanse me;`”

Literal Meaning: “behold” here indicates that this case is worthy of being noticed.

“A leper came and worshiped Him” It is a humble action, indicating that he knew the power of the Lord.

“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” This sentence shows that on one hand he knew his corruption and he needed healing, on the other he knew the power of the Lord and He was able to heal him.

   Spiritual Meaning: “a leper” According to cases recorded in the Old Testament, leprosy is connected with disobeying authority and commandments (See Num. 12:1-10, 2Kings. 5:9-14), therefore a leper is the type of the disobedient people, i.e. Israel (Rom. 10:21).

  In the Bible, leprosy is the type of men’s unclean sins:

1) Leprosy starts from the inner part, symbolizing that sin is of men’s nature.

2) Leprosy is difficult to be healed, symbolizing that sin is difficult to be removed.

3) Leprosy is contagious, symbolizing that sin is contagious.

4) Leprosy makes men rot and stink unto death, symbolizing the dirtiness of sin and the dreadful and miserable end of sin.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Men’s flesh and nature, full of dirties of sins, always offend God. We are lepers in the sight of God.

2) This verse reveals us the conditions to be healed as a sinner:

    A. One has to admit his corruption and helplessness.

    B. One has to come and worship the Lord and confessed his sins.

    C. One has to trust in the Lord’s power of healing.

    D. One has to ask the Lord.

3) We have to come down from our own throne and come to the Lord with humbleness (“come and worship Him”) and then we will experience His power.

4) Many times we believe in the Lord’s almightiness and we dare not believe in His willingness. Believers should not only believe in His power but also His love.

5) The Lord’s “can” is the matter of His power. The Lord’s “willingness” is the matter of His will. The Lord’s power is dominated by His will.            


Matt. 8:3 “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

   YLT: “and having stretched forth the hand, Jesus touched him, saying, `I will, be thou cleansed,` and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

Literal Meaning: “Jesus put out His hand and touched him” Usually, men do not touch lepers lest they may be infected with uncleanness. However the Lord Jesus acted in a diametrically opposite way and brought cleanness to the one being touched.

“I am willing” This sentence shows that not only the Lord has the power to heal the wicked but also His heart was “willing”.

   Spiritual Meaning: “Jesus put out His hand and touched him” The Lord’s touching is direct contact of body. It symbolizes that the Lord came into the Jews by incarnation. He is the one that the Jews had heard, had seen with their eyes, contemplated and their hands handled (1John. 1:1).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord is able to sympathize with our infirmities (Heb. 4:15) and our sufferings. He likes to enter into our feelings (“Jesus put out His hand and touched him”) and sympathize with us.

2) “Touch” symbolizes unification in the Bible. The Lord, the heavenly doctor, heals us from our inner part through unification with us.

3) The Lord said “I am willing”. Sinners are in the heart of the Lord. He has the feelings of sinners and feels sinners’ sufferings as if it were received in person.

4) The Lord not only said that He was willing, He but also put out His hand and touched Him, indicating that His willingness was full. If a man is not saved, it is not due to the unwillingness of the Lord. It is that he, who is of little faith, is not willing to come to the Lord.

5) “Be cleansed” Words of the Lord are with authority. Once the word is spoken by the Lord, it will take effect.

6) Most of works of the Lord are done by His words. If we want to work with the Lord, at first we have to obtain His words.


Matt. 8:4 “And Jesus said to him, See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’”

   YLT: “And Jesus saith to him, `See, thou mayest tell no one, but go, thyself shew to the priest, and bring the gift that Moses commanded for a testimony to them.’”

   The Background: according to the law of the Old Testament, when a leper was healed, he would be looked by the priest. After the priest had pronounced him clean, he would be able to offer sacrifice to the Lord. Since he had sacrificed to the Lord, he bore witness before the folk and it became a fact which was unable to be overthrown (Lev. 14:2-20).

Literal Meaning: “see that you tell no one” This is because that the Lord knew what was in men (John. 2:25) and He did not want men to follow Him with evil motives.

