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Posts tagged ‘Matthew 9’

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

Matthew 9:27-31 – Blind Men Healed

MT9:27 Traveling from there two blind men followed Jesus, crying out,

“Have mercy on us, Son of David!”[1]

MT9:28 After entering the house the blind men approached Jesus who said to them,

“Do you believe I am able to do this?”

They said,

“Yes, Master!”

MT9:29 Then Jesus touched their eyes, saying,

“Let it happen according to your own faith.”

MT9:30 And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly charged them,

“See to it that nobody learns of this.”[2]

MT9:31 But when these left they made it public throughout that whole area.

*

[1] Son of David: A recognition that Jesus is the Messiah. The designation occurs at Matthew 12:23; 15:22; 20:30, 31; 21:9, 15; Mark 10:47, 48; Luke 18:38, 39.

[2] See to it that nobody learns of this: This must be subtle reverse psychology, for no matter the warnings of the Nazarene it has the opposite affect.

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Preceding

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

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Matthew 9:18-26 – What others say about Jesus knowing how to care for people

In the 9th chapter of Matthew we can see how Jesus had a busy time. It shall not stay with this first time that Jesus would be interrupted in his talks. In this story the conversation with John’s disciples about fasting gets interrupted when a powerful man or “synagogue leader” comes to kneel before the Nazarene master.

in his writing of

Notice what an unusual request is being made. Jesus is asked to bring the man’s dead daughter back to life.

Browne remembers

It’s a bold request from a community leader who understands that touching a dead body will make Jesus unclean for a week, but he’s desperate. Jesus agrees to go (8:19).

When Jesus heads for the man’s house, an other desperate person wants to cling to Jesus.

In any communal event, she isn’t given the seat of honour: she’s expected to stand in the corner away from everybody else, for anything she sits on or anyone she touches will become unclean. Lev 15:19-33 spelled this out, and the verbal traditions of the Jewish leaders were so comprehensive that they formed an entire tractate of the Mishna when written down (Zabim). She’s on the lowest rung of communal life.

File:Healing of a bleeding women Marcellinus-Peter-Catacomb.jpg

The healing of a bleeding woman, Rome, Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter.

The woman, who had suffered from chronic bleeding for many years, and who had many treatments which did not help (Mark 5:25-28), wanted just to touch Jesus his cloak with the belief that if she could just touch his garment that she would be healed of her affliction. When she managed to try to do such an unnoticed act, Jesus noticing it, stopped and understood the fears that had made her attempt to take what she feared would have been denied her. He addresses her and

His words affirm the dignity and significance she doesn’t feel she has:

  • Instead of telling her off for touching him, he affirms her: “Be encouraged!”

  • Instead of treating her as a nuisance, he acknowledges her place in the family: “Daughter.”

  • Instead of rebuking her, he commends the confidence she placed in him: “Your faith has rescued you.”

In that action we can see how important faith in Jesus is to salvation. Not only suffering would come to an end, hope is given for a better life, even when there has been death.

Browne questions:

Now, seriously, who had the greater faith here? The woman who pushed in to get her healing? Or the ruler who believed Jesus could raise his daughter back to life? The ruler receives no such commendation for his faith. He didn’t need it. It’s the bleeding woman from the bottom rung of society whom Jesus stops to affirm. In fact, she’s the only person in Matthew’s Gospel to whom Jesus said those amazing words,

“Your faith has saved you.”

After the diversion, Jesus continued to the ruler’s house, where flute players and mourners where already making a commotion to ensure no one in the community was uninformed about their ruler’s loss (9:23). The community protocols requiring a display of grief are rather shallow: they quickly melt into laughter when Jesus suggests the girl is not dead but resting (9:24).

Jesus takes the dead girl by the hand, and raises her up. Touching the bleeding woman had not made Jesus unclean; it made her clean. Touching the corpse didn’t contaminate Jesus; it broke death’s hold on the girl. In Jesus, the defilement of the world is being undone; uncleanness and death are losing their grip.

Matthew doesn’t tell us how the girl’s parents responded. You can guess. What he declares is a kingdom statement, the news of Jesus restoring the land (9:31).

Those of us who are servants of Jesus’ kingdom could do well to meditate on how he cared across all the strata of society, and how he gave his richest encouragement to the people who needed it most.

 Open Matthew 9:18-26.

Tom Wright, Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (London: SPCK, 2004), 104–105:

Two of the things that were near the top of the list, things to avoid if you wanted to stay ‘pure’ in that sense, were dead bodies on the one hand, and women with internal bleeding (including menstrual periods) on the other. And in this double story Jesus is touched by a haemorrhaging woman, and then he himself touches a corpse.
No Jew would have missed the point — and Matthew was most likely writing for a largely Jewish audience. In the ordinary course of events, Jesus would have become doubly ‘unclean’ …
But at this point we realize that something is different. Her ‘uncleanness’ doesn’t infect him. Something in him infects her.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – What others are saying about feasting at the sinners’ table instead of fasting for God’s table

Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

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Matthew 9:18-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

Matthew 9:18-26 – On the Way to Raise a Ruler’s Daughter a Woman is Cured

|| Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56

MT9:18 While Jesus was speaking these things, look! one of the rulers[1] approached him and prostrated himself by bowing to the ground,[2] telling Jesus,

“My daughter has just died but come and touch her and she will live[3] [again].”

