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Matthew Chapter 9
BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Matthew
In this chapter, we see remarkable instances of the power and mercy of the Lord Jesus, more than enough to convince us that He is both able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by Him, for all those who are willing, He is well able and most willing to save.
His power and mercy appear in the good things that He did: #1. To the bodies of people, in curing the palsy (verses 2-8); raising to life the ruler's daughter, and healing the bloody issue (verses 18-26); giving sight to two blind men (verses 27-31); casting the devil out of one possessed (verses 32-34); and healing all manner of sickness, verse 35. #2. To the souls of people; in forgiving sins (verse 2); calling Matthew, and speaking freely with publicans and sinners (verses 9-13); considering the frame of His disciples, with reference to the duty of fasting (verses 14-17); preaching the Gospel, and, in compassion to the multitude, providing preachers for them, verses 35-38. Thus did He prove Himself to be, as no doubt He is, the skilful, faithful Physician, both of soul and body, and who has ample remedies for ALL the diseases of both. To receive these remedies, we must accept, believe and submit ourselves to Him, and love, honor and glorify Him with our bodies and with our spirits, which are His, bought with His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), being ever grateful and thankful to Him for His loving kindness to us.
The obvious purpose of Matthew in the preceding section is to present miraculous proofs of the claims of Jesus. The fact that His Word was accompanied by divine power is proof that He spoke by divine authority. He is represented as making this argument Himself in the case of the paralytic (Mat.9:5-6), and it is Matthew's argument throughout the section. The demonstration is diverse, including the miraculous cure of six diseases: leprosy, paralysis, fever, chronic female hemorrhage, blindness and dumbness. It also includes the expulsion of demons, the stilling of a tempest at sea, and the raising of the dead. All the ills to which humanity is exposed . . . the diseases of the flesh, the dangers of land and sea, the power of demons, and the power of death . . . are all proven to be the same under the control of Jesus, and they are all controlled for the good of mankind. The compassionate reason of Christ Jesus’ mission is demonstrated at the same time with its divine origin.
In the previous chapter we saw six miracles which demonstrate that the King has the power, to enforce the statement He has pronounced, and in this chapter, we see the same thought. We see Him performing physical miracles of healing, one that is supernatural (the raising of the dead) and the spiritual miracle of casting out a demon.
In chapter 9, Jesus performs six more miracles; calls Matthew; contends with the Pharisees; continues His ministry in Galilee.
Jesus Returns To Capernaum (Matthew 9:1-8)
Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. (KJV)
And he entered into a ship . . . the same ship He came over in, with His apostles. The Gergesenes, or Gadarenes, or both, wanting Him to depart their coasts, being unwilling to receive Him, and were uneasy with His company, He immediately turned His back upon them, as an ungrateful people, being no better than their swine; wanted no part of His Presence, ministry and miracles. He returned to the sea side, took shipping, and
Passed over . . . the sea of Tiberias again,
And came into his own city . . . not Bethlehem, where He was born, nor Nazareth, as some thought, where He was educated, but Capernaum, as is clear from (Mk.2:1), where He often dwelt, frequently spoke. It was here He paid tribute as a citizen of the place, which He was entitled to by only dwelling in it twelve months, according to the Jewish canons, or elsewhere it is said, if he stays there thirty days. One or the other of these Christ had done, which designated this city to be His, and He to be either an inhabitant, or a citizen of it.
Matthew 9:2 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. (KJV)
And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy . . . some of the inhabitants of Capernaum, four men of that city particularly; for Mark says (Mk.2:3), he "was borne of four", these brought him to Jesus,
Lying on a bed . . . he was so feebled by the disease upon him, his nerves so weak, and the members of his body in such a tremor, that he was not able to walk himself, nor even to be carried by others in any other way than this.
And Jesus seeing their faith . . . the faith of the bearers of him, his friends, who brought the man to be healed, who was otherwise incurable. They could not, for the multitude, bring him directly to Christ, were not discouraged, but took him to the top of the house, and there let him down through the roof, as both Mark and Luke say; and then set him down before Jesus, believing that He was able to cure Him. Christ took notice not only of their faith, but of the sick man's too, who allowed himself to be brought out in this condition, and was content to go through so much fatigue and trouble, to get to Him.
Said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee . . .
He calls him son, either meaning by it no more than "man" (Lk.5:20), or using it as a kind, tender and endearing name; or as considering him in the grace of adoption, as one that God had put among the children. He bids him "be of good cheer", whose spirits were fainting through the disease that was upon him, and the fatigue he had underwent in being brought to him; and his soul more distressed and dejected, under a sense of his sins and transgressions . . . which Jesus knowing, very fittingly says, "thy sins be forgiven thee". Nothing could be more cheering and reviving to him. This was a wonderful instance of the grace of Christ, to bestow a blessing unasked, and that of the greatest moment and importance.
Matthew 9:3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. (KJV)
And behold, certain of the Scribes said within themselves . . . and of the Pharisees also, as Luke says; for there were at this time Pharisees and doctors of the law, who were come out of every town of Galilee and Judea, and out of Jerusalem, sitting and hearing Him teach, and observing what He said and did. When they heard Him pronounce the sentence of pardon upon this "paralytic" man, reasoned and concluded in their own minds, although they did not speak it out, that . . .
