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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Matthew 9

Verses 1-8

  1. SPIRITUAL PARALYSIS (9:1-8)
    1. Jesus has shown Himself powerful over sickness & storms, but what could He do about sin?
    2. (1) His own city - Back to Capernaum.
    3. (2 ) They - This man could not help himself but he had 4 friends named: Love, Faith, Hope, & Determination.
      1. Show roof tiles in NT times. 8x8x4’ stone [at Chorazin or Bethsaida?]
    4. Their Faith - Whose faith? the 4 friends faith.
      1. Sometimes Jesus points out the faith of the patient. This time, the friends. Other times no faith was shown, like in Lazarus’ case (he was dead).
    5. If your ever told that your not healed because of your faith...see how their’s faith is :)
    6. Good cheer - Uhh he couldn’t walk yet? Yes but, oh what a feeling when sin is released. When the load is lifted. All the guilt gone. And that heavy weight falls to the ground.
      1. Mic 7:18 Where is another God like you, who pardons the guilt of the remnant, overlooking the sins of his special people? You will not stay angry with your people forever, because you delight in showing unfailing love.
        1. Jesus brings good cheer to the saddest hearts.
      2. After Jesus said this, did the 4 friends think, uhh thanks for the kind words buuut, can ya heal him?
      3. Jesus deals w/the sin problem 1st, because it was the greatest need.
        1. You can have a perfectly healed & fit body, but what’s it going to help you in hell?
        2. The healing of the heart was of utmost importance. Do you have a heart condition? A spiritual paralysis?
    7. (3) Mark 2:7 adds Who can forgive sins but God alone? Exactly!
    8. (4) The Great Thought Reader - Judging the thoughts & intents of the heart.
      1. 1st He, saw their faith, now He knew their thoughts.
      2. He puts His questioners to question, Why do you think evil in your heart’s?
        1. Let us ponder this one. Don’t we think evil of God when something goes wrong in our lives? Quit thinking evil of God.
    9. (5) Which is easier? - Both are impossible to man, both beyond human power.
      1. Which is easier? Well to heal him physically, he only had to speak a Word. To heal him spiritually, He had to die!
      2. Thousands have pretended to absolve a man from sin...who would not have dared to command a disease to disappear.
    10. (7) He not only walked out physically, but he starts walking his spiritual walk.
    11. To his house - The Lord still raises many out of the paralysis of sin & makes them a blessing to others.
    12. (8) Note: they glorified the Father - Jesus moved in such a way His Father received the glory.
    13. The multitudes Marveled(or were afraid) & in words Glorified God yet only saw Jesus as a man
    14. This former paralyzed man, went home that day, w/a sound body & a heart at peace.
      1. If a physical paralysis is defined as the loss of ability to move & sometimes to feel anything. Then, to be healed from spiritual paralysis would mean we can now move & feel. Jesus changes not only our walk but also our very pathos, the depth of our heart/feelings.
    15. Wrap up with a last thought from vs.6…
    16. Behold, the great physicians greatest art...the power to forgive sin.
      1. Before the ransom was paid. Before His blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat. He had power to forgive sin. How was He able to say this pre-cross? Because He knew He’d do it. He knew He’d go through w/it...even the death of the cross?
        1. Can I ask the question, what if He didn’t go through it...would this man’s paralysis returned and forgiveness only had been temporary...which is no forgiveness at all?
        2. But He did not only go to the cross...but see Him risen. See Him ascending in splendor. See Him sitting on the rt hand on the throne of God. See Him pleading to His eternal Father. See Him pointing to the wounds in His hands. See Him pointing to the merit of His sacred sacrifice. (adapted from Spurgeon Aug.10)
        3. He has nothing more to do to win our pardon, it is finished. He can in answer to your tears, forgive your sins today & make you know it. He can breathe into your life peace. He can make you well. He can make you whole.

Verses 9-17

  1. Intro: New Wine for a New Way
    1. 1st I want to see how Jesus is about to Contextualize His message.
