And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceives the people.
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Cornelius a Lapide
And there was much murmuring, &c. He would make Himself the founder of a new faction, and stir up sedition and rebellion.
A good Prayer of Manasseh , nay, a teacher and a prophet; this was the opinion of those who had heard Him teaching, and seen His miracles in Galilee. The contrary was the opinion of the Scribes and Rulers, and the multitude who followed them.
Ever hard of attainment and difficult of acquirement is goodness, and the power of tracking the beauty of truth is hard of accomplishment to the many, specially the more unlearned and those who have no acuteness of understanding, who from most foolish swayings of thoughts without understanding turn aside to what seems to them easier, and not enduring to prove the nature of whatever offers itself, will never attain to the true quality of things, albeit Paul says, Be ye approved bankers, and persuades us to prove all things, so as by accurate investigation to arrive at the attainment of what is profitable. Let them hear then, who of their exceeding folly marvel not at Jesus but think that it is fit to condemn Him without enquiry, Taste and see that the LORD is good. For as they who prove choice honey by the taste, and from the merest taste perceive what they are in search of, so they who make even a little trial of the words of the Saviour, will acknowledge that He is good, and will marv...
It was the people that held the favourable opinion of Christ, whilst on the contrary, the Scribes and Pharisees speak ill of him, saying, he seduceth not us, but he seduceth the multitude. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlviii. in Joan.)
I think they were exasperated by the place where the miracle had been wrought, and were greatly infuriated and afraid, not so much from anger at what had gone before, as from fear lest He should again work something similar. But all fell out contrary to what they desired, and against their will they rendered Him conspicuous.
And some said, He is a good man; others said, Nay, but He deceives the people.
Methinks the first of these opinions was that of the many, the other that of the rulers and priests. For to slander Him suited their malice and wickedness. He deceives, say they, the people. How, tell me? Was it by seeming to work, not really working miracles? But experience witnesses the contrary.