Matthew 8 – 10
- Jesus came to save God’s chosen people at that time. He came to speak to the Jews and bring salvation. The fact that He spoke to a Centurion (officer of the Roman army), complimented him on great faith and then healed the servant boy for the Centurion according to his faith, is amazing and shows Jesus’ grace towards us
- It also revealed God’s plan to save the Gentiles (non-Israelites) as well. – “many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” – He could have just said ‘from this land,’ to represent the Israelites/Jews, but He didn’t. He was telling us that God has not forgotten us, our forefathers may not have been directly related to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but we will still inherit God’s covenant. I think that a lot of Jews in the past, believed that they would join their forefathers, because of their bloodline, but God doesn’t look at the flesh, but at man’s heart (1 Samuel 16:7). He knows us very well and only He can judge. If you refer to Genesis 22:17 – “I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies.” God could have easily just ended it at “…the stars in the sky…” there was no need to add “…the sand on the seashore…” since the concept was understandable – there will be generations of generations, of your people Abraham throughout time, but if you notice they are two completely different things – stars and the sand. I believe the sand represent the Israelites, those directly linked to Abraham, because sand is essentially the same all around the world. Therefore, their bloodline can be traced back. The stars are us, stars can be made from different composition of elements, which could represent all of our different backgrounds, whether black, white or Asian (sorry if I missed any race. I still love you :P) Nonetheless, we will be apart of Abraham’s blessing through God’s mercy. It’s funny because sand can be washed away and stars can explode, could it be representing our relationship with God?
- When I was reading Verse 14-15, I thought “wow, why would the Holy Spirit influence someone to write that down? We just had the leprosy healing in Verse 2-4, so why with the lame one??” – it then occurred to me, that sometimes we are all expecting a great miracle, however, God gives us miracles, even in small doses. The fact that Jesus took time out just to heal a fever, means that He is watching us at all times, taking care of us at all times. He cares for us truly and deeply.
- Verse 20 was very interesting – I’m reading NKJV and it has “His,” not only in red but the ‘H’ in italics. So of course I stopped for the 1st time and actually considered why that FoN
t? I think it is because Jesus was stressing, that the Lord had no place on Earth no longer. Remember they have/had a temple for God, which is where He is supposedly to stay, but God turns away from Iniquity. He’s done it before and He will do it again. Jesus came at a time when the Israelites need salvation, their hearts needed to be turned back to God. It rightly says that we are the temple of God. If there is nobody righteous or keeping the commands of God, why would He stay in a filthy temple? I know for certain I wouldn’t stay in a filthy house. – 1st Corinthians 6:19
- Jesus used my favourite phrase – “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” (verse 26 – only recently has it become my favourite :P)
- I love how the demons are described so scary like and fierce and then Jesus comes along and they cower. It’s like wow! Jesus, you be Oga (Boss- Naija slang). It reminds me of David and Goliath. David, a small boy and Goliath, who is a giant and is 9 feet and some inches. My dad was explaining to me, how tall 9 feet was and I was shocked! I’m about 5ft8/9 and I would cower at him, so imagine how I would react to a demon, let alone ‘demonS,’ with all these T.V. programmes. It just reminds me of that bible verse – 1 John 4:4 – “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I remember quoting/paraphrasing this in my dream. I was up against a witch/demon and I was winning (big up Jesus!) and I said this and the battle was over. Isn’t it powerful to know the Word?! Isn’t it powerful to know that you have an identity in Christ?! The fact that His Holy Spirit abides in us and He has told us that we will do more and greater things, as His ambassador, should bring us up and encourage us!
- This chapter ends up hilarious. Not ‘ha ha hilarious,’ but ‘foolishness hilarious.’ Why? Because the people begged Jesus to leave! Jesus had just removed demons, who were described as ‘exceedingly fierce’ and sent them to live in a herd of swine, which eventually drowned and instead of praising God, they complain. Who can judge no one! We do this nowadays. God answers our prayers, but because it isn’t done according to what we have planned, we turn away. These people valued their swine (possessions) more than they valued Jesus’ help (God’s help!). We are like this today, putting our trust in our finances, man-made plans etc. God told us in Psalm 55:22 – “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” I honestly believe if they had gone to Jesus and asked Him, what should they do know, He would have helped. This is the same man that told His disciples to catch a fish and they would find money. God isn’t limited. He is able!
