Matthew Chapter 9
Jesus cures a paralytic

1 Jesus got back into the boat, crossed the lake again, and came to his hometown.

2 Here they brought a paralyzed man to him, lying on a bed. Jesus saw their faith and said to the paralytic, ¡°Courage, my son! Your sins are forgiven.¡±

3 Then some teachers of the Law said to themselves, ¡°This man in sults God.¡±

4 Jesus was aware of what they were thinking, and said, ¡°Why have you such evil thoughts?

5 Which is easier to say: ¡®Your sins are forgiven¡¯ or ¡®Stand up and walk¡¯?

6 You must know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.¡± He then said to the paralyzed man, ¡°Stand up! Take your stretcher and go home.¡±

7 The man got up, and went home.

8 When the crowds saw this, they were filled with awe and praised God for giving such power to human beings.

Jesus calls Matthew

9 As Jesus moved on from there, he saw a man named Matthew at his seat in the custom-house, and he said to him, ¡°Follow me.¡± And Matthew got up and followed him.

10 Now it happened, while Jesus was at table in Matthew¡¯s house, many tax collectors and other sinners joined Jesus and his disciples.

11 When the Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, ¡°Why is it that your master eats with those sinners and tax collectors?¡±

12 When Jesus heard this he said, ¡°Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do.

13 Go and find out what this means: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.¡±

14 Then the disciples of John came to him with the question, ¡°How is it that we and the Pharisees fast on many occasions, but not your disciples?¡±

15 Jesus answered them, ¡°How can you expect wedding guests to mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? Time will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, then they will fast.

16 No one patches an old coat with a piece of unshrunken cloth, for the patch will shrink and tear an even bigger hole in the coat.

17 Besides you don¡¯t put new wine in old wineskins. If you do, the wine skins will burst and the wine be spilt. No, you put new wine in fresh skins; then both are preserved.¡±

A woman healed, a child raised to life

18 While Jesus was speaking to them, an official of the synagogue came up to him, bowