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Matthew 8

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Verses 1-17

  1. Slide7 Intro: Willing and Able
    1. If we cut Matthew in 1/2 ch.1-10 is the King Revealed & ch.11-28 the King Rejected
    2. Matthew first introduced us to Jesus as the Person of the King in ch.1-4. Next, to the Principle of the King in ch. 5-7. And now we’ll see the Power of the King in ch.’s 8,9.
      1. After all, if a king doesn’t have Power, what good are His credentials or principles?
    3. In ch.8,9 we’ll see 10 miracles (5 in Capernaum, the city that rejected him).
      1. These aren’t in chronological order (except the last 4) [Mt was writing Thematically/ Messiah]
    4. Why did He perform miracles? 3 reasons…
      1. To meet human needs [2] They were additional credentials [3] It fulfilled OT prophecies.
      2. Jesus definitely didn’t perform them to get a crowd. He usually avoided the crowd [see 18]
        1. people wouldn’t trust simply on the basis of spectacular deeds - but on His words.
          1. How will they hear w/o a Preacher...not, How will they see w/o a Miracle.
    5. The Miracles in ch.8,9 are in 3 groups, w/an event relating to discipleship separating the groups. 8:1-22 Grace to the Outcasts. 8:23-9:17 Peace to the Disturbed. 9:18-38 Restoration to the Broken.
    6. So Let’s look at God’s Grace to the Outcasts.
      1. Remember Leper’s, Gentiles, & Women were considered Outcasts by many Jewish People, especially the religious leaders.
      2. They say many Pharisees would pray each morning, I give thanks I am a man
        1. not a woman; a Jew & not a Gentile; a freeman & not a slave.
    1. ​​​​​​​Leprosy - one of the oldest recorded diseases in the world. [From Latin lepra meaning scaly]
      1. AKA Hansen’s Disease.
    2. The Jewish Talmud taught that Leprosy was 2nd only to death in its list of defilements.
      1. The Rabbis believed it was a direct judgment from God.
    3. This Leper breaks all the Leper Codes - Namely, to stay away from people (150’ radius), and yell Unclean, Unclean, when approaching.
      1. This guy ran right through the great multitudes (vs.1) & right up to Jesus (only an arms length away) with great faith that Jesus would heal him.
    4. Leprosy is an illustration of Sin.
      1. Lev.13 helps us to understand the nature of sin. It is Deeper than the skin (3). It Spreads (8). It Defiles (45). It Isolates (46). It is only fit for the Fire (52,57).
    5. This man didn’t doubt Jesus ability to heal, but only His willingness to do it.
      1. We are the same. We know what Jesus can, but will He?
      2. I sure don’t think it is a lack of faith on our part to ask Him, will He? Does He want to? Because as we have examples of in Scripture, sometimes He doesn’t want to (Paul), or right then. But here...He is Willing and Able.
    6. Touched him - He hadn’t had a human touch for years. No Handshake nor fist-bump. No embrace nor kiss. No hand on his shoulder no pat on the back.
    7. Jesus could have just said, be clean, but he didn’t, He touched Him :)
      1. As we said Leprosy is an illustration of sin...whatever sin your in right now, don’t be like countless lepers who said, I need to stay away from Jesus. I’m Unclean. Jesus can handle your sin. He’s not shocked, horrified, nor embarrassed by it. Jesus touched the Leper...He can touch your sin as well.
      2. Don’t wait till your Leprosy goes away to approach Him. It won’t. It can’t.
    8. Tell the priest - This ceremony had been on the books for 1500 yrs., but we never hear of one Leper cleansed...until this man.
    9. Tell no one - Maybe he was just helping Jesus with his public relations.
    10. Why did He not allow the man with the skin disease to spread the news about Him?
      1. Jesus did not want His program co-opted by others. He would reveal Himself on His own terms, when the time was right. Jesus’ purpose was not popularity and political insurrection but discipleship and ultimately the cross.
    11. Mark 1:45 nlt But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.
      1. ​​​​​​​Now the former Leper could go in (to the city) while Jesus is now on the outside.