This man blasphemeth . . . they thought He credited that to Himself, which was unique only to God. So He did, yet He did NOT blaspheme; because He Himself was God, of which He quickly gave credible proofs.
Matthew 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? (KJV)
And Jesus knowing their thoughts . . . was clear evidence, and a full demonstration of His deity, for NO one knows the thoughts of the heart except God! And since He knew the thoughts of men's hearts, it could NOT be blasphemy for Him to take that to Himself which belonged to God, including the forgiveness of sins. This should have been sufficient to have approved Himself to them as the true Messiah; since this is one of the ways of knowing the Messiah, according to the Jews, and which they made use of to discover a false one.
Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? . . . it was not evil for them to think that God alone could forgive sin; their evil was, that they thought Christ was a just a mere man, and for so doing, he was a wicked man and a blasphemer.
Matthew 9:5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? (KJV)
For whether is easier to say . . . Jesus proceeds to clear Himself of the charge of blasphemy, and to prove His power to forgive sins, by putting a case to them, of which He makes themselves judges. Which is easier to say? . . .
Thy sins are forgiven thee? or to say, arise and walk? . . . neither of these is easy to a mere man, but both of them are quite easy to God. He that could say the one with power and effectiveness going along with His Word, could say the other just as effectually. He that could bid this "paralytic" man, in this weak and feeble condition, to arise from his bed, stand upon his feet, and walk home by himself had to be none other than Almighty God! And since He had already healed many that were sick of the palsy, and especially the "centurion's" servant, by just speaking a word, must have equal power to forgive sin. For to heal the diseases of the body in such a wonderful manner, was a very sensible proof of his power to heal the maladies of the soul; and though these are greater than those of the body, yet since both require divine power, He that is able to do the one, is able to do the other. He did not say this in a boasting manner, for He adds,
Matthew 9:6 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. (KJV)
But that ye may know that the son of man . . . that they might have a visible proof, a visual demonstration, that although He was the Son of Man, truly and really man, He was NOT just a mere man; but also was truly God. God and Man in one Person, and so, He . . .
Hath power on earth to forgive sins . . . not only did Jesus have ability as God, He also had the authority to do it as Mediator, even while He was on Earth, in a state of humiliation, fashioned as a Man, in the form of a servant, living and speaking with sinful mortals. http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
Then saith he to the sick of the palsy . . . He turns away from the Scribes, to the man with palsy, and by a mere word of mouth, commands him,
Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house . . . He ordered him to "arise" from his bed, on which he was carried by four men, and "take up thy bed", and carry it himself; which would be not only tremendous evidence that the disease had left him, but that he was now in full strength and perfect health. Jesus told him to "go" to his own "house", not only that the multitude might see that he could walk home himself, whom they had seen brought by others; but that those in his house, who had been eyewitnesses of his great disorder and weakness, might also see he was cured.
Matthew 9:7 And he arose, and departed to his house. (KJV)
And he arose, and departed to his house . . . WOW!!! Immediately, at the command of Christ, believing that He was able to heal him just by speaking; and, upon his attempt to arise, found himself perfectly healed of his disease, and endued with such strength, that he could not only with the greatest ease, arise from his bed, stand upon his feet, and walk alone, without any help; but, as the other writers state, took up his bed, on which he lay, carried it home on his shoulders, in the sight of all the people, praising, and giving glory to God for this wonderful cure, which he had received.
Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. (KJV)
But when the multitude saw it . . . when they saw the miracle that was done; when they saw the man take up his bed, and carry it home,
They marvelled, and glorified God . . . they were amazed at what they had witnessed, the like to which they had never seen before, nor heard of, coming to the conclusion that it had to be more than human; thus they ascribed it to God, praising and adoring His divine goodness,
Which had given such power unto men . . . for working miracles, healing diseases, and delivering miserable mortals from such maladies that were otherwise incurable, still looking at Christ as just a man, by whom God did these things; not knowing yet the mystery of the incarnation, God manifest in the flesh (Jn.1:14; 1 Tim.3:16).
Jesus Calls Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13)
Matthew 9:9 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. (KJV)
And as Jesus passed forth from thence . . . from Capernaum to the sea side; where, as Mark says, the multitude resorted, and He taught them.
He saw a man named Matthew . . . the writer of this Gospel. The same account is found in Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27-28. Both those writers call him Levi. He went by two names; Matthew himself chooses to mention the name by which he was most known, as an apostle, and that the grace of God might appear the more illustrious in his calling and conversion.
Sitting at the receipt of custom . . . at the place where custom, or tribute was received; or, in other words, he was a publican, or tax-gatherer. Thus Matthew was sitting in a toll booth, near the seashore, to receive the toll of passengers that came, or went in ships or boats.
And he saith unto him, follow me . . . in spite of the notorious employment he was in, proving that there was no merit and motive in him. Matthew was chosen simply because of the free, sovereign and distinguishing grace of Christ, and which was powerful and effective. Even without telling him what work he must do, or how he must live, and without his consulting with family and/or friends, at once, immediately
He arose, and followed him . . . there was an unseen and divine power that went along with the call to Matthew. He immediately left his job, no matter how profitable it might be to him, and became an apostle of Christ.
