Matthew Chapter Nine
In the following chapter (9), while acting in the character and according to the power of Jehovah (as we read in Psalm 103), "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases"; it is the actual grace in itself towards and for them, in which He came, which is presented. It gives the character of His ministry, as the previous one gives the dignity of His Person and the bearing of what He was. He presents Himself to Israel as their true Redeemer and Deliverer; and, to prove His title (which unbelief already opposed) to be this blessing to Israel, and to pardon all their iniquities which raised a barrier between them and their God, He accomplishes the second part of the verse, and heals the disease. Beautiful and precious testimony of kindness to Israel, and at the same time, the demonstration of His glory who stood in the midst of His people! In the same spirit, as He had forgiven, and healed, He calls the publican and goes to his house-come not to call the righteous, but sinners.
But now we enter on another portion of the instruction in this Gospel-the development of the opposition of unbelievers, of the learned men and the religionists in particular; and that of the rejection of the work and Person of the Lord.
The idea, the picture of that which took place, has been already set before us in the case of the Gergesene demoniac-the power of God present for the entire deliverance of His people, of the world, if they received Him-power which the devils confessed to be that which should hereafter judge and cast them out, which displayed itself in blessing to all the people of the place, but which was rejected, because they did not desire such power to dwell among them. They would not have the presence of God.
The narration of the details and the character of this rejection now commences. Observe that chapter 8:1-27 gives the manifestation of the Lord's power-this power being truly that of Jehovah on the earth. From verse 28 the reception this power met with in the world, and the influence which governed the world, are set forth, whether as power, or morally in the hearts of men.
We come here to the historical development of the rejection of this intervention of God upon the earth.
The multitude glorify God who had given such power to a man. Jesus accepts this place. He was man: the multitude saw Him to be man, and acknowledged the power of God, but did not know how to combine the two ideas in His Person.
The grace which contemns the pretensions of man to righteousness is now set forth.
Matthew, the publican, is called; for God looks at the heart, and grace calls the elect vessels.
The Lord declares the mind of God on this subject, and His own mission. He came to call sinners; He would have mercy. It was God in grace, and not man with his pretended righteousness counting on his merits.
He assigns two reasons which make it impossible to reconcile His course with the demands of the Pharisees. How should the disciples fast when the Bridegroom was there? When the Messiah was gone, they might well do so. Moreover it is impossible to introduce the new principles and the new power of His mission into the old Pharisaic forms.
Thus we have grace to sinners, but (grace rejected) now comes at once a higher proof that Messiah-Jehovah was there, from her bed of death, He obeys the call. As He goes, a poor woman, who had already employed every means of cure without success, is instantaneously healed by touching in faith the hem of His garment.
This history supplies us with the two great divisions of the grace that was manifested in Jesus. Christ came to awaken dead Israel; He will do this hereafter in the full sense of the word. Meanwhile, whosoever laid hold of Him by faith, in the midst of the multitude that accompanied Him, was healed, let the case be ever so hopeless. This, which took place in Israel when Jesus was there, is true in principle of us also. Grace in Jesus is a power which raises from the dead, and which heals. Thus He opened the eyes of those in Israel who owned Him to be the Son of David, and who believed in His power to meet their need. He cast out devils also, and gave speech to the dumb. But having performed these acts of power in Israel, so that the people, as to the fact, owned them with admiration, the Pharisees, the most religious part of the nation, ascribe this power to the prince of the devils. Such is the effect of the Lord's presence on the leaders of the people, jealous of His glory thus manifested among them over whom they exercised their influence. But this in no way interrupts Jesus in His career of beneficence. He can still bear testimony among the people. In spite of the Pharisees His patient kindness still finds place. He continues to preach and to heal. He has compassion on the people, who were like sheep without a shepherd, given up, morally, to their own guidance. He still sees that the harvest is plenteous and the labourers few. That is to say, He still sees every door open to address the people and He passes over the wickedness of the Pharisees.