      2. Don’t tell anyone, and we tell everyone. Go tell the world, and we tell no one.
    12. Offer the gift that Moses commanded - 2 birds. Lev.14:4 then the priest shall command to take for him who is to be cleansed two living and clean birds, cedar wood, scarlet, and hyssop. 5 And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water. 6 As for the living bird, he shall take it, the cedar wood and the scarlet and the hyssop, and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water. 7 And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed from the leprosy, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose in the open field.
      1. Birds don’t belong in clay Jars, they ought to be flying in the heavens. Which reminds us of Jesus’ incarnation, when He limited Himself into a body once formed from clay, the body of a man.
      2. If the 1st bird speaks of Jesus life in an earthen vessel & experienced death in it also. Then the 2nd bird being set free can represent His resurrection from the dead.
    1. ​​​​​​​A centurion was a Roman officer w/100 men under his authority.
    2. We have 3 Centurion’s in the N.T. All 3 believers. [1] at Capernaum [2] The one in charge of the Crucifixion (Truly this was the son of God) [3] Cornelius.
    3. A centurion came to Him - This was odd. [Luke adds, that he was wealthy]
      1. So, We have a wealthy man, dealing with a poor man. A Roman citizen, asking something of an Israeli citizen. A Gentile, asking a Jew. A powerful centurion, asking a meek carpenter. A mighty man of war, asking of the Prince of Peace.
    4. Matthew records only 2 Gentile miracles, this one & the Syro-Phoenician woman.
      1. In both, Jesus was impressed w/their great faith.
      2. Both he healed from a distance: A reminder of the spiritual position of the Gentiles still being a far off. From Eph.2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
    5. (11) Many will come from E & W - 3 truths…
      1. Many Jewish people that thought they will be there by pedigree, won’t.
      2. Many gentile people thought that they wouldn’t be there, will.
      3. The only way to get there is not by national, racial, or geographical residence, but by faith in Christ.
    6. So far we’ve had...a leper healed, someone outside the camp. Next a gentile healed, someone outside the covenant. Now a woman healed, someone outside the common value of the Patriarchal society.
  4. PETER’S MOTHER-IN-LAW HEALED (14,15) [I guess the 1st pope was married] :)
    1. When a mom’s sick, you know it must be serious.
    2. Doctor Luke said she had a High Fever (prob a continuous fever. Probably chronic. Certainly severe)
      1. Malarial fevers were common, from the marshes nearby, near the mouth of the Jordan river. 1950’s they drained the Hula Valley for this very reason.
    3. I love this day on our Israel Tour. From standing on the Mnt we see this very path Jesus took in Capernaum. [Sermon on Mnt, leper, cent servant, synagogue, into his house]
      1. Mark 1:29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
    4. This might seem like a minor miracle, but the results were major, for after sundown (when Sabbath ended) the whole city gathered at the door that the Lord might meet their needs, says Mark 1:32-34.
      1. The change in one woman’s life, led to miracles in the lives of many people.
    5. John’s Gospel (1:44) points out that Peter’s orig home was in Bethsaida.
      1. Peter moved everything to Capernaum to follow Jesus. His fishing business, his in-laws, the whole enchilada/or falafel.
      2. Bethsaida = house of fish/fishing. [we have visited, the found fishing hooks there]
        1. He moved to Capernaum where Jesus had his headquarters. Peter left his place of occupational prosperity to be close to Jesus.
    6. Served them - Jerome said, That hand ministered which had been touched & healed.
      1. ​​​​​​​One of the signs you can tell if one’s life has been touched by Jesus, is that you’ll see them start serving.
      2. She seems to communicate, He helped me, who can I help?
  5. MANY HEALED (16,17)
    1. ​​​​​​​I believe anyone that is sick will definitely be healed...some now, some later, some when we get in heaven. But I will restore you to health & heal your wounds, declares the LORD. Jer.30:17
    2. Matthew understood this fulfillment in the light of the larger, atonement context of Isaiah.
      1. Jesus’ healing ministry was part of His larger ministry of bringing in the kingdom (Mt 4:23).
      2. His atoning death was the central and necessary feature of this kingdom.
      3. His healings were a foretaste of the ultimate benefits of His death, benefits that will not be fully realized till His return. Thus this passage doesn’t teach that Christians can expect automatic healing in this age. Yet let’s ask by faith.
