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Matthew 9:35-38 – Looking at Jesus our shepherd

Matthew 9:36 (translation by )
Seeing the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and thrown down like sheep with no shepherd.

Can you imagine how a flock sheep would behave when there is no leader around them or no shepherd?

The people listening to Jesus knew about harvesting. But we can wonder if the fishermen would have understood Jesus talking about a master of the harvest and a harvest truly being plenteous, but only having a few labourers. We can look forward to a rich harvest but still have to see that the workers are few.

People should come to see that the son of man, who is also the son of David and the son of God at the same time, as the sent one from God is next to the King also the Good Shepherd who wants all his sheep to be saved. Just as a shepherd looks after his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so Jesus also will look after his sheep, the people who God has given him. Though at his time like in our time they need rescue from all the places where they were or are scattered when it was or is cloudy and dark. (Ezechiel 34:11–12, 15–17) Like the Adonai Elohim will seek the lost, bring back the outcasts, bandage the broken, and strengthen the sick, He has given the world His only begotten beloved son to heal them and to gather them.

In this ninth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew we could see how Jesus takes care of those who are willing to belief in him and for those who put their hope in him. He is there for the needy and helpless people. Throughout the gospels we can see that Jesus was patient to listen to people and to answer their questions. He spoke to crowds, fed them, healed the sick and reached out to outcasts, even not to be afraid to mingle with them or to eat with them. Therefore he got criticized (Matthew 9 & 15)

In this world people could see many kings. But none of them managed to be as good as the king God would provide from the seed of king David.

Among the scattered sheep in exile, Ezekiel explained that God had to remove the bad kings; yet he also promised that God would raise up a son of David to rule over them again:

Ezekiel 34:10, 23 (NIV)
10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. …
23 I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. {
Jesus our shepherd (Matthew 9:35-38)}

Jesus looked at the people around him and could feel their agony.

writes

sheep harassed (skullō) and thrown down (rhiptō) under empire after empire (9:36).

But just as God had said, the promised king now stood among them in the person of Jesus. He was the ruler anointed to restore David’s kingship, the shepherd of Israel. Matthew has already used that language to describe Jesus as their king:

Matthew 2:6 (NIV)
But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.

When Matthew speaks of Jesus’ authority, this is what he means. He is Israel’s shepherd. That’s what Jesus was doing:

  • announcing the good news of the kingdom;
  • being the shepherd who restores his people (9:35).

That’s what he’s been doing since the start (compare 4:23).

The unshepherded sheep of Israel were scattered all over the ancient world in Jesus’ time. Drawing them back into the care of the Davidic shepherd would be a massive task.

For Jesus, it felt like standing in a field with a massive crop around him, and only a few workers to help bring them in (9:37). That’s why he asked his disciples to go and petition the Lord of the harvest to send out workers right across the harvest field, to every corner where the sheep were scattered (9:38).

The king will not complete this harvest alone. He appoints workers for his government, delegating his regal authority to those who ask him for help to harvest, to bring the earth back under his kingship (10:1).

We are not individual sheep, searching for existence in postmodern isolation for fear of being harassed and mistreated. We belong to the shepherd. He’s everyone’s shepherd. And the shepherd is drawing the scattered sheep together into a kingdom where we belong, a community where we care for each other the way the shepherd cares for us.

 

What others are saying

G. K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 174:

The miracles were a sign of the inbreaking new creation, where people would be completely healed.

Craig Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H, 1992), 166:

The language of “sheep without a shepherd” echoes Num 27:17 and Ezek 34:5, in which the shepherd is most likely messianic (cf. Ezek 34:23). Similar sentiments will well up in Jesus again at the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:34). As in the days of the prophets, the rightful leadership of Israel had abdicated its responsibility, as demonstrated by its inability or unwillingness to recognize God’s true spokesmen. “Harassed and helpless” literally means torn and thrown down (cf. Berkeley, “mangled and thrown to the ground”). Predators, and possibly even unscrupulous shepherds (Zech 10:2–3; 11:16) have ravaged the sheep. Verse 36 provides a stinging rebuke to the Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees.

Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 309:

The term Jesus uses for “workers” here recurs in 10:10 (cf. 20:1), indicating that the workers Jesus wished to send forth into the harvest were his own disciples. … After commissioning them to pray for “workers,” Jesus commissioned them as “workers” (10:10).