Let us sum up what we find in the chapter, the grace developed in Israel. First, grace healing and forgiving as in Psalm 103. Then grace come to call sinners, not the righteous; the bridegroom was there, nor could grace in power be put in Jewish and Pharisaic vessels; it was new even in respect of John Baptist. He comes in reality to give life to the dead, not to heal, but whoever then touched Him by faith-for there were such-were healed in the way. He opens eyes to see, as Son of David, and opens the dumb mouth of him whom the devil possessed. All is rejected with blasphemy by the self-righteous Pharisees. But grace sees the multitude as yet as having no shepherd; and while the porter holds the door open, He ceases not to seek and minister to the sheep.
── John Darby《Synopsis of Matthew》
Jesus returns to Capernaum, and heals a paralytic. (1-8) Matthew called. (9) Matthew, or Levi's feast. (10-13) Objections of John's disciples. (14-17) Christ raises the daughter of Jairus, He heals the issue of blood. (18-26) He heals two blind men. (27-31) Christ casts out a dumb spirit. (32-34) He sends forth the apostles. (35-38)
Commentary on Matthew 9:1-8
(Read Matthew 9:1-8)
The faith of the friends of the paralytic in bringing him to Christ, was a strong faith; they firmly believed that Jesus Christ both could and would heal him. A strong faith regards no obstacles in pressing after Christ. It was a humble faith; they brought him to attend on Christ. It was an active faith. Sin may be pardoned, yet the sickness not be removed; the sickness may be removed, yet the sin not pardoned: but if we have the comfort of peace with God, with the comfort of recovery from sickness, this makes the healing a mercy indeed. This is no encouragement to sin. If thou bring thy sins to Jesus Christ, as thy malady and misery to be cured of, and delivered from, it is well; but to come with them, as thy darlings and delight, thinking still to retain them and receive him, is a gross mistake, a miserable delusion. The great intention of the blessed Jesus in the redemption he wrought, is to separate our hearts from sin. Our Lord Jesus has perfect knowledge of all that we say within ourselves. There is a great deal of evil in sinful thoughts, which is very offensive to the Lord Jesus. Christ designed to show that his great errand to the world was, to save his people from their sins. He turned from disputing with the scribes, and spake healing to the sick man. Not only he had no more need to be carried upon his bed, but he had strength to carry it. God must be glorified in all the power that is given to do good.
Commentary on Matthew 9:9
(Read Matthew 9:9)
Matthew was in his calling, as the rest of those whom Christ called. As Satan comes with his temptations to the idle, so Christ comes with his calls to those who are employed. We are all naturally averse from thee, O God; do thou bid us to follow thee; draw us by thy powerful word, and we shall run after thee. Speak by the word of the Spirit to our hearts, the world cannot hold us down, Satan cannot stop our way, we shall arise and follow thee. A saving change is wrought in the soul, by Christ as the author, and his word as the means. Neither Matthew's place, nor his gains by it, could detain him, when Christ called him. He left it, and though we find the disciples, who were fishers, occasionally fishing again afterwards, we never more find Matthew at his sinful gain.
Commentary on Matthew 9:10-13
(Read Matthew 9:10-13)
Some time after his call, Matthew sought to bring his old associates to hear Christ. He knew by experience what the grace of Christ could do, and would not despair concerning them. Those who are effectually brought to Christ, cannot but desire that others also may be brought to him. Those who suppose their souls to be without disease will not welcome the spiritual Physician. This was the case with the Pharisees; they despised Christ, because they thought themselves whole; but the poor publicans and sinners felt that they wanted instruction and amendment. It is easy, and too common, to put the worst constructions upon the best words and actions. It may justly be suspected that those have not the grace of God themselves, who are not pleased with others' obtaining it. Christ's conversing with sinners is here called mercy; for to promote the conversion of souls is the greatest act of mercy. The gospel call is a call to repentance; a call to us to change our minds, and to change our ways. If the children of men had not been sinners, there had been no need for Christ to come among them. Let us examine whether we have found out our sickness, and have learned to follow the directions of our great Physician.
