Matthew 9

Matthew 9:2

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”

(a) Seeing their faith. Jesus saw the actions that accompanied the faith of those who carried the paralyzed man. From Mark’s account, we learn that the four friends tore a hole in the roof to get their friend to Jesus (Mark 2:4). They did this because they believed Jesus could help their friend.

(b) Your sins are forgiven. Jesus forgave the paralyzed man to show us that God freely forgives us on account of grace and without any regard for our behavior (Eph. 1:7). Jesus died for us while we were sinners, and he forgave us while we were sinners (Col. 2:13). Before you repented, confessed, or did anything, the Lamb of God carried away all your sins – past, present, and future. See entry for Luke 23:34.

(c) Forgiven; see entry for Forgiveness.

Matthew 9:10

Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples.

Tax collectors and sinners. Tax collectors like Matthew were revenue collectors for the hated Roman occupiers, while sinners were unrighteous lawbreakers (Matt. 9:13). In the highly religious society of first-century Israel, tax collectors and sinners were social outcasts. Yet Jesus said he came especially for people like them (Matt. 9:12–13, Mark 2:17).

To the disgust of the religious leaders, Jesus befriended them and ate meals with tax collectors and sinners (Matt. 11:19, Mark 2:15–16, Luke 5:30, 7:34, 15:2). In turn, these sinners sought him out and enjoyed his company (Luke 15:1).

Matthew 9:11

When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?”

(a) Pharisees; see entry for Matt. 3:7.

(b) Tax collectors and sinners; see previous verse.

Matthew 9:13

“But go and learn what this means: ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

(a) The righteous refers to those who trust in their own righteousness (Luke 18:9). Self-righteous religious people, in other words.

(b) Sinners. If the original language did not lack punctuation marks, the word “sinners” would be in quotation marks. Religious people called them sinners; Jesus called them lost sheep (Matt. 10:6, 15:24).

Matthew 9:15

And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.

The bridegroom. In scripture, Jesus is sometimes portrayed as a bridegroom (Matt. 22:2, 25:1, John 3:29, Eph. 5:25, Rev. 19:7, 21:2, 9).

Matthew 9:21

for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.”

Get well can also be translated made whole. The original word (sozo) is usually translated as save (e.g., Matt. 1:21), but it also implies healing. When Jesus healed the sick, he sozo ed them; he healed them (Mark 5:23), delivered them (Luke 8:36) and made them whole (Matt. 9:21). See entry for Salvation.

Matthew 9:22

But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.

(a) Take courage. By pressing upon the crowd, the unclean but desperate woman had broken the laws of Israel. Jesus commended her for taking the risky choice.

(b) Your faith has made you well. It is the grace of God that brings healing, but since grace only comes by faith (Eph. 2:8), Jesus said what he said.

(c) Made well; see previous verse.

Matthew 9:27

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

Mercy is how grace appears to the needy. See entry for Mercy.

(b) The son of David; see entry for Matt. 1:1.

Matthew 9:28

When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”

Do you believe? We don’t need more or greater faith; we just need to believe the Lord.

Matthew 9:29

Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.”

According to your faith. Every God-fearing Jew had a kind of faith, but not every Jew believed in Jesus (see entry for Jas. 2:18). The two blind men had a faith in God and they believed in the one he sent. Like the woman who touched his garment, they drew upon the riches of God’s grace through faith (Matt. 9:22).

Matthew 9:35

Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.

(a) The gospel revealed in the Bible goes by several names. There is the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mark 1:1) or the gospel of Christ (Rom. 15:19, 1 Cor. 9:12, 2 Cor. 2:12, 9:13, 10:14, Gal. 1:7, Php. 1:27, 1 Th. 3:2). There is the gospel of God (Mark 1:14, Rom 1:1, 15:16, 2 Cor. 11:7, 1 Th. 2:2, 8, 9, 1 Pet. 4:17), gospel of the blessed God (1 Tim. 1:11), and the gospel of his Son (Rom 1:9). There is the gospel of the kingdom (Matt. 4:23, 24:14, Luke 16:16), and the gospel of the glory of Christ (2 Cor. 4:4). These are different labels for the one and only gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24). See entry for The Gospel.

(b) The gospel of the kingdom is the good news of the King Jesus’ dominion and reign on earth as it is in heaven. This kingdom is not far away but right here (Mark 1:14-15).

(c) Teaching… and healing. The gospel of the kingdom is a show and tell gospel. When we preach the good news, the Holy Spirit confirms the word with supernatural signs (Mark 16:20).

Matthew 9:36

Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.

Compassion. The original word for compassion (splagchnizomai) appears a dozen times in the New Testament and in every case it is associated with the divine compassion revealed in Jesus Christ. See entry for Compassion.

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