Matthew 9:10 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house . . . in the house of Matthew, not in the toll house, but in his own house. This feast was given to Jesus by Levi, or Matthew (Lk.5:29). This is another circumstance that favors Matthew, but is omitted by him, and recorded by Luke; showing, that the apostles were reluctant to praise themselves. To receive Christ hospitably and kindly was a commendable act, and it strongly demonstrates Matthew's freedom from being a prideful show-off. It thus illustrates the command of the Saviour, as recorded by Himself (Mat.6:1-4).
Behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples . . .
not of their own accord, but by the invitation of Matthew, and with the good will, and full consent of Christ, who was far from being displeased with their company and freedom. Jesus gladly embraced every chance of doing good to the souls of the worst of men; for such as these He came to call and save . . . you and me, my friend.
Matthew 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? (KJV)
And when the Pharisees saw it . . . the feast Matthew made, the guests that were invited, and above all, that Christ sat down to eat with such vile and wicked company. They and the Scribes, as Mark and Luke add, who generally were together, of the same nature, equally enemies to Christ, and watching carefully everything that He did. They pretended to have a more strict and religious way of life, and were offended at all this.
And said to his disciples . . . which they chose to do, rather than to Christ Himself . . . why? Because they were afraid to engage in a dispute with Jesus, who had just given them full proof of His omniscience, that He knew the very thoughts and reasonings of their minds, and had so confused them enough already, both by His arguments and miracles; and too, because they might think they were a match for the disciples, and might hope to stumble and ensnare them, and make them quit their profession, and stop following Him.
Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? . . . "publicans" were gatherers of the Roman tax, toll, or tribute of any sort, whether Jews or Gentiles. They were persons of ill repute, and as here, so often, in Jewish writings, are ranked with vile "sinners".
Matthew 9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. (KJV)
But when Jesus heard that . . . the charge the Pharisees brought against Him, and the insinuations they had made of Him to His apostles; which He either overheard Himself, or His disciples related to Him.
He said unto them . . . to the Pharisees, with a clear and audible voice, not only to confute and convince them, but mainly to establish His disciples, for some of them were thinking about drawing away from Him.
They that be whole need not a physician . . . by which He would mean that He was a "physician" . . . and so He is, in a spiritual sense, and that a very skilful one. He knows the nature of all the diseases of the soul, without being told of them by the patient. He also knows what the true causes of them are, and what is proper to apply. Jesus is a Universal Physician with regard both to diseases and to persons. He heals all sorts of persons, red, yellow, black or white, He heals all sorts of diseases that NO earthly physician can heal! He is the best Physician of the diseases of the soul. It is highly proper and commendable, that a physician should be with the sick; so it was very lawful, fit, proper and praiseworthy of Him, to be among these publicans and sinners, for their spiritual good. “They that be whole" . . . in perfect spiritual health, as the Pharisees thought themselves to be, free from all the problems and diseases of sin, these truly had no "need of" Him, as a Physician. They saw no need of Him; they had no need of Him, and stayed away from Him; and they could see no reason to be with those who had need of Him.
But they that are sick . . .a common proverb, which no one could misunderstand or misapply. Consider: #1. Jesus Christ is the sovereign Physician of souls. #2. ALL stand in need of His healing power. #3. ALL people must acknowledge their spiritual maladies (sin), and acknowledge the need of His mercy, to be healed by Him. #4. Sin is the most chronic and dangerous disease the soul, infusing its poison throughout, and ends in the Lake of Fire (Rev.20:15).
Matthew 9:13 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. (KJV)
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice . . . Go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (Hos.6:6). Our Saviour's reply to the Pharisees: #1. The Pharisees were a generation that put all religion upon rituals, sacrifice and traditions. #2. They thought that they could justify themselves (Lk.16:15), and thought they needed no repentance.
For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance . . . "repentance" here is not a legal, but a spiritual one: which comes to us by faith in Christ, with expectation (hope) of pardon through His precious Blood (1 Pet.1:18-19), and springs forth from a deep sense of His love (Jn.15:13). Repentance is having a true sense of sin and the exceeding sinfulness of it. It comes by the light of the Spirit of God. It is a godly sorrow for sin (Mat.5:4), and our hearty loathing of it. In our shame, we make an honest confession of it, and depart from it. There is NO way that we can bring repentance to ourselves. Repentance is entirely free . . . a gift of God’s grace to us when we acknowledge that we are sinners.
Parable Of Old Garment And Old Bottles (Matthew 9:14-17)
Matthew 9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? (KJV)
Then came to him the disciples of John . . . The disciples of John had been watching the Lord Jesus. Some of Jesus’ apostles were originally disciples of John, we know that Andrew and Philip were. John the Baptist was an Old Testament prophet. He walked out of the Old Testament into the New Testament to make the announcement that the Messiah had come. Isaiah and Malachi had predicted that a messenger would come to prepare the way for the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa.40:3; Mal.3:1). Now our Lord is going to pronounce a great principle and reveal the fact that the dispensation is going to be changed., from law to grace (Rom.6:14).
Saying, why do we, and the Pharisees, fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? . . . not that they wanted to know the reason why they and the Pharisees fasted; they knew that. They wanted to know why Christ's disciples did not fast. They said this not so much by way of inquiry, but to criticize. They felt that Christ's disciples should fast, just as they and the Pharisees did, and not eat and drink and feast in the manner which they did. The fasting referred to here are not the public fasts commanded by the law of Moses, or in any writings of the Old Testament; but private fasts. This was done to sow discord between them, and to bring Christ and His disciples into contempt.
