Black Friday 2018 - Christmas Sale

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 7:23 AM

Mike Tourangeau:

I am intrigued by the "Teaching the Bible series" Can anyone offer any input on the quality of material? Do you find it helpful?

It’s a great resource, but I prefer the Teach the Text series better: https://www.logos.com/product/146462/teach-the-text-commentary-series AND https://www.logos.com/product/155708/teach-the-text-collection-upgrade

I do own the volume on Romans and I wasn’t disappointed though. So it’s a matter of preference. I haven’t seen an upgrade on the one you’re looking at, but then again, Teach the Text won’t be seeing any more upgrades either. I think the series got canceled.

DAL

Posts 1190
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 7:46 AM

DAL:

Mike Tourangeau:

I am intrigued by the "Teaching the Bible series" Can anyone offer any input on the quality of material? Do you find it helpful?

It’s a great resource, but I prefer the Teach the Text series better: https://www.logos.com/product/146462/teach-the-text-commentary-series AND https://www.logos.com/product/155708/teach-the-text-collection-upgrade

I do own the volume on Romans and I wasn’t disappointed though. So it’s a matter of preference. I haven’t seen an upgrade on the one you’re looking at, but then again, Teach the Text won’t be seeing any more upgrades either. I think the series got canceled.

DAL

Would someone with either of these resources be able to screenshot Matthew 8? With the sale there is a big price difference.......

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 8:42 AM

Mike Tourangeau:

I am intrigued by the "Teaching the Bible series" Can anyone offer any input on the quality of material? Do you find it helpful?

It‘s a good series to help preachers think through how they would preach on a biblical book. It’s not a commentary although some volumes comment on most or even all passages. I find it particularly helpful when planning a series.

Posts 9866
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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 9:56 AM

Mike Tourangeau:
Would someone with either of these resources be able to screenshot Matthew 8? With the sale there is a big price difference.......

I found that I already own TTB (while "teach the text" seems to require quite some investment). Mt 8 is not a deeply focused-upon passage:

Running Logos 8 latest beta version on Win 10

Posts 6158
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 10:44 AM

Copying and pasting an entire chapter would’ve been better than a screenshot.  I like TTB but I’d rather wait for a sale on the TTTC as is more polished IMO

DAL

Posts 943
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 4:50 PM

Again, not much in this sale for me.  I have not bought hardly anything in 2 years now.  Didn't do the L7 upgrade, probably will not do the L8.  I wonder what part of the user segment I am: Logos user for over a decade, have most of the library I want, and am not interested in several hundred dollar uprgrades every 2 years. 

Posts 47
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 7:42 PM

Mike Tourangeau:
Would someone with either of these resources be able to screenshot Matthew 8? With the sale there is a big price difference.......

Posts 1190
Mike Tourangeau | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 7:45 PM

Thank you everyone for your responses. I think I will pick this up, at this price its a good buy

Posts 47
Daniel Bender | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 17 2018 7:56 PM

DAL:

Copying and pasting an entire chapter would’ve been better than a screenshot.  I like TTB but I’d rather wait for a sale on the TTTC as is more polished IMO

DAL

None of the pictures copied to the word document, but you have the text of Mt 8:1 thru Mt 9:8

Matthew 8:1–17

Jesus, Isaiah’s Servant of the Lord, Heals Many

Big Idea Matthew encourages his readers to trust in Jesus, as he brings the power of God’s kingdom to bear upon human sickness and suffering, both to Israel and as a foreshadowing of Gentile inclusion.

 

Key Themes of Matthew 8:1–17

 

▪      Jesus as healer signals the arrival of God’s kingdom in light of Isaianic hopes.

▪      Disciples are called to have faith in the authority of Jesus over illness.

▪      Gentiles are included in the coming kingdom.

