Matthew 4:23-5:2 (Jesus’ Teaching and Healing Ministry)

Mat 4:23-25 Describe the four aspects of Jesus’ ministry that Matthew records in Mat 4:23.  What was the central precept of the gospel of the kingdom he was proclaiming and for which John had prepared the people?  See again Mat 4:17, 3:2.  Why is it significant that the “healing” aspect of Jesus’ ministry is mentioned after the “teaching” and “proclaiming the gospel” aspect?  See Exo 15:26, Psa 107:17-20, Jam 5:14-16.  What was the result of Jesus’ effective ministry?  See Mat 4:24-25 and note that scholars refer to this time as Jesus’ year of favor.  Why is it significant that the Jewish Messiah’s fame extended “throughout all Syria” so that large (lit. many) crowds (plural, meaning crowds and crowds) were following him from Galilee (of the Gentiles, Mat 4:15) and the Decapolis (Greek cities) and from beyond the Jordan (outside Israel)?  See Isa 42:6, 49:6-8, Luk 2:30-32.  What would have been the significance of Matthew’s words to his Jewish audience who were struggling with the rejection by so many of their brethren of Jesus as their Messiah precisely because He was being proclaimed among the Gentiles?  Cf. Act 13:46-47, which took place about the same time as Matthew was writing.  Are there sicknesses and diseases today that modern medicine cannot heal?  Were there any diseases or sicknesses that Jesus could not heal?  See Mat 4:23.  What sort of diseases and sicknesses does Matthew say in Mat 4:24 that Jesus healed people of?  Are such afflictions only physical in nature?  What is meant in Mat 4:24 by “pains”?  Note: the Greek word used refers to the punishment of torments (KJV) or tortures as it was used in the LXX; in the New Testament it is only found here and in Luk 16:23,28 where it refers to the torments of hell.  As modern science denies the existence of the spiritual world and its influence upon men’s lives, how does it diagnose those whom the Bible refers to as demoniacs?  What is meant by “epileptic”?  See NASB text note and consider that the Latin form of the Greek word used here is what became the English “lunatic”, as it is translated by the KJV; see also Mat 17:14-18 for the only other occurrence of the same word, where it is also related to demonic oppression.  What English word is related to “paralytic” that helps us understand what sort of affliction is meant here?[1]

Mat 5:1-2              What is the significance in light of the history of Israel that Jesus “went up on the mountain” to teach His disciples?  See Exo 24:12-14.  In what sense is His Sermon on the Mount the giving of a new law that corresponds to the New Covenant?  See Heb 7:11-12.  In what primary way does this new law differ from the law of Moses?  See Jer 31:33, 2Co 3:3.  Luk 6:12-19 says that after spending a night in prayer upon a mountain and naming His apostles, Jesus descended with them and “stood on a level place” (Luk 6:17) and proceeded to teach His disciples many of the same things Matthew describes in the Sermon on the Mount (Luk 6:20-49); do you think the two gospels are here describing the same event, or two different events?  Is the nature of a good teacher that he says things only once and never repeats or reinforces the things he has taught on other occasions?


1. “Three particular diseases are specified; the palsy, which is the greatest weakness of the body; lunacy, which is the greatest malady of the mind, and possession of the Devil, which is the greatest misery and calamity of both, yet Christ healed all: for he is the sovereign Physician both of soul and body, and has command of all diseases.”  Matthew Henry.

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