    2. Contextualize = con + texture/weave or, join by weaving.
      1. The Gospel never changes, yet it must be contextualized (or fitted) to the culture it is brought to. [the gospel never changes, but the situation & who we are sharing with...always does]
      2. Explain Buddhism Pyramid: Nirvana/heaven/suffering
        1. In Buddhism there is no God. It’s about you attaining Enlightenment [Gautama/founder]
        2. Buddha = awakened, enlightened, one who attained Nirvana. [tera-Vah-da; ma-Ha-ya-na]
          1. Move up towards Nirvana, be free from emotions. Have less desires.
          2. The goal is no desire or emotions at all. Not pleasure nor sufferings.
        3. Now imagine evangelizing a Buddhist. Jesus died for you (suffering?4 Noble truths:avoid/overcome) Would you like to go to Heaven? (1/2 way?) Would you like eternal life? (no I want it to end?) Jesus Loves you! (oh? love is a desire, I’m try to rid myself of?)
        4. So, where do you start with a Buddhist? Maybe w/compassion.
          1. Their understanding of compassion includes qualities of sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern, caring. [sync <---> sect]
    3. Syncretism (together). Too sensitive to Culture. Culture above the Gospel. Anything goes philosophy. Example Sadducees. Ultra-Liberal church today.
    4. Sectarianism (apart). Separate from the Culture. Religion/church above the Gospel. Fear?...we’ll be contaminated. Example Pharisees. Hyper-conservative church today.
      1. Here Jesus steers this situation well with both the sinners & the religious guys.
  2. MATTHEW’S MAKEOVER (9) or Jesus at the IRS
    1. ​​​​​​​A man named Matthew - He doesn’t write much concerning himself.
      1. Luke adds that he left all to follow Jesus(5:28). [Mt wasn’t going to be the hero of his own stories]
      2. Pr 27:2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
    2. It’s amazing who Jesus would pick to win Jews to Himself.
      1. If his name was Levi (what tribe from? purpose?). So here Jesus picks a prodigal priest that became Rome’s IRS agent to win Jews for Jesus...nice!
      2. So Matthew works the local tax office in Capernaum. Catching all the merchants traveling N/S on the Via Maris/the way of the Sea 4:15 & the local fishermen bringing back their Tilapia catch out of Galilee. Mile Marker found in Capernaum Matthew stood next to, to collect taxes (found in Capernaum).
    3. Matthew had a deeply religious upbringing though...he knew his O.T.
      1. Matthew not only quotes more than any of the other gospel writers but more than all 3 combined. No less than 99 direct references to the O.T. Scriptures.
      2. He also quotes from every division of it: from the Torah (law), the Nevi’im (prophets), & the Ketuvim (the writings). [i.e. the TaNaKh]
    4. Matthew was called from a business of taking to a business of giving.
    5. Follow me - sharp, decisive, & authoritative.
      1. Yes, this was a command but it was also bursting w/an offering of fellowship & friendship...with Jesus.
      2. Submission undoubtedly was demanded, but fellowship was offered.
    6. Talk about a short sweet testimony the Shepherd whistled...I heard his voice...& followed.
      1. Lord, let my obedience be like the echo of your voice.
  3. DINING WITH THE DEPRAVED (10-13)
    1. ​​​​​​​Having been called, & having obeyed, he, w/equal promptness began to gather a group of his own calling to meet Jesus. Who is in your sphere?
    2. How evident it is that Matthew had already discovered the straight highway into the heart of Jesus.
      1. He knew that Jesus’ heart was set upon the depraved & degraded.
      2. It seems that when our old life was so fresh to us, that’s who we reached out to - but now we seem to search out those who’ll fit in with our group, who’ll fit well into our Christian Cathedrals.
    3. Matthew knew they wouldn’t come to a sermon but they would a supper, so he puts on, as Luke calls it, a great feast (5:29). Maybe a 3-Fold Feast:
      1. A Jubilee Feast – to commemorate his translation into a new life.
      2. A Farewell Feast – A public confession of surrender to the call of Christ.
      3. A Evangelistic Feast - invites some of his business associates to meet Jesus.
    4. Sinners came - How did he advertise that? Sinners came - by occupation & by Character.
      1. Now, by being with sinners, Jesus does not approve or condone or turn a blind eye to their behavior. But Interesting...the sinners were comfortable w/Jesus while the religious crowd were not. - Are sinners comfortable w/you?
      2. ​​​​​​​We need more Matthew Parties. [when was the last time you had one? will you? or are sinners not welcome in your holy home any more?]
