Daily Devotional

March 2, 2021

Daybreak: Matthew 9:1-34

“But when the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.” (Matthew 9:8)

Recently, I attended a funeral where a man paid tribute to his Christian father. In describing the deceased man’s life, the son listed a number of his father’s accomplishments. First, he shared that his father had become a Christian when eight years old, and for sixty years had been faithful to God and his church. At the age of fourteen, his father quit school to help support their family of eleven. When nineteen, he married. An industrious man, he engaged in commercial fishery, forestry, logging, and trucking. In later years, he operated an oil truck, and ran his own variety store, selling everything from groceries to clothing and furniture. He had ended his working days as a carpenter on construction sites. As the son concluded his description, those in attendance at the funeral realized that his father had truly enjoyed a busy and productive life. His accomplishments proved it!

Today’s focus verse brings out that the miracles Jesus performed convinced people of His divine power. Many of those who associated with Him during His time on earth did not believe He was the Son of God. They saw him as just a carpenter’s son, and could not conceive that one who grew up in Nazareth could be their Messiah and King. However, His miracles, such as forgiving sins, healing the sick, and even raising the dead, confirmed what He said of Himself — that He was the Son of God.

Words do not amount to much if they are not backed up with actions. We can say we love God and are serving Him, but we must be sure that the way we live makes the same statement. When we proclaim we are Christians, then the responsibility lies with us to prove to the whole world that we indeed are. The lives we live will produce the proof!

Background

Jesus never stayed where He was not wanted, so after the Gergesenes urged Him to depart from their coasts, Christ returned to Capernaum, the principal place of His residence at that time (see Mark 2:1). We never read that He visited the country of the Gergesenes again. 

While at Capernaum, the events recorded in this chapter occurred. Through these manifestations of His power, Jesus proved Himself to be a skillful, faithful physician, both of the soul and the body. His attention to physical needs was evident when He:

  • Healed the man with palsy (verses 2-8)
  • Raised to life the ruler’s daughter and healed the diseased woman (verses 18-26)
  • Gave sight to two blind men (verses 27-31)
  • Cast the devil out of one who was possessed (verses 32-34)
  • Healed all manner of sicknesses (verse 35)

Jesus’ care for the spiritual needs of people is also clear in this chapter, as He: 

  • Forgave sins (verse 2)
  • Called Matthew to be a disciple (verse 9)
  • Conversed freely with publicans and sinners (verses 10-13)
  • Discoursed on the duty of fasting (verses 14-15)
  • Preached the Gospel

These were all remarkable instances of the Lord’s power and compassion. The miracles caused people to give glory to God because He had delegated such authority to Jesus. Christ’s works of healing and forgiving were signs that God’s Kingdom was dawning.

In verse 9, we read of the call of Matthew, the author of this Gospel, whom Mark and Luke refer to as Levi. It was customary for a person to have two names: perhaps Matthew was the name he was known by as a publican, and therefore he called himself by that name, rather than by the more honorable name of Levi. Some think Christ gave him the name of Matthew when He called him to be an apostle, just as Simon was surnamed Peter. The name Matthew means “the gift of God.” The “receipt of customs” where Matthew was sitting when Christ passed by was the toll booth in the street where tax collectors sat to receive various taxes.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III.   The proofs of the King’s claims
       E.   Authority to forgive sin (9:1-8)
       F.   Authority over men (9:9)
       G.   Authority to meet spiritual needs (9:10-13)
       H.   Authority over tradition (9:14-17)
       I.   Authority over death (9:18-26)
       J.   Authority over blindness (9:27-31)
       K.   Authority over speechlessness (9:32-34)

A Closer Look

  1. Why did the teachers of the Law believe Jesus was blaspheming?
     
  2. Why do you think the religious leaders were so threatened by Jesus’ ministry?
     
  3. What have you experienced that has prompted you to express awe at the power, authority, or compassion of Jesus?

Conclusion

The Gergesenes desired Christ to depart, but the people of Capernaum received Him and were blessed by the miracles He performed in their midst. If Christ is rejected by some, there are others who will receive Him. Those who do so will benefit, both here and in eternity!

Reference Materials