 

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Preceding articles

More than just a man with authority of speaking

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

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

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

Matthew 9:27-31 – What others are saying about the blind men recognising the son of David

Matthew 9:32-34 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Speechless Demoniac Healed

Matthew 9:32-34 – How others look at the blind, speechless and demoniac being healed

Matthew 9:35-38 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Preaching Tour in a Great Harvest

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

Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28

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Additional reading

  1. Written down in God’s Name for righteousness
  2. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  3. Counterfeit Gospels
  4. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  5. A birthday passed nearly unnoticed
  6. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  7. Atonement And Fellowship 2/8
  8. Looking for a shepherd for the sheep and goats
  9. Others that hinder the message
  10. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  11. Which Christians Actually Evangelize
  12. Jesus … will come in the same way as you saw him go

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Further related articles

  1. Jesus!
  2. Solemnity of Jesus Christ the king- (A): Jesus is King, Shepherd and Judge.
  3. Jesus-Shepherd for All Who Believe
  4. Names of Jesus – The Good Shepherd
  5. “Why Is Jesus the Good Shepherd?”
  6. Jesus: The Good Shepherd (ready writer)
  7. Jesus The Good Shepherd (by Grace Apocalypse)
  8. The Sheep of God’s Pasture
  9. The Good Shepherd
  10. Jesus – My Good Shepherd
  11. Jesus is for Kings and Shepherds
  12. The Compassionate Jesus
  13. Called by Jesus the shepherd of your soul
  14. How does Jesus meet our needs?
  15. Every Good Work
  16. What They Really Need
  17. All You Have to do is Follow Jesus!

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

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

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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

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

Matthew 8:5-13 – Servant of Army Officer Healed

|| Luke 7:1-10; John 4:46-53

MT8:5 Entering Capernaum a centurion[1] approached Jesus begging him MT8:6 saying, “Sir, my servant-boy[2] is house-bound, a paralytic, in terrible agony.” MT8:7 Jesus told him, “When I arrive I shall[3] cure him.” MT8:8 But the centurion replied: “I am unfit[4] to have you enter under my roof; but only say the word and my servant-boy will be healed. MT8:9 For I am a man in a position of authority with many soldiers under me. And I tell this one, ‘Get up and go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes. And to my own slave,[5] ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” MT8:10 Hearing this Jesus marveled and told those following him, “I tell you this truth,[6] I tell you, I have never discovered such faith[7] in all of Israel![8] MT8:11 But, I tell you that many from sunrise to sunset[9] will come and recline with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob[10] in the Realm of the Heavens, MT8:12 but the sons of the kingdom[11] will be cast out into the outer darkness, and there they will weep and grind their teeth.”[12] MT8:13 And then Jesus spoke to the centurion, “Be on your way: just as you believed,[13] let it happen to you.” And the servant-boy was healed in that very hour.

[1] Centurion: The word occurs ten times in the Christian Bible between Matthew and Acts. This Roman army officer was in charge of one hundred soldiers. Roman legions, despite the number of troops were divided into 60 centuries under the command of a centurion. This is an occupying soldier often disliked by the Jews. However, some Roman soldiers became quite favorable to the Jews, giving charitable gifts, and at least in one known case, built a synagogue. Compare a later centurion, Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 (Note John the Baptist’s suggestions to such soldiers at Luke 3:14).

[2] Servant-boy: The Greek is PAIS meaning “boy.” “Boy” is an old English word for a male slave or servant. “Girl” designated a female slave. “Boy” in certain racial contexts is derogatory in many cultures today. Some women object to “girl” because of its historical roots in slavery.

[3] I shall: Note our Lord’s confident faith.

[4] I am unfit: Actually Jews had little to do with Non-Jews and the “religious” among them had no dealings at all.

[5] Slave: This is a different Greek word than PAIS above – DOULO meaning a slave or servant. The word group “slave” occurs 400 times in the Bible, most often in the Christian Bible in Matthew and Luke. The first occurrence is Genesis 9:25 following the Flood. In Paul’s epistles the word “slave” is often applied as a designation for a disciple of the Nazarene. One of Paul’s letters, Philemon (verse 16), was written to a Christian slave owner.

[6] I tell you this truth: The literal Greek word is AMEN and is variously rendered: verily, solemnly, truly. The word usually precedes a sober statement.

[7] Faith: This is the second occurrence of the word “faith” in Matthew. The first was in the Sermon on the Mount at Matthew 6:30. The Greek is PISTIN and is usually translated by the Latin biased word “faith” or the old English bias word “belief.” Paul defines “faith” in Hebrews 11:1. The words “faith” and “believe” occur over 700 times in the Bible. The first occurrence is Genesis 15:6 in the case of the father of all the faithful, Abraham. The word occurs most often in the Letter to the Romans. The last occurrence deals with those lacking faith (Revelation 21:8).

[8] Such faith in all of Israel: This must have struck his disciples hard! Observers may already have been questioning the propriety of such contact with a Gentile, let alone an occupying soldier. And, then to be told this Roman centurion’s faith was so outstanding. How much basis did the centurion have to place his faith and trust in this carpenter from Nazareth? Surely the humble solider serves as an example two thousand years later?

[9] Sunrise to sunset: Or, east and west; orient and occident.

