Matthew 9 Questions and Answers
1. Read Matthew 9:1. What city do you think is referred to as "his own town?" ( Matthew 4:13)
2. Read Matthew 9:2-8. How many men brought the paralytic to Jesus? ( Mark 2:3) What was Jesus' response?
- He noticed the 4 men's faith - This paralyzed man would never have reached Jesus or His healing if it hadn't been for the faith of his friends.
- He said to the paralytic, "Take heart son; your sins are forgiven."
- It is our duty to bring people who do not know Christ, do not care for or are even hostile to Christ into His presence. We cannot force a person against their will to become a Christian but we can point them to the way to find the truth.
3. Do you know anyone that needs to be brought into the presence of Jesus for salvation or healing of some kind?
4. Why do you think Jesus said his sins were forgiven?
- It was believed by the Jewish people of that day that all sickness was due to sin. Therefore, until the man was convinced that his sins were forgiven healing could never have come to him.
- So later He could back it up that He could forgive sins by healing the man physically
- Jesus wanted people to know that He could bring forgiveness to a person's soul and health to a person's body.
5. Have you ever experienced or know of someone who became ill because of a "sin"? Eg. Holding a grudge, unforgiveness, worry, fear, immorality, etc. What needs to happen in a case like that?
- Peace with God and reconciled relationships with others goes hand in hand with physical health.
6. Who accused Jesus of blaspheming against God? Why?
- The teachers of the law accused Jesus of blasphemy
- It is God's prerogative to forgive sins, therefore the teachers of the law thought Jesus had insulted God, because then Jesus would be claiming He was God.
7. What did Jesus call those thoughts?
8. What did Jesus do to prove his ability to forgive sins? How do you think this proves his point?
- He told the man to get up and walk and he did
- Since the teachers of the law believed that no one could be healed (in this case get up and walk) unless the sins were forgiveness, if the man could get up and walk it was proof that the man's sins were forgiven and that Jesus' claim was true.
9. What was the crowd's response to Jesus' miracle of healing?
- They were filled with awe and they praised God who had given such authority to Jesus. (sounds like Matthew 5:16 - Jesus good deeds brought praise and glory to God)
10. Read Matthew 9:9-13. How did Matthew end up becoming a follower of Jesus? Would you have chosen him to be one of Jesus' followers? Why or why not?
- Matthew was sitting at his tax collector's booth when Jesus came up and asked him to Follow Him. Matthew got up and followed him. It is very likely that Matthew had seen and heard Jesus before. So when Jesus came to him with His challenge, he accepted the challenge, got up, left all and followed Him.
- Matthew was a very unlikely candidate because he was a Jew working for the Roman government, taking money away from the Jews to give to the Romans. He was allowed to charge more than the Romans required as their commission. As a result, the tax collectors were very wealthy, usually dishonest and hated by the Jews. Tax collectors were not allowed in a synagogue and were considered unclean and were classed together with robbers and murderers. Jesus had a lot more faith in Matthew and saw the potential of Matthew more than others would have.
11. Are there people who may be waiting for an invitation, but we like the Pharisees think that they would not at all be interested in spiritual things so we don't invite them to follow Christ or even to come to church?
12. When Matthew chose to follow Jesus, what did he lose or leave? What did he find and take with him?
- Matthew lost a comfortable job, a good income, comfortable security
- Matthew found honour, an adventure he never of dreamed of.
- Matthew left his tax-collector's table but he took his pen which Jesus used to have the Book of Matthew written
13. What may we lose or find if we chose to follow Jesus?
- Lose material things, our job or be poorer financially, worldly ambitions may have to go.
- We will find relationship, unconditional love, peace, joy and thrill in life that we never knew before.
- You always get more than you have to abandon for the sake of Christ.