“But go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded.” Because it was a transitional period and the dispensation of grace had not come (the Lord had not been crucified to fulfill the redemption). Therefore the Jewish believers still walked according to the regulations of the law of the Old Testament.

 “As a testimony to them” It proves that the leper was fully recovered and he was able to contact with others normally.

   Spiritual Meaning: “offer the gift that Moses commanded” The gift was the type of Christ. He Himself is the proof for a sinner to be acceptable to God (see Heb. 9:9, 14, 24-28).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) A man of heaven does not like to show off (“see that you tell no one”) and he likes to hide himself.

2) The Lord did not fully disregard the righteousness of the law (Matt. 3:15). Believers should not disregard to give just and lawful testimony before men (“as a testimony to them”) in excuse of being of spirit.

3) After we have been saved, we have to continually offer Christ and manifest Christ as to please God.


Matt. 8:5 “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him,

   YLT: “And Jesus having entered into Capernaum, there came to him a centurion calling upon him,”

Literal Meaning: “centurion”: an official title in Roman Government. The centurion rules one hundred soldiers.

   Spiritual Meaning: “a centurion” here is a type of the gentile believer.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Salvation come to the Jews first and to the Gentiles (see Acts. 3:26, 13:46, Rom. 1:16, 11:11).

2) “Came to” and “pleading Him” are the necessary conditions to receive the salvation of the Lord.


Matt. 8:6 “saying, Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’”

   YLT: “and saying, `Sir, my young man hath been laid in the house a paralytic, fearfully afflicted,’”

Spiritual Meaning:  “lying at home paralyzed” The patient was unable to do what he hoped to do. Therefore it symbolizes that the world is unable to do the right (Rom. 7:18) and the will of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Lord, my servant” Here it is to make intercession for others. Children of God should care about others and often bring others to God.

2) To sympathize the subordinate and make intercession for others are the manifestation of love to others of those who magnify the Lord. They are also the best example for believers to follow.

3) In the prayer of the centurion, he only set the bitterness before the Lord and did not ask the Lord to heal his servant. This shows that he knew the authority of the Lord------whether the servant was healed depended on the authority of the Lord.


Matt. 8:7 “And Jesus said to him, I will come and heal him.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus saith to him, `I, having come, will heal him.’”

   Meaning of Words: “heal”: wait upon, care about, serve, and take care of.

   Spiritual Meaning: “heal” symbolizes to salvation.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The asker had not believed that the Lord was willing and the Lord said that He was “willing” (v.3). The asker had not asked the Lord to go and the Lord said that He would “come”. Our Lord does not grudge showing mercies to us and He always takes the initiative to show mercies to us.

2) The centurion only proposed that his servant needed healing and did not tell the reason for healing. The Lord immediately answered him. In praying we only need to tell the actual need to the Lord and do not need to state many reasons.

3) God shows grace to us only according to our needs. Many reasons sometimes contrarily become the block for us to receive God’s grace.


Matt. 8:8 “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.

   YLT: “And the centurion answering said, `Sir, I am not worthy that thou mayest enter under my roof, but only say a word, and my servant shall be healed;”

Literal Meaning: “I am not worthy that You should come under my roof” On one hand he thought that he was not worthy it. On the other he knew that the Lord is God that surpasses space.

“Only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” The centurion really knew the authority and power of the Lord Jesus. He knew that the power to heal diseases was in the His words and therefore he only asked “a word” of the Lord and that was enough.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The words which the Lord had spoken unto us are spirit and are life (John. 6:63).

2) The Lord’s word was with authority (Luke. 4:32). He upheld all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). As long as we obtain “a word” from the Lord, the difficulties of our own or the assembly will be overcome.

3) Unless the Lord “touches” one (v.3), in vain are all the other touches. Unless the Lord “speaks a word”, in vain are all the others words. What believers need is the Lord’s touch and the word spoken by the Lord in person.


Matt. 8:9 “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, Go,' and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, Do this,' and he does it.’”

