Matthew 9 in Michael Card’s “Biblical Imagination” Series, 27Dec
I’m not writing so much these days as I am in deep learning (decompression time from Christmas too)
My Michael Card’s book “Gospel of Matthew” sits too quietly…. actually it screams out at me and I put off reading it – I should take time, I learn so much from it, I could not more highly recommend these 4 books on the gospels!!!!
Here is a tiny book report on the big topic of Mercy.
These are 3 excerpts from the 1st half of Matthew 9, who writes so condensed that there are years of thinking material in such few paragraphs.
I’ll share a few snippets of deep learning:
Matthew was renamed Matthew, he was Levi the tax collector. It was at his house where Jesus ate with many sinners, which upset the Pharisees. They asked, and Jesus said: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus wants us to know all our healing comes thru God’s mercy, not our doing.
Mercy, “lovingkindness”, is HESED in Hebrew. God gives hesed. He wants to give hesed.
Our healing can only come when we realize that we need healing – not be blind to our sin like the Pharisees. Jesus as a doctor comes to minister to the sick – not necessarily illness, but sick with sin.
Matthew shares about Jesus healing a paralyzed man because Jesus saw the impressive faith of his friends – Michael Card reminds us that we are to carry the burdens of our friends to Jesus. First Jesus heals the man from his sins – by forgiveness…. the physical healing follows suit… The forgiveness of sins is paramount to un-paralyzing us to get to heaven.
Jesus always wins praise for God not Himself – the people also gave all praise to God, they saw Jesus with God’s authority. Everything we do, we need to praise God for.
This is just the first half of one chapter – Matthew’s gospel is the gospel of identity…. It’s a whole new way of thinking for these disciples and crowd – Jesus speaks of not putting new wine in old sacks – not a new patch on old clothes – but instead a whole new way of thinking…. plus feasting NOT fasting when the bridegroom (Jesus) is actually present, and a reminder that He won’t always be present in the flesh, this is echoed in Michael Card’s song “Come to the Cradle”…. It is a call of living in a whole new way – thru Jesus – our new identity is in and thru Jesus. That’s the way…
The mightiest message in condensed form. Our identity as saved is THRU Jesus, praising God, realizing our sickness of sin, and desiring healing hesed mercy.
Jesus is the way… to God’s mercy…
Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
The Calling of Matthew
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus Questioned About Fasting
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”