2007-02-04_New Wine_Matthew 8.23-9.17_SL
Matthew 8:23-9:17 | Shaun LePage | February 4, 2007
A. Read quote from The Jesus I Never Knew, p. 13. In Matthew’s day people were confused about Jesus. True today. Do we think of Jesus as Mr. Rogers? Boring? “Meek and mild”? Our world needs to know the real Jesus. This is why Matthew wrote his gospel.
B. Review: In chapters 1-11, Jesus presented to Israel as King! Chs 1-4: King’s credentials; Chs 5-7: King’s teaching; Chs 8-9: King’s power. 3 Miracles/discipleship lesson.
C. Review of 8:1-22:
1. 3 miracles: Leper, Centurion’s paralyzed Servant, Peter’s feverish Mother-in-law
2. Discipleship Lesson: “Believe and follow!” Christ above comfort, self, family, wealth.
II. Body—Matthew 8:23-9:17 [ Let’s begin by looking carefully at the text. ]
A. Miracle 1: A Great Storm Calmed (8:23-27)
1. 23-24—Boat, Sea of Galilee—“a great storm”. Sea of Galilee 680 ft below Med. Sea. Sudden squalls come down from Mt. Hermon with terrific force (σεισμος μεγας [seismos megas]) like an earthquake.
2. 25—“Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” They called Him “Lord”, but still didn’t seem to understand who He was. They were “afraid”—lit. “cowardly” (v.26).
3. 26—Rebuked for their fear—equaled “little faith”. Contrast: “great faith” (v.10). What pleases the “Lord”? Faith! Trust! Fear comes when we fail to trust Him. Peace in any storm is possible if we have faith in the One who is our Peace.
4. 26—Main point: “rebuked the winds and the sea and it became perfectly calm.” Can you imagine? [“Peace Be Still” Stephen Gjertson.]
5. 27—Question: “What kind of man…?” The God-Man! The “Lord” of creation. Read Ps 107:23-29. Write: Jesus is the Lord with authority over Creation!
B. Miracle 2: Demons Cast Out (8:28-34)
1. 28—“Gadarenes” [map.] Gadara not on coast, “the country of the Gadarenes”; coast
2. 28—“two men” not the focus here. Jesus treats demons as real; not mental disease.
3. 29—“they” (demons); recognized Jesus—called Him “Son of God”—who is Jesus? Demons know and “shudder” (Jms 2:19)—why? “the time” (judgment). Also recognized His authority over the spiritual realm. 3 important doctrines!
4. Luke 8:31: Hint of what happens to demons “cast out”? Early judgment?
5. 30-32—Demons requested “swine” (rather than abyss; knew it was not an option to continue possessing the men) and Jesus said “Go!” Why? Jewish owners punished? Dramatic display of demons leaving men? Not told—but, that’s not the issue.
6. Issue: Jesus has authority over Satan and his forces. “implored Him to leave”?! Not angry over dead pigs, but afraid in the presence of the all-powerful “Son of God”.
7. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the Son of God with authority over demons!
C. Miracle 3: A Paralyzed Man Healed (9:1-8)
1. 1—“His own city”—Capernaum [map.] (4:13: “settled in Capernaum”)
2. 2—Paralyzed man (Mark “through the roof”); Either his injury was the result of his own sin, or he thought it was. Jesus stunned everyone: “Your sins are forgiven”!
3. Think about it—which would be better? Which would you choose? Joni Eareckson Tada—paralyzed in 1967—became a Christian after accident. “I’d rather be in this wheelchair with Christ, than on my feet without Him.” She would choose forgiveness.
4. 3-6—Scribes “said to themselves”: “blasphemes!” The omniscient Lord knew “their thoughts…evil in their hearts”. “Which is easier?” Great question! You can “say” both, but only one is visible. Both are impossible—unless you happen to be God. That’s what “Son of Man” means (Dan 7:13-14). Here, the miracle would confirm His “authority on earth to forgive sins”. Proof! Authentication!
5. John MacArthur: “In order that they might know He could forgive sin, which they could not see, He did what they could see—by dealing with sin’s symptoms.” (p.54)
6. 7-8—says it all: “He got up and went home!” Picture it—the celebration! What was the response of those who watched? “Awestruck…glorified God.” Did they recognize Him to be God? Unclear. But they did respond correctly—“glorified God”!
7. Write: Jesus is the Son of Man with authority to forgive sins.
D. Discipleship Message: (9:9-17) 2 pictures: Physician & Bridegroom.
1. The Physician
a) 9-10—Response of the “sick sinners”: Matthew’s short, humble biography. Luke: Matthew (Levi) left everything behind and hosted the party. “Tax gatherers” were traitors—worked for Rome to rob Jews. “Sinners”—given up trying to obey the law / traditions. Response shows Matthew / sinners were hungry for change.
b) 11-13—The response of the “healthy righteous” (no such thing): Not real question, but a rebuke. Jesus gave three answers: 1) Physicians go to the sick, 2) (Hos 6:6) You don’t know what God wants—“compassion”=heart obedience; “sacrifice” exterior religious ritual; 3) This is why I’m here—purpose statement.
c) Write: Jesus is the Physician who came to call sick sinners.
2. The Bridegroom
a) 14—The question: “Why no fasting?” OT Law: 1 /year. Jews required 2 /week.
b) 15—The wedding metaphor—fasting was inappropriate while He was with them. After the Cross, fasting would be appropriate. Religious fasting serves no purpose. Fasting as part of a devoted, repentant, sincere search for godliness is a good thing.
c) 16-17—The garment & wine metaphors. “Old” not the Law—Jesus came to fulfill that (5:17-18). “Old” was dead, legalistic religion. Jesus came not to reform the old, but to bring new life—fellowship with God as pictured in sharing a meal together.
d) Write: Jesus is the Bridegroom who came to give the new garment and the new wine of new life.
E. Responses (write these under those five titles for Jesus):
1. A. Trust the Lord in your storms. Can He handle it? Have great faith.
2. B. Let the Son of God deliver you from evil. Supreme spiritual authority.
3. C. Go to the Son of Man for healing of your sin. No greater healing.
4. D1. Imitate the compassion of the Physician. What God desires.
5. D2. Exchange dead religion for the new life of the Bridegroom.
III. Closing: Who is Jesus? Dorothy Sayers: “The people who hanged Christ never accused Him of being a bore; on the contrary, they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with the atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”
IV. Our world desperately needs the real Jesus—not the boring, effeminate, “meek and mild” Jesus, but the Lord of creation, the Son of God with supreme spiritual authority, the Son of Man who has the authority to forgive sins, the Physician who came to call sinners and the Bridegroom who invites us—not to practice a dead religion—but to sit down and have dinner with Him. To drink His “new wine” and really live! To give up everything to dine Him! To fellowship with Him.