[10] Abraham and Isaac and Jacob: This verse has been very controversial with a variety of opinions. Some view it as evidence these ancient patriarchs would attain to heavenly life. Jesus repeats something similar in another context at Luke 13:29 where he amplifies the compass directions. Judging from Matthew 11:11, 12 these honorable forefathers would only equal John the Baptist who would not be a member of the Kingdom Realm of heaven. So, what may this verse mean? Judging from the context of Luke 13:29 it may be understood in this manner: The phrase “kingdom of the heavens” likely refers to the Realm of Profession (Christendom) over which the Lord Messiah reigns, that is, the Christian Church. The three patriarchs possibly stand as a symbol for the Jewish roots of those first members of Christ’s church/kingdom. As in that “root of fatness” which comprises the Olive Tree of Romans chapter 11. In the year 36 the first Gentile convert to Christianity joined the Church along with his family. This was the first to come to the spiritual table within that Realm of Christian Profession. Meanwhile the religious hypocrites found themselves outside in the darkness. Near the end of his ministry when Greeks wish to speak to them, Jesus assured that following his ascension he “would draw all kinds of men.” (John 12:20-32) The names of the patriarchs are used as synonyms for the nation of Israel [Abraham – Isaiah 29:22; Isaac, Amos 7:9; Jeremiah 33:26; Psalm 105:9. Jacob in particular is a cryptic for Israel – Psalms 14:7; 44:4; 47:4; 53:6; 59:13; 78:5, 21, 71; 79:7; 85:1; 87:2; 99:4; 105:10; 135:4; 147:19; Rachel is also used for all of Israel, Jeremiah 31:15]

[11] Sons of the kingdom: That is the Jews who were promised such a “kingdom of priests” upon their obedience to God’s covenant (Exodus 19:5, 6). Jesus uses the phrase only one other time in Matthew 13:38 as he applies it to the wheat class of Christians within “the kingdom of the heavens.” This kingdom is that of the Son, in which there prove to be the lawless. It contrasts with the Father’s Kingdom where the Saints will shine like the sun in glory (Matthew 13:41-43; Daniel 12:3).

[12] Grind their teeth: Note how this begins at Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7:54, 57).

[13] Believed: Or, conviction, trust, faith. The Greek is EPISTEUSAS.

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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

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Further reading

  1. Are We a Kingdom of Priests?
  2. Israel will be a kingdom of priests “if” & decline in true church in USA
  3. “Assembling His Kingdom of Priest”
  4. You Were Chosen For A Divine Purpose
  5. How to Find Healing In a Sick World
  6. Healing Christ
  7. Prayer- Jesus, only speak the word (Matthew 8.5-11)

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

CHAPTER EIGHT:
JESUS HEALS, CONTROLS WEATHER,
EXPELS DEMONS

[A Miracle-Working Son of God]

Matthew 8:1-4 – Crowds Gather as Leper Cleansed

|| Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16

MT8:1 Great crowds followed Jesus when he came down from the mountain. MT8:2 And, look! a leper[1] approached Jesus and bowed to the ground,[2] prostrating himself at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Sir, if you are able and willing, cleanse me.” MT8:3 And, reaching out his hand Jesus touched the leper, saying, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” And immediately the man was cleansed of the leprosy. MT8:4 And Jesus told the leper, “See you tell no one[3] and [go] offer the [sacrificial] gift appointed by Moses[4] as a testimony to them.”

[1] Leper: Lepers and leprosy occur 20 times in the Hebrew Bible and 9 times in the Christian Bible.

[2] Bowed to the ground: The whole phrase is from the single Greek word PROSEKUNEI (before + kiss), inferring severe prostration and kissing the sandals of the respected one. The rendering with the word “worship” is misleading in modern English though not in King James English. Strong’s Greek Number 4352: from 4314 and a probable derivative of 2965 (meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand). The word occurs 60 times in the KJV. It has the range of meaning: 1) to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; 2) among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; 3) in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication; 3a) used of homage shown to men and beings of superior rank.

[3] See you tell no one: Several times Jesus tells a healed person this, usually with the opposite result – they go and tell everyone (Mark 1:44, 45; Luke 5:14, 15).

[4] Gift appointed by Moses: See Leviticus 14:1-32

File:Leprosy thigh demarcated cutaneous lesions.jpg

Hansens disease, leprosy. Depicts thigh with demarcated cutaneous lesions Source: US.departement of health and human services

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Preceding

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

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

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Further reading

  1. Commentary on Matthew 8
  2. Unclean – Matthew 8:1-3
  3. Matthew 8 (When life takes flight)
  4. Matthew 8 (by A. Sorensen)
  5. ​Matthew 8:3 NIV
  6. Deuteronomy 33,34; Psalm 119:145-176; Isaiah 60; Matthew 8
  7. Lost and hurting? Drop the k

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