Matthew 17:14 MEANING

Matthew 17:14
(14) And when they were come to the multitude.--St. Luke states that it was on the next day, the night having apparently been spent on the Mount of Transfiguration. The magic power of the art of Raffaelle has brought into vivid juxtaposition the contrast between the scene of glory above and that of trouble and unrest below, but we must not allow the impression made by the picture to distort our thoughts of the history. The two scenes did not synchronise. The vision was at night, and the descent from the mountain would have carried those who made the journey some way at least into the day that followed.

There came to him a certain man.--St. Mark (Mark 9:14-16) narrates more fully that as our Lord and the three were coming to the disciples, they saw a crowd, and scribes disputing with them; that when the multitude saw this they were astonished, and running to Him, saluted Him; that He then asked, "Why dispute ye with them?" and that this drew forth the answer and the prayer which in St. Matthew's record stands without any prelude.

Verses 14-21. - Healing of the demoniac boy. (Mark 9:16-29; Luke 9:37-42.) The account of the miracle is much curtailed in our Gospel; the fullest narrative is given by St. Mark, to whom we must refer for the complete details. Verse 14. - When they were come to the multitude. St. Luke says this arrival was on "the next day" after the Transfiguration. If this event took place at night, the following morning will be meant. The contrast between the scene on the mountain and that presented by the demoniac below has been seized by Raphael, in his picture of the Transfiguration, at Rome - the last great work that he painted. The upper part of this picture represents Jesus radiant in glory with the heavenly visitants, while the lower panel shows the agonized father, surrounded by the unbelieving crowd, bringing his tortured son to the apostles, who stand helpless and discredited. The painter has, indeed, sacrificed fact to dramatic effect (as the two events were not synchronous); but the lesson enforced thereby is most impressive, and lays holds of the imagination, showing different phases of the life of Christ, and the realms of light and darkness. There came to him a certain man. Things had not gone well while Jesus and the three chief apostles were away on the mount. As during the absence of Moses at Sinai the people had fallen into idolatry (Exodus 32.), so now, when their Master and their leaders were withdrawn, the nine apostles bad faltered in faith and failed in exercising the miraculous powers bestowed upon them. Kneeling down to him. Directly the father saw Christ coming, he disengaged himself from the crowd and ran to meet him.

17:14-21 The case of afflicted children should be presented to God by faithful and fervent prayer. Christ cured the child. Though the people were perverse, and Christ was provoked, yet care was taken of the child. When all other helps and succours fail, we are welcome to Christ, may trust in him, and in his power and goodness. See here an emblem of Christ's undertaking as our Redeemer. It encourages parents to bring children to Christ, whose souls are under Satan's power; he is able to heal them, and as willing as he is able. Not only bring them to Christ by prayer, but bring them to the word of Christ; to means by which Satan's strong-holds in the soul are beaten down. It is good for us to distrust ourselves and our own strength; but it is displeasing to Christ when we distrust any power derived from him, or granted by him. There was also something in the malady which rendered the cure difficult. The extraordinary power of Satan must not discourage our faith, but quicken us to more earnestness in praying to God for the increase of it. Do we wonder to see Satan's bodily possession of this young man from a child, when we see his spiritual possession of every son of Adam from the fall!And when they were come to the multitude,.... Which was on the next day, as in Luke 9:37 when Christ and his three disciples, Peter, James, and John, came down from the mount to the other nine, with whom the multitude of the people were; during their stay on the mountain,

there came to him a certain man; who was, as Mark says, "one of the multitude"; and as Luke, "a man of the company": who had applied to the nine disciples on the behalf of his son, but without success, and was waiting till Christ came from the mount; who when he saw him, made up to him, and

kneeling down to him in the manner of a supplicant, doing him homage and worship; hereby showing his great esteem of him, and veneration for him,

and saying the following words:

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