Matthew 9

Matthew 9:

Jesus Forgives Sins

In this chapter, in a way that only Jesus could, shoots down those who criticize him.

Jesus is lead to a man who is sick on a bed, afflicted with Palsy. He tells them afflicted man; “…Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee.” (Matthew 9:2) Some of the scribes that overhead this, said to themselves that Jesus blasphemeth, by telling a man his sins were forgiven. Jesus, knowing their thoughts asks them men; “…Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins…” (Matthew 9:4-6) Jesus then turns to the afflicted man and tells him to; “…Arise, take up thy bed ad go unto thine house.” (Matthew 9:7) Jesus put the scribes in their place.

Jesus passed by the tax office and saw Matthew sitting outside, he tells Matthew to follow him, and Matthew agrees. Later Jesus joins publicans and sinners for a meal. The Pharisees, trying to capture Jesus in some sort of scandal, asks Him; “…Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11) Jesus responds again in a way that shoots them down and puts them in their place; “…They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick…. For I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

While speaking to these men, a ruler came to Jesus and begged him to come and bless his daughter, who had just passed away. Jesus agrees and goes into see the young lady. While he is traveling to see the young lady, an old woman, who was stricken with a blood disease, touches the hem of Jesus’s garment. The lady, having so much faith said to herself; “…If I but may touch his garment, I shall be whole.” (Matthew 9:21) Jesus having felt her touch, turns (in a crowded area) and told the lady; “…Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made me whole…” (Matthew 9:22)

When Jesus arrived at the young lady’s house he tells them men there, that she is not dead, but sleeping. The men laugh at Jesus, but Jesus took her by her hand and caused that she would arise from her sleep.

After leaving the house of the young lady, two blind men approach Jesus and ask to be healed. Jesus asks them, testing their faith; “…Believe ye that I am able to do this? And they said unto him, Yea, Lord.” (Matthew 9:28) Jesus then touched their eyes and they were healed, having the ability to now see. They were very grateful, and the Lord swore them to secrecy. However, they spread the word of this miracle throughout the land. The fame of Jesus was spreading throughout the land, and his criticism spread as well.

Matthew 8

Matthew 8:

Jesus Heals a Leper 

                Jesus ends his Sermon, and begins to come down off the mountain when a leper approaches him and asks him; “…Lord, if thou wilt, canst thou make me clean.” (Matthew 8:2)

Jesus then puts forth his hand and made him clean. Jesus tells the man to depart to a priest and cleanse himself according to the Law of Moses. Jesus then goes to Capernaum and while there is asked to heal a man suffering from Palsy. The man explains that his servant is ill, but that he is not worthy for the Lord to enter into his house to heal the man. Instead, the man asks Jesus to heal him from a distance, and remarkably Jesus agrees, even stating that the man had more faith than most. Jesus tells the man; “…Go thy way; and as thou has believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” (Matthew 7:13) One thing that we can learn from this experience, is that we need faith to be healed.

While speaking to the man, Jesus also mentions part of the Plan of Salvation. He speaks of the lowest level, or “hell” as “…outer darkness…” where there shall be “…weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 7:12)

                Jesus then continues on to heal and cast out evil spirits. Jesus even healed Peter (the apostle) mother in law. This is very interesting because it proves that Apostles were allowed to marry.

“…Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of fever.” (Matthew 7:14)

                Jesus, presumably near the docks, is told by a scribe; “…Master, I will follow thee withersoever thou goest… suffer me first to go and bury my father.” (Matthew 7:19,21) We can assume that this scribe had just lost his father, and wished to join Jesus before he left the area. However he asks Jesus to give him enough time to bury his father before following him. Jesus answers him in a very interesting way; “…Follow me; and let the dead bury the dead.” (Matthew 7:22) I don’t believe that Jesus was being insensitive; rather he was expressing how important missionary work is. Jesus essentially told the man that if he wished to follow him, he needed to do it NOW, and not wait.

