John T. Willis

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Biblical Teaching of Disciples--2

Matthew 9:10-26 contains three stories involving Jesus. In this section of Matthew, there are several verses dealing with "disciples."

1. Jesus calls Matthew to be his disciple. Matthew 9:10-13:
    And as he [Jesus] sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners
                          came and were sitting with him AND HIS DISCIPLES.
    When the Pharisees saw this, they said to HIS DISCIPLES,
     "Why does YOUR TEACHER eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
     But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician,
                              but those who are sick.
     Go and LEARN what this means, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."
     For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
     a. Verse 10 emphasizes that a disciple interacts with his teacher. Jesus and his disciples were sitting together in the house of Matthew to share a meal. Thus, there is a very close fellowship between a teacher and his/her disciple. The disciple LEARNS from his teacher by association and example.
     b. In verses 11-13, the Pharisees accused Jesus' disciples that Jesus was sinning by eating a meal with tax collectors and sinners. Jesus overheard their accusation and responded with a metaphor. Jesus is like a physician and tax collectors and sinners are sick [spiritually]. Therefore, the role of a physician is to be with the sick, not to stay away from the sick. All of us are sick spiritually, and therefore we need the great physician Jesus for healing. Following his example, his disciples must be near the spiritually sick and attempt to let Jesus heal them through our lives. As the great physician, Jesus shows mercy on the spiritual sick, and he calls sinners for healing and not the righteous. Obviously, "the righteous" do not really exist, but only pretend they are righteous. All of us need Jesus' healing.

2. A Question about Fasting. Matthew 9:14-17:
    Then THE DISCIPLES OF JOHN came to him [Jesus], saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees
                       fast often, but YOUR [Jesus'] DISCIPLES do not fast?"
     And Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom
                       is with them, can they?
     The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and they they will fast.
     No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak,
                      and a worse tear is made.
     Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled,
                      and the skins are destroyed;
     the new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.
     a. In verse 14, we find that John the Baptist had disciples of his own. At that time, they practiced fasting as a symbol of mourning. They asked Jesus why Jesus' DISCIPLES do not fast.
     b. Jesus gave three examples in response. Verses 15-17.
         1. Jesus is like a bridegroom, and it is inappropriate for the guests of the wedding to mourn. When the bridegroom goes away, then it will be appropriate for them to mourn. This is why right now Jesus' disciples do not mourn. They will mourn later when Jesus is crucified on the cross.
         2. One does not put an unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, because when one washes the cloak, it will tear. In the same way, Jesus' disciples must follow the example and teaching of Jesus and not adopt the teaching of the Pharisees.
         3. One does not put new wine in old wineskins, because of he does the wineskins will burst. In the same way, Jesus' disciples must follow the example and teaching of Jesus, not that of the Pharisees.

3. Jesus heals the daughter of the leader of the synagogue and the woman suffering from hemorrhages. Matthew 9:18-26.
    While he [Jesus] was saying all these things to them,
     suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying,
     "My daughter has just die; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
     And Jesus got up and followed him, WITH HIS DISCIPLES.
     Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years
           came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak,
     for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well."
     Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well."
     And instantly the woman was made well.
     When Jesus came to the leader's house and saw the flute players and crowd making a commotion,
     he said, "Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him.
     But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.
      And the report of this spread throughout that district.
     a. When the leader of the synagogue approached Jesus to raise his daughter from the dead, Jesus went with him along with his disciples. When Jesus raised the leader's daughter from the dead and his disciples saw firsthand how Jesus deals with people in distress and need. Disciples learn by being with Jesus and following his example.
     b. Jesus' disciples were also with Jesus when he healed the woman suffering from hemorrhages, and they learned firsthand how Jesus supports and helps and encourages needy people.

These passages emphasize that true disciples are followers of Jesus, who learn from his examples as he deals with various types of people.

Share YOUR experiences and contributions and insights and thoughts and shortcomings with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


Post a Comment

<< Home