   YLT: “for I also am a man under authority, having under myself soldiers, and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Be coming, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doth [it].’”

Literal Meaning: the centurion knew that as long as he obeyed the higher-ups, he would have the authority to instruct his subordinates. Because he knew that the Lord was usually under the authority of the Father in heaven and therefore He has the power of God. The centurion learned that the power of the heavenly king was in His words from his own words which were with authority to his subordinates.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If you want to hold power, you have to learn to obey the authority. If you fully obey God, God’s power will be in you and His authority will make you dominate others. This is the requirement to gain power.

2) At first we obey the Lord and then others may obey us.

3) This verse shows the relation between power and word------power is the backing of word and word is the manifestation of power.


Matt. 8:10 “When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!

   YLT: “And Jesus having heard, did wonder, and said to those following, `Verily I say to you, not even in Israel so great faith have I found;”

Literal Meaning: faith comes from our knowledge of the Lord because Jesus is the leader and completer of faith (Heb. 12:2). The Israel lacked the knowledge of the Lord and therefore they did not have such great faith.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Faith of the centurion based on his knowledge of the power of the Lord. If we have more knowledge of the Lord, we will have greater faith.

2) Faith is the key to use heavenly power. Men have to use faith to connect with the authority of God to bring in God’s power and blessings.

3) “Such great faith” indicates that men’s faith in the Lord’s words is greater than men’s faith in the Lord’s touch. Generally, “touch” is more authentic than “a word” in men’s eyes. However the greater faith is that the Lord’s word is enough and there is no need of the Lord’s touch.

4) When you have the knowledge of the authority of the Lord, you will easily believe in His words. Those who have doubts about God’s words lack the knowledge of God’s authority.


Matt. 8:11 “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

   YLT: “and I say to you, that many from east and west shall come and recline (at meat) with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the reign of the heavens,”

Literal Meaning: “many will come from east and west” These people are Gentile believers.

“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” They were ancestors of the Israel and also were the witnesses of faith (Heb. 11:17-21).

This verse indicates that there will be many Gentiles partake in the heavenly kingdom by faith and enjoy the feast of salvation by their willingness to be ruled by Christ.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Thank God. We once were not a people, but now we are God’s people. We were not enjoying mercy, but now have found mercy (1Pet. 2:10).

2) At all times and in all countries, there were many people risen by the Lord and partake in the kingdom of heaven. We should not hold that I am the only one who loves the Lord.


Matt. 8:12 “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

   YLT: “but the sons of the reign shall be cast forth to the outer darkness there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth.’”

Literal Meaning: “the sons of the kingdom” are the Jews who lack faith.

  “Out darkness” indicates that when the Son of Man comes in the glory in His kingdom (Matt. 16:27), anyone who lacks faith will be cast out of His face of glory and will not partake in the feast of the kingdom of God (Luke. 13:27-29).

  “Weeping” means regret in one’s heart.

  “Gnashing of teeth” refers to great remorse.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) What determines our result in future is not our “past” state but our state right now.

2) Many first shall be last and last first (Matt. 19:30). We should not hold that it is enough that we have loved the Lord in the past, lest it’s too late to regret when the Lord comes.


Matt. 8:13 “Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour.

   YLT: “And Jesus said to the centurion, `Go, and as thou didst believe let it be to thee;` and his young man was healed in that hour.”

   Meaning of Words: “be done”: to become, come into being, cause to be.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive (Matt. 21:22).

2) “As you have believed, so let it be done for you.” The more we know and trust God, the more we will enjoy His grace. Men’s faith is the measure to receive grace. The greater faith one has, the greater reward will he receive from God to his faith.

3) “That same hour” The moment the Lord spoke a word the thing is done. As long as we trust in the words of the Lord, there will be no need to wait.

4) The Lord healed the leper (v.3) to remove the dirtiness of sins. The Lord healed the paralyzed to get rid of the power of sins. The Lord healed the leper at first and then healed the paralyzed. The Lord at first forgave our sins and then strengthened us.