 

Understanding the Text

The Text in Context

As Matthew’s earlier summary of Jesus’ teaching (4:23–25) indicates, Jesus’ messianic ministry is characterized by preaching (4:17), teaching (5:1–7:29), and healing (8:1–9:38). This section of Matthew introduces Jesus’ healing and miraculous ministry in Galilee, accentuating themes of Jesus’ authority, the importance of faith for discipleship, and Gentile inclusion in the coming kingdom of God. Jesus’ authority and corresponding faith in Jesus will be themes that pervade chapters 8–9. Matthew also cites from Isaiah’s Servant Songs (Isa. 42:1–4; 49:1–6; 50:4–9; 52:13–53:12) to connect Jesus’ healing ministry to Isaiah’s servant figure (Isa. 53:4, quoted in Matt. 8:17). By using Isaiah, Matthew indicates that Jesus is the Isaianic “servant” who willingly and compassionately takes on Israel’s suffering as Israel’s representative for the purpose of bringing God’s kingdom and salvation. Matthew will stress this connection again at 12:18–21 (citing Isa. 42:1–4).

Interpretive Insights

8:1 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. This transition verse from the Sermon on the Mount to chapters 8–9 parallels 5:1, where we hear that “when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside.” This repetition forms an inclusio that frames the sermon and highlights Matthew’s movement from the words of the Messiah (chaps. 5–7) to the deeds of the Messiah (chaps. 8–9) (see the “Narrative Outline of Matthew 8–9”).

 

The first part of Matthew 8 is set in and around Capernaum. This aerial view of the area of Capernaum shows the Sea of Galilee and some of the excavations, which include the fourth- to fifth-century AD synagogue, the octagonal roof covering what some believe to be Peter’s house, and walls outlining many insulae and individual dwellings.

 

8:2 A man with leprosy. The term lepros may indicate a number of types of more serious skin diseases, much like the related language in the Hebrew Bible (tsara‘at [e.g., Lev. 13:2]). Jesus heals this man by touching him (8:3), a gesture not lost on Matthew’s audience, which certainly is familiar with the Levitical regulations regarding the impurity contracted by a person who touches someone who is ceremonially impure (e.g., Lev. 5:3). Jesus’ command to follow the Mosaic regulations for ceremonial cleansing from such a disease signals his adherence to the Jewish Torah (8:4; cf. Lev. 14:1–32).

8:3 I am willing … Be clean! With these words, Matthew highlights Jesus’ compassion, a theme that will be evident in the various healings of chapters 8–9 and will be mentioned explicitly at 9:13, 36 (see also 14:14; 15:32). And not only is Jesus a compassionate and merciful Messiah, but also he calls his followers to show mercy as a way of living out their covenant fidelity (e.g., 5:7; 9:13; 12:7; 23:23). The request of the leper (8:2) also demonstrates Jesus’ authority (“you can make me clean”), another christological theme in chapters 8–9.

8:5 a centurion came to him. This healing story focuses on the request from a centurion, presumably a Roman, but certainly a Gentile. There was a Roman military presence in the area of Capernaum, which was near a major trade route and had a customs station. Centurions were commanders of approximately eighty soldiers. A centurion had a middling role in the hierarchy of the Roman army, being situated below those who commanded cohorts (consisting of six centuries) and those who commanded a legion (consisting of ten cohorts). Matthew highlights this centurion’s position as both under and above others in this system (8:9) to make an analogy. The presence of kai (“also”) at the front of the Greek sentence indicates that the centurion compares his situation in some way with Jesus’ authority: “I [also] am a man under authority” (8:9). As Matthew will demonstrate, Jesus receives his authority from God and has authority over the whole created realm (e.g., 8:23–27; 28:18). Somehow, this Gentile centurion understands the nature of Jesus’ authority that would allow him to heal from a distance (8:8).

Narrative Outline of Matthew 8–9

 

              8:1–17    Three healing accounts: Jesus “takes up infirmities”

 

                  8:1–4    A man cleansed of leprosy

 

                8:5–13    A centurion’s servant healed of paralysis

 

              8:14–15    Peter’s mother-in-law cured of fever

 

              8:16–17    Exorcisms and healings by Jesus the Isaianic servant

 

            8:18–22    Discipleship teaching: leaving all to follow Jesus

 

           8:23–9:8    Three miracle accounts: Jesus has authority

 

              8:23–27    A storm calmed

 

              8:28–34    Demons exorcised

 

                  9:1–8    A man healed of paralysis and his sins forgiven

 

              9:9–17    Discipleship teachings: sinners welcomed and fasting explained

 

            9:18–34    Three healing accounts: responses of faith, amazement, rejection

 

              9:18–26    A girl raised from death and a woman healed of bleeding

 

              9:27–31    Two men cured of blindness

 

              9:32–34    A demon exorcised from a man and his muteness cured

 

            9:35–38    Summary of Jesus’ ministry and transition to the Mission Discourse

 

8:6 my servant. Here Matthew uses pais, which can indicate a “servant/slave” or a “child.” Given that centurions were prohibited from legally marrying (although nonlegal marriages were common), it is likely that this pais was the centurion’s servant and not his son (see the parallel in Luke 7:2, where doulos [“slave”] is used).