    3. Ever since sin entered the world, humanity has waited for the the heavenly authority to do the reversal. Jesus’ miracles demonstrated this power and authority.
    4. Sin brought 3 primary effects:
      1. God’s once-perfect creation became laced with corruption.
      2. The earth would no longer cooperate as man must toil to produce meager results
      3. Sin also gave Satan a position of power in our world, that he continues to exercise, since the day he tricked Eve.
        1. All humanity was corrupted, physically & spiritually by sin & its culmination death
    5. Jesus’ miracles are best understood against this backdrop of sin’s corruption.
    6. And so we are shown 3 types of Miracles in the gospels:
      1. Nature Miracles wind/waves - Jesus’ miracles reverse the destructive effects of sin
        1. This shows proof of Jesus as the Creator of all things, endowed w/the re-creative power.
      2. Spiritual Authority Miracles casting/demons - Jesus not only opposed Satan/demons directly...He disposed of them with ease. Immediately bringing them under His control.
      3. Healing Miracles - Jesus’ healing miracles declare His power to remedy and eradicate the effects of sin on humanity.
        1. The presence of disease and death in our world continually reminds us that we are physically and spiritually broken.
        2. Sin has radically marred God’s image in us, and we are powerless to reverse the inevitability of death and its effects.
        3. When Jesus came into our world, He brought the heavenly authority necessary to cleanse those with disease but also demonstrated Jesus’ greatest healing power is His authority to heal spiritually, i.e. to forgive sin.

Verses 18-27

  1. Intro: I have decided to follow Jesus
    1. Last week I pointed out, Matthew 1st introduced to the Person of the King in ch. 1-4. Next, to the Principle of the King in 5-7. & now in 8,9 as the Power of the King.
      1. We said if a king doesn’t have power what good are His credentials/principles?
      2. In ch.8,9 we have 10 miracles (covered 4 last Sun).
      3. Last week we looked at the Grace to the outcasts. This week, Peace to the disturbed (8:23-9:17). Next, Restoration to the broken (9:18-38).
      4. 3 types of miracles: Nature Miracles. Sp Authority miracles. Healing Miracles [Last week, Healing Miracle. This week, Discipleship & a Nature Miracle]
    2. What would you say if Jesus spun around this morning, pointed at you, & asked you, in front of everyone, why are you following Me? What would you say? [have to tell truth]
      1. Understand the make up of this group: some hanging upon Jesus’ every word; others interested in Him; others attracted by Him; some loved the association with his popularity; some enjoyed the miracles; some the occasional free lunch; they all felt they wanted to be with Him in some way.
    1. ​​​​​​​Here we learn why Jesus was not impressed with the great crowds (18a). The people weren’t willing to forsake all to follow Christ, or giving their all for Christ.
    2. THE HASTY (18-20)
    3. This Scribe probably had been listening to His teachings (sermon on mnt) & got fired up & on impulse said, Count me in!
    4. This Scribe said, It’ll be great to be your disciple...the stories, campfires, healings, crowds...and Jesus said, Wait, there’s a price.
      1. ​​​​​​​In addition to having a traveling ministry and no permanent home, Jesus cannot rest because of the crowds’ needs.
      2. Jesus response, but do you know even birds & foxes have more than Me.
      3. Are you ready to start on the bottom?
    5. So, Eager Eddy is our 1st prospective disciple.
      1. He volunteered to follow Jesus anywhere…till Jesus warned that discipleship might be uncomfortable. Hardship kept him from following.