Matthew 9:15 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. (KJV)
And Jesus said unto them . . . to the disciples of John and the Pharisees; who both have a full answer; although it seems to be especially directed to the disciples of John.
Can the children of the bride chamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom, is with them? . . . by the "bridegroom" Christ means Himself, who stands in such a relation to His church, and to all believers. He is betrothed to TRUE believers from all eternity, in the covenant of grace; and openly supports in the effectual calling; and will still do it in a more public manner at the last day. John, the master of those men, who put the question to Christ, had acknowledged Him under this character (Jn.3:29). "The children of the bride chamber" means the disciples, who were the friends of the Bridegroom, as John also says He was; and therefore rejoiced at hearing His voice, as these did, and should do. Their present situation was having the Presence of Christ the Bridegroom with them, required delight, not mourning, John, their master, being witness. The reference is to a nuptial solemnity, which is a time of joy and feasting, not of sorrow and fasting; when both bride and Bridegroom have their friends attending them.
But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them . . . in a forcible manner, and put to death, as He was.
And then shall they fast . . . and mourn, and be in great distress, as John's disciples now were, on account of their master being in prison.
Matthew 9:16 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. (KJV)
No man putteth a piece of new cloth . . . these words are (Lk.5:36) called a "parable" in (Lk.5:36), as are those in the following verse. Our Lord is saying that the old covenant, the old dispensation of law, was ending, and He had not come to continue under that dispensation. He had come to provide a new garment, and that new garment was the Gospel of grace, the robe of righteousness which He gives to those who do nothing more than to believe and trust Him. Our Lord is really saying "I have not come to sew patches on an old garment. I have come with a new garment, some thing completely new." This was very drastic and radical. John summed it up in his Gospel when he said, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (Jn.1:17). The doctrines of Jesus do not match the old rites of the Pharisees.
Unto an old garment . . . refers not only to the fastings of the Pharisees, but to the other traditions of the elders, which they held; those respecting their eating, drinking, and conversing with other persons. They looked upon themselves as very righteous, and all others as sinners. To expose their stupidity, Christ delivers this parable. "The old garment" means their moral and legal righteousness, or their obedience to the moral and ceremonial laws, which were imperfect as well as impure, and might be rightly called "filthy rags" (Isa.64:6) or be compared to an old worn out garment, filthy and torn, and full of holes. The "piece of new cloth" put onto it, or sewed upon it, mean the traditions of the elders that these men were so fond of, concerning eating, drinking and fasting, and many other idle and trifling things. By putting, or sewing the new cloth to their old garment, is their observance of these traditions to their other duties of religion, to make up a justifying righteousness before God . . . all done in vain and to no purpose. The old garment is their own works, their obedience to the moral and ceremonial laws of God, was bad enough, but much worse, by joining this new piece of men's own plan to it.
For that which is put in to fill it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse . . . their new obedience to the traditions of men (Mk.7:8; Col.2:8), makes void the law of God, and instead of mending, it marred their righteousness, and left them in a worse condition than it found them. Luke 5:36 And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. (KJV) . . . There is NO similarity between the observance of the commandments of men (Mat.15:9), and obedience to the laws of God (Mat.22:36-40), than there is between a piece of new unshrunk cloth, that has never been washed and worn, and an old worn out garment. NO one can join the righteousness of Christ on their own, to try to make up a justifying righteousness before God. My friend, there is only ONE justifying righteousness, and that comes from Christ alone (Rom.5:1; 1 Cor. 1:30). It and it alone is whole and perfect, and NOTHING needs to be added to it ever! There is absolutely NO justification by works, either in whole or in part. The old garment of man's righteousness must be thrown away, and replaced with the righteousness of Christ!
Christ's righteousness and man's righteousness are completely opposite! There is NO similarity whatsoever! Trying to add your righteousness will make a patched garment that will pull apart at the seams!
Matthew 9:17 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. (KJV)
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles . . ."bottles" were wineskins in that day. They were made of animal skin. When new wine would be put into a new wineskin, it would expand. An old wineskin would have reached its maximum expansion; and if it was filled with new wine, it would naturally burst open and the wine would be lost. The Scribes and Pharisees may be meant by these old bottles, not having been regenerated, and renewed in the spirit of their minds.
Else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish . . . the love of God, the Gospel of the grace of God, and the abundant blessings of it, are NOT received and retained by natural men (unrepentant sinners), by self-righteous persons. The Gospel of grace does not suit or agree with their old carnal hearts and principles. Unbelievers slight and reject them, and like the new wine in an old skin, it runs out, which proves their greater condemnation (Mat.23:14).
But they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved . . . the "new bottles" are sinners, whom Christ calls by His grace, and the Spirit regenerates and renews. These are made new creatures in Christ; who have new hearts, and new spirits, and new values of light, life, love, faith and holiness, implanted in them. These have new eyes to see with, new ears to hear with, and who live a new life. To such as these, the love of God is manifested and shed abroad in their hearts; by these, the Gospel of Christ is truly received and highly valued. These new ones greatly enjoy the spiritual blessings of both the doctrine of the Gospel and the grace of God. They are preserved eternally, and shall live in their mansion in Heaven on day (Jn.14:2; 1 Pet.1:4-5).
