A Show of Power for those Who Wanted More than a Show

April 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Posted in Matthew | 6 Comments
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The Gospel of Matthew appears to be organized into sections, with a section of factual information, followed by a set of lessons, then a transitional statement, before another section of facts. If this is accurate, then the first such transitional statement in the book is probably:

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

Matthew 7:28

Since Matthew stresses Jesus’s role as King, and if the Sermon on the Mount found in Chapters 5-7 is read as the King saying, “Here is what my Kingdom is like,” then Chapter 8 is where the King begins to put the power of His Kingdom on display.

There are multiple reasons for why Jesus performed miracles during His earthly ministry. Among them was definitely His desire to help people who were hurting. Another was to give a sign to the Jewish people (I Corinthians 1:22). Yet another was to illustrate the lessons He was teaching. He did not perform miracles merely to attract sight-seers.

And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Matthew 8:4

In Chapter 8 the miracles He performed benefited outcasts: a leper (unclean); a gentile (the centurion); and a woman (Peter’s mother-in-law. Who could be more of an outcast than a mother-in-law? Sorry, just kidding). According to tradition, the Pharisees had a typical daily prayer that said, “Thank You, God, that I am not a slave [conveniently ignoring their status as Roman subjects], not a gentile, and not a woman.” But these were exactly the types of people to whom Jesus wanted to bring the power of His Kingdom.

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

Matthew 8:18-22

Jesus wanted loyal followers, not just “hangers-on.” He didn’t want an entourage or a “posse.”

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  1. […] second big transitional phrase in Matthew comes at the beginning of Chapter […]

  2. […] By the time we get to Matthew Chapter 13 we have seen the King’s arrival announced, His background confirmed, His Kingdom described and explained, and His power displayed. […]

  3. […] So far in this Study of Matthew we have seen the King’s genealogy, and historical proof of His kingship. We have also looked at the principles of His Kingdom, and have seen the King and His followers begin to put those principles into practice, and to display the power of the King. […]

  4. […] statement commending someone’s “great faith” is reminiscent of His statement to the centurion from Matthew Chapter 8. The gentiles, during the Old Testament period were “afar off,” […]

  5. […] Vision (Matthew 6:22-23) 15. What Exactly Did Jesus Say about Being Judgmental? (Matthew 7) 16. A Show of Power for those Who Wanted More than a Show (Matthew 7-8) 17. When Pigs Fly (a.k.a. Deviled Ham) (Matthew 8:28-34) 18. The Great House Call […]

  6. […] healed multitudes, and this caused crowds to gather, but, sadly, most of the people in these crowds wanted only what Jesus could do for them […]


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