21 September 2021

Nathan A. Hughes, Esq.

Soli Deo Gloria

Gospel Thoughts: Matthew 9

7 min read

1  And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2  And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 3  And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?5  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7  And he arose, and departed to his house. 8  But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

Verses 1-8

Jesus left Nazareth and came to Capernaum of which was his city. Some people brought to him a paralytic man lying on a bed. Jesus saw their faith and forgave the sins of the man. Jesus saw that this man’s greatest need was spiritual healing. Spiritual health is much more important than physical health.  

The accusation of blasphemy from the scribes prompted Jesus to ask them a question. They rightly understood that Jesus was claiming to be God, and if He was not God, they would have been right in charging him with the sin of blasphemy. The thoughts of the scribes were only evil. They failed to recognise the divinity of Jesus. Jesus proved his authority and divinity by healing the man’s legs. Not only did Jesus have the authority to forgive sins, but he also had the power to heal. Fear set in the hearts of the people that witnessed the great power of Christ. This caused them to give glory to God. It is clear from the text that this is the main reason for what Jesus did that day. 

9  And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. 10  And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?12  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Jesus Eats with Sinners

Verses 9-13

Here we learn that when Jesus called Matthew, he promptly obeyed him. Matthew was called to be a follower of Christ when he was going about his daily business as a tax collector. The tax collector was a figure of distaste in Israel. The role of Matthew would have been to collect money for Rome. Jesus and his disciples sat with Matthew and other tax collectors and sinners in his house. It was not customary for Jews to associate with those who supported Rome. Jesus was showing mercy and grace to those rejected by society. Jesus had come to call sinners to repentance. So, ministering to the people we find in the passage are those who he had come to preach to. 

We must take a lesson from the text. Jesus visited these people to do them good. He did not visit them to partake in their sinful deeds. This passage of Scripture does not justify us keeping company with bad people. We ought to have compassion on the lost, but do not join in with the unrighteous company. 

14  Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? 15  And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
16  No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17  Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.

Questions About Fasting

Verses 14-17

The disciples of John asked Jesus a question regarding fasting. They wanted to know why they and the Pharisees fasted often, and the followers of Christ did not. John’s disciples fasted as a sign of morning for sin. The coming of Christ was like a wedding feast. A wedding is a time of joy not morning. The followers of Christ rejoiced in his presence, as they had the Messiah with them. 

18  While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 19  And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20  And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 21  For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22  But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.23  And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 24  He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 25  But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 26  And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

Jesus Heals a Bleeding Woman

Verses 18-26

A Jewish ruler came to Jesus and worshipped him. The ruler was in great distress as his daughter had just died. The ruler wanted Jesus to perform a miracle and cause the girl to live. Suddenly a woman who was suffering bleeding, perhaps a menstrual condition for twelve years touches the garment of Jesus. She believed that even touching the clothing of Christ was enough to make her whole. Jesus declared that her faith had made her well. 

When Jesus arrived at the house of the ruler, he saw a crowd in great distress. Jesus declared that the girl was not dead, but merely asleep. This caused the crowd to mock Jesus. When the girl arose the healing power of Jesus was told around the land.  

27  And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. 28  And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. 29  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 30  And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31  But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. 32  As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33  And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.34  But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. 35  And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Jesus Heals the Blind and Mute

Verses 27-34

When Jesus left two blind men followed him and cried out, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” The title of Son of David was an acknowledgement of Jesus being the Messiah. Jesus asked them if they believed that he was able to have mercy on them. They replied, “Yes, Lord.” As a result of their faith, Jesus healed their blindness and they were able to see. They were told not to tell others about the miracle that had just taken place. They were so overjoyed by what Christ had just done that they spread the news about Jesus. 

Even when Jesus heals people it does not cause the witnesses to glorify God. When he healed a dumb demon-possessed man, the Pharisees said that he did so by the ruler of demons. As many marvelled at the great miracle of Jesus others sought to find fault. 

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Labours Few 

Verses 35-38

Jesus went about the cities and villages teaching and preaching the Gospel. He also healed many sicknesses and diseases. The miracles of Jesus were the evidence that the long-awaited Messiah had finally come. God needs faithful workers who can help people in need. Jesus came as a Shepherd to his sheep. The number of God’s elect are vast and spread around the world. Jesus viewed the crowd like a field ripe for harvest. Jesus teaches us to pray that many will be sent to point people to the Saviour. 

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