Faithlife Sermons

Matt 9:27-10:4 "The Compassion of Jesus"

Good morning Calvary Chapel Lake City! Please turn in your bibles to Matthew chapter 9. We are continuing our chapter and verse study through the Gospel of Matthew, where Matthew has been proving to his Jewish audience that Jesus is their King, and as the King…He has all authority…a theme demonstrated repeatedly throughout Matthew chapters 8-10.
Last time, we looked at Jesus’ healing of the woman who had an issue of blood for 12 years, and Jairus’ 12 year old daughter who was sick and died, whom Jesus raised from the dead. And, we saw Jesus’ power not only to restore life, but to build and preserve faith…a major work Jesus did for Jairus.
Today, we pick up in verse 27, and our setting is still Capernaum, immediately following Jesus healing of Jairus’ daughter.
The title of today’s sermon is “The Compassion of Jesus.”
Let’s Pray!
Matt 9:27 When Jesus departed from there [Jairus’ house], two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy [or compassion] on us!”
Oftentimes, you can pick up additional details when you look at the other Gospel accounts of the same event, but interestingly Matt 9:27-34 has no parallel account, so this is our only record of these events.
Jesus has just been thronged by a multitude of people, who wanted healing, but only the woman who touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, in faith, was healed.
And, then Jesus put aside all those who doubted and healed Jairus’ daughter. Then, as they leave Jairus’ house, two blind men cry out to Jesus for mercy.
One person after another after another. So many people searching for healing, searching for a savior. We will see later today, Jesus tells His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
I find it amazing that Jesus had the physical strength to handle this many healings and address the needs of one person after another.
I remember one time in California, when I was at Bible College, I prayed to God, “I haven’t heard your voice lately, speak to me.” And, that day and the next, God had 2 people give us money ($2000 from a classmate and $40 from a stranger at this amazing hole in the wall Mexican restaurant near the beach), and 2 strangers at the beach approached Amanda and I independently and shared intimate details of their life and struggles, and we ministered to them.
At the end of both days, I was physically drained and felt like God was saying to me, ‘You can’t handle my goodness in your present physical frame.’
I just share this story, because I am amazed that Jesus was able to heal one person after another after another and continue to press on. To me, that just further testifies of His deity. I’m equally amazed that the disciples were able to take all this in.
When I encounter the goodness of God…I am physically drained.
So, these two blind men followed Jesus...
Two blind men followed Jesus. I have so many questions about this...
First of all…how?
How did they know where Jesus was and that He was leaving Jairus’ house?
Did they follow using their other senses and walking canes?
Were they led by friends to Jesus?
Regardless of how they followed Jesus, these men who lacked eyesight, had tremendous insight…for they addressed Jesus as the “Son of David.”
Jesus’ genealogy proved He was a “Son of David” both through legal lineage in Matt 1 and through blood descent in Luke 3. Jesus is a direct descendant of king David. Jesus is Royalty.
But, this title looks beyond the lineage of Jesus, and defines who He is.
“Son of David” is a Messianic title, and that’s why these blind men were insightful...they could “see”…they knew that Jesus was the Messiah.
This title “Son of David” only appears in the New Testament, and just 15x…9x in the Gospel of Matthew, and 3x each in Mark and Luke.
Not surprising that this title appears most in Matthew’s Gospel since Matthew wrote to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah.
This title looks back to the Davidic Covenant in 2 Sam 7:12-16 where God promised David that He would establish David’s throne and house forever, which is ultimately fulfilled when Jesus returns and establishes His kingdom and throne during His millennial reign into eternity…truly a throne and house that will be established forever.
Amazing that the blind men see who Jesus is, but the Religious leaders either can’t or won’t. And, it’s the same today. True is 2 Cor 4:4 “...whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe...”
Spiritual blindness is satanic. Spiritual unveiling is of the Holy Spirit.
Healing the blind was a Messianic sign. Isaiah spoke twice about Messiah healing blindness:
One such verse is Isa 29:18 “In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.”
In the prophetic ‘far,’ spiritual blindness will be lifted when Jesus returns, prior to His millennial reign.
