Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 8:29-9:13

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Son of God – Matthew 8:29

Son of God. The demons recognize the truth about Jesus even when people do not (Matt. 3:17; 4:1-11).

Herd of pigs - Matthew 8:31

Herd of pigs. Jesus was ministering in the region of Gadarenes, which was mostly Gentile. The Jewish people considered pigs as unclean. When these Gentiles saw the power of this Jewish miracle worker they were afraid and asked him to leave their region (Matt. 8:34).

His own city – Matthew 9:1

His own city. Though Jesus was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth, at the beginning of his public ministry he resettled in Capernaum alongside the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 4:13), in fulfillment of the promise of God's light coming to Gentiles (Matt. 4:14-16).

This man is blaspheming - Matthew 9:3

"This man is blaspheming." To blaspheme means to speak irreverently or defiantly against God. Blasphemy was a serious crime in the OT, resulting in death (Lev. 24:10-16). The scribes accused Jesus of blasphemy because he pronounced God's forgiveness of sins even though he was not a priest nor had the paralyzed man offered the necessary sacrifices to be pronounced as forgiven. This is blasphemy according to the Law. They will also accuse Jesus as blasphemy at the end of his life when he claims to be the Son of Man in the presence of God (Matt. 26:64-66).

For any cause – Matthew 9:3

For any cause. There was debate among different Jewish groups in Jesus' day about what constituted sufficient grounds for a divorce. The Hillel group tended to be very open and allowed a man to divorce his wife for nearly any reason. The Shammai group was narrower in its interpretation and Jesus' own view was closer to theirs.

The Son's authority - Matthew 9:6

The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. The Son of Man was Jesus' self-designation. Here Jesus claimed for himself an action that only God can do in his own authority. Jesus is acting as the high priest of God, but even more, he is claiming to have this authority in himself (Matt. 7:26; 12:8; 17:5; 28:18).

Matthew - Matthew 9:9

A man named Matthew. Jesus called people to become his disciples regardless of their backgrounds. A Jewish tax-collector in Jesus' day was a person despised by other Jews because they were employed by the Roman government and contributed to the oppression of their own people. Matthew responded in faith to Jesus' call and became a disciple and the author of this Gospel.

He sat down to eat – Matthew 9:10

Jesus sat down to eat in the house. Sharing a meal in someone's house was a sign of fellowship and acceptance of that person. For Jesus to eat with tax collectors and other sinful people was shocking and caused the pious Pharisees to be angry and to object (Matt. 9:11).

Mercy, not sacrifice – Matthew 9:13

"I desire mercy and not sacrifice." This is one of two times that Jesus quoted Hosea 6:6 when in conflict with his enemies, the Pharisees (Matt. 12:7). This verse is part of the message of the OT prophets that God does not care about strict obedience to the external Law if his people do not love and show compassion toward one another. This message is central to Jesus' own teachings. The necessity of forgiving each other and showing compassion toward others is the main ethical teaching in Matthew (Matt. 6:14-15; 18:15-35; 23:23).

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