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in his writing of poses the question to imagine taxes being levied by an occupying force. He asks to

Put yourself in the crowd following Jesus along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus is announcing good news of the restoration of God’s kingdom, so you’re expecting him to solve Israel’s problems, to get rid of the Satan-servants and sinners. Look, there’s one right here — that twisted wretch at his toll booth. Perhaps Jesus will overturn his tables and drive him out of the region.

File:Gospel of Luke Chapter 5-12 (Bible Illustrations by Sweet Media).jpg

Jesus calls Matthew & eats at his home – Biblical illustration of Gospel of Luke Chapter 5 + Gospel of Mark Chapter 2 – Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984

The reaction of Jesus may have been regarded very strange, him not treating the tax collector as a scumbag, but treating him as a person — a human being with a name:

9 Moving on from there, Jesus saw a person named Matthew seated in the toll collection booth, and said to him,

“Follow me.”

He stood up and followed him.

We even got to read that Jesus came to share the meal with many tax collectors and sinners.

remarks

We all know that God’s blessing comes to the person who does NOT walk with the wicked, or stand with sinners, or sit with those whose lifestyle mocks Israel’s God and his laws (Psalm 1:1).

So, what about this man and his followers or diciples?

11 The Pharisees noticed and queried his students,

“What’s this? Your teacher entertains tax collectors and sinners?”

12 Overhearing what they said, Jesus said,

“It isn’t those who are strong who need a healer; it’s the ones who aren’t doing well.”

Mr. Browne sees that

There’s the core difference between Jesus and his contemporaries. The Pharisees want to cure Israel’s woes by cutting out the cancer that’s sucking the life-blood out of the nation. The Satan-serving tax collectors and the Law-breaking sinners are the reason why the kingdom of God has not been restored. Get rid of them so that Israel’s God does not have to look on their offences, and Israel will be restored as his people again. That’s their belief.

Jesus, on the other hand, wants to cure the cancer, to restore these distorted outgrowths of evil as true human beings again, to restore all God’s people as his kingdom. That’s why he’s spending his life with those who are the worst, the people everyone else regards as beyond help.

We may not forget that the sent one of God has a task given by his heavenly Father. It is not a mission to overthrow the occupants with violence? Though

King Jesus’ mission is to rescue his people. All of them.

What others are saying

Craig Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H, 1992), 157:

Jesus’ fraternizing with disreputable people remains a scandal in the predominantly middle class, suburban, Western church. Many of us, like the Pharisees, at best ignore the outcasts of our society and at worst continue to discriminate against them. We do well to consider substantially increasing our spiritual, evangelistic, and social outreach to minorities, the homeless, prostitutes, addicts and pushers, gays and lesbians, AIDS victims, and the like, as well as to the more hidden outcasts such as divorcees, single parents, the elderly, white-collar alcoholics, and so on. We must get to know them as intimately as Jesus did — only close and trusted friends shared table fellowship over meals. We dare not join with sinners in their sinning, but we may well have to go places with them and encounter the world’s wickedness in ways that the contemporary Pharisees in our churches will decry.

David L. Turner, Matthew, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 254:

Jesus’s social interaction with notorious sinners scandalized the Pharisees of his own day, and it likewise tends to embarrass those in our day whose views about separation from worldliness stress externals rather than personal integrity. Association with unbelievers must be handled with wisdom so that ethical compromise is avoided, but fear of such compromise cannot become an excuse for isolation from those who most need the message of the kingdom (cf. 1 Cor. 5:9–10).

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Matthew 9:9-13 – Pharisees Accuse When Matthew Is Called

|| Mark 2:13-17; Luke 5:27-32

File:Loon Calling of Saint Matthew.jpg

Calling of Saint Matthew – Theodoor van Loon (1581/1582–1649) – National Museum in Warsaw (MNW)

MT9:9 Now leaving there Jesus saw a man called Matthew[1] sitting at the tax office, and Jesus said to him,

“Follow me.”

And Matthew rose and followed[2] Jesus. MT9:10 And when Jesus was staying in the house, look! many tax-collectors[3] and ‘sinners’[4] came[5] and reclined [at table] with him and his disciples. MT9:11 When the Pharisees observed[6] this they said to Jesus’ disciples,

“Why does your teacher[7] eat with tax-collectors and ‘sinners’?”

