After the sermon was ended Jesus returns to Capernaum, still followed by the multitudes. Immediately Matt. viii. 5-13. after His return he heals the centurion's servant. The Luke vii. 1-10. crowds continuing to follow Him so that He has no time Mark iii. 20, 21. even to eat, His friends become alarmed at His incessant labors, and thinking Him beside Himself, attempt to restrain Him.
The form of expression, (Luke vii. 1,) "Now when He had ended all His sayings in the audience of the people, He entered into Capernaum," shows that He was at no great distance, and that no long interval elapsed between the discourse and the entry. Mark, (iii. 19,) after mentioning the election of the Twelve, merely adds, " And they went into a house," or more literally, " went home," €is Olkov, that is, to His house in Capernaum,
Matthew (viii. 1) speaks of the great multitudes that followed Him descending from the mountain; and Mark (iii. 20) of "the multitude coming together again," as if after a temporary dispersion, such as was natural in coming down from the mountain, they had re-assembled in the city, and doubtless before His dwelling. So earnest were they to see and hear Him, and to bring to Him their sick, that He found no time even to eat, (Mark iii. 20.) This intense activity in teaching and working, without any intervals for repose, alarmed His friends. It is not certain who are here meant by " His friends," ot nrap avrov. The translation in the margin, " His kinsmen," is adopted by many.1 Some suppose His unbelieving brothers to be especially meant.2 Some, as Lichtenstein, make them to be the disciples other than the Twelve; and others still, as Ebrard, the strangers or people of the house, with whom He was staying. Probably they were His relatives, His mother and brethren, who, if still resident in Nazareth, had heard of His great labors, and now came to seek Him. Their affection would naturally make them anxious about Him; and their near relationship to Him would permit them to say, " He is beside Himself," which any of His disciples would scarcely do. This however does not indicate that in their opinion He was actually insane, but merely that He was prosecuting His work with too great zeal and energy
1 So Alexander, Stier, Alford.
2 Meyer makes them to have recently arrived from Nazareth; compare v. 31 j Lange to be already settled at Capernaum.
As expressed by Stier, " He does too much; forgets all moderation—is out of His senses, knows not what He is doing, so that we have to interfere." This language did not so much refer to the matter as to the manner of His work. Perhaps they may have had in mind that He had spent the night alone upon the mountain, and so had been for a time without food and sleep.
It appears from Luke, (vii. 1) compared with Matt. (viii. 5,) that the healing of the centurion's servant was on the day of His return from the mount. As the centurion seems to have been a resident of Capernaum, for he built them their synagogue, (Luke vii. 5,) it is not improbable that a Roman garrison was stationed there.1 That the elders should come to make the request is wholly in accordance with oriental usage.2 That they were willing to make this request, shows that at this time no general hostility had yet developed itself against Him in Capernaum.