Matthew 9:27-38 Part 2

I hope that everyone has a copy of the text in front of you this morning – we’ll be covering a lot of ground.  And it’s important that you keep up closely and not let the children and whatever else there is, distract you.  The Word of God is too valuable to allow distractions, for herein is salvation preached!  And a greater understanding of the Scriptures – and more submission thereto – means that God will separate you more and more unto holiness, which is the goal of the Christian life!

So set your mind on it!  Don’t allow yourself to be pulled away.  If you must discipline, then do so without the distraction of anger and frustration.  If you lose it, then you’ve also lost something else, which is something of immeasurable worth and proportions.

You will remember from last Lord’s Day that we were able to pull together, from all over the Scriptures, prophecies concerning the blind and the deaf.  And we saw that, for the most part, they are cast in the terminology of the Kingdom; and that the Kingdom included all the nations of the earth – called wildernesses and deserts and beast infested/beast dominated wastelands.  And in all of those locales were men who were blind and deaf.

And we also remember the prison terminology.  That these people in the nations were imprisoned in unspeakable darkness; but that David’s greater Son, the One Who was to take the throne of His father David, was to bring light to His entire domain – which includes every nation and every tribe and every family on earth.

And I didn’t mention it last week – although I had it scheduled to include, I never did – the atonement which Jesus worked for the world not only extended to every people, but it even went so far as to expel the demons, civilize the nations, bring rivers of living water to the deserts, and establish Godly order.  So not only does Christ the King affect the eternal state of His people, His Kingship also extends to the rest of creation, which He also loves deeply.  So we can actually say that Christ’s atonement is universal, can’t we?  Not that every man is elect – far from it!  But that everything that was created is affected in some way by the atonement and the subsequent reign of the King of Kings.  In that way His atonement is universal.

But we had covered, at least to some degree, the verses having to do with the blind men – verses twenty-seven through thirty-one – which also include this deaf demoniac in verses thirty-two and thirty-three; because all of those prophetic passages we read last Lord’s Day spoke of, not only the blind, but the deaf as well, because the people who live in great darkness also cannot hear!  Or speak!

The text says, verses thirty-two and thirty-three,


“and as they were going out, lo, men brought to Him a deaf demoniac.  And when the demon was expelled, the deaf man spoke.  And the crowds wondered, saying ‘never has there been anything like this seen in Israel.’”


You see, it’s the demon possession of this disintegrating nation that has terminated the “speaking”, which is required in order to increase the preaching and teaching – the foretelling and forth-telling – the announcing and heralding – had all stopped!  The blind were also deaf to the sound.  And they were also dumb – there was no speaking of the truth!  But with David’s great Son, there comes sight to the blind and hearing and speech to the deaf and dumb.  And the demonism that had infested the country, as the Revelation pictures it – like a plague of scorpions – was expelled!

As the text here says, as these blind men were going out, this deaf-mute demoniac was immediately brought to Him.  And He expelled the demon and gave speech and hearing back to the man.  It doesn’t say whether the man was deaf and dumb because of the demon, and it really doesn’t matter to the central issue – which is that the Kingdom of the Son of David was one of sight and hearing and speech – and it was free of demon possession!  Men would hear the truth, see the truth and speak the truth – and the present ruler of this world order would be cast out!  In the Kingdom of Christ, there is no fear of demon infestation!

And that’s what Matthew means here in verse thirty–three when he says that the people wondered, never having seen anything like this in Israel.  Lo, wondrous things were happening at the hand of this One Who was preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing all kinds of illness and disease.

On the other hand, the Pharisees were saying just the opposite!  Naturally the leadership of Israel – the same ones who had been jerking the people around and troubling them and vexing them and leaving them without shepherding, and by whose false teaching had led the nation to destruction – would put a different spin on things than what was really happening!

They were saying things like “Only the ruler of the demons can expel a demon!”  Now, what they were saying was absolute truth!  But they didn’t mean it like that!  They meant it to be that this man Jesus must have been a magus (magi) who had somehow harnessed the mystic powers of the spirit world and, in league with Satan, the ruler of the demons, was working these great shows of magic and spirit manipulation in order to trick and hold the people!  They were accusing Jesus of being Satanic!

But, in fact, this One Whom they suspected was in league with Satan was, in fact, Satan’s ruler, and the ruler of all the demons!  And they all did exactly what He said!  So the Pharisees spoke the truth!  Only the ruler of the demons can expel a demon!  Satan is, indeed the ruler of the demons, but he is one of a kind.  He is one of them.  Stronger, smarter, more powerful than them all, but, still, only one of a kind!  But Jesus is not one of a kind.  He is altogether unique.  A completely other.  The ruler of all, and there are none other like Him.  And all His enemies have been placed under His feet.  And all creation does what it is told.  And never was there anything like HIM in Israel.  It’s true that Israel had not seen anything like Jesus.  All they knew was demons.

