Who is Jesus? According to Matthew 9:

Wow - Jesus Is Amazing!  The 9th chapter of Matthew alone is an incredible witness to the identity of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is not only human: traveling by boat, touching his fellow human beings, and having a hometown; Jesus is also divine!  Jesus forgives sin, heals the sick, and revives the deceased.  Jesus also "gets" people.  He reaches out to the outcast and is attentive to his audience's level of faith.  He seems to care a lot for the people around him, yet he doesn't interfere with their lives unasked.

Big Idea: Jesus is the Great Physician who heals not only physical ailments, but spiritual as well.

Profound Identity:

  • Jesus traveled by boat (Matthew 9:1).
  • Jesus had a town that people identified as his hometown (Matthew 9:1).
  • His hometown was somewhere near a sea (Matthew 9:1).
  • Jesus is attentive to people's faith (Matthew 9:2).
  • Jesus honors people's faith (Matthew 9:2).
  • Jesus forgave sins prior to his crucifixion, death, and resurrection (Matthew 9:2).
  • When a person was disabled, Jesus responded to the person by saying "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven" (Matthew 9:2).
  • Jesus perceives thoughts (Matthew 9:3).
  • His claim to forgive sins was considered blaspheming by the scribes (Matthew 9:3).
  • Jesus confronted the thoughts of the scribes, asking "Why do you think evil in your hearts?" (Matthew 9:4).
  • Jesus recognizes that it takes the same authority to forgive sins as it takes to command miraculous healing (Matthew 9:5).
  • Jesus wanted the people to know that He had the authority on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6).
  • Jesus identifies Himself as the "Son of Man" (Matthew 9:6).
  • Jesus has the authority on earth to forgive sins (Matthew 9:6).
  • Jesus commanded the man who he had just forgiven to "Stand up, take your bed and go to your home" and the paralytic did exactly as He asked (Matthew 9:7).
  • In this story, Jesus first forgave and then he healed (Matthew 9:2-7).
  • Jesus healed a man who was paralyzed (Matthew 9:6-7).
  • The crowds glorified God as a result of Jesus' teachings and work of healing (Matthew 9:8).
  • Jesus had a physical body - he walked (Matthew 9:9).
  • Jesus invited Matthew to "follow" Jesus (Matthew 9:9).
  • Jesus invitation to a tax collector to "follow" was met with an obedient response (Matthew 9:9).
  • Jesus associated/socialized with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:10).
  • Jesus ate and socialized (Matthew 9:10).
  • Jesus enjoyed a meal with his disciples (Matthew 9:10).
  • Jesus' disciples also socialized with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:10).
  • It was surprising to the religious leaders, the Pharisees" that a teacher would eat with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 9:11).
  • Jesus considers himself to be a physician for those who are sick (Matthew 9:12).
  • Jesus recognizes that the tax collectors and sinners are in need of healing/a physician (Matthew 9:12).
  • Jesus responds to the Pharisees objections/criticisms (Matthew 9:11-13).
  • Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 (Hosea 6 seems to have some Messianic prophetic tones.) (Matthew 9:13).
  • Jesus recognizes that God prefers mercy over sacrifice (Matthew 9:13).
  • Jesus' mission is to "call not the righteous but sinners" (Matthew 9:13).
  • Jesus considers himself to be the bridegroom (Matthew 9:15).
  • Jesus says that someday he would be taken away from them - the wedding guests (Matthew 9:15).
  • Jesus associates fasting with mourning (Matthew 9:15).
  • Jesus says that his wedding guests will fast when he is taken away from them (Matthew 9:15).
  • Jesus is doing something new (Matthew 9:16-17).
  • A synagogue leader believes that Jesus can return his daughter who has just died to life (Matthew 9:18).
  • Jesus responds to a request to bring life to a deceased daughter (Matthew 9:18).
  • Jesus responds to the request of a kneeling synagogue leader (Matthew 9:18).
  • A woman believed that she only needed to touch Jesus' clothing and she would be healed (Matthew 9:21).
  • Jesus is gracious with the woman who interrupts him (Matthew 9:22).
  • Jesus recognizes faith (Matthew 9:22).
  • Jesus says that a person's faith heals them (Matthew 9:22).
  • When Jesus recognizes the faith of a person, the person is healed (Matthew 9:22).
  • Jesus' work of healing is instantaneously associated with his recognition of the healing (Matthew 9:22).
  • Jesus turned away a mourning crowd prior to bringing life to the deceased (Matthew 9:23-24).
  • Jesus said that the deceased daughter was really just sleeping (Matthew 9:24).
  • Jesus was mocked by the mourning crowd for his perspective on things (Matthew 9:24).
  • Jesus touched the "sleeping" girl and she was made alive (Matthew 9:25).
  • News about Jesus' miraculous healing of the dead spread (Matthew 9:26).
  • Two blind men recognized Jesus as the Son of David (Matthew 9:27).
  • The blind men also called Jesus "Lord" (Matthew 9:28).
  • Before miraculously giving sight to the blind, Jesus asked the "patients," "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" (Matthew 9:28).
  • A person's faith seemed to play a role in Jesus decision to heal (Matthew 9:28).
  • Jesus touched the blind men's eyes and they were healed (Matthew 9:28-29).
  • Jesus healed according to the faith of the patient (Matthew 9:29).
  • At times it seems that Jesus did not want the news of his miraculous ability to heal to be shared (Matthew 9:30).
  • News about Jesus ability to heal spread (Matthew 9:31).
  • Jesus cast out a demon that made a person mute (Matthew 9:32-33).
  • The miracles Jesus performed were unique (Matthew 9:33).
  • Not everyone attributed Jesus' miraculous powers to God (Matthew 9:34).
  • Jesus traveled and visited both cities and villages (Matthew 9:35).
  • Jesus taught in synagogues (Matthew 9:35).
  • Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom (Matthew 9:35).
  • Jesus cured every type of disease and sickness (Matthew 9:35).
  • Jesus had compassion upon the crowds (Matthew 9:36).
  • Jesus saw the crowds as being helpless without a shepherd (Matthew 9:36).
  • Jesus saw that there was potential for a large harvest and recognized that the laborers were few (Matthew 9:37).
  • Jesus challenged the disciples to ask the Lord to send out harvesters (Matthew 9:37).

Questions:
  • When Jesus refers to himself as "Son of Man" in Matthew 9:6 is he only identifying himself, or is he also speaking of all of humanity?  In other words did Jesus mean capitalized, singular "Son of Man" or did Jesus mean lower case, generalized "son of man"?  What does the Greek tell us? (In Matthew 9:8 it seems that the crowd is in awe that God has given the authority to forgive and heal to "human beings."  Again, I wonder about the Greek.)
  • How can Jesus "sternly order" those who were healed of blindness to "See that no one knows of this"?  Isn't it quite obvious that they have now regained sight?  Did Jesus really mean this, or did he mean something else?  How can this be?
Prayer:  Jesus - you are amazing!  Help me to recognize how truly incredible You are.  Help me to embrace your miraculous ability to heal and forgive.  Help me to be connected to You!  Amen.

This blog entry is one of a series of entries in my quest to go chapter-by-chapter through the New Testament answering the question "Who is Jesus?"

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