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

Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom
Part XIV: Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Authority, Matthew 8:1-11:1
I. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Power Over Death
(Matthew 9:18-26)
  1. Introduction
    1. Death at its very core is essentially separation -- a separation of the soul from the body, and a separation of the living from the dead in a parting that no mortal can himself overcome.
    2. Jesus' power over two kinds of "death" separations is presented in Matthew 9:18-26, indicating He is God's Messenger, the Messiah sent from God (as follows):
  2. Christ As Israel's Messiah By His Power Over Death, Matthew 9:18-26.
    1. In the Matthew 9:18-26 account, a record of two kinds of "deaths," two kinds of separation is provided, with both such "deaths" being connected by the element of time.
    2. In the first case, Matthew 9:18 NIV reports how a ruler came up to Jesus while He was speaking to John's disciples (Matthew 9:14-17) and knelt before Jesus, announcing that his daughter had just died. However, he acknowledged Jesus' power over death, asserting that if Jesus came and put His hand on the girl, she would live. Jesus responded by rising up and following the man along with His disciples, Matthew 9:19.
    3. This effort was interrupted by another case of "death," a case of living death where a woman, afflicted by a hemorrhage for twelve years, had been ceremonially unclean and separated from society in general due to her condition, Matthew 9:20a; Leviticus 15:19-20. Luke's account of this event notes that the girl who had died was twelve years of age, that she had lived the same time period this woman had born her affliction, Luke 8:41-43. Thus, both the case of the girl and that of the woman were connected by time.
    4. Fearing rejection as a longtime social outcast were she to approach Jesus directly, but desperate to be healed from her alienating condition, this woman came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel of His outer throw coat as its corner was dangling between His shoulder blades, hoping thus to be healed without being noticed and hence rejected by Him, Matt. 9:20b-21. Such tassels "were religious reminders to the wearer to observe the commandments (Num. 15:37-39)," Ryrie St. Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Matt. 9:20.
    5. In His omniscience and infinite compassion as God, Jesus turned and, seeing her, said, "Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you," the term "daughter" being a term of affection in that era, Matt. 9:22a; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 40. Jesus wanted her to know that her faith and not some magical power in His garment had led to her healing, and He wanted to convey this truth in kindness in awareness of her long suffering and its resulting relationship pain of long alienation from others in general.
    6. The woman was thus healed, and her living "death" of separation from society then ended, Matt. 9:22b.
    7. Returning to address the case of physical death, Jesus entered the ruler's house, and seeing the hired flute playing mourners and noisy crowd, He said, "Go away. The girl is not dead, but asleep," Matthew 9:23 NIV. Those who teach "soul sleep," that the soul is not conscious at death would use this verse to promote their belief, but Jesus was speaking figuratively to explain that the girl's condition was temporary, that she was about to return to life from the state of physical death, Ibid.
    8. The hired flute players and crowd, knowing the girl was physically dead, laughed mockingly at Jesus, Matthew 9:24. Such action, though evil, is later used of God to prove that the girl had truly physically been deceased, and in the end works to verify Jesus' power over physical death.
    9. Accordingly, after the crowd had been sent out of the room, Jesus entered it, took the body of the girl by the hand, and she arose from the dead and got up from where her body had been laid, Matthew 9:25.
    10. Understandably, news of this remarkable resurrection spread throughout the region, Matthew 9:26.
Lesson: Jesus as the Messiah sent by the Creator God healed both a woman caught in the "living death" of alienation from society by her twelve-year hemorrhage and a twelve year old girl who had physically died. He is the Messiah and restorer of mankind from every form of death.

Application: (1) May we trust in Christ as Savior from sin for eternal life, John 3:16. (2) As believers, may we trust in His ultimate victory over death in all of its forms, cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.