Mat 9:9-13 For whom did the tax collectors gather taxes? Cf. Mat 22:15-17. Why would this have made them even more unpopular than if they had simply been collecting taxes for the Jews? How were they paid? Note: “tariff rates were vague and indefinite” and the publican “paid a fixed sum for the taxes, and received for himself what he could over and above that amount” (ISBE). What abuses would this system lead to? Cf. Luk 3:12-13, 19:8. What then was the popular opinion of tax gatherers, and how would people have viewed meeting up with one of them, much less associating with them? See Mat 9:11, 5:46, 18:17. By what other name is Matthew referred to in Scripture? See Mar 2:14, Luk 5:27. To whom did “the house” belong where Jesus and His disciples were dining? See Luk 5:29; cf. Mar 2:15. Why is it significant to the authorship of this gospel that the writer did not clearly identify the owner of the house as Luke and Mark did? Consider that Matthew was able to give a “big reception” and invite Jesus and His disciples as well as a “great crowd of tax gatherers and other people”; what does this indicate about his affluence? What additional information does Luke give about Matthew Levi’s call? See Luk 5:28. Considering that Matthew had a lucrative “government job” in an industry unlikely to go away (for the most certain things in life are death and taxes, and the Roman government was the strongest employer in the world) why is it all the more significant that Matthew “left everything behind”? Are we as willing to forsake the security offered by the world system to follow Jesus? What two groups does Matthew indicate in Mat 9:3 & 11 as beginning to come into conflict with Jesus’ ministry? As tax-collectors, especially Jewish ones like Matthew, were looked upon as the most unrighteous element of society for being traitors, extortionists, and petty tyrants, who was looked upon and supposed themselves to be the most righteous, and why? See again Mat 9:3,11, and 23:2,5-7. How did Jesus’ calling of Matthew and association with other “tax gatherers and sinners” (Mat 9:10) begin to expose the hypocrisy of those who are only religious in appearance and reveal the nature of true righteousness? See also 1Sa 16:7, Mat 23:25-28, Luk 7:29-30, 15:1-2, 18:9-14. What do Mat 9:12-13 indicate about the danger of supposing oneself to be righteous based on religious appearance? Think: Was Jesus’ salvation ministry directed to such as the Pharisees? What aspect of His ministry was directed toward them? See Mat 23:1-23. Why is this? See Rev 3:17-18 and think: is a person most like Satan when he is a vile, despicable sinner, or when he is a vile despicable sinner and pretends to be righteous? See 2Co 11:14-15. In what ways are we in danger of being just like the Pharisees? If Jesus’ first century ministry were to take place today, where and to whom might we find Him ministering in light of Mat 9:12-13, and how does that contrast with where and to whom most Christians suppose their ministry to be? What does Jesus’ quotation of Hos 6:6 in Mat 9:13 teach us about what God desires from His people, and how does that contrast with what the Pharisees supposed He desired? How does this apply to us?
The Atonement of Christ's Blood: Understanding How the Blood of Christ Saves and Reconciles us to God
- What is the relationship between Jesus’ sacrifice and our redemption, forgiveness and receiving an inheritance per the terms of the covenant / will that was effected by His death?
- From what, and to what, are we saved? Is it Jesus’ death alone that saves us? What part does His resurrection have in our salvation?
- Does the justice of God demand the satisfaction of blood before He will forgive, similar to what pagans throughout history have believed?
- What was the purpose of the Old Testament sacrifices?
- Does blood alone atone for sin?
- How does Christ’s death render powerless the devil?
- To whom was Christ’s life given as a ransom? From what are we ransomed?
- Why did Jesus not only die, but suffer and die? If all that was necessary was His shed blood, why didn’t God sovereignly ordain a more merciful death for His own dear Son?
- What is the relationship between a will or testament, and a covenant? What was willed to Jesus as an inheritance from His Father, and what was willed to us through the new testament in His blood?