Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 9

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

HEALING OF PALSIED MAN ON JESUS’ RETURN TO

CAPERNAUM

V. 1-8

1) "And he entered into a ship," (kai embas eis ploion) "And embarking in a ship," to leave the area of Gadara where He had healed the Gararene demoniac, Mt 3:28-34.

2) "And passed over," (dieperasen) "He passed over," from the east to the west side of the Sea of Galilee. He complied with the request of the men of Gadara who did not want Jesus among them, desired that He leave, Matthew 8:34; Mr 5:17; Luke 8:37.

3) "And came into his own city." (kai elthen eis ten idian polin) "And arrived in his own city," the city of Capernaum, on the Northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, Matthew 4:13; Matthew 11:23. Here He resided and did many miracles during His Galileean ministry.

Verse 2

1) "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of palsy," (kai idon proespheron auto paralutikon) "And behold they brought to him a paralytic;" The Gk. term "idou" introduces an important, dramatic incident, no less real than that of His healing the demon possessed, as recounted Matthew 8:1-34 This man was palsied, ill with a muscular and nerve disorder.

2) "Lying on a bed:" (epi klines belemenon) "Who had been laid upon a mattress:" It is also recounted Mr 2:3-12; Luke 5:18-26. The man could not come to Jesus on his own, but did by the aid of four men of faith. Like sinners, he needed help and found it, before too late.

3) "And Jesus seeing their faith," (kai ison ho lesous ten pistin auton) "And Jesus perceiving their faith;" The faith of the four men who brought him, and the faith of the one who was brought, without which it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 8:10; James 1:6-7.

4) "Said unto the sick of the palsy;" (eipen to paralutiko) "Said directly to the paralytic;" Jesus responds to the faith and doubt he sees in men.

5) "Son, be of good cheer;" (tharsei teknon) "Child be of good cheer;" These were words of comfort and compassion to one who needed such. Though believing that Jesus could heal and save him, perhaps he was burdened with remorse and self blame for a life of sin.

6) "Thy sins be forgiven thee." (aphientai iou hai hamartiai) "Your sins are forgiven," Matthew 12:31-32; Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7. Whatever the paralytic’s past sins may have been, they were pronounced forgiven, on the basis of faith, Psalms 32:1-2; Luke 5:20; Romans 4:6-8; Romans 5:11.

MUTUAL HELP

Two neighbors, one blind and the other lame, were called to a place at a great distance. What was to be done? The blind man could not see, and the lame man could not walk. Why, the blind man carried the lame one: this former assisted by his legs, the other by his eyes. Say to no one, then, I can do without you," but be ready to help those who ask your aid; and then, when it is needed, you may ask theirs.

H. Smith

Verse 3

1) "And, behold, certain of the scribes," (kai idou tines ton grammateon) "And behold some of the scribes," certain ones who were present on this occasion,

2) "Said within themselves," (elpan en heautois) "Said among themselves," in fault-finding collusion, but did not speak out audibly to interrupt Jesus. Yet, Jesus knew their thought, their raised eyebrows of doubt, thinking within, Mr 2:6.

3) "This man blasphemeth” (houtos blasphemei) "This man (Jesus) blasphemes." Mr 2:7 adds their comments" who can forgive sins but God only?" That is who He was, Isaiah 43:25; John 1:1; John 1:14; John 8:11.

Verse 4

1) "And Jesus knowing their thoughts said," (kai eidos ho lesous tas enthumeseis auton eipen) "And Jesus perceiving their thoughts, said;" And the theme of their complaints He knew, and made known to them, Mr 2:8; as He shall to every man at the hour of judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 12:36-37.

2) "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?" (hinati enthumeisthe ponera en tais kardiaia humon) "Why do you all think wicked things in your hearts," to accuse me of blasphemy? Man’s worst sins of the heart are envy, jealousy, hatred, covetousness, wicked imaginations, etc., Jeremiah 17:9-10; Hebrews 4:13. Jesus saw the doubt and skepticism, the unbelief in the hearts of these scribes, as surely as He saw the faith in the hearts of the palsied man, and the four men of faith and compassion who brought him, Psalms 94:11; Psalms 139:2.

Verse 5

1) "For whether is easier, to say," (ti gar estin eukopoteron eipein) "For which is easier to say," and it be done. Our Lord poses two alternatives, neither of which was too hard for Him, but both of which confounded the doubting, unbelieving scribes, who rejected both prophetic and miraculous evidences of His Deity, John 1:11-12; John 20:30-31.

2) "Thy sins be forgiven ’thee;" (aphientai sou hai hamartiai) "Your sins are forgiven," for God alone can forgive sins; yet, Jesus was God, manifest in the flesh, Hebrews 1:3; Ephesians 1:7; John 1:7; John 1:9.

3) "Or to say, Arise, and walk?" (he eipein egeire kai peripatei) "Or to say rise (up) and walk?" Neither is hard, or too hard, for God, see? Luke 5:23; Jeremiah 32:17; Jeremiah 32:27. Can you not see those devilish, doubting scribes, grinning, nodding, scowling, "ye, you make him walk, and we will believe." But would they? They had not believed, though it was in their Scriptures, fulfilled before them:

1) His Virgin Birth, Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 7:14.