Matt. 8:14 “Now when Jesus had come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother lying sick with a fever.

   YLT: “And Jesus having come into the house of Peter, saw his mother-in-law laid, and fevered,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “his wife’s mother” symbolizes the Jews.

  “Sick with a fever” symbolizes two aspects:

1) The Jews would suffer extreme misery in the great distress.

2) The Jews were exceedingly zealous of the Law and the doctrines of their fathers (Gal. 1:14, Acts. 21:20).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If believers are zealous of the things besides the Lord and even neglect the Lord Himself, it is sick with a fever in the Lord’s eyes.

2) When she was “sick with a fever”, she felt different from others because only she was fevered and others were not. Anyone who is abnormally excited or fervent may be “sick with a fever”.


Matt. 8:15 “So He touched her hand, and the fever left her. And she arose and served them.

   YLT: “and he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she arose, and was ministering to them.”

   Spiritual Meaning: this verse symbolizes that when the Lord comes to the world for the second time, the Israel will be touched by His coming and therefore all Israel will be saved (Rom. 11:26). They will be revived and serve the King Christ.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord’s touch (v.3, 15) solved all the problems. Unless we touch the Lord or the Lord touches us, in vain are all the other touches.

2) When our hands that do the Lord’s service are touched by the Lord, the abnormal fever will leave and then we could really serve the Lord.


Matt. 8:16 “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,

   YLT: “And evening having come, they brought to him many demoniacs, and he did cast out the spirits with a word, and did heal all who were ill,”

   Spiritual Meaning: “when evening had come” evening typifies the last period of the old heavens and the old earth, i.e. the time of the kingdom of a thousand years. At that time Christ will really reign (Rev. 20:4) and manifest His power, especially in casting out demons and healing diseases. This verse symbolizes that in the time of the kingdom of a thousand years, all the people on earth will have a foretaste of the power of Christ in the coming age.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Many diseases in us are connected with teases of the devil.

2) A word of the Lord (v.8, 16) solved all the problems. Unless a word of the Lord is spoken into us, all the other words are in vain.


Matt. 8:17 “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses."

   YLT: “that it might be fulfilled that was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, `Himself took our infirmities, and the sicknesses he did bear.’”

Literal Meaning: the prophecy is quoted from Is. 53:4. In His first appearing, the Lord Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree and by His stripes we have been healed (1Pet. 2:24). In future He shall appear to those that look for Him the second time without sin for salvation (Heb. 9:28).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The great redemption of the Lord on the cross not only removes our sins but also makes us experience His power of life so that the weak is strengthened and the sick is healed.

2) The Lord Himself is our strength and our healing. The more the life of the Lord increases in us, the more we are able to overcome infirmities and sickness.


Matt. 8:18 “And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side.

   YLT: “And Jesus having seen great multitudes about him, did command to depart to the other side;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) When working for the Lord, we should be adaptable to circumstances. We should not be reluctant to depart to the other side or depart from the great multitudes because the work is of great effect and the work gains many people.

2) Today we are sojourners in the world and we are on the way departing to the other side------ a better and heavenly country (Heb. 11:13, 16).

3) We follow the Lord not by swimming to the other side with our own ability but by departing to the other side on the boat of grace.


Matt. 8:19 “Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.’”

   YLT: “and a certain scribe having come, said to him, `Teacher, I will follow thee wherever thou mayest go;’”

Literal Meaning: “a certain scribe came” a scribe was Bible scholar of the Old Testament. He was not called by the Lord and he took the initiative to “come” to the Lord.

“I will follow You.” He may want to gain the mysterious power to do wonders in order to be outstanding in religion because he had seen the Lord casting out demons and healing diseases.

Matt. 8:20 “And Jesus said to him, Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus saith to him, `The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven places of rest, but the Son of Man hath not where he may lay the head.’”