Commentary on Matthew 9:14-17
(Read Matthew 9:14-17)
John was at this time in prison; his circumstances, his character, and the nature of the message he was sent to deliver, led those who were peculiarly attached to him, to keep frequent fasts. Christ referred them to John's testimony of him, John 3:29. Though there is no doubt that Jesus and his disciples lived in a spare and frugal manner, it would be improper for his disciples to fast while they had the comfort of his presence. When he is with them, all is well. The presence of the sun makes day, and its absence produces night. Our Lord further reminded them of common rules of prudence. It was not usual to take a piece of rough woolen cloth, which had never been prepared, to join to an old garment, for it would not join well with the soft, old garment, but would tear it further, and the rent would be made worse. Nor would men put new wine into old leathern bottles, which were going to decay, and would be liable to burst from the fermenting of the wine; but putting the new wine into strong, new, skin bottles, both would be preserved. Great caution and prudence are necessary, that young converts may not receive gloomy and forbidding ideas of the service of our Lord; but duties are to be urged as they are able to bear them.
Commentary on Matthew 9:18-26
(Read Matthew 9:18-26)
The death of our relations should drive us to Christ, who is our life. And it is high honour to the greatest rulers to attend on the Lord Jesus; and those who would receive mercy from Christ, must honour him. The variety of methods Christ took in working his miracles, perhaps was because of the different frames and tempers of mind, which those were in who came to him, and which He who searches the heart perfectly knew. A poor woman applied herself to Christ, and received mercy from him by the way. If we do but touch, as it were, the hem of Christ's garment by living faith, our worst evils will be healed; there is no other real cure, nor need we fear his knowing things which are a grief and burden to us, but which we would not tell to any earthly friend. When Christ entered the ruler's house, he said, Give place. Sometimes, when the sorrow of the world prevails, it is difficult for Christ and his comforts to enter. The ruler's daughter was really dead, but not so to Christ. The death of the righteous is in a special manner to be looked on as only a sleep. The words and works of Christ may not at first be understood, yet they are not therefore to be despised. The people were put forth. Scorners who laugh at what they do not understand, are not proper witnesses of the wonderful works of Christ. Dead souls are not raised to spiritual life, unless Christ take them by the hand: it is done in the day of his power. If this single instance of Christ's raising one newly dead so increased his fame, what will be his glory when all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation!
Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31
(Read Matthew 9:27-31)
At this time the Jews expected Messiah would appear; these blind men knew and proclaimed in the streets of Capernaum that he was come, and that Jesus was he. Those who, by the providence of God, have lost their bodily sight, may, by the grace of God, have the eyes of their understanding fully enlightened. And whatever our wants and burdens are, we need no more for supply and support, than to share in the mercy of our Lord Jesus. In Christ is enough for all. They followed him crying aloud. He would try their faith, and would teach us always to pray, and not to faint, though the answer does not come at once. They followed Christ, and followed him crying; but the great question is, Do ye believe? Nature may make us earnest, but it is only grace that can work faith. Christ touched their eyes. He gives sight to blind souls by the power of his grace going with his word, and he puts the cure upon their faith. Those who apply to Jesus Christ, shall be dealt with, not according to their fancies, nor according to their profession, but according to their faith. Christ sometimes concealed his miracles, because he would not indulge the conceit which prevailed among the Jews, that their Messiah should be a temporal prince, and so give occasion to the people to attempt tumults and seditions.
Commentary on Matthew 9:32-34
(Read Matthew 9:32-34)
Of the two, better a dumb devil than a blaspheming one. Christ's cures strike at the root, and remove the effect by taking away the cause; they open the lips, by breaking Satan's power in the soul. Nothing can convince those who are under the power of pride. They will believe anything, however false or absurd, rather than the Holy Scriptures; thus they show the enmity of their hearts against a holy God.
Commentary on Matthew 9:35-38
(Read Matthew 9:35-38)
Jesus visited not only the great and wealthy cities, but the poor, obscure villages; and there he preached, there he healed. The souls of the meanest in the world are as precious to Christ, and should be so to us, as the souls of those who make the greatest figure. There were priests, Levites, and scribes, all over the land; but they were idol shepherds, Zechariah 11:17; therefore Christ had compassion on the people as sheep scattered, as men perishing for lack of knowledge. To this day vast multitudes are as sheep not having a shepherd, and we should have compassion and do all we can to help them. The multitudes desirous of spiritual instruction formed a plenteous harvest, needing many active labourers; but few deserved that character. Christ is the Lord of the harvest. Let us pray that many may be raised up and sent forth, who will labour in bringing souls to Christ. It is a sign that God is about to bestow some special mercy upon a people, when he stirs them up to pray for it. And commissions given to labourers in answer to prayer, are most likely to be successful.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Matthew》
 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Seeing their faith — Both that of the paralytic, and of them that brought him.