8:7 Shall I come and heal him? Whether this verse is a question or a statement (“I will come and heal him”) is debated, as the earliest manuscripts lacked punctuation needed to distinguish between the two. Contextual factors can provide evidence for either rendering, because although the immediate context shows Jesus overcoming boundaries (e.g., touching a leper), the broader context strongly emphasizes the Jewish mission of Jesus (15:24; cf. 10:5–6). Given the lack of punctuation in the earliest manuscripts, we must use grammatical cues to discern the correct reading. In this case, the presence of egō (“I”) at the front of the sentence provides an implicit contrast as well as an emphasis suggesting that Matthew has framed 8:7 as a question: “Shall I come and heal him?” The point of the question would be to express wonder at a Gentile coming to a Jewish healer for help. Jesus expresses similar hesitation toward the one other Gentile seeker included in Matthew, the Canaanite woman, based on his mission to Israel (15:21–28).

8:8 Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. Does this statement illuminate the cultural realities between Jews and Gentiles in the first century, or does it reflect a more general deference on the part of the centurion toward Jesus? Scholars who suggest the former highlight the purity concerns that Jews would have about entering a Gentile’s house. Yet these issues should not be exaggerated. Most Jews would be ritually unclean regularly in the course of their lives, since ritual impurity was caused by many common life occurrences (e.g., bodily emissions, births, and deaths), and regaining ritual purity was not a particularly onerous process. Sometimes it only took waiting until sundown for certain impurities to be cleansed. Additionally, Matthew does not highlight purity concerns explicitly in this passage; instead, the missional boundary of Jesus’ ministry appears to be the issue in his Gentile interactions (e.g., 15:24).

8:10 I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. This affirmation of a Gentile’s faith is quite startling in the context of Matthew’s story, since the focus of Jesus’ messianic ministry has been on Israel (4:17; 15:24). It is not coincidental that the two characters in Matthew’s story who are described (by Jesus) as having “great faith” are precisely the two clearly identified Gentiles in the story (here and 15:21–28). Prior to his death and resurrection, Jesus is portrayed as staying within the missional parameters set for him (15:24; cf. 10:5–6). After Jesus’ resurrection, Matthew affirms the universal scope of the mission: to “all nations,” which includes both Jew and Gentile (28:19).

8:11–12 many will come from the east and the west. This imagery and language derive from the Old Testament, and specifically from contexts that provide consolation to Israel during the exile. God will bring Israel’s exiles back from the east and west (Ps. 107:3; Zech. 8:7). For example, in Isaiah 43:5 we hear Yahweh comforting Israel:

Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

I will bring your children from the east

and gather you from the west.

The astonishing twist in the use of this Old Testament motif in Matthew 8 is that the “many” joining the messianic feast will include Gentiles. The reference to the exclusion of the “subjects of the kingdom” is not meant to be exhaustive; Jews most certainly will be included in the kingdom (e.g., the twelve disciples and the many seekers who put their faith in him [e.g., Matt. 8:1–4; 9:1–8]). The effect of the hyperbole for Matthew’s audience, however, is to provide a warning against Jewish presumption of inclusion based simply on heritage (3:9) and to reemphasize the theme of Gentile inclusion in the kingdom.

8:17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah. Matthew cites Isaiah to frame Jesus’ identity as he does across his narrative.