14. Who joined Jesus at Matthew's house? How do you think this influenced these "sinners?"
- Tax collectors and sinners would have talked to Christ and been challenged to a radical life change and spiritual wholeness
15. Who took issue with Jesus and His disciples eating at Matthew's place with other tax collectors and sinners? Why?
- The Pharisees asked Jesus' disciples why their teacher was eating with tax collectors and sinners.
- In Jesus' day there were two kinds of people - the orthodox (like the Pharisees and the Sadducees) who rigidly kept the Law and those who didn't (like the tax collectors and sinners.) The orthodox Jews were not allowed to go on a journey with them, do any business with them, or entertain them as guests or as a guest in their home. So with Jesus spending time with the tax collectors and sinners He was doing something which the "pious" people of His day would never have done. They thought Jesus was one of them.
- Jesus was so different from the Pharisees - The Pharisees were more concerned with the preservation of their own traditions and holiness and condemning the sinner - Jesus was more concerned with the helping of another person's sin, and forgiving them. The Pharisees would rather leave a person in the gutter - Jesus would rather give a person a hand to help him out. The Pharisees practiced a religion which consisted in outward orthodoxy - Jesus gave practical help.
16. What was Jesus' 3 responses? What did each of those responses mean?
- Jesus heard the Pharisees asking His disciples why He was eating with tax collectors and sinners.
- Jesus said it wasn't the healthy who needed a doctor but the sick, implying He was moving around people who knew they were spiritually sick and in need of a spiritual physician
- He said He desired mercy, not sacrifice. (Hosea 6:6) Gomer's unfaithfulness to Hosea was an illustration of Israel's unfaithfulness to God; and Hosea's continuing love and forgiveness of Gomer was a picture of God's continuing love and forgiveness He was offering Israel (mercy). Showing mercy to others was more important to God than the externals of sacrificing when it was done without a humble, reverent and a merciful heart.
- He came not to call the righteous but sinners. A person who thinks themselves righteous shuts themselves out from God's mercy.
- Jesus as saying that he went to where the need was the greatest. He did not come to invite people who were self-satisfied and convinced that they didn't need anyone's help.
- The phrase "go and learn" was commonly used by rabbis to rebuke those who did not know what they should have known. So here Jesus uses the Pharisees most honored authorities, the Rabbis, to rebuke them for their ignorance of God's true nature and of their failure to follow His clear commandments.
17. Jesus is indicating that the Pharisees weren't trying to help or bring sinners to repentance? Are we? How do we do that?
- Just as a physician is expected to go among people who are sick and help them, so a forgiven person should be expected to go among those who are sinful and help those who recognize their deep spiritual need.
- Without mercy and compassion we are just as bad as the "sinners" and will not receive God's mercy.
- I need to show mercy to those who are in need of the Lord and not just be satisfied with my religious routine and activity.
18. Read Matthew 9:14-17. Who questioned Jesus about his disciples not fasting? Why?
- John's disciples asked why Jesus' disciples didn't fast like John's and the Pharisee's disciples did?
- For the Jewish people fasting, giving and praying were considered the 3 greatest works of the religious life.
- Since Jesus' teachings and activities were radically different from those of traditional Judaism, they probably had a deeper concern about why Jesus would emphasize internal things such as forgiveness instead of external things such as fasting which is what the religious leaders only emphasized.
19. What was Jesus' response? What does that mean?
- Do wedding guests mourn while celebrating with the bridegroom? Of course not. But someday the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. In that day, the couple who were married didn't go on a honeymoon; they spent their honeymoon at home. For a week after the wedding, open house was kept. The bride and groom were treated as royalty and their closest friends shared all the joy and the festivities with them. So Jesus compares Himself with the bridegroom and his disciples as his closest friends. There was no time or reason for fasting; only rejoicing.
20. Since our bridegroom (Jesus) is gone, have we made fasting a part of our spiritual walk? Do you think this is important? Why or why not?
21. What does Jesus' illustrations of the patch on an old garment or new wine into old wine skins mean?
- Jesus knew that the Jews were passionate about keeping things the way they are. The question is, "Are we worshiping our past (tradition) or God?
