His enemies were filled with rage against Him, but the time of Christ had not yet come.  We read on another occasion of how His enemies desired to lay hands on Him, but could not, “because His hour was not yet come.”  No man could strike an effective blow against Jesus until the hour appointed by the Father from all eternity.  Thus, the Lord Jesus, cognizant of their malignant designs, departed from that place.

Yet, He could not be hidden, for great multitudes followed after Him.  Many of them were healed by Him, yet He charged them not to make that mercy known.  Why our Lord commonly gave out this charge to those He healed it is difficult to say, other than the reason given here: that it was a fulfillment of Scripture.  Matthew quotes at length from Isaiah 42, one of the great messianic prophecies which were completely fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus.  Particularly pertinent to the event being described is verse 19: “He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets.”  In other words, the Lord was not about making a name for Himself, and earning popular applause.  He healed men and women of their sicknesses because He had a human compassion for them, and because, in obedience to God’s law, He would not turn away the needy when He was able to help.  But earning popular notoriety was never part of our Lord’s agenda.  Therefore, instead of setting up crusades and “healing meetings,” He seeks to quiet the furor by ordering those He heals not to broadcast it abroad.

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