We are going to use 9:9 as the first thing to remind of what is in this chapter. In that verse, Jesus calls Matthew the tax collector ( and author of this book) to follow Him. After this, Jesus heads off to dinner with Matthew and his friends, who were very unacceptable people to the Pharisees.
In the first 17 verses of this chapter, Jesus is making a very important statement to all of the people he came in contact with. He was teaching them that He had come to bring something different to their relationship with God. It was not going to be the same old burden filled religion that they had lived under for so long. We also see that he reacted differently to each group of people depending on who they were and what they needed. Matthew had rejected his Jewish background so he was probably surprised and pleased to have Jesus ask him to be a follower. The fact that Jesus wanted to have dinner with him and his "sinner" friends was down right shocking. Especially to the Pharisees who were just waiting for Jesus to mess up and break the rules about who a pious Jew could eat with.
Both the Pharisees and John the baptist followers had questions for Him about His behavior. The Pharisees wanted to know why He was eating with those people, and John's followers wanted to know why He was eating at all.
He told the Pharisees that he was there for the sinners, the needy, the sick. He wasn't there for the holy people who had it altogether and didn't need Him.
He told John's followers,(who by the way included Peter and Andrew according to John chapter 1) that right now, He was what was important. He was going to be His disciples main focus until He was gone.
Then He goes on to tell both groups that what He was doing was not going to be able to be put into the old Jewish religion. Just like grape juice before it ferments, the new relationship with God was going to need new boundaries, new room to expand, new ideas, new thinking.
From verse 18-26, he goes on to prove what He was saying in an amazing way. A ruler of the Jews comes and bows down before Jesus because his little daughter had died and He wanted Jesus to come and touch her so that she would live. He was asking something of Jesus that he knew none of the leaders, or priests from the temple would do. Touch a dead person. ( Num.19:11-22) That job would have been reserved for a close family relative or a paid undertaker. Any person who touched a dead body would be unclean for a week and was required to go through a process of ceremonial cleansing.
The second astonishing thing was that a woman with an issue of blood came right up and touched Jesus, which also made Him unclean according to the law. (Lev. 15:19-33).
I think that it is very significant that Jesus touched or was touched by both of these people after using the analogy of unshrunk cloth and new wine. There had to be people in the crowd who considered Jesus unclean after the woman with an issue of blood for 12 years, had touched Him. And yet we don't have any mention that Jesus was now considered unclean and that He would have been considered to be unclean for a week.
In normal circumstances, the ruler from the temple would have never invited an unclean Jesus to touch his little daughter, but he was desperate. The concerns of the world always pass away from us when we are desperate. Jesus could have raised the little girl without touching her but He had to touch her. He had to show them that their rules and traditions did not pertain to Him. He was the fulfillment of all of their rules and traditions. He was the healer and the cleanser.
He goes on from there to touch, and heal, 2 blind men. The blind men did not care at all that Jesus had just touched a woman with an issue of blood and a dead person. All concerns paled in the light of them receiving their sight.
I believe that a lot of people received their "sight" that day.
Jesus was so different from anything they had ever seen or heard of. He was compassionate, wise and unaffected by the heavy rules and burdens that the religious leaders had heaped on the people. (Luke 11:46).
The Talmud contains a lot of these rules and regulations and is fascinating reading. You really get a sense of the impossible life these people were living in the days that Jesus walked the earth.
|she is a carousel fanatic!|
Ok, so we are now a third of the way through the book of Matthew.
Once again, here is the list we are using to remember what is in our chapters.
Chapter 9 We are using verse 9:9 JESUS CALLS MATTHEW THE TAX GATHERER. Double the 9 and you get verse 18 this is where the story begins about the woman with the issue of blood and the mans little daughter being raised from the dead.
Chapter 8. We use 8:8 LORD I AM NOT WORTHY FOR YOU TO COME UNDER MY ROOF BUT JUST SAY THE WORD AND MY SERVANT WILL BE HEALED. It is the story of the centurion with the great faith . We are also remembering, LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR OWN DEAD AND PIGS OVER A CLIFF. Chapter 8 is the hardest one to remember but with practice we can do it.
Chapter 7 is JUDGING, plank in the eye and PROPHET, fruit inspection.
Chapter 6 is PRAYER , Lord's prayer is here and WORRY, Jesus talks about worry.
Chapter 5 is BLESS your HEART, the beatitudes are here (sermon on the mount) and Jesus talks about committing adultery in your heart.
Chapter 4 is THINK FAST, Jesus fasts for forty day and forty nights. He also calls 4 APOSTLES, Peter and Andrew, James and John .
Chapter 3 is H2O, (the chemical symbol for water) John the baptist baptizes Jesus, and we see the TRINITY (3) as Jesus comes out of the water.
Chapter 2 is JESUS TURNS 2, WISE MEN COME, HEROD SLAUGHTERS THE 2 YEAR OLDS
Chapter 1 is the first 17 verses are genealogy and then is you turn the 18 on it's side it looks like a SWADDLED BABY. It's the Christmas story.
Time to move to Chapter 10! Remember to read it as many times as you can. Practice these remembering hints as you fall asleep at night. Practice them as you sit at stop lights if the noise from the back seat is not deafening. Pray that the Almighty, Glorious Lord, will give you remembrance and diligence .
God Bless you sisters!