 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
This man blasphemeth — Attributing to himself a power (that of forgiving sins) which belongs to God only.
 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
Which is easier — Do not both of them argue a Divine power? Therefore if I can heal his disease, I can forgive his sins: especially as his disease is the consequence of his sins. Therefore these must be taken away, if that is.
 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.
On earth — Even in my state of humiliation.
 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
So what was to the scribes an occasion of blaspheming, was to the people an incitement to praise God.
 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
He saw a man named Matthew — Modestly so called by himself. The other evangelists call him by his more honourable name, Levi.
 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
As Jesus sat at table in the house — Of Matthew, who having invited many of his old companions, made him a feast, Mark 2:15; and that a great one, though he does not himself mention it. The publicans, or collectors of the taxes which the Jews paid the Romans, were infamous for their illegal exactions: Sinners - Open, notorious, sinners.
 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
The Pharisees said to his disciples, Why eateth your Master? — Thus they commonly ask our Lord, Why do thy disciples this? And his disciples, Why doth your Master?
 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Go ye and learn — Ye that take upon you to teach others.
I will have mercy and not sacrifice — That is, I will have mercy rather than sacrifice. I love acts of mercy better than sacrifice itself. Hosea 6:6.
 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?
 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.
The children of the bride chamber — The companions of the bridegroom.
Mourn — Mourning and fasting usually go together. As if he had said, While I am with them, it is a festival time, a season of rejoicing, not mourning. But after I am gone, all my disciples likewise shall be in fastings often.
 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.
This is one reason,-It is not a proper time for them to fast. Another is, they are not ripe for it.
New cloth — The words in the original properly signify cloth that hath not passed through the fuller's hands, and which is consequently much harsher than what has been washed and worn; and therefore yielding less than that, will tear away the edges to which it is sewed.
 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
New — Fermenting wine will soon burst those bottles, the leather of which is almost worn out. The word properly means vessels made of goats' skins, wherein they formerly put wine, (and do in some countries to this day) to convey it from place to place.
Put new wine into new bottles — Give harsh doctrines to such as have strength to receive them.
 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
Coming behind — Out of bashfulness and humility.
 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Take courage — Probably she was struck with fear, when he turned and looked upon her, Mark 5:33; Luke 8:47; lest she should have offended him, by touching his garment privately; and the more so, because she was unclean according to the law, Leviticus 15:25.
 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
The minstrels — The musicians. The original word means flute players. Musical instruments were used by the Jews as well as the heathens, in their lamentations for the dead, to soothe the melancholy of surviving friends, by soft and solemn notes. And there were persons who made it their business to perform this, while others sung to their music. Flutes were used especially on the death of children; louder instruments on the death of grown persons.
 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
Withdraw — There is no need of you now; for the maid is not dead - Her life is not at an end; but sleepeth - This is only a temporary suspension of sense and motion, which should rather be termed sleep than death.
 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
The maid arose — Christ raised three dead persons to life; this child, the widow's son, and Lazarus: one newly departed, another on the bier, the third smelling in the grave: to show us that no degree of death is so desperate as to be past his help.
 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
Even in Israel - Where so many wonders have been seen.
 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
Because they were faint — In soul rather than in body.
As sheep having no shepherd — And yet they had many teachers; they had scribes in every city. But they had none who cared for their souls, and none that were able, if they had been willing, to have wrought any deliverance. They had no pastors after God's own heart.
 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
The harvest truly is great — When Christ came into the world, it was properly the time of harvest; till then it was the seed time only.
But the labourers are few — Those whom God sends; who are holy, and convert sinners. Of others there are many. Luke 10:2.
 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
The Lord of the harvest — Whose peculiar work and office it is, and who alone is able to do it: that he would thrust forth - for it is an employ not pleasing to flesh and blood; so full of reproach, labour, danger, temptation of every kind, that nature may well be averse to it. Those who never felt this, never yet knew what it is to be labourers in Christ's harvest. He sends them forth, when he calls them by his Spirit, furnishes them with grace and gifts for the work, and makes a way for them to be employed therein.