- Jesus was making it clear that He was not teaching a reformed Pharisaical teaching or a reformed rabbinical teaching but an entirely different way of thinking, believing, and living. His way had nothing to do with the old ways and the old ways had no part in the new. The two ways cannot be connected to one another or be contained one in the other.
- Just as "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for when the garment would be washed, the unshrunk patch will shrink and pull away from the garment, making the tear worse." So Jesus' new and internal gospel of forgiveness and cleansing cannot be attached to or just be added to the old and external traditions of self-righteousness and ritual.
- "Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
- Wine was often stored in animal skins where the hide would be uncut except at the legs and neck. The legs would then be sewed together and the neck be used as a spout. Old wineskins would eventually become brittle and if you put new wine into them, they would burst.
- New wineskins are supple, old wine skins grow hard so if new wine is put into new wineskins they can accept the pressure of the gases given off by the new wine.
- In the same way, the only life that can contain true righteousness is the new life given by God when a person repents of his sins and trusts in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. What is begun in the Spirit cannot be completed in the flesh (Galatians 3:3). The genuine righteousness of a forgiven and cleansed heart cannot be enhanced or supplemented by external religious words. Freedom in Christ has no part in the bondage of legalism.
- The old wineskins were not the teachings of the Old Testament but the rabbinical traditions that had come to overshadow, supersede and often contradict the divinely revealed truths of the Old Testament.
- Within the church and in our lives, we have a tendency to attempt to pour new things or ideas into old moulds. Eg. Some churches attempt to teach Christian principles that apply to today using Elizabethan English and pray in a language that is more than 400 years old. The church is not to be living in the past.
- The wineskins are a reference to our minds (our mindset) and the wine is the teachings and ideas we put into our mind. We need to have a whole new frame of reference or view point. Romans 12:1-2 do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
22. How do we get a whole new biblical world view, God's way of thinking, or mindset?
- Studying God's Word, applying it
- Need to think in new ways - God's ways. ( Isaiah 55:8, 9) We need to let God transform our minds and make us into a new creation.
23. What philosophies and understandings have you had to change as a result of studying the Bible and having a relationship with Jesus?
- Need to throw out the the old wineskins and wine and not just put new wine into the old framework of our thinking. There needs to be transformation.
24. Read Matthew 9:18-31. In the 3 healings that happened, what is the common thread between them?
- The ruler knelt before Jesus and said that he believed that if Jesus would put his hand on his dead daughter she would live. The father's belief that only Jesus could help her daughter brought healing to his daughter. Jesus was not too busy to give love and compassion but was available and accessible.
- The woman with bleeding for 12 years believed that if she touched the edge of Jesus' cloak she would be healed. She knew only Jesus could help her. Jesus affirms that it was her faith that healed her. Jesus was enroute to meet Jarius' need when he took time to stop to confirm the woman's faith and that she was healed.
- The contrast between Jarius' daughter and this woman is that the girl had 12 good years but the women had had 12 years of ostracism and misery. The bleeding made her ceremonially unclean so she couldn't go to the synagogue or be close to or touch people for 12 years.
- The 2 blind men followed Jesus asking Him to have mercy on them. Jesus took time to stop and talk to them. When Jesus asked them if they believed that Jesus could heal them, they said, "yes". According to their faith Jesus restored their sight.
- There was desperation, belief, Jesus took time for them, they were healed.
25. What can we learn from these 3 healings if we want to see a healing happen?
- There needs to be desperation, realizing that Jesus is the only one who can help when all else fails. Do we have to wait until all else fails? No - it would be better to go to Jesus first.
- Either the person asking on behalf of someone or the person themselves need to have faith in Jesus' power and ask for help or believe that Jesus can do for you what you need done.
26. Matthew 9:18-26. What kind of a person would a "ruler" have been?
- He was a ruler of a synagogue and considered a very important person. He would take care of the eternal order in public worship, he appointed those who read and prayed in the service and invited those who were to preach. He would take care of the synagogue buildings and its administration.
