The Passion Translation
Jesus Heals a Leper
8 After he came down from teaching on the hillside, massive crowds began following him.[a] 2 Suddenly, a leper walked up to Jesus and threw himself down before him in worship[b] and said, “Lord, you have the power to heal me . . . if you really want to.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the leper and said, “Of course I want to heal you—be healed!” And instantly, all signs of leprosy[c] disappeared! 4 Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t speak to anyone, but go at once and find a priest and show him what has happened to you. Make sure to take the offering Moses commanded so they can certify your healing.”[d]
Jesus Heals the Son of a Roman Officer
5 When Jesus entered the village of Capernaum, a captain[e] in the Roman army approached him, asking for a miracle.[f] 6 “Lord,” he said, “I have a son[g] who is lying in my home, paralyzed and suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus responded, “I will go with you and heal him.”
8–9 But the Roman officer interjected, “Lord, who am I to have you come into my house? I understand your authority, for I too am a man who walks under authority and have authority over soldiers who serve under me. I can tell one to go and he’ll go, and another to come and he’ll come. I order my servants and they’ll do whatever I ask. So I know that all you need to do is to stand here and command healing over my son and he will be instantly healed.”
10 Jesus was astonished when he heard this and said to those who were following him, “He has greater faith than anyone I’ve encountered in Israel! 11 Listen to what I am about to tell you. Multitudes of non-Jewish people will stream from the east and the west, to enter into the banqueting feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the heavenly kingdom. 12 But many Israelites, born to be heirs of the kingdom, will be turned away and banished into the darkness where there will be bitter weeping and unbearable anguish.”[h]
13 Then Jesus turned to the Roman officer and said, “Go home. All that you have believed for will be done for you!” And his son was healed at that very moment.
Jesus Heals Everyone in Capernaum
14 Then Jesus went into Peter’s home and found Peter’s mother-in-law bedridden, severely ill with a fever. 15 The moment Jesus touched her hand she was healed! Immediately she got up and began to make dinner for them.
16 That evening the people brought to him many who were demonized. And by Jesus only speaking a word of healing over them, they were totally set free from their torment,[i] and everyone who was sick received their healing! 17 In doing this, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
He put upon himself our weaknesses,[j]
and he carried away our diseases and made us well.
18 At the sight of large crowds gathering around him, Jesus gave orders to his disciples to get ready to sail back over to the other side of the lake.[k] 19 Just then, a religious scholar[l] approached him and said, “Teacher, I’ll follow you wherever you go!”
21 Then another man spoke up and said, “Lord, I’ll follow you, but first I must take care of my aged father and bury him when he dies.”[o]
22 But Jesus said to him, “Now is the time to follow me, and let those who are dead bury their own dead.”[p]
Jesus Calms a Storm
23 They all got into a boat and began to cross over to the other side of the lake. And Jesus, exhausted, fell asleep. 24 Suddenly a violent storm[q] developed, with waves so high the boat was about to be swamped. Yet Jesus continued to sleep soundly. 25 The disciples woke him up, saying, “Save us, Lord! We’re going to die!”[r]
27 The disciples were astonished by this miracle and said to one another, “Who is this Man? Even the wind and waves obey his Word.”
Jesus Sets Free Two Demonized Men
28 When they arrived on the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gadarenes,[v] two demonized men confronted Jesus. They lived among the tombs of a cemetery and were considered so extremely violent that no one felt safe passing through that area. 29 The demons screamed at Jesus, shouting, “Son of God, what do you want with us?[w] Leave us alone! Have you come to torment us before the appointed time?”
30 There was a large herd of pigs feeding nearby, 31 so the demons pleaded, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.” 32 Jesus commanded, “Then go!” And at once the demons came out of the men and went into the pigs.[x] Then the entire herd of crazed pigs stampeded down the steep slope and fell into the water and drowned.
