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Matthew Chapter 9

 Memory verses for this week:   Isa 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

Introduction: In last week’s lesson, we studied about Jesus healing the various people with afflictions.   He later proved his claim as being equal with God when he calmed the storms on the sea, and then casting out the demons from the men and placing them in the swine. 

I.  Jesus Heals the Palsied in Capernaum

Mat 9:1  And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.

Mat 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.

When it says he returned into his own city has reference to Capernaum.   Apparently some friends of the man with the palsy brought him to Christ to be healed.  Jesus says their faith in making this act, and he blessed the man for it.   Our faith must be put to work for others to see that we are real in our Christianity.  If you have no action in your life in the work of the Lord, God is not glorified.   

James 2:17  Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

James 2:18  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

James 2:19  Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

James 2:20  But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

James 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

James 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

James 2:24  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

It says in verse 2 that Jesus forgave the man his sins.  Jesus only has the power to forgive sins.   

Mat 9:3  And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.

Mat 9:4  And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

Mat 9:5  For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 

Some of the leading religious leaders, the scribes, heard what Jesus said and said “This man blasphemeth.”   But I am sure they were surprised when Jesus knew their thoughts and responded to them.  Jesus questions them and asks what is more difficult, to forgive sins or to say to the man with the palsy to arise and walk.   The scribes could claim that there was no proof that he sins were forgiven, but they would have a hard time arguing the point if the man arose and walked away.  Back then, many people (mainly the Pharisees) thought that the sickness was the result of sin.  

Mat 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.

Mat 9:7  And he arose, and departed to his house.

Mat 9:8  But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. 

Jesus told them that he was going to give them a demonstration to prove that he had the power on earth to forgive sins.  He tells the man with the palsy to arise and take up his bed, and to go to his house.   And immediately, as in all examples in the bible of Christ healing, the healing was total, complete, and exactly what the man needed.   The may walking away proved that Jesus had the power to forgive sins.  You and I cannot forgive sins—only the Lord Jesus can do that. And since we cannot forgive sins, we cannot make a man walk. Satan is a deceiver, and we need to really question the false healers of our day.  These that do these false examples of healing don’t do things the way Christ did, and they do not have the power to heal.    God and God only can heal, and if someone is healed, it will be God’s Will.   We need to make sure that God receives the glory if someone is healed, not some false prophet coming in sheep’s clothing.  In verse 8 it says the multitude marvel and glorified God for what they had witnessed.  No one ever had the power that Jesus had. 

II.  The Call of Matthew 

Mat 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. 

It says that Matthew was a tax collector.  When Christ came by, he gave him the command to come and follow.   Matthew did not argue, but arose and  followed Christ.   God’s command to all who are saved is to follow Him.   If we want to be a disciple, we must learn to crucify self and our flesh, and live for God and glorify Christ with our lives. 

Matthew Henry said this about Matthew’s call:

We find not that Matthew looked after Christ, or had any inclination to follow him, though some of his kindred were already disciples of Christ, but Christ prevented him with the blessings of his goodness. He is found of those that seek him not. Christ spoke first; we have not chosen him, but he hath chosen us. He said, Follow me; and the same divine, almighty power accompanied this word to convert Matthew, which attended that word (v. 6), Arise and walk, to cure the man sick of the palsy. Note, A saving change is wrought in the soul by Christ as the Author, and his word as the means. His gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Rom. 1:16. The call was effectual, for he came at the call; he arose, and followed him immediately; neither denied, nor deferred his obedience. The power of divine grace soon answers and overcomes all objections. Neither his commission for his place, nor his gains by it, could detain him, when Christ called him. He conferred not with flesh and blood, Gal. 1:15, 16. He quitted his post, and his hopes of preferment in that way; and, though we find the disciples that were fishers occasionally fishing again afterwards, we never find Matthew at the receipt of custom again. 

III.  Jesus Answers the Pharisees 

Mat 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.

Mat 9:11  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 

It is interesting that the publicans and sinners came and sat with Christ and his disciples.  You would have thought it would be the religious people who came to Jesus, but they did not see their need.  Until a man or woman sees themselves as a sinner, they will never be saved.  These self righteous Pharisees ask the disciples why that Jesus would eat with publicans and sinners.   What a bad attitude to have.  I am thankful that Jesus wants to have something to do with the wicked and the lost, or I would never have found Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.   Jesus loved me when I was unlovable, and came and died for our sins, the just dying for the unjust.   What love God has for us. 

Mat 9:12  But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

Mat 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. 