But, in the prophetic near, Jesus’ physical healing of the blind also served as a Messianic sign:
In Matt 11:2-6, when John the Baptist was unsure if Jesus really was the Messiah (since John sat in prison), he sent his disciples to inquire “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” 4 Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: 5 The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. 6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Jesus’ response is in His action, and His action proves He is Messiah.
Now, what I find fascinating, is the diversity of Jesus’ healings. He heals one person this way, another person a totally different way. And, there are Christians who try to replicate Jesus’ healings like there is a formula or a method, but there is not. God is greatly diverse in how He heals. He knows what each one of us needs, and heals accordingly.
Just the blind alone…listen to how diverse He heals...
Both in Matt 9 and Matt 20: both times- two blind men, both times Jesus touched their eyes.
John 9 “...He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.”
In Mark 8 Jesus spit on the eyes of the blind man, who replied, “I see men like trees, walking.” So, Jesus “…put His hand on his eyes again and made him look up.”
In Mark 10, a blind man requested from Jesus to receive his sight. “Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has mad you well.” Jesus didn’t touch him, nor spit on him, nor anoint his eyes with mud. He was just healed with a word.
There is no specific methodology.
Matt 9:28-29 “And when He had come into the house [likely Peter and Andrew’s house], the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
Like Jairus, the blind men take the important step of coming to Jesus in their distress. V28 says “…the blind men came to Him.” Don’t miss that detail in this reading, and especially don’t miss it in your life. When you have a need, come to Jesus.
It’s a simple thing to come to Jesus…to bow one’s heart…to cry out in prayer, but many people (even Christians) often will rely on their natural abilities and resources FIRST, before coming to Jesus.
And, there are those who are just too prideful and stubborn to come to Jesus at all. Romans Chapter 1 speaks about these kind of people who reject God, and in verses 24, 26, and 28, it states in Romans 1 that “...God gave them up to uncleanness...”; “…God gave them up to vile passions.”; “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind...”
In Matt 11:28, Jesus cried out “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Jesus wants you to come to Him, but if you consistently deny Him, He will give you up. Sadly, He will honor that request. He never forces anyone to come to Him.
The blind men…they are seeking Jesus…they come to Him. Notice, they didn’t ask for sight or for healing, but for mercy…for compassion.
And, Jesus says to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They respond in the affirmative. Jesus touches their eyes and gives credit to their faith for this miracle. Some people say, “Seeing is believing.” Jesus says, “Believing is seeing.”
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He said to Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” Jn 11:40
John wrote, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life...” 1 Jn 5:13 Knowing you have eternal life is spiritual sight, and this is predicated upon belief.
And, literally through belief, Jesus gave sight to the blind.
Believing is seeing.
Matt 9:30-31 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, “See that no one knows it.” 31 But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country (the Region of Galilee).”
Numerous times in His ministry, Jesus sternly warns…which means “to snort with anger.” I don’t think Jesus was angry per se, but certainly intense. He didn’t want anything to interfere with God’s divine plan and timing.
This was a unique time where Jesus didn’t want the crowds to try to make Him the king; He didn’t want to invite unneeded persecution; and He knew God had perfect timing for when He would accomplish His will in Jesus’ life.
I love this about Jesus. He was in tune with the Father, just as we need to be in tune to the Father…His will, His timing, His plan. And, often this requires waiting on the Lord.
In typical fashion, these blind men reveals the miracle to everyone. Jesus told these blind men, “See that no one knows it,” but they tell everyone in that country about Jesus.
How difficult would it be to not tell people about Jesus? I can’t do it. Peter and John were arrested and commanded not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus, and they responded to the Sanhedrin, “...we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:20
When you have an authentic encounter with Jesus and He changes your life…you’re going to preach on the housetops!
Matt 9:32-33 “As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. 33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”
Still the same setting. Still Capernaum, but it seems they are leaving Peter’s house and now Jesus is greeted with a mute and demon-possessed man.
I cannot fathom the intensity of Jesus’ ministry. Everywhere He turns, there is another person with deep brokenness in their life. I’m amazed by Jesus’ compassion and ability to press on.
