According to Jewish ceremonial law the men Jesus encountered were unclean in three ways: 1. They were Gentiles. 2. They were demon possessed. 3. They lived in a graveyard. (Life Application Study Bible Notes)
Even though the men were unclean we see Jesus engage them. What does Jesus do that is so amazing and terrifying to the townspeople? Why do you think they pleaded with Jesus to leave their region?
It is also important to note that Jesus had landed in a Gentile area. Jews did not herd pigs or hang out in tombs. Notice the demons recognize Jesus as Son of God. What do they ask of Jesus? What does this say about Jesus’ power over the devil and his demons? What does this passage say about Jesus’ willingness to save even the Gentiles?
What does Jesus say to the paralytic? Why does he do this? Both the man’s body and spirit were paralyzed—he could not walk and he did not know Jesus. Is Jesus only concerned with the healing of the body or is there more to healing than that?
We will all be completely healed in Christ’s coming kingdom; but first we have to come to know Jesus. (Life Application Study Bible Notes)
In light of this what is most important to Jesus our physical state or our spiritual state? What was Jesus’ motive with the physical healing? What is Jesus getting at in verse 6?
Once again we see Jesus refer to himself as the Son of Man. This is a reference to Daniel 7:13-14 where Daniel describes the son of man as one who will be given everlasting dominion of the kingdom by the Ancient of Days.
Matthew and his friends were some of the most hated men in all of Israel. They not only worked for the oppressive Roman government, but they were cheats as well. It was well known that the tax collectors took more than their fair share. You can imagine the utter dismay of the Pharisees when they hear that Jesus was dining with them. Thus they ask the disciples why Jesus is eating with tax collectors and sinners. What is Jesus’ response to the Pharisees? In what way should the church follow that example? What does it mean when Jesus says, “I desire mercy not sacrifice.”? How can we as followers of Christ follow that example?
In Bible times, wine was not kept in glass bottles, but in goat skins sewn around the edges to form watertight bags. New wine expanded as it fermented, stretching the wineskin. After the wine had aged, the stretched skin would burst if more new wine was poured into it. New wine, therefore, was always put into new wineskins (Life Application Study Bible Notes).
Here John’s disciples ask a legitimate question. “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” What is Jesus’ answer to John’s disciples? Who is the bridegroom? Who is is the bride?
Notice what happens here. A ruler in charge of the synagogue comes to Jesus. His daughter has died and in an act of humility and faith he got down on his knees and asked Jesus to raise his daughter. What does Jesus do when the ruler asks him to raise his daughter?
Next we see a woman who had a bleeding disorder for twelve years come on the scene. This woman was considered by Jewish law to be unclean. Imagine, for twelve years being an outcast living in isolation. Christ changes all of that and where does it begin? According to Jesus what healed the woman? Notice how she reaches out to Jesus. It wasn’t the “correct” way, but it was sufficient for her healing.
Once again we turn to the ruler and his daughter. The scene was what would be traditional to the Jews in that time. Many times professional mourners were hired to mourn for the diseased. Jesus tells them to go away. Why does Jesus send the crowds away? What does this miracle say about Jesus’ power over life and death? Things looked terrible for the ruler in this situation, but Jesus turned everything around. If Jesus has the power over life and death shouldn’t we trust him with all our problems?
Notice here how the blind men recognize Jesus. Son of David was a term used by the Jewish to address the messiah. It was known that the messiah would be a descendant of David (Isaiah 9:7) (Life Application Study Bible Notes). What is interesting to note here is that it is prophesied in Isaiah 29:18; 35:5; and 42:7 that the messiah would restore the sight to the blind.
Notice the question Jesus ask the two blind men. “Do you believe I am able to do this?” What does Jesus say that heals the men? Why does Jesus warn them not to tell people? What do the men contribute to their healing?
What happens next is interesting. What does this say about Jesus’ power to cast out demons? What does the crowd’s reaction say about Jesus? Why do the Pharisees react this way? Something to note here is that Jesus performs miracles to confirm people’s faith never to create it.
Notice what Jesus does here. He teaches, preaches, and heals. What did the miracles of Jesus say about his preaching and teaching? See what happens here when Jesus sees the crowds. How does he react?
What does Jesus give his disciples that is so revolutionary? What is the connection between the healings and his message? We also live in a world with huge needs. Where do we start according to Jesus?
A Pharisee invites Jesus to have dinner with him. Notice here what happens: The Pharisee offers no water for the feet of Jesus.He does not anoint Jesus’ head with oil. He doesn’t offer Jesus the kiss of greeting.
What does the woman do here? She wet Jesus’ feet with her tears. She dried his feet with her hair. She poured out the perfume at his feet.
The posture of the Pharisee and the woman could not have been more different. Who was it that found favor in Christ’s eyes? What does Jesus say to the woman? How does the crowd of guests react? What is Jesus teaching us here about faith?
Remember that the Pharisees were meticulous law-keepers. What was the heart of the law? It was to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Did the Pharisee do that here? What is the source of loving God? Does it have anything to do with knowing your sins?