2) His Bethlehem of Judea Birth, Matthew 2:4-5; Micah 5:2; Luke 2:1-14.

3) His Forerunner, John the Baptist, Isaiah 40:1-3; Matthew 3:1-3.

4) His being called out of Egypt, Matthew 2:15.

5) The Dove (Holy Spirit) and voice of God at His Baptism, Matthew 3:16-17; John 1:30-33. Why should they believe one more sign? See? John 20:30-31; Luke 16:31.

Verse 6

1) "But that ye may know," (hina de eidete) "But that you all may know or perceive," that you scribes may comprehend who I am, John 7:17.

2) "That the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins," (hoti eksousian echei ho huios tou anthropou epi tes ges aphientai hamartias) "That the Son of man has or possesses authority upon the earth to forgive sins," Mr 2:10. The miracles Jesus performed had, as their priority purpose, to reach the hearts of men, that they might believe and be saved, not merely that physical and emotional ills be healed, John 3:1-2; John 20:30-31.

3) "(Then saith he to the sick of the palsy" (tote legei to paralutiko) "Right then, at that moment, he said to the paralytic," as a case of direct address, to affront the cold skepticism of the unbelieving scribes.

4) "Arise, take up thy bed," (egeiri aron sou ten klinen) "Rise, take up your mattress," on which you have been held bedridden, as a paralytic-slave so long, Luke 5:24.

5 "And go unto thine house." (kai hupage eis ton oikon sou) "And go into your house," or your own place of residence, of your own strength, Mr 2:11.

Verse 7

1) "And he arose," (kai egertheis) "And rising up," in obedience to the command of the Son of God. Though he had been brought to Jesus by four men, in the presence of many witnesses, as a paralytic. Immediately he arose, at the command of the Lord, as Lazarus arose from the dead at His command, John 11:43-44.

2) "And departed to his house." (apelthen eis ton oikon tou) "He went directly into his own residence," as the Lord had directed him, to tell his family how he had met Jesus and been made whole, Mr 2:12; Luke 5:25. He went to his home to be a comfort and help where he had once been a burden.

Verse 8

1) "But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled," (edontes de hoi ochloi ophobethesan) "Then the crowd upon perceiving, feared," were afraid, were in a state of emotional shock, Luke 5:26.

2) "And glorified God," (kai edoksasan ton theon) "And they glorified God," the true God, as revealed in Jesus Christ, Matthew 15:31; Philippians 2:11; Mr 2:12.

3) "Which had given such power unto men" (ton donta Eksousian Tolauten tois anthropois) "The one giving such authority to men," as to arise from a bed of paralysis, and go home bearing a bed upon which he had so long been held by the paralysis. See also Luke 7:16. These miracles of our Lord constituted a class of signs by which men were to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and be saved, John 20:30-31.

Verse 9

THE CALL OF MATTHEW

1) "And as Jesus passed forth from thence," (kai paragon ho lesous ekeithen) "And Jesus passing along the way," from where He had healed the palsied man, Matthew 9:6-8; Mr 2:13.

2) "He saw a man named Matthew," (eiden anthropon Mattaion legomenon) "Saw a man named Matthew," whose name means, "Gift of God." Mark and Luke call him by his Hebrew name, which was Levi, Mr 2:14; Luke 5:27. Mark also adds the name of his father, Alphaeus, Mr 2:14. Here Matthew relates his own calling, with brevity and modesty.

3) "Sitting at the receipt of custom:" (kathemenon epi to telonion) "Sitting at the custom house," the place where Roman taxes were collected in Capernaum, in upper Galilee. Matthew was a Jew by birth, and a publican or tax collector by business employment, collecting customs for the Roman Government, Luke 5:27.

4) "And he saith unto him, Follow me." (kai legei auto akolouthei moi) "And he said to him, Follow me." To enforce his claims and collect dues for the Eternal King, Matthew was here called of the Lord. The call was simple and direct, like that of the first four, Matthew 4:18-22.

5) "And he arose, and followed him." (kai anastas akolouthesen auto) "And (Matthew) rising up followed him," responded to or straightway obeyed the call of Jesus, to full time discipleship, that also led to his becoming an apostle, Matthew 10:3. Luke adds "He left all," arose and followed Jesus, Luke 5:28.

Verse 10

JESUS ANSWERS INQUIRES OF THE PHARISEES

V. 10-15

1) "And it came to pass," (kai egeneto) "And it occurred," happened, or came to pass, that shortly thereafter, after his Commitment to leave all and follow Jesus, Luke 5:28.

2) "As Jesus sat at meat in the house," (autou anakeimenou en te oikia) "As Jesus was reclining in the house," Matthew’s house where Jesus had been invited for a meal, explained by Luke 5:29, as a "great feast" or reception.