Jesus used these descriptions to explain that He had not come to patch up the old religious system of Judaism with its rules and traditions. His purpose was to bring in something new, although it had been prophesied for centuries. This new message, the Gospel of grace, said that Jesus Christ, God's Son, came to Earth to offer all people forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God. This Good News did not fit into the old rigid legalistic system of religion. It needed a fresh start. The message will always remain "new" because it must be accepted and applied in every generation. When we follow Christ, we must be prepared for new ways to live, new ways to look at people, and new ways to serve. Our ways just will not do.
Jesus Heals A Woman And Raises A Child From The Dead (Matthew 9:18-26)
Matthew 9:18 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. (KJV)
While he spake these things unto them . . . to the Scribes and Pharisees, and to John's disciples, concerning Him and His disciples eating and drinking with publicans and sinners, and their not fasting as others did. Jesus spoke these parables to expose the folly of self-righteous persons, and to justify His own conduct, in calling sinners to repentance.
Behold, there came a certain ruler and worshipped him . . . Mark and Luke say this man's name was Jairus (Mk.5:22; Lk.8:41). As leader of the synagogue, Jairus was responsible for looking after the building, supervising worship, running the school on weekdays, and finding rabbis to teach on the Sabbath. For more information on synagogues: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14160-synagogue
Saying, my daughter is even now dead, but come and lay thine hand upon her, and she shall live . . . Luke says, she was "his only daughter", and Mark calls her his "little daughter", although both he and Luke say, she was about "twelve" years of age. According to the Jewish canons, which say that a daughter, from the day of her birth until she is twelve years is called "a little one" and when she is twelve years and one day and upwards, she is called "a young woman".''
Her case seems to be represented differently. Mark says, she was "at the point of death", and Luke, that she "lay dying", but Matthew here says, that she was "even now dead". The case was most likely like this; when Jairus left his house, his daughter was about ready to give up the ghost; so, that he concluded, by the time he was with Jesus, she had probably died. The ruler's address to Christ on this occasion, is very extensive, though not so great an instance of faith as some others. He who was a ruler of a synagogue, which sort of men were generally most unenthusiastic to Him; that he should fall down and worship Him, not as God, yet behaved with the utmost respect to Him, as a great man, and a Prophet; that He should come to him when his child was past all hope of recovery, even when he had reason to believe she was actually dead, as she was; that even then, he should believe in hope against hope; he affirms, that he really believed that if Christ would just come to his house, and lay His Hand upon her, an action often used in grave and serious matters, as in blessing persons, in prayer, and in healing diseases, she would certainly be restored to life again. This ruler teaches us that to be successful in our applications to God by prayer, four things are necessary: #1. We must place ourselves in the Presence of God . . . he came unto Him. #2. We must sincerely humble ourselves before God . . . he fell down before Him, at His feet (Mk.5:22). #3. We should lay open our wants with a holy earnestness . . . he begged, pleaded with Him greatly (Mk.5:23). #4. We should have absolute confidence in the power and goodness of Christ that our request shall be granted . . . put thy hand upon her, and she shall live. If we come to God in this way for salvation, we are SURE to be heard.
Matthew 9:19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. (KJV)
And Jesus arose and followed him . . . immediately, without delay, He and His followers. Why He thought it necessary to go with him to his house, when He could just as easy have restored his daughter to life, we are not told.
And so did his disciples . . . to be witnesses of the miracle; and according to the other writers, a large multitude of people besides; even a throng of them, led by curiosity to see this awesome performance.
Matthew 9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: (KJV)
And behold a woman which was diseased . . . this incident happened in the streets of Capernaum, as Christ was going from the house of Matthew the publican, to the house of Jairus the ruler of the synagogue, which were both in this city. This poor woman's case was a very distressed one.
With an issue of blood twelve years . . . it was an uncommon problem of a long standing, was chronic, and was incurable. She had not been negligent of herself, but had gone to regular physicians, had taken many disagreeable medicines, and had spent all her money. But instead of being better, she was worse, and was now given up by doctors, as past all cure. She having heard of Jesus, and His miraculous cures, had faith given to her to believe, that she also should receive a cure from Him.
Came behind him . . . being ashamed to come before Him, and tell Him her case, especially before so many people; and afraid that if her case was known, she would be thrust away, if not by Christ, by the many following Him, she was according to the law an unclean person, and unfit for society.
And touched the hem of his garment . . . the Jews were compelled to wear "fringes" upon the borders of their garments, and on it a ribbon of blue (Num.15:38). The Jews placed much sanctity in the wear and use of these fringes; and the Pharisees, who pretended to more holy than others, enlarged them beyond their common size. This poor woman thought that if she could touch any part of His garment, she would be cured. Thus, being behind Him, and more easy for her to be near Him, she laid hold on the hem. From this we learn that Christ complied with the rites of the ceremonial law in apparel, as well as in other things.
Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (KJV)
For she said within herself . . . she reasoned the matter in her mind, and concluded and firmly believed it. I really think she was strongly impressed and influenced by the Spirit of God, and greatly encouraged by instances of cures she had heard were performed by persons only touching him (Lk.6:19).
If I may but touch his garment . . . her faith was, that if she might be allowed, or if she could by any means come at Him, to touch any part of His garment, she should have a cure.
I shall be whole . . . or "I shall be saved" from the disease, from which she could have no deliverance, by the advice and prescriptions of all her former physicians, and by all the means she had made use of.
