Thinking on Scripture with Dr. Steven R. Cook
Matthew 16:1-12
Matthew 15:1-20
Matthew 14:13-21 - Jesus Feeds the Multitude
Matthew 13:53-58 - Jesus is Rejected in His Hometown
Matthew 13:1-23 - Jesus Begins to Teach in Parables
Matthew 12:1-21 - The Pharisees Try to Trap Jesus
Matthew 11:1-19 - A Turning Point in Matthew’s Gospel
Matthew 10:24-33 - Overcoming Fear

Matthew 10:24-33 - Overcoming Fear

March 14, 2021

The main point of this pericope is that Jesus warned His disciples that they would face persecution as His followers, but they should not fear their persecutors, but rather, should fear God who loves and cares for them. Click here for complete set of notes.

Matthew 10:1-15 - Jesus’ Disciples Proclaim the Kingdom of God

Matthew 10:1-15 - Jesus’ Disciples Proclaim the Kingdom of God

February 28, 2021

The main point of this pericope is that Jesus transformed His disciples into apostles and sent them out to the house of Israel with the message that the kingdom of heaven was at hand. The complete study notes can be accessed here.

Jesus’ Compassion for the Sick and Dying (Matthew 9:18-26)

Jesus’ Compassion for the Sick and Dying (Matthew 9:18-26)

February 7, 2021
  • "While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples. 20 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; 21 for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” 22 But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well. 23 When Jesus came into the official’s house, and saw the flute-players and the crowd in noisy disorder, 24 He said, “Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him. 25 But when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. 26 This news spread throughout all that land." (Matt 9:18-26 NASB)

     The events that preceded this double pericope included Jesus calling Matthew to be His disciple and then joining him for dinner (Matt 9:9-10), which included tax collectors, sinners, and hostile Pharisees who joined the party late (Matt 9:11-13). While Jesus was at dinner and answering questions posed by the Pharisees, some disciples of John the Baptist approached Him with a concern as to why they and the Pharisees fasted, but Jesus’ disciples did not (Matt 9:14-17). Matthew then states, “While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him” (Matt 9:18a). Mark and Luke tell us this official was “one of the synagogue officials named Jairus” (Mark 5:22; cf. Luke 8:41), and that he “implored Him earnestly” (Mark 5:23a). Luke tells us Jairus’ daughter was “an only daughter” and that she was “about twelve years old” (Luke 8:42). That Jairus came and bowed before Jesus demonstrates humility.

     Matthew records that Jairus told Jesus, “My daughter has just died” (Matt 9:18b). Mark and Luke state that Jairus’ daughter was “at the point of death” and had not yet passed (Mark 5:23b; cf. Luke 8:42a). It appears Matthew abbreviated the story, knowing the girl would die before Jesus arrived at Jairus’ home. Thomas Constable writes, “According to Matthew he announced that his daughter had just died. Mark and Luke have him saying that she was near death. Since she died before Jesus reached her Matthew evidently condensed the story to present at the outset what was really true before Jesus reached his house.”[1]

     Jairus tells Jesus, “but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live” (Matt 9:18c). Here, Jesus responded to Jairus’ faith, as He “got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples” (Matt 9:19). It would seem others who were at Matthew’s dinner table heard the discussion and wanted to see what Jesus would do, as Mark informs us “a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him” (Mark 5:24). Perhaps these consisted of some of the tax collectors and sinners, the Pharisees, and maybe even some of the disciples of John the Baptist, since they were all with Jesus at the time Jairus approached Him at Matthew’s house.

     As Jesus was walking through the city, Mathew informs us about “a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years” (Matt 9:20a). Mark broadens the account, saying, she “had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse” (Mark 5:26; cf. Luke 8:43). Not only had this woman suffered for twelve years, she also paid a lot of money to her physicians, who provided no benefit to her, and her situation only worsened. However, she had not lost all hope, as she came up behind Jesus and “touched the fringe of His cloak. For she was saying to herself, ‘If I only touch His garment, I will get well’” (Matt 9:20b-21). The “fringe of His cloak” probably referred to one of the four tassels that Jewish men wore on the corners of the cloaks which served as a visual reminder they were to live obedient lives to the Lord. Moses wrote:

  • The LORD also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God.” (Num 15:37-40)

