Jesus heals a paralyzed man. He calls Matthew. He discusses fasting. He heals many more. He speaks of the urgent need for evangelizers. [UPDATED]
VERSE 1. He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city.
VERSE 2. Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you.”
seeing their faith. Their faith wasn’t just an idea inside their head. No, they acted on it. They did something. Faith is just an idea within us until we act upon it.
Your sins are forgiven you. In Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven!
VERSE 3. Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes.”
VERSE 4. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
VERSE 5. For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk?’
VERSE 6. But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins-” (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, and take up your mat, and go to your house.”
VERSE 7. He arose and departed to his house.
VERSE 8. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
VERSE 9. As Jesus passed by from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax collection office. He said to him, “Follow me.” He got up and followed him.
VERSE 10. As he sat in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
VERSE 11. When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
VERSE 12. When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick do.
VERSE 13. But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
I desire mercy, and not sacrifice:
Sirach 11:34. Receive a stranger into your house, and he will distract you with brawls, And estrange you from your own.
Isaiah 58:6. “Isn’t this the fast that I have chosen: to release the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Matthew 9:13. But you go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice, for I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 25:35. for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.
3 John 1:5. Beloved, you do a faithful work in whatever you accomplish for those who are brothers and strangers.
I came not to call … sinners to repentance. What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels.
And who is righteous? Nobody. So we could paraphrase the Lord’s words like this: “I came to call everybody.”
VERSE 14. Then John’s disciples came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don’t fast?”
VERSE 15. Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.
VERSE 16. No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch would tear away from the garment, and a worse hole is made.
VERSE 17. Neither do people put new wine into old wine skins, or else the skins would burst, and the wine be spilled, and the skins ruined. No, they put new wine into fresh wine skins, and both are preserved.”
VERSE 18. While he told these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
a ruler came and worshiped him. With great urgency, the official asks Jesus Christ for a miracle. He was hungry for his daughter to be brought back from death.
VERSE 19. Jesus got up and followed him, as did his disciples.
VERSE 20. Behold, a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years came behind him, and touched the fringe† of his garment;
If I just touch his garment, I will be made well. This woman took a big step of faith. Previously, she had an idea in her mind. Now, she took a concrete step to act on it. She stepped out in faith. Her idea became real.
VERSE 22. But Jesus, turning around and seeing her, said, “Daughter, cheer up! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
Your faith has made you well. How was it that she was saved? Wasn’t it that Jesus cured her? Or was it that she cured herself?
Jesus says she cured herself. “Your faith has made you well,” he says.
In many other contexts, Jesus says something like this: ‘According to your faith will it be done for you.’ It is vital for us to have strong faith. We are to believe for great and wonderful things.
VERSE 23. When Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd in noisy disorder,
VERSE 24. he said to them, “Make room, because the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping.” They were ridiculing him.
VERSE 25. But when the crowd was put out, he entered in, took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
VERSE 26. The report of this went out into all that land.
VERSE 27. As Jesus passed by from there, two blind men followed him, calling out and saying, “Have mercy on us, son of David!”
VERSE 28. When he had come into the house, the blind men came to him. Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They told him, “Yes, Lord.”
Do you believe that I am able to do this? In order for their prayer to be answered, Jesus asks the blind men if they believe that he can do it. For our prayers to be answered, we must believe that God can do it.
According to your faith be it done to you. Jesus answers their prayers to the extent of their belief.
VERSE 30. Their eyes were opened. Jesus strictly commanded them, saying, “See that no one knows about this.”
VERSE 31. But they went out and spread abroad his fame in all that land.
VERSE 32. As they went out, behold, a mute man who was demon possessed was brought to him.
VERSE 33. When the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke. The multitudes marveled, saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!”
VERSE 34. But the Pharisees said, “By the prince of the demons, he casts out demons.”
VERSE 35. Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness among the people.
VERSE 36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were harassed and scattered, like sheep without a shepherd.
he was moved with compassion for them. When Jesus Christ beheld this vast crowd, he felt compassion for them.
harassed and scattered. These people were eager for answers. However, their shepherds were not providing the answers they needed. What were the shepherds doing
They were harassing their people: “they were harassed.”
They were dividing their people. “they were … scattered.”
1 Peter 2:25. For you were going astray like sheep; but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
sheep without a shepherd. Their religious leaders were not true shepherds. Rather, their shepherds used their position of spiritual leadership for their own benefit. They used their position to harass and divide their people.
When shepherds misuse their authority like that, it is a type of abuse.
Psalm 142:4. Look on my right, and see; for there is no one who is concerned for me. Refuge has fled from me. No one cares for my soul.
Hebrews 5:2. The high priest can deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, because he himself is also surrounded with weakness.
VERSE 37. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
The harvest is plentiful. Jesus was calling them to evangelize the whole world. That is a vast project. And even in our day, the harvest is still plentiful.
Billions of people want what we Christians have to offer. Yet we Christians hardly bother to tell people what they want to hear about Jesus Christ. After two millennia, our work of evangelizing the world is far from complete.
the the laborers are few. For the project of evangelizing the whole world. Jesus only had the Twelve. They possessed his evangelism-mindset. But few others did.
In our day, the workers are still few. They majority of professing Christians do not have an evangelism-mindset. They are quite happy to let other people live their lives deprived of the richness of knowing Jesus Christ.
Luke 10:2. Then he said to them, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest.
send out labourers. The need is for more evangelizers. The project of evangelizing the world needs more laborers.
In those days, the number of laborers did grow. On one of the missionary journeys that Christ sent them on, there were only Twelve. On a later journey, there were 72. That represents exponential growth.
In our day, the need continues for more laborers. Perhaps you will join the pool of laborers that Jesus Christ sends out to evangelize the world!
The Lord Jesus calls us to take his Gospel to the whole world. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
Jeremiah 33:22. As the army of the sky can’t be counted, and the sand of the sea can’t be measured; so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant and the Levites who minister to me.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.