    5. Judging Jesus (11) Now the Pharisee’s have a handy stone to throw at Jesus...He eats w/sinners.
      1. Chickens...they wouldn’t ask Jesus...they go to his disciples.
      2. Note those who share a table with Jesus are those who are sick and in need of healing. While those who don’t, take comfort in their own rt & neither see nor will admit their particular kind of sin, & its subsequent need of healing.
    6. (12) Jesus answer superb. Where should a doctor be...but among the sick. pic :)
      1. When you’re found in the midst of sinners, are you seeking to bring healing & wholeness to them spiritually or allowing yourself to be infected w/their disease?
      2. I think this sums up Jesus’ whole ministry...as Doctor Jesus.
        1. ​​​​​​​Doctor Jesus...our Diagnostician, knowing the nature of our disease.
        2. Doctor Jesus...our Family Physician making house calls for even the least of these.
        3. Doctor Jesus...our Superior Surgeon extracting our cancerous sin.
        4. Doctor Jesus...the Chief Resident of our heart, if we’ll only receive Him in.
          1. And don’t forget...a good doctor sometimes hurts you to heal you...eg. the resetting of a broken bone.
    7. (13) Go learn Hosea 6:6 [said to men who thought they knew everything]
      1. Go learn to have mercy towards sinners, to the spiritually needy. Which is a work more pleasing to God than a mere formality of religious duties or the most expensive sacrifice w/no concern for others. [i.e. heart of law not letter]
    8. Jesus came to save real sinners. He came to deal not w/our merits, but our demerits.
  4. FASTING OR FEASTING? (14,15)
    1. ​​​​​​​The snakes/Pharisees had slithered up to ask questions to others, not to Jesus. But now, like honest friends, John’s disciples feeling hurt, come right to headquarters & asked the Lord Himself, face to face they ask their question.
      1. By the way, they happened to be right in the middle of a fast (Mrk.2:18). Slide16b Maybe they were smelling the feast?
    2. (15) Why do you fast? You’ll have to answer that yourself. Why my disciples don’t, He proceeds to answer. This was a time of joy not mourning. A feast, not a funeral.
    3. Will be taken away from them - Here is the 1st He speaks about His death.
    4. So far...Jesus, the Physician who offers sinners new life & spiritual health. Jesus, the bridegroom who brings new love & joy.
    5. Back at vs.9 it said Jesus passed on from there. Jesus was passing by when He called Matthew to come & travel w/me. Don’t let Jesus pass you by. Are you hearing Him call to you this morning to follow Him?
      1. Come to me, all of you who are weary & carry heavy burdens, & I will give you rest.
  5. RAGS & BOTA BAGS (16,17)
    1. ​​​​​​​RAGS (16)
    2. This Illustration reminds us that he came to bring spiritual wholeness.
    3. He did not come to patch us up & then let us fall apart.
      1. Have you ever wasted your time trying to patch something that wasn’t holding? [sprinkler, inner tube, pool]
    4. Jesus came not to repair Israel’s worn vesture, but to bring new robes.
    5. BOTA BAGS (17)
    6. Our word bottle comes from the Spanish word bota (a leather bottle).
    7. The wineskins teaches that He gave spiritual fullness.
    8. If unfermented wine is put into brittle old wineskins, the gas will burst the skins, & both the skins & the wine will be lost.
    9. The Jewish religion was a worn-out wineskin that would burst if filled w/the new wine of the gospel.
      1. The new life of the Spirit could not be forced into the wineskins of Judaism.
      2. Jesus was revealing the Jewish religion was about to be replaced.
        1. Heb. 8:13 By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.
      3. The things in the Ceremonial law were fulfilled in Jesus.
      4. Today there is no need for sacrifices, priests, the temple nor ceremonies.
      5. Jesus didn’t come to renovate the Law or even mix Law & Grace.
      6. Jesus Came with New Life.
        1. Is Jesus wanting to pour New Life into you, or your ministry? Will you tear?

Verses 18-26

  1. Intro: Fingers of Faith
    1. The story of 2 people: Jairus Journey of Faith. A woman’s Fingers of Faith. Funeral that Failed
      1. One an important synagogue officer, the other an anonymous nobody.
      2. Both were about to lose something: Jairus was about to lose a daughter who had given him 12 years of happiness. The woman was about to lose an affliction that had brought her 12 years of sorrow.
