Matthew 9: Great Harvest with Few Laborers

How quickly might people have learned about Jesus’ arrival at Capernaum? By what means did the news travel?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:1 Jesus took a boat across the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum.
King James
Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.

Why do you think Matthew didn’t tell the unique way the paralyzed man reached Jesus, but Mark and Luke did?

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Matthew 9:2 People carried a paralyzed man on a mat. Impressed by their faith, Jesus said, “Do not worry, my friend. Your sins are forgiven.”
Mark 2:4 They could not find a way into the house, so they went up onto the roof and lowered him through an opening in the tiles, into the midst of the crowd and right in front of Jesus.
Luke 5:19 They could not find a way into the house, so they went up onto the roof and lowered him through an opening in the tiles, into the midst of the crowd and right in front of Jesus.
King James
Matthew 9:2 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.
Mark 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
Luke 5:19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.

Why did the teachers of the Law think Jesus had committed blasphemy?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:3 Some of the teachers of the Law murmured among themselves, “What is he saying? That is blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins.”
King James
Matthew 9:3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.

How did Jesus prove his authority to forgive sin?

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Matthew 9:4–6 Immediately, Jesus recognized their reaction. “Why are you thinking I’ve done something wrong? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or, ‘Stand and walk’? So you may know the Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins”—he turned to the paralyzed man—”get up. Take your mat and go home.”
King James
Matthew 9:4–6 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 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.

Which was the greater healing, the man’s sins or his paralysis? Why? Which do you think most impressed the crowd?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:5–8 “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or, ‘Stand and walk’? So you may know the Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins”—he turned to the paralyzed man—”get up. Take your mat and go home.”
Without hesitation, the man stood and walked to his own house.
Everyone marveled and glorified God for sending a man with such authority.
King James
Matthew 9:5–8 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 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. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.

What kind of history must have existed for Matthew to abandon a lucrative business and follow Jesus?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:9 As he walked along, Jesus saw the tax collector, Matthew, sitting at the place where people paid taxes. “Follow me,” he said, and Matthew got up and followed.
King James
Matthew 9:9 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.

Who was on Matthew’s party invitation list? How were the Pharisees aware of his activities?

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Matthew 9:10–13 Later, Matthew had a big feast for Jesus at his house. Many tax collectors and other outcasts were among the dinner guests who ate with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw Jesus eating with them, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with such people?”
Jesus heard their questioning. “Healthy people do not need a doctor. The sick do. Go learn what the prophet meant when he said, I wanted you to show love, not make sacrifices. I have not come to invite to repentance those who think they are righteous. I have come for those who know they are sinners.”
King James
Matthew 9:10–13 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. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 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.

For what reasons do people fast? Why did the disciples not fast now but would, later?

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Matthew 9:14–15 One day, the followers of John the Baptizer said to Jesus, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples never do?”
Jesus said, “At a wedding, the friends of the bridegroom do not go without eating while he is still with them. But the day will come when he will be gone. Then they will fast.”
King James
Matthew 9:14–15 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.

Why did the Pharisees take issue with Jesus’ disciples not fasting?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 9:14–15 One day, the followers of John the Baptizer said to Jesus, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples never do?”
Jesus said, “At a wedding, the friends of the bridegroom do not go without eating while he is still with them. But the day will come when he will be gone. Then they will fast.”
King James
Matthew 9:14–15 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.

What points might Jesus have been making with the analogies of patching garments and using wineskins?

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Matthew 9:16–17 “No one uses a piece of new cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink, pull away from the old, and make the tear worse. Men do not pour new wine into old skins. If they did, the wineskin would burst, ruining both the wine and the wineskin. New wine is always kept in fresh skins so both are preserved.”
King James
Matthew 9:16–17 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. 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.

Why did an official think his dead daughter would live if Jesus touched her? How could Matthew say she was dead, when Mark and Luke say she was dying?

