Matthews 9 – New Testament in a year
So far Matthew has shown Jesus’ power of nature and the demonic, now he shows His power to forgive sins. It’s another healing, to the Jews people couldn’t be healed until forgiven. Jesus takes upon himself only what God can do – forgive sins. That brings a charge of blasphemy.
Matthew is stressing Jesus’ authority – his teaching 7:28, his power over sickness, over nature and over demons. Climatically now his power over sin. What a Lord and Saviour we have!
Verses 9-13 show us Matthew’s call “Follow me!”, and he does just that. Then Matthew throws what we have learned to call a Matthew party – mixing his Christian and not yet Christian friends together for food and fun to see what the Lord will do. Most of our life groups do them often!
Then Jesus answers a question with some teaching about wineskins. New wine needs a new wineskin. You can’t just tack Christianity onto Judaism, it’s new wine. Similarly today the new wine of the Spirit as we have rediscovered authentic New Testament Christianity with its emphasis on grace and walking in the power of the Spirit for everyday life and ministry. That’s new wine that doesn’t sit well in old traditional wineskins. You can’t just patch it on and hope it will all be okay. New churches are needed that love the Word, welcome the Spirit and work to be authentically New Testament in style and substance. That’s what we are doing at The Gateway.
The next three miracles are all of people who were unclean under the old wineskin – a woman with constant bleeding, a dead girl and a blind and mute. All so how unclean, or outcast from the old wineskin. As Michael Green puts it “new sight for the blind, new speech for the dumb, new health for the sick, new life for the dead!” What a great Lord and Saviour! Follow Him! Serve Him!