1. Matthew 9:1-8 – Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic
So He got into a boat, crossed over, and came to His own city. 2 Then behold, they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”
3 And at once some of the scribes said within themselves, “This Man blasphemes!”
4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 7 And he arose and departed to his house.
8 Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.
The faith of the friends of the paralytic in bringing Him to Christ was a strong faith. They firmly believed that Jesus Christ could and would heal him. When you have strong faith, there is nothing that will get in your way in pressing after Christ. This was both a humble and active faith, in bringing their friend to attend Christ. We can also see from this, that sin may be pardoned, yet the sickness not be removed or the sickness be removed and the sin not pardoned. But if we have the comfort of peace with God, and the comfort of recovering from sickness, it is then we see the the healing part of it as mercy. If you bring your sins to Jesus Christ at the same time you bring your sicknesses and disease it is well. But coming to Christ, without wanting to let go off your sin is a mistake.
God’s intention through Christ is to redeem us of our sins. The Lord knows everything we say within ourselves in our hearts. Sinful thoughts are offensive to God. Christ came to save us from our sins. Christ turns from disputing from the scribes and spoke healing to the sick man and this is after His sins were initially forgiven. He not only received complete healing, but had the strength to carry his bed away with him. God is to be glorified for all His power and authority.
2. Matthew 9:9-13 – Matthew the Tax Collector
Matthew the Tax Collector
9 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him.
10 Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
As Jesus passes from the house in which the paralytic had been healed, He saw a man named Matthew, a tax collector. Note that this Matthew is the author of this gospel and the other evangelists in the other gospels call him by his honorable name, Levi. Christ called unto Him saying, “follow me”. Matthew immediately responded to the call of God, without any doubt or question. Likewise, when God calls us and when we hear His call in our hearts do we respond and put our trust completely in Him, or do we ponder about it and suppress the call of God?
Jesus was now seated with Matthew (Mark 2:15) and his fellow companions, and acquaintances (Luke 5:29). These publicans or tax collectors, to whom the Jews paid their taxes were infamous for their illegal transactions. Also with them would have been several other open and notorious sinners. When the pharisees saw this, they saw Jesus openly eating and conversing with these men and were offended. The Pharisees pretended to be of a greater strictness than Christ, by keeping a distance from the sinners, but they were far from being strict in reforming themselves or even have the zeal for love and doing good to their fellow neighbors. Are we like these Pharisees and quick to bring judgment on others, and not looking at transforming ourselves for the benefit of the kingdom of God?
When Jesus heard this, he responded saying, that those who are well do not need a doctor, but the sick does. He is implying that since the Pharisees thought themselves righteous, they had no need of His company and instructions, but the publicans who were called sinners, were sick and that was the place for the physician to be. After all, does any one blame a doctor when he interacts with a sick person?
Christ says “I desire mercy and not sacrifice”, and by this He is asserting the superiority of ethical law to ceremonial law. To withdraw from sinners would have been a formal “sacrifice”, which the Pharisees were delighted to offer, and from which they took their very name. But having “mercy” was higher than this. It was the very purpose of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, not to call righteous men, but to call sinners out of their sin, to come to repentance.
Let us also like Jesus, show mercy to those who are needy in this world. To share the gospel, that they too may be healed and cleansed from sin and have a relationship with Christ.
3. Matthew 9:14-17 – Jesus is Questioned About Fasting
Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting
14 Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but Your disciples do not fast?”
15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17 Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
From these passages we can see that the followers of John the Baptist continued during our Lord’s ministry to form a separate body (as in Matthew 11:2; Matthew 14:12). Secondly, they obeyed rules which were given to them, similar to the pattern of the Pharisees. They had their own days of fasting and their own forms of prayer (Luke 11:1)
Jesus illustration of the bridegroom is in accordance to the Jewish customs. The bridegrooms friends were the ones who would go to the bring the bride from her father’s house. This procession would pass through the streets with music and shouts, and it would be a very joyous atmosphere, taking her to her future home, where the marriage-supper was prepared. The Jews symbolized the congregation, or church by the image of a bride. Jesus sets Himself as the bridegroom of the Christian Church. At this time, many Jews who would keep voluntary fasts and would be exempt from this if they were invited for a marriage. Jesus first responds to the question initially asked, then he goes onto state there will be a time of sorrow for His disciples when fasting will have a real meaning. Now when they are in His presence, they can rejoice. These words are also true for the Christian experience. We are often joyful when we feel the presence of God close by to us, and at these times it may not be necessary to fast.But there are also seasons of struggle and desperation, when Christ seems to be distant, and in these times, fasting will be natural and appropriate.
