Matthew 8:14-22 (Jesus’ Healing Ministry, the Cost of Discipleship)

Mat 8:14-17  In what town did Peter live?  See Mat 8:5.  What does Mat 8:14 tell us about Roman Catholicism’s first pope?  Cf. 1Co 9:5.  With what was Peter’s mother-in-law afflicted?  How did Jesus heal her?  What was her response?  Note: the Greek word used is diakonew from which we get our word deacon; it means to minister or serve.  What should be our response to Jesus’ healing touch in our own lives?  Considering that the Jewish historian Josephus refers to Capernaum as a “village”, how big might it have been?  Considering that from this town they brought to Jesus “many” who were demon-possessed, what might we gather about the incidence of such in those days?  Might there be the same incidence today?  Why might we not recognize it as such?  What does Matthew mean that Jesus cast out the spirits “with a word”, and why is it significant?  Cf. Mat 8:8-9, 7:29, 9:6,8, 10:1, 28:18.  Read Isa 53:4, the passage that Matthew quotes in Mat 8:17; did Matthew understand this prophecy in only a spiritual sense of making people spiritually whole (as it is often understood today)?  Again in light of the historical situation when so many of the Jews were rejecting Jesus as their promised Messiah, what is the significance of Mat 8:17?

Mat 8:18-22   Why might Jesus have desired to depart to the other side of the sea when He “saw a crowd around Him”?  See Mar 1:38; consider too Mat 8:4 and the matter of people’s misconception of His role as the Messiah and the need to keep His ministry under the radar of the Pax Romana.  What was Jesus’ response to the scribe who offered to follow Him wherever He went, and what did He mean to imply by it?  Think: how did Jesus’ estate compare to that of even the lowly birds or detested beasts (Psa 63:10, Song 2:15, Eze 13:4)?  For what reason did the scribe (of that class normally spoken of negatively in Scripture, see Mat 7:29, 1Co 1:20) seem to want to follow Jesus that prompted Jesus to reply as He did?  What was the second follower’s request?  Considering that failure to provide for the proper burial of one’s kin was a serious cultural taboo, would we have considered such a request to be unreasonable?  What was Jesus’ response and what did He mean to imply by it?  Note: there is some evidence that such burials may have involved more than a year as the flesh was allowed to first rot away before the bones were finally interred in an ossuary; some have supposed that it is quite possible that the father, though old, had not yet even died.  What does Jesus’ response teach us about His view of those who would put off following Him for even important family reasons?  What does Jesus call those who would not put Him first?  See Mat 8:22.  What does Mat 8:21 call these two followers?  What do these verses teach us about the high cost of what it means to be a disciple of the Lord?  Because of people’s misconceptions that the Messiah would save them from the Romans and their inability to comprehend Jesus’ divine nature, He couldn’t just come out and announce that He was the Christ, the Son of God; how then did He refer to Himself that we find for the first time in Mat 8:20?  What old testament prophet was referred to by the same title 93 times?  See Eze 2:1,3,6,8, etc…  What is the significance as a type of Christ that this prophet ministered as an exile to a people in bondage during the Babylonian captivity?  Why is it significant that it was this old testament son of man who was given a grand vision of God’s future holy temple (Eze 40-48)?  See Mat 12:6, Mar 14:58, 1Co 3:16-17, Rev 3:12.  Besides identifying Himself with the old testament prophet (cf. Deut 18:15,18-19, Joh 1:21, 6:14, 7:40) who pointed the people to the holy temple God would build, in what way was the term also a veiled reference to who He was?  See Psa 80:14-17, Dan 7:13; cf. Mat 16:13-21, 24:30, 26:64, Joh 12:34, Act 7:56, Rev 1:13.

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