- In the old testament, I believe that only God could forgive in those times(I will have to brush up my reading). So it surprised me, that Jesus said to the scribes, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” – then it came to mind (fingers crossed by the Holy Spirit) that the scribes were not thinking in the way of how a parent would discipline a child. A parent reprimands a child out of love and tells them what they are doing is wrong, to teach them from the future. If the scribes would have been thinking that, I don’t think Jesus would have started off like that. I think it was with cruel intent, they must have planned in their hearts that they would use this to capture/imprison Jesus with this blaspheme.
- I’m starting to take notice of the use of italics in NKJV – because they must have been influenced by the Holy Spirit, to do things in a certain way. We just need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us, what He is trying to tell us through it.
- For example, Verse 5, Jesus continues and says, “Your sins are forgiven you…” to the scribes, the wording was never like that with the paralytic. Remember Jesus had come to bring us salvation, to redeem us, save us from our sins, and the scribes had already committed a sin in front of Jesus – they had thought ‘evil in their hearts.’ Jesus was basically forgiving them right there, right now. I wonder if they knew??
- We all understand that Jesus is the Son of God, but continuing from Verse 6 – He says “Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – The fact that He said Son of Man, justifies why we us normal humans can forgive others. It is like we are forgiving others for God.
- In Verse 9, we are introduced to Matthew aka tax collector/sinner. I think Jesus shows the correct balance for Christians. When we become Christians, accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our saviour, we change wholly. However, sometimes we can put on a holier than holy attitude, deeming people not holy enough to hang out with us or to even be in the same presence. However, with such attitude how can we bring anyone to the Lord. We are supposed to show love, being snobbish is not love. Exalting ourselves above others is not love. There is no point of preaching the Word to only Christians, because like Jesus said, He has come to call sinners to repent (paraphrase). Nonetheless, the Word has also warned us not to counsel with the foolish or the wicked – Psalms 1:1-2. When your sole confidants are non-Christians who live a life that can be deemed as the ungodly, then you need to rethink your relationship with God, because they are only going to drag you down with them and you’ll find that you’ve become a lukewarm Christian and we should know what God’s opinion on that is – “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” – Revelation 3:16
- Anybody want to explain Verse 16-17 to me? I feel like I know the answer, but that could be my pastor’s opinion. I want everyone’s opinion!
- “A woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years…” Famous story, that most people know, but I remember when someone mentioned that Jesus was a celebrity, whether famous/infamous that depends on your opinions. We all know how celebrity culture is today. You want to grab that celebrity that you love, touch them slightly, even a small feel seems to be sufficient. Jesus must have been experiencing this. Lots of people touching him, maybe even trying to take strand of hair as some lucky charm, but He stopped once the lady had touched His garment. Why is it that her touching was the one that stopped Him. That it was significant? Her faith – Jesus said, “…your faith has made you well.” We can all proclaim that we are Christians, that we go to Church, but it is only true faith in the Lord, that will move Him. That will bring Him into our presence.