Matthew

 

Isaiah

 

1:23

 

7:14

 

3:3

 

40:3

 

4:14–16

 

9:1–2

 

8:17

 

53:4

 

11:5

 

35:4–6; 61:1 (clear allusions)

 

12:18–21

 

42:1–4

 

13:15

 

6:9–10

 

15:9

 

29:13

 

21:13

 

56:7

 

In 8:17 Matthew draws from Isaiah 53:4, part of Isaiah’s Servant Songs (Isa. 42:1–4; 49:1–6; 50:4–9; 52:13–53:12) (see the “Jesus as Isaiah’s Servant Figure” in the unit on 12:15–21). Matthew draws upon the image of God’s chosen servant to explain Jesus’ healing ministry: “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases” (8:17 NLT). Although Matthew does connect Jesus’ death to the language of Isaiah 53 (e.g., allusions to Isa. 53 at Matt. 20:28; 26:28), this citation makes it clear that Jesus’ entire ministry should be understood as connected to Isaiah’s servant figure, who acts on behalf of Israel for restoration and wholeness.

Theological Insights: Old Testament Precursors of Gentile Inclusion

Matthew begins and ends his Gospel highlighting the theme of Gentile inclusion. Gentiles are surprising additions to Jesus’ genealogy and birth (1:3, 5, 6; 2:1), and the mission to all nations closes out the Gospel (28:18–20). This Matthean theme (also at 4:15; 8:5–13; 15:21–28; 21:43; 24:14) builds on Israel’s mission to the nations expressed in the Old Testament. From Abram’s call to be a blessing to “all the peoples on earth” (Gen. 12:3) to Israel’s mandate to be a “kingdom of priests” (Exod. 19:6), the mission of God through Israel was for the nations. While various historical books give testimony to particular examples of Gentiles included in or ministered to by Israel (e.g., Rahab, Ruth, Naaman, the widow of Zarephath), the prophets often envision a time when the nations will stream into Jerusalem and receive the overflow of Israel’s redemption and restoration (e.g., Isa. 2:2–5; 60:1–3; 66:18–21; Mic. 4:1–5; Zech. 14:16–19).

Teaching the Text

1. As he narrates the healing ministry of Jesus, Matthew indicates the arrival of God’s kingdom. By drawing from Isaiah 53 after narrating three healing miracles (8:1–17), Matthew leads the reader to view Jesus’ power and compassion to heal in light of the Isaiah text: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases” (8:17). Although Matthew draws on a specific Isaiah text that highlights the Servant of the Lord as healer, Isaiah’s broader vision of restoration enacted through this servant figure develops across Matthew’s story line, as he layers in Isaiah quotations to explain what Jesus is doing (with likely allusions to Isa. 42:1 at Matt. 3:17; 17:5, and Isa. 53:11–12 at Matt. 20:28; 26:28). In Jesus, the restoration forecasted by Isaiah breaks into this world as Jesus announces the kingdom and performs healings and other miraculous signs. In this way, Matthew shows that Jesus as the Isaianic Servant of the Lord and Messiah-King inaugurates God’s reign.

2. Matthew encourages readers to put their faith in Jesus and his authority over sickness. In the larger section of 5:1–9:38 Matthew emphasizes Jesus’ authority to teach and do miracles. In this specific passage Matthew highlights that Jesus has power over illness and disease and encourages his readers to trust that Jesus is both compassionate and powerful to heal (8:2–3, 10–13). Such faith in Jesus’ power, however, is not disconnected from Jesus’ person as God’s agent of restoration and reign. As throughout Matthew, Jesus’ words and deeds point to his identity as the Messiah and the bringer of salvation and wholeness. So in our preaching and teaching of this part of Matthew we can help paint a picture of Jesus as the one who brings God’s restoration and is both compassionate and powerful.

 

As Jesus enters the town of Capernaum, a centurion, a Gentile, asks for his help. Centurions were officers in the Roman military. This funerary monument depicts a centurion who served with the Twentieth Legion (first century AD).

 

3. Gentiles will be included in the coming kingdom of God. The second healing vignette in this passage again highlights the Matthean motif of Gentile inclusion (already in 1:3, 5–6; 2:1; 4:15). In this text Jesus heals a centurion’s servant (8:13) and comments on the inclusion of Gentiles in the coming kingdom (8:11). The fact that contemporary Christian readers are accustomed to and comfortable with the notion of Gentile inclusion in God’s people (without conversion to Judaism) should not dull our senses to the surprising nature of Jesus’ words and Matthew’s point. Although non-Jews would have been welcomed into Israel when they converted to Judaism (via circumcision and Torah obedience), an influx into the church of Gentiles who remain Gentiles was a surprising development within the early church (see Acts 10; 15).