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Matthew 9:18–19 While Jesus taught, an official came and knelt before him. “My daughter has just died, but if you will come lay your hand on her, she will live.”
So Jesus and his disciples followed him.
Mark 5:22–23 A synagogue official named Jairus came, knelt before him, and passionately said, “My little daughter is dying, but if you will come lay your hand on her, she will live.”
Luke 8:42 His only daughter, about twelve years old, was at home, dying. On the way to Jairus’s home, a crowd of followers pressed in on Jesus.
King James
Matthew 9:18–19 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 Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
Mark 5:22–23 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, and besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

How might the official have felt when Jesus agreed to see his daughter?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 9:18–19 While Jesus taught, an official came and knelt before him. “My daughter has just died, but if you will come lay your hand on her, she will live.”
So Jesus and his disciples followed him.
King James
Matthew 9:18–19 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 Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

With chronic bleeding for twelve years, what caused the woman to believe she would be healed by only touching the hem of Jesus’ garment?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:20–21 On the way, a woman who had suffered twelve years from constant bleeding walked up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his robe. She had thought, If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed.
King James
Matthew 9:20–21 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

At the time the woman was healed, Jesus had never touched her or said anything to her. Why was she healed? What were the disciples thinking?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned and saw the woman. “Be joyful, daughter, because your faith has made you well.”
From then on, the woman’s health was restored.
King James
Matthew 9:22 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.

Why were the mourners at the official’s house told not to cry?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:23–24 At the house, Jesus saw musicians and mourners crying their funeral dirge. “You can leave,” he said to the crowd. “The girl is not dead, only sleeping.”
They laughed and said he was crazy, because they knew she was dead.
King James
Matthew 9:23–24 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, he said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

Why did Jesus send the people outside before he healed the girl?

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Matthew 9:25 After the people had been sent outside, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up.
King James
Matthew 9:25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

If the people weren’t there to see the miracle, why did the story spread throughout the area?

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Matthew 9:26 Report of this miracle spread throughout the area.
King James
Matthew 9:26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.

How might the two blind men have learned about Jesus? How did they recognize him and know how to reach him?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:27–31 When Jesus left, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have mercy on us.”
He entered the house and watched the blind men make their way to him. “Do you believe I can make you see?”
“Yes,” they said. “We do.”
He touched their eyes. “Let it be according to your faith.”
Immediately, they could see.
In a demanding tone, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone about this.”
But as soon as they were out the door, they spread the news throughout the area.
King James
Matthew 9:27–31 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

Why did Jesus tell the men healed of blindness not to tell anyone? Why did they disobey?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 9:27–31 When Jesus left, two blind men followed him, crying out, “Son of David, have mercy on us.”
He entered the house and watched the blind men make their way to him. “Do you believe I can make you see?”
“Yes,” they said. “We do.”
He touched their eyes. “Let it be according to your faith.”
Immediately, they could see.
In a demanding tone, Jesus said, “Do not tell anyone about this.”
But as soon as they were out the door, they spread the news throughout the area.
King James
Matthew 9:27–31 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

What did Jesus do to cast the evil spirit out of the man? Why were the people surprised?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:32–33 As the blind men left, people brought to Jesus a man who could not speak because of an evil spirit. After Jesus cast out the evil spirit, the man began to speak. In amazement, the crowd said, “We’ve never seen anything like this in Israel.”
King James
Matthew 9:32–33 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.

What motivated the Pharisees to give Satan credit for Jesus’ work?

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Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out devils by the power of Satan.”
King James
Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.

When Jesus preached the “good news of the Kingdom,” what were the main points of his message?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 9:35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and small communities, teaching in the synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom. He healed all kinds of sicknesses and infirmities.
King James
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Which was more important, the message or the miracles? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 9:35 Jesus traveled through all the towns and small communities, teaching in the synagogues and preaching the good news of the Kingdom. He healed all kinds of sicknesses and infirmities.
King James
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.

Why did Jesus ask his followers to pray for workers in the harvest?

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Matthew 9:36–38 As he looked at the large crowd, he was moved with compassion because he saw them as helpless and confused, like sheep without a shepherd. He turned to his followers. “The harvest is huge, but there are not many workers. Pray for the lord of the harvest to send more workers into the fields.”
King James
Matthew 9:36–38 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. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.