Literal Meaning: “the Son of Man” was from “the chapter of the Messiah” (Dan. 7:13-14). The Lord called Himself the Son of Man on earth instead of the Messiah. Because in the eyes of the Jews the Messiah was a political figure who was sent  by God on earth to lead the Jews to resist the Roman Government and rebuild the kingdom of David. Certainly the Lord did not want the Jews to misunderstand Him as the one.

This verse indicates that: event animals have places to inhabit on earth, the Lord sacrificed the warm and rest of family life in order to do the will of God.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord had sojourned on earth for us and what shall we do for Him?

2) The Lord was rejected on earth and He had no place to lay His head. Today what He asks for us is to dwell in our hearts through faith (see Eph. 3:17).

3) If someone takes the initiative to follow the Lord, He will ask him to consider the prices because natural zealousness will be step back by prices in the end.

4) When we have a will to follow the Lord (v.19), we should make great determination, regardless of the sacrifice of warm and enjoyment in family life for the sake of the Lord.


Matt. 8:21 “Then another of His disciples said to Him, Lord, let me first go and bury my father.’”

   YLT: “And another of his disciples said to him, `Sir, permit me first to depart and to bury my father;’”

   The Background: the Jews attached great importance to bury their family members, even the religious regulations could be delayed for this.

Literal Meaning: “let me first go and bury my father” It is a proverb at that time and it means to serve parents while living and give proper burial after death. That disciple meant that he wanted to do his duty as a son to his family first and then he would follow the Lord.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Lord, let me first…” His word is self-contradictory. Should the Lord be first or should I be first? Since we call the Lord lord, we should value the Lord’s will more than ours.

2) When following the Lord, we are always confronted with a choice: which is more important, the Lord or our family?


Matt. 8:22 “But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.’”

   YLT: “and Jesus said to him, `Follow me, and suffer the dead to bury their own dead.’”

Literal Meaning: the first “dead” refers to sinners who are dead in spirit (Eph. 2:1, 5). The second “dead” refers to men are dead in flesh. The Lord here did not ask us not to care about the needs of our family. (The Lord, at the point of death on the cross, asked His disciple to look after His mother. see John. 19:26-27) The Lord meant that we should not wait and follow the Lord until all the earthly things are done well.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) To the scribe who took the initiative to follow the Lord, He asked him to sit down and count the price (v.19-20). To the disciple who had been called and would draw back, the Lord encouraged him to go forth. It shows that what’s important in following the Lord is whether we have the calling of the Lord rather than our own willingness.

2) Anyone knows the true significance of life would give priority to doing the commandment of the Lord and would not let the less important things disturb the service to the Lord.

3) He who loves father or mother above me is not worthy of me. And he who loves son or daughter above me is not worthy of me (Matt. 10:37).

4) If the authority of the king is manifested in family life, we are able to give up coziness of flesh willingly for the sake of the Lord and respect Him more than family members.


Matt. 8:23 “Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him.

   YLT: “And when he entered into the boat his disciples did follow him,”

   Spiritual Meaning: in the Bible “boat” symbolizes the assembly; “sea” symbolizes the world. Though the boat is in sea, it is separated from the sea. Though the assembly sojourns in the world, it is separated from the world. There are only the Lord and His disciples on the boat. That is to say, the Lord and people who are of Him make up the so-called assembly.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The Lord and disciples are the key elements to make up the assembly and both of them are indispensable. If there are only disciples without the Lord, the assembly would have no means to exist on earth. If there is the Lord without the disciples, the assembly will not have content or reality.

2) The most important thing in following the Lord is whether the Lord is on the boat. It is a big problem if the Lord is not on our boat.


Matt. 8:24 “And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.

   YLT: “and lo, a great tempest arose in the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves, but he was sleeping,”

   Meaning of Words: “great”: big, exceedingly; “tempest”: disturbance, shake, waver.

Literal Meaning: the Sea of Galilee was always turbulent because of sudden tempests. The fierce wind attacks the valley of Jordan from the North and the speed of the wind is accelerated through the valley. When the wind arrives in the offing of the sea, there will be great waves in the offing and this makes boats on the sea in danger.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The assembly, in the world, is always attacked by outside circumstances. Sometimes, the circumstance is so terrible that the Lords seems not to abide with us (“He was asleep”).