Two teaching points emerge from this theological emphasis. First, Gentile inclusion is both an expression of God’s faithfulness to promises made and a vision of God’s wide embrace. Both motifs are eminently suitable for preaching and teaching from Matthew. Second, as the later church will struggle to understand (Acts 10; 15), Gentiles coming into the people of God through Jesus the Messiah should not be required to obey the Torah in all its facets (i.e., convert to Judaism) in order to be equal members in the church with their Jewish brothers and sisters. Matthew gives a prelude to this reality when he narrates the postresurrection Jesus calling his disciples to obey all that he has commanded (28:20). Torah obedience is refracted through the lens of Jesus’ own Torah teaching. It is his teachings that are now authoritative for the Christian community.

Illustrating the Text

Matthew encourages readers to put their faith in Jesus and his authority over sickness

Quote: Here is a prayer for healing from the Book of Common Prayer: “O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Gentiles will be included in the coming kingdom of God

Fiction: This “letter” from the perspective of a first-century Jewish believer in Jesus, written by Bethel Seminary graduate Michelle I. Winger, illustrates the complex nature of Gentile inclusion in the early church.

Dearest Mama,

I am half-joyful, half-heartsick and turn to you for help in this time of upheaval and hope. At first I feared this conflict stemmed from my own sinful pride—that I, a Jewish wife and mother, have always kept a clean, kosher home. Now, because our Messiah Jesus has come, I am expected to let little Sarah play and study with Dianna (our pagan neighbor child!) because she too has Jesus—although it seems to be in her own way. It is more than pride … it is conscience. We have struggled for centuries to keep the Law, to be pure, to please YHWH, and here this little child simply believes and is accepted into God’s Kingdom! Nothing in her is Jewish … except her Messiah.

Knowing the resurrected Christ Jesus as my Messiah, having the joy of His Spirit within me has given such peace yet excitement that I can hardly contain it! I hurry to share this Good News with the butcher, the milkman and anyone who will listen—why then, is it almost painful to open my heart and doors, and release my child to the goyim? To let her play with their pagan toys and eat their snacks? I am truly happy that the Holy Scriptures have been fulfilled not just for us, but for them as well … but here’s the rub, that is so much “spiritual talk” while it is on the practical level that I ache. We have been taught not to so much as enter into a Gentile’s home, and now it feels that I am breaking vows and a way of life that defined who I was, letting it all go to become who I am in Christ my Messiah. I can hardly bear it.

Can you help me? Your loving daughter

 

 

Matthew 8:18–9:8

Jesus’ Authority to Perform Miracles

Big Idea Matthew encourages his readers to trust and follow Jesus wholeheartedly, as he shows Jesus’ power and authority to be greater than sin, the demonic, and even nature.

 

Key Themes of Matthew 8:18–9:8

 

▪      Jesus has authority over sin, the demonic, and nature.

▪      The appropriate responses to Jesus’ authority are to have faith in him and to follow him.

 

Understanding the Text

The Text in Context

Matthew continues in this passage to emphasize themes of Jesus’ authority—here over sin (9:1–8), the demonic (8:28–34), and nature (8:23–27)—and faith as the appropriate discipleship response to Jesus (9:21–22; cf. 8:26). The call to follow Jesus wholeheartedly is issued in 8:18–22, picking up the call stories of the first four disciples (4:18–22) and anticipating that of Matthew, a tax collector, in 9:9. The story of Jesus’ calming the storm shares a plot connection with 14:22–33, where Jesus (with Peter momentarily) walks on the sea. Jesus’ (messianic) identity and the disciples’ little faith are emphasized in both accounts. The story of Jesus’ claim to forgive sins (9:2, 8) evokes Matthew’s identification of Jesus as the one who “will save his people from their sins” (1:21) and foreshadows Jesus’ death, which will be “for the forgiveness of sins” (26:28).

Interpretive Insights

8:20 the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. Jesus here refers to himself as the “Son of Man,” a designation familiar from its Old Testament usage. This is the first of thirty occurrences of “Son of Man” in Matthew; in each case Jesus uses the phrase to describe himself (in Matthew as well as in the other three Gospels). Although in many cases it functions primarily as a circumlocution for “I,” the echoing of Ezekiel (in which God frequently calls Ezekiel “son of man”) may suggest Jesus’ solidarity with Israel. At a few key points in Matthew “Son of Man” occurs as part of an allusion to Daniel 7:13–14; these occurrences signal Jesus’ vindication and authority (Matt. 10:23; 16:27–28; 24:30–31; 26:64).

