The Passion Translation
Forgiveness and Healing
9 Jesus got into the boat and returned to what was considered his hometown, Capernaum.[a] 2 Just then some people brought a paraplegic man to him, lying on a sleeping mat. When Jesus perceived the strong faith within their hearts, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, be encouraged, for your sins have been forgiven.”[b]
3 These words prompted some of the religious scholars who were present to think, “Why, that’s nothing but blasphemy!”
4 Jesus supernaturally perceived their thoughts, and said to them, “Why do you carry such evil in your hearts? 5 Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or, ‘Stand up and walk!’?[c] 6 But now, to convince you that the Son of Man has been given authority to forgive sins, I say to this man, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk home.’” 7 Immediately the man sprang to his feet and left for home.
8 When the crowds witnessed this miracle, they were awestruck.[d] They shouted praises to God because he had given such authority to human beings.
Jesus Calls Matthew to Follow Him
9 As Jesus left Capernaum he came upon a tax-collecting station, where a traitorous Jew was busy at his work,[e] collecting taxes for the Romans. His name was Matthew. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said to him. Immediately Matthew jumped up and began to follow Jesus.
10 Later, Jesus went to Matthew’s home to share a meal with him. Many other tax collectors and outcasts of society were invited to eat with Jesus and his disciples.
11 When those known as the Pharisees saw what was happening, they were indignant, and they kept asking Jesus’ disciples, “Why would your Master dine with such lowlifes?”
12 When Jesus overheard this, he spoke up and said, “Healthy people don’t need to see a doctor, but the sick[f] will go for treatment.” 13 Then he added, “Now you should go and study the meaning of the verse:
I want you to show mercy, not just offer me a sacrifice.[g]
For I have come to invite the outcasts of society and sinners, not those who think they are already on the right path.”[h]
Jesus Brings a New Reality
14 The disciples of John the Baptizer approached Jesus with this question: “Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast regularly, but not your disciples?”
15 Jesus replied, “How can the sons of the bridal chamber[i] grieve when the Bridegroom is next to them? But the days of fasting will come when the Bridegroom is taken away from them. 16 And who would mend worn-out clothing with new fabric? When the new cloth shrinks it will rip, making the hole worse than before. 17 And who would pour fresh, new wine into an old wineskin? Eventually the wine will ferment and make the wineskin burst, losing everything—the wine is spilled and the wineskin ruined. Instead, new wine is always poured into a new wineskin so that both are preserved.”[j]
Jesus Heals and Raises the Dead
18 While Jesus was still speaking, an influential Jewish leader[k] approached and knelt before him, saying, “Help me! My daughter has just died. Please come and place your hand upon her so that she will live again.” 19 So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him.
20 Suddenly, a woman came from behind Jesus and touched the tassel of his prayer shawl for healing.[l] She had been suffering from continual bleeding for twelve years, but had faith that Jesus could heal her. 21 For she kept saying to herself, “If I could only touch his prayer shawl I would be healed.”
22 Just then Jesus turned around and looked at her and said, “My daughter, be encouraged. Your faith has healed you.”[m] And instantly she was healed!
23 When Jesus finally entered the home of the Jewish leader, he saw a noisy crowd of mourners, wailing and playing a funeral dirge on their flutes. 24 He told them, “You must leave, for the little girl is not dead; she’s only asleep.” Then everyone began to ridicule him.
25 After he made the crowd go outside, he went into the girl’s room and gently took hold of her hand. She immediately stood to her feet! 26 And the news of this incredible miracle spread everywhere.
Jesus Opens Blind Eyes
27 As Jesus left the house, two blind men began following him, shouting out over and over, “Son of David,[n] show us mercy and heal us!” 28 And they followed him right into the house where Jesus was staying.[o] So Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I have the power to restore sight to your eyes?”
They replied, “Yes Lord, we believe!”
29 Then Jesus put his hands over their eyes and said, “You will have what your faith expects!” 30 And instantly their eyes opened—they could see! Then Jesus warned them sternly, “Make sure that you tell no one what just happened!” 31 But unable to contain themselves, they went out and spread the news everywhere!
Jesus Heals the Mute
32 While they were leaving, some people brought before Jesus a man with a demon spirit who couldn’t speak. 33 Jesus cast the demon out of him, and immediately the man began to speak plainly. The crowds marveled in astonishment, saying, “We’ve never seen miracles like this in Israel!”[p] 34 But the Pharisees kept saying, “The chief of demons is helping him drive out demons.”