“Mute” in Gk. is kōphŏs, ko-fos´ which by def. means “blunted”…either hearing or speech…and is translated as either ‘deaf’ or ‘mute’ in scripture, but based on the context that this man “spoke” we can access his primary symptom as muteness.
It’s difficult to say if this mute affliction was congenital, from natural causes, an injury, or an affliction caused by demon possession, but in other accounts of demon possession, we see…loss of speech, sight, tormented… so, there is a strong likelihood that this muteness is caused by demonic possession.
And, there are people in the world today who invite demonic presence in their lives…which is scary and crazy all wrapped into one. That’s a group of people in serious need of prayer as they are majorly mis-led, and desperately in need of truth.
We don’t have the details HOW Jesus cast out the demon, usually it was by a word, but we see the result…Jesus had authority over this demonic presence and this man who was mute, now spoke.
Jesus addresses the root, not the fruit. Many Doctors today address the fruit…they treat the symptom. But, the Great Physician addresses the cause (demonic possession), and the symptom (muteness) is gone.
There are two responses to this miraculous result:
First, The crowds react with amazement saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!”
Second, V34 tells us the response of the Pharisees…
Matt 9:34 “But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”
To have a large crowd following you was the dream of most Religious Leaders…it’s the dream of many people today. And, knowing covetousness is a sin many fall prey to…it’s safe to say that these Pharisee’s may have been jealous of Jesus.
At this point, the Pharisees cannot deny Jesus has miraculous power, so they attempt to sew seeds of doubt as to the source of His power.
And, this is not the first time in Jesus’ ministry that this accusation would occur, turn to Matt 12...
Matt 12, starting in verse 22, we see not only a similar accusation, but we hear Jesus’ response.
Matt 12:22-28 “Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub [a name for Satan], the ruler of the demons.” 25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons [Jewish exorcists] cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.”
The argument of the Pharisees is not logical. They suggest that Satan would be granting power to come against himself. Jesus corrects this faulty thinking, and clarifies the true source of His power…V28 “…by the Spirit of God...” and by this the Pharisees should have known “…the kingdom of God...” had come upon them. Their King and Messiah, Jesus had come. But, they were too blind and hard hearted to see or accept Him.
Back to Matt 9, verse 35. In Matthew 9, we do not see Jesus respond in discourse like He did in Matt 12, but instead He responds in action. A great application for us!
He departs and shows many people who He is...and He does this by teaching, preaching, and healing…by demonstrating His goodness.
Matt 9:35 “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.”
In between vss 34-35, many scholars chronologically place Matt 13:54-58, Jesus’ rejection at Nazareth.
This would mean that Jesus departed Capernaum at the end of verse 34, travelled Southeast to Nazareth and the people of His hometown reject Him. “Is this not the carpenter’s son?” In Luke we read, “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”
Vs35 lists teaching, preaching and healing…in that order. Repeatedly, we see in scripture this order…Jesus taught, He preached, and healed.
In the Great Commission, Matt 28:19, there is one imperative…one command, “…make disciples.” Disciples are students, and students are taught, thus teaching comes first in importance.
Jesus also preached, or proclaimed a message or truth.
And, Jesus healed which authenticated He was Messiah.
Jesus responded to the Pharisees accusation that He was casting out demons by satanic power by pressing forward in His ministry.
This is a good lesson for us. There may be times with you are doing the work of God, and you come under criticism. Keep in mind what Jesus did, He pressed forward by teaching, preaching, and healing. He didn’t shrink back and give up.
And, look at the heart of Jesus…V36.
Matt 9:36 “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.”
Jesus was “moved with compassion” when He saw the multitudes. “Moved with compassion” in Gk. is splagchnizŏmai, splangkh-nid´-zom-ahee and it is the strongest word for pity in Greek.
By def. “to be moved in the inward parts” fig. to feel sympathy, to pity.
NKJV states the people were “weary and scattered;” NASB “distressed and dispirited”; ESV “harassed and helpless.” They should have been led by the Pharisees, but were in a miserable state.