Christ then uses another parable of a “garment” to explain. The garment is that which is on the outside of a person, and shows their character. The old garment is the common life of sinful men, such as Matthew and his guests. The new garment is the life of holiness, the religious life in completeness; and fasting is one element of that life. This is the patch of the new life, that does not agree with the old, and in this case it would be worse off when the two are mixed. But this is what the Pharisees and John’s disciples wanted to see with the half-converted publicans. Christ is showing us an excellent way, showing us by example to take the old garment and to transform it as by a renewing power from within, thread by thread, until all the old things are passe away and all things become new. Praise God.
The third example Chris gives is about new wine put into old wineskins. As in the former parable, Christ exposes the folly of the Scribes and Pharisees, in their zealous attachment to their traditions and He gives a reason why he did not call these persons by His Gospel, who were determined to live according to the old principle of self-righteousness, but he came for the sinners whom He renews by His Spirit and grace. By old wineskins Christ is referring to the Scribes and Pharisees. The old wineskins decayed over time and becomes unfit for use. When new wine is put into these old wineskins they will break and the wine runs out, and the wineskins of no use. In a similarly way the love of God, the Gospel of the grace of God, and the blessings of it are not received and retained, nor can they be by natural men, by self-righteous people. The new wine does not agree with the old carnal hearts and principles and will be rejected by them, and will let it run out.
But when new wine is poured into new wineskins both the wineskin and the wine is preserved. These new wineskins are sinners who Christ calls by His grace, and the Spirit regenerates and renews, who are made new creatures in Christ; who have new hearts, and new principles in life, love, faith, and holiness implanted into them. They are those who have new eyes to see with, new ears to hear with, new feet to walk with in Christ, new hands to work with and handle with and who live a new life with conversation. These are they in whom the love of God is manifested and shed in their hearts, and it is by these the Gospel of Christ is truly received and valued and they enjoy the spiritual blessings of it. And by this, both the doctrine of the Gospel and the grace of God are preserved entire and that person is saved in the day of Christ.
4. Matthew 9:18-26 – A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed
A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed
18 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” 19 So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples.
20 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. 21 For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” 22 But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
23 When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd wailing, 24 He said to them, “Make room, for the girl is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him. 25 But when the crowd was put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went out into all that land.
Jesus was on His way to the house of a ruler, who is understood to be Jairus, by Mark’s and Luke’s accounts and who was not a civil magistrate but one who was the ruler of a synagogue in that place. In their synagogues, they had an order, there was one chief who ordered the affairs of the synagogue they say the interpretation of the law belongs to him. We see a difference here from when the centurion came and petitioned Christ to pray for his servant. The centurion showed faith in the power of the word of God. Jairus on the other hand desires that Jesus come and lay His hand upon her for healing.
As Jesus was on His way from the house of Matthew to the house of Jairus, a women who had an issue of blood touched the hem of His garment. She had spent everything she had to get a cure and nothing helped. For 12 years she had been affected and was in distress. She had heard of Jesus and his miraculous cures and she had faith enough to know that she could also receive healing. She was afraid to come before him and tell Him her case, fearing if she declared her case, she would be thrown out according to the law of an unclean person and who is unfit for society. When a chance presented itself, she took the opportunity touch His garment and she was healed immediately. When Jesus turned around and saw her, He spoke to her saying, “Daughter, be of good cheer, your faith has made you well.” Jesus at that moment silenced her fears and sent her away in peace. Calling her daughter was using words of tenderness and affection. She had in an instant been made well after 12 years of a tedious labor under a weakening and offensive disease. Her faith and her strong confidence in Jesus was the means of her restoration. It was the power of Jesus that cured her, and that power was only exerted through her faith in Him. Similarly it is the case in the salvation of a sinner. No one is saved who does not believe; but faith is the instrument and not the power that saves.
When Jesus had reached the house of Jairus, the preparations fort the funeral had already begun, and in the midst of the wailing cries, Christ in the calmness of his conscious power He declares that the girl is not dead but is asleep. The crowd ridiculed Him hearing this. The people knew that the girl was surely dead and they were not mistaken with all of the outward signs. Christ entered where the body was laid out for the burial, and grasped her hands and the girl arose. Christ again showed that He had power over all things.
5. Matthew 9:27-31 – Two Blind Men Healed
Two Blind Men Healed
27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” 31 But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country.
When Jesus had left from the rulers house, the two blind men who probably heard that Christ was there,. and waited for Him to come out and followed Him, crying and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us”. The title that is given to Christ here shows that they believed Him to be the Messiah. By this time it was well understood that the Messiah would be a descendant of David. We can see this when we read Matthew 12:23 “And all the multitudes were amazed and said “Could this be the Son of David?””.