── John Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Matthew》
Chapter 9. Rise and Walk
I. Bring a Paralytic
II. Call Matthew to Follow Jesus
III. Go on Healing Diseases
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
The Call Of Matthew (9:9-13)
1. Who is a suitable prospect...
a. For the
? kingdomof God
b. For becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ?
2. Who among your neighbors, friends, etc., do you think are most
likely to receive the gospel?
a. Those who are devout, religious, and respectable?
b. Or those who may be ungodly, irreligious, and socially
3. If any passage ought to give us caution against pre-judging suitable
prospects for the gospel...
a. It should be Mt 9:9-13
b. In which we read of "The Call Of Matthew"
[In this passage we learn lessons by way of precept and example
regarding discipleship and the mind of Christ that we do well to
remember. Let's begin by turning our attention to...]
I. MATTHEW'S CALL AT WORK
A. MATTHEW, THE MAN...
1. His name was also Levi - cf. Mt 9:9; Lk 5:27
2. Mark mentions him as the son of Alphaeus - Mk 2:14
a. Note that another apostle, James, was also named the son of
Alphaeus - Mt 10:3
b. This has led some to think they were half-brothers, but
many doubt this
B. MATTHEW, THE TAX COLLECTOR...
1. His occupation was one of collecting taxes for
2. The term "publican" describes this position, filled by Jews
contracted by the Romans to collect taxes from their brethren
3. As such, they were highly despised and equated with sinners
- cf. Mt 9:11; 18:17
C. MATTHEW, THE CALLED DISCIPLE...
1. Perhaps to the amazement of many, Jesus tells him to "Follow
Me" - Mt 9:
a. This was a call to become His disciple - cf. Mt 4:18-22
b. Contrary to what may have been the expectations of many,
Jesus saw something in Matthew that made him a suitable
2. Matthew demonstrates that Jesus' estimation of him is not
a. He accepts the call of Jesus: "he arose and followed Him"
- Mt 9:9b
b. Just as Peter, Andrew, James and John had done earlier
3. Of course, this same tax collector, despised by his Jewish
a. Became one of the twelve apostles - Mt 10:1-4
b. Wrote this gospel of Matthew attempting to save his own
brethren in the flesh!
[That such a despised tax collector could be a useful disciple to Jesus
becomes apparent even more as we read next about...]
II. MATTHEW'S FEAST AT HOME
A. THE NATURE OF THE GUESTS...
1. Matthew threw a feast in honor of his new Master - Mt 9:10
a. But then..."many tax collectors and sinners came"
b. Who "sat down with Him and His disciples"
2. As host, Matthew undoubtedly invited and permitted his ungodly
friends to sit and mingle with the Lord and His disciples!
-- Didn't Matthew know what social customs he was violating? Of
course, but he had already learned a lesson that was about to
be taught to others
B. THE CHALLENGE OF THE PHARISEES...
1. This religious sect of the Jews are shocked - Mt 9:11
a. The Pharisees were separatists (the name means "separated
b. They were strict observers of the traditions of the elders,
especially when it came to ceremonial cleanness - Mk 7:3
2. They wonder why Jesus would eat with tax collectors and
sinners (the latter likely including prostitutes)
a. They inquire of Jesus' disciples
b. Likely they did so standing outside, as the disciples
themselves went in an out, for it is unlikely the Pharisees
would dare go into such a gathering of sinners!
C. THE RESPONSE OF THE SAVIOR...
1. An explanation for why it is proper for Him to mingle with
sinners - Mt 9:12-13
a. It is the sick, not those who are well, who need the care
of a physician
b. So it sinners, not the righteous, who need Someone calling
them to repentance
2. A rebuke for what was lacking in their own lives - Mt 9:13
a. Sacrifice without mercy means nothing, as taught in Hos 6:6
b. Implying that their religious devotion lacked the quality
of mercy, or they would not have so despised sinners in
need of salvation
[In the call of Matthew followed by the feast at his house, Jesus by
precept and example taught important lessons concerning evangelism and
discipleship. To elaborate, let me share...]