      2. Lesson: Count the cost before you shoot off your mouth.
    6. This 1st man was too fast...this next man, too slow.
    7. THE RELUCTANT (21,22)
    8. The 1st guy hardened by possessions; this man by relationships. Lord I’ll follow you when I…
    9. The father hadn’t died yet. Because they buried them the same day & he would have been home with dad in that process.
      1. The son wishes to go home, live in comfort w/his father till his death (perhaps yrs away), collect his inheritance, and then at his leisure…become a disciple.
        1. We spell this P-r-o-c-r-a-s-t-i-n-a-t-i-o-n
      2. This man’s request probably reflects an indefinite postponement of joining Jesus’ disciples.
      3. Lk. 9:59 tells us Jesus called this man. When Jesus calls we must respond.
        1. ​​​​​​​His Excuse...more time was needed.
        2. The most sacred home ties are snares when they interfere w/our devotion to our Lord
          1. It’s amazing how many grown ups are still bound to their parents wishes. Still living under their shadow, or their heavy hand, or are heavily indebted $ to them, or still hope to one day please them.
        3. Let no relationship stand in the way...if your serious about following Jesus.
          1. Are you Engaged? Dating? Is your boyfriend/girlfriend going to help you to follow Jesus? Or are you just hoping one day they’ll step into a church? Which relationship is affecting you? or, infecting you?
    10. So, Reluctant Ralph here is our 2nd prospective disciple.
      1. Kinship keeps him from following. Let me 1st go & bury my father.
      2. Jesus’ response in Lk.9:60 was Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God. Meaning, Let the spiritually dead, bury the physically dead. [cuz, only the spiritually alive can save the spiritually dead]
        1. D.L.Moody said, the church of his day reminded him of firemen straightening pictures on the wall of a burning house. Have we loss focus of the eternal for the temporal?
      3. Lesson: The proclaiming the kingdom is so important that it can’t wait. So He asks us, can you give up the warmth of family ties?
        1. ​​​​​​​This 1st man was too fast...this man, too slow. Luke adds a 3rd prospective disciples was uncommitted. 9:57-62
    11. Johnny Manana is our 3rd prospective disciple.
      1. Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go & bid them farewell who are at my house
        1. ​​​​​​​He just wanted only a little time to say goodbye to some of the home folks, then someday soon, he would follow.
        2. Long involved goodbyes…he might be liable to forget his call & not return. Feelings change when one looks back.
      2. I will...but. I will but...I’m too afraid of losing friends. I will may cause my family displeasure about me going on the mission field. What is your but?
      3. Lesson: He was uncommitted.
        1. ​​​​​​​This 1st man was too fast...2nd man, too slow. 3rd man, uncommitted.
    12. Jesus ended by saying, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Or, can you set your eyes in the right direction?
      1. ​​​​​​​Jesus wants now disciples.
      2. He is looking for disciples who will put his/her hand to the plow, w/o looking back, moving straight out to do God’s will.
        1. That blade must stay level & steady. Only by looking ahead, with eyes fixed on your guiding marks, can you get your job done.
      3. So Jesus says, fix your eyes ahead on Me, & don’t look back.
  3. PEACE IN THE STORM (23-27) Jesus now shows His power over nature
    1. ​​​​​​​The Sea of Galilee is about 13 m. long & 8 m. wide.
      1. From the Arbel pass, winds/storms can come quickly & violently from off the Mediterranean Sea upon the N end of the lake.
      2. Jesus undoubtedly knew the storm was coming, & certainly could have prevented it...but He permitted it, Why?
        1. Maybe for the same reasons that parents give Vaccines to their children. It’s about presenting a foreign antigen to their immune system to evoke an immune response. So Christ builds our spiritual immune system w/storms, adversities, trials.
    2. If you sense Jesus is asleep in the storm you’re going through...relax.
      1. He’s not doing anything, it means...He’s not pacing. He’s not anxious. He’s not worried. He’s resting.
      2. Jesus was able to sleep during a serious storm. This is the peace we can have when we know we are in the center of God’s will.
      3. Also remember, at any moment Jesus can stand up and speak a word, & immediately...the storm will stop.
        1. How many times have you made Him stop the testing early?
        2. How many times have you rode out the storm w/Christ on your vessel?
    3. (25) They accused Him of not caring in Marks account (4:38), Teacher do you not care we are perishing?
