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

In this chapter we find Matthew attempting to present Jesus as a unique person who is the long-awaited son of David, the Messiah who performed miracles by the power of God.

File:Christ heals a demoniac; a demon is expelled into the air. E Wellcome V0034995.jpg

Christ heals a demoniac; a demon is expelled into the air.

In Matthew 4 we came already to read that reports about Jesus circulated as far as Syria and that lots of people wanted to come to see Jesus for his miracles. All sorts of ill people where also brought to Jesus, those faring badly, having a variety of diseases and afflicted with torments, the demon-possessed, the moonstruck and paralytics – so that Jesus could cure them.

in his writing of looks at this miracle worker who does not seek people’s approval so he can become their king. Marcus Ampe talking on that subject asks us also to look at Jesus who knows very well his position to be the sent one from God, the heavenly Father Who is greater than Jesus, and without Him Jesus can do nothing.

“Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (Joh 5:19 NIV)

“”You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (Joh 14:28 NIV)

Jesus may see himself as the divinely appointed king (like Browne writes), but he is aware that it is God Who gave him this authority to take on that position. In a way, to show his position, so that people could recognise him as the Messiah and future king he uses his regal authority to remove every form of oppression from his people.

Browne asks us to look at Jesus his track record:

  • He brings lepers back into the community (8:1).

  • He helps a Roman officer who recognizes his authority (9:5-13).

  • He lifts sickness and spiritual oppression from his people (8:14-17).

  • He stills the storm that threatens his followers (8:23-27).

  • He takes someone who was financing Israel’s oppression, giving him an appointment in his own government (9:9-13).

  • He restores a dead daughter to her grieving parents (9:18-26).

  • He restores sight to blind people (9:27-31).

  • He sets free someone whose speech was bound (9:32-34). {Do you recognize the king’s authority? (Matthew 9:32-34)}

Can you imagine how people would be astonished seeing such incredible things?

ElishaRaisingShunammitesSon.jpg

Elisha raising the Shunammite’s Son, early 1900s Bible Card illustration

The crowds marvel at this concerted effort by their anointed king to release God’s people from every form of oppression. They can’t recall ever seeing anything like it. There’s been nothing like this since the exile 600 years ago. They recall the days of Elijah and Elisha when God had done astounding miracles to challenge Israel’s evil rulers like Ahab and Jezebel. They consider the days of Moses when God led them out of Egypt and created them as his nation. No, there had never been such a demonstration of divinely delegated authority: {Do you recognize the king’s authority? (Matthew 9:32-34)}

Matthew 9:33 The crowds marvelled:

“Nothing like this has ever been brought to light in Israel.”

In front of them is there that promised one from God, the son of David who would reign over God’s people in every generation (Matthew 9:27; 2 Samuel 7:16). His house and his kingdom was to be made sure forever, his throne established forever. Whilst people yearned for the Son of David to restore the kingdom to Israel (Psalm 89:49; Isaiah 9:7; Ezekiel 37:24). Now the people of Israel have a shepherd in their midst who walked in the ordinances of God. Now they could hear those who got a huge change in their life, even blind people came to “see” what Jesus was doing, and publicly proclaiming him as Israel’s long-awaited king.

The king is present. His authority — his appointment by God as ruler of his people — is evident to everyone.

Well, almost everyone. There are sour grapes:

Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees were going,

“It’s by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

Later the Pharisees would repeat that it was by “Beelzebub the prince of the devils” Jesus was casting out devils.

“22  Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said,

“Could this be the Son of David?”

24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said,

“It is only by Beelzebub, {Greek Beezeboul or Beelzeboul; also in verse 27 } the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them

“Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.” (Mt 12:22-27 NIV)

Browne asks us to remember how

the Pharisees were upset with Jesus for hanging around with “sinners,” sharing meals with them (9:9-13). That makes Jesus unclean in their view. How could an unclean person have authority over unclean spirits? Presumably the head of the unclean spirits could tell the spirits where to go, so they figure he must be in league with Satan (9:34).

Why were the Pharisees so blind? Why couldn’t they see what was obvious to everyone else? Jesus is liberating his people from every form or oppression, across such a wide spectrum. How could they miss all the colours of God’s liberating power at work in him, and imagine that he was in league with the enemy that wanted to destroy God’s people?

The Pharisees had a certain authority over the communities of Israel (to the extent that you could say they had authority while under foreign rule). They need to quash Jesus’ authority if they don’t want to yield theirs. They must paint him as a traitor; otherwise they themselves will be seen as traitors for failing to recognize his authority.

This confrontation increases exponentially from this point. On one side stands the king appointed by God. On the other side stand the self-appointed shepherds of Israel. They accused Jesus of siding with God’s enemy, but who are the real traitors who want to bring down God’s appointed king?

