If we were to read this passage in isolation from the other Gospels, the term
“evening” would appear to be nothing more than an incidental fact. It was
evening when the sick were brought to Jesus. Simple as that.
But when we look at the parallel passage in Mark 1:21-32, we receive an
interesting little tidbit that sheds light on why they came in the evening.
When Jesus entered Capernaum, it was the Sabbath. Now given the influence of
the Pharisaical view of the Sabbath (certain load limits and what not), it only
makes sense that the people would wait until evening, as that was when the
Sabbath stipulations were lifted.
“Oh, interesting,” you say. “Um, what’s the point?”
Allow me to introduce to you the concept of undesigned coincidences; a
concept that Professor Tim McGrew unpacks in a deliciously interesting way. The
basic thrust of this approach is to demonstrate that the NT Gospels are in fact
eye witness accounts. This is done by showing how the Gospel writers
incidentally touch upon a particular subject in a manner that would be very
unlikely if they were simply copying another’s work. In the example cited
above, Mark indirectly supplies a fact that elucidates Matthew’s account.
Now when these examples are multiplied at length, and when they crisscross in
all directions, it points heavily towards the Gospels as being both historical
and eye witness accounts.
To feel the force of this argument, listen to the interview. It’s very
interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Must Listen Factor: Moderate for most. High for those with
an apologetic bent.
Difficulty: It’s fairly straight forward. I trust most will
be able to follow the rationale.
Length: 51 minutes
To Download: Click Picture. It takes you to the download