Workers for the Harvest
35 Jesus walked throughout the region[q] with the joyful message of God’s kingdom realm. He taught in their meeting houses, and wherever he went he demonstrated God’s power by healing every kind of disease and illness.
36 When he saw the vast crowds of people, Jesus’ heart was deeply moved with compassion, because they seemed weary and helpless, like wandering sheep without a shepherd. 37 He turned to his disciples and said, “The harvest is huge and ripe! But there are not enough harvesters to bring it all in. 38 As you go, plead with the Owner of the Harvest to thrust out[r] many more reapers to harvest his grain!”
- Matthew 9:1 Jesus had moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. See Matt. 4:13.
- Matthew 9:2 The Hebrew Matthew reads, “By the faith of the Mighty One your sins are forgiven.” See also Ps. 103:3.
- Matthew 9:5 It is easy for anyone to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” for that cannot be proven. But if someone were to tell a paralyzed man to stand up, and he didn’t stand up, that would prove the person is a fraud. Jesus didn’t do the “easy thing” without accomplishing the hard thing, the miracle of healing. Forgiveness and healing both flow from Jesus Christ.
- Matthew 9:8 The Aramaic word used here can mean either “awestruck/marveled,” or “seized with fear.” This may explain the variation within Greek manuscripts.
- Matthew 9:9 Or “sitting at his tax-collecting booth.” Matthew means “gift of God.” He was also known as Levi, which means “joined.” It is possible that he took the name Matthew after becoming a believer.
- Matthew 9:12 The Hebrew word for “sick” can also mean “evil.”
- Matthew 9:13 See Hos. 6:6. To “offer a sacrifice” would be a metaphor for placing strict obedience to the law over the triumph of mercy’s kiss in our dealings with others. Sadly, many religious people today read this as “I desire religious exactness, not mercy.” Transforming ministry shows unmerited mercy to the “sick.”
- Matthew 9:13 The obvious implication Jesus is making is that all are sinners who need to come to him for salvation.
- Matthew 9:15 See Song. 1:4. These sons of the bridal chamber are “Shulamites,” lovers of God.
- Matthew 9:17 The teaching of Jesus is the new wine and the new cloth. What Jesus taught cannot patch up the old religious system, nor can it be contained in a wineskin of worn-out traditions. It is new, exhilarating, and powerful. It must be poured into a heart made new. The new and the old are not meant to be together. Jesus makes all things new. He didn’t come to reform Judaism, but to form a twice-born company of people.
- Matthew 9:18 This was Jairus, who was the leader of the Jewish synagogue and possibly even a member of the Sanhedrin. See Mark 5:21-23; Luke 8:40-42. The interwoven miracles of the daughter being raised from the dead and the woman being healed symbolize Israel and the church. Israel is the “dead daughter” that Jesus will soon raise to new life. On his way to raise her from the dead, he encountered a woman and healed her. The church is the healed woman. The girl, according to Jesus, was only “sleeping.” He will come back to Israel, but on his way, he will heal the woman who touched him by faith. Jesus touched the girl, and the woman touched Jesus. The girl lived twelve years, then died. The woman had been dying twelve years, and then she lived.
- Matthew 9:20 Or “for salvation.” The blue tassel on the corner of the prayer shawl was said to symbolize all commandments and promises of God. See Num. 15:38-40. The Hebrew word for “fringe” or “border” (of a garment) can also mean “wing.” Some have interpreted Mal. 4:2 (“healing in his wings”) as a reference to the tassels of the prayer shawl.
- Matthew 9:22 Or “saved you.”
- Matthew 9:27 This phrase is an obvious messianic term. The blind men are hoping that Jesus is the Messiah who will come and restore sight to the blind. See Isa. 29:18; 35:5-6; 42:7. Other than the wise men at Jesus’ birth, these two blind men were the first to recognize Jesus as King.
- Matthew 9:28 This was most likely in Capernaum.
- Matthew 9:33 Matt. 8 and 9 give us ten miracles that Jesus performed as signs to prove that he is the Messiah. Five are found in each chapter. In ch. 8 we find the leper healed, the military captain’s son healed, Simon’s mother-in-law healed, the raging storm stilled, and two demon-possessed men set free. In ch. 9 we find the paraplegic man healed, the woman with constant bleeding healed, Jairus’ daughter raised from the dead, and two blind men given sight. These signs demonstrated Jesus’ authority and power over sickness, storms, Satan, and death.
- Matthew 9:35 Or “in all the towns and villages.”
- Matthew 9:38 The Greek word ekballo is used many times in the Gospels for driving out or casting out demons. The Lord of the Harvest must cast the laborers out into the harvest fields.