Morris, Leon. The Gospel according to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992.
“III. Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee, 4:12-13:52” pp. 79-363.
Due to the length of this portion, we will divide notes roughly by biblical chapter.
“D. Jesus’ Ministry of Healing 8:1-9:34” “Matthew 9” pp. 213-240.
As Jesus heals a paralyzed man in Matthew 9:1-8, Morris sees Jesus’ power to forgive sins as proven by his ability to bring physical healing. Declaring forgiveness “must have astounded everybody” (Morris 1992, 215). Jesus shows his authority by healing the man (Morris 1992, 217).
After this healing Matthew describes his call to be a disciple of Jesus (Morris 1992, 218). All three synoptic Gospels tell of the call of Levi, or Matthew, right after the healing mentioned above, and always at his tax office (Morris 1992, 218). At the center of the event is not a conversation but a command. Jesus calls Matthew and Matthew comes (Morris 1992, 219). The call is followed by a dinner at which many “sinners” are found. The other Gospels say it was at Matthew’s house (Morris 1992, 220). Jesus uses this opportunity to come to social outcasts as their savior (Morris 1992, 221). Matthew follows this description with Jesus’ teaching on fasting as an aspect of discipleship (Morris 1992, 223). Morris observes the strong symbolic relationship of Jesus and the bridegroom he mentions in this passage (Morris 1992, 224). Morris goes on to comment that Jesus’ description of a patch on clothing shows “that Jesus is not trying to patch up a worn-out Judaism” (Morris 1992, 226). Jesus’ approach could not be contained within Jewish thought. It had to change the religious landscape.Matthew goes on in 9:18-34 with stories of more healings.
Matthew goes on in 9:18-34 with stories of more healings. A synagogue ruler comes to Jesus for help (Morris 1992, 228). While on the way, a woman with a flow of blood came and touched Jesus’ garment, receiving healing (Morris 1992, 229). Morris observes that the woman had been ceremonially unclean as long as the ruler’s daughter had been alive. The woman as well as the ruler approached Jesus in faith, central to Matthew’s Gospel (Morris 1992, 228). In the case of healing the girl, Jesus knows that to him death is simply like sleep. He wakes the girl from death (Morris 1992, 231).
Matthew 9:27-31 tells of the healing of two blind men. Morris observes that Jesus gives sight to the blind frequently (Morris 1992, 232). Morris understands Jesus’ healing to be in response to faith but not in any way as deserved by faith (Morris 1992, 234). In verses 32-34 Jesus heals a man who has a demon and cannot talk. The narrative does not speak of faith or even a request from the man or his friends. Jesus takes action (Morris 1992, 236).
In 9:35-10:42 Matthew gives Jesus’ second major discourse (Morris 1992, 237). In 9:35-38 Matthew introduces the discourse as Jesus sees crowds which are struggling. He tells his disciples to pray that the Lord would send out workers (Morris 1992, 238). The critical element in this is prayer, not action. The Lord is the one who will send out workers (Morris 1992, 240).