While I’m here let me just make a quick comment on the world order’s explanation for miracles.  Here the blind see and the deaf hear and speak, and fallen angels obey.  The Pharisees explain the phenomena by attributing them to the ruler of the demons.  In other words, Satan himself.  Many others would say that whatever happens can be explained scientifically, since there is no such thing as the supernatural.

But it seems that hardly anyone will attribute to God the power that is His alone.  Every other cause for creation – every other cause for history – every other cause for the miracles written down for us to read in Scripture – anything except the One True Cause of all things, the Lord God of Heaven and Earth!  People search and search for reasons for things, and the only thing that is eliminated as a possibility is that God is the first cause of it all!  Anything else is a possibility for the truth – no matter how asinine it may sound!  Anything’s possible!  Except God.

But, as we’ve seen many times in the past, God is the first cause of whatsoever comes to pass.  And Jesus’ command over the elements of creation, and over the beings in the spirit world are only miracles from our perspective.  But since He causes all things to exist, as their fundamental reason for existence, He can cause them to occur in whatever way He sees fit!  From His perspective there is no such thing as a miracle.  What’s miraculous about God doing whatever He wills with what belongs to Him?  So, one thing is certainly a fact.  And that is that the preaching of the wondrous works of our Lord Jesus is about as condemnatory and judgmental as you can get on the way the world order thinks.  And the miracles cause a certain separation between believers and unbelievers.  And in our time it is a peculiar kind of separation between scientific determinism (or the natural order of things) and Christianity.  And it was, none-the-less, a separation that was in process in Israel at the time of Christ – not so unlike the separation occurring today.

But let’s go back to the text.  Verse thirty-five is that verse which we’ve quoted a number of times in the past when we were setting aside this whole section as a package.  The same language is used at the end of chapter four as this five-chapter section is introduced, and here it is again.

Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom (the same Gospel we ought to be preaching, but few seem to be doing so) and doing His mighty works of healing and casting out fallen angels!  Synagogue means meeting place.  So He was actually showing up at the Jewish meeting places – the center of Jewish culture – in order to teach.   

We find out later that Capernaum never believed and repented – and it was cursed by Jesus.  So we know that the teaching in the synagogues was separating the Jews even further.  We’ve already seen some of the opinions about Jesus – the Pharisees thought He was in league with Satan.  In other words, Jesus was demonic.  More than likely many thought He was one of the magi – One with very special abilities with the spirit world.  Others probably thought He was just an eccentric.  How could anyone from Nazareth, just six miles away, be the King – David’s great Son!  The King would show up in Jerusalem!  Not Capernaum!  This man is just an eccentric fake!  Or maybe even a gifted magician.

But, never-the-less, as verse thirty-five says, Jesus was going around to all the cities and villages doing these things.  And this verse caps the chapter and caps the five chapters.  This is the end of the narrative concerning Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.  The initial volley of prophetic fulfillment is done.  The salvo of significant events designed to condemn and separate the old covenant people and incorporate the nations is complete.

And having completed it, He looks back over the accomplished ritual and sees the whole of it all at once.  It’s done.  He looks at the crowds, and as verse thirty-six says, He is moved to great emotion.

And what a powerful word is used here by Matthew as he attempts to describe what’s going on in the mind and heart of the Son of God / Son of man / Son of David.  This is the God/man being moved by what was being done.  The Second person of the Trinity (speaking theologically) God Himself, was being emotionally moved by the events that were taking place, and the people being affected by those events.

The word is an unusual one; and a difficult one (since it is describing the emotions of God), and a strange sounding one.  It describes the bowels of Divinity.

I won’t even presume to be able to successfully picture the emotions of Jesus Christ for you in words.  I can only say that this term means the totality of mercy and wrath with which God claims man in His saving acts.  This is Messianic emotion – pity, bowels of mercy, floods of anger and wrath, as there was to be floods of blood for loving washing and floods of inundating destruction.

The separation was taking place!  A new humanity was being created!  God’s WORD was being fulfilled!  Jesus had already ceremonially and ritualistically taken the steps to do that – such as stepping off of the soil of Israel to go across to the other side – the Gentile side – and casting off the old to incorporate the new.  The ceremonial inundation of Israel was accomplished while they were crossing over, and the resurrection to new life for the Gentiles was completed when Jesus was awakened to form a new heavens and a new earth from chaotic creation – the shaking.  And the feast of the Bridegroom and His bride – at Matthew’s house.  And on and on.