Christ answered with an answer that no doubt has both a spiritual and physical application.   He says that the whole man has no need of a doctor, but the one who is sick.   The lost man or woman is the one who needs Christ to be saved.   These Pharisees no doubt thought they were above sin, but the reality was they were as lost as any of the publicans and sinners who came to eat with Christ.   We all are in need of the Great Physician to save us.   The only righteous ones in God’s eyes are those who are saved.   God can see us as pure through the blood of Jesus Christ… with his imputed righteousness, certainly not our own. 

Mat 9:14  Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

Mat 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. 

The disciples of John (probably Andrew and Philip) come and ask a question to Christ.   They wanted to know why they and John had fasted (like the Pharisees), but the disciples of Christ did not.   Jesus answers them with an answer of love (unlike the rebuke he gave the Pharisees), and says that the time would come when they would need to fast.  This would be after Jesus died and the church will be waiting for the bridegroom to come.


IV.  Parable of the Garment and Bottles 

Mat 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.

Mat 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. 

Christ is basically teaching here that grace and the law simply do not mix.   The old dispensation of the law was being replaced by a newer and greater dispensation… the dispensation of the New Testament known as the dispensation of Grace.  (and the church age.)  Christ tells them that you can’t take the living truth of the gospel and put it into the ordinances of the law.    The new wine goes into new bottles. 

I liked what J. Vernon McGee said about these verses.

Our Lord is saying this: The old covenant, the old dispensation of law, was ending, and He had not come to project it or to continue under that dispensation. Actually, He had come to provide a new garment, and that new garment was the robe of righteousness which He gives to those who do nothing more than to trust Him.

The “bottles” were the wineskins of that day. They were fashioned of animal skin. You can see that when new wine would be put into a new wineskin, it would expand. But an old wineskin had reached the place of maximum expansion; when it was filled with new wine, it would naturally burst open and the wine would be lost.

Our Lord is saying this, “I haven’t come to sew patches on an old garment. I have come to present a new garment, something which is altogether new.” This was very 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” (John 1:17).  [i]


V.  Jesus Heals the Woman with Issue of Blood and Raises the Young Girl from the   Dead 

Mat 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.

Mat 9:19  And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

Mat 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:

Mat 9:21  For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

Mat 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. 

The ruler that comes to Christ has great faith.  He says that if Christ will come and lay his hand on his dead daughter, that she will live again.   The truth was that Jesus didn’t even have to touch the girl.. he could have spoke the word like he did with Lazarus and brought her back.  But he goes with the man and responds to his plea.  As he journeys to this man’s house, a woman who had a blood problem since her youth comes believing that if she could just touch the hem of Christ’s garment, she would be healed.     Jesus turns to her and seeing her faith, healed the woman of her disease.  It wasn’t the touch of the garment that healed her, but the faith she showed in Christ.  That is the way it is in salvation… we can show emotion or great works for the Lord, but only our faith and repentance is what saves us.   And both are gifts of God.    

Mat 9:23  And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,

Mat 9:24  He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

Mat 9:25  But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

Mat 9:26  And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. 

It appears that the people were preparing for a funeral.   When Jesus told them that the maid was not dead  but sleeping, it says they laughed him to scorn.  They knew she was dead, and no talk was going to change that.  But Jesus has power over death and the grave, and he took her by the hand and she was brought back to life.  What they said did not deter Christ in his service to God.   When others make little of us or have negative things to say about us, sometimes it affects us and we don’t serve the Lord the way we should. 

VI.  Blind Men Healed and a Demon Cast Out 

Mat 9:27  And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.

Mat 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.

Mat 9:29  Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Mat 9:30  And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

Mat 9:31  But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. 

The blind men came to Christ crying out for mercy.  He questions them and asks if they truly believe that He can heal their eyes.  They said , “Yea Lord.”   He tells them that according to their faith, be it unto you.  How much faith do we have?   Do we pray half heartedly or do we bring the power of heaven down to earth when we pray. 

Mat 17:20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Mat 17:21  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. 

Mat 9:32  As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.

Mat 9:33  And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

Mat 9:34  But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.

It says they brought a dumb man to Christ who was possesses of a devil, and when Christ removed the devil, the dumb spake.   But many of the religious people did not believe.  The Pharisees said “He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.”   But Jesus did not… he did things as God, who has power over all the universe. 

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Mat 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

Mat 12:26  And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

Mat 12:27  And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

 Mat 12:28  But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.


Mat 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.

Mat 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.

Mat 9:37  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Mat 9:38  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Jesus was constantly about doing the Heavenly Father’s business.  He taught in the synagogues, preached the Gospel, and healed those that were sick.  He truly cared, and said that the people were like sheep without a shepherd.   And he told them that the harvest is plenteous, and there is a great need for laborers in the field.   God help us all to be better witnesses for Jesus and to try and reach the lost each opportunity that we have.  Our time is running out, and we need to reach all we can while there is still daylight left.



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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.