 

The “region of the Gadarenes” (8:28) included the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee (pictured here).

 

8:22 Follow me. The message of 8:18–22 concerns discipleship, and specifically the sacrifice (8:18–20) and priority (8:21–22) involved in following Jesus. Jesus has already called four of his disciples to “follow me” (4:18–22). This call comes from Jesus and is not self-initiated, similar to the call of the first four disciples at 4:19 (see comments there). Here Jesus seems to deter one who volunteers to follow by emphasizing the cost involved (a nomadic existence). But the passage also indicates that one who is called must be ready to give uncompromising allegiance to Jesus. Rather than keeping a focus on the particular circumstances of these would-be disciples, the passage highlights the importance of following Jesus as one’s highest priority and following him despite the cost (cf. 6:33).

8:26 You of little faith. Jesus has already referred to his disciples as those of “little faith,” as they are the most explicit audience of the Sermon on the Mount (6:30; see 5:1–2). In the present occurrence their “little faith” (oligopistos) is tied to their fear of the storm and waves around the boat. Their fear displaces what should be their trust in Jesus, who has already shown authority over illness (8:1–17). Now Matthew highlights Jesus’ authority over creation by calming the storm. The characterization of “little faith” follows the disciples across Matthew (see 14:31; 16:8; 17:20; cf. 28:17).

8:27 What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him? The disciples’ question that concludes the story of Jesus’ calming the storm is an important one for Matthew and his readers and hearers. It is the first time in the narrative that the question of Jesus’ identity has been raised explicitly since before his public ministry (1:1–4:16). The disciples have heard him teach and have seen him heal the sick. Now when they see his authority extending even over nature, they press to know what kind of man it is who stands before them. This question will guide the narrative in subsequent chapters, as Matthew highlights differing opinions of who Jesus might be (e.g., 11:2–3; 12:23; 14:1–2, 33; 15:22), culminating in Peter’s affirmation that Jesus is indeed God’s Messiah (16:16).

8:28 Gadarenes. Jesus and his disciples have now crossed the lake (the Sea of Galilee) and arrived in the region of the Gadarenes, which is part of the Decapolis (see 4:25). According to Josephus, Gadara was home to Gentiles as well as some Jews (J.W. 1.155). A mixed population makes sense of the presence of a herd of pigs (8:30), since Jews considered pigs and their meat unclean (Deut. 14:8). It is not clear, however, whether the two demon-possessed men healed by Jesus are Jew or Gentile. Given that Matthew otherwise clearly delineates Gentile recipients of healing (8:5–13; 15:21–28) and highlights the Jewish scope of Jesus’ mission (10:5–6; 15:24), it is more likely that this story also fits Jesus’ ministry to Israel in the regions in and around Galilee (see 4:23–25).

Who Has Faith in Matthew?

 

Matthew highlights the theme of faith through his shaping of different character groups. Although we might expect the twelve disciples to be those who model faith for the reader, Matthew attributes to the disciples “little faith,” which is defined by fear, doubt, and lack of trust in Jesus’ power (6:30; 8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20). Characters who model faith for the reader include various seekers who come to Jesus for healing (e.g., 8:2; 9:2, 22, 29). “Great faith” is reserved for the two Gentile seekers in Matthew (8:10; 15:28). Finally, it is the Jewish leaders and Jesus’ hometown that are characterized as lacking faith in Jesus entirely (e.g., 13:54–58; 12:24; 21:32). Combined with these narrative portraits, Jesus’ own teachings on faith emphasize the power of faith in Jesus to accomplish God’s work (17:20; 21:21–22).

 

8:29 before the appointed time. The kairos (“appointed time”) indicated here very likely refers to the final day (see the same phrase, pro kairou, with this referent at 1 Cor. 4:5), when God was expected to make all things right and Satan and his powers would be destroyed. The only explicit reference to Jesus as “Son of God” in Matthew up to this point has been Satan’s taunt during Jesus’ temptation (“If you are the Son of God” [4:3]). What the demonic realm seems to know already, Jesus’ disciples will come to recognize (14:33; 16:16). For the import of “Son of God” in Matthew, see comments on 4:3, 6.

