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Matthew 9:1-17

Jesus Our Savior

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • September 16, 2018

Why do we put God in a box? Because we want Him to be predictable, safe, and submitted to our preferences and wishes. But God will not be boxed in by anyone! In fact, He loves us so much that He is committed to busting out of our boxes so that we may have a living, maturing, and even stretching relationship with Him; a relationship that requires a complete abandonment of all trust in self so that we may completely trust in Him.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Jesus Our Savior

Matthew 9:1-17

ILLUS – Malina’s birthday wish

1. Maintaining the “status quo”. Like my little girl, there are times when I just want to maintain the status quo because it’s safe, it’s familiar, it’s predictable, and it’s comfortable.

2. But sometimes maintaining the status quo creates problems because doing so interferes with personal growth and maturity.

3. It can even impact our relationship with God. When maintaining the status quo impacts our faith, we stagnate because we have put God in the “proverbial box”.

4. And why do we put God in a box? Because we want Him to be predictable, safe, and submitted to our preferences and wishes.

5. But God will not be boxed in by anyone! In fact, He loves us so much that He is committed to busting out of our boxes so that we may have a living, maturing, and even stretching relationship with Him; a relationship that requires a complete abandonment of all trust in self so that we may completely trust in Him.

6. Tonight, we will discover how Jesus busted out of the boxes of those who were following Him so that they could have a living, maturing, and even stretching relationship with God through Jesus, our Savior.

Matthew 9:1-17


1. In Matthew 8-9, Jesus was in the northern end of the Sea of Galilee by His town of Capernaum.

2. He had just finished His Sermon on the Mount in which He told the people of Israel that to enter the kingdom of heaven, they must be transformed in the inner man, a transformation that happens when a person has placed his or her faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

3. After the Sermon on the Mount, we are told that the crowds were amazed by His teaching because “He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes”. (7:29) 

4. The events that unfolded next, demonstrated Jesus’ power and authority. He had spoken as one having authority, now Jesus revealed His power and authority over all of creation in Matthew 8-9.

5. There are ten miracles recorded in these chapters, each with powerful applications for our lives. We will focus on the sixth miracle this evening along with His calling of the author of this Gospel, Matthew.

I. Jesus has Authority to Forgive Sins (1-8)

  • The scene that unfolds in Matthew 9 is one of a paralytic lying on a bed or a stretcher, who had four friends that believed that if they brought him to Jesus, He would heal their friend.
  • According to Luke 5, we’re told that they could not bring their friend to Jesus through the front door because the size of the crowd was so great. So, they climbed onto the roof, removed the ceiling tiles, and lowered their friend down by ropes right into the presence of Jesus.
  • Jesus then said three things to this man that amazed everyone in the house. And it’s here that we receive great insight into what God is doing for us all through Jesus, our Savior. 

A. “Take courage, My son”

1.I am encouraged to hear how Jesus addressed the man.

2.Jesus began by addressing the man directly to calm his troubled soul and to strengthen his heart.

3.When Jesus said, “Take courage, My son”, He said two significant things.

a.“My son” speaks of how much Jesus cared for him and loved him. It is how a father would speak to his child after they had fallen and gotten hurt.

b.“Take courage” is a word which means, “There’s nothing to be afraid of, let not your heart be troubled.”

APPL – Here again, we see the heart of God for the lost in Jesus’ words. Through Jesus, God was inaugurating a new dispensation or season of grace because of His love for us. God wants to change our lives with His love. He did not come to load us down with burdens. He came to set us free.

Matthew 11:28-30, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

B. “Your sins are forgiven”

1.The friends brought the paralytic to Jesus to be healed. But if Jesus healed the man first, the people would have missed an opportunity to learn more about who Jesus is. The walls of their box needed to be broken down!

2.Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” Jesus addressed the greater need first!

APPL – Forgiveness is a central theme of Christianity. God sent His Son so that we might have everlasting life, but our sins have separated us from God. Therefore, Jesus was addressing the greatest need.

Isaiah 59:1-2, Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God

I don’t think we should conclude that this man was a paralytic because of a particular sin.

As we read the Bible, it is clear that all sickness and disease can be traced back to the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

The Bible declares that everything God created was good. Then, after Adam sinned, the consequences of Adam’s choice fell upon everything under Adam’s authority; even earth itself was subjected to the corruption of sin.

So, the forgiveness of sin is essential for one to be reconciled to God and that’s why God sent His Son, Jesus, to be our Savior.

2 Corinthians 5:19, God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them

I’m sure this man had been carrying a great burden all of his life, that he must have done something, or perhaps his parents have done something to cause this great tragedy in his life because it was a commonly held belief that one’s disease or sickness was the result of sin. John 9 reveals even the disciples had this point of view…

John 9:1-3, As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

I’m sure there were many who would have shaken their heads in disgust and ridiculed him, accusing him of some unknown wrongdoing. So, Jesus began by releasing him of this great burden.