3) "Behold, many publicans and sinners came” (kai idou polloi telonai kai hamartoloi elthontes) "And as many tax collectors (customs-collectors) and lawbreakers were coming," to the place both Mark and Luke stated was Levi’s "own house," Mr 2:15; Luke 5:29.

4) "And sat down with him and his disciples." (sunanekeinto to lesou kai tois Matthetais autou) "And reclining at the table with Jesus and his disciples;" Luke states, "a great company," came for the meal, as a guest of Matthew, and to meet Jesus, as they sat or reclined in social concourse around the meal, Luke 5:29.

Verse 11

1) "And when the Pharisees saw it," (kai idontes hoi pharisaioi) "And the Pharisees upon seeing it," what was happening. Mark and Luke add "and the scribes," who as Jewish legalists were generally enemies of Jesus. Mr 2:16; Luke 5:20.

2) "They said unto his disciples," (elegon tois mathetais autou) "Said critically to his disciples," in a fault-finding, accusatory, scandalous manner, not venturing to put their questions to Jesus themselves. Out of envy and pride they criticized, though Jesus neither gave the feast or invited the guests.

3) "Why eateth your Master," (dia ti esthiei ho didaskolos humon) "For what reason does your Master ­teacher eat," eat to socialize, have company with, a convention of publicans and sinners? Hebrews 4:15-16.

4) "With publicans and sinners?" (meta ton telolon kai hamartolon) "With tax-collectors, tribute or custom agents, and with lawless and unethical sinners?" With men who are immoral and unethical? The Jews themselves hated the publicans, tax collectors; This is in keeping with their general murmurings against Jesus, Luke 7:34; Luke 15:2.

Verse 12

1) "But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them," (ho de akousas lipen) "Then when Jesus heard it he said;" He received word of their ungracious, back­handed criticism, their deeds of darkness, John 3:19-21. He addressed the murmuring Pharisees and Scribes directly, though they had shrunk from addressing Him .

2) "They that be whole need not a physician," (ou cherian echousin hoi ischuontes iatrou) "Those who are strong do not need a physician; a physician goes where he is needed. If you are whole (holy), as righteous as you claim, you do not need me; my mission is not to you, or to satisfy you. This is a touch of irony. The Physician’s business is not to minister to well people is it? He "came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance," Luke 5:32; Luke 19:10,

3) "But they that are sick." (all’ hoi kakos echontes) "But it is those who are ill who have such a need," isn’t it? And they were spiritually ill, Matthew 5:20; Romans 10:1-3. It is the physician’s job to diagnose the ill, lay it bare, and prescribe a remedy. The publicans were more responsive to our Lord’s compassion toward them in their sins, than the snake-hearted, hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, Mr 2:17; 12:35,37-40.

Verse 13

1) "But go ye and learn what that meaneth," (poreuthentes de mathete ti estin) "Then you all go your own ways and learn what, it is," what is taught or exists as a truth in the following prophecy, formerly spoken: (They never sent men to learn the lesson that God prefers mercy more than sacrifice).

2) “I will have mercy and not sacrifice:" (eleos thelo kai ou thusian) "I yearn for mercy and not sacrifice:" His friendship toward the publicans in eating with them was a kind act of mercy to try to recover the lost. Hosea 6:6; Isaiah 1:11; Proverbs 21:3. Sacrifices, without repentance, was an abomination to the Lord, Micah 6:6; Hebrews 13:16.

3) "For I am not come to call the righteous," (ou gar elthon kalesai dikaious) "Because I came not on a mission to call righteous people," or good people, as the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees considered themselves to be, Ro 10-1-3.

4) "But sinners to repentance." (alla hamartolous) "But criminally disposed sinners," lawless, responsible, accountable sinners to repentance, Luke 15:7; Luke 19:10; Mr 2:18; Luke 5:33. Mercy calls the fallen to repentance, while sacrifice points to the need and the remedy for sin and the fall of every man.

Verse 14

JESUS AS BRIDEGROOM EXPLAINED V. 14-17

1) "Then came to him the disciples of John, saying,”(tote proserchontai auto hoi mathetai loannou legontes) "Then, at that moment, the disciples of John (the Baptist) approached him inquiring;" These disciples had disregarded John’s testimony, and had not turned to follow Jesus, John 1:26-30.

2) "Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft," (dia ti hemeis kai hoi pharisaioi nesteuomen) "For what reason do we and the Pharisees fast;" These disciples of John had entered a confederacy of their own, had not as yet committed themselves to follow Jesus, Acts 18:25; Acts 19:3.

3) "But thy disciples fast not?" (hoi de mathetai sou ou nesteuousin) "Yet your disciples do not fast," follow a custom of periodic foregoing eating and drinking for a season, to give themselves to prayer and meditation, like other religions, or did not make it conspicuously known.

Verse 15

1) "And Jesus said unto them," (kai eipen autois ho lesous) "And Jesus said to them," in a rhetorical manner, a manner that required they make a judgment or responsive decision on what he said.