8:34 they pleaded with him to leave the region. Matthew has already begun to narrate a range of responses to Jesus and his kingdom ministry, including great faith (8:10), little faith (8:26), amazement (7:28; 8:27), and hesitance (8:21). Here the people of this town respond to Jesus’ display of power over the demonic by begging him to leave. Matthew seems to be indicating that the restorative power of the kingdom is not welcomed by everyone.

9:2 When Jesus saw their faith. Matthew highlights the faith of the friends of the paralyzed man (“their faith”), in concert with others in chapters 8–9 who come trusting that Jesus can heal someone they care for (8:5–6; 9:18). The theme of faith is pervasive in these miracle chapters, both implicitly and explicitly (8:2, 10, 13; 9:2, 18, 22, 28–29; cf. 8:26), as Matthew highlights the importance of trusting in Jesus’ authority to heal in line with Isaiah’s picture of eschatological restoration (8:17).

Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven. In chapter 8 Jesus has healed the sick, demonstrated power over a storm, and cast out demons. Now Matthew indicates that Jesus has power even to forgive sins. This scene of Jesus forgiving sins is unusual in Matthew: Jesus frequently heals, but only here does he claim to forgive sin. The scene foreshadows the Passover celebration that Jesus shares with his disciples, when he connects the Passover cup to his death (i.e., blood) as a means of “the forgiveness of sins” (26:28).

9:5 Which is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? With this question, Jesus responds to teachers of the law who challenge his claim to forgive a man his sins. It seems clear that it is easier to claim to forgive sins than to claim to heal, since the latter claim is easily and quickly debunked if the man remains unable to walk. But to demonstrate his authority to forgive sins, Jesus heals the man, who then gets up and walks home (9:6–7).

9:8 they praised God, who had given such authority to man. While the teachers of the law seem to think that Jesus has crossed a line of authority—they consider his offer of forgiveness to be blasphemy (9:3)—the crowd that witnesses the healing attributes the action to God, “who had given such authority to human beings [anthrōpois]” (NRSV). If Matthew intends a wordplay here between the “Son of Man” (9:6) and “man” (9:8), as captured in the NIV, then it is precisely Jesus’ role as representative humanity that is in view in this passage (see comments on “Son of Man” at 8:20).

 

To show that he has the authority to forgive sins, Jesus says to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home” (9:6). This relief from a fourth-century AD sarcophagus shows the healed paralytic carrying his bed.

 

Teaching the Text

1. Jesus, as rightful king of this world, has power over nature and forces that work against God’s purposes. Matthew continues to emphasize Jesus’ authority in his Galilean ministry, both in word and deed. Not only does Jesus have authority over illness and disease (8:1–17), but also Matthew demonstrates Jesus’ power over the created world (8:23–27), over evil (8:28–34), and over sin (9:1–8). The cumulative effect of these displays of power is to show that Jesus is the true king of all. His arrival signals the return of the rightful king of all things, whose power will be made explicit in the final moments of the Gospel (“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” [28:18]). So the displays of power in chapters 8–9 are displays of kingdom authority. In line with good Jewish theology, God in Jesus is reclaiming what rightfully belongs to God (e.g., Ps. 24:1).

It is fairly common to hear Jesus’ miracles, both healings and especially his power over nature, used to prove his divinity. This equation has arisen from modernist debates about Jesus’ identity. While Matthew does portray Jesus as the embodiment of Israel’s God (see the section “Matthew’s Narrative Christology” in the introduction), he does not highlight this portrayal through the miraculous deeds of Jesus. In fact, Matthew makes it clear that these miraculous deeds point to Jesus as the Messiah—that is, the human agent of God’s restoring work (e.g., 11:2–5). This is Matthew’s burden: to prove that Jesus is God’s Messiah. In the Old Testament those who performed miracles by the power of God—both healings and miracles of nature—were not considered divine for doing so (e.g., Elijah in 1 Kings 17; Elisha in 2 Kings 6). So in preaching and teaching on Jesus’ miraculous works, we might focus where Matthew does. Jesus’ miracles signal that Jesus is God’s agent of restoration—the true Messiah—as God inaugurates the kingdom in this world.