33 The men who were herding the pigs fled to the nearby town and informed the people of all that had happened to the demonized men. 34 Then everyone from the town went out to confront Jesus and urged him to go away and leave them alone.[y]
- Matthew 8:1 It is best to view this verse as an extension of 7:29. Chapter and verse breaks are not part of the inspired text but were added centuries later to aid in our study of God’s Word.
- Matthew 8:2 As translated from the Aramaic and Hebrew Matthew, and implied in the Greek.
- Matthew 8:3 The word leprosy was used for various skin disorders. For Jesus to touch a leper was to render him ceremonially unclean, but Jesus wasn’t defiled by touching the leper—the leper was healed!
- Matthew 8:4 Or “as a testimony to them.” See Lev. 13–14 for the prescribed ritual for the cleansing of a leper.
- Matthew 8:5 Or “centurion.”
- Matthew 8:5 Implied in the narrative.
- Matthew 8:6 As translated from the Aramaic and Hebrew Matthew. The Greek is “servant.”
- Matthew 8:12 Or “gnashing of teeth.” See also Job 16:9; Pss. 35:16; 37:12; 112:10; Jer. 9:9-14.
- Matthew 8:16 Matthew gives us five instances of setting the demonized free: here; 9:32–34; 12:22; 15:22–28; 17:18.
- Matthew 8:17 The Aramaic “wounds” or “sores.” See Isa. 53:4.
- Matthew 8:18 This was the eastern bank of Lake Galilee, located on the Syrian side.
- Matthew 8:19 Or “expert of the Law” (scribe). These were the top religious scholars among the Pharisees, whose occupation was the systematic study of the law of Moses.
- Matthew 8:20 Or “this True Man.” See Dan. 7:13-14.
- Matthew 8:20 Or “no place to lay my head” (homeless).
- Matthew 8:21 Or “but first let me go bury my father.” This is a figure of speech for saying, “I can’t follow you, but I will after my father dies.”
- Matthew 8:22 Jesus requires that following him supersede any cultural or religious duty. Jewish culture in the time of Jesus gave the family the responsibility of a re-interment of the bones of the deceased into an ossuary one year after death. It is possible that this man’s father had passed away but the year had not yet completed. He was saying, “I’ll follow you after this year is completed.” Jesus is not telling him to dishonor his father by not doing a burial, but that the custom of waiting a year (tradition) must never trump following him. He is telling the man that the spiritually dead are capable of burying the dead, so nothing should keep anyone from following him.
- Matthew 8:24 Or “earthquake.” This could have been a temblor that caused tidal waves that swamped their boat. Most expositors equate this instead to the shaking of a violent storm.
- Matthew 8:25 See Ps. 44:23.
- Matthew 8:26 Or “Why are you so cowardly, you of such little faith?” Jesus is implying that if they had faith, they could have commanded the storm to be stilled and it would happen.
- Matthew 8:26 This is the same Greek word that is used when Jesus rebuked demons.
- Matthew 8:26 See Pss. 89:9; 107:23–30.
- Matthew 8:28 There are three possible locations for the region of the Gadarenes. (1) It could be only a few miles from the city of Gadara (modern-day Um Qeis). Gadara means “thorn hedge.” (2) The du Tillet translation of Hebrew Matthew has “the region of the Girgashites.” (3) Other scholars have concluded that it is the region near the town of Gergesa.
- Matthew 8:29 The demons immediately sensed the true identity of Jesus and knew a day of judgment was coming for them. Sadly, many people today have yet to realize who Jesus is and that there is a coming day of judgment for them.
- Matthew 8:32 How amazing that Jesus answered the request of the demons. How much more will he answer your prayers. This mass exorcism is an astonishing miracle demonstrating the authority and power of Jesus. It is also amazing that the people of the town didn’t ask Jesus to remain with them. The one who can deliver two men from demonic power can also deliver a city.
- Matthew 8:34 It is possible that the people of this region worshiped the sow goddess, called “Nut” in Egypt. In Rome she was called “Maia,” from which we get the month of May. The swine herders were possibly soothsayers and shamans. The mass suicide of these pigs proved that the Son of God had authority over the principality of that region that confronted him the moment he came into their region.