Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 8:5-34

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The centurion - Matthew 8:5

The centurion. During Jesus' day, Jewish people were ruled and oppressed by the Roman Empire. A centurion was a Roman solider who was in charge of 100 other men. Centurions were feared and hated by the Jewish people. This centurion recognized Jesus' authority, a repeated theme in Matthew (Matt. 7:29; 9:6; 11:27; 26:64; 28:18).

Such faith – Matthew 8:10

Not found such faith in Israel. The shocking point of Jesus' statement is that this Gentile centurion believed in Jesus and his authority while most of the surrounding Jewish people do not. This Gentile man's faith was commended as an example of God raising up faithful children for himself from stones (Matt. 3:9), and shows the contrast between many Gentiles who believed in Jesus while the Jewish leaders did not, such as with the foreign magi (Matt. 2:1-12).

Recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – Matthew 8:11

Recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is a picture of the final Messianic banquet (Isa. 25:6-9) in which both Jews and Gentiles will be in fellowship with each other and with God. Later Jesus will repeat the idea that many of the children of Abraham (the Jews) will be excluded from the banquet for their lack of faith and replaced by Gentiles who do believe (Matt. 21:33-46; 22:1-14; cf. Rom. 9:30-32).

Fulfilled that which was spoken - Matthew 8:17

Fulfilled that which had been spoken. Another example of the repeated theme in Matthew that shows that Jesus is the fulfillment of all of God's work in the world (see note at Matt. 1:22). Isaiah prophesied that the Suffering Servant would come to heal people's diseases, which is also a symbol for the forgiveness of sins (Isa. 53:4-6).

Teacher - Matthew 8:19

Teacherfollow. People correctly perceived that Jesus was a teacher or rabbi. This did not just mean that he taught truth but in the ancient world teachers were required to model what they taught and they called disciples to follow them and learn from them personally.

Son of Man – Matthew 8:20

Son of Man. This expression can mean simply "a human" but it also has a deeper meaning from Dan. 7:13-14 where a mysterious "Son of Man" comes to rule over all the world along with God. Jesus' regularly referred to himself with this title, and he explicitly connected himself with this Danielic Son of Man (Matt. 9:6; 16:13; 20:28; 24:27, 30; 26:64).

Little faith - Matthew 8:26

You of little faith. This expression appears several times in Matthew to refer to the disciples (Matt. 6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8). In the Gospels the disciples are shown to have faith in Jesus but who struggle to understand and follow, not like Jesus' enemies who are shown to be faithless.

What sort of man? – Matthew 8:27

What sort of man is this? The Gospel of Matthew, at the highest, level focuses on this question, showing Jesus to be the incarnation of God himself, the Messiah, the Son of God. In chapters 5–9 Matthew is highlighting Jesus' authority — in teaching (Matt. 7:29), in healing people (Matt. 8:13), over demons Matt. (8:32), to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6), and even over creation itself (Matt. 8:27) by still the sea, something only God can do (Ps, 29:3-4; 65:5-7; 89:9; 107:23-30).

Demon - Matthew 8:28

Demons. Demons are spiritual beings who oppose God and have some power to do evil in the world, also called evil spirits (Matt. 10:1). The prince of demons is Satan (Matt. 9:34; 12:24-28), who opposed Jesus from the beginning and was unsuccessful in tempting him (Matt. 4:1-11). Jesus has all authority over any demons and can control and command them.

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