 

Jesus and his disciples probably sailed across the Sea of Galilee in a common fishing vessel. Shown here is a first-century AD mosaic from the ancient town of Magdala featuring a boat.

 

2. Putting trust in Jesus and following him are right responses to experiencing his authority. Interspersed in these two chapters focused on Jesus’ authority over illness, sin, and evil are discipleship sayings (8:18–22; 9:9–17). The first of these two discipleship moments highlights the cost of following Jesus. It is not enough only to be willing to follow Jesus; potential disciples are called here to count the cost (8:19–20). Since Jesus has no permanent home, his followers must reckon on following him wherever he would lead. Allegiance to Jesus displaces home and even family commitments, something that we see in 8:21–22, where family obligation is shown to be secondary to following Jesus. To first-century ears, this would sound quite countercultural, given the significance of family loyalty and obligation in the ancient world. Jesus in Matthew will speak to this question at a number of points (e.g., 10:37–39; 12:46–50; 19:29). Following Jesus means reorienting oneself in relation to all other commitments. No allegiance is left untouched.

So as we teach this passage, we might ask people to consider their loyalty to Jesus and the kingdom that he is bringing. Have other loyalties displaced this primary one? Do we value comfort and security more than the values of the kingdom? And might our families become places for reflection and practice of kingdom values such as mercy, justice, and faithfulness?

Illustrating the Text

Jesus, as rightful king of this world, has power over nature and forces that work against God’s purposes

Quote: Our modern worldview leads us to assume a God who is distant from creation, with the laws of nature alone explaining natural phenomena. So passages like this one where Jesus demonstrates authority over creation might seem foreign to our way of thinking. G. K. Chesterton, in Orthodoxy, suggests an interesting mediating view in this regard.

Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

Putting trust in Jesus and following him are right responses to experiencing his authority

Poetry: “A Tent for a Home,” by Jeannine Brown. This lyric about allegiance and security is drawn from Matthew 8:18–22:

The fox has its hole and the bird its nest,

But the Son has no place to lay his head,

So they followed the Lord and they gave up their homes,

And they journeyed as strangers.

My roots go too deep, I care far too much,

For all of the things of this world.

So I’ll follow my Lord and I’ll give up my home,

And I’ll find my home in you.

 

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” This reflection was written by Jim Elliot in his journal (the page is shown here). Elliot’s death at the hands of those with whom he sought to share the gospel in the jungles of Ecuador is a modern example of one who was willing to pay the ultimate cost for following Jesus.[1]

 

 



[1] Jeannine K. Brown, Matthew, ed. Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton, Teach the Text Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2015), 88–99.

Posts 135
Manuel Maria | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 18 2018 12:44 AM

Should we expect cyber-monday sales?

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GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 18 2018 1:10 AM

I am not done with my Black Friday buying yet!

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 18 2018 1:21 AM

Manuel Maria:

Should we expect cyber-monday sales?

The Black Friday sale lasts from now until Cyber Monday, so I presume there won't be an additional sale at that point.

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Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 18 2018 1:27 AM

I think this is a great sale. Quite a few products are cheaper than pre-pub. 40% off Anchor and NICOT/NICNT is brilliant for those who don't already have them. 90% of several Mobile Ed resources is also great. Other highlights for me include Christian Origins and the Question of God Series (4 vols.) and Crossway Top Authors Bundle (94 vols.), both at 40% off.

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James McAdams | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 18 2018 2:31 AM

The NICOT/NT is a great deal, but it’s one where the payments are much steeper at the start (presumably because the publisher wants their royalties paid straight away), which means it’s too steep for me. I wish they’d done sales on the smaller bundles of it too, if not the individual titles. As it stands, it’s way out of my league, sadly. Obviously Faithlife can only offer what the publishers are happy with, so I’m not blaming anyone, but it’s been my most-wanted commentary set from the start and I‘ve still only been able to get a select few because of the pricing strategy. Ah well...

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Liam Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 19 2018 11:10 AM

John Frame fans will be pleased to know that his collected works are part of the Black Friday sale: https://www.logos.com/product/145115/john-frame-collection. It is not as discounted as other collections in the sale, but you can't go wrong with the books included!

Also, shameless plug: Apologetics is now in Pre-Pub: https://www.logos.com/product/167683/apologetics-a-justification-of-christian-belief 

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

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