File:Christ heals bleeding woman.jpg

Christ heals bleeding woman

MT9:19 And so Jesus rose and with his disciples he followed the ruler. MT9:20 And, look! a woman suffering from a twelve-year hemorrhage[4] approached Jesus from behind touching the fringe of his outer-garment.[5] MT9:21 She had told herself,

“If only I might just touch his outer-garment I shall be saved.”[6]

MT9:22 But, turning Jesus saw her and said,

“Courage, daughter, your faith has saved you.”

And in that hour[7] the woman was saved. MT9:23 Finally, Jesus came into the house of the ruler and when he saw the flutists and the crowd making an uproar,[8] MT9:24 he told them,

“Everyone, go outside, for the little girl is not dead[9] but sleeping.”

These people were disgusted[10] and laughed at Jesus. MT9:25 But, when the crowd was pushed outside Jesus took the hand of the little girl and she rose. MT9:26 Thus, Jesus’ fame[11] spread throughout the whole land.[12]

*

[1] Rulers: The Greek is ARCHON and is variously rendered: NASB: synagogue official; TCNT: President of a Synagogue; RIEU: one of the elders; NJB: one of the officials.

[2] Prostrated himself by bowing to the ground: The Greek is PROSEKUNEI which means to bow before and kiss the sandals or fringe of the garment. Though the KJV versions uses “worshipped” (which is much misunderstood) others render: MOF: knelt before; DIA: prostrated; NAS: bowed down; WMS: fell on his knees.

[3] Will live: The Greek is ZESETAI (Compare Revelation 20:4).

[4] Hemorrhage: The Greek is HAIMORROUSA and is variously rendered: KIT: flux of blood; KJV: issue of blood; BECK: flow of blood. Such a thing made anyone who touched her ceremonially unclean. The other accounts relate how she had spent all her money on a cure and was only made worse by the doctors. This poor soul has suffered much for a long time.

[5] Outer-garment: The Greek is HIMATIOU from which English gets “hem.” Her language indicates she must have bowed low to touch the fringe of his garment.

[6] Saved: The Greek is SOTHESOMAI and is also rendered: KJV: whole; RHM: made well; PME: I shall be all right.

[7] That hour: Possibly it would have taken her awhile to note she was no longer bleeding. By then the Nazarene would have been gone into the house of the ruler.

[8] Flutists and the crowd making an uproar: Possibly paid mourners to demonstrate the household’s grief.

[9] Not dead: Perhaps not “clinically” or somatically dead.

[10] People were disgusted: Or, laughing scornfully; BER: laughed derisively; LB: scoffed and sneered.

[11] Fame: The Greek is PHEME from which “fame” is rooted in English. It has been quite a day with more to come.

[12] Land: The Greek is GEN meaning “earth” with a range of understandings revealed by the context.

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Preceding articles

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – What others are saying about feasting at the sinners’ table instead of fasting for God’s table

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Matthew 9:14-17 – What others are saying about feasting at the sinners’ table instead of fasting for God’s table

posted on Managing criticism (Matthew 9:14-17)

In his writing he looks at the disciples of John the baptist and the disciples of the king of the kingdom and how Jesus handled criticism.

He copped it from the scribes (9:3). He copped it from the Pharisees (9:11). Now he cops it from friends: John the Baptist’s disciples:

Mathew 9:14 (his translation) Then John’s students came to him saying, “How come we and the Pharisees fast often, but your students don’t fast?”

Browne writes

Jesus understands how disillusioned John’s disciples feel. His first reaction is empathy. They’re grieving. Their leader has been taken from them. When the day comes when Jesus is taken away, his disciples will be grieving and fasting too:

9:15 Jesus said to them,

“It’s not possible for the bridal party to grieve when the bridegroom is with them. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken from them, and they’ll fast then.

We may not miss the main point.

Like a people separated from their heavenly sovereign, Israel has lamented and fasted so long for the coming of the one who would restore the Davidic kingship. Now the son of David is among them! Jesus is the bridegroom they’ve been waiting for. The king is here. This is no time for mourning. You may have been grieving in the past, but you can’t attend a wedding dressed in black with sorrow written all over your brow! This is a day of celebration. God is at work among his people again. His Messiah is leading the nation in joyful feasting.

Browne looks at the people who find change difficult and feel nostalgic about the old ways, the familiar ways, things they’ve grown up with.

Israel had been fasting and grieving for so long that lament now defined their faith. They could not imagine a kingdom characterized by feasting rather than fasting.