III. SOME OBSERVATIONS
A. DON'T PREJUDGE YOURSELF OR OTHERS...
1. Don't think one is ever too wicked to become a disciple of
a. Either yourself or someone else
b. Few could surpass Paul for the sins of which he was guilty,
yet the Lord saved him - cf. 1 Ti 1:12-16
2. Jesus sees people, not for what they are, but for what they
a. As in the case of Simon, whom He called Cephas (Peter)
- cf. Jn 1:40-42
b. Peter did not live up to his name (a rock), until several
years of growth as a disciple
3. We must never forget...
a. Jesus died to save sinners
b. No Christian is perfect, only forgiven
c. A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying
d. Churches grow out of weakness, not strength
1) I.e., willing to accept weak, imperfect members, helping
to them grow
2) A church never grows by turning away weak people
e. What Jesus said to the Pharisees: "...tax collectors and
harlots enter the
before you" - Mt 21:31 kingdomof God
B. DON'T CONFUSE SEPARATION WITH ISOLATION...
1. It is true that we must be separate - cf. 2 Co 6:14-17
a. We cannot have fellowship with sin
b. We cannot engage in the wicked deeds of others
2. But we must not isolate ourselves - cf. 1 Co 5:9-12
a. We may withdraw from an erring brother, true
b. But we cannot withdraw from those in the world
3. While not of the world, we have been sent into world - Jn 17:
a. To be the salt of the earth, we must mingle with the meat
- Mt 5:13
b. To be the light of the world, we must shine in the darkness
- Mt 5:14-16
-- While we must be concerned about the influence of the wrong
kind of friends (1 Co 15:33), we must be willing to reach out
to those who are lost!
C. DON'T FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF MERCY...
1. We cannot receive forgiveness if we are not merciful - Mt 6:
2. We will be judged by a standard with no mercy if we are not
merciful - Ja 2:12-13
3. Religion (sacrifice) without mercy is not pleasing to God!
1. In "The Call Of Matthew", Jesus demonstrated the transforming power
of the gospel...
a. Able to take a despised tax collector and turn him into a beloved
b. Able to appeal to social outcasts, providing love and hope for a
2. By the feast at his house, Matthew demonstrated the transforming
power of the gospel...
a. Turning one who likely had been motivated by greed into a
b. Making one who may have formerly reveled in the evil conduct of
his friends, now concerned about their spiritual well-being
If upon honest reflection of this passage we see ourselves more like
the Pharisees than Jesus or his new-found disciple, may the words of
Jesus move us to repent of our self-righteousness:
"Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who
are sick. But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy and
not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but
sinners, to repentance." (Mt 9:12-13)
Are you in need of the spiritual healing provided by the Great
Moved By Compassion (9:35-38)
1. A major problem regarding evangelism today is the lack of
a. Many Christians seem to lack the motivation to teach others
1) Years go by, and little is done to share the gospel
2) Rather than being troubled by this fact, many just attain a
state of complacency
b. Yet motivation is "the steam that drives the train"
1) With proper motivation, a Christian will seek to save the lost
2) Even if they don't know how, they will not rest until they are
doing something that might lead others to Christ
2. What motivated Jesus to save the lost?
a. What prompted Him to come to this earth?
b. What propelled Him to go from city to city with the gospel of the
c. What moved Him to endure the shame and pain of dying on the
3. Several factors could be listed...
a. His strong sense of purpose (to do His Father's will) - Jn 6:38
b. The Father's love (which He wanted to share) - Jn 15:9; 17:26
c. The potential condemnation those He sought to save (of which He
warned) - Mt 10:28
d. The joy set before Him (helping Him to endure the cross) - He 12:
-- Each of these factors can help motivate us as well
4. But there was one factor which is mentioned in the text for our
a. Our text is Mt 9:35-38, in which we read of the on-going ministry
b. Notice verse 36, "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved
with compassion for them..."
[Compassion for the lost...could the lack thereof explain why many
Christians do not actively seek to save others? To help answer that
question, let's first take a closer look at...]