- Most rulers saw Jesus as dangerous and a heretic and someone to get rid of, but when the ruler came and knelt before Jesus out of anguish and desperation, Jesus saw a man who needed Him and Jesus' was willing to help.
- He didn't come at night like Nicodemus did. He swallowed his pride and fear of what others thought and asked for Jesus help.
27. What was this ruler's name? Mark 5:22
28. What were funerals like in eastern cultures?
- Noisy - with wailing of voices and harsh dissonance of musical instruments like the flute-players that are hired for the occasion.
- When someone died there were 3 prescribed ways to express their grief.
- They tore their garments while standing up and directly over the heart. The tear had to be large enough to put a fist through but could be sewn up with large loose stitches for the first 30 days - to provide covering while allowing the tear to be clearly noticeable. For the sake of modesty, women would rip their undergarments and wear them backwards.
- They hired professional women mourners who would wail loudly the name of the person who just died and intersperse the names of others who had died in the family. There were loud shrieks, wailings and groaning.
- They hired professional musicians, usually flute-players who would play loud, disconcerting sounds meant to reflect the emotional discord and confusion of grief.
29. What did Jesus tell the noisy mourners to do when he came to Jarius' house? How did Jesus describe the condition of the young girl? What was their response?
- Jesus told them to leave for the girl was not dead but asleep. (e-sword says the word means literally sleeping)
- They laughed at him in scorn and derision which showed that there mourning was a paid act and did not reflect genuine sorrow. We see no desire for hope.
30. What happened as a result of Jesus healing Jarius' daughter?
- The news spread through all that region.
31. Matthew 9:20-22. How do you think Jarius felt when Jesus was interrupted and delayed by someone else's need? How would you have felt?
32. Is there anything you need healing for if only you could touch Jesus? Can you touch Jesus and receive healing today?
What made this woman whole?
Does faith guarantee that we will be healed immediately? What is the key to God's healing?
33. Read Matthew 9:27-31. What was the cry of the two blind men? What does that say about their understanding of who Jesus was?
- The word call in this verse has the idea of shouting or screaming with great intensity because of their great anxiety and desperation.
- Calling Jesus the "Son of David" shows that they knew Jesus was the Messiah because Son of David was one of the most common Jewish titles for the promised Deliverer, and they came seeking for their own deliverance.
34. What did the blind men want? What did they get?
- They asked for mercy because they felt they were sick because they had sinned. They were asking for mercy, which in their minds was asking for forgiveness which would bring healing.
- Their faith was the basis for their restored sight.
- The trust in Christ likely brought them spiritual life as well as physical sight.
35. What was the test Jesus gave these men?
- Do you believe that I am able to do this? (give mercy which would bring healing)
Why do you think He asked this question?
- He was checking their faith and motivation. Was it a motivation to just be healed or to be spiritually transformed and healed?
What did they call Him in their response?
36. After the 2 blind men were healed what strict command did Jesus give them? Why? Did they obey?
- He told them not to tell anyone
- Perhaps because He didn't want His Messiahship proclaimed prematurely. The Jewish leaders would not accept that and it was his affirmation that He was indeed the prophesied King that brought His crucifixion.
- Perhaps it was because He didn't want to over emphasize the miracle-working aspect of His ministry. Some were coming to see Jesus only as a great human healer and nothing more.
- Perhaps it was that Jesus wanted the Jews, as God's chosen people, to accept His Messiahship on the basis of His fulfillment of Old Testament prophesy, not simply on the basis of hearsay or mere verbal claims.
- They didn't obey which was wrong; but it was a sin that only a grateful, overflowing heart could commit. They could not resist the overwhelming desire to tell everyone of their wonderful deliverance and of the Lord who delivered them. Generally speaking we need t o speak about the Lord more and not less.
37. Read Matthew 9:32-34. What is the difference between the story of the demon-possessed man and the other 3 previous healings?