      1. ​​​​​​​His trust in His Father was so firm that He rocked in the cradle of the deep.
    4. What woke Him? not the wind. not the waves, not the boat filling w/water. not the rocking back & forth. not the noise. None of these woke Him, they Did!
      1. His disciples caused Him more disquiet than the storm. They awoke Him.
    5. What a great cry though...Lord, save us! We are Perishing.
      1. ​​​​​​​It’s the cry we celebrate today on Palm/Passion Sunday...Hosanna! Save now!
    6. That story of Messiah riding into Jerusalem, 5 days before his death. And rides in on a donkey showing Himself as King (their mode of transportation, b4 pope mobiles). Entering this time in Peace, on a donkey; next time for War, on a battle horse.
    7. (26) So He spoke to the men 1st, for they were the most difficult to deal with. The wind & sea could be rebuked afterward.
      1. It is easier to quiet a storm than to quiet a troubled heart.
      2. If you hold a glass of water in your hand, you can be sure it will be quite while you hold your hand still. But, if you catch a wild bird & hold it in your hand, simply holding it still doesn’t help. You must teach it to trust you.
    8. Little faith - Mark tells us he said, Let us go over to the other side...not...Let us sink to the bottom of the lake.
    9. The winds and the sea - The Sea calmed also. If just the wind stopped, it would still be like a washing machine for awhile. But the waves stopped also.
    10. Great calm - they went from a great tempest (24) to a great calm (26) because of a great Savior. (Warren Wiersbe, WEONT, Matthew 8.) Christ calms the storms of life.
    11. (27) Who can this be? Don’t only wonder w/the intellect, but worship w/the heart.
    12. Ask yourself this question: Which word would better describe u a believer or a follower?
      1. Believing/trusting in Jesus Christ is fundamental, but doing so is the 1st step of a person’s faith, not the culmination of it.
      2. Our primary purpose is to take a lifelong journey following in the Lord’s footsteps, honoring Him with our actions and speech.
      3. A follower’s life is summed up in the phrase complete obedience.
        1. ​​​​​​​When it comes to obeying God, there are really only two responses: “I will” or “I won’t.” It’s tempting to say, I will, butas some of Jesus’ would-be disciples did, but that’s a roundabout way of saying no.
      4. See, we are not just waiting to spend eternity with God in heaven; we understand that eternity begins now, as we accompany Him on the righteous path He has set before us.
      5. Jesus made it crystal clear, If anyone desires to come after Me [i.e. follow Me, be My disciple], let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).
        1. To the disciple, the cross represented torture, physical abuse, and death. They had seen and smelled death firsthand.
        2. If we could have listened in, the conversation would probably have sounded something like this: First you asked me to leave my business and my family to follow and learn from you, and now you’re telling me that you’re going to die and that I have to deny myself and follow in your steps! Don’t you think that’s asking a bit much? (Charles Stanley, Faithlife Study Bible, Devotional, Being Called to Christ.)
    13. A famous Christian hymn originating from India, lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Assam, in north-east India. Who along with his family was converted to Christianity in the middle of the 19th century through the efforts of a Welsh missionary. Called to renounce his faith by the village chief, the convert declared, "I have decided to follow Jesus." In response to threats to his family, he continued, "Though no one joins me, still I will follow."
      1. ​​​​​​​His wife was killed, and he was executed while singing, "The cross before me, the world behind me." This display of faith is reported to have led to the conversion of the chief and others in the village.
      2. The formation of these words into a hymn is attributed to the Indian missionary Sadhu Sundar Singh. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back, no turning back.

Verses 28-34

  1. Intro:
    1. Israel/Turkey Highlights.
    2. Title: Healing Miracles
      1. ​​​​​​​Ch.8,9 = 10 Miracles [Natural (calmed Galilee storm) - Spiritual Authority - Healing]
    1. ​​​​​​​In 1937 G. Campbell Morgan said, I cannot personally read my newspaper today w/out believing that there are still demon-possessed men in the world.
