Sermon # 18 Series: Matthew
Title: “LEARN WHAT THAT MEANETH”
Text: Matthew 9:1-13
Subject: Our Lord’s Miracles In Capernaum
Date: Tuesday Evening – November 1, 1994
Scripture Reading: Office - Ron Wood Aud. - Rex Bartley
Tape: # Q-62
The Pharisees were a crowd of snobbish, know-it-all, self-righteous religionists. Nothing could have been more offensive to the know-it-all crowd than for the Master to have said, “Go ye, and learn what that meaneth.” Like most, these men never shut up long enough to learn anything because they presumed that they knew everything. The Lord Jesus told them that they did not even know the meaning of the Scriptures they claimed to believe and defend.
I take our Lord’s words to the Pharisees for the title of my message tonight – “Learn What That Meaneth” – because I hope you have come here tonight seeking to “Learn What That Meaneth” which is written in Matthew 9:1-13.
The Gadarenes, resenting the loss of their hogs, were disgusted with the Son of God and urged him to “depart from their coasts.” So he did. He entered into a ship and crossed over the sea of Galilee, and came into the city of Capernaum. Capernaum is here designated “His own city,” because, at present it was the principle place of his residence and the principle city of his ministry. All that is recorded in this chapter took place in Capernaum. In just the opening verse of this instructive chapter we see a clear display both of our Lord’s justice and of his mercy.
Here is his justice – When the Gadarenes bid him depart from their coasts, he did! Not only did he depart, he departed never to return! The Son of God will not tarry where he is not wanted. In righteous judgment he forsakes those places and those people where he is neglect. Those who become weary of him will not be bothered by him.
Here is his mercy – The Gadarenes who spurned him, by their hardness of heart and unbelief, sent the Savior of the world to Capernaum, where he performed all the mighty works described in this chapter upon chosen sinners for the glory of God. Tonight, we will look at verses 1-13 and seek, by the Spirit of God, to “Learn What That Meaneth,” which is written in these verses of Inspiration.
The miracles performed by Christ and the events recorded in this passage are designed to teach us who Jesus Christ is and what he came to do.
Let me show you five things from this passage of Holy Scripture. May God the Holy Spirit be our teacher this hour. I pray that he will take the things of Christ and show them to us.
I. The first thing clearly demonstrated in this ninth chapter is the fact that The Man Christ Jesus Is The God of Grace, Forgiveness, And Everlasting Salvation – (v. 2).
Here the Lord Jesus publicly declares himself to be God by absolving the sins of the paralyzed man who lay before him.
A. “They brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed.”
Here is a sick man with caring friends. They could not heal their friend. But they knew he could be healed. So they brought him to the Master in hopes that he would heal him. And he did! (Mark 2:3).
With regard to the souls of men, the sphere of our ability is the sphere of our responsibility!
Illus: John 11:39 – “Take ye away the stone!”
B. “Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”
1. God honors faith – When Jesus saw their faith, the faith of those four friends and of the man who laid before him, he granted forgiveness.
2. Wherever there is faith in Christ, there is assurance of adoption – The Savior called this man “Son.” It is a word that implies, sonship, “my child.” (Gal. 4:6). (I John 3:1; Rom. 8:16-17).
3. Wherever there is assurance of sonship there is cause for cheer!
The Savior said, “Son, be of good cheer.” Even before healing him, before giving any indication that he would heal him, the Savior said, “Be of good cheer!’ If I am a child of God, I have reason to be of good cheer, no matter what my earthly condition is! Philippians 4:4.
4. Wherever there is faith there is forgiveness - “Thy sins be forgiven thee!”
5. He who forgives sin is God our Savior!
The Jews said, “This man blasphemeth!” And any mere man who pronounce the forgiveness and absolution of sin is a blasphemer – (Pope – Priest – Preacher!). But this man is God! He forgave the sins of men while on this earth and forgives the sins of men on earth from lofty throne in heaven.
II. Secondly, the Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all grace and forgiveness, also demonstrated himself to be The God of Perfect And Total Omniscience, From Whom Nothing Can Be Hidden (vv. 3-4).
This is he of whom David in the Psalms spoke (Ps. 139:1-6).
Jesus Christ is the omniscient, all-seeing, all-knowing God – (Heb. 4:12-13). What do you think of in private, when no man sees you? What do you think of in Church, when you are most solemn in appearance? What are you thinking at this moment? The Son of God hears it all perfectly!
A. So strict is his justice that God will judge the very thoughts of men (Rom. 2:16).
B. To the unbeliever, the Lord’s omniscience is terrifying.
C. To the believer, the Lord’s omniscience is most comforting (John 21:17).
D. How we ought to thank God for the blood of Christ that “cleanseth us from all sin!”
E. Let us ever pray for grace to reign even over the thoughts of our minds – Ps. 19:14).
III. Thirdly, in verses 5-8, the Lord Jesus gave a clear demonstration of the fact that He Is The Omnipotent God!
Two things need to be observed here.
A. First, our Savior proved himself to be God Almighty by healing this paralyzed man with his word.
B. Second, this man proved himself to be born of God by his unhesitating obedience to his Master’s word.
Obedience is always the fruit of faith. Believers are men and women who are obedient to Christ. That is the tenor and character of their lives.
IV. Fourthly, in the calling and conversion of Matthew we are given an illustration of the fact that Our Savior’s Call Is The Irresistible, Effectual, Saving Call of Almighty, Invincible Grace (vv. 8-10).
Matthew’s given name was Levi. But he is called Matthew throughout the New Testament, because he was given by God the Father to the Son. His name, Matthew means, “Gift of God!”
A. Here we see Matthew who was the tax-collector.
He was thoroughly absorbed with his good career. He thought of nothing but money, how to get it, how to spend it, and how to get more!
B. Here we see the blessed, sovereign, intervention of grace.
1. Jesus passed by!
C. Here we see the blessed choice and decision of faith. – “He arose and followed him.”
Because he followed Christ this worthless, useless, hated man became a useful man of indescribable benefit to the souls of men.
V. Fifthly, We Are Here Told What The Mission And Message of Jesus Christ Is – (vv. 10-13).
A. He came to save sinners.
B. His message is mercy for sinners.
Let us never forget who we are – Sinners! Let us never forget who Jesus Christ is – The Savior of Sinners!