MT9:12 Hearing this Jesus told them,

“The healthy[8] do not need a healer but those who are sick. MT9:13 Go and learn what this is, ‘I wish mercy and not a sacrifice.’[9] [Hosea 6:6] For I came to invite,[10] not the righteous, but sinners.”[11]

*

[1] Matthew: The name means “Gift of Yah” and occurs 5 times in the Christian Bible (Matthew 9:9; 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15; Acts 1:13). He is traditionally thought to be the author of the Gospel of Matthew. He is also known as “Levi.” This occurs near the end of 30 or early 31 AD.

[2] Matthew rose and followed: Consider the parallel accounts. Matthew leaves everything – stops right in the middle of his work and abandons his work. The later meal is evidently at Matthew’s house.

[3] Tax-collectors: Called “publicans” by the KJV. NEB: tax-gatherers.

[4] ‘Sinners’: Perhaps in truth, but certainly from the view of the ‘religious.’ NEB: bad characters; TCNT: outcasts; PME: disreputable people; NOR: bad repute; GDSP: irreligious.

[5] Many tax-collectors and ‘sinners’ came: Possibly guests invited by Matthew indicating his former associates.

[6] Pharisees observed: Like spies they begin to probe for a fault in the Nazarene. A large feast, possibly in an open patio visible to others, which attracted the attention of others. Likely the news of Jesus visiting Matthew spread rapidly. The man had left his work and the tax office immediately and that must have created talk.

[7] Teacher: Or, Master; Rabbi.

[8] Healthy: Or, “strong.” KJV: whole; WEY: in good health.

[9] I wish mercy and not a sacrifice: A quote of Hosea 6:6 also occurring at Mark 12:7.

[10] Invite: The Greek is KALESAI. KJV: call.

[11] Sinners: The KJV adds “to repentance.” TCNT: outcasts; GDSP: irreligious. We can imagine for a moment the hearts of these well up at the thought – one face turning to another, eyes meeting eyes – with delight. Surely the level of murmuring rose.

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Preceding article

Matthew 9:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Messiah Forgives Sins and Heals Paralytic

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Related articles

  1. Jesus Calls Matthew
  2. The Calling of Matthew (Levi)
  3. Matthew Joins the Team
  4. Meditation: Matthew 9:9-13
  5. September 21st Feast of St Matthew – Gospel Reading (Matthew 9:9-13)
  6. Gospel of the Day, September 21 (Matthew 9:9-13) [Feast of St. Matthew, apostle and evangelist]
  7. Matthew 9:9-13
  8. Matthew 9:10-13
  9. Daily devotional for 4 September 2017 – Matthew 9:12-13
  10. Son of a Tax Collector! (Matthew 9:9-13)
  11. We Might Have Missed Something in “Faith Like a Child”
  12. Following Jesus…

CHAPTER NINE:
KINGDOM PREACHING
AND CURES IN A GREAT HARVEST

Matthew 9:1-8 – Messiah Forgives Sins and Heals Paralytic

|| Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26

File:Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini - Christ Healing the Paralytic - WGA17141.jpg

Christ Healing the Paralytic – (painted between 1730 and 1732) Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (1675-1741)

MT9:1 Now boarding the boat Jesus crossed [Galilee] to his own town.[1] MT9:2 And, look! [people of his town] were approaching Jesus with a bed-ridden paralytic. When Jesus saw their faith[2] he said to the paralytic,

“Courage, child, you are released[3] from your sins.”

MT9:3 Now, note, certain Scribes[4] said among themselves,

“This fellow blasphemes!”[5]

MT9:4 But, realizing what they were thinking[6] Jesus told them,

“What evil you think in your hearts! MT9:5 For which is easier to say,[7] ‘You are released from your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’?

MT9:6 But, so that you will realize the Son of Humankind has authority[8] on earth to release from sins”

– then Jesus told the paralytic,

“Get up, pick up your bed, and return to your home.”

MT9:7 And the paralytic rose and returned to his home. MT9:8 When the crowds saw this they were awe-struck and began to glorify The God – the One who gave such authority[9] to humans.

[1] His own town: Capernaum (Matthew 4:13).

[2] Their faith: That is, the faith of the parents.

[3] Released: Or, forgiven. The Greek is APHIENTAI. WEY: pardoned.

[4] Scribes: TCNT: Teachers of the Law; BECK: Bible scholars.

[5] Blasphemes: The Greek is BLASPHEMEI. RHM: speaketh profanely; WEY: impious; BAS: the man has no respect for God.

[6] What they were thinking: Some believe Jesus could read minds. This need not be the case as a very sensitive and observant person may surmise their thinking.

[7] Which is easier to say: Observe Jesus’ own faith.

[8] Authority: If Jesus were God he would not need authority from another.