When Jesus saw this weary and scattered crowd following Him He felt deep and intense sympathy. They were “like sheep having no shepherd.”
This is the picture of every person who is living life apart from God, including those who have religion, but no relationship with God.
In Psalm 23, David wrote:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.”
Jesus looked upon this crowd and also saw them as a plentiful harvest, but with few laborers to reap the harvest.
One scholar, I think F.F. Bruce, said, “The state of things suggested two pictures to His mind: a neglected flock of sheep, and a harvest going to waste for lack of reapers. Both imply, not only a pitiful plight of the people, but a blameworthy neglect of duty on the part of their religious guides…
The state of the nation was not good. And, Jesus was moved with compassion when He gazed upon this crowd of people who needed spiritual guidance and leading. There was a harvest of souls just waiting to be gathered, but they were short on true believers who would share the good news of Jesus Christ.
So Jesus says to His disciples...
Matt 9:38 “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
Jesus tells His disciples to beseech the Lord of the harvest, namely God the Father, to send out laborers…workers (not supervisors) into His harvest.
Who’s harvest is it? It’s HIS harvest. It’s not your harvest, or my harvest, or Calvary Chapel’s harvest, or another church’s harvest…it’s God’s harvest and we are His workers.
It’s His field, His harvest, and we are His workers…it’s all His.
And, I find this humorous, but Jesus tells the disciples “…pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers,” and what happens next? He sends the 12 Apostles on a short-term mission. In Luke 10, Jesus says this same thing, and then He says the 70 disciples on a short-term mission.
Some Pastors have adopted this method when. They have a Children’s ministry meeting, and they tell the people to pray for children’s ministry workers. It worked for Jesus!
Let’s wrap up today taking a look at who Jesus sent...
Matt 10:1-4 “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power [exousia- authority] over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. [We will talk more next week about about these miracles and this power granted to the Apostles for this short-term mission, but let’s look at who these men are...]. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.”
The 12 Apostles…this is quite the crew. When Jesus first chose them in Luke 6 it reads, “He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
He was probably praying all night... “Are you sure Father? These are really the guys? Let me pray about that again to make sure I heard you right.”
An apostle by def. is “a messenger, one sent on a mission, a delegate or ambassador.” This is the closest Gk. word we have to our modern word “missionary.”
We see the 12 Apostles listed by name 4x in Scripture: Matt 10, Mark 3, Luke 6, and Acts 1.
And, there are some commonalities always present:
Peter is always listed first.
Philip is always listed 5th.
James son of Alphaeus is always listed 9th.
Judas Iscariot is always listed last and he is always noted as a either a traitor or that he betrayed Jesus. He is omitted in the Acts 1 list because he is already dead.
James and John are always coupled together, and James always comes first since he likely was the older brother.
Now here are the men:
Simon, who was given the name ‘Peter’ by Jesus. God gives a new names, as He give them a new identity.
Simon means ‘hearkening’, or ‘hears and obeys’. And, we all know that wasn’t true about Peter. It’s not surprising Jesus gave him a new name. Peter (Gk.) and Cephas (Aramaic) means “a stone.”
We all know and love Peter. He’s the guy who’s feet are moving before his brain is thinking.
I encourage you to compare the many great verses about Peter in the Gospels to the verses about Peter in the book of Acts after the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples in Acts 2. Totally different guy, because the Holy Spirit changes people. When the Holy Spirit came upon me, I was transformed.
Andrew, his name means “manliness.” I named my youngest son ‘Timothy Andrew.’ Tell Tim later how manly he is.
We don’t see much about Andrew in scripture, but when we do we see him bringing people to Jesus. He brought Peter to Jesus, he brought the boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus, and after the triumphal entry, he brought certain Greeks to Jesus.
Bringing people to Jesus…not a bad ministry.
James the son of Zebedee and John his brother.
James and John, along with Peter, formed Jesus’ inner circle of 3 Apostles.
James (known as James the Greater) was the first martyr of the church as seen in Acts 12:2.
John is the writer of the Gospel of John, the Epistles (1st, 2nd, and 3rd John), and Revelation.
