Matthew 9:18-19 & 23-26 Jesus Heals Jairus’ Daughter

mother feeling head of sick child

The start of a very long day for Jairus

Matthew is an abbreviated story teller. Mark and Luke go into more detail in their accounts of this story. Matthew, Mark and Luke tell this story with the story of the woman with the issue of blood sandwiched in the middle of the story of Jairus’ encounter with Jesus. Those two stories are linked forever chronologically, in our minds, and spiritually to some extent. I would like to separate them for our study though. I want to put us in the picture again, like we did with Matthew’s first meeting with Jesus. Also, since Matthew was a “get to the heart of the matter” story teller, I will be bringing in details from Mark and Luke’s recollections. I’m going to take the liberty of naming Jairus’ wife Anna and his daughter Rebecca. This will make telling the story, and reading it, much easier.

Early in the morning Anna hears a sound coming from Rebecca’s room. Anna goes in to find Rebecca moving about in her bed. Anna believes Rebecca is having a bad dream. Anna sits down on the side of the bed and puts a hand on Rebecca’s arm to calm her and gently wake her from her sleep. Anna notices that Rebecca’s arm is very warm. Anna speaks softly to Rebecca to try and wake her. Rebecca responds with a moan and attempts to open her eyes. Anna is now a bit anxious as she reaches for Rebecca’s forehead. Rebecca is burning up with fever! As a mother, Anna has dealt with fevers before but this one is very high. She calls out quickly for the servant to bring her cool water and some cloths. Moments later the servant girl appears carrying the requested items. Anna begins attempting to bring Rebecca’s fever down. Read more »

Matthew 9:14-17 Jesus Approached About Fasting

Cross v Moses

Old v New Covenant

We discussed the issue of fasting while Jesus was teaching on the mountain top, but we are brought back to it again by John’s disciples’ questions. John was in prison when his disciples approached Jesus. They had been watching Jesus and His disciples. I’m not certain where Jesus was when He was approached at this point. Could we still be at Matthew’s house? It would make sense because Jesus and His disciples were eating and that may have triggered the question.

John’s disciples were comparing the differences in behaviors and practices between themselves, the Pharisees and Jesus’ disciples. There were probably a lot more differences than just fasting, but this was their focus for this interaction. Fortunately Jesus wouldn’t leave it there.

John’s life demonstrated a long term partial fast. He ate only locust and wild honey. I’m going to assume his prolonged fast was to help him stay in tune with God and God’s plans for his life. When men decided to follow John and become his disciple, did they adopt his fasting life style? I’m further going to assume that when John was placed in prison his disciples stepped up their fasting in order to make their petitions weightier before God. Read more »

Matthew 9:9-13 Jesus Calls Matthew

Jesus at tax booth

Matthew, Follow Me

We finally get to meet our author in today’s passage. Jesus meets him as He is walking along the road. Matthew is sitting in his tax boot collecting taxes. Was that anything like a toll booth where you have to pay to pass on the specific road? I wonder where Jesus was going on this trip.

I want to take a little bit of time and see if I can imagine what this meeting looked like. Ok. Matthew is dressed in his business suit. He wasn’t wearing fine clothes because that would tempt robbers to attack him. He wasn’t dressed is scruffy clothes either because he had to command respect from those he was collecting taxes from. He may have been wearing some kind of official uniform or an official seal on his clothing that made him recognizable as a duly sworn tax collector for the Roman government.

Tax collectors were notorious for squeezing every last penny out of those they collected from, authorized or not. I’m thinking Matthew probably collected more than he was required to but didn’t resort to extortion like others did. My reason for this is that I don’t think Jesus would have called him as a disciple if he was overly abusive. But then again, Paul was used mightily by Jesus and was said to have been a disciple untimely chosen. Read more »

Matthew 9:1-8 Jesus Heals the Paralytic

bedroll

Rise, take up your bed, & go home

We are back in Capernaum with Jesus and His disciples. Jesus heals a paralyzed man during this visit. In Mark 2:3-12 and Luke 5:18-26 we are told a bit more about this story. Through these accounts we see that Jesus had entered into a house and was teaching at the time. It may have been Peter’s house that He came back to, or another citizen of this town who wanted to open their home for Jesus that day. Whom ever owned the home, they were about to have some renovations done.

Matthew doesn’t share with us about the man being let down through the roof, but we get that detail from Mark and Luke. In all three accounts we see that Jesus is able to see their faith in action. These men were determined to get their ailing friend to Jesus. They were deeply committed to seeing their friend made well and they knew Jesus could heal him if they could just get him to Him. Read more »

Matthew 8:28-34 A Divine Appointment Creates Deviled Ham

pigs rushing into the sea

Deviled Ham

Jesus and His disciples reached the other side of the Sea of Galilee and make landfall at Gadarenes. I’m not sure why they set sail for this port when leaving Capernaum. Did they intend this to be their original destination or were they moved off course by the storm. Jesus could have righted this course if this were the case. What I really believe was that He was on a divine appointment.

The two men that met Jesus and His disciples were as wild and crazed as could be. If they lived in the time of the state mental hospitals they would have been locked up and the key would have been melted down for scrap iron! They were SCARY! Everyone in town knew about these men and were terrified to come near them. Jesus wasn’t.

Jesus knew the cause of their distress. It was Satan, BIG time. They were over run with demons. The demons recognized Jesus and His power straight away. They didn’t need to sit down and listen to Him teach or wait to view a few healing miracle to be sure Who He was. The demons were terrified of Jesus and knew that He could cast them out of the men with ease. I don’t know why they suggested the pigs. I guess they figured Jesus would have said no if they asked to be allowed to inhabit the herdsmen nearby. I don’t know why they were afraid of not inhabiting a living being. Read more »