2) As long as the Lord is with us, it does not matter whether He abides with us openly (He is awake.) or He abides with us secretly (“He was asleep”), we won’t be waved though the enemy may stir up trouble.


Matt. 8:25 “Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, Lord, save us! We are perishing!’”

   YLT: “and his disciples having come to him, awoke him, saying, `Sir, save us; we are perishing.’”

   Spiritual Meaning: “His disciples came to Him and awoke Him” It symbolizes prayer.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Perilous circumstances always force us to come to the Lord to call upon Him.

2) If men see the outside fierce winds and surges, they will feel that all hope of being saved is taken away. However, if we hold fast the Lord’s words, it is convinced that we will not be killed (see Acts. 27:20, 22-25).


Matt. 8:26 “But He said to them, Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

   YLT: “And he saith to them, `Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?` Then having risen, he rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm;”

Literal Meaning: “why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” The Lord reproached the disciples because they had lost faith in the power of His words and became fearful. They only cared for the winds and the sea at that time and forgot the command the Lord had gave to them earlier that “…depart to the other side” (v.18).

“He rebuked the winds and the sea” The winds and the sea are not persons and are unconscious. What the Lord rebuked was the ruler of the authority of the air behind the winds and the sea (Eph. 2:2) and the demons in the sea (v.32).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) His word that goes forth out of His mouth: it shall not return unto Him void, but it shall do that which He pleases (Is. 55:11).

2) “You of little faith” is contrary to “such great faith” (v.10). The one had such great faith only asked a word of the Lord and held fast the word of the Lord. Those who had little faith forgot the word of the Lord.

3) What the Lord reproached was not their awaking Him (v.25) ------prayer but their fearfulness. The Lord likes us to trouble Him with prayers but He does not like us to trouble ourselves with fearfulness.

4) The fearful ones do not know the Lord or forget the words of the Lord. This kind of people only sees men and circumstances and therefore they fear men and circumstances.

5) We should not let circumstance change the words of the Lord and we should let the words of the Lord change circumstances.

6) Our prayers are supposed to be manifestation of faith. However many times our prayers show our little faith. The Lord does not like our prayers made by little faith.

7) All the trouble that the assembly is confronted with is stirred up by Satan and its ministers.

8) To those who really know the Lord and know to hold fast the words of the Lord, the greater the winds and the sea, the more faith there is in their hearts. The outside winds and sea could not blow away their faith and on the contrary the outside winds and sea are calmed by their faith finally.

9) The winds and sea outside are not terrible at all and the winds and sea inside are really terrible. Though the outside winds and sea are great, as long as we do not let them in our hearts, they are not terrible. Therefore the Lord rebuked the winds and sea in the hearts of disciples before He rebuked the outside winds and sea.


Matt. 8:27 “So the men marveled, saying, Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?’”

   YLT: “and the men wondered, saying, `What kind is this, that even the wind and the sea do obey him?’”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) Tribulations make us know Him more deeply------“who can this be?” just like Job heard of God by the hearing of the ear, but after tribulations his eyes saw God (Job. 42:5).

2) The Lord is the king and the nature and all things obey Him. The demons hidden behind circumstances obey Him also. We who are of Him shall obey Him more.


Matt. 8:28 “When He had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.

   YLT: “And he having come to the other side, to the region of the Gergesenes, there met him two demoniacs, coming forth out of the tombs, very fierce, so that no one was able to pass over by that way,”

   Meaning of Words: “Gergesenes”: a stranger draws near.

   Spiritual Meaning: “Gergesenes” symbolizes that we are in the living circumstances of strange society.

  “Two demon-possessed men” “two” is a number of witness (Rev. 11:3). Therefore two demon-possessed men testify that the whole world lies in the wicked (1John. 5:19).