The kingdom conflict has begun. Either you recognize Jesus’ authority, or you oppose him. There is no neutral ground.

What others are saying

Michael J. Wilkins, Matthew, NIV Application Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2004), 374:

Without eyes of faith the Pharisees cannot see beyond their parochial experience that God is doing something unique in Israel in the word and work of Jesus. So they gather their opposition to Jesus, both protecting their religious domain and thinking they are protecting the people from Jesus. This is an ominous tone, which tragically sets a trajectory for the cross that will inevitably come.

R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 369:

But perhaps, as this is the final crowd reaction in this anthology of works of power, we should read it as an evaluation not merely of this one exorcism but of the whole range of Jesus’ miracles which these two chapters have set out: others might perform the occasional exorcism, but this man’s ministry of deliverance is on an altogether different scale. A similarly climactic effect, but in an ominously different direction, is achieved by the Pharisees’ accusation. They do not deny Jesus’ power, but question its source. Such a total and offensive repudiation of his authority brings the growing hostility to a new level, and suggests a breach which is now irreparable.

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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

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

Hebraic Roots Bible Matthew Chapter 28

Hebrew inscriptions on ancient slab of marble near Lake Kinneret

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Additional reading

  1. The 1st Adam in the Hebrew Scriptures #8 Looking for the 2nd Adam
  2. A birthday passed nearly unnoticed
  3. A god who gave his people commandments and laws he knew they never could keep to it
  4. This is an amazing thing
  5. I can’t believe that … (3) miracles can happen
  6. Why think that (2) … Jesus claimed to be something special
  7. Truth, doubt or blindness
  8. 1,500-year-old marble tablet at the Sea of Galilee suggesting place was once a Jewish or Jewish-Christian settlement
  9. Newly-found document describing a miracle by Iēsous de Nazarenus
  10. Servant of his Father
  11. Memorizing wonderfully 31 Son of David and God’s Kingdom
  12. Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus
  13. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  14. Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord
  15. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  16. Infinite payment of sin by the son of God
  17. Authority given to him To give eternal life
  18. Blindness in the Christian world

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Related articles

  1. The Miraculous Conception and Birth of Christ
  2. Virgin birth shows us the gospel
  3. “Put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes.” ~Jesus
  4. Touched By God
  5. “Do you see anything?” ~Jesus
  6. Thoughts on Jesus and Miracles
  7. Authority
  8. Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 25, Jesus’ authority
  9. Authority and Power or Authority or Power
  10. By the Authority of Jesus Christ we bind the ministers of Satan.
  11. Passion Week VI
  12. The Authority of Jesus
  13. The Authority Of Jesus~ Don Merritt
  14. “The authority of Jesus” by Thomas Schreiner
  15. Sermon: Jesus’ authority (K Pedersen)
  16. The Power and Authority of Jesus (Revelation 1:15)
  17. Jesus’ Authority
  18. The authority of Jesus challenged?
  19. Why the “Mythical Jesus” Claim Has No Traction with Scholars
  20. Mark Lesson 8: The Nature and Authority of Jesus
  21. the unique authority of Jesus
  22. New Sermon – Jesus is Higher
  23. Conquering!
  24. Jesus, Please!
  25. Phillip Medhurst’s Bible in pictures 173 Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead
  26. “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven.” ~Jesus
  27. The terrible power of the angry mob and the God who stands firm
  28. Jesus Christ Exercises Kingdom Authority Today
  29. King of kings
  30. A New Kingdom
  31. We Might Have Missed Something in “Faith Like a Child”

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

More than just a man with authority of speaking

28 When Jesus finished his message, the crowds were astounded at how he taught. 29 He was instructing them authoritatively, not as their scribes. { translation}

Throughout the Messianic writings we come to hear how Jesus attracted people and how he let them think about the things they could see and hear.

The gospel writer Matthew wants the readers of his writings to know who he had met and why he became clinched so much to this man who he believed to be the sent one from God and the expected King.

The point of Matthew’s narrative is that we realize who Jesus is. He’s the king. He restores heaven’s reign over the earth. That is the gospel — the good news of the kingdom of heaven, with Jesus as heaven-appointed ruler. The culmination of Matthew’s Gospel is the announcement that Jesus has received all authority — in heaven and on earth (28:18-20). {Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)}

It is by those given Messianic Writings people should come to know who Christ Jesus is. Nearly 2000 years later we must say still too many who call themselves Christian have not come to see who the Christ Jeshua really is.

Some of them may already have seen that Jesus is the anointed ruler and the long-awaited king from David’s line. But the majority of Christians still have not understood that Jesus is the sent one from God who restores the promised blessing of God’s reign to the nations (1:1).