Matthew 9:22 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. (KJV)
But Jesus turned him about . . . He knew what was done behind Him, that virtue was gone out of Him, that the woman had touched Him, and was healed. This is clear proof of His omniscience, and of His deity. He was NOT angry with her for touching Him, although she was an impure woman; for even though men and garments were defiled by the touch of an unclean or menstruous woman; yet such was the power and holiness of Christ, that He could NOT be defiled by any such means. Again . . . at once, this woman's impurity was removed! But Christ turned about to observe and point out the woman, and her cure, to the company; not for the sake of His own honor, but for the glory of God, the commendation of the woman's faith, and chiefly for the strengthening the faith of Jairus, with whom He was going to raise his daughter from the dead.
And when he saw her . . . Mark and Luke, record, that Jesus inquired who touched him, and what answer Peter and the disciples made to Him; and how He looked around, and very likely fastened His eyes on the woman; when she perceiving that she could not go off undiscovered, came trembling to Him, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole matter.
He said, Daughter be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole . . . He addressed her in a kind and tender manner, calling her "daughter"; a friendly, courteous way of speaking, used by the Jewish doctors, when speaking to women: which showed His affection. And bidding her take heart and be of good cheer, since He meant not to blame her for what she had done, but to commend her faith in Him, whereby she had received a cure: not meaning that there was such virtue in her faith as to effect such a cure; but that He, the object of her faith, had performed it for her.
And the woman was made whole from that hour . . . her disease immediately left her, and from that time forward, was no more troubled with it: the cure was so effectual, and so perfect, that the disorder never returned again.
Matthew 9:23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, (KJV)
And when Jesus came into the ruler's house . . . both Mark and Luke relate how that before this, while they were in the way, and just as Christ had finished speaking to the poor woman, that news was brought to the ruler, that his daughter was actually dead, and therefore need not give Jesus any further trouble; when Christ encouraged him not to be concerned at the news, but believe, and she would be restored again; and that He allowed none to follow Him, but Peter, James and John.
Saw the minstrels . . . or "pipers", how many there were, is not known: it is certain there were more than one; and it was a rule with the Israel (when his wife died) had not less "than two pipes" and one mourning woman.
And since this was a daughter of a ruler of the synagogue that was dead, there might be several of them. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12180-pipe
And the people making a noise . . .
the people of the house, the relations of the deceased, the neighbors, who came in on this occasion; and others, in a sort of tumult and uproar, hurrying and running about; some speaking in the praise of the dead, others lamenting her death, and others preparing things proper for the funeral; all which show, that she was really dead.
Matthew 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. (KJV)
And he said unto them, Give place . . . He put them out of the room, and allowed none to be with Him, when He raised her from the dead, except Peter, James and John, and the father and mother of the child, who were witnesses enough of this miracle.
For the maid is not dead, but sleepeth . . . not that she was really dead; and Christ signifies as much, when He says, she "sleepeth"; a phrase that is often used in Talmudic writings, for one that is dead: but Christ's meaning is, that she was not so dead as they thought.
And they laughed him to scorn . . . they mocked His words, and held Him in utmost contempt, as a very foolish man; taking him to be a madman, knowing that she was really dead, of which they had all the evidence they could have. They had no faith at all in Him and His power to raise her from the dead.
Matthew 9:25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. (KJV)
But when the people were put forth . . . Luke 8:54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. (KJV) . . . either out of the house or room, by Christ’s orders, which was done, partly because He was wanted it kept secret, as much as possible because they were unworthy to be admitted spectators of such a wondrous action, who had treated Him with so much scorn and contempt.
He went in . . . not alone, but with His three apostles, Peter, James and John, and the parents of the child, who were taken in to be witnesses of this resurrection.
And took her by the hand . . . just as one would do to awake someone out of sleep, and possibly, submitting with her father's request, to lay His Hand upon her: and although touching a dead body, according to the law was defiling (Num.19:16), but this did NOT defile Jesus any more than His touching the leper, or the menstrous woman touching His clothes . . . because these actions produced divine, supernatural effects, which did not come under the law. His taking her by the hand, was not all that He did, He called out to her, as to a person asleep as recorded by Mark 5:41, and as soon as He had spoken,
The maid arose . . . as out of sleep . . . she revived, her soul came to her again, and she got off of the bed, and walked around the house, and food was ordered to be given to her. All which most fully proved that she was really restored to life, which was just as clear that before she was really dead. This is the first instance of raising the dead that we have in the Gospels. Three remarkable incidents of raising the dead are recorded. Again, Luke goes into more detail than Matthew. The method of Jesus in raising the dead was always the same. He spoke directly to the person. After healing the woman with the issue of blood and raising Jairus' daughter from the dead, the fame of Jesus spread.
Matthew 9:26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. (KJV)
And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land . . . although He strictly charged the parents, as the other writers say (Mk.5:43; Lk..8:56), that they should tell no man what was done, for He was not looking for the applause of men . . . but, it was not possible that such a thing could be completely concealed, since there were many people, not only relations, but neighbors, who knew that she had been dead. When these saw her alive, walking, eating, drinking and talking with them, they were persuaded of the miracle, and tell it wherever they went. So the fame of it could not help but be spread all over the country in which Capernaum was.
Jesus Opens The Eyes Of Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31)
Matthew 9:27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. (KJV)
And when Jesus departed thence . . . from the house of Jairus, to another in the same city.
