Healing the Two
Demon-Possessed Men (8:28-34)
“Your sins are
the teachers of the law (3)
evidence of forgiveness (4-8)
and Matthew’s response (9)
The Pharisee’s accusation
and Jesus’ rebuttal (10-13)
You of little
faith, rebuked, marveled, who can this be?, go, faith,
forgiven, authority, follow, mercy, sinner.
1. He exercised
authority over the winds and the waves. He commanded the demons to leave,
saying, “Go!” He demonstrated His authority to forgive sins. He identified
Himself as the one who calls people to Him and the healer of souls.
3. The teachers
of the law objected to Jesus’ words of forgiveness because they thought that
He, as a man, was not in the position to forgive anyone. The Pharisees objected
to Jesus’ association with sinners because they thought that Jesus as a teacher
and master must be separate from the morally defiled (The word “Pharisee” is
derived from the word “separate”).
1b. If we are disciples of the Lord who follow his ways, we have
no need to fear in times of trouble because he is with us.
Our Lord is
always in control. No problem is ever too great for God, even though the
trouble may seem to be “sweeping over” us.
2. They had lost
their possessions because of what Jesus did.
3. The value we
place on our possessions or personal interests often makes us unwilling to
accept the Lord and blinds us from the more valuable things (e.g. the healing
of the demon-possessed men). Our self-centeredness can easily come in the way
of the Lord’s work and take away the opportunity for us to receive even better
4. The word
blasphemy is related to “slander.” It means speaking evil of God’s name. The
teachers of the law expanded the meaning to include misusing the authority that
only God has (i.e. forgiveness. See Isa 43:25;
44:22). Thinking that Jesus was only a man, they condemned Jesus for taking
5. On the one
hand, it would be easier for anyone to say, “your sins
are forgiven you,” than “arise and walk,” since the forgiveness of sins is
intangible where healing requires tangible result. On the other hand, it is
more difficult to say “your sins are forgiven you” than “arise and walk”
because while men are allowed to command someone to walk, no man could forgive
sins. In either case, the Lord Jesus healed the man as evidence that he truly
had the divine authority to forgive sins and that the man’s sins indeed had
6. The Lord seeks
those who are willing to come to Him, regardless of their past. God is merciful
and likes to see mercy, not just an outward keeping of the law.
7. This language
connects Jesus’ healing of sinners to His healing of physical sickness. Jesus’
words made clear His mission—to save God’s people from their sins. The Lord did
not come to confirm our righteousness but to awaken us to our need for
8. The teachers
of the law and the Pharisees
condemned Jesus’ actions
because they used themselves, rather than God’s word, as the standard
and judged Jesus accordingly. Their actions were not out of a sincere desire to
follow God’s will, and they had become ignorant of
what truly pleased God. Their mistake reminds us that while we need to stand up
for what is right, we also need to constantly examine ourselves to see if we
are still in line with God’s will.