More people should come to recognise that Jesus is the son of God who undoes the captivity of earthly powers (1:17). He is the one who received authority from God to be the divine ruler living among his people (1:23), the ruler who seems to be no one from nowhere (2:23). As the king (2:2) he’s the ruler who shepherds God’s people (2:6). From the writings people should come to know that Jesus is Jacob’s Star (2:10), the new exodus (2:15).   notices that is just the first two chapters of Matthew! {Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)}

Every phrase, every paragraph, every story, every theme in Matthew’s Gospel reveals who Jesus is. Like the crowds who listened to his Sermon on the Mount, be astounded as his royal authority dawns on you. {Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29)}

In his article Hearing the king (Matthew 7:28-29) he gives an overview of what others say:

Craig Blomberg, Matthew, New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H, 1992), 134–135:

Strikingly, Jesus quotes Scripture in his sermon only to reinterpret it, he cites no human authorities or tradition, and he speaks with directness and confidence that he himself is bringing God’s message for a new era in human history. Such preaching reflects either the height of presumption and heresy or the fact that he was a true spokesman for God, whom we dare not ignore.

R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2007), 298–299:

To set the authority of his teaching in contrast with that of the scribes is a bold claim, since the scribes were the authorized teachers of the law who in virtue of their training and office had a right to expect the people to accept their legal rulings. … Whereas scribal rulings were based on the tradition of earlier interpreters of the law, Jesus has in 5:17–48 set himself up as an authority over against that interpretive tradition, on the basis not of a formal training or authorization but of his own confident, “I tell you.” … When to that remarkable claim is added Jesus’ assumption that he himself is the proper object of people’s allegiance and the arbiter of their destiny (5:11–12; 7:21–23, 24, 26), the crowd’s astonishment is hardly out of place. W. D. Davies’ comment … “The Sermon on the Mount compels us, in the first place, to ask who he is who utters these words.”

John R. W. Stott, The Message of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian Counter-Culture, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1985), 216:

In the Sermon on the Mount there are five direct references to God’s kingdom. They imply—though with varying degrees of clarity—that he himself had inaugurated it, and that he had authority to admit people into it and to bestow on them its blessings.

Today Jesus is not here any more, but the apostles took care we can read Jeshua’s words

Richard A. Burridge, Four Gospels, One Jesus? A Symbolic Reading (London: SPCK, 2005), 21:

The gospels invite readers to enter their world, to listen to Jesus’ words, to watch his great deeds, to appreciate their understanding of him, and to ask ourselves the same questions as the people in the text: ‘who is this man?’ (Mk. 4:41)

StGeorgeMonasteryToday lots more people than in Jeshua’s time can hear the words of that incredible special man. Lots more people should come to hear those words about how man has to relate to their Divine Maker. The son of the Divine Maker God explained  his heavenly Father‘s Words and showed us how man can and/or has to respond to the Kingdom message.

Jesus called Israel to become the kingdom built on God — the solid Rock who endures forever, not the shifting sands of human kingdoms that last only for a season. How foolish to spend our lives promoting human powers when all our efforts will be swept away. Instead, spend your life for God’s reign through Messiah Jesus: the only thing that endures. {A rock worth building on (Matthew 7:24-27)}

Jesus is the focus of God’s eternal plan to re-establish His reign over the earth. Our hope should be in Jesus, the son of God, so quit playing politics with earthly powers that will fall. Build all your efforts on the only rock that will last:

the ruler God has appointed, the only one who can save human society.

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Preceding articles

The Nazarene master teacher learning people how they should behave

Matthew 7:1-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary on Neighbor Love Continued 7: Matthew 7:1-5 Judgment and neighbor love

Matthew 7:12 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Summary on the Torah’s Fulfillment

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #1 The Narrow Gate and the way to destruction

Matthew 7:15-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #2 False prophets and fruitage

Matthew 7:13-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #3 Matthew 7:21-23 The ones Jesus never knew

Matthew 7:13-27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The True Disciple #4 Matthew 7:24-27 – Conclusion

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

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

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Additional reading

  1. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  2. Hearing words to accept
  3. Priest, scribes and others with authority
  4. Gain Christ, trusting Jehovah
  5. Witnesses of Christ and of his gospel
  6. The Mountain: Radical Obedience

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Further reading

  1. By what authority?
  2. “The authority of Jesus” by Thomas Schreiner
  3. MS Week #3: Jesus’ Authority
  4. The Authority of Jesus
  5. Jesus’ Authority
  6. the unique authority of Jesus
  7. The Sermon on the Mount: Examining the Psychological and Sociological Implications
  8. Why Be Optimistic About the Future of the Gospel?
  9. Are You Sure You Want to do This?
  10. The Kingdom Of God: Luke’s Gospel
  11. The Kingdom Needs You!
  12. ​Extremism: Does Lord Jesus Really Expect Us To Go This Far?

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