Messiah: Liberator! (Matthew 9:1-34)

In chapters 8 and 9 of his Gospel, Matthew reports ten miracles that Jesus performs. In chapter 8 we found five miracles of grace demonstrating the “width” of Jesus’ ministry, reaching out those who are most alienated: lepers, Gentiles, women, and demoniacs. In chapter 9, as opposition to Jesus begins to build, we discover the “depth” of Jesus’ ministry through five more miracles reaching down to those who are most hopeless. Our text also focuses our attention of the freedom that Christ brings to our lives through faith. Woven among the stories of a hopeful father of a dead girl, a determined woman with a blood disease, and audacious men concerned over their sick friend, we learn how Jesus sees faith and touches the human need bringing freedom. Salvation is by grace (chapter 8) through faith unto freedom (chapter 9).

For freedom Christ has set us free (Gal 5:1); where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor 3:17). Consider how the stories in this chapter 9 of Matthew’s Gospel reveal the freedom that is given to us in Christ. Verses 1-8 report the healing of a paralytic who is first set free from sin. Verses 9-17 report the conversion of a tax-collector and subsequent controversies regarding the application of separation from fellowship and fasting. From this we can gather that Christ sets us free from being scrupulously concerned with religious laws. Verses 18-26 intertwine the poignant stories of a father of a dead daughter who nevertheless has hope, and a woman who has been dealing with a bleeding issue for twelve years. From both of their stories we learn of the liberating power of faith, as Jesus heals the woman and raises the man’s daughter from the dead. Jesus sets us free from sickness and even death. Then finally in verses 27-34 Jesus frees two blind men and a demon posses deaf mute – granting freedom to see and freedom to speak.

Whatever issue you may be encumbered with, apply gospel faith to it. No matter what anyone else thinks, no matter what may seem impossible, take your cares to Jesus. Confidently bring your need to Him, knowing that He alone possesses all of the resources necessary to meet it. And the Messiah who is a Liberator will set you free indeed!

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