He is known as the Apostle of Love. 91x in the Gospels the word love is used. 57x in John alone. (that’s 62%). And, John is self titled the ‘disciple whom Jesus loved’ (and you should have the same confidence that Jesus feels the same about you!).
But, John was also fiery. Jesus corrected John for...
Forbidding someone who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Lk 9:50
And, when in Luke 9:54 James and John asked if they could command fire to come down from heaven to consume the Samaritans who did not receive Jesus…to which they got the nickname, “Sons of Thunder.”
All 4 of these men, Peter, Andrew, James and John were fishermen.
Philip, like Andrew brings people to Jesus. He brought Nathanael to Jesus, and with Andrew brought the Greeks to Jesus.
And, at the feeding of the Five Thousand, Jesus tested Philip and asked, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip failed the test as he overlooked Jesus to provide, and instead looked to the natural, and calculated how much money they would need and determined they were lacking.
Bartholomew or Nathanael in John 1. This is the disciple who said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” and whom Jesus titles “…an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Jesus saw him as an honest man.
Thomas the “twin” is often titled “doubting Thomas.”
We often think about his skepticism…needing to see the print of the nails and touch the wounds of Jesus before believing Jesus had resurrected, but he also said some other remarkable things:
After Jesus appeared to Thomas post resurrection, Thomas proclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” Jn 20:28
Thomas asked, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Jn 14:5–6
In the account with Lazarus, Jesus said “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and You are going there again?” Thomas boldly proclaimed, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.” Jn 11:16
Thomas was bold and loyal. We criticize him for doubt, but he had some great moments as well.
Matthew the tax collector also known as Levi. We have learned a lot about Matthew in our study of this Gospel already.
James the son of Alphaeus also known as James the Less or James the Younger. We know almost nothing about him and this is fantastic.
How many anonymous Christians serve Jesus? And, while their stories are not known, they are known to God.
Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus and he is also called Judas the son of James.
He is quoted asking Jesus, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
Jesus has a lengthy response, but part of that response is Jn 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Thank you Lebbaeus! I love those verses.
Simon the Cananite. Cananite is a word of Aramaic origin meaning “Zealot,” thus he is also known as Simon the Zealot.
Zealots were essential Jewish freedom fighters opposed to Roman Rule. They were religious and political, and they were known to fight.
Just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., one such Zealot splinter group was called the “Sicarii,” the “Daggermen” who were known to attack Romans, and their sympathizers, in public gatherings with their daggers, and then blend into the crowd.
How amazing is it that Simon the Zealot and Matthew the Roman Tax Collector were able to do ministry together?
And, last Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
In a natural sense many of these people would have been at odds with one another.
There were 2 sets of brothers...Peter and Andrew…and James and John…and brothers bicker.
There were a variety of social and economic classes represented…blue collar fishermen, a white collar tax collector, a religious zealot.
Matthew would have been at odds with Judas handling the money because Matthew was more qualified.
Judas was under the influence of Satan an enemy of Jesus.
Simon the Zealot would have wanted to slip a dagger in Matthew’s back because he saw Matthew as a traitor to Israel.
And, in frustration with the whole lot of them, James and John, the sons of Thunder would have wanted to call down fire from heaven and incinerate them all!
Jesus used everyday people to start His church, and to do what He did…to teach, to preach, and to have compassion on the multitudes.
Worship Team Come
The torch that Jesus passed down to the Apostles has been passed down for generations, and now you carry that torch. Now, we have the responsibility to have compassion on the multitudes and to teach, to preach, and to heal.
And, like those first disciples, we are vastly different, but we still can accomplish God’s work.
I mean look at us…people from the Midwest, East Coast, West Coast, and even Mongolia. White collar, blue collar; Veterans; Business Owners; Administrators; Nurses; Housewives; College Students; and even California Beach Bums…and that just scratches the surface on our diversity.
I mean c’mon…God is doing a work here.
The disciples were diverse yet united, and we need to remain united, because in our diversity there is strength.
Paul wrote in 1 Cor 12:12-13 “The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.”
We need each other!
Let’s pray!
This week…go and have compassion on the multitudes. I love you guys!
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