     Touching the tassels of Jesus garment meant touching that part of His clothing that represented moral and ritual purity. According to the Law, ritual purity would have been lost if one came into contact with a woman who was bleeding internally. Craig Keener writes:

  • "This woman’s sickness was reckoned as if she had a menstrual period all month long; it made her continually unclean under the law (Lev 15:19–33)—a social and religious problem in addition to the physical one. If she touched anyone or anyone’s clothes, she rendered that person ceremonially unclean for the rest of the day (cf. Lev 15:26–27). Because she rendered unclean anyone she touched, she should not have even been in this heavy crowd. Many teachers avoided touching women altogether, lest they become accidentally contaminated. Thus she could not touch or be touched, she had probably never married or was now divorced, and she was marginal to Jewish society."[2]

     After touching Jesus’ garment, the woman was healed of her hemorrhage. Apparently, Jesus knew power had flowed from Him to another. Mark tells us, “Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction” (Mark 5:29). This woman came to Jesus secretly hoping to steal a cure from Him, without anyone knowing, and she got what she hoped for. And Jesus could have let her go about her life without stopping and drawing attention to her. But He did not. Rather, He made public what only He and the woman knew happened. Mark also informs us about the exchange between Jesus and the healed woman, saying:

  • "Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth." (Mark 5:30-33; cf. Luke 8:46-47)

     Why was the woman afraid? Had years of suffering and being ostracized made her timid; fearful to be near others, perhaps expecting a rebuke for making others ceremonially unclean? Whatever the reason, she came to Jesus and humbled herself before Him and told Him the truth. But Jesus did not rebuke her. “But Jesus turning and seeing her said [θάρσει, θύγατερ· ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε], ‘Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.’ At once the woman was made well” (Matt 9:22). It was not the woman’s faith that affected her healing, but her faith in the Savior who alone had the power to heal. Matthew employs the Greek verb σῴζω sozo to describe her being “made well.” The verb means to save, deliver, rescue, or liberate. Here, the deliverance is clearly physical. No doubt His gracious words had a healing effect on her tired and wounded soul. It is also likely He did this for Jairus to witness so that his faith, which was about to be tested, might be strengthened for what lay ahead.

     Mark informs us, “While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore? But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe’” (Mark 5:35-36; cf. Luke 8:49-50). Here was the test of Jairus’ faith. Though he was surrounded by voices of unbelief, Jesus encouraged him to believe. Jairus had a choice to make, and he obviously chose well. At this point, Jesus thinned the crowd that was traveling with Him, including His disciples, for “He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James” (Mark 5:37; cf. Luke 8:51).

     Jesus finally arrived at Jairus’ house, and “When Jesus came into the official’s house, and saw the flute-players and the crowd in noisy disorder, He said, ‘Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep’” (Matt 9:23-24a). Professional mourners were common in this culture as they helped the grieving family express the pain of their loss. But Jesus told the mourners to leave, for the reason for mourning was about to be removed, as the Giver of life would restore what once was lost. Throughout the Bible, sleep is a common euphemism for death (Dan 12:2; John 11:11; Acts 7:60; 1 Cor 15:6, 18; 1 Th 4:13–15; 2 Pet 3:4). Death is a tyrant that has ruled for millennia, but it cannot stand against the Lord of life, who raises the dead as easily as waking someone from sleep. But Jesus words did not go unheard or without response, as those in the house “began laughing at Him” (Matt 9:24b). But Jesus commanded them to leave, for He would not tolerate their mocking and unbelief.

     Jesus permitted only “the child’s father and mother and His own companions” to enter the room where the girl’s body lay (Mark 5:40). And “when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up” (Matt 9:25). Luke tells us Jesus spoke to the little girl, saying, “Child, arise” (Luke 8:54; cf. Mark 5:41), and that “her spirit returned” (Luke 8:55a). Mark informs us the girl “got up and began to walk” (Mark 5:42; cf. Luke 8:42), and Jesus asked “that something should be given her to eat” (Mark 5:43; Luke 8:55b). Jesus supernaturally raised her back to life, and then requested she be given something to eat, which would strengthen her naturally. Matthew closes this pericope by writing, “This news spread throughout all that land” (Matt 9:26). Warren Wiersbe writes:

