Matthew Bible Study Lesson 30

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More Miracles and Signs

Matthew 9:16—34

 

New and old (verses 16—17)

Throughout the Gospels we see a contrast between the leadership of Israel (Scribes and Pharisees) and Christ’s teaching. The Pharisees want to hang on to their old traditions while Jesus Christ is teaching that there are changes coming and they had better let loose of the old and hang on to the new. Jesus explains that there is no room for the old any more because the new is coming. If you put new wine in old containers the containers will burst and you will have a worthless bag and spilled wine. If you put new cloth on an old garment the new cloth will shrink up and pull away from the old making the tear worse. If you try to fit the Kingdom teachings in with the traditions of the elders the message of the Kingdom will be distorted. The people needed to turn away from the traditions of their leaders and accept Christ’s teaching of the soon-to-come Kingdom.

The new Kingdom teachings that Jesus put forth will not fit with the old Pharisaic practices.  They were suppose to be the teachers and leaders of the nation but instead were using the nation for their own benefit (Ezekiel 34:1—16). The nation’s leaders rejected everything Jesus taught. Jesus even had to tell them (Matthew 9:13) to go learn what Hosea 6:6 meant by God desiring compassion rather than sacrifice. The leaders were so wrapped up in their way of doing things that they rejected Christ’s teachings. The bad shepherds will be replaced with the perfect Shepherd in the Millennial Kingdom. It was impossible for Jesus to fit His teachings into the teaching of the Pharisees.

A miracle within a miracle (verses 18—26; Mark 5:22—43; Luke 8:41—56)

Matthew continues to show Christ as Israel’s future King and Messiah by highlighting His ability to heal all those who come to Him (Matthew 4:24; 8:16; 12:15; 15:30; 19:2). Only a few of the very many who were healed were highlighted in the gospels. As John says (21:25), “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

These miracles continue with the raising of a ruler’s daughter and the healing of a woman with an issue of blood immediately after Jesus spoke of not fitting the old with the new.  A synagogue official, a ruler over Israel, came up to Jesus imploring Him to come to raise his daughter from the dead. Mark and Luke make it clear that the little girl was still alive when he came up to Jesus and the girl died after Jesus was detained by the woman with the issue of blood. The ruler was notified by one of his servants that his daughter had died (Mark 5:35). It’s not a coincidence that the daughter was 12 years old and the woman had the issue of blood for 12 years. The number 12 often relates to Israel and in this case the two females seem to be representative of Israel’s condition. Also, since Jesus had just spoken the parable of the new wine in old wineskins and new cloth on old clothing it would make sense that these healings relate to what He had just spoken.

I believe the young girl who had just died represents Israel. Israel is in such bad shape that there is seemingly no hope for her. It is only through Christ that she has any hope of reviving. From out of dead Israel is being called a new nation, the Little Flock or righteous remnant of believers (Matthew 21:43). Notice that the woman reaches out to Jesus because she knows (has faith) that He can heal her. According to Leviticus 15 this woman was unclean during this whole time and from Mark 5:26 we learn she had tried everything humanly possible to be healed but was only made worse. Those who come into the Little Flock leave everything immediately and follow Jesus. They know their need and know the One who can take care of their need, just as this woman did. Christ was the only One who could heal and cleanse. Those who do not put the Kingdom ahead of everything else are not going to be a part of the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33; 8:19—22; Mark 10:29—31). Israel will not be revived by the old system based on the traditions of the leaders.

Israel’s condition is portrayed as a pile of old bones in the Old Testament that will be brought back to life by the power of God and the breath of the Spirit (Ezekiel 37). Israel will once again be a nation planted forever in the land promised to her by God. This can only happen after the fires of the Tribulation have purified Israel (Zechariah 13). Right now God is not dealing with Israel as a nation although He is preserving her for the end-time prophetic events that will take place after the Rapture of the Church after which God will once again deal with Israel as a nation and according to prophecy (Romans 3:22; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:28).

When Jesus came to the ruler’s house He announced that the girl was not dead but only sleeps. Since most of Israel was so far from God they didn’t recognize their Messiah was in their midst and scornfully laughed at him because they knew she was dead. Jesus took Peter, James and John along with the girl’s parents and went into the room with the dead girl. With a command, the girl was given life. Jesus told them not to say anything about this miracle.

Two blind men (verses 27—31)

Coming out of the house Jesus was followed by two blind men. They implored Him saying: “Son of David, have mercy on us.” As in the other healings they knew Christ was their only hope. The title Son of David refers to Christ’s relationship to King David and His suitability to sit on the throne. Matthew 1 and Luke 3 show clearly the genealogical relationship Jesus has with David through Joseph by adoption and Mary His mother. Those who use this title for Jesus know He is the Messiah. What these blind men saw was completely missed by the leaders of Israel (John 9:39).

The two men probably represent the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel that will be reunited in the Millennial Kingdom (Ezekiel 37:16—28). Jesus healed them because they had faith that He could heal them. They didn’t muster up enough faith in themselves that they could be healed. The object of their faith was Jesus Christ. Jesus once again told them that they should tell no one about the healing.

The mute man (verses 32—34)

Next, a man who wasn’t able to speak was brought to Jesus. This man couldn’t speak because he was demon possessed and was kept from communicating. Israel was to be the light of the world. It was through Israel that the rest of the world would hear about the good news of Christ. However, Israel failed miserably in her mission and because Satan had a hold on the people they were unable to communicate what Christ could do for them. This healing amazed the multitudes but only made the leaders jealous because Jesus was taking away their power over the people (John 11:47—48; 12:37—43).

The Pharisees rejected the testimony of Christ and attributed His miracles to Satan.