    2. Matthew shortens the story, Mark(5) & Luke(8) give longer & different angles of the story.
  2. HIS JOURNEY OF FAITH (18,19) A FAITH THAT PREVAILED
    1. ​​​​​​​Synagogue history? In 586 bc the Jews were taken captives by the Babylonians. Since they couldn’t worship at the temple they raised up synagogues in most every town.
    2. It wasn’t easy for Jairus to come to Jesus.
      1. He definitely would have gotten flack from both the religious leaders & the other synagogue leaders.
      2. His position meant he was in charge of the services. Choosing one to pray, another to read the Scripture selections.
      3. He was most likely present in the synagogue when the man with the withered hand was healed.
      4. We also note sorrow even comes to good religious families.
      5. Yet Jarius came to Jesus, worship Him, prayed to Him, & trusted Him.
    3. (19) So Jesus arose & followed him - Watch, as Jesus leads Jairus on a journey of faith.
      1. Jairus means whom God enlightens. [watch Jesus hand on the dimmer switch of Jarius heart]
    4. You can almost hear Jairus saying, “my 7th grader is dying, my only daughter, but the healer had agreed to come with me…its all good…well, except for the crowds/traffic.”
      1. ​​​​​​​A multitude thronged him…& now an interruption, a delay. This can’t be good.
        1. ​​​​​​​Should I remind Him I was 1st?...maybe not...just don’t let her die God.
      2. Have you had a tragedy in your life like this, where one of your kids were seriously hurt, or deathly sick?
        1. I bet you would’ve done anything to save/heal your child?
        2. I bet you’ve verbalized to the Lord, Me Lord, but not my child.
          1. ​​​​​​​Then you understand fully that parental love.
          2. As tough as a man you can find, he will melt like butter if his child is sick. (Stoic Russian officer asking Jeff & I for prayer for his daughter)
    5. Jairus, an officer of the synagogue, was no doubt wealthy…but now comes one completely bankrupt.
  3. HER FINGERS OF FAITH (20-22)
    1. ​​​​​​​HER DAILY PRESSURES
      1. ​​​​​​​Physically – most likely a chronic menstrual disorder. Which is a difficult condition for any woman, of any era. (Max Lucado, Book of Mark, pg.47.)
      2. Emotionally – It would have sapped her strength day after day.
      3. Mentally - It was apparently incurable. She was at the end of her ropes.
      4. Sexually – she could not touch her husband according to Levitical law.
      5. Maternally – she could not have children.
      6. Domestically – anything she touched was considered unclean. No washing dishes, no sweeping floors.
      7. Financially – She spent all that she had (26). [an incurable disease]
        1. She had spent all her livelihood on physicians & could not be healed by any. Lk.8:43
      8. Societally – She defiled everyone she touched. According to Lev.15:25-27 she was unclean.
      9. Spiritually – This barred her from worship in the Temple.
    2. This is a great picture of what sin does for you.
      1. It is a terrible disease. It is terminal. It is a tremendous drain. It takes away our life blood. Sin never gives, only takes. It never adds life, only diminishes it.
      2. Sin always takes you farther then you want to go; It will keep you longer then you want to stay; It will cost you more than you want to spend.
      3. Or as Samson learned at the end of his life, Sin will find you, blind you, bind you, & grind you. Jdg16:21 So the Philistines captured him & gouged out his eyes (blind) he was bound with bronze chains (bind) & forced to grind grain in the prison (grind).
    3. HER POSSIBLE EXCUSES
    4. She could have used a number of excuses to stay away from Jesus. [Listen, u might be using these]
      1. I’m not important enough to ask Jesus for help.
      2. Jesus is busy going with this Jairus man, I won’t bother him.
      3. Nothing else I’ve tried has worked, why try again?
      4. It wasn’t right coming to Him as last resort.
        1. How many have put off a decision for Christ because, it wouldn’t be fair to come now…when all else has failed. Wait, He loves that! :)
          1. Desperation is commonly the prelude to Grace.
      5. She laid all these aside & came by faith to Jesus.
    5. HER FAITH: It was weak, timid, & perhaps even superstitious?
    6. (21) If only I touch his clothes - maybe she got this from other times when...as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him. Mark 3:10
    7. (22) Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up Mk 5:29 – Not just the surface, but its very fountain/source.
      1. Same w/sin in our life - Jesus doesn’t only deal w/the particular sins in our life, but most importantly the very fountain head of sin…our heart.
