Matthew 9

Matthew 9

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. 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.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 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.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

Jesus Calls Matthew

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.

And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

A Question About Fasting

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 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. 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. 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.”

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

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.” And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 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, for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” When he entered 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.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

Jesus Heals a Man Unable to Speak

As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. 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.” But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.”

The Harvest Is Plentiful, the Laborers Few

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. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”


Matthew 9 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Interestingly, as Matthew writes his account of his own selection as a disciple, he chooses to use his new name, Matthew, instead of his old name, Levi. As Levi, he was a tax collector, and most likely a very hated citizen by Jewish standards. Tax collectors set up booths in order to tax merchandise transported from place to place. They would often raise the taxable amount to whatever they pleased and pocket the rest, thus becoming not only a traitor (working for Rome) but also a thief.

Again, I find it inspiring that Matthew uses his new name in this account. It’s a big deal. Mark and Luke both use the name Levi in their accounts of this same story. The use of his new name signifies that Matthew had found his true identity under Christ. There was no longer a Levi. He was gone – buried with the sin and shame of his past life. Though he was still a sinner saved by grace, Matthew was a different man. He had purpose and victory. He was chosen. He was brand new!

It begs the question – how do we see ourselves? When we look in the mirror, do we see shame, regret, and past sins? …or do we see Christ? The Bible explicitly tells us that we who have repented and followed Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our lives are no longer the old person of the flesh. You are a new being, filled with God’s Spirit. You are forgiven, your sins tossed as far as the east is from the west. Jesus has come to make all things new. All things.

It’s a fine line to walk. We can’t become prideful and puffed up like the Pharisees, but we also cannot live in the past. Jesus didn’t save us so we could remain the same person. He died so we could bear the image of God in our souls and function as part of the body of Christ. We are heirs as sons and daughters of the Most High! We, as Matthew did, should view ourselves in the same way God views us – sinners saved by grace. We are no longer slaves. We are free!

So, this begs the question, are you a different person? Do you view yourself as a new creation in Jesus, and more importantly, do you live as a new creation in Jesus?

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