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Matthew 9

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The Compassion Of Jesus

Matthew Nine

The life of Jesus was a unique life. His life blessed those that He touched. One quality that made Jesus' life so beautiful was His praying. Another outstanding quality in the life of Jesus was His compassion. Jesus felt deep sympathy and concern for the hurting. Jesus' entire life demonstrated compassion. His compassion for the hurting caused Him to become known as the friend of publicans and sinners. Jesus had compassion for the crowds of people that flocked to him, because they were harassed and helpless. They were like sheep without a shepherd. ( Mat_9:36 ) His heart went out to them. Christians need this kind of compassion in their lives. Matthew nine looks at the compassion of Jesus.

Of all the qualities in the life of Jesus none is greater than compassion. Compassion means having a since of deep sympathy and the heartfelt feelings of sorrow for someone hurting physically, mentally or emotionally. Compassion is that unselfish need to reach out to help relieve the unfortunate misery of a person in need. Jesus' compassion caused Him to want the hurting to be helped and the lost to be saved. "He was moved with compassion." Do you have the compassion of Christ?

Verses 1-8

Compassion forgave and healed a paralyzed man. Mat_9:1-8 : When the Gadarenes asked Jesus to leave He took them at their word. ( Mat_8:34 ) He got into a boat and went to Capernaum. Capernaum is called, "His own city." Christ will not stay where He is not welcomed. This section shows (a) the faith of some friends -- "behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed" ( Mat_9:2 ), (b) the forgiveness of the Savior -- "Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee" ( Mat_9:2 ), and (c) the failures of those that watched -- "behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth." ( Mat_9:3 ) Jesus wanted these people to know that he had power to forgive sins.

The paralyzed man felt the touch of Jesus' compassion. "When the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men." ( Mat_9:8 ) Jesus' compassion made possible the forgiveness of sins. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." ( Isa_53:4-5 )

Verses 1-12

Wisdom from above concerning divorce Mat_19:1-12 : The Pharisees tested Jesus with the question, "Is it lawful and right to dismiss and divorce one's wife for any and every cause?" They intended to use against Jesus whatever His answer was. In answer Jesus challenged their knowledge of Old Testament events by taking them back to the beginning when God "made them male and female." He spoke of the permanence of the marriage covenant. God's plan was simple; one man joined inseparably to his wife for life. Moses had allowed divorce and remarriage for many reasons because of the stubbornness of the people's heart. Adultery or unchasity is the only exception given by the Master, "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery." ( Mat_19:9 )

If the divorce occurred for some reason other than adultery the one that marries this divorced woman commits adultery. After hearing the Master teach about divorce the disciples thought it might not be advisable for man to marry. They thought celibacy might be preferred to marriage. Jesus named three groups who could practice celibacy: (1) those that were born eunuchs, (2) those made eunuchs by men, and (3) those that made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom's sake. Celibacy is a command only for those able to accept it. ( Mat_19:12 )

Verses 9-17

Compassion called followers and answered criticism Mat_9:9-17 : The compassion of Jesus called a hated man to follow Him. Matthew was a tax collector, a publican. Jesus called him to be His disciple. The call of compassion was simple --"follow me" Immediately after the call of Matthew Satan tried to discourage Jesus, Matthew and other disciples. "When the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?" ( Mat_9:11 ) Jesus answered Satan's criticism by saying, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick." Jesus truly came to call sinners to repentance.

Some of Jesus' greatest teaching arose out of criticism. Jesus was criticized because His disciples were not fasting. His answer was there was no need for fasting and sorrowing while He (the bridegroom) was still with them. In this section the Lord used the cloth and the wineskins to teach that what is done must be done correctly or a waste was made. Out of compassion Jesus answers their criticism.

Verses 18-26

Compassion restored a girl and healed a woman Mat_9:18-26 : It was compassion that caused Jesus to raise Jairus' daughter from the dead. ( Luk_8:51 ) Jairus was a father that loved his daughter very much. He had heard about Jesus' miracle working ministry. He believed that Jesus could heal his daughter too. So when Jairus heard that Jesus was in town he ran out of to find Him. The compas-sion of Jesus shined as He immediately arose and went with Jairus. When Jesus went into Jairus' house He took the little girl by the hand and raised her from the dead.

It was also compassion that caused Jesus to heal the woman with the issue of blood. She felt that if she could touch the hem of His garment she would be healed. He tenderly said to the woman, "be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well." Jesus felt much compassion for this woman that had such faith in His power. We are challenged by Jesus to be compassionate and merciful, as He was. As those that would imitate Jesus we must be active in showing compassion to others.

Verses 27-38

Compassion healed the blind, mute and called for laborers Mat_9:27-38 : The request of the blind men was, "have pity and mercy on us." In compassion Jesus touched their eyes and gave them sight. How it touched the heart of the Master when these two blind men followed Him crying. Our cry should also be a cry for mercy and we should thank God that the Son of David has pity or compas-sion on all!

The case of this mute man is also very sad. He was under the power of Satan, possessed with a devil. He was not able to speak. By compassion Jesus gave him speech. How thankful we should be to be able to see and speak. The events in this case are as follows: (1) the man was under the power of Satan, (2) Christ cared or had compassion on him, (3) the man was cured, (4) the people marveled, but (5) the Pharisees blasphemed. They said, "He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils."

The compassion of Jesus caused Him to go to others teaching and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing the sick. The compassion (pity and sympathy) Jesus felt for the dejected and distressed multitudes caused Him to say, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest." The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.

The fact that Jesus is no longer present with us in the flesh has not altered His compassion for our weaknesses. "Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin." ( Heb_4:14-15 ) Jesus is our high priest; He sits at the right hand of God the Father to intercede for His people, and He so intimately understands the feelings of our infirmities.

The compassion of Jesus is learned as one hears the gospel and believes. ( Rom_10:17 , Joh_8:24 ) Faith in the compassionate Christ must lead one to repent of sins ( Act_17:30 ), confess the name of Jesus ( Act_8:37 ) and be buried in baptism for remission of sins. "And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." ( Act_22:16 ) After baptism, arise to be Christ like in compassion toward others. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." ( Php_2:5 )

Bibliographical Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 9". "Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/box/matthew-9.html. 2014.
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