This past Sunday we talked about how Jesus has Absolute Authority. Matthew does this through chapter 5-7 to show authority in his teaching and in 8-9 to show authority in ‘doing’. We only covered chapter 8:1-9:8. This blog will briefly cover chapter 9. Please, read chapter 8-9 for yourself and use these points to assist in your time in God’s word.
Matthew 9:1-8: King Jesus has authority over sin.
Remember, Jesus desires to deal with the root problem…which is sin. Apparently it is easier to heal someone than it is to forgive someone’s sins. But make no mistake, Jesus has authority to forgive all sin. It’s easy for us to think that our most important need is physical or material. But if Jesus met all of those needs and didn’t address our sin issue, then it wouldn’t make any eternal difference if our physical needs were met, even though they are important. The root problem is our spiritual dilemma. We are dead in our sins and need a Savior. A Savior with authority.
Matthew 9:9-17: King Jesus has the authority to call sinners.
If Jesus just told us that he has the authority to forgive sins, then it makes sense that the very next story would show us a picture of it. Matthew shares with us his brief testimony. He was a tax collector…a sinner. Then when Jesus called him to follow him, Matthew invited other sinners to meet Jesus. Then Jesus had to explain, that he came to call sinners, not the righteous. You can almost feel the sting in that statement. King Jesus is out to deal with our root problem…sin. He is calling sinners to become healed…or saved.
Then what’s up with the fasting bit? Well, in the Old Testament, fasting was considered to be practice with a specific intention of longing, looking and waiting for the Messiah…the King to come. It was forward looking. Anticipating. Jesus is saying basically, that time is now and that things are different. This is a time to celebrate because He’s here! However, after Jesus died and rose from the dead, then they will fast again. With that kind of fasting, they will remember what Jesus has done and also will be longing for the Kingdom to come.
Matthew 9:18-26: King Jesus has absolute authority over the Dead.
This story has two miracles in it. Again, we see Jesus healing a disease and raising the dead. But the first miracle is interesting. A woman sneaks up on Jesus and believes that if she just touches his outer garment, she would be healed. This miracle story clearly shows us Jesus’ authority and how it spurs us on to come to him to be changed or healed.
Then Jesus goes to a ‘ruler’s’ home to raise his daughter from the dead. This story shows us at least 2 things (at least…). One, it shows us that death is only temporary with Jesus. Jesus said that she was just sleeping because with Him, death is to doorway to eternal life with Him. Secondly, Jesus speaks to the dead and the dead obey. Death is not stronger than Jesus. Death doesn’t have more authority in life than Jesus does. He has the absolute authority!
Matthew 9:27-31: King Jesus has absolute authority over Disabilities
He heals two blind men. The Jews would have believed that these two men were blind because of their sin. Imagine this scene. Imagine the disruption? They were following him and crying out “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” They were committed to this. How do blind men follow someone? It had to have been a commotion. Who knows how long they followed him, but they were persistent and eager, begging for mercy and calling out “Son of David!” Oh does Matthew have a point with that? Son of David? Wasn’t David promised that a King would come from his line? And isn’t Jesus a King from the line of David? Yes! Matthew wants us to know that even blind men know that Jesus is King! But, we have a picture of Jesus’ absolute authority over disabilities here. That’s beautiful!
Again, it says, “According to your faith be it done to you.” Let me quote a commentary: “The phrase ‘according to your faith’ does not mean faith was the basis of their healing – Jesus’ authority is the sole basis – but rather that Jesus is responding to the fact of their faith. There is no meritorious aspect to faith; rather, it allows one to participate in the God-given blessing, to be touched spiritually as well as physically.”
Matthew 9:32-34: King Jesus has authority over the Devil.
“He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” Jesus responds to a similar accusation in Matthew 12:22-29 to show that He has authority over the devil. Not only that, in one of the greatest passages we have on the resurrection, Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 makes it clear that King Jesus conquered sin, death, and the devil!
Such good stuff! Oh how I love God’s word!