Also when we read Matthew 22:42-45 :
“saying, What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?
They said to Him, The Son of David.
43 He said to them, How then does David in the Spirit call Him Lord, saying:
44 The Lord said to my Lord,
Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool?
45 If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?”
As these men were blind, they could have no evidence of Christ’s miracles from their senses. They believed them, on the testimony of what others had seen. Based on this belief and knowing that Christ’s power could cure them, it was an exercise of great faith and reflected great honor upon Jesus. On the one hand it showed their sincerity and freedom from the prejudices which had blinded the minds of the Jews, and on the other hand showed the truth of His miracles. Therefore it was for the glory of God and for the edification of others, that the strength in their faith should be discovered. This was done by the perseverance to seek the mercy of Christ.
Christ asked them the question, about their faith, and when they answered Him, with a confident “Yes”, He touched their eyes saying, “According to your faith let it be to you”. Immediately on Christ speaking these words their eyes were opened. Such is the mighty power of the prayer of faith, and such is the honor with which Christ crowns it. Jesus as soon as they are healed warns them not to tell anyone. At this point Jesus strictly charged them according to the signification of the word used here. The Bible doesn’t mention the reason for this command from Jesus., but what we can see from this story is the Jesus did not heal the blind men on the street where they had followed Him and cried out to Him, in the midst of the people, but they were only healed when they came into the house with Him. It could be put away all appearances of vain glory, or of popular applause, or He saw ill consequences of this being made known or unintended interruption to His mission. Either way, the blind men did not heed to his warning and spread the news about Him in all the country. Let us learn to be obedient to the Father and whatever he commands us, let us willingly do as he asks.
6. Matthew 9:32-34 – A Mute Man Speaks
A Mute Man Speaks
32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. 33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”
34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”
A dumb man was brought to Jesus, and the cause of his dumbness was demon possession. This man may have not been able to reason very well, and probably did not know his own misery and due to this probably did not think he required to be healed. He could not even make his misery known by signs and therefore needed to be brought to the Savior by others. Christ casts out the demon, by the powerful word of Jesus, and immediately he started to speak. The crowds were astonished by the greatness of this miracles and with all the other miracles that they had seen. This response from the crowd is justified, as they said “It was never seen like this in Israel”. Not even in Israel where so many wonders have been seen. There is no prophet in the Old Testament who have performed so many beneficial miracles in his whole life, our Lord Jesus Christ did in just one afternoon. Praise the Lord.
The Pharisees could not deny the facts of the healing’s Jesus carried out, and seeing the effect Jesus was having on the people (namely, to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah), and being moved with bitterness and spite against Him, they accused Jesus of casting out demons by the ruler of the demons. Although this goes against reason and common sense, they accused Him instead of being Christ, or a prophet, that he was a vile magician, who casts our devils by the help of Beelzebub, their prince. No amount of good works was able to convince the Pharisees. Let us not become as hard hearted as they were, but to be humble and willing to learn from the Father in heaven.
7. Matthew 9:35-38 – The Compassion of Jesus
The Compassion of Jesus
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, 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 for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Jesus visited not only the great and wealthy cities, but also the poor , obscure villages; and there He preached and healed the people. The souls of every single person, not matter how good or bad is precious to Christ, and should also be the same to us. There were priests, Levites, and scribes all over the land but they were idol shepherds, and the sheep were scattered. Zechariah 11:17 says “Woe to the worthless shepherd, Who leaves the flock! A sword shall be against his arm And against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, And his right eye shall be totally blinded.” This was the situation in Israel.
Therefore Christ had compassion on the people as sheep scattered, as men perishing for lack of knowledge. To this very day there are vast number of multitudes who are as sheep not having a shepherd, and we should likewise have compassion and do all we can to help them. The peoples response ad desire for spiritual instruction formed a harvest, needing many active laborers. Christ is the Lord of the harvest. Let us pray that many may be raised and sent forth into this world, who will labor in bringing souls to Christ.
If you have never given your life to Christ, and you feel the call of God in your heart. Now is the time to respond and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
You can receive remission of your sins, not by your own works, but through faith in Jesus Christ who already paid the price for us. All you have to do is to accept his sacrifice in your place as a free gift. Take this moment to declare you have accepted the free gift by saying the following prayer:
“God I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me. Amen.”
If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, please contact us and we would love to talk to you about living a life with Jesus as the center of your life.
Bible reading: New King James Version (NKJV)
Resources: Various Bible Commentaries