The Scriptorium

They Got That Right

Blind hogs will find a ripe acorn now and then. Matthew 9.27-34 

Matthew 9: Enlarging the Harvest (5)

Pray Psalm 29.1, 2.
Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;
Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

Sing Psalm 29.1, 2.
(Toulon: I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art)
Give praise to God, you children of the earth!
Tell of His strength, proclaim His glorious worth!   
Give to the Lord the glory due His Name!
Worship in holiness; His grace proclaim!

Read Matthew 9.1-34; meditate on verse 27-34.

Prepare.
1. How many different ways do we see the power of Jesus at work in these verses?

2. How did people respond to Jesus’ good works?

Meditate.

My dad used to say – if one of his sons ever did something right in an athletic game – “Oh, well, a blind hog’ll find a ripe acorn every now and then.” Then he’d smile, and the twinkle in his eye told us that he was proud and loved us.

I want to start at the end of this passage, with the blind hogs getting something right. First, though, let’s remember Caiaphas, the high priest, who said to his colleagues concerning Jesus, “‘You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish’” (Jn. 11.49. 50). Of course, we know what Caiaphas was thinking. But John hastens to add, “Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad” (Jn. 11.51, 52). In other words, the blind hog found a ripe acorn.

Well, so did the Pharisees in Matthew 9.34. Of course, they intended to refer to Beelzebub, which they will do again in Matthew 12.22ff. But the fact of the matter is that, yes, Jesus did cast out demons by the ruler of the demons, because He is the Ruler of the demons! And also of physical bodies, blind eyes, and mute tongues. He is the Lord of everything and Ruler over all!

Again we see the interaction of grace and faith, as Jesus healed the two blind men in response to their crying out to Him and believing He could heal them. Their faith didn’t go very deep, however. Jesus commanded them to keep quiet about this, but they – in excitement and joy – blabbed it all around. They should have obeyed Jesus, submitting their affections to His Word. But, like many of us at times, we let our feelings run us around, rather than rest on the plain teaching of God’s Word.

In the healing of the demoniac, we see faith and grace at work in a different way. Here there is no indication of faith on the part of the demoniac. There is faith shown by those who brought the man to Jesus, and that was enough to engage the healing grace of the Lord on the man’s behalf.

The people are amazed and marvel at the wonders they’ve seen; but the Pharisees have a different “explanation”. They got it right, but not so’s they know or believe it. Blind hogs.

Isn’t much better when we see Jesus, hear His Word, rejoice in His grace, wonder at His power and love, and obey by faith? He Who rules eyes, tongues, seas, winds, and demons knows what’s best for us. Let’s work hard to listen to Him.

Reflect.
1. What do we learn from these verses about the power of faith?

2. How far-reaching is the power of Jesus? How should that encourage us?

3. Why do we need to keep our emotions in subjection to the Word of Jesus?

Their conduct in immediately proclaiming it every where is worthy of blame: for the notion entertained by some, that Christ forbade them for the purpose of exciting them the more, has been already refuted. There was, no doubt, some reason for forbidding it, which is unknown to us; and those men, through inconsiderate zeal, spread the rumor before the proper time.
John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Matthew 9.30

Help me to hold fast to Your Word, Lord Jesus, and to work hard so that …

Pray Psalm 29.3-11.
Look ahead at the things before you today, and thank the Lord Jesus that He is sovereign over them all. Seek His blessings and peace on all everything you do today.

Sing Psalm 29.3-11.
Psalm 29.3-11 (Toulon: I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art)
Over the waters, over thunder’s roll,
God’s voice creation’s mighty pow’rs controls!
Cedars collapse at His majestic Word.
Nations are shaken by our mighty Lord!

God speaks and lightning streaks across the sky.
By His decree He shakes the desert dry.
Speak, Lord, and life to beasts and men is giv’n.
Forests dissolve, and glory rings in heav’n.

Sovereign, the Lord sat o’er the raging flood.
Sovereign forever rules our gracious God!
God will His people bless with strength and peace:
Lord, may Your holy Word to us increase!

T. M. Moore

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore