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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 9


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)


FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 9

v.1-8    Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man

v.9-13   The Calling of Matthew

v.14-17 Jesus Questioned About Fasting

v.18-26 Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman

v.27-31 Jesus Heals two blind men

v.32-34 Jesus delivers and heals a possessed mute man

v.35-38 Jesus ministers but notes that the Workers Are Few



v.1-8 Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man


v.1 (Jesus returns home across the lake) Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town.

v.2 (a paralyzed man is brought to him and Jesus forgives him) Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

v.3  (this upset some onlookers) At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

v.4 (Jesus challenges them) Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts?

v.5  (easier to forgive or to heal?) Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, ‘Get up and walk'?

v.6  (but so you know I have authority for both – he heals the man) But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”

v.7  (the man gets up and leaves) Then the man got up and went home.

v.8  (the crowd are awestruck) When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.


[Notes: In this case (not always true] sin was linked with sickness. Repentance + forgiveness opens the door for healing]



v.9-13 The Calling of Matthew


v.9  (after this Jesus finds Matthew the tax-collector and calls him to follow him) As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

v.10 (he dines with Matthew and his tax-collector friends) While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples.

v.11 (this upsets the Pharisees) When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

v.12 (Jesus points out who it is who needs him) On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

v.13 (learn the scriptures about mercy!) But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' [Hosea 6:6] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


[Notes: Matthew is added to the band and introduces Jesus to his rather dubious friends. Jesus is happy to be with them recognising their need to be introduced to the Father . The self-righteous are threatened by ‘sinners']



v.14-17 Jesus Questioned About Fasting


v.14 (John the Baptist's disciples ask Jesus why his disciples don't fast) Then John's disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”

v.15 (Jesus reply is basically, while I'm still here this is a time for celebration, fasting will come when I've gone) Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

v.16 (you get into trouble trying to mix old and new, for example new cloth on an old garment) “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.

v.17 (likewise you don't mix new spirit with old' new requires a flexibility that the old (religion) doesn't have) Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”


[Comment: Fasting, a largely Old Testament practice, has no space when kingdom joy is around. The new life in Christ with its joy and freedom can't mix with old formal and traditional religion]



v.18-26 Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman


v.18 (a father pleads for his just dead daughter) While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”

v.19 (Jesus starts to go with him) Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

v.20 (meanwhile an ill woman just touches his garment) Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak.

v.21 (she believed she would be healed)   She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

v.22 (Jesus declares her healed) Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

v.23,24 (when he arrives at the house of the dead girl he says she is merely asleep) When Jesus entered the synagogue leader's house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

v.25 (he puts the crowd out, takes her hand and restores life to her) After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.

v.26 (the news spreads) News of this spread through all that region.


[Comment: Jesus' power and authority includes power over death as well as over sickness – however long it has lasted]



v.27-31 Jesus Heals two blind men


v.27 (two blind men call out for healing) As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

v.28 (Jesus checks their faith) When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.

v.29,30 (he restores their sight) Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”

v.31 (they go out and tell all) But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.


[Comment: faith is a helpful ingredient for healing; when it was absent, Jesus was limited - see Matt 13:58]



v.32-34 Jesus delivers and heals a possessed mute man


v.32 (a possessed mute is brought to Jesus) While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus.

v.33 (he casts out the demon and the man is enabled to talk) And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

v.34 (the Pharisees are upset) But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”


[Comment: even wonderful deliverances or healings will not satisfy the self-righteous who are looking for reasons not to believe]



v. 35-38 Jesus ministers but notes that the Workers Are Few


v.35 (Jesus travels around teaching and healing declaring the kingdom had come) Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.

v.36 (he had compassion on the crowds for they seem to have no one else to help them) When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

v.37 (he points out to his disciples the scope of the problem) Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

v.38 (and tells them to ask the Father to send more workers [disciples]) Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”


[Comment: Jesus was then just one worker; now his ‘body', the church, is made up of millions who are called to do the same things – see Jn 14:12]