    8. Who touched my clothes? Mk 5:30 - Why did He ask that?
      1. Here was a faith-touch that reached Him, right through His clothes.
      2. You’ve heard of Dine-n-Dash, this was a failed attempt at Heal-n-Dash.
        1. Oh, what a contact that was made between a believing sufferer & an Almighty Savior. When her dilemma met His desire, a miracle occurred.
    9. 3 reasons Jesus asked, Who touched my clothes? (other accounts)
      1. For her sake He wanted to be more than a healer to her. He wanted to be her Savior & friend.
        1. He wanted her to look into His face, feel His tenderness, & hear His loving words.
        2. She became the only woman to receive the endearing title of daughter from his lips
      2. For those around her sake He helped her to share her testimony & thus glorify the Lord.
      3. For Jairus’ sake He needed all the encouragement he could get.
        1. I wonder, how many attend church every week & yet fail to touch the hem of Jesus garment by faith...for spiritual blessing/wholeness/healing?
    10. Note, both found their answers at the feet of Jesus. Mk.5:22,33
    11. It is one thing to throng Him & quite another to trust Him.
      1. Augustine said, Flesh presses, faith touches.
    12. This woman represents all of humanity. We are all ill. We have spent all our resources. We’ve tried all of the worlds remedies. We must not fear our faith is too weak, too immature, nor too ignorant. We must fear only 1 thing…that we let Him pass w/o reaching out & touching Him.
  4. A FUNERAL THAT FAILED (23-26)
    1. ​​​​​​​Jairus was doubtless becoming more anxious & disturbed w/every passing moment that ticked by.
      1. This must have felt like being in the back of an ambulance, & then slowing down because of heavy traffic…then, complete grid lock.
    2. I bet those words came…those he so greatly feared, The teacher doesn’t care about your daughter. If he did he would have hurried.
      1. ​​​​​​​1st he had to trust for a healing...now...a resurrection?
        1. Jarius’ journey/faith walk continues...straight uphill.
        2. But now the stage was set for Jesus to perform His 1st resurrection.
    3. (23) Jesus loved breaking up funeral services :)
      1. Flute players & crowd wailers - the poorest families were expected to at least provide 2 flute players & 1 wailing women.
      2. Jesus has the death music halted. The mourners muted...I guess the proverb is true, that’s used for the lady who raps up the last 20 minutes of the opera w/her song...“It aint over until the fat lady sings.”
      3. When the crowd is put out...Jesus comes in.
    4. It was the Lord’s Words that made all the difference:
      1. A Word of Faith – Do not be afraid, only believe (Mk5:36, Lk8:50)
      2. A Word of Hope – The girl is not dead, but sleeping (24)
        1. In the eyes of Jesus, death was nothing but sleep even though it was longer than ordinary sleep. (wasn’t a misdiagnosis) Viewing her death as temporary (as all believers death).
      3. A Word of Love & Power – Talitha cumi/Little girl, I say to you arise (Mk5:41)
        1. Unbelief laughs at God’s word but faith lays hold of it & experiences the power of God
    5. Talitha Cumi – Damsel, arise. [very tender words]
      1. Possibly the very words her mother would use to awaken her in the morning.
      2. What a beautiful blend of human tenderness & divine power.
    6. Lessons learned:
    7. God doesn’t always rescue His people from danger or heal every affliction…but it does mean that He holds the ultimate authority & that we need never fear.
      1. In this case he had compassion on the parents & brought her back from heaven. Maybe in your case Jesus had compassion on your child instead, & didn’t make her come back to this world?
    8. No situation in your life is so desperate that Jesus cannot work.
      1. Disease, delays, & even death are under His control.
      2. No matter how depressing your situation may appear…do not be afraid; only believe.
    9. You might say, It’s too hot in my incubator. Jesus says, No, it’s the perfect temp. You might say, my environment is out of control. Jesus says, I have all under control. You might say, spiritual growth & development hurts. Jesus says, Yes it does.
      1. Reach out today & touch Jesus. Reach out & trust Jesus.
    10. Francis de Sales (aka, the Gentleman Saint), When you are sick, offer to Christ all your pains, your suffering and your listlessness. Ask Him to unite them to those He bore for you. Obey your doctor, take your medicine, your food and your remedies for love of God remembering how he tasted gall for love of mankind. Desire to recover in order to serve Him, but be prepared to suffer on in obedience to His will, and prepare to die when He calls you, that you may be with Him and praise His name forever.