2) "Can the children of the bride chamber mourn," (me ­dunantai hoi huioi tou numphonos penthein) "The heirs of the bridechamber cannot mourn," can they? The groom’s men, friends of the groom, waited in the bridechamber or room to aid or assist the groom for any need, as his wedding approached. The mourning is implied in fasting. And Jesus’ disciples did not linger in mourning while he was with them. His ministry with them was more like a continual wedding feast.

3) "As long as the bridegroom is with them?" (eph’ hoson met’ auton estin ho numogios) "So long as the bridegroom is with them?" Jesus was the bridegroom; John the Baptist had declared himself to be the friend of the bridegroom, and those John had prepared for the bridegroom, who followed His call, had already become His bride, His church, John 3:28-29; But some of John’s disciples had not joined the call of Jesus to serve.

4) "But the days will come," (eleusontai de hemerai) "But days will come," that day of fasting in mourning and waiting, for a little while for all, John 14:1-3; Philippians 1:23; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:4.

5) "When the bridegroom shall be taken from them," (hoton aparthe ap’ auton ho numphios) "When the bridegroom is taken away from them," in death, though His spiritual presence lingered still, Matthew 28:20; 1 Peter 1:8.

6) "And then shall they fast." (kai tote nesteusousin) "And then, at that time, they will fast," or linger in mourning, with deep sorrow, because of His death. Feasting and fasting are ancient customs and practice that reflect joy and sorrow.

Verse 16

PARABLE OF THE GARMENT AND BOTTLES

V. 16, 17

1) "No man putteth a piece of new cloth," (oudeis de epiballei epiblema hrakous agnaphou) "No one puts a patch of new cloth;" This was spoken regarding a specific, to be segregate, or separated difference, between the worship and service of the law and the church.

2) "Unto an old garment," (epi himatio paloio) "Upon an old garment," one that is threadbare, one that is not strong enough to hold the new that is fastened or sewed to it. This defends the old as well as the new, but shows that the two do not mix.

3) "For that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment," (airei gar to pleroma autou apo tou himatiou) "Because it’ (the new patch) takes away the fullness from the garment, or shrinks the garment in size, and tears the old garment to worse shreds.

4) "And the rent is made worse." (kai cheiron schisma ginetai) "And a worse rent or torn place comes to be," rending the garment less fit for use. Jesus does not disparage or condemn, either the fasting of the law, or of John, but specifically shows that His disciples would be hypocritical to fast while He was with them, establishing a new order of worship and service.

Verse 17

1) "Neither do men put new wine in old bottles:" (oude ballousin oinon neon eis askous palaious) "Neither do they put new wine into old wineskins:" Wine that is still fermenting, that causes the old skins, no longer elastic, to split, leak. The "new" refers to both "time" and "quality." Keep the old, to the old, and the new, to the new is the idea.

2) "Else the bottles break and the wine runneth out," (ei de me ge hregnuntai hoi askoi ksi ho oinos ekcheitai) "If they do, on the other hand, the wineskins are burst and the wine is poured out," wasted. The law of Moses simply could not contain or hold what Jesus had brought to men, the new order of worship and service.

3) "And the bottles perish:" (kai hoi askoi apolluntai) "And the wineskins are destroyed," rendered useless, unusable, together with the wine.

4) "But they put new wine into new bottles," (alla ballousin oinon eis askous kainous) "But they put new wine, yet fermenting wine, into fresh wineskins," that will not split or crack, into new wineskins, that are still elastic and stretch, to avoid splitting because of fermentation.

5) "And both are preserved." (kai amphoteroi sunterountai) "And both are preserved," both the new wine and the new wines in bottles are preserved, or safe from loss. The idea is that the old ideas of feasting and fasting in connection with the Jewish religious and civil law were not to be patched into the church of Jesus Christ.

Verse 18

JESUS HEALED THE WOMAN WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD AND RAISED JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER ’FROM THE DEAD,

V. 18-26

1) "While he spake these things unto them," (tauta autou lalountos autois) "As he was speaking these things to them," not waiting until he was finished, but interrupting Jesus while He was speaking.

2) "Behold, there came a certain ruler," (idou archon (eis) peroselthon) "Behold one who was a ruler approaching," something to be wondered at, a distinctly reputable well known ruler of a synagogue, Luke 23:35; His name was Jairus, Mr 5:22; John 7:26; John 7:48; Acts 4:26.

3) "And worshipped him, saying," (prosekunei auto legon) "Worshipped him saying;" Though a ruler, a Rabbi, a teacher and administrator of a synagogue, he fell down prostrate before Jesus, the Son of God, and worshipped Him, saying,

4) "My daughter is even now dead:" (hoti he thugater mou arti eteleutesen) "That my daughter has just now died," or is dead by this time; She was dying when I left the house, Mr 5:23.

5) "But come and lay thy hand upon her," (alla elthon epithes ten cheira sou ep’ auten) "But coming lay your hand on her," as I have seen you do in healing others.