3.Here, God was demonstrating that Jesus, the Son of Man, had authority on earth to forgive sins, therefore He told the paralytic to “Rise, take up your bed, and go home.” (6)

4.The account in Luke 5 gives additional insight.

Luke 5:21, The scribes and Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

APPL – They were correct that only God can forgive sins. When the paralytic stood to his feet and walked away, the scribes and Pharisees boxes were busted wide open. What further evidence would they need to prove that Jesus is the Son of Man, our Savior?

II.Our God is a God of New Beginnings (9-17)

The next section in the Gospel of Matthew involves the calling of Matthew and how he came to Christ. 

This is very helpful because it flows so perfectly out of what has happened thus far in Jesus’ ministry. 

God had been demonstrating the authority of Jesus so that we might believe and in believing have life. How does this happen? 

First, by the forgiveness of sin we can have relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. But then, we must follow Jesus.  

We need to follow Jesus and walk with Jesus so that we might become more like Jesus.

A.Leave the old ways behind

1.The amazing part of this story is that Jesus called a man who was a tax collector. This was as radical as Jesus touching and healing a leper!

2.Tax collectors were hated by the Jews because they were thought of as traitors.

a.By this time the Roman Empire had become so successful that no Roman citizen was taxed and Italy, itself, was exempt.

b.The Roman tax system was such that they would auction off the rights to tax certain regions for a given period of time. It was then up to the one who purchased the rights to exact whatever taxes he desired.

c.The system was entirely corrupt.

3.Capernaum was a strategic location for collecting taxes from people who wished to sell goods. Coming from Damascus or the Mediterranean, they would have to pay their taxes before they could travel any further.

4.When Jesus saw Matthew sitting in the tax office on the outskirts of Capernaum, He said to him, “Follow Me!” In the Gospel of Luke, we glean more insight.

Luke 5:28, And he left everything behind, then got up and began to follow Him.

5.Matthew gave up a very secure and lucrative position, but he must have seen that it was actually worthless compared to what Jesus was offering!

Jim Elliott, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Philippians 3:7-8, But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ

APPL – Leaving everything behind is so important because you can’t walk as Jesus walked and still walk like we used to in the ways of this world. There must be a sense of urgency!

ILLUS – Employee Bulletin Board

Ephesians 2:1-2, And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Some walk according to the course of this world, fall into a ditch and want help getting out.

But Jesus doesn’t just lift us up out of the muddy ditch so that we can keep walking like we used to.

He wants us to leave the old behind and follow Him.

B. Jesus makes all things new

1.What happened next was that Matthew invited all of his sinner friends to come and have dinner with Jesus.

APPL – I love this story! Sometimes the best evangelists are those who just came to faith in Jesus Christ because in their excitement and zeal for the Lord, they want to invite their sinner friends to meet Jesus as well!

2.But when the scribes and Pharisees saw this, they said to the disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with tax collectors and sinners?” (11)

a.This is the second official confrontation with Jesus, the first occurred earlier with the paralytic. (3)

b.Once again, Jesus exploded their box.

  • He had touched and healed a leper.
  • He healed a centurion’s servant and then commended the man’s great faith.
  • He told a paralytic his sins were forgiven and then healed him to prove it was so.
  • Now, He called a tax-collector to be His disciple and then eats with his sinner friends! Their heads were about to explode! 

3.Jesus’ answer was filled with insight. “It is not those who are healthy (self-righteous) who need a physician, but those who are sick.”

APPL – In other words, we need to recognize our own condition. Before we can be forgiven, we need to recognize our need for a Savior, we need forgiveness.

4.Jesus said, “Go and learn what this means.” This was a Jewish expression that the Pharisees commonly used when they wanted to correct someone unlearned in the Scriptures. It would’ve been a stinging rebuke.

5.Then He quoted from Hosea 6:6, “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice.” The Pharisees were focused on outward religion and rituals, but Jesus was healing sinners with God’s heart of compassion in fulfillment of God’s purpose and Word.

6.In verses 16-17, Jesus explained that new cloth and new wine is a picture of the fact that the Old Covenant, the Mosaic Law, was being replaced by the New Covenant, a New Covenant that did not focus on the external adherence to religion and rituals but one that involves a new heart that has been transformed by God’s grace and love.

APPL – Everyone likes a fresh new start! God does too! He established a New Covenant through the death and resurrection of His Son. Jesus is making all things new!

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.


Matthew was also called Levi, the name of Israel’s son from whom the priestly line came. You can imagine his parents giving him that name in the hope that he would one day serve God. But instead, he became a tax collector, that is, until he met Jesus, someone worth following.

Matthew 9:1-17     NASB 

1 Getting into a boat, Jesus crossed over the sea and came to His own city.
2 And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”3 And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.” 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”7 And he got up and went home. 8 But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
9 As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He *said to him, “Follow Me!” And he got up and followed Him.
10 Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
14 Then the disciples of John *came to Him, asking, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?” 15 And Jesus said to them, “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.16 But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and a worse tear results.17 Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wineskins burst, and the wine pours out and the wineskins are ruined; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

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