And as Jesus looks out over the crowd He knows all of that is happening.  He sees – and knows – and feels.  Matthew writes: 


“Moreover, seeing the crowds He was moved to great emotion concerning them, that they were being vexed and scattered like sheep having no shepherd….” 


This is a general statement about all of the people as He went around from village to village preaching the Gospel and healing the diseased.  The two words which I’ve translated “vexed” and “scattered” are significant words.  The first one comes out of a root which means to flay – or to tear the skin off, which, as you might just imagine, is a most awful condition.  The Lord Jesus was flayed, you remember, before His crucifixion.

The second word is from a root which means “spent.”  Having been driven to the utmost, one is now prostrate and “spent” – helpless, separated, thrown down and driven out.  And everywhere He went, Jesus’ bowels of emotion were stimulated by the people having been “flayed and spent” by the pseudo-shepherds of Israel.  The people were helpless against the onslaught, and they became shiftless and weary and desolate and fainting and burdened and sinful and disobedient and directionless and ill!  The spiritual burden of the weight of sin and depravity cannot be lifted without the Truth – and they had no truth.  Their leaders were false teachers and false shepherds, and had left the people blind and deaf.

And Jesus was separating them out for inundation and destruction.  But a number of them were to be “cast out” and dispersed, or scattered, into the nations.  And Jesus sees it all – the “old” people, ready to be disinherited – the “new” Israel, ready to be grafted into the vine – the state that the people were in – the nations, languishing in darkness – the demonic infestation, the suffering, and all the rest.  He saw it – and He understood it.  That’s a partial reason why the emotions welled up inside.

The rest of the reason has to do with what had to happen.  Because in order for the full wrath of God to be turned against old Israel, and the infinite love of God poured out on the nations, the Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer that destructive anger.  In other words, He had to do it for us so that when God’s judgmental fire fell against Israel, it wouldn’t inundate and consume us as well.  It fell upon Jesus.  He took the full brunt of the wrath and power of God for us.  And seeing the state of the people reminded Him of what had to be done in order to have a secure and holy people – a faithful and virgin bride, a holy and separated-out seed of Abraham, and a new Israel, a New Heavens and a New Earth.

But, back to the text, He looked out over the crowds of people as He went from place to place and He became terribly emotional – splanngknizomai – for He had ceremonially accomplished the casting off and the bringing in.

So He had done all there was to do now except proceed to planning the harvest.  And Matthew writes, verse thirty-seven: 


“Then He says to His disciples, ‘The harvest is great, but the laborers few.  Pray, therefore of the Lord of the harvest that He might cast out laborers into His harvest.’”


You’ll notice right away that the Lord is speaking as if all the preparations for the harvest had already been made, and that it was only left to find the laborers to work in the harvest.  There is nothing here about sowing seeds and raising grain, or maturing vines, or grapes, or anything else having to do with getting ready to harvest (or “bring the harvest in”).  All He says is that the harvest is Polus – great!  And that laborers have to be cast out into that harvest!  And notice that the Harvest is His.  He calls Himself the Lord of the Harvest.  And He commands the disciples to pray that He would cast laborers out into that harvest.  And the means of doing that, of course, is for the disciples to be trained as the first fruits, and then to preach the Word to others, and for Israel to spew Christians out into the nations in a forced dispersion!

That accomplished a number of things, didn’t it?  It separated the old people from the Christians so that the destruction to come didn’t fall upon the believers.  They left!  And it caused all those things which were ceremonially accomplished before to come to pass in space and time.  And it forced the Gospel into every nation and tribe on earth!  Those whom God had kept for Himself were scattered into the nations!

And it was done through the prayers of the saints – you remember in Revelation that it was the prayers of the apostles which God held before His throne, and which were used to pour out the wrath of His destruction upon Jerusalem the harlot!

And make no mistake about it, it is prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ required of us in order to man the harvest of what He had already done – separation and bringing in.

The initial one hundred forty-four thousand (a representative number) were spewed out of the belly of the harlot and rejected her.  And they became workers of rejection and atonement.  Because, you see, the harvest is both.  The Lord of the Harvest ceremonially established both, and so the laborers have to labor in it.  (rejection and atonement)  He brings it all to pass.  We labor in it.  And there’s no such thing as a Christian living out his life by just living life!  For the Harvest is still great.  And we are laborers in it.