The fame of the new Teacher had spread rapidly. One day, some time after the events told in the last section, the Master was sitting in the house apparently of some one of consideration in Capernaum, and, as usual, was teaching.
Grouped round him were a different audience to the traders and fishermen of the lake-city; prominent men of the leading religious party in the state, not only from Galilee, but from Jerusalem and other Judaean cities, such as Hebron, as well as learned doctors of the Law.
These had been drawn from curiosity, some doubtless by higher motives, to hear for themselves the teaching of this now famous Nazarene Carpenter. These do not appear to have been actuated with the jealous malignity of some of those later deputations from the Jerusalem Sanhedrin and schools. The house was thronged within, and the crowd pressed round the doors. In the course of the quiet teaching, took place the incident which gave rise to one of the Lord's great sayings - an utterance so important that it evidently had been chosen by the apostles as a frequent theme or text in the preaching of the first days.
One can easily imagine that these prestigious men would be much too superior persons to mix with the crowd about the door of Peter’s house, and would, as Luke says, be ‘sitting by,’ near enough to see and hear, but far enough to show that they had no share in the vulgar enthusiasm of these provincial peasants.
They were too holy to mingle with the mob, so they kept together and waited. They got more than they expected.
[Excerpt from The Pulpit Commentary & McClaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture]