Life Recovery Bible - Page 17

M atthew 9 / Page 1209
Jesus Heals Two Demon-Possessed Men
When ­Jesus arrived on the other side of the
lake, in the region of the Gad­a­renes,* two
men who were possessed by demons met
him. They came out of the tombs and were
so violent that no one could go through that
They began screaming at him, “Why are
you interfering with us, Son of God? Have
you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?”
There happened to be a large herd of
pigs feeding in the distance. 31 So the demons
begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that
herd of pigs.”
“All right, go!” ­Jesus commanded them.
So the demons came out of the men and entered the pigs, and the whole herd plunged
down the steep hillside into the lake and
drowned in the water.
The herdsmen fled to the nearby town,
telling every­
one what happened to the
demon-­possessed men. 34 Then the entire
town came out to meet J­ esus, but they begged
him to go away and leave them alone.
Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
­Jesus climbed into a boat and went back
across the lake to his own town. 2 Some
people brought to him a paralyzed man on a
mat. Seeing their faith, J­ esus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your
sins are forgiven.”
But some of the teachers of religious law
said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does
he think he’s God?”
­Jesus knew* what they were thinking, so
he asked them, “Why do you have such evil
thoughts in your hearts? 5 Is it easier to say
‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and
walk’? 6 So I will prove to you that the Son
of Man* has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then J­ esus turned to the paralyzed
man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat,
and go home!”
And the man jumped up and went home!
Fear swept through the crowd as they saw
this happen. And they praised God for giving
humans such authority.
Jesus Calls Matthew
As ­Jesus was walking along, he saw a man
named Mat­thew sitting at his tax collector’s
booth. “Follow me and be my disciple,”
­Jesus said to him. So Mat­thew got up and
followed him.
Later, Mat­thew invited ­Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along
with many tax collectors and other dis­
reputable sinners. 11 But when the Phar­i­sees
saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does
your teacher eat with such scum?*”
When J­ esus heard this, he said, “Healthy
people don’t need a doctor—sick people
do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn
the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you
to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’* For I
have come to call not those who think they
are righteous, but those who know they are
A Discussion about Fasting
One day the disciples of John the Baptist
came to J­esus and asked him, “Why don’t
your disciples fast* like we do and the Phar­
i­sees do?”
­Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests mourn
while celebrating with the groom? Of course
not. But someday the groom will be taken
away from them, and then they will fast.
“Besides, who would patch old clothing
:28 Other manuscripts read Gerasenes; still others read Gergesenes. Compare Mark 5:1; Luke 8:26. 9:4 Some
manuscripts read saw. 
9:6 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. 9:11 Greek with tax collectors and sinners? 
9:13 Hos 6:6 (Greek version). 9:14 Some manuscripts read fast often.
9:1-7 The Jewish religious leaders thought it blasphemous that Jesus claimed to forgive sins, but
they considered it just as impossible for him to heal the paralyzed man. By doing the impossible—
healing the man—Jesus was challenging his critics to realize that he also had the power to forgive
sins. Implicit in his actions was his claim to deity, because only God can forgive sins. Knowing this
truth should give us the courage to turn to Jesus for help. As God’s own Son, Jesus has the power
to offer forgiveness and recovery to all who trust in him.
9:14-17 Using two analogies, Jesus contrasted religious ritualism that cannot save with true spiritual power that can transform a life. The new unshrunk cloth and new wine represent the power
for recovery that Jesus offers. The old garment and wineskins refer to the ritualistic lifestyles and
outward appearances characteristic of many Jews in Jesus’ day. Jesus could just as easily be speaking directly to us who need recovery today. Small, external adjustments will not bring relief from
our addictions. We need the newness of full recovery in Jesus Christ.

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