Two blind men followed him . . . they had heard of the miracle performed by him; and were convinced that He would be able to restore their sight to them.
Crying and saying . . . with great faith and passion, and repeating the following words,
Thou son of David, have mercy on us . . . it appears, that they firmly believed, and were fully persuaded, that He was the true Messiah; for "the son of David" was a known character of the Messiah among the Jews. It was very common to call Him by this title. And since it had been prophesied of the Messiah, that he should "open the eyes of the blind" (Isa.35:5; 42:7), they were greatly encouraged to hope and believe they should obtain mercy from Him in this respect. Son of David: (Mat.1:20; 9:27; 15:22; 20:31).
Matthew 9:28 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. (KJV)
And when he was come into the house . . . where He lived, while at Capernaum. It seems that Jesus took no notice of them by the way; even though they closely followed Him, and cried fervently, He did not stop to speak to them, or give them a cure, but went on His way. WHY? Partly to avoid the public and that He might not be seen by men, in what He did, and partly to try their faith, and the constancy of it.
The blind men came to him . . . being told by others, into what house He went, and where He was.
And Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?. . . meaning did they think He would have mercy on them, as they requested, by curing them of their blindness. Although this was not expressed, it is implied. This question is put, not as doubting their faith in Him, which they had expressed, in calling Him the son of David; and had shown by their determination of following Him, even though He took no notice of them; but mainly, for the additional trial of their faith, and to bring them to a more open profession of it, as to His power to cure them of their blindness; and partially, for the sake of those, that were in the house.
They said unto him, yea, Lord . . . they firmly believed that He had power to cure them, they had no doubt or hesitation in their minds about it; for although their physical eyes could not see, the eyes of their understanding were enlightened, to see and know Jesus was the true Messiah, David's Son, and Lord.
Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. (KJV)
Then touched he their eyes . . . He could have restored their sight to them, without touching their eyes, just by speaking a word, but He might have done this as a sign of His favor and kindness to them.
Saying, According to your faith be it unto you . . . I think the sense is, that they believed that He was able to heal them, and for that reason a cure should be done, and upon His so saying, they both immediately found they could see.
Matthew 9:30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. (KJV)
And their eyes were opened . . . some versions read, "immediately"; and this was certainly true . . . for as soon as Christ had touched their eyes, and said the above words, their sight was perfectly restored to them.
And Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it . . . this was a very strict charge, and it was given with great severity of expression, almost in a rough and threatening manner; which Christ might be the rather induced to, because He had given others like orders already, and they had not been observed. The reasons for concealing the miracle are not very clear; it seems quite possible that with the same view He took no notice of these blind men in the street, but went into an house, and cured them; and which seems to be, to shun all appearance of vain glory, or seeking popular applause. Or it may be, He did not choose to be made more known by this miracle, or at this time, or by these men; He might foresee that it would be attended with ill results, irritating the resentments of some persons against Him.
Matthew 9:31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. (KJV)
But they, when they were departed . . . even after the stern orders NOT to tell anyone, they did NOT obey.
Spread abroad his fame in all that country . . . they certainly did not do this out of
contempt of Christ and His orders; but just the opposite; out of gratitude to this Great Man who had cured them. Even through there was an honest zeal to spread His honor and glory, I do not think they are to be commended for disregarding the command of Christ. It should not be our affection, but Christ's will, that should be the rule of our actions. What would you have done?
Matthew 9:32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. (KJV)
As they went out . . . I would want to say this means the two blind men that had been cured, left the house where Jesus was. Now another situation arises. I think this shows just how busy Christ was, how He was continually busy doing good. As soon as one work of mercy was done, another arises. How closely and exactly the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled by Him (Isa.35:5-6).
Behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil . . . he was dumb as a result of the demon possession, as appears from the fact that he spoke as soon as the demon left him (vs 33). Demon-possession had different effects on different persons. Some it deprived of reason, as in case of the man in the land of the Gergesenes (Mk.5:15); some it deprived of one or more of the senses, as in this man; and some it threw into convulsions or distortions (Mk.9:18; Lk.13:11,16).
Matthew 9:33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. (KJV)
And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake . . . the demon within the man was the cause of his dumbness. When it was removed, the man could speak. The devil was NOT able to bear the Presence of Christ Jesus (God), much less withstand His divine power. As soon as Jesus had seen the man possessed by demon, He had given him orders to be gone. He immediately went out, and the man was restored to his speech again.
And the multitude marvelled, saying, it was never so seen in Israel . . . the vast crowds who were alarmed with the former miracles of Christ, and came along with the friends of the dumb man, but when they heard him speak so suddenly and plainly, nothing being said or done to him, were surprised; and declared very frankly, that although many wonderful things had been done in Israel, in times past, by Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and others, but never were such things seen, or heard, or known of, as were done by Christ. They were referring not only to this miracle, but to all the rest He had recently done, curing the woman of her bloody issue, raising Jairus's daughter from the dead, restoring sight to the two blind men, and now casting out a dumb devil.
Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. (KJV)
But the Pharisees said . . . the Pharisees were the sworn enemies of Christ, and filled with envy at Him, and had much hatred for Him. They simply could not bear, that so much honor and glory should be given to Christ.
