Matthew 8:18

18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandments to depart unto the other side.

Matthew 8:18 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 8:18

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him
Who got together, partly out of novelty to see his person, of whom they had heard so much; and partly to see the miracles he wrought: some came to have their bodily diseases healed; few, if any, to hear the Gospel preached by him, and for the good of their immortal souls: the most part came with some sinister, selfish, and carnal views, wherefore

he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
Different were the reasons, which at certain times moved Christ to depart from the multitude; as that he might have an opportunity of private prayer, or to preach, to others, or to show he sought not popular applause, and to avoid seditions: his reasons here seem to be with respect to himself, that being wearied as man, with the work of the day, he might have an opportunity of refreshing himself with sleep; with respect to his disciples, that he might have a trial of their faith, when in danger at sea; and with respect to the multitude, because of their carnality, and sole concern for their temporal, and worldly good. The persons he gave commandment to, must be either the multitude, or the disciples; not the former, because he studiously avoided their company, and his concern was to be rid of them; but the latter, and so the Vulgate Latin and Munster's Hebrew Gospel read, "he commanded his disciples". The place he would have them go to was, the other side of the lake of Tiberias, or Genesareth; not over the river Euphrates, as says the author of the old Nizzachon F25.


F25 Pesikta in Abkath Rochel, l. 1. par. 2. p. 205. Ed. Huls.

Matthew 8:18 In-Context

16 And when even was come, they brought unto him many possessed with demons: and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were sick:
17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying: Himself took our infirmities, and bare our diseases.
18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandments to depart unto the other side.
19 And there came a scribe, and said unto him, Teacher, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the heaven [have] nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
The American Standard Version is in the public domain.