16 ¶ When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
16 Verse 16. When the even was come] The Jews kept their sabbath
from evening to evening, according to the law, ,
From evening to evening shall ye celebrate your sabbath. And the
rabbins say, The sabbath doth not enter but when the sun is set.
Hence it was that the sick were not brought out to our Lord till
after sun-set, because then the sabbath was ended.
Many that were possessed with devils] Dr. Lightfoot gives two
sound reasons why Judea, in our Lord's time, abounded with
demoniacs. First, Because they were then advanced to the very
height of impiety. See what Josephus, their own historian, says
of them: There was not (said he) a nation under heaven more wicked
than they were. . Secondly, Because they
were then strongly addicted to magic, and so, as it were, invited
evil spirits to be familiar with them. It seems strange to find
men at this distance of time questioning the truth of that which
neither scribes nor Pharisees then doubted; nor did they ever object
against the pretensions of Christ and his apostles to cast them
out. And, if the whole business of demonism had been only a
vulgar error, (as wise men now tell us,) what a fine opportunity
had the wise men then, to unmask the whole matter, and thus pour
contempt on the pretensions of our blessed Lord and his followers,
who held it to be one proof of their Divine mission, that demons
were subject to them!
And healed all that were sick] Not a soul did the Lord Jesus
ever reject, who came to him soliciting his aid. Need any sinner
despair who comes to him, conscious of his spiritual malady, to be
healed by his merciful hand?