He casteth out the devils through the prince of the devils . . . there was NO way that they could deny what Jesus had done, that He had cast out a devil. And they could not say that He had done any wrong thing in so doing. They had to admit that it was a supernatural action, and they could not they contradict what the multitude said, that no such thing had been ever seen, or known, in Israel . . . BUT so Christ might not have the glory of the action, and to place a mark of disgrace on Him, foolishly attribute the miracle to a Satanic influence (Mat.12:24).
Matthew 9:35 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. (KJV)
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages . . . He did not confine Himself, and his acts of kindness and compassion, to his own city, Capernaum, but throughout all Galilee; and not only visited their larger and more principal cities and towns, but their villages also; doing good to the bodies and souls of men in every place, no matter the state and condition.
Teaching in their synagogues . . . their places of public worship, where prayer was made, the law and the prophets were read, and a word of exhortation given to the people.
Preaching the Gospel of the kingdom . . . the good news and glad tidings of peace and pardon, reconciliation and salvation, by Himself the Messiah. He preached all things having to do with the Gospel dispensation; the doctrines of grace, particularly the doctrine of regeneration, and the necessity of having a better righteousness than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.
And healing every sickness, and every disease among the people . . . He preached the doctrine of grace for the good of their souls; for their spiritual health, and the cure of their spiritual maladies. He healed all sorts of diseases the bodies of men had, that were brought unto Him.
Matthew 9:36 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. (KJV)
But when he saw the multitudes . . . as he travelled through the several cities, towns, and villages, He saw the large numbers that flocked to Him, and saw their unhappy and downhearted situations.
He was moved with compassion on them . . . He was touched with a deep feeling for their infirmities, as their merciful High Priest, the Good Shepherd and faithful Prophet; for He was deeply concerned for the souls of men, their comfort here, and everlasting happiness hereafter.
Because they fainted . . . being tired and weary, not in their bodies, through journeying from place to place, to hear His Words, but in their minds; being burdened with the various traditions and doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees.
And were scattered abroad . . . divided because of the different sects of religion among them . . . like today. They were in great danger of the loss and ruin of their immortal souls, being . . .
As sheep without a shepherd . . . the Scribes and Pharisees were shepherds indeed, but very bad ones; like the shepherds of Israel of old, who fed themselves, and not the flock; who strengthened not the diseased, nor healed the sick, nor bound up that which was broken; nor brought again that which was driven away, nor sought that which was lost: but on the contrary, caused them to go astray from mountain to mountain; whereby they forgot their resting place, in the Messiah promised them, and Who was now come. Jesus was overwhelmed with compassionate pity for the people. His response echoes the deep inner mercy of God, often described in the Old Testament. Ezekiel also compared Israel to sheep without a shepherd (Eze.34:1-10; Zec.10:2-3). Jesus came to be the Shepherd, the One who could show people how to avoid life's pitfalls (Jn.10:14).
Matthew 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; (KJV)
Then saith he unto his disciples . . . His heart was filled with pity to these poor people, upon observing the miserable and sad condition they were in.
The harvest truly is plenteous . . . meaning the large number of God's elect, which were in these cities, towns, and villages, and in other places. Christ calls them a "harvest" because of their number, a large, or "plenteous" one. Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would show them how. There have been but just a “few” in all ages who are good laborers. There are FAR more loiterers and loafers and false shepherds than there are good laborers for Christ.
But the labourers are few . . . Christian work is compared to harvesting wheat (Lk.10:1-2; Jn.4:35). Matthew 13:30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (KJV) . . . Wheat is a symbol for God’s people. Tares is a symbol for the devil’s children.
Matthew 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (KJV)
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest . . . "the Lord of the harvest" means either God the Father or the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who has the care and charge of the election of grace. And Who as He must, will bring them all in; and Who has power of sending forth laborers, as the following chapter shows.
That he will send forth labourers into his harvest . . . that He would send forth workers. Those who are most fit for the work are usually the most backward to go. It seems that the man who is forward to become a preacher knows little about God, of human nature, or of his own heart. A minister of Christ is represented as a day laborer, coming into the harvest, not to become lord of it, not to live on the labor of others, but to work, and to labor his day. Even though the work may be hard and harsh, yet there are good wages in the harvest. How earnestly should the flock of Christ pray to the good Shepherd to send them pastors after His own heart, who will feed them with knowledge, and who shall be the means of spreading the knowledge of His Truth and the His grace over the face of the Earth.
The apostles of Christ could not make, qualify and send out ministers themselves, for this is not man's work, but God's alone. He alone is able to furnish someone with ministerial gifts, to work upon, and powerfully incline the hearts of men to this service, to call and send them forth into it, and to assist and succeed them in it. The persons to be sent are "laborers"; faithful, diligent and industrious preachers of the Gospel; they lay out themselves, their time, talents and strength, in their Master's service. They are not slothful or idle. The place they are to be sent into is, "into the harvest"; into the field of the world, where God's elect lie, and it is there they labor in preaching the Gospel; hoping for an almighty power to be with their ministries, for the conversion of sinners and edification of saints. The request the disciples are directed to make, concerning these persons for this work, is, that the Lord of the harvest would "send", or "thrust" them "forth"; implying power and effectiveness and authority, on the part of the Sender; and humbleness and faith on the part of those that are sent. They sense the greatness of the work, and especially of their own unworthiness and unfitness for it.
Gospel of Matthew
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