6) "And she shall live." (kai zesetai) "And she will live," be revived or raised to life. This one ruling Jewish Rabbi had seen enough miracles of Jesus, and heard enough testimony of others regarding Him, that he came to Jesus in this crisis hour, and was blessed, was not disappointed or turned away, John 6:37.

Verse 19

1) "And Jesus arose, and followed him," (kai egertheis ho lesous ekolouthei auto) "And rising up Jesus followed him," promptly, without delay, though this was one of a crowd of Rabbis from whom He suffered most. He was willing to "do good" to them who had despitefully used Him, Matthew 5:11-12. Note, feasting, fasting, and dying are normalcies of life, successively, Matthew 9:10-19.

2) "And so did his disciples." (kai hoi mathetai autou) "As well as his disciples." All followed Jesus to the home of the Rabbi, Jairus, to witness Jesus raise his daughter from the dead. The story is here suspended, interrupted, to be continued, Matthew 9:23.

Verse 20

1) "And, behold, a woman," (kai idou gune) "And behold (your attention is called to) a woman," a special woman in need, one widely known for her extended illness and medical treatments that had been in vain, Mr 5:25; Luke 8:43.

2) "Which was diseased with an Issue of blood twelve years," (haimorroouse dideka ete) "Suffering from a flow of blood for a period of twelve years;" She was held to be unclean by Jewish law, for twelve years, so that her husband could not touch her, without also being considered unclean, Leviticus 15:25.

3) "Came behind him," (proselthousa opisthen) "Approaching behind," as He was on His way to the home of Jairus, the Rabbi synagogue ruler. Being unclean, with womanly shame, and chronic ill health, shrinking, desiring to conceal herself, she approached Him from behind.

4) "And touched the hem of his garment:" (hepsato tou kraspedou hou himatiou autou) "Touched the fringe or tassel of his garment;" To her it seemed that she believed that she would be healed if she touched Him, as surely as if He touched her. She perhaps feared He would not touch her, knowing her to be unclean. The hem or tassel of His garment was nearest to her, and the most sacred of the garments, Numbers 15:37-40; Deuteronomy 22:12.

Verse 21

1) "For she said within herself," (elegen gar en heaute) "Because she was saying in herself," in her heart, she was thinking, believing as she approached from behind to touch Him.

2) "If I may but touch his garment," (ean monon hapsomai tou himation autou) "If I may only touch his garment," the outer garment He was wearing.

3) “I shall be whole." (sothesomai) "I will be or become healed," of the bloody plague of twelve years of uncleanness toward my husband, and my people nearest me, and before the law, so that I may go to the synagogue again, for fellowship, and study, and worship. Such was her faith, cunning, and private scheme, with no intent of obstructing Jesus, as He was on His way to the house of the dead, Matthew 9:23.

Verse 22

1) "But Jesus turned him about," (ho de lesous strapheis) "Then Jesus upon turning about," knowing what was happening.

2) "And when he saw her, he said," (kai idon auten eipen) "And seeing her said," directly and personally to her, "Who touched me?" as recounted by Luke, Luke 6:19. He did not ask for information, but to elicit an open confession from the woman, for the benefit of others who knew her, Romans 10:9-10. After which He continued:

3) "Daughter, be of good comfort;" (tharsei thugater) "Be of good cheer or be Cheerful, daughter;" as He looked upon her, as she was in timid, trembling, hopeful fear. Jesus addressed her, a grown woman, affectionately as "daughter," as He did a grown man as "child," Matthew 9:2.

4) "Thy faith hath made thee whole," (he pistis sou sesoken se) "Your faith has healed you," or caused you to be healed. On numerous occasions people learned that they had faith that was honored, right now, not in the future, when Jesus told them so, Mr 5:34; Luke 7:50; Acts 3:16; Romans 5:11; Hebrews 2:4; Ephesians 2:8-10.

5) "And the woman was made whole from that hour." (kai esothe he gune apt, tes horas ekeines) "And the woman was healed (made well, or made whole) from that very hour," that man might believe Jesus was the Christ and be saved, John 20:30-31.

Verse 23

1) "And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house," (kai elthon ho lesous eis ten oikian archontos) "And when Jesus had come into the residence of the ruler," the home of Jairus, the Rabbi Synagogue ruler whose daughter had died. Here the story continues as interrupted, Matthew 9:20.

2) "And saw the minstrels," (kai idon tous auletas) "And upon seeing the flute-players," the hired mourners already gathered at the home, playing minor key music to elicit tears, increase mournful, doleful emotions, 2 Chronicles 35:25; Jeremiah 9:17; Amos 5:16. They would also sing in praise of the dead.

3) "And the people making a noise," (kai ton ochlon thoroubournenon) "And the crowd in a state of terror," screaming and wailing among women and children, a custom that had been cultivated among the Jews at that time, such as was done at Lazarus’ death, John 11:18-20. The people likely gathered for many motives: sympathy, popularity, wealth, curiosity, and desire to share in the eat and drink going on at such an occasion.

At least two flutes and one woman were by custom to be hired to mourn and play at the death or burial of a wife of even the poorest man. More were employed where more wealth was available.