- Lol. These people have seen God’s power, but yet they still ridiculed Jesus, doubting that He could raise a dead girl. But then again, she is dead – I don’t think Jesus had done something like this yet and I don’t think He had already proclaimed Himself as the Messiah, so it is understandable. I think what got me was the term ’ridicule,’ in my head I see laughter, a laughing clown. It reminds me when Sarah was caught by God laughing at His promise to bless her with a child, at the age of 90 – Genesis 18:12-15 – When God tells us something that are human mind cannot comprehend, we want to laugh. We are already doubting Him, wondering why is He messing about. Later on in Genesis 21:6 – Sarah laughed again, with joy, when she gave birth to Isaac. It’s like this laughter redeemed the previous laughter that she had in her heart. Her bitterness turned into joy! God has done this so many times – Psalm 30:11, Jeremiah 31, Isaiah 61:7, Psalm 34:5
- ‘Two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”’ – Mahnn! How could two blind people, let alone one blind person follow Jesus? Think about it. It is in the olden time, who knows if they had walking stick, trained dogs or a walking assistant to assist them. This is a crowd as well, they could have been brushed off away. They then called Jesus – ‘Son of David’ – who told them that Jesus was the Son of David? I don’t think in those time, they were going around proclaiming I am the Son of David to each other. They were still basking in the glory of being descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Son of David is a term that I associate with the Messiah. I don’t think Solomon, because it would be David’s son or son of David. It’s weird because I always thought that Peter was the first one to work it (and maybe he is, and I’ve interpreted this all wrong) – Matthew 16:16-20, but here we have two people who are blind, never before have they seen Jesus, but already proclaiming him Messiah. That right there is spiritually eyesight. The gift of discernment. Though blind, they could see what others could not.
- “He was moved with compassion for them…” There are times when we want to inherit spiritual Gifts from the Holy Spirit, because we want to shine, maybe we want our own church, books, T.V. shows and we understand that we need the power of the Holy Spirit. But God cannot give us these things. Jesus MOVED WITH COMPASSION. He moved with love. He saw that people needed help and He went to help. There’s a bible verse that says “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” – 1Corinthians 13:1-3 – Love is the greatest gift that God has parted on us and we must move in that.
- Jesus gave his disciples authority over unclean spirits. This is the same Jesus, that made those demons cower at His sight. The fact that we have the same power, the same Holy Spirit that was in Jesus, means we should be able to do the same things that Jesus did as a man on earth.
- “Freely you have received, freely give.” – Jesus didn’t request much from His disciples. He just said ‘Follow me.’ He taught them as they went along. They received the Word and the Holy Spirit. We as Christians have the same ability to give freely to non-Christians. To share Jesus to them and baptise them in the Holy Spirit. We can help them build a relationship with the Holy Spirit and be empowered to ‘heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons.’ In the previous chapter, Chapter 9 Verse 37-38, Jesus says “the harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.” The harvest is those that are yearning for Christ and we, are the labourers, we are supposed to gather them up and bring them to the Lord.
- God is a God of Justice. He isn’t a man that lies. He tells them in Verse 19-20, that they shouldn’t worry about speaking and He keeps that promise. Later on in Acts 2, Peter speaks with a bold and authoritative voice to the Jews on Pentecost, proclaiming of Jesus’ resurrection! What a change from a person who denied Jesus three time, to someone who is speaking against those that had Jesus killed.
- In Verse 23, I think what Jesus was telling us is, that we shouldn’t waste our time on those that do not receive the message, even though they have received the Word several times, because human life is short. It is even difficult for us to live to 120 and we cannot waste time trying to save one person, when we need to minister to the world. I always believe that even though it seems that the Word has not been firmly planted in a non-believer, the fact that you have sowed a seed, prayed about it, should be enough, because me/you could be the planter, but we may not be the person to harvest it. Maybe someone else will come along down the line and help that seed flourish
- Verse 34, I find hilarious, because Jesus is proclaimed the Prince of Peace, Jehovah Shalom (Our God, our peace) and here is Jesus saying that He ‘did not come to bring peace on earth, but a sword.’ – Of course it made sense, since Jesus is a holy being and the world is a corrupted place, even today it is corrupted and it is all glossed over with T.V. and movies, making it seem as though it is part of the norm. Jesus has come to bring the ‘sword’ – Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Jesus is the Word and everything He spoke was the Word. He was telling us, that He has brought Himself. He has brought the New Testament that should awaken their hearts and their spirit via the Holy Spirit!
- Verse 42, again with the italics – ‘water’ – I think it refers back to John 4, where Jesus meets the Samaritans and says that He will give them a “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” In the verse it says “in the name of a disciple,” and the disciples were the disciples of Jesus, so they had to emulate what Jesus was doing, especially since He had given them power. Therefore, we have the ability to give people, even the little ones (children) the everlasting life, the water that will cease all