Verses 27-38

  1. Intro:
    1. We are in the midst of 2 chapters (8,9) full of healings that Jesus did.
      1. Jesus had just left Capernaum & walked with Jarius to go heal his daughter who died in route. So Jesus raised her from the dead. He is now leaving His house & heading back home, where He is flanked by 2 blind men. Let’s read
  2. COMRADES IN THE DARK, COMPANIONS IN THE LIGHT (27-31)
    1. 2 Blind Men (only found Mt) - Jesus heals at least 6 blind men & each case was different.
    2. I like these guys...they follow Jesus all the way home & right into his house (28).
      1. They could not see, but they could believe...and so they did.
      2. Jesus often cites a person’s faith as the impetus for healing. And in the very next story it had nothing to do with their faith.
        1. ​​​​​​​Yet we note, that according to your faith means in response to, not in proportion to.
    3. (27) Have Mercy - We all have no claim, except that which originates in His Mercy.
      1. Here & here alone should be our plea...Mercy. Never, Life isn’t fair, or I want what I deserve. (No you don’t!)
        1. What we deserved was death. David said in Ps.103:10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
    4. (28) Jesus asks you this morning, in your difficult or impossible situation, Do you believe that I am able to do this?
      1. ​​​​​​​YES LORD! Able to save a family member? Yes Lord. Able to restore your marriage? Yes Lord. Able to find me a help-mate? Yes Lord.
    5. These Comrades in the Dark become Companions in the Light.
    6. (30,31) He opened their eyes & closed their mouths.
      1. Silence is golden when the king demands it.
    7. Yet we see it was easier to open their eyes, than to close their mouths.
      1. Today, we are not forbidden yet bidden to herald His Grace.
      2. Let us, spread the news about Him in all our country (and beyond).
  3. ​​​​​​​THE SPEECHLESS SPEAK (32-34) [Again this story is only told here]
    1. ​​​​​​​(32) The pair of patients leave the surgery & in walks a poor creature.
      1. This man didn’t come to Jesus, they brought him. Let us bring men to Christ.
      2. This man didn’t cry, have Mercy on me, for He was mute. Let us speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; Prov.31:8
      3. He was not himself, but possessed by another...by a demon.
    2. (33) Our Lord doesn’t deal w/the symptoms but deals w/the source. [The demon had silenced him]
    3. (34) Some people always have some bitter sentence ready.
      1. A Chinese proverb said, The man who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the man doing it.
    4. I like Jesus’ answer here which is...no verbal answer at all...but a loud & clear practical answer by showing even a greater zeal in doing good.
  4. JESUS’ 3-FOLD MINISTRY (35)
    1. ​​​​​​​Note, not just the big cities, but the villages.
    2. 3-Fold ministry: Expounding the Old. Proclaiming the New. Healing the Diseased.
      1. Spurg, He was a traveling medical mission as well as an evangelistic tour.
    3. He wraps up this chapter with 2 Metaphors (36-38)
  5. SHEEP W/NO SHEPHERD (36)
    1. ​​​​​​​Cattle could be left in the fields, without the care of a shepherd. It’s not so with sheep.
      1. Sheep must be led into the pasture & brought back to the fold. They would not go or come back without the shepherd. They are timid and fearful when alone and even when under the care of the Shepard, at the sight of a strange man or the sound of a strange voice, they’re panic stricken.
      2. The shepherd must constantly watch a sheep and the sheep are always aware he is with them. He leads them into new pastures. During the heat of the day, he takes them under the shade of trees, and when they are thirsty, to water.
      3. The shepherd protects them from wolves, bears, sheep thieves and bandits. If anything happens to the Shepherd, his sheep scatter in the mountains and go astray.
      4. The reference is to the people of Israel who were as sheep without a shepherd. They had been subjugated by foreign nations and betrayed by their own priest. For centuries they have no profits and seers to guide them. Misrule and persecution had scattered them in foreign lands and even those who were at home had no genuine leadership. They also were soon to be scattered by the destruction of Jerusalem.
