Matthew 9:18-34

 

The Religious Leader

Here we see two miracles of Jesus that have many aspects involved with it. Jarius was a ruler and a keeper of the temple (Mark 5:22) which meant he would have read the scriptures and been in charge of the money for the maintenance of the building. In desperation he knew Jesus was his only hope and when a ruler of this stature bowed before Jesus in a act of humbleness and respect the people would have taken notice. Maybe Jarius approached Jesus because He would have known that Elijah and Elisha both raised people from the dead so if Jesus was even just a great prophet then he knew Jesus could help him. (See 1 Kings 17:17-24, 2 Kings 4:32-37) This man had such a simple faith in Jesus that He knew if He wanted his daughter to live than she would live.

Arrival at the House

There was flute players and mourners because Jewish funerals were loud and it was commanded in the Old Testament to have mourners present (2 Chronicles 35:25, Jeremiah 9:17-20) Even poor families had to have a couple of flute players and at least one professional wailing woman to set the proper tone.

Jesus goes to His house and says that she is not dead and that she is just sleeping. The professional mourners  laugh out loud because they are there and can see that she has passed from this life. Jesus said that she was just sleeping not because she was not dead but because He knew that she would be alive again.  Jesus mission was to destroy death and this was another miracle showing that He had the power over life and death.

The Woman

In the middle of that story we find a woman who for 12 years was literally banned from being around her family and others because of her medical condition. She more than likely exhausted all of the resources available to her seeking some of the physicians of her day but no one could  help her.

According to Leviticus 15:25-30 this woman was ceremonially unclean and so was anyone else who was around her who came into contact with her. This woman was really like a leper who for 12 years could not be around other family members or friends because that would have kept them from going to the temple and making sacrifices for their sins.

This woman knew her only hope was this miracle worker named Jesus and she was willing to risk being thrown  out , stoned and abused verbally all to reach Him.  On top of that if Jesus was just another Rabbi then her disease would have made Him ceremonially unclean. This woman had faith that if she could just touch the corner of Jesus robe then she would be healed. Jesus did not disappoint and there had to be a moment of fear when Jesus asked who touched Him because she knew she had been discovered.  Jesus did not rebuke her like she thought might happen but instead received the love and healing she was longing for.

The Two Blind Men

Read Matthew 9:27-31

Eye problems were common because of the sun, the dust and also from accidents. No matter how they became blind, blindness was regarded as punishment from God.  (Gen 19:22, 2 Kings 6:18, John 9:1-3)

These men knew there was something different about Jesus and had heard many people talking about what Jesus had done. With that they were persistent in their cry out to Him calling Him the Son of David because they believed Jesus was more than just another Rabbi. They must have thought is this the one we must have heard of when we listened to the reading of scriptures?

Isaiah 35:4-6 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

 

You can imagine that every time they heard the passage about the Messiah coming and healing their blindness they looked forward to that day and now it sounded to them that the day had arrived. Jesus does not respond to them immediately and they have to keep following Him and they follow Him into a house. It was at this point that Jesus acknowledged them and when He does He ask them not only if they believe He can heal them but if He is the one they keep calling the Son of David. These men believed that Jesus was the Messiah they were waiting for and the reason Jesus waited to address them was that Jesus did not want others realizing He was the Messiah yet because they thought the Messiah would be a political leader and not a suffering servant.

Also when Jesus said “according to your faith let it be done to you” that does not mean if they believed halfway then they would get half their vision. Jesus is responding to their faith in Him for salvation. This verse is not to be used to say if you have more faith than more will be done for you. Our faith in Christ allows us to enjoy the relationship of that faith.

The Mute

Read Matthew 9:32-34

Demon possession can cause people to have all sorts of crippling symptoms like being deaf and not being able to speak. When the man spoke the crowds were amazed because they never heard of a miracle by a prophet being done with such power.

The Pharisees quickly tried to discredit Jesus by saying He got His power from Satan because they did not want to acknowledge that Jesus was from God. They cannot deny the power of Christ but they can try and sway the crowds from following Him by discrediting where He received His power.

Jesus did not do these miracle just to do miracles, He did them so that He would prove He was who He said He was and we can trust Him when He speaks. His power showed He was God in the flesh and we can trust in Him and place our faith in Him.

The 18 times faith is used in Romans 3:21-4:20 is to be touched spiritually as well as physically.

These people were healed not because of their faith, although they had some, but because they had faith in Jesus. You do not have faith in your faith you have faith in Christ.

If you look back in chapter 8 of Matthew you see that the Disciples did not demonstrate any faith when they were on the boat yet Jesus still did a miracle by calming the sea. Our faith has to be in the Person and work of Christ or we are placing our faith in ourselves. The prophets of Baal had faith when they took on Elijah and they sincerely believed that their god would come through for them. Their faith was misplaced in a false god. Our faith has to be placed in Jesus because what He said He would do He did and will do.

If a friend of mine says that he will show up and help me I have faith that he will do so even though the even is in the future. I base my faith on the fact that my friend has always been there when I needed him and therefore my faith is placed on what he did before.

The same is true about Jesus. We trust Him because He did what He said He would do (Past events, fulfilled prophecies) and so we trust Him by faith for what He will do (future events, future promises)

“Whether it is the great faith of the centurion, or the bankrupt faith of the disciples, or the superstitious faith of the hemorrhaging woman, or the hopeful messianic faith of the two blind men – in each case the faith is directed toward Jesus and is and expression of need. “ (D.A. Carson Sermon on the Mount Pg. 230)

Faith is founded on Jesus Christ and our trust that what He did and what He said He will do will come about. If we do not believe what Jesus did on the cross and what He spoke about to come then our faith is worthless.

1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.

By Faith we trust that our sins have been forgiven by God because of what Christ did for us on the cross. We trust that the day we die we will stand before God not for what we have done but for what Christ has done for us.

I can say that a chair will hold my weight  but I only demonstrate faith when I sit in it. I can read about the chair, learn all the facts about the chair but at some point I have to place my weight into the chair to demonstrate my faith. Many people stand and look at the chair and can tell you all about it but they never fully trusted it.

The same is true with Jesus Christ as many people know a lot about Him but never fully trusted in Him by Faith.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.[a] Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

The miracle we want may not happen this side of heaven but if we trust in Christ then we are guaranteed the  miracle of salvation at our death.

 You have to do something with Jesus

Romans 10:9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

What is the greater miracle? Bringing people to spiritual life in Christ.

Jesus did not come to just do miracles; He came to put us back in a right relationship with the Father. When that final curtain call is made you want to know who has conquered death and did they provide a way for me to conquer it as well. Only in Jesus is that true of any other religion you study. Only Jesus has defeated death and promised us life if we place our faith in Him.

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