[9] One who gave such authority: Note the crowd realizes it is God who gave this authority to Jesus. Not only this but they say ANTHROPOIS, meaning “men” or “humans” – plural. In the parallels the Scribes add that “only God can forgive sins.” This is their own judgment, not the facts in the case. Even Jesus authorized his own apostles to “forgive sins.” (John 20:23) Jesus forgives sin because The God (HO THEOS) authorized him to do so.

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Preceding articles:

Authority from the One God to one mediator between God and men

More than just a man with authority of speaking

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #5 Matthew 7:28-29 – The Crowd’s Reaction

Matthew 8:28-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Demon-possessed of the Gadarenes

Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28

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Additional reading

  1. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  2. A birthday passed nearly unnoticed
  3. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it

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Related articles

  1. The Authority of Jesus
  2. Wisdom Wednesday
  3. Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity – Matthew 9:1-8
  4. Showing friendship (Matthew 9:1-8)
  5. In opposing Sadducees, do not become a Pharisee

Matthew 8:28-34 – The Demon-possessed of the Gadarenes

|| Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-37

MT8:28 When Jesus reached the other shore in the country of the Gadarenes[1] two demon-possessed [men] came out from among the memorial tombs[2] to met him. These [demoniacs] were unusually fierce and no one had the strength or courage to travel through that way. MT8:29 And, look! they shrieked, yelling, “What? – to us and you,[3] Son of The God? Did you come here to torment[4] us before the appointed time?”[5] MT8:30 (Far away from them was a feeding herd of swine.)[6] MT8:31 So, the demons entreated him, saying, “If you are going to exorcise us, send us into the herd of swine.” MT8:32 Jesus said to them, “Off with you!” Those exorcised went away into the swine; and, look! the entire herd ran down the precipice into the sea and they died in the waters. MT8:33 But those pasturing the herd fled into the city reporting everything involving the demon-possessed [men]. MT8:34 And, look! the entire city came out to confront Jesus and when they saw him they entreated him to leave their area.

[1] Gadarenes: Called “country of the Gerasenes” in other mss and Mark 5:1 and Luke 8:26.

[2] Memorial tombs: The Greek is MNEMEION and could be rendered “memorium” but generally rendered “tombs” and “burial places.” The same word occurs at John 5:28.

[3] What? – to us and you: A Hebraic phrase of disdain or contempt. It is variously rendered: NWT: what have we to do with you; RHM: what have we in common with thee; TCNT: what do you want with us; LAM: what business have we together; KNX: why dost thou meddle with us. Jesus used the same language with his mother when she appeared to either direct him or insist he perform a miracle (John chapter 2).

[4] Torment: The Greek is BASANISAI and though it is generally rendered this way as well as “torture” (GDSP) the idea is one of “punishment.” One may compare its use in the Jewish Greek LXX Ezekiel 32:24, 27, 30 where it is used of buried soldiers and their armament. The word group occurs 20 times in the Christian Bible. Regarding Matthew 18:34, The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia states: “Probably the imprisonment itself was regarded as ‘torment’ (as it doubtless was), and the ‘tormentors’ need mean nothing more than jailers.” (Edited by J. Orr, 1960, Vol. V, p. 2999)

[5] Before the appointed time: These demons were not then being tormented in some hell-fire. Their ultimate punishment will be “everlasting cutting off” in what Revelation calls “Second Death.” (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:14)

[6] Herd of swine: Jews were forbidden pork and raising them violated the Law of Moses (Leviticus 11:7; Deuteronomy 14:8). Compare the following regarding Jews and pork (Isaiah 65:4; 66:17; 1 Maccabees 1:63 and 2 Maccabees 6:18, 19; 7:1, 2). The Non-Jews consider pork a delicacy and doubtless these swine-herders sold their product to these.

The demons began to entreat Jesus saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And Jesus said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

Matthew 8:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus a Miracle-working Son of God

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

Matthew 8:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

Matthew 8:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Would-be Followers

Matthew 8:23-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Calms a Stormy Sea

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Further reading

  1. Matthew 8:28-34
  2. Matthew 8:23-24 … bay of Pigs
  3. Escaping the Fear Factor
  4. August 13, 2017 The Gadarene Demoniac
  5. 6th Sunday of Luke: The Gadarene Demoniac
  6. Day 127 – the Gerasene Demoniac
  7. 14th October: Mark 4:1-6:13
  8. How could they not know?
  9. Meditation: Matthew 8:28-34
  10. Thoughts to Ponder from Amos 5:14-15, 21-24 and Matthew 8:28-34
  11. Maybe It’s All in the Telling
  12. Go then …
  13. What if people don’t want Jesus as king? (Matthew 8:28-34)
  14. Inconvenient Christianity
  15. Second Death (New heaven on earth)
  16. The Second Death: The Lake Of Fire And Brimstone

