The Gospels in 40 days Matthew 9

Matthew 9

Jesus forgives sins: So far it may seem like Jesus is mainly concerned about healing, but here he shows he has the power to forgive sins. Which comes first? Every healing is a sign of God’s grace, his love. Every teaching is a sign of forgiveness. For God is reaching out to world that had lost its love for Him. In reaching out, he declares, “All is forgiven, come back to me!”

The paralytic is forgiven – and is healed. Matthew (tax collectors were collaborators with the Roman conquerors, traitors to Israel) is forgiven and called to a new life.

The Pharisees are surprised at the company Jesus keeps. Maybe we are too. Jesus is having dinner with Matthew, who walked away from his sinful life. But Jesus is having dinner with many sinners who haven’t repented. Yet the sinners have the opportunity to receive new life, if they realize they need it. So do the “righteous” Pharisees.

Fasting: Following Jesus is not like following another spiritual way. We fast and mourn as we long for fulfillment. But Jesus disciples are in the presence of God. This is life and joy for them. This is fulfillment. They could not be closer to Jesus if they fasted for 40 days.

Four more healings: A woman sneaks up on Jesus, a father seeks help for a daughter who lies dead. Blind men cry out, and a mute man, who can’t even ask is set free to speak. Jesus overcomes sickness, death, disability and demons. Samples of the restoration that awaits in the kingdom of God.

More Workers: Jesus is on a mission to do God’s will: calling the lost, equipping disciples and healing the world. He calls his trainees to see the need and to ask God to send out more people. Jesus begins to answer that prayer in the next chapter.

Lord, send more workers to share the Good News and show the Good News in acts of love and power.