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Matthew 9

SUMMARY.--A Paralytic Healed. The Charge of Blasphemy. Christ's Power to Forgive Sins. Matthew Called. Eating with Publicans. New Cloth on an Old Garment. The Daughter of Jairus. The Woman with Bloody Issue Healed. The Damsel Restored to Life. Two Blind Men Made to See. Preaching in the Synagogues.

      18, 19. There came a certain ruler. One of the rulers of the synagogue (probably of the synagogue of Capernaum). One of the elders and presiding officers, who convened the assembly, preserved order, invited readers and speakers. His name was Jairus ( Mark 5:22 Luke 8:41 ). Matthew, Mark, and Luke all give this account. From them we learn that the maiden was twelve years old, was dying when the ruler started, was dead when he spoke to Jesus. Compare Mark 5:22-43 Luke 8:41-56 Luke 8:41-56 .

      20. On his way to the house of Jairus another miracle was wrought. And, behold, a certain woman. I think the circumstances of the narrative render the inference almost certain that this account was meant for the consolation of those multitudes of stricken women in all ages who seem to be afflicted with sorrows in very unequal measure, compared with the stronger, and generally, also, the more depraved, sex.--W. H. Thomson, M.D. An issue of blood. A hemorrhage either from the bowels or the womb, probably the latter. Came behind and touched the hem of his garment. The ordinary outer Jewish garment was a square or oblong piece of cloth, worn something like an Indian blanket.

      21, 22. Touch but his garment. The Jews paid to the fringe a superstitious reverence. Sharing the superstition, this woman touched it in hope of cure. Thy faith hath made thee whole. Literally, thy faith hath saved thee. Her faith, of course, had not been the cause of her cure. Christ's power had been that. But her faith was the condition on her part. Hence it might be represented as having "made her whole." The student should observe that hers was not a passive faith, but it led to action. A passive faith is a dead faith.

      23. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house. He healed the woman on the way. Saw the minstrels. The Jews, like other Orientals, were wont to employ professional mourners, minstrels who made plaintive music, or wailed.

      24. Give place, for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. The reality of the death is not denied, but only the fact implicitly assumed, that death will be followed by a resurrection, as sleep is by an awakening. Laughed him to scorn. The company of mourners was certain that the child was dead and, understanding neither the language nor the power of Jesus, laughed in derision.

      25. When the people were put forth. Luke ( 8:51 ). says that Peter, James and John, and the father and mother of the maiden were permitted to remain He took her by the hand. As we learn from one of the parallel accounts , he said to her, Talitha cumi. This is Aramaic, the language generally spoken by the common people in Palestine at the time of Christ. The words mean: "Rise, my child." They were immediately obeyed. She arose, and walked.

      26. The fame went abroad. Mark dwells emphatically upon the astonishment felt by the parents (see Luke ), but shared doubtless by the three apostles.

      27. Two blind men followed him. This account is given only by Matthew. Blindness is still very common under the burning sun and among the blinding sands of the East. No sight is more common than blind beggars. The want of attention to the eye when first diseased is one reason why this affliction is so common. Have mercy on us, thou son of David. The title, "son of David," applied to Jesus by these blind men, as well as by those healed at Jericho, implied his Messiahship, as it was understood that the Christ was to be the son of David.

      28. The blind men came to him. Not until he was come into the house he was seeking. Believe ye that I am able to do this? He demands, as condition of the blessing, that there should be an expression of faith.

      29. According to your faith be it unto you. Faith is the hand which takes what God offers, the spiritual organ of appropriation.

      30, 31. Jesus strictly charged them, etc. Their changed condition would sufficiently tell the story without their indiscreet babbling. They failed to obey, which they should have done, whether they understood the reason of the command or not. Note the three great lessons about our Lord: (1) He is the Life. He not only breaks the bonds of mortal death, but endows the soul with spiritual life. (2) He is the infallible Physician. Diseases of the body, sorrows of the heart, and sins of the soul that no man can heal, disappear at his touch. (3) He is the Light of the world. At his word sightless eyes see. At his word darkened souls are flooded with light.

      32, 33. A dumb man, possessed with a devil. Compare Luke 11:14 . A complication of physical and spiritual maladies. See note on Matt. 8:29. It was never so seen in Israel. Filled with wonder at the cure, the multitude declared that no prophet had ever done such wonders. They were right.

      34. The Pharisees said. With their usual perverseness they gave a sinister explanation. By the prince of the devils. In other words: He gets power from the devil, instead of God, to cast out demons.

      35. Jesus went about all the cities. He began to widen the area of his ministry.

      36. When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion. The Lord seldom looked upon a crowd of the poor, lost, human beings without being moved with tender compassion. Because they fainted, and were . . . as sheep having no shepherd. A figure representing their spiritual condition. They "fainted" under the burdens placed on them by pretended shepherds, Pharisees and scribes. They wandered, as sheep left without care.

      37. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. First the people are represented under the figure of sheep, scattering abroad, without a shepherd's care; next as a ripe and abandoned harvest, ready to be lost unless reapers are sent to gather it.

      38. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest. The Lord of the harvest is Christ. When we pray the Lord for anything we must work to fulfill our own prayers. If we pray for laborers, we must be willing to become laborers ourselves, or to send and sustain other laborers.

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