  • "It is interesting that Jairus and this woman—two opposite people—met at the feet of Jesus. Jairus was a leading Jewish man; she was an anonymous woman with no prestige or resources. He was a synagogue leader, while her affliction kept her from worship. Jairus came pleading for his daughter; the woman came with a need of her own. The girl had been healthy for 12 years, and then died; the woman had been ill for 12 years and was now made whole. Jairus’ need was public—all knew it; but the woman’s need was private—only Jesus understood. Both Jairus and the woman trusted Christ, and He met their needs."[3]

     In summary, Jairus, as well as the woman with the hemorrhage, had confidence that Jesus could help them, and when they knew where Jesus was, their faith became aggressive, pushing through the crowds and overcoming the obstacles to reach the Lord. Here, we see that faith is strong when the need is great and the object of benefit is within reach. This double pericope demonstrated Jesus’ authority to heal the sick and raise the dead. What Jesus did for the helpless woman with the hemorrhage and Jairus’ dead daughter, He will do for those who trust in Him as Savior. For a day will come when there will no longer be sickness in this world and death will be removed. In the eternal state, we learn that Jesus “will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away” (Rev 21:4). And Jesus who sits on His throne will say, “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev 21:5). Until then, we are trusting in Christ as our Savior (John 3:16), and “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Tit 2:13).

 

[1] Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Mt 9:18.

[2] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), Mt 9:20–21.

[3] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 35.

Matthew 20:1-34 Part 1

Matthew 20:1-34 Part 1

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus reveals that rewards are sovereignly given for work performed (Matt. 20:1-16), and that greatness in the kingdom belongs to those who serve with humility (Matt. 20:17-34).  

Matthew 20:1-34 Part 2

Matthew 20:1-34 Part 2

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus reveals that rewards are sovereignly given for work performed (Matt. 20:1-16), and that greatness in the kingdom belongs to those who serve with humility (Matt. 20:17-34).  

Matthew 21:1-17 Part 1

Matthew 21:1-17 Part 1

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus enters Jerusalem as the King of Israel and begins the week that leads to His death, burial and resurrection.  

Matthew 21:1-17 Part 2

Matthew 21:1-17 Part 2

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus enters Jerusalem as the King of Israel and begins the week that leads to His death, burial and resurrection.  

Matthew 21:18-32 Part 1

Matthew 21:18-32 Part 1

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus enters Jerusalem on the second day of the Passover week and defends His authority to Israel’s leadership. The formal rejection of Jesus began in Matthew 21:18 and continues through chapter 23.

Matthew 21:18-32 Part 2

Matthew 21:18-32 Part 2

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus enters Jerusalem on the second day of the Passover week and defends His authority to Israel’s leadership. The formal rejection of Jesus began in Matthew 21:18 and continues through chapter 23.

Matthew 21:33-46

Matthew 21:33-46

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus presents a parable that reveals He is God’s chosen Son and the religious leadership will be judged for rejecting Him.  

Matthew 22:1-22 Part 1

Matthew 22:1-22 Part 1

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus gives a parable that reveals God’s righteous judgment against Israel for their hostile rejection of His offer to come to the wedding feast He’s prepared for them.  Afterward, Jesus reveals men should render to God and human governments what belongs to them.

Matthew 22:1-22 Part 2

Matthew 22:1-22 Part 2

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus gives a parable that reveals God’s righteous judgment against Israel for their hostile rejection of His offer to come to the wedding feast He’s prepared for them.  Afterward, Jesus reveals men should render to God and human governments what belongs to them.

Matthew 22:23-46 Part 1

Matthew 22:23-46 Part 1

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus corrected the Sadducees about their misunderstanding of the Scriptures and the power of God concerning resurrection, and provided the correct answer to the lawyer regarding the greatest commandments of the Mosaic Law.  Jesus then posed a question concerning David’s son, the Messiah—which was actually about Himself—which stumped His questioners.  When they could no longer trap Him with questions, they decided to resort to violence.  

Matthew 22:23-46 Part 2

Matthew 22:23-46 Part 2

September 12, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus corrected the Sadducees about their misunderstanding of the Scriptures and the power of God concerning resurrection, and provided the correct answer to the lawyer regarding the greatest commandments of the Mosaic Law.  Jesus then posed a question concerning David’s son, the Messiah—which was actually about Himself—which stumped His questioners.  When they could no longer trap Him with questions, they decided to resort to violence.  