Verse 24

1) "He said unto them, Give place:" (elegen anachoreite) "He said, you all get out," clear the room, give place to and for the Lord to dispel grief through the resurrection of this dead one, 2 Corinthians 5:1-11; The presence of the Lord forbids hopeless grief and mourning and wailing, Philippians 3:20-21.

2) "For the maid is not dead, but sleepeth." (ou gar apethanen alla katheudei) "Because the girl is not dead, but sleeps," rests for a little while. Our Lord spoke of death as a sleep, a temporary rest, John 11:11-14; Acts 20:10. Hired mourners were distasteful to Jesus who dismissed them, literally indicating that they were out of their place, and the maid had no need of them.

3) "And they laughed him to scorn." (kai kategelon autou) "And they ridiculed him," made fun, scoffed, derided, and laughed at His statement. They knew she was really dead.

MOURNING FOR THE DEAD

Among the Samoans, "the moment the eye becomes fixed in death, the house becomes a scene of indescribable lamentation and wailing. ’Oh, my father, why did you not let me die, and you live here still?’ ’Oh my brother, why have you run away, and left your brother to be trampled upon?’ ’Oh, my child, had I known you were going to die! Of what use is it for me to survive you? Would that I had died for you!’ These and other doleful cries may be heard two hundred yards from the house; and as you go near, you find that they are accompanied by the most frantic expressions of grief, such as rending the garments, tearing the hair, thumping the face and eyes, burning the body with small piercing fire brands, beating the head with stones till the blood runs, and this they call an ’offering of blood’ for the dead."

Turner, Nineteen Years in Polynesia.

Verse 25

1) "But when the people were put forth," (hote de ekseblethe ho ochlos) "Then when the crowd was put out," outside the death room or death chamber, as in 2 Kings 4:33. They were "put forth," put back by command of Jesus, that they would not physically resist, thus cleared out the noisy crowd.

2) "He went in, and took her by the hand," (eiselthon ekratesen tes cheiros autes) "Entering the house he took hold of her hand;" Taking others with Him, as witnesses, not as idle or curious spectators. He both took her by the hand and spoke to her, Mr 5:40,41.

3) "And the maid arose." (kai egerthe to korasion) "And the girl arose," alive and well, alive from the dead, Hosea 13:14; John 11:25.

Verse 26

1) "And the fame thereof went abroad," (kai ekselthen he pheme aute) "And this report went out," spread as a thing of first line news, of prominent interest of Jesus for the Rabbi ruler of the synagogue. The fame was not sought by Jesus, but was a natural consequence of His mighty deed.

2) "Unto all that land." (eis holen ten gen ekeunen) "Into all that land," all that upper Galileean area. From the phrase "that land," it is implied that it was in "another land," that Matthew wrote this book.

Verse 27

TWO BLIND MEN HEALED AND DEMON CAST OUT

V. 27-34

1) "And When Jesus departed thence," (kai paragonti ekeithen to Iesou) "And as Jesus passed forth from there," the home of Jairus, from where He had raised his daughter from the dead. Two new types of diseases are now brought to Jesus, blindness and possession, accompanied by dumbness.

2) "Two blind men followed him," (ekolouthesan duo tufloi) "There followed him two blind men;" Blindness was then, and still is, much more common in the middle east than in the western world. It was caused by a diversity of internal and external things, Leviticus 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:18; Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5; Matthew 11:2-5; Mr 10:46; John 5:3.

3) "Crying, and saying," (krazontes kai legontes) "Crying, and repeatedly saying," appealing for help, from their nigh-helpless state. Jesus did not stop to help them by the wayside, on the way to His residence, where He went to retire for some rest after the incident recounted above.

4) "Thou son of David, have mercy on us." (eleeson hemas huios David) "Pity us, Son of David," or pity us as the Messiah one promised to David. The phrase "Son of David" was an expression of faith in Jesus as the Messiah, Matthew 1:1; Matthew 12:23. The appeal for mercy was for pity for Jesus to respond to their pitiful, semi-helpless condition.

Verse 28

1) "And when he was come into the house," (elthonti de eis ten oikian) "Then when he came into the house or residence," the place where He stayed, resided there in Capernaum, Matthew 4:13; Luke 4:31-32.

2) "The blind men came to him," (proselthon auto hoi tufloi) "The blind men approached him," or came directly to Him; Note their perseverance in following Jesus. They would not give up or be turned away, Matthew 9:27; they believed Him to be the Messiah, the Son of David, as also Matthew 15:22; Luke 18:39.

3) "And Jesus saith unto them," (kai legei autois ho lesous) "And Jesus inquired of them," to test or to try their sincerity, for the benefit of those who heard and watched.

4) "Believe ye that I am able to do this?" (pisteuete hoti dunamai tauto poiesai) "Do you two believe that I am able to do this thing you ask me to do?" Do you sincerely believe that I am able to show helpful mercy or pity to you?

