Matthew Chapter 9 Continued
Verses 27-32: This incident is also peculiar to Matthew’s gospel (Luke 11:14-26). Two blind men call out, “Thou son of David,” which was a messianic designation. The form of their address seems to indicate that they had put their faith in Jesus as the Messiah.
Matthew 9:27 “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, [Thou] son of David, have mercy on us.”
“Son of David”: (1:1; 12:23; 21:9, 15), A messianic title (see 20:29-34), for a remarkably similar but separate, account.
At this point, Jesus had just healed the incurably sick woman of the issue of blood, and had raised the young girl from the dead. We read in the last lesson that the story of these two miracles had spread throughout the land.
No wonder these two blind men followed Him. Here again, was another impossible situation. These men believed that Jesus was their only help.
Matthew 9:28-31 “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.” “Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.” “And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See [that] no man know [it].” “But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.”
Jesus (in nearly every instance), when He healed someone, would say your faith has made you whole (or something very near to that statement). It seems that our faith in something happening has a great deal to do with it coming to pass. Jesus asked them, “believe ye that I am able to do this?” Then He healed them.
Faith is one thing that pleases God. The Scripture says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. What is faith?
We read in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
You see, if you could see the evidence, it would be fact, not faith. Some ministers will tell you to shut your eyes and see your prayer request happening in your mind. That is not really what faith is. Faith is when we pray and ask God for something; and then trust God with all the details, never doubting in our hearts that God is able to do more than we can ask or think.
I believe these two blind men had that kind of faith. They came to Jesus believing that He would restore their sight, and He did. They did not follow His instructions not to tell anyone. If they were blind, and could suddenly see, there would be no way to keep them from telling the good news.
There is another way to look at this, also. Before a person is saved, they are spiritually blind. When they seek out the Lord Jesus, it is faith that opens their eyes. A new Christian is just like these blind men. There is no way not to tell the good news. Once I too was blind, but now I see.
Verses 33-38: The connection between spiritual evil and physical illness is clearly illustrated in this incident. The “prince of the devils” is Satan himself. “Fainted” means they were distressed. The observation that they were “as sheep having no shepherd” is taken mainly from the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament of (Numbers 27:17).
Matthew 9:32-33 “As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.” “And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.”
This person had been possessed of a devil. The devil spirit inside him would not let him speak. When a devil spirit controls a person, he is totally under the control of the evil spirit. This man was helpless, until Jesus came along and freed him. As we studied before, these spirits of demons, or devils, are under Jesus. When He commands them to go, they must obey.
What a glorious thing to see anyone delivered from a devil spirit, but to see one who was dumb released to speak, was even more glorious. The multitudes realized this was no ordinary happening. Jesus had super natural power.
Matthew 9:34 “But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.”
“Prince of the devils”: The Pharisees had seen enough of Jesus’ power to know it was God’s power. But, in their willful unbelief, they said His was the power of Satan (25:41; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15).
Just as many churches today proclaim casting out devils is not of God. So did the religion of that day. Churches tend to believe that anything not active in their church is not of God; even though it is prominent in the Bible.
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.”
“Every … sickness … disease”: Jesus banished illness in an unprecedented healing display, giving impressive evidence of His deity, and making the Jews’ rejection even more heinous.
Jesus was many things to many people. He taught, preached, and healed everywhere He went. Even the Jewish people agreed that He was a great teacher, a great preacher-prophet, and a great healer. These were just manifestations of who He really is (God manifest in the flesh).
These Scriptures above said He healed all. It is interesting to me that sickness and disease were spoken of separately. Sickness is like a case of the flu, or something like a short time virus, but diseases are like Multiple Sclerosis, or some other terminal disease like cancer.
At any rate, He healed them all. He brought the good news (gospel), to everyone, so they might be saved. He not only brought salvation, He is salvation.
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.”
“He was moved with compassion on them”: Here the humanity of Christ allowed expression of His attitude toward sinners in term of human passion. He was moved with compassion.
Whereas God, who is immutable, is not subject to the rise and fall and change of emotions (Num. 23:19). Christ, who was fully human with all the faculties of humanity, was on occasion moved to literal tears over the plight of sinners (Luke 19:41). God Himself expressed similar compassion through the prophets (Exodus 3319; Psalm 86:15; Jer. 9:1; 13:17; 14:17).
Jesus, looking at the multitude, saw individuals who were lost. They had no direction in their lives. They were weary of this world, with no solution. They had no one to lead them. Jesus felt love for them. He would become their Shepherd, who would lead them to green pastures. He would be their Leader.
Verses 37 and 38 constitute one of the great missionary passages of the New Testament. Jesus pictures the world as a great spiritual harvest in need of laborers to gather it into the storehouse.
Matthew 9:37 “Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly [is] plenteous, but the laborer’s [are] few;”
“Harvest”: (Luke 10:1-2). The Lord spoke of the spiritual harvest of souls for salvation.
Matthew 9:38 “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborer’s into his harvest.”
“Pray ye therefore”: Jesus affirmed the fact that believers’ prayers participate in the fulfillment of God’ plans.
The Scripture above reminds me of the song about the harvest. Some of the words are: My house is full, but my fields are empty. Who will go and work for me today? It seems all my children want to sit around my table. No one wants to work in my field.
The harvest is really the end of the world. We laborers, must hurry to reap the wheat. Many believe, as I do, that the Lord Jesus will be coming back soon and will take the wheat (Christians), to the great barn in the sky.
Ministers of the Word must work, for time is drawing very short to work. Those trying to get into the family of God must come soon, or be left behind. The 13th chapter of Matthew talks about the seed that is planted by the Son of man. It tells of how it grows up with the tares until harvest time.
The seed is planted, then someone comes in and waters it, but God gets the increase. The wheat that grows is symbolic of the Christians. Some plant the Word; someone else comes along and strengthens it, then after all is said and done that Christian belongs to Jesus.
The Christian grows in the midst of the world filled with evil people (the tares), but then at harvest time, Jesus comes to receive His own. The tares are gathered and burned. The wheat (Christians), are carried away to heaven to be with Jesus. I think Matthew 43:13 says it all:
Matthew 13:43 “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
There is little time left to get the Word out. Everyone who can speak at all of Jesus, need to be about the Father’s business. Work for the night is coming, when man’s work is done.
Matthew Chapter 9 Continued Questions
- What name did the blind man call Jesus?
- What did these two blind men think about Jesus?
- What did Jesus ask the two blind men?
- When Jesus healed, what did He tell them that helped them to be healed?
- What is one thing that pleases God mentioned in this lesson?
- What is faith according to chapter 11 of Hebrews?
- If you can see evidence, what is it?
- What, besides a physical healing of blindness, does this passage tell us.
- What was really wrong with the dumb man?
- What did the multitude say, when the dumb spake?
- What did the Pharisees say about Jesus when the dumb spake?
- What do churches today have a tendency to believe about churches who do more than they do in their own church?
- Name three things that Jesus did in the cities and villages.
- What percentage of people did He heal?
- What is the difference between sickness and disease?
- When Jesus saw the multitude, how did it affect him?
- Who would be their Shepherd?
- What was Jesus asking for in verse 37?
- What is the harvest, really?
- Who was the wheat symbolic of?
- Who are the tares?
- What happened to the tares at the end?
- In Matthew 13:43, the righteous shall shine forth as what?