Matthew 9:32-38 (Jesus’ Expanding Healing Ministry)

Mat 9:32-34  What is meant by a “dumb” (NAS, KJV) man?  Note: the Greek word used (kophos) means literally dull or blunt, and may refer to one who is either deaf or mute; cf. Mar 7:32-35 and consider how being deaf and mute are related.  What was the cause of the man’s dumbness?  How did Jesus heal the man’s affliction?  What does this teach us about a possible underlying cause of physical affliction that is not even considered by today’s modern medicine?  Cf. Mat 12:22 where a man’s blindness is also related to demon possession.  What does the fact that “nothing like this was ever seen in Israel” indicate about the otherwise invincible strength wielded by the powers of darkness over those who have fallen into their power, and man’s inability to escape their bondage and affliction apart from the greater strength, power, and authority of God?  Cf. Mat 12:29, Mar 9:17-29.  Is it possible that even today many of people’s physical afflictions are likewise caused by a spiritual bondage that can only be overcome by the greater power of God?  What negative consequences might result from men’s misdiagnosis and misguided attempts to treat an impregnable spiritual condition by purely physical means?  Cf. 1Ch 21:13.  What does the Pharisees’ statement in Mat 9:34 indicate about the authenticity of Jesus’ healing miracles?  What does it indicate about the true nature of those who are only religious in appearance?  See Joh 3:20.  What does it illustrate about the means that those who are only religious in appearance will use to discredit a genuine work of God?  Cf. Isa 5:20.

Mat 9:35-38   Describe the four aspects of Jesus’ ministry that Matthew records in Mat 9:35.  Cf. Mat 4:23.  Besides spreading the gospel message to a broader range and greater number of people, what other practical purpose did Jesus traveling to different cities and villages accomplish?  See Mat 8:18, Joh 6:15.  Is it possible that one reason the gospel isn’t being spread as effectively today is because God’s people are too at home in this world and not truly pilgrims who are willing to wander from place to place?  See Mat 8:20, Heb 11:13, 1Pe 2:11 and think: are people more or less likely to be bold in their proclamation of truth if they are “tied” to a location by houses, business, extended family, etc…?  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.  How many kinds of diseases and sicknesses are there in the world?  Are there sicknesses and diseases that today’s modern medicine cannot heal?  Were there any diseases or sicknesses that Jesus could not heal?  In light of this, in whom ought we to put our greater trust for healing: modern medicine or Jesus?  Were the multitudes that Jesus saw and felt compassion for primarily Jewish or Gentile?  See Mat 10:5-6.  How does this relate to Matthew’s purpose in writing?  Why does Matthew say that Jesus felt compassion for them?  Note: “distressed” (NASB) = “harassed” (NIV), “bewildered” (NET); the Greek word in secular literature meant to flay or skin, so that its cognates came to mean an animal’s pelt or an enemy’s armor that had been stripped off, and hence plunder (Luk 11:22).  “Downcast” (NASB) = “dispirited” (NAU), “helpless” (NIV, NET).  To what did Jesus liken their pitiful, helpless state?  In what ways does this also describe the multitudes today?  Clearly, there were “shepherds” in the time of Jesus, as there are now; in what sense then were the people like sheep without a shepherd?  See Isa 56:10-12, Jer 50:6-7, Eze 34:2-8 (cf. Eze 34:9-16 also), Zec 10:2.  What does this teach us about how important it is for God’s people to pray for godly, capable shepherds and to continually uphold them in prayer?  See Jam 3:1 and contrast Num 27:15-20 with Zec 11:4-17.  What was Jesus’ response to seeing the multitudes and His compassion for them?  See Mat 9:37-38.  Was it possible for even Jesus to minister effectively to such a vast multitude?  Is it possible for any one shepherd, or even a few, to minister effectively to the multitudes today who are like sheep without a shepherd?  What then did Jesus command His disciples that we also have need to obey today?  See Mat 9:38.  What is the significance that “send out” in Mat 9:38 means literally to thrust out, drive out, push out?  Cf. Act 8:1-4 and Jonah’s call to the Ninevites.

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