Matthew 9

Jesus helps a man who cannot walk

1 Then Jesus got back into the boat. He sailed across to the other side of the lake again. He went to Capernaum, the town where he was living.

2 Some men came to see Jesus there. They carried with them a man who could not walk or move his legs. He was lying on a mat. Jesus knew that they believed in him. He said to the man who could not walk, ‘Do not be afraid, my friend. I forgive you for the wrong things that you have done.’

3 Then some teachers of God's Law said to themselves: ‘This man is speaking as if he is God. That is not right.’

4 Jesus knew what the teachers were thinking. So he said to them, ‘You should not think these bad things in your minds. 5 I said to this man, “I forgive you for the wrong things that you have done.” Instead, I could have said to him, “Stand up and walk.” Which one is easier for me to say? 6 But I want you to know this. I, the Son of Man, have authority on earth. I can forgive people for the wrong things that they have done.’ Then he said to the man who could not walk, ‘Stand up. Pick up your mat, and go home.’ 7 So then the man stood up and he went home. 8 The crowds of people saw what had happened. They were very surprised and afraid. They saw that God had given so much authority to men. So they praised God and they said, ‘God is great!’

9:8Jesus often called himself the Son of Man. He did this so that people would remember about some messages in the Bible. We can read about the Son of Man in the book called Daniel. (See Daniel 7:13-14.)

Jesus asks Matthew to come with him

9 Jesus went away from that place. While he walked, he saw a man called Matthew. His job was to take taxes from people on behalf of the government. He was sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, ‘Come with me and be my disciple.’ So Matthew stood up and he went with Jesus.

10 Later, Jesus went to eat a meal in Matthew's house. Many bad people and men who took taxes on behalf of the government also came to the house. They came to eat there with Jesus and his disciples.

9:10These people were Jews who did not obey everything in God's Law. The Pharisees did not like them. They thought that they were bad people. The Pharisees thought that they themselves obeyed everything in God's Laws. They thought that they themselves were better than other people.

11 Some Pharisees saw what was happening. They said to Jesus' disciples, ‘Your teacher is eating a meal with these bad people. That is not right. They are people who do not obey God, and some of them take taxes on behalf of the government.’

12 Jesus heard what the Pharisees were saying. He said to them, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor. It is people who are ill that need a doctor. 13 Go and study what it says in the Bible. God says there, “I want people to be kind to each other. I do not just want them to offer sacrifices to me.” Some people think that they always obey God. I did not come to help people like that. Some people know that they have done wrong things. I am asking those people to come to me for help.’

14 Then the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus. They asked him, ‘We often stop eating food for a time. The disciples of the Pharisees also do that. Why do your disciples never do that?’

9:14Some people stop eating for hours or days so that they can have more time with God. This causes them to feel closer to God when they pray.

15 Jesus answered them: ‘When a man marries, his friends cannot be sad. They cannot refuse to eat food while he is with them. But there will be a time when people will take the man away from his friends. At that time his friends will stop eating food.’

9:15This kind of a picture story shows how two things are almost the same or not almost the same. In this story, Jesus is like the bridegroom. Those who follow him are like his friends at the marriage. Jesus will not always be with them. That will be the time when they will stop eating for some time to pray.

16 Then Jesus said, ‘Nobody uses a piece of new cloth to mend an old coat. If he does, the new cloth will cause the old cloth to tear again. It will make a bigger hole than before.

17 Nobody pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does that, the new wine will tear the old wineskins. He will lose the wine and the wineskins will spoil. Instead, you must put new wine into new wineskins. Then there will be nothing to spoil the wine or the wineskins.’

9:17Some people kept wine in bottles made from an animal skin. Wine grows as it gets older, but the wineskins become hard. New wine would cause them to break.
9:17Jesus is teaching the people that the old bottles are like the old Law. The new wine and the new cloth are like the new things that Jesus was teaching them. They could not mix the old things and the new things.

Jesus causes a dead girl to become alive again

18 While Jesus was saying these things to the people, a leader at the Jewish meeting place came to him. The man went down on his knees in front of Jesus and said to him, ‘My daughter has just died. Come to my house. Put your hand on her and then she will live again.’ 19 So Jesus went with the man. His disciples also went with them.

20 There was a sick woman in the crowd. She had lost blood for 12 years. She came close behind Jesus and she touched the edge of his coat. 21 The woman thought, ‘Even if I only touch his coat, I will become well again.’

22 Jesus turned round and he saw the woman. He said to her, ‘Young woman, do not be afraid. You are now well again because you believed in me.’ And immediately the woman became well again.

23 Then Jesus arrived at the Jewish leader's house. Some people there were making music and the crowd was making a loud noise.

9:23Jewish people made music in the house after somebody had died. They also made music while people buried that person.

24 When Jesus saw this, he said to everybody in the house, ‘Go outside. This girl is not dead. She is only sleeping.’ The people laughed at Jesus when he said that. 25 The family sent all the people out of the house. Jesus went inside and he held the girl's hand. Immediately she stood up. 26 People in all that part of the country heard about what had happened.

Jesus causes two men to see again

27 Jesus left the house. While he walked along, two blind men began to follow him. They were shouting out to him, ‘Son of David! Please be kind to us and help us!’

9:27King David was an ancestor of Jesus.

28 Jesus went into a house and the blind men came to him there. Jesus asked them, ‘Do you believe that I can make your eyes become well?’ The men replied, ‘Yes, Master, we believe that you can do this.’

29 So Jesus touched the men's eyes. He said to them, ‘Because you believed in me, you will now see again.’ 30 Then immediately the men could see again. Jesus said strongly to them, ‘You must not tell anybody about this.’ 31 So the men went away. But they told everybody in that part of the country all about what Jesus had done for them.

Jesus causes a man to speak again

32 While those two men were leaving, some people brought another man to Jesus. This man could not speak because of a bad spirit in him. 33 Jesus made the bad spirit go out of the man and leave him. Then the man began to speak again. Everybody there was very surprised. They said, ‘Nobody has seen anything like this happen in Israel before.’

34 But the Pharisees said, ‘This man can send bad spirits out of people because Satan gives him authority. Satan is the one who rules the bad spirits.’

Jesus wants God to send out more disciples

35 Jesus went to visit all the towns and villages round there. He taught the people in the Jewish meeting places. He told them the good news about God's kingdom. He also caused sick people to become well again from all their different pains and illnesses.

36 When Jesus saw the crowds of people, he felt sorry for them. They had trouble in their minds. They had nobody to help them. Jesus thought, ‘These people are like sheep that have nobody to take care of them.’ 37 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Many people are ready to believe God's message. They are like many plants with ripe seeds in a big field. But there are very few workers to bring in the ripe seeds. 38 So, you must pray to God to send out workers. The field and the plants belong to him.’

9:38In this story, the master of the fields is like God. The fields are like the world. The plants that are growing in the fields are like the people in the world. The workers are like the people who know the Good News about the kingdom of God. They must tell other people about how God rules. Then all these other people can also ask God to rule them.