Matthew 23:1-39 Part 1

Matthew 23:1-39 Part 1

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is Jesus judges and condemns His generation of Israelites for rejecting Him as Messiah.  

Matthew 23:1-39 Part 2

Matthew 23:1-39 Part 2

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is Jesus judges and condemns His generation of Israelites for rejecting Him as Messiah.  

Matthew 24:1-14 Part 1

Matthew 24:1-14 Part 1

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus answers questions from His disciples concerning the signs of His Second Coming and the end of the age.  

Matthew 24:1-14 Part 2

Matthew 24:1-14 Part 2

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus answers questions from His disciples concerning the signs of His Second Coming and the end of the age.  

Matthew 24:15-31 Part 1

Matthew 24:15-31 Part 1

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus continues to describe the time of the future tribulation and His Second Coming.  

Matthew 24:15-31 Part 2

Matthew 24:15-31 Part 2

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus continues to describe the time of the future tribulation and His Second Coming.  

Matthew 24:32-51 Part 1

Matthew 24:32-51 Part 1

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus instructs those who are alive during the tribulation to be faithful and sensible and watch for His coming.   

Matthew 24:32-51 Part 2

Matthew 24:32-51 Part 2

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus instructs those who are alive during the tribulation to be faithful and sensible and watch for His coming.   

Matthew 25:1-30 Part 1

Matthew 25:1-30 Part 1

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus presents two parables that further emphasize being wise and faithful while watching for His coming.  

Matthew 25:1-30 Part 2

Matthew 25:1-30 Part 2

June 11, 2016

The CentralIdea of the Text is that Jesus presents two parables that further emphasizebeing wise and faithful while watching for His coming.  

Matthew 25:31-46 Part 1

Matthew 25:31-46 Part 1

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus declared He will return and sit on His glorious throne and judge the nations of the world, separating believing Gentiles from unbelieving Gentiles based on how they treated persecuted Jews during the Tribulation.  He declared this judgment three days before going to the cross and dying for the sins of humanity.  

Matthew 25:31-46 Part 2

Matthew 25:31-46 Part 2

June 11, 2016

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus declared He will return and sit on His glorious throne and judge the nations of the world, separating believing Gentiles from unbelieving Gentiles based on how they treated persecuted Jews during the Tribulation.  He declared this judgment three days before going to the cross and dying for the sins of humanity.  

Matthew 26:1-16

Matthew 26:1-16

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus foretells the time and manner of His death.  Matthew then records an event of worship that occurred four days earlier in the house of Simon the leper, which event led Judas to betray Jesus.  The events of Jesus life and death were completely under the sovereign control of heaven.  

Matthew 26:17-35 Part 1

Matthew 26:17-35 Part 1

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus eats the last legitimate Passover meal with His disciples and then announces He will be betrayed by Judas, although the other disciples are dull to hear it.  Jesus institutes the New Covenant and declares His disciples will fall away after He is captured and struck down.  

Matthew 26:17-35 Part 2

Matthew 26:17-35 Part 2

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus eats the last legitimate Passover meal with His disciples and then announces He will be betrayed by Judas, although the other disciples are dull to hear it.  Jesus institutes the New Covenant and declares His disciples will fall away after He is captured and struck down.  

Matthew 26:36-56 Part 1

Matthew 26:36-56 Part 1

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus submitted to the Father’s will to go to the cross.  As predicted, He is then betrayed by Judas and the disciples flee.  

Matthew 26:36-56 Part 2

Matthew 26:36-56 Part 2

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus submitted to the Father’s will to go to the cross.  As predicted, He is then betrayed by Judas and the disciples flee.  

Matthew 26:57-75

Matthew 26:57-75

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus was judged by Israel’s leaders and sentenced to death on the religious charge of blasphemy.  Peter, who observed the Lord’s trial, learned through his own trial that his human heart is weak.

Matthew 27:1-10 Part 1

Matthew 27:1-10 Part 1

January 31, 2015

The Central Idea of the Text is that the Jews conspired against Jesus to put Him to death and handed Him over to the Pilate for a Roman trial and execution.  Subsequently, Judas felt remorse that Jesus had been condemned to die and he returned the betrayal money to alleviate his conscience; but finding no grace from the religious leaders, he went and hanged himself.  

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