Jesus then gets on ship with his disciples and sails out into the waters. While in the water, a storm arises and causes the ship to be shaken and covered with waves. The disciples/apostles get nervous and worry that they might perish. During this event, Jesus was fast asleep, so out of desperation and panic the men awake Jesus; “…Lord, save us: we perish.” (Matthew 7:25) Jesus then turns to them and says; “…Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.” (Matthew 7:26)

                In shock and awe, as if the apostles and disciples had not seen enough miracles of Jesus healing the sick and casting out devils, the men on the ship question what they just saw… “…What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 7:27)

                Jesus and his disciples arrive on the other side of the country in Gergesenes, where they meet two men possessed of devils. The devils cry out to Jesus and ask Him, if He was there to torment them. Notice how the evil, fears Jesus? The evil spirits knew that Jesus would cast them out of their human host, and in desperation of having a body, the evil spirits ask Jesus to allow them to possess a group of pigs. Jesus allows this and after leaving their human host, they possess a herd of swine. After they were in their new host, the “…whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea and perished in the waters.” (Matthew 7:32)

One thing that we can learn from this is that evil spirits EXIST. They are capable of possession, but only if we allow them into our bodies. Jesus had the power to cast them out of their human host and into a pig. The evil spirits are so jealous that they will never receive a human body, that they are desperate enough to possess a pig! Although shortly after entering the pig, and realizing that it is not the same as having a human body, they commit suicide by running over a cliff to their death.

I find this to be a wonderful, short film that helps us to understand the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It is not a full account. but a short and condensed version for those who wish not to read, or would like something to supplement their reading…

Isaiah 13-14

Isaiah 13-14

Chapter 13: The End of the World

The burden against Babylon. (‘Burden’ = an important message causing sorrow.) An army comes against Babylon. A day of the Lord is promised – great slaughter shall occur, and humans will be more rare than gold. The Medes will be stirred up against Babylon. Babylon will be laid waste, and populated only by wild beasts.

“For the stars of heaven and the constellation thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.” (Isaiah 13:10)

“There for I [God] will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place… shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.” (Isaiah 13:13&19)

Chapter 14: Lucifer is Cast Out!

Israel will be settled in its own land, and rule over strangers. The whole earth will rejoice at the fall of the king of Babylon. The pomp of Babylon shall come to nothing, and be received in hell.

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:12-17)

The fall is a punishment for aspiring to be like the Most High. The nations will be amazed at the complete reversal of fortune. Unlike other kings who sleep in glory, the king of Babylon will be cast out of his grave. Assyria and Philistia will also be crushed.

Psalms 85-86

Psalms 85-86

Chapter 85: Truth Shall Spring out of the Earth

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah

                The author starts this Psalm by telling the Lord that He has been favorable unto the people, the author asks the Lord for His mercy and salvation.

The Lord will speak peace unto His saints; salvation comes to those that fear God.

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalms 85:10) With TRUTH, there can be Mercy, and with that righteousness and peace can come.

But the most important verse in this Psalm; “Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” (Psalms 85:11) – In other words; The Book of Mormon will come out of the Earth (Joseph Smith unearthed gold plates, and translated them into the Book of Mormon) and that Book will bring the world the truth and with that truth righteousness will look down from heaven.

Chapter 86: Saved from the lowest Hell

A Prayer of David

                David prays to the Lord and asks Him to “Teach me thy way, O Lord; O will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” (Psalms 86:11) – This is very interesting, David has asked the Lord to not only lead him and guide him… but David asks the Lord to teach his heart to seek the Lord and not the things of the world. Because if in his heart he fears the Lord, then he will not want to do anything to anger or upset the Lord.

David continues by asking the Lord for his mercy, so that he can be saved from the “…lowest hell.” (Psalms 86:13), this is most likely referring to the “sons of perdition” which is the ultimate hell reserved for those who deny the Holy Ghost and after having been given a perfect knowledge deny the Lord.

The Lord is “…full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (Psalms 86:15) – David asks that he can be comforted and saved from his enemies.