Matthew 10:1-4 Jesus Equips His Twelve Disciples

Jesus anointing His disciples

Jesus’ Anointing Passed On

Jesus has completed His first phase of on the job training with His disciples. He is getting ready to send them out to work “in the field.” They needed one more thing before they were ready to go though. They needed the ability or authority to do the work He has for them. I wonder what exactly happened during this presentation of the “tool belts.”

Matthew goes into great detail about their instructions for their work, which we will look at starting tomorrow. But he doesn’t go into detail about how Jesus actually imparted His authority to His disciples. Jesus “gave them authority over uncleans spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (verse 1). I wonder if His impartation of His authority was through the laying on of hands.

Laying on of hands has been used to convey the transfer of authority, blessings, spiritual gifts, and healing throughout the old and new testaments. The first mention of laying on of hands is done to confer blessing is in Gen. 48:12-20 when Israel blessed Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh. Read more »

Matthew 9:35-38 The Disciples On the Job Training Phase One is Ending

dancing snoopy

The Most Exciting Job Training Imaginable

I have no idea how long the disciples were following and shadowing Jesus as He ministered to the people before He sent them out to do the same. Jesus’ active ministry was for three years. When did the disciples move from observers to participants? I asked Google this question and didn’t find any answers. I suppose that is another “bench” question for Jesus.

Jesus and His disciples are traveling “throughout all the cities and villages” teaching, preaching, and healing. I don’t know if Matthew is summing up what has come before, giving a broad account of what happened between healing the mute man and the sending out, or grouping both before and current activities together. Whatever time frame Matthew is referring to, he makes it clear that Jesus and His disciples did some extensive interacting with the people. Matthew says He went to “all” the cities and villages. I’m assuming Matthew is speaking of cities and villages populated by Israelites. We know that Jesus visited some locations that were not considered Israeli, like the village/city in Samaria with the woman at the well, but we haven’t heard of those interactions yet in our reading. He may not have gone there yet. Read more »

Matthew 9:32-34 Jesus Heals a Mute Man

man with black thought bubble

Oppression leads to depression

Because of how Matthew jumps from high point to high point in his storytelling, I’m not sure if the phrase “as they were going away” (verse 32) is referring to the two blind men or not. Logic would tell me yes, but I have been fooled a few times already. Whenever it happened chronologically, someone brought to Jesus a man who was unable to speak.

Having a medical background sometimes gets me thinking about the suffering people in the stories in the bible in a different way. One thing I ponder is what our medical community would have labeled their illnesses today. Another is what treatment would we have prescribed for them? Still another is wondering why so many illnesses were attributed to demons and demon possession. Mental health illnesses specifically were prone to this diagnosis/description. Mental health is actually the focus area in my training. I will not say expert because I am FAR from that. Our story today brings those thoughts front and center for me. Read more »

Matthew 9:27-31 Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

two blind men following Jesus

Son of David, have mercy on us

Everywhere Jesus goes, He is met by someone in need. Today we meet two blind men who heard Jesus was passing by. In this story Jesus was on His way to someone’s house. We aren’t told whose house it was. It could have even been Jesus’ own house.

The first thing we notice about these blind men is that they are persistent. They don’t simply sit by the roadside and hope Jesus notices them. They get up and start following Jesus. They follow Him all the way to the house Jesus was going to and even enter the house after has gone inside. I wonder how far they followed Jesus. Why didn’t Jesus heal them on the spot when they first started calling out to Him?

The second thing I notice is that they know of Jesus’ extraordinary power and His lineage. They must have heard tales of Him as people walked by. Maybe even some of their own relatives told them about Jesus and suggested that He might be willing to help them. They call Him the Son of David, which means they recognize Him as the heir that was said to be coming from David’s line that would be the Messiah. Read more »

Matthew 9:20-22 Jesus Heals a Desperate Woman

woman reaches out to touch Jesus clothes

The hem of His garment

(Sorry in advance. This is a bit longer than usual)

Yesterday we took a look at the story of Jairus that sandwiched the story of today; the woman with the issue of blood. Today we are going to take the time to meet her personally. As a woman I hate nearly everything about my monthly cycle and am reluctant to even talk about it, but for this woman’s sake I am going to step into her shoes and walk a few miles in them today with you beside me.

We don’t have a lot of information to go on when constructing a story about this woman. I believe she was between the ages of 24 and 50. I get this because of the usual age of onset of menses is about 12 and she has suffered with her issue for 12 years, making her at least 24 years old. She is probably not over 50 because that is roughly the age when menopause begins. So we are somewhere in between.

She is destitute because she has spent all her money on doctors. So we know she had to have some kind of money or income before this all began. I don’t know how she could have survived starvation if she didn’t have some kind of regular income, unless she became a beggar. I don’t know of any other story in the bible about a female beggar though. She couldn’t be a prostitute with her condition, so that income is out. She could have been married and had a husband that, though he couldn’t touch her, still cared enough about her to give her enough money or food to simply stay her alive. Did she receive support from the church like the widows were supposed to? Her original money could have been her dowry. Read more »