Jesus Heals A Paralytic
9 And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city.Matthew 9:1 ESV
Jesus says his own city, this is Capernaum. Jesus had a wild relationship with the city of Capernaum. In fact he loved the city so much that it became his city. People were receptive to him. It became his base of operations. Pay attention to the number of miracles worked in this region. Clearly there was something special there at that time.
2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”Matthew 9:2 ESV
Now notice that Jesus forgives his sins first. That is because no matter the terrible hopelessness of a situation, none is more hopeless than trying to make yourself righteous before God. Without Christ it cannot be done.
3 And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.”Matthew 9:3 ESV
The scribes being Jewish scholars, maybe even Pharisees. Now, if this story seems familiar its most likely because it is. Mark and Luke appear to have covered the story in more detail. John being the only gospel to omit the story.
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,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home. 8 When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.Matthew 9:4-8 ESV
Now often I have seen this twisted by charismatic preachers and other protestants. Sickness or illness or a disease or an ailment or disability is not a curse from God in itself. This mans ailment was not tied to his sin. Though in forgiven this mans sins he needed immediate proof that Jesus had in fact done it with authority. Making a paralyzed man walk would do the trick.
Jesus Calls Matthew
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.Matthew 9:9 ESV
In other gospels he is called Levi. Matthew being the writer of this book refers to himself as his new name, Matthew, instead of his dead name Levi. You may want to consider changing your name ones being saved as a representation of you being dead. You are given new life and a new name traditionally. We don’t tend to do that any longer, although I kind of like the idea of it.
The romans would use tax farming as a way of making money. I wont describe that here however you can look that up on your own. Basically he had a booth where he would collect tolls from. Leaving that meant he was abandoning his post, Herod, and more importantly any future with the Roman Empire. He had already alienated himself from the Jewish community, now he was to the Roman Empire. Most people do not understand the weight of what he was really doing. Its HUGE.
10 And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”Matthew 9:10-11
Now, we are really getting to the Crux of Jesus ministry. As one of my wonderful sisters in Christ likes to point out, “for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;” ~ Luke 1:48. Jesus does not think anything of eating with these sinners because he is eating with sinners no matter when he eats. However, Pharisees will do there Pharisee thing.
12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”Matthew 9:12-13
Its such an obvious statement. Jesus when he puts it like this the whole thing becomes easy to understand. He came to heal, so of course he would be among the ill. Now the next part most people will not get unless they know their bible well. I do not know it this well either but I use these little moment to study. He is actually quoting Hosea.
For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,Hosea 6:6 ESV
the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
This is such a heart warming portion given to us. It gives me the feels when I read that because God does love us so much. Its amazing that passages like this are forgotten by the Jews. It just ties his nature so well together.
A Question About Fasting
14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”Matthew 9:14 ESV
It is a valid question. Now these were disciples of John the Baptist, which I do find it strange that after Christ had come they did not travel with Jesus but for some reason they chose to stay with John.
15 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is 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 tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. 17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”Matthew 9:15-17 ESV
There is a lot here but its either too long to explain here, the Jewish Wedding, or its pretty straight forward. So I will leave this up to you. There is no historical context needed with the wine skins analogy.
A Girl Restored To Life And A Woman Healed
18 While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.Matthew 9:18-19 ESV
The ruler in this verse is not what you would traditionally think of as a ruler. Its a synagogue official. I know when I was reading it originally I thought Roman ruler.
20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.”Matthew 9:20-21
Once again Matthew gives us an abridge version of this story. This lady had been suffering and she had such faith from the rumors that Jesus could heal her if she just touch his garments. Now in the other times this is described Jesus reacts to his garment being touch saying he felt power leave him. This suggest to me that Jesus is perhaps not the only performing actor in the miracles but rather the vessel for them. It is the Holy Spirit and God the father that allows for this things to be done.
22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
Now the Hem of a garment was also there authority. I have no clue where in the ancient world this started but the term of removing the hem was to remove someone’ authority.
23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.
Once again you may find this strange. Jesus appears to be acting funny here telling the people that she was asleep. Mind you it does say she was asleep but was she dead. I don’t think the verses are clear on this. Clearly something is going on here. However there is not enough information for me to say anything conclusive.
Jesus Heals Two Blind Men
32 As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 33 And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”Matthew 9:32-33 ESV
Matthew really did not give this much attention. It almost is like he was rushing through it. We already know that Jesus has command over all spirits, living, the dead, all things. So he forced this demon to leave this man who was mute. He was not born mute but made mute from this demon. Once again weird “christian” cults like to make these out to be all things wrong with a person is by demons. It is not the case, though, it is sometimes as well. Don’t discount or overestimate the presence of demons.
34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”
This right here is an odd phrase if you don’t know what was practiced at the time. He was commanding these spirits out of the man. When the Pharisees saw it they would know of certain practices that you would borrow the authority of a devil to cast out demons. They however did not consider he had the authority of God.
The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few
35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.
So Jesus has his ministry in full swing. He is going all through Jerusalem and preaching and teaching the people and of course healing them of their afflictions. Now I want you to notice, he went out preaching the gospel. Those were not written yet. What is he preaching? He is preaching the Good News of The Coming Kingdom. Christian faith is while yes, salvation, but that’s just the basic membership. It is so much more than just a fire insurance pass.
The reason we follow Christ is not for salvation, it is because he is worthy. Sure, you have that perk, but its the right thing to do. Christ is King and a King has his Kingdom. Think about that. There is a coming Kingdom and you will bow before your King. I am sure some of you lost your smile there, I am sure some of you are beaming with Joy. If you are in rebellion I am sure you are not smiling. IF you are Joyed than either you got yourself a pardon and you know it, or you are very very foolish and deluded in yourself. Where do you stand? With a pardon signed in the name of the King, or not? The pardon is there for anyone to take, its written in his blood. You have to accept it though. It gets you citizenship in the Kingdom. Funny, I went into salvation there. Such self centered thinking coming from me.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
It is still true today.
God bless you all. Hope to see you again.