Matthew leaves the tax office, his source of revenue and follows Jesus! However, the call of Matthew differs from the call of the fishermen, because Matthew is a tax collector. A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments”, “Make room, because the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping.”, All Rights Reserved | © 1997-2020 Richard Niell Donovan. “He got up and followed him.” To follow Jesus, Matthew must abandon his lucrative job, knowing that he can never regain it. To obey Jesus’ command, therefore, requires Matthew’s absolute commitment. Only people who recognize that they are sick go to the doctor. But the great mokhes protected their reputation to some degree by hiring others to do their dirty work. Someone else would take his post. Over the years, many have preached on the passages we are going to look at this morning by isolating them from their setting. In Matthew 8 and 9 we find that Matthew has carefully selected events in the life of Jesus without much concern for the chronological sequence of the stories. This morning we are going to be examining this passage within its context. He Himself invokes the Bible: “Mercy is what pleases Me, not sacrifice”. Barclay, William, The Daily Study Bible, “The Gospel of Matthew,” Vol. And he got up and followed him. In the other Gospels, this tax collector is called Levi. Others interpret the question like a criticism of Jesus’ behavior, because for over five hundred years, from the time of the slavery in Babylon until the time of Jesus, the Jews had observed the laws of purity. Early in Matthew 8 we find Jesus healing a leper with a touch, a paralyzed boy with just a command without seeing him, and Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever. VIII (Nashville: Abingdon, 1995), Brueggemann, Walter; Cousar, Charles B.; Gaventa, Beverly R.; and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV—Year A (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), Bruner, Frederick Dale, Matthew: Volume 1, The Christbook, Matthew 1-12 (Dallas: Word, 1987), Craddock, Fred B.; Hayes, John H.; Holladay, Carl R.; Tucker, Gene M., Preaching Through the Christian Year, A (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1992), Farris, Lawrence W. in Van Harn, Roger (ed. In fact there was a church renewal movement started about a decade ago based on this passage. 12-13). The mission of the communities was that of offering a place to those who did not have it. The gabbai were despised, the great Mokhes more despised, and the small Mokhes were despised the most. Now Jesus calls a tax collector, considered a sinner and treated as an unclean person by the community of the most observant of the Pharisees. Matthew knew the cost and willingly paid it without hesitation. It seems likely that, in a spirit of joy, Matthew invites Jesus and all his friends to a great feast at his house. In lists of apostles’ names, we find Matthew but not Levi (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13). Here, his name is Matthew, which means gift of God or given by God. In the other Gospels, this tax collector is called Levi. A leader of the synagogue might have been, in other circumstances, Jesus’ opponent. “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (v. 11b). It is obvious to everyone else that there is a problem, but they say it is nothing, they’re okay, they will be fine, and they do not go to the doctor even though it is plain to everyone else they need a doctor. The Pharisees were sick as could be because their hearts were twisted by self-righteousness, yet they saw themselves as in perfect spiritual health. • Matthew 9:11: The question of the Pharisees. The use of the word sozo suggests a miracle that goes beyond physical healing. (tharseo—have courage). Matthew 9:14 brings out the response of another group to Jesus’ message of forgiveness from sin. Jesus came to call sinners to Him. Second, there is an abounding joy in a forgiven sinner. All of these we live under the protection, inspiration and guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whom we honor as "our Mother and sister. Jesus obviously does the same. The Old Testament only specifically commanded one fast per year which was on the Day of Atonement. 25But when the crowd was put out, he entered in, took her by the hand, and the girl arose (Greek: egerthe—arose—the word for resurrection). At that time the Jews lived separated from the tax collectors and sinners and they did not eat with them at the same table. They refused to seek the spiritual physician.
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