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) In this society there are demon-possessed men everywhere such as heavy smokers, drunkards, the confirmed gamblers, novels addicts, movie addicts and sport addicts.

2) The demon-possessed men live a life in darkness as in the tombs. They cannot be controlled by others and have no command over themselves.


Matt. 8:29 “And suddenly they cried out, saying, What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?’”

   YLT: “and lo, they cried out, saying, `What to us and to thee, Jesus, Son of God? didst thou come hither, before the time, to afflict us?’”

Literal Meaning: “Son of God” the demons knew the identity of the Lord Jesus.

“What have we to do with you?” The attitude of the demons is held by many people that they admit the existence of God in the world and they do not want God to interfere in their lives.

“Before the time” indicates that the time of judgment has not come yet.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “What have we to do with You, You Son of God?” The demons knew that the Lord Jesus is Son of God and they had nothing to do with Him. It shows that the intellectual knowledge is not profitable to us if it is not with a heart of trusting and obeying.

2) When we preach glad tidings to the world, the reaction of common people is “before the time”. They are not willing to believe in the Lord (“be tormented”) right now. They hope to enjoy their life in the days of youth and believe in the Lord when they are old and have one foot in the grave.


Matt. 8:30 “Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding.

   YLT: “And there was far off from them a herd of many swine feeding,”

   The Background: “swine” is unclean in God’s eyes (Lev. 11:7, 2Pet. 2:22). Generally, the Jews did not keep swine at that time because the swine could not be sacrificed to God or used as food (the Jews do not eat pork). Therefore the swine may be kept by the gentiles.

   Spiritual Meaning: “those who kept the swine” typify a group of people in the society. They seem to be normal from their appearance, handling all kinds of professions diligently day and night. However they work not for God or for the assembly. 

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) No matter how noble is our job, if we do not work for the Lord and the assembly, we are unacceptable to God just like those who kept the swine.

2) The feature of swine is that it keeps feeding and in the end it becomes men’s food. The feature of the world is that they keep seeking earthly enjoyment and in the end they turn to be the devil’s enjoyment.


Matt. 8:31 “So the demons begged Him, saying, If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.’”

   YLT: “and the demons were calling on him, saying, `If thou dost cast us forth, permit us to go away to the herd of the swine;”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) If the demon cannot play with men in them directly, the demon will play with men by outside things indirectly.

2) Though the swine is “a good way off from them” (v.30), the swine is under the eyes of the demons. The devil is seeking whom he may devour everywhere (1Pet. 5:8). The safest way for us is abiding in Christ.


Matt. 8:32 “And He said to them, Go. So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water.

   YLT: “and he saith to them, `Go.` And having come forth, they went to the herd of the swine, and lo, the whole herd of the swine rushed down the steep, to the sea, and died in the waters,’”

   Spiritual Meaning: “So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine” The Lord permitted the demons to go into the herd of swine, indicating that the career of making dirty money is the area where the demons are permitted to act.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The demons went away until the Lord said “go”. It expresses the power of the Lord because the demons are under His control.

2) The work of demons is to make men abandon themselves (“ran violently down the steep place”) and go into the sinful world (“into the sea”) and lose all reputation and ruin themselves (“perished in the water”).

3) Sometimes the Lord would rather give up a group of merely nominal Christians (what the swine stands for) in order to save two sinners who truly repent (two demon-possessed men).


Matt. 8:33 “Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.

   YLT: “and those feeding did flee, and, having gone to the city, they declared all, and the matter of the demoniacs.”

   Spiritual Meaning: “city” symbolizes the systemized social organization.

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) “Those who kept them” lost the herd of many swine and belongings. If they obtain the Lord by this, they will receive great blessing. However they actually rejected the Lord.

2) Many people suffered losses in career and still did not wake up to the reality. On the contrary, they rely on the society more deeply (“they went away into the city”).


Matt. 8:34 “And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.

   YLT: “And lo, all the city came forth to meet Jesus, and having seen him, they called on [him] that he might depart from their borders.”