I. JESUS' COMPASSION FOR THE LOST
A. JESUS HAD COMPASSION FOR THE LOST...
1. As mentioned on numerous occasions
a. In our text - Mt 9:36
b. Prior to feeding the five thousand - Mt 14:14
c. Prior to feeding the four thousand - Mt 15:32
d. Toward various individuals
1) A leper - Mk 1:40-41
2) A demon-possessed man - Mk 5:1-20 (cf. verse 19)
3) The widow of Nain who had lost her son - Lk 7:11-15
4) The two blind men - Mt 20:30-34
2. He was moved with compassion when He saw people:
a. Weary and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd
b. Suffering from diseases, demon possession, and hunger
B. HIS COMPASSION MOVED HIM...
1. To heal the sick and demon-possessed, raise the dead, and feed
2. To personally teach those in need of a Shepherd - cf. Mk 6:34
3. To call upon His disciples to pray for more laborers - Mt 9:
4. To send out His disciples as laborers - Mt 10:1-7
[Jesus was truly "Moved By Compassion" for the lost. Thus motivated,
He did what He could to meet their needs, especially their need for
salvation! Now let's a few moments to consider...]
II. OUR COMPASSION FOR THE LOST
A. DO WE HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE LOST?
1. Are we moved when we see...
a. Multitudes of people who are without Christ?
b. Individuals who are lost in sin?
2. Can we say we have compassion for the lost, if we've made...
a. No effort to teach someone the gospel?
b. Little effort to even get to know those who are lost?
3. What have you done in the past year for the lost?
a. The answer to this question reveals much about our
b. Are you pleased with the answer?
B. HOW CAN WE DEVELOP COMPASSION?
1. Does our inactivity suggest a lack of compassion?
a. Is it evident that we have not been as concerned for the
lost as we should be?
b. What can we do to develop compassion?
2. Compassion for lost souls can be developed by...
a. Letting God teach us how to love - 1 Th 4:9; 1 Jn 3:16-17
1) God teaches us through the example of His Son
2) By frequent contemplation of God's love for us, the more
we will love others!
-- Thus the Word of God is essential for developing
b. Spending time around people
1) To love people, we need to get to know them
a) As stated by Will Rogers, "I never met a man I did
b) The more we come to know people, the more likely we
become concerned about their well being
2) We need to beware of becoming isolated from people
a) Certain technological advances can be a hindrance to
getting out and being with people (e.g., television,
air conditioning, computers)
b) Remember, Jesus was often moved by compassion when
among the "multitudes" and "individuals"
C. HOW SHOULD COMPASSION MOVE US?
1. To do whatever we can do...
a. Such as teach others - cf. Mk 6:34
b. Unable to teach? Then compassion should move us to:
1) Learn to teach others - cf. He 5:12; 1 Pe 3:15
2) Make arrangements for others to be taught
a) As Philip did for Nathaniel - Jn 1:45-46
b) As Cornelius did for family and friends - Ac 10:24,33
2. To seek to involve others in saving the lost...
a. By praying that the Lord will send more laborers - Mt 9:38
1) This is something everyone can do
2) Even if we can't yet teach, we can pray! - 2 Th 3:1
b. By sending out others to teach - Mt 10:1,5-7
1) Jesus did more than teach and pray, He trained and sent
out His disciples
2) We can be involved with sending out others also
a) Encouraging the training of those willing to teach
b) Supporting financially those who go out to teach
- Ph 4:15-16; 3 Jn 5-8
1. Without compassion for the lost, there is no "steam"...
a. We may have the knowledge and the opportunity to teach others
b. But like a train on a track with no steam, we will just sit there
-- Is that what we have been doing regarding evangelism? Could it
be we are lacking the "steam" necessary for evangelism?
2. With compassion for the lost, we will not rest until we are doing
a. It may not be the same thing as others, but it will be something
b. If we don't know how or what to do, compassion will motivate us
to keep looking, studying, etc., until we find something to do
-- For as the "steam" builds, we will not be satisfied until we
begin moving and releasing the steam, just as Jeremiah said:
"Then I said, `I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore
in His name.' But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could
not." (Jer 20:9)
May the example of our Lord Jesus, the true Word of God, whose
compassion moved Him to save us, burn in our hearts until we too are
"Moved By Compassion"!