5) "They said unto him, Yea, Lord." (elgousin auto vai kurie) "They said to him, certainly or surely we do, Lord," They had also indicated this trusting, earnest faith by calling Him "Son of David," the object of Messianic, redemptive hope, Matthew 9:27.

Verse 29

1) "Then touched he their eyes, saying," (tote hepsato ton ophthalmon auton legon) "Immediately, or right then, he touched their eyes while saying," repeating the words:

2) "According to your faith be it unto you." (kata ten pistin humon genetheto humin) "According to your faith, or in harmony with your faith, let it be become to (both of) you;" He spoke not of the proportion or amount of their faith, but as a result of their placing it (great or small) in Him, as in Matthew 9:22.

Verse 30

1) "And their eyes were opened," (kai eneochthesan auton hoi ophthalmoi) "And their eyes came to be opened," as they were caused to see, or had their sight restored, at His word or command. The first object they saw was Jesus. How many there are with open eyes who are yet blind to a vision of Jesus, 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.

2) "And Jesus straitly taught them, saying," (kai enebrimethe autois ho lesous legon) "And Jesus sternly admonished them saying," with clear explanation, earnestly commanded them, to avoid public notoriety, Matthew 12:16-17; Matthew 12:19.

3) "See that no man know it." (horate medeis ginosketo) "See that you let no one know." This was designed to remove occasion of further envy from the Pharisees, Matthew 9:34; Mr 1:43.

Verse 31

1) "But they, when they were departed," (hoi de ekselthontes) "Then they upon going out," as they were going away, while they were leaving, wherever they went. It is proper to be silent: 1) When commanded of the Lord, 2) When Truth may be out of season, 3) When the truth is only partially known, and 4) When it may be as pearls before swine.

2) "Spread abroad his fame in all that country." (diephemisan auton en hole te ge ekeine) "Spread about him (what he had done) in all that land area of Galilee.” These former blind men directly disobeyed the Lord, though their joy was great, and their intentions were without desire to do harm to Him who had given them sight, restored their sight. As redeemed ones they could not restrain themselves, Psalms 107:2; Acts 4:20.

Verse 32

1) "As they went out," (auton de ekserchomenon) "And when they were going out," not as they entered the house, blind and begging, but rejoicing and witnessing.

2) "Behold, they brought to him a dumb man," (idou prosenegkan auto kophon)- "Behold they brought a dumb man to him," a man unable to speak, who perhaps could or would never have come of himself. The dumb man was dumb, not of natural dumbness, but because of deranged possession.

3) "Possessed with a devil." (dalmonizomenon) "One who was possessed by a demon," or demon possessed, one who was mentally deranged as a cause of demon influence, within and upon him, keeping him in demon, dumb slavery or bondage, as described Matthew 7:22.

Verse 33

1) "And when the devil was cast out," (kai ekblethentos tou daimoniou) "And when the demon was expelled," cast or driven out of the man, by the word and power of Jesus Christ, as the seventy later did, Luke 10:17-20.

2) "The dumb spake:" (elalesen ho kophos) "The dumb spoke;" His speech cured, no doubt it became one of joy and rejoicing, because of his liberation; Even so the speech of the demon possessed is a testimony without joy, a speech of bondage and fear, Acts 5:3; Hebrews 2:14-15.

3) "And the multitude marveled, saying," (kai ethaumason hoi ochloi legontes) "And the crowds marveled among and within themselves, saying," in unsophisticated praise.

4) "It was never so seen in Israel." (oudepote ephane houtos en to Israel)."Never at all has anything like this appeared in Israel;" Unwarped by any prejudice, and overwhelmed by wonder, the wonder, they spoke the truth, as they saw and felt it, Mr 2:11,12.

Verse 34

1) "But the Pharisees said," (hoi de Pharisaioi elegon) "Then the Pharisees said," charged, brought derogatory accusations of slanderous nature, a product of their own unrighteous, hypocritical hearts, Matthew 5:20; Matthew 3:7.

2) "He casteth out devils," (ekballe! ta daimonia) "He expels demons;" Blinded by their own pride, hate, and prejudices, they attacked Him with lying words, while they themselves were slaves or servants of the Devil, John 8:44.

3) "Through the prince of the devils." (en to archonti ton daimonion) "By means, instrument, or agency of the ruler (prince) of the demons;" They falsely attributed to Jesus "demon powers," under whose control they themselves were held, Matthew 12:24; Mr 3:22; Luke 11:15. Prejudice caused them to call Jesus a devil, a Samaritan, winebibber, and a friend of publicans.

Verse 35

JESUS PREACHES ON A TOUR THROUGH ALL GALILEE

V. 35-38

1) "And Jesus went about," (kai periegen ho vesous) "And Jesus went around," in circuit about; The circuit here mentioned may have been partly before and partly after the miracles recounted above.

2) "All the cities and villages," (tas pollis pasas kai tas komas) "All the cities and the villages," of Galilee, of both upper and lower Galilee. This is believed to be His third journey or circuit through Galilee. The first is recounted Matthew 4:23-25. The second is given Mr 6:6; Luke 6:1-3; Luke 13:23.