   Enlightenment in the Word:

1) The earthly world and heavenly king cannot coexist in one’s heart. If any one loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1John. 2:15).

2) Satan utilizes money to control men’s heart------the gain and loss of money may both make us reject the Lord.

3) “The whole city” actually rejected the Lord. It shows that those who did not know the Lord blindly united together in rejecting the Lord.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


Manifestation of the Power of the King in all Ages

I. In the transitional period between the age of the Law and the age of grace (v.1-4)

   A. The Lord Jesus got along with the Israel in flesh

   B. The coming and touch of the Lord show the power

   C. The Lord still asked the one who was healed to obey the regulations in the Old Testament

II. In the age of grace (v.5-13)

   A. The major people are Gentiles.

   B. The Gentiles partake in the kingdom of heaven by the words of the Lord

   C. The words of the Lord manifest the power

III. In the end of the age of grace, the time of the Lord’s second coming (v.14-15)

   A. When the Lord comes for the second time, all Israel shall be saved (Rom. 11:26).

   B. The glory of the Lord’s coming will touch the Jews

   C. The Jews will be revived to serve the king of kings

IV. In the age of the kingdom of a thousand years (v.16-17)

   A. The kingdom of the world of our Lord and of His Christ is come, and He shall reign (Rev. 11:15) .

   B. He came to heal diseases and cast out demons to let people on earth have a foretaste of the power of Christ in the coming age.


Manifestation of the Power of the King in all Living Circumstances

I. In family life (v.18-22)

   A. To the nominal Christians (the scribe) ------He warmed that those who follow the Lord would sacrifice the warm and enjoyment of family life

   B. To Christians who were willing to be trained (disciples) -----He encouraged that they should love the Lord more than their family members.

II. In the life in the assembly (v.23-27)

   A. Satan always raised circumstances to attack the assembly.

   B. The circumstance forced believers to pray.

   C. The Lord rebuked the devil behind the circumstances.

   D. The assembly kept calm through disturbance.

III. In the life of the society (v.28-34)

   A. There were demon-possessed men everywhere in this society.

   B. The demons bound men by careers of making dirty money.

   C. The whole society adhered obstinately to error and rejected the Lord.


Several kinds of relations between men and the Lord

I. Those who wanted to follow the Lord by their own zealousness (v.19-20)

II. Those who were called to follow the Lord (v.21-22)

III. Those who walked with the Lord and had little faith towards Him (v.23-27)

IV. Those who would rather gain the herd of swine (money) than the Lord (v.28-34)


The Way to Follow the Lord

I. The way to follow the Lord was not always flat------ “suddenly a great tempest arose.” (v.23-24)

II. Sometimes it was even dangerous------“so that the boat was covered with the waves.” (v.24)

III. It seemed that the Lord did not help at once------ “but He was asleep.” (v.24)

IV. Cast down, but not destroyed (2Cor. 4:9) ------“we are perishing.” (v.25)

V. Learn from the experience and know more deeply about ourselves------“you of little faith.” (v.26)

VI. Seeing the works of the Lord------“He rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.” (v. 26)

VII. Know the Lord more deeply------“who can this be?” (v.27)


Two Demon-possessed Men

I. “two” (v.28) ------sinners liked to commit sins together (see Rom.1:32)

II. in “the tombs” (v.28) ------ they associated with death, darkness and dirtiness all the day

III. “exceedingly fierce” (v.28) ------their dispositions showed demons’ nature (see. John. 8:44)

IV. “No one could pass that way” (v.28) ------ they were specialized in making troubles, disturbed others and affected others

V. “What have we to do with You, Jesus, Son of God?” (v.29) ------ they were specialized in opposing the Lord and those that were of Him

VI. There were “a herd of” demons in them (v.30-32) ------ there were many demons abiding in one person (the demons make men become a heavy smoker, a drunkard, a confirmed gambler and so on)

VII. “They begged Him to depart from their region” (v.34) ------ for dirty money (the herd of swine) the world would rather be disturbed by demons than receive the Lord.


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Sharon Ren