Matthewby Mike Raiter
It may seem obvious, but the Bible is not about you or me. While the Bible tells us about ourselves and addresses the issues and problems of life, the subject of the Bible is God and how He has saved the world through His Son. The first question one must ask when reading Matthew's gospel is: What does it teach me about Jesus? The second question should then be: What does it teach me about how I should respond to Him?
Matthew now completes his stunning overview of the miracles of Jesus. Here we see Him raising the dead (vv. 18-19, 23-25), healing a woman with a chronic haemorrhage (vv. 20-22), giving sight to the blind (vv. 27-31), and enabling the dumb to speak (vv. 32-33). Each of these people is in torment: a distraught father whose young daughter has died; an unclean woman living in misery for 12 years; two men locked in a world of perpetual darkness; and a man in captivity to Satan, unable to speak. Jesus ends their torment.
What does this teach us about Jesus? He is a man of unparalleled authority. In Genesis 1 God spoke and creation came into being. Here Jesus speaks and His broken creation is made right. More than that, He is a man of compassion whose heart is deeply moved by the brokenness of people's lives.
What does this teach us about our response to Jesus? The people respond in faith: the father knows that if Jesus is there, his dead daughter ″will live″ (v. 18); the woman knows that if she touches Jesus, ″I will be healed″ (v. 21); the blind men know He can heal them (v. 28). This is the response Jesus wants from us. Notice the focus is not on the power of the faith of the people, but the power of the One who is the object of their faith.
Jesus is just as powerful today. We do not demand that He answer our prayers in the way we would like, but we know He can. There is nothing Jesus' powerful word cannot effect, and His compassionate heart is still deeply moved by the brokenness in people's lives.
What are some of the wrong notions that people have about faith? In light of this passage, how would you define faith?
Why do you think Jesus sternly warned the blind men to keep quiet about who had restored their sight (v. 30)? Why do you think they ignored Jesus' command? What would Jesus have us do?