September 15, 2013

Scripture and Commentary, Monday after Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity

Morning – Psalm 103, 1 Kings 8:1-11, 1 Thessalonians 1
Evening – Psalm 104, Mt. 9:18-35

Commentary, Matthew 9:18-35

As the Pharisees were speaking to Jesus, a ruler came to ask Him to heal his daughter.  The man was Jairus according to Mark and Luke, rabbi of the local synagogue.  This man was supposed to be on the Pharisees’ side, but he is defecting.  “[L]ay thine hand upon her, and she shall live,” he says to our Lord.  Jesus leaves Matthew’s houses immediately, followed by his disciples, including Matthew.  On the way to Jairus’ house a woman with an issue of blood touches His garment and is healed.

Note the spiritual words used throughout Matthew’s Gospel.  The man with the palsy was “forgiven.”   The sick need to be made “whole.”  Jairus’ daughter is “dead” but will “live” when Jesus touches her.  The woman with an issue of blood wants to be made “whole.”  She is “unclean” according to Old Testament law, and was forbidden from participating in public and religious life until her issue was over.  But this woman’s issue went on for twelve years and no one was able to help her, until Jesus came. One touch of even the hem of His garment made not just healed, but “whole.”  And Jairus’ daughter arose.  Her body arose to die again in later years.  But her soul arose to die no more.  She lives.

In verse 27 two blind men come to Jesus crying, “son of David, have mercy on us.”  This is significant because “son of David” is a Messianic title.  People are beginning to realize the Messiah has come, and He is Jesus of Nazareth.  These men know Jesus has the power to have mercy on them and relive them of their blindness. Their spiritual blindness is healed also.

The demoniac in 32-34 is almost secondary to the charge of the Pharisees, “He casteth out devils through the prince of devils.”  Notice they did not accuse Jesus of fake healings and exorcisms.  Instead, they said His power came from Satan instead of God.  This presents the reader with a choice.  Where does Jesus’ power come from?  Is it from Satan?  If so, what does that mean to us?  Is His power from God?  If so, what does that mean to us?

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