3) "Teaching in their synagogues," (didaskon en tais sunagogues auton) "Repeatedly, continually teaching in their synagogues." Instructing privately in their synagogues, the story of Grace and Glory, John 1:14; John 1:17; 2 Timothy 1:10.

4) "And preaching the gospel of the kingdom," (kai kerusson to euangelion tes basileias) "And proclaiming, heralding the good news (gospel) of the kingdom," Matthew 11:5; publicly announcing the Gospel that saves men from sin, Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

5) "And healing every sickness," (kai therapeuon pasan malakian) "And healing every illness," literally, "every kind (of) sickness," both physical and mental sickness. From Matthew 4:23 to Matthew 9:35 Jesus was generally met with admiration of the masses, but from Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 14:12 He is an object of general doubt, criticism, and hostility.

6) "And every disease among the people." (kai pason noson) "And every disease or malady," infecting and defecting their physical and emotional well being. This is a summary affirmation of how Divine Grace and Mercy from Jesus relieved human suffering and sorrow. With what zeal our Lord labored.

ZEAL

The Devil held a great anniversary, at which his emissaries were convened to report the results of their several missions. I let loose the wild beasts of the desert," said one, "on a caravan of Christians; and their bones are now bleaching on the sands." "What of that?" said the Devil; "their souls were all saved." "I drove the east wind," said another, “against a ship freighted with Christians; and they were all drowned." "What of that?" said the Devil; "their souls were all saved." "For ten years I tried to get a single Christian asleep," said a third; "And I succeeded, and left him so." Then the Devil shouted, and the night stars of hell sang for joy.

-Luther

Verse 36

1) "But when he saw the multitudes," (idon de tous ochlous) "Then upon seeing the crowds," wherever He went, He reflects two views of them: 1) As an harvest going unreaped, and 2) As a flock neglected of or without a shepherd. Both danger lurked for the people and judgment waited the duty neglecting shepherd and harvester.

2) "He was moved with compassion on them," (esplagchnisthe peri auton) "He was filled with tenderness of emotion or compassion concerning them;" His fruitful ministry was in showing compassion, an exemplary lesson for every Christian to follow.

3) "Because they fainted," (hoti errimmenoi) "Because they were prostrate," fainted, fell by the wayside of life, disheartened by the selfish, heartless treatment of the pious Jewish leaders who should have been their spiritual shepherds.

4) "And were scattered abroad," (esan eskulmenoi kai) "And they were distressed," or they were burdened, harassed, depressed, and cast down emotionally. They were destitute of a knowledge of Christ because of their blind leaders.

5) "As sheep having no shepherd." (hosie probata me echonta poimena) "As sheep that have no shepherd," lacking needed spiritual guidance, exposed to the varmints of sin that preyed upon their lives, Matthew 15:24; 1 Peter 2:25. Sheep left alone wander, become feet-sore, hunted, trailed by predators, fleece-torn, and exhausted. A sheep gets in this condition when it has no one to guide it. Even so, sinners need someone to guide them to Jesus, Acts 8:31.

Verse 37

1) "Then saith he unto his disciples," (tote legei tois mathetais autou) "At that moment he said to his disciples," to those called and chosen church disciples who were: 1) The kingdom of Heaven, to whom He would soon commit administration of His work, 2) The Salt of the Earth, 3) The Light of the World, 4) The Bride, and 5) The House of God.

2) "The harvest truly is plenteous," (ho men therismos polus) "Surely the harvest is much," plenteous, very great; Spiritual opportunities for great results are out there, waiting to be harvested, Luke 10:2.

3) "But the laborers are few;" (hoi de ergatai oligo!) "Yet, the workmen are few in number," in comparison with the masses of humanity in need of mercy and grace, downtrodden by Satan and sin, without God and hope in the world, except men carry them the gospel, as Philip did the Eunuch, as Paul did to the Philippian jailer, and the people in Rome, Acts 8:1-40; Acts 16:30-32; Romans 1:14-16. To that point, but few had caught His compassion, His care for the wandering sheep and ripened harvest, both now in danger of loss, Luke 19:10.

Verse 38

1) "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest," (deethete oun tou kuriou tou therismou) "You all therefore pray the Lord of the harvest;" Petition earnestly, the Lord of the harvest, that you may have compassion, a broken heart, a deep spiritual vision and burden that will carry you, in the right spirit, to their rescue, John 4:34-38; Isaiah 6:8.

2) "That he will send forth laborers," (hopos ekbale ergatas) "So that he may thrust forth workmen;" For who will go, except he be "thrust forth," with a burden and a vision, like Isaiah 6:1-8; and like Paul, Acts 9:1-7; Psalms 29:1?

3) "Into his harvest" (eis ton therismon autou) "Into his (own) harvest," right where the urgent need exists, Ephesians 4:11-12; Psalms 68:11; Jeremiah 3:15; 2 Thessalonians 3:1.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-9.html. 1985.
 
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