Matthew 8:23-27 – Jesus Calms a Stormy Sea

|| Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25

MT8:23 Jesus’ disciples followed him as he embarked into the boat. MT8:24 And, look! a great disturbance[1] occurred in the sea and the boat was about to be swamped[2] by the [storm] waves. But Jesus was sleeping.[3] MT8:25 They approached Jesus and aroused him, saying, “Master, save us, for we are being destroyed!” MT8:26 And Jesus told them, “Why are you frightened,[4] you with little faith?”[5] Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea and a great calm occurred. MT8:27 But, these men wondered, saying, “What kind of person[6] is this that the winds and the sea obey him?”

[1] A great disturbance: The Greek is SEISMOS MEGAS as in a shaking, a great earthquake.

[2] About to be swamped: The Greek is literally “covered” indicating the height of the waves. The Sea of Galilee is capable of great and sudden storms. Only a person who is been in such a storm realizes the range of emotions among these seasoned fishermen. They surely were used to foul weather.

[3] Sleeping: Imagine the Nazarene’s dreams in such slumber surrounded by danger.

[4] Frightened: The Greek is DEILOI and is variously rendered: DIA: timid, KJV: fearful; RIEU: cowards

[5] Little faith: Some render the phrase: PME: little-faiths.

[6] What kind of person: They never think he is God.

Jesus calms the storm

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

Matthew 8:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus a Miracle-working Son of God

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

Matthew 8:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

Matthew 8:18-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Two Would-be Followers

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Further reading

  1. Storm Coming In
  2. When the storm is rocking your boat
  3. Matthew 8:23-27
  4. When your life is threatened (Matthew 8:23-27)
  5. Calming the Storm
  6. Peace Be Still
  7. But It’s Impossible
  8. How much does love weigh?
  9. Prayer- Lord Save Us, We Are Going Down (Matthew 8.23-27)
  10. After the Storm

Matthew 8:18-22 – Two Would-be Followers

|| Luke 9:57-60

MT8:18 But when Jesus observed the crowd surrounding him he commanded [his disciples] to leave for the other side of [Lake Galilee]. MT8:19 And a scribe[1] approached Jesus, and said: “I will follow you anywhere you go.” MT8:20 Jesus told him, “Foxes[2] have dens and birds of the sky roasts,[3] but the Son of Humankind[4] has nowhere[5] to lay his head.” MT8:21 Then a different one of the disciples[6] said to Jesus, “Sir, permit me first to go and bury my father.”[7] MT8:22 But, Jesus told him, “Be following me[8] and let the dead bury their own dead.”[9]

[1] Scribe: The Greek is GRAMMATEUS, a grammarian, writer or copyist. The word occurs about 75 times in the Bible, beginning with Judges 5:14 (Compare 1 Chronicles 2:55; Ezra 4:8, 9, 17, 23). The group occur in Matthew, 22; Mark, 21; Luke, 14; John, 1; Acts, 3; 1 Corinthians, 1. The scribe may be learning or educated. The Hebrew sopherim were very dedicated to the precise hand-copying of the Scriptures. They counted not only the words but also the letters of the entire Hebrew Bible. They were associated with teachers of the Law and particularly the sect of the Pharisees. They could be called “Rabbi.” We would suspect their fingers blackened from much use of pen and ink. The older scribes much hunched over from labors and the penmanship table.

[2] Foxes: The animal lives in burrows underground which may be substantial. They are mentioned nine times in the Bible.

[3] Roasts: Note not “nests” but temporary places to spend the night.

[4] Son of Humankind: The Greek is HUIOS TOU ANTHROPOU and is most often rendered “Son of man.” There are several words for “man” and so we prefer to widen this word to mean “human” which may or may not include women as in “humankind” according to the context. The phrase is taken directly from Daniel 7:13 which was understood by the Jewish teachers to refer to the Messiah or even the Son of God (Compare Philo Judaea). The designation occurs about 180 times and is applied to Daniel and Ezekiel, most often in the Hebrew Bible to the latter prophet. The title occurs in Matthew, 31; Mark, 14; Luke, 25; John, 13; Acts, 1 and rarely elsewhere.