So Jesus tells two stories to make the point that they cannot mix the old and the new. They must let go of the familiar to experience the kingdom being established in Jesus. If they try to hold onto the old, they’ll lose both the old and the new:

9 16 No one puts a patch of new cloth on an old garment; for the fullness of it pulls away from the garment and the tear becomes worse.
9 17 Neither to you put new wine into old wineskins; if you do, the wineskins break, the wine is spilled and the wineskins are ruined. You put new wine in new wineskins and both are preserved.

Jesus is re-establishing the reign of God over humanity. Their old mourning clothes seemed so appropriate to the kingdom that disintegrated in Old Testament times, but those old garments cannot hold the new cloth of the kingdom being establishing under his kingship. Try to patch them together, and you lose both. The old leather wine bottles they’ve used for so long cannot contain the fresh fermenting wine of the new kingdom. Jesus understands their nostalgia, but they can’t have it both ways.

Jesus extended genuine empathy to those who struggled to adapt, while at the same time being crystal clear that they must relinquish the familiar to experience life under his kingship.

What others are saying

R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 356:

For John’s disciples that indicated a movement which did not take its religious commitment seriously, and the feasting in Matthew’s house only deepened their suspicion. In their different ways the Pharisees, John’s disciples and the Jesus circle were all renewal movements within first-century Judaism, and this brief encounter serves to draw out their distinctive approaches and priorities.

Craig S. Keener, The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2009), 300:

Weddings generally lasted seven days … Weddings were a matter of joy with which any signs of sorrow seemed conspicuously incongruent … The Gospels’ readers would probably catch an allusion that Jesus’ first hearers missed: Jesus is the groom of God’s people in the coming messianic banquet foreshadowed in their table fellowship (22:2; 25:10–13). The “taking” of the bridegroom, of course, is a veiled reference to the impending crucifixion.

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Preceding article

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Bridegroom and Fasting

Matthew 9:14-17 – The Bridegroom and Fasting

|| Mark 2:18-22; Luke 5:33-39

MT9:14 Then the disciples of John[1] [the Baptist] approached Jesus, asking,

“Why, though we and the Pharisees fast, your disciples do not fast?”[2]

MT9:15 Jesus told them,

“The sons of the bride-chamber[3] cannot possible feel sad[4] while the bridegroom[5] is among them. But the days are coming when the ‘Bridegroom’ will depart[6] from them and then they will fast.[7]

File:A Man Drinking from a Wine Skin; Images of Spain Album, 63 MET DP800218.jpg

A Man Drinking from a Wine Skin; Images of Spain Album, 63

MT9:16 “Nobody sews an unshrunk cloth patch on an old outer garment for the stretching garment will tear it and it becomes worse. MT9:17 Nor do they put new wine[8] into old wine-botas for the wine-botas will tear and burst[9] [Joshua 9:13; Job 32:19] and the wine is spilled and the wine-botas ruined. Rather, they put new wine into new and fresh wine-botas[10] and so both are preserved.”

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[1] Disciples of John: There is a clear difference between the disciples of the two Masters. John’s disciples view themselves as different from those of the Nazarene. Jesus had selected his disciples from among those baptized disciples of John the Baptist. This difference lasts for some years even into the Book of Acts (Acts chapters 18, 19).

[2] Fast: Going without food for religious reasons. The first occurrence of the word “fasting” in the Bible is 1 Samuel 31:13 for a total of 30 times. Jesus does not condemn fasting, indeed, he gives counsel regarding proper fasting in Matthew 6:16. The prophets and teachers in Antioch fasted before making appointments (Acts 13:1, 2). The same fasting occurs before appointments in Acts 14:23.

[3] Sons of the bride-chamber: The literal phrase in Greek. It is variously rendered: KJV: children of the bride-chamber; TCNT: bridegroom’s friends; GDSP: wedding guests; BAS: friends of the newly married; NASB: attendants of the bride-groom.

[4] Feel sad: Or, mourn. The bridegroom’s buddies mourn or feel sad their friend’s affections will now be divided and likely he will not be free to do some of the things he did before.

[5] Bridegroom: The Greek is, interestingly, NYMPHIOS from which the English “nymph” is rooted. Yahweh was viewed as the Husband of Israel. Jesus becomes such to his Church who is likened to a bride (NYMPH) (Revelation 21:2).

[6] Will depart: The Greek is APARTHE and related to EPERTHE of Acts 1:9, HARPAGESOUMETHA at 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and HERPASTHE at Revelation 12:5.

[7] Then they will fast: Compare John 16:20.

[8] New wine: Possibly the teachings of the Nazarene or a new relationship with God. Rather than use the old bota of Israel under the Law the Messiah uses a new bota, his Church to contain new doctrine and relationships. Remember the original context was fasting.

[9] Wine-botas will tear and burst: The language may be an allusion to Joshua 9:13 and Job 32:19.

[10] Wine-botas: Or, wine-skins. Compare Genesis 21:14, 15, 19; Joshua 9:13; Job 32:19.

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Preceding

Matthew 9:9-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Pharisees Accuse When Matthew Is Called

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