MATTHEW 8-9 REFRESH 2/18/15
These 2 chapters show the power of Jesus in a big way.
- His Messianic Power – Ch. 5-7 – Sermon on the Mount – He showed that He was the Messiah through His teaching to His disciples. Now in these 2 chapters, He showed that he was the Messiah through the miracles He performed in the presence of large crowds of people.
- His Marvelous Power – He changed the lives of people when He touched & healed them.
- A leper – 8:1-4
- The centurion & his servant – 8:5-13
- Peter’s mother-in-law – 8:14-15
- Many other sick people – 8:16-17
- A paralyzed man – 9:1-8
- Dead girl & the woman w/ the issue of blood – 9:18-26
- 2 blind men – 9:27-31
- The mute man – 9:32-33
- His Message’s Power
- “I am willing” – 8:3
- The marriage supper of the Lamb – 8:11 (Rev. 19:9)
- The agony of hell – 8:12
- The cost of following Jesus – 8:19-22
- Forgiveness of sin – 9:1-8
- Call of Matthew – 9:9
- “It is not the healthy who need a doctor…” – 9:10-13
- The freshness & newness of real growth in righteousness – 9:16-17
- “The harvest is plentiful…” – 9:35-38
Who were the recipients of His message?
Normal People – When you look at the kind of people who were around Jesus in these 2 chapters, you see that they were, for the most part, pretty normal folks.
- Leper, servant, mother-in-law, little child, a discrete woman who worked her way through the crowd to touch Jesus, 2 blind men, a mute man, tax collectors & sinners
You & I very well could have been in this group. Jesus’ ministry & His message was to normal, everyday people who would hear Him & respond to Him. The elite religious leaders despised Him, hated Him, & wanted to silence & kill Him.
But the normal folks were drawn to Him. They were the ones who were in the “large crowds” who followed Him (8:1). They were the ones who were in the “many who were demon-possessed who were brought to Him” (8:16), in the “crowd around Him” (8:18), the “some men” who “brought to Him a paralytic, lying on a mat” (9:2), the “many tax collectors & sinners” who ate w/ Him (9:10), the “crowd” that was amazed (9:33), the people in all the towns & synagogues (9:35), the “crowds” who were “harassed & helpless, like sheep w/out a shepherd” (9:36).
Needy People – So many of the “normal” people who heard Him were needy people, as we all are. Their needs were so wide-ranging & life-altering. Many of them had dealt w/ diseases, sicknesses, handicaps, & demons their entire lives. All of them were sinners who were in need of a Savior.
These were the people for whom Jesus came! Said it clearly in 9:12-13. The Pharisees considered themselves healthy & well b/c of their fastidious observance of the Law. They had no idea who truly sick they were. Or maybe they did, but they weren’t willing to part w/ their old ways, their “old wineskins.” Their self-righteousness had such a strong grip on their hard hearts that they wouldn’t respond to Jesus’ call for repentance & faith. In Matt. 15:8, He said, “These people honor me w/ their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
In Matt. 23:25-28 – “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
But the people who recognized their neediness, who realized that Jesus could heal & change their lives, & who reached out to Him in faith, those were the ones who were changed.
- Those are the people that WE need to be.
- Those are the people that we need to REACH.
“Near” People – Jesus didn’t minister to the normal, needy people from a distance. He got down & got dirty w/ them as He drew near to them.
- Fed them
- Taught them
- Physically touched them
- Healed them
- Looked deep into their eyes
- Spoke directly to them individually
- Got in the boat & got in a storm w/ them
- Let people throng around Him, touching Him, touching His garment (14:34-36)
- Little children came to Him
What a message to us in the Church! What a message to us who are called now to take His message of healing & life-change to normal, needy, near people! We’ve got to get NEAR to the people, meaning that we have to go to them!
- Mission Byram/Country Oaks/Lake Ridgelea/South Jackson apts.
- Failed marriages, businesses, family relationships
- People who get on our nerves, who are emotionally, socially, physically, & spiritually draining on us
- People who have been pushed aside by everyone else in their lives
- People who “don’t deserve our help”
- Good Samaritan story
But there were always those who opposed Him, those who didn’t believe, those who didn’t want to follow, those who wanted to stop Him.
And there are still those who oppose Him, who don’t believe, who don’t want to follow, who want to stop Him, who don’t want the Church to reach “those kinds of people,” who don’t want the church to change too much, who don’t want to get their hands dirty, who don’t want to have to sacrifice their time, money, energy, or change their plans, agendas, schedules, & direction of their lives, who don’t want to take any risks, who don’t want to be in danger of failure, who don’t want to try new things, etc.