Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIII: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
H. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Power Over Human Traditions
(Matthew 9:9-17)
  1. Introduction
    1. By the time Jesus arrived in Israel to offer Himself as her Messiah, Judaism had become so encrusted with man's traditions that they were often more of a hindrance than a help in righteousness. Indeed, in Matthew 15:3, Jesus complained how one of Israel's traditions actually countered obedience to Scripture!
    2. Thus, Jesus had to supersede such traditions, and His power to do so is revealed in Matthew 9:9-17:
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Power Over Human Traditions, Matthew 9:9-17.
    1. Christ revealed His power over the errant tradition of excessive separation from sinners, Matthew 9:9-13:
      1. Hebrew tax collectors like Matthew in Matthew 9:9 were hated by their countrymen, for they collected taxes for their Gentile overlords, the Romans, using government power to extort more money than was due so they could pocket the difference for gain, Bible Knowledge Commentary, N. T., p. 39.
      2. Accordingly, the Pharisees would never eat with such people (Ibid.).
      3. Jesus looked beyond the sinfulness of Matthew and saw he was open to Him, so He called Matthew to leave his job at the "tax collector's booth" and follow Him as His disciple, Matthew 9:9 NIV.
      4. Not only did Matthew follow Jesus, but he hosted a meal in his home, inviting other tax collectors to join him to meet Jesus, and the Lord attended the meal, Matthew 9:10. (Ibid.)
      5. This brought the Pharisees in Matthew 9:11 to Jesus' disciples to ask, "Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?" The "publicans" (KJV) were tax collectors for the Romans, and "sinners" were "those whose daily occupations rendered them ceremonially unclean and not, in Pharisaic eyes, to be associated with," Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matthew 9:10.
      6. Jesus replied that those who were healthy did not need a physician, but those who were ill, Matt. 9:12. The tax collectors were open to Jesus, realizing their need, so He ate with them to minister unto them.
      7. Jesus then supported His stance by citing Hosea 6:6 where God put showing mercy above even the technical practices of the Law such as sacrifices, Matthew 9:13.
    2. Christ revealed His power over the errant tradition of excessive fasting, Matthew 9:14-17:
      1. Jesus' dining with tax collectors also bothered the disciples of John the Baptizer, so they asked Jesus why they and the Pharisees often fasted while Christ's disciples did not fast, Matthew 9:14.
      2. Actually, Scripture required the Hebrews to fast only once a year -- on the Day of Atonement, Lev. 23:26-32; Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, vol. Two, p. 502. However, many man-made traditions on fasting developed over the centuries until it was considered godly to fast often.
      3. Jesus told John's disciples that the children of the bride chamber cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, Matthew 9:15a. Thus, Jesus as the Bridegroom, the Messiah, was offering the Kingdom, a time of rejoicing, so it was not fitting for His disciples to mourn by fasting.
      4. However, in referring to His coming death, Jesus taught that the Bridegroom, the Messiah, would be taken away from His disciples, and then they would fast in mourning, Matthew 9:15b.
      5. In addition, Jesus explained that the old dispensation of the Law was not fit to reflect God's bountiful grace in the Kingdom much like a new patch cannot be sewn onto an old garment, nor new wine put into already old, stretched wineskins, for the old cannot connect to the new with any edifying results, Matthew 9:16-17. Similarly, the practices of the dispensation of the Kingdom cannot fit into the practices of the dispensation of the Law, but a totally new set of regulations must exist in switching from the Law to the Kingdom, John F. Walvoord, Matthew - Thy Kingdom Come, 1974, p. 69-70.
Lesson: Jesus as the Messiah countered human traditions that hindered sinners who were open to the truth from coming to Christ, and that hindered expressions of God's bountiful grace in the Kingdom.

Application: (1) May trust in Christ as Messiah. (2) Then, may we relate to any sinner who is open to the truth, and live free of the Mosaic Law and human traditions that counter God's grace in our era!