Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“Jesus’ Healings (Matthew 8:1-9:34)” pp. 124-137.
In Matthew 8:1-9:34 Jesus is portrayed as engaged in healing. Mitch says of these evengs, “They [also] sent a powerful message to the Jewish people as a whole about the kind of kingdom Jesus was proclaiming” (Mitch 2010, 124). Jesus was showing that he calls even the weak and sick to himself. To show this, Matthew gives ten miracles, in three different sets. These sets of miracles are separated by statements about discipleship.
The first group of healings are found in Matthew 8:1-17. Here Jesus first heals a leper, surprisingly, by touching him. Rather than Jesus becoming unclean, the leper is cleansed (Mitch 2010, 126). Next, a centurion asks for help, healing for a servant. The centurion knows it would be inappropriate for Jesus, a Jew, to come to his house. He confesses that Jesus’ word is adequate, a sign of great faith (Mitch 2010, 12). Jesus next goes to Peter’s house, where he apparently stays. He heals Peter’s mother-in-law who is ill. Then, later in the day, many people are brought for healing. Jesus’ healing shows that he is the healer of Isaiah 53 (Mitch 2010, 128).
After this group of four healings is a brief lesson in discipleship, followed by two miracles, covering verses 18-34. Jesus calls people to follow him immediately (Mitch 2010, 129). Those who remain with him find challenges, a danger at sea. Jesus stops the apparently supernatural storm by his word. In the region of Gadara, a ceremonially unclean territory, Jesus’ power and holiness purifies people oppressed by demons (Mitch 2010, 131).
Another shift takes place at the start of Matthew 9 when Jesus crosses back to Capernaum (Mitch 2010, 133). In healing a paralyzed man Jesus also points out he can forgive sins, that which only God does. Jesus is then found at a dinner with tax collectors and other sinners. Jesus’ work as a physician of sin involves going to sinners (Mitch 2010, 134).
In Matthew 9:18-34 Jesus performs three more healings (according to Mitch), though we may be able to count four. In verses 18-26 Jesus heals a woman with a hemorrhage and a girl who has just died. Again, both situations would normally make someone unbut Jesus reverses that effect, restoring both to life and society (Mitch 2010, 136). In verses 27-31 Jesus heals two blind men who had called upon him as the Son of David. Then, in verses 32-34, Jesus restores speech to a man who was oppressed by a demon (Mitch 2010, 137). The result of these miracles is that the crowds are angered at Jesus’ ability .While many favor him, the Pharisees oppose him as someone working in league with Satan (Mitch 2010, 137).