- Nothing is said about anyone's faith - although someone brought the man to Jesus
- Jesus saw the need, drove out the demon and he could speak. This would prove that the demons had been removed.
- There is no indication that there was anything more than a physical healing.
38. How was the man affected by the demonic spirit?
39. Do you think people are possessed by demonic spirits today? How could we identify that kind of person? How could you help such a person?
- Yes, I believe there are people who are possessed by demonic spirits
- You can tell it in their eyes - they have an evil look. Their speech is foul, and at times their voice may change and have a different personality. They may be very violent and strong. They may know information about another person or era that would be impossible for them to know naturally.
- Ask Jesus to send out the evil spirits in the person. This kind only comes out by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29) Have the person ask Jesus to send out demons. Ask Holy Spirit to indwell them.
40. What was the response to Jesus healing the demon-possessed man?
- The crowd was amazed because they had never seen anything like that before.
- The Pharisees said that it was by the prince of demons that Jesus drove out the demons. Because they could not deny the miracle, they chose to deny the source. Because they refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah they said He was an agent of Satan. In Matthew 12:24-28 Jesus shows that that kind of thinking is illogical. If Satan casts our Satan, then he is divided against himself and his kingdom will fall.
- How did Jesus drive out the demons? Jesus really drove out the demons by the Spirit of God.
- There are only 2 basic decisions a person can make about Jesus - either they will accept Him which leads to salvation or reject Him which leads to damnation. (John 3:16)
41. In Matthew 9 we find 4 accusations made against Jesus that are the beginning of the charges that will bring about His death. What are they?
- Matthew 9:1-8 - The teachers of the law are accusing Jesus of blasphemy because he claimed to do what only God could do. Blasphemy means to insult or slander, so they were accusing Jesus of insulting God because he claimed to have the very powers of God which they felt he had no right to claim.
- Matthew 9:10-13 - Jesus was in effect accused by the Pharisees of being immoral because he kept company with tax collectors and sinners. This caused the Pharisees to not like Jesus so it t would now be easier to misinterpret and misrepresent everything he does and to claim He has false motives.
- Matthew 9:14-17 - Jesus was accused by the legalists that he since He was not keeping the religious disciplines, therefore He was not really holy or religious. He now fell under their criticism and suspicion.
- Matthew 9:31-34 - Jesus was accused of being in cahoots with the devil. The Pharisees ascribed the healing of the mute man after the demon was driven out as a result of association with the devil.
42. Read Matthew 9:35-36. Where did Jesus go? What did Jesus' public ministry mainly consist of? ( Matthew 4:23)
- Jesus went through all the towns and villages
- Jesus' ministry consisted of teaching in the synagogues - here Jesus would expound on the Old Testament
- Preaching the good news of the kingdom - Calling His hearers to not only believe what He said but to believe in Him. He was giving the new revelation about God's plan of redemption. The kingdom is not just about the future kingdom but also about His present spiritual kingdom into which a person is born by forgiving, transforming grace the moment he trusts Christ. Every Christian is a citizen of God's kingdom in this present life. Luke 17:21
- Healing every disease and sickness
43. How did Jesus respond when he saw the crowd of people in Matthew 9:36? Why?
- He had compassion on them, because they were harassed (confused) and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
44. Read Matthew 9:37-38. What was Jesus' solution to the problem He saw before him?
- Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send out workers into his harvest field because the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
- Join Him in His ministry with Him.
- Become compassionate and a caring shepherd to those with deep needs.
45. How can we prepare for the harvest? Are you ready for harvesting? What do we need to do to be a worker in God's harvest fields?
- Become compassionate people - see people through God's eyes.
- Spend time with and be caring to those who have deep needs.
- Become people of prayer who bring others before Christ in prayer
- If we see a need ask God if He wants us to meet that need.
- Invite people to follow Jesus and become spiritually whole.
- Ask God to send workers into His harvest field so many can be brought into His kingdom.