A Study of Matthew | Chapter 9 | @solomonsporchp1
Verses 1-8 Jesus went back Capernaum, which was the home base for Jesus’s ministry and would have been a good choice since it was a wealthy city due to trade and fishing. Jesus relocated here from Nazareth after being rejected. It was also a major melting pot of cultures between the greeks and romans. Jesus was brought a paralyzed man and seeing their faith the man’s sins were forgiven. When it says the word “their”,Jesus was probably including the man whose sins were forgiven along with his friends since we know forgiveness for sins comes through personal faith in Christ. Then the teachers of religious law said Jesus was blaspheming because only God can forgive sins and blaspheming is recognizing yourself as equal to God. For us personally, when we say we have done something “great” we should always give credit to our source, God. Again, Jesus talks about his authority and practices it by forgiving sins then healing the physical ailment of the man on the mat. The word used in verse 7 for fear means “to marvel at”. They were amazed and grateful to see the authority be given to someone who was human like them.
Verses 9-13 Tax collectors collected taxes from the Jews to give to the Roman government and they received a commission from what they charged. They would often overcharge to increase their personal commission payment. This also hurt the Jews who were required to tithe because this left them with even less money to live on. In doing this they supported the Roman government, which the Jews wanted to be overthrown. The Jews considered tax collectors traitors to the nation of Israel. They were also despised because of their frequent contact with Gentiles and because they had idol images on the Roman coins, which they cheated to gain more of. Districts were granted to tax collectors based on the highest bid. Matthew, a fellow Jew and also called Levi, was called by Jesus to follow him and be his disciple. Matthew did exactly that and left his career as a tax collector behind. Sometimes we may be called to leave what we consider valuable and stable to follow Christ. Either way, we must be prepared to answer whatever call he puts on our life. Matthew invited Jesus and the other disciples to come eat at his house. Eating with people was one of the most personal ways to spend time together. When the Pharisees saw this they question why Jesus would eat with those people the Pharisees looked down on. Jesus explained that he came to help those who knows they need help. Jesus references Hosea 6:6 when he explains that mercy is more important than just offering sacrifices. This is the first of 2 times in Matthew that he references this scripture with the other being Matthew 12:7. Hosea 6:6 says,”I want you to show love,[a]
not offer sacrifices.
I want you to know me[b]
more than I want burnt offerings.”
Verses 14-17 John’s disciples fasted as a way of mourning for sin and preparation for the coming Messiah. The nation of Israel fasted while waiting for the coming of the Messiah. This fasting was going without food for a period of time and spent in prayer in the synagogue. Jesus talks as himself as a groom and later the church is referred to as his bride. He then says when the groom is taken away from them, referencing the upcoming execution, they will mourn and fast then. The new wineskins and new wine was referencing old systems that would not hold the new covenant. Jesus was not saying the old wine was bad, just that new wine was coming and the old wineskins cannot hold it. The old covenant of law can not hold the power of mercy and grace. Jesus had to come establish the new covenant for that to be carried out through his people.
Verses 18-26 A leader in the synagogue came to Jesus to have his daughter raised from the dead. He told Jesus where his faith laid. In the laying of hands on his daughter. This man’s name, Jarius, was given to us in Luke 8:40-56. The woman with the bleeding problem was also mentioned in Luke. In Matthew we are told she thought if she could only touch his robe she would be healed. In Luke we are told that she touches his robe and he feels some healing power leave from him. Then he sees the woman and says her faith has made her healed. Her faith rested in being able to touch his robe. That is where her healing was found. Our faith is where our actions meet conviction in our beliefs about the power of Christ. When Jesus got to Jarius’s house, he cleared everyone out. They were playing funeral music and convinced of her death. When something seems dead in our lives we have to get the death away from it to see it live. After they all left, Jesus took the girl by the hand, and she stood up. The news of this miracle spread all around the countryside.
Verses 27-34 Jesus left Jarius’s house and two blind men followed him. They could not see him so they had to follow his voice. Jesus asked them if they believed he can make them see. They said Yes and then he touched their eyes and because of their faith they were healed. He told them not to say anything, but they went and told everyone about it. Jesus did not just want to be followed for what he could do, but because of what he came to do in its fullness. With fame also came danger and it wasn’t time for Jesus to leave yet. Then a man who was demon possessed and made mute was brought to Jesus. Jesus removed the demon making him mute, which fulfills the prophecy in Isaiah 35:5, “And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
and unplug the ears of the deaf.”
When he did this the Pharisees accused him of being empowered by the prince of demons. Jesus says later in Matthew 12:25 that ”any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed.”
Verses 35-38 Jesus goes around and continues to heal people from diseases and illnesses. He could see that these people were helpless like sheep without a shepherd. If you remember back in Matthew 8 Jesus said he had no place to lay his head. He was talking about not having a people to be the head of yet. He told his disciples that there was much work to be done, but not enough workers to get it done and we should ask the father for more to join the workforce. In John 16:7 Jesus tells us, “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate[a]won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.” Jesus had to leave so that his Spirit could fill us, so that we could continue his work.