    2. Compassion - Jesus is even now effected towards the people whom we minister to today, in the very same way. Also, he is moved with compassion, even when we are not.​​​​​​​
      1. It’s what I picture today when I see pictures of the Syrian refugee crisis.
    3. They need the Good Shepherd but where are the the under-shepherds? Wasn’t that Jesus’ call to Peter to Feed My Lambs, Tend/shepherd My Sheep, Feed My Lambs. [be My hands/feet]
      1. We can help as under-shepherds & shepherdesses.
      2. Men & women called out...to go out...and lead out.
      3. To lead His lambs/young believers to fresh water & good food.
      4. To shepherd/protect His sheep from wolves.
      5. To Feed His sheep through discipleship.
    4. What is Discipleship? It starts small, goes deep, then eventually it goes wide...but don’t think in terms of big.
      1. Go deep in the lives of a few. Multiply in their lives the character, the heart, the gospel, understand it, & then let them do it with other people.
      2. Men with men, women with women.
      3. Yes you lead someone to Christ one on one. Nurture them up for awhile one on one. But beyond that, to lead them in a small group, like Jesus did with His disciples.
    5. Meet maybe weekly & cover 5 things: T.E.A.M.S. (Randy Pope, Insourcing: Bringing Discipleship Back to the Local Church. Perimeter Church, Georgia.)
      1. Truth - not a bible study, but teaching them how to study themselves. Give them text & questions a week to prepare then present what they learned.
      2. Equipping - They come back & you massage the truth until its understandable & useable. That’s asking questions back & forth, Have you ever suffered? how did suffering lead you closer to Jesus? - it’s an interactive relationship.
      3. Accountability - not just asking hard questions & challenging bad behaviors, that’s behaviorism. We’re talking about looking for the sin beneath the sin, where you invite each member of the group to invade the heart of each other. To help each other clean out the heart.
      4. Mission - we train & equip how to become missional where they live, work, & play in word/deed. So by the end of the year this group ought to be making an impact where they live & work.
      5. Supplication - Prayer. Honest prayer w/each other. Praying for each other.
        1. Then leaders are recommended as they come up from the groups. Coaches over them.
    6. Discipleship then is laboring in the lives of a few, where you’re giving away your life & the gospel.
    7. RIPE HARVEST W/NO LABORERS (37,38)
    8. Jesus Healed, Taught & Preached, but He couldn’t do it all alone. He needed others to help Him
      1. ​​​​​​​He presented the need (a big harvest right now)
      2. He presented the problem (laborers are few)
      3. He presented the solution...GET OUT THERE & WORK!!!...Nope, He said, Pray.
        1. Next week we’ll see from Prayer...comes Power (read 9:38+10:1,5).
    9. Is it Plentiful? But everyone I talk to doesn’t seem to be receptive? Jesus says it truly is! (Maybe you’re fishing in bath tubs, puddles, & pot holes)
      1. Jesus describes the great number of people ready to trust in God and the relatively few workers willing to spread the gospel.
    10. Problem: True laborers are few.
    11. We need His Laborers.
      1. We have plenty of Supervisors in the field. They know how to Supervise you to make sure your doing it right.
      2. We have plenty of Surveyors in the field. They Survey the field & come back & tell you the best way to harvest.
      3. We have plenty of Suspenders in the field. They always see the field almost ready to harvest...buuuut not yet.
    12. We need the Laborers/worker Bees (no more drones are needed, who live off the work of others). We need Laborers not more Wheat Lords.
    13. Note the timing here as He uses the figure of reaping a harvest. He’s about to send out the 12. Then later, the 70. But He’s already used it once before in Jn.4:35-38…
      1. ​​​​​​​You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.
    14. Solution: Pray, the Lord of the Harvest, to send out…
    15. Send Out - (ἐκβάλλω) To cast out, throw out, thrust out. [same as vs.25,33,10:1]
      1. It always implies urgency, haste, or constraint.
      2. Here, It means to be sent out promptly, pushed into their work.
        1. ​​​​​​​Lord, send them out from here, CM. Are you praying for that?
    16. Should we still pray this prayer? Well, is there still a field to harvest? And how often should we pray this prayer? How about regularly & habitually.
    17. In the 1st Metaphor you have Man’s need met by God (sheep in need of a Shepherd). In the 2nd Metaphor you have God’s need met by man (the needed laborers).
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Matthew 9". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/matthew-9.html. 2017.