Commentary from THE ANNOTATED
BOOK OF COMMON
PRAYEREdited by JOHN HENRY BLUNT
Rivingtons, London, 1884
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY.
The Epiphany of Christ as the Divine Healer of human infirmities is commemorated
on this Sunday. His all-embracing sympathy could take in even the
leper and the stranger; and would manifest itself to overflowing by touching
the one, whom no one else would come near, and by healing the servant of
the other, though he was the Gentile slave of a Gentile centurion.
The glory of the Good Physician was thus manifested forth, immediately
after He had made His Mission openly known to the people, in two remarkable
instances. Leprosy was a disease from which no human physician could
find a cure: yet Christ put forth His hand and touched the leper, and at
once a regeneration of the diseased nature took place, so that he became
a new man. Palsy or paralysis, again, is a loss of all muscular energy
and power, so that the afflicted person becomes, in a greater or less degree,
incapable of moving; and his body, in severe cases, is, in one sense, dead.
Very rarely indeed is paralysis cured; and never, in the case of one "grievously
tormented" will it, as this slave was. Yet the will of the Good Physician
effected the cure in a moment, either by the ministration of one to whom
He could say, "Go, and he goeth," on his Master's errand of mercy, or else
by the immediate operation of His Divine Omnipotence.
As Jesus manifested forth His glory by displaying His Power over the
inanimate Creation when He transubstantiated the water into wine, so now
He shewed it by changing a leper and a paralytic into sound and whole men
by His touch and His will.
The ancient Offertory sentence brought out this doctrine very beautifully.
It was, "The right hand of the Lord hath the pre-eminence: the right hand
of the Lord bringeth mighty things to pass. I shall not die but live,
and declare the works of the Lord." The same idea forms the basis
of the Collect.