[5] Nowhere: Jesus has no permanent residence but is like Paul, “homeless.” (1 Corinthians 4:11) It is interesting to note when we see Jesus next sleeping: in the fishing boat during the storm. He is often seen spending the night outdoors even up to his final week. Such a person today would be considered a homeless street-person and shunned by genteel Christians.

[6] A different one of the disciples: Possibly one other than the twelve. It is interesting to note that this “disciples” wishes to “follow” Jesus. One might assume that is what being a disciple meant. It is possible the account means by this that the disciple wanted to become part of Jesus personal entourage which followed him everywhere.

[7] Bury my father: Many understand this to mean the disciple wished to return to his living father and wait until his death and burial and thereafter begin his following Jesus.

[8] Following me: Jesus does not include him among his closest disciples but encourages the man to continue to follow on this course.

[9] Dead bury their own dead: Those who are spiritually dead as children of Adam and have not taken up Nazarene discipleship. There were others who could bear this burden leaving the man free to follow if he so chose. Discipleship, particularly apostleship, were serious matters worthy of total commitment by a man. It is possibly the reason women were not invited to make this sacrifice, given their obligations as mothers.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

Matthew 8:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus a Miracle-working Son of God

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

Matthew 8:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

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Additional reading

  1. A call easy to understand
  2. Discipleship to look at
  3. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  4. Breathing and growing with no heir
  5. Fellowship
  6. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian

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Further related

  1. Matthew 8:18-22
  2. Following Jesus…
  3. Discipleship
  4. the cost of discipleship
  5. The Cost of (Non) Discipleship
  6. The cost of discipleship, peace, and division

Matthew 8:14-17 – Jesus Heals Peter’s Mother-in-law

|| Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41

MT8:14 Upon arriving at Peter’s house[1] Jesus saw his mother-in-law[2] down with a burning fever. MT8:15 Jesus touched her[3] and the fever left her. She rose and began serving Jesus.[4] MT8:16 Now when evening arrived they brought to Jesus many demon-possessed[5] and he exorcised[6] the spirits[7] with a mere word; and those suffering badly he cured.[8] MT8:17 This [was done] so that spoken by Isaiah[9] the prophet might be fulfilled: “He took [upon himself] our sicknesses and our diseases he carried.” [Isaiah 53:4]

[1] Peter’s house: Possibly owned by Peter. It is also possible he later sold it to obey Luke 12:33 thus setting his example in Acts 2:44, 45; 4:34-37.

[2] Mother-in-law: Most understand that Peter was married as Paul later mentions (1 Corinthians 9:5). We are told nothing of Peter’s wife.

[3] Jesus touched her: Some of Jesus’ healings involved touch (Matthew 20:34).; others did not, as in the case of the centurion’s servant. Regarding Jesus’ touch (or, others touching him) see: Matthew 8:3, 15; 9:20, 21, 29; 14:36; 17:7; 20:34; Mark 1:41; 3:10; 5:27; 6:56; 7:33; 8:22; 10:13; Luke 5:13; 6:19; 7:14, 39; 8:44; 18:15; 22:51.

[4] Serving Jesus: That is, showing hospitality as in preparing food and drink. We wonder what goes through her mind.

[5] Demon-possessed: The Greek is DAIMONI-ZOMENOUS and is also rendered: WEY: demoniacs; KJV: possessed with devils; BAS: had evil spirits. The word occurs ten times only in the Synoptic Gospels.

[6] Exorcised: The Greek is EXEBALEN and is variously rendered: KJV: cast out; NOR: drove out; KIT: threw out (Compare Matthew 9:33; Mark 1:34; 16:9).

[7] Spirits: The Greek is PNEUMATA and is rendered “demons” by some (MON).

[8] Cured: The Greek is ETHERAPEUSEN and may be translated “healed.” The word occurs three dozen times in the Gospels.

[9] Isaiah: That is Isaiah 53:4. Isaiah is quoted by name 21 times (Matthew, 5; Mark, 2; Luke, 2; John, 4; Acts, 3; Romans, 5). 1 Peter 2:24 alludes to this same verse.

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

Matthew 8:1-4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus a Miracle-working Son of God

Matthew 8:5-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Servant of Army Officer Healed

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Additional reading

  1. Oh god, this is never going to end!
  2. Commemorating the escape from slavery

+++

Further reading

  1. Day 12 – Unwavering faith
  2. Matthew 8 (When life takes flight)
  3. Jesus is not only our Redeemer, He is also our Master
  4. Though He Delay, He Will be Faithful
  5. Experiencing Jesus’s Touch
  6. That special touch. Blog 12-2017
  7. Jesus, Thursday November 16, AD 29

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