      1. You cannot see the supernatural realm of angels & demons. But we believe in plenty of things we can’t physically see. In this room there are words being spoken & images being delivered, that if we had the right receiver we would be able to hear or see them (eg. smartphone, iTunes or Youtube).
    2. Background in other accounts –
      1. Mark said, They lived in the tombs, couldn’t be held w/chains (in the past had pulled apart chains & broke their shackles), they couldn’t be tamed, they cried out day & night, & they cut themselves w/stones.
      2. Luke said, They had these demons for a long time, they wore no clothes, & they had many demons.
      3. Mt. adds - They were exceedingly fierce & no one could pass that way.
    3. Background Geographically - up north, only place with a steep cliff, has caves.
    4. Here’s what Satan will do for a man.
      1. Rob him of sanity, & self-control; fill him w/fears; rob him of the joys of home & friends; & condemn him to an eternity of judgment(if allowed).
    5. Here’s what Society will do for such a man in need.
      1. Try to restrain him & threaten him,but society is unable to change him.
    6. Here’s what the Savior can do for a man whose whole life w/in & w/out is in bondage & battle.
      1. Christ came to them - Even braved a storm to do it.
      2. He delivered them - By the Power of his word.
      3. He restored them - To Sanity, Society, & Service.
      4. He freed him, clothed him, & set him in his right mind.
        1. What Jesus did for the 2 demoniacs, He will do for anyone else who needs him.
        2. Can you still say I don’t think He would accept me?
        3. Did God go out of His way to Save you? It was a long way to earth.
        4. Did He do anything out of the norm to save you?
    7. 3 Prayers:
      1. The Demons besought Jesus to send them into the swine.
      2. The Citizens of Gadara begged Him to leave.
      3. The One Man besought Him to let him follow.
        1. Interesting Jesus answers the prayer of the demons, & the pig peddlers of Gadara, but not the prayer of the healed man.
        2. And then basically tells him...Christian service starts at home.
    8. A demons Statement of Faith:
      1. Theology - Talks of God the Father.
      2. Christology - Knew God had a Son & He was Him.
      3. Eschatology - Knew the reality of the future judgment.
        1. The demons also believed in prayer, knew of Jesus power to send them into the abyss or into the swine.
        2. I wonder if Atheist are beneath Demons on the judgment scale?
    9. (31) The Demons even needed permission to enter a pig.
    10. (32) Why waste words on Demons? GO!
    11. Doesn’t God care about pigs? Mrk. says there were 2000.
      1. Jesus values man more than pigs, more than sheep (12:12), more than birds (6:26)
    12. (33) Including... - The healing of the 2 demoniacs seemed to be reported as the secondary matter here, but indeed it was the central point of the narrative.
      1. To some, men souls are secondary to swine.
    13. (34) A whole city coming out to meet Jesus. A whole city unanimous in their appeal to Him. Their appeal? depart from us! :(
      1. Jesus indulges man’s wishes. He immediately left & didn’t return!
        1. In Mt.15 the disciples tell Jesus, do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying? (12) Jesus’ response...Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. Chiling words...Let them alone.
      2. But know the opposite can be true. When we desire His presence, He will indulge our wishes.
        1. eg. 2 disciples on road to Emmaus. Lk.24:28,29 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, Stay the night with us, since it is getting late. So he went home with them.
        2. eg. woman of Samaria (at well). Went back to her city, persuaded her neighbors to come see Him. Jn.4:40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days.
    14. This healed man preached in the Decapolis (Mrk.5:20) though his city was more into pigs than people.
    15. Lessons: Jesus brings peace to stormy situations, whether on Galilee or Gadara. On the Mediterranean or in Murrieta.
      1. He comes to you this morning...will you receive Him now? or send Him away.
      2. I think you will see Him as an irksome intruder or a blessed intruder. But He does desire to intrude...but haven’t you enjoyed someone who entered your life though unwelcome & uninvited into your life at 1st, that later maybe became your best friend, or a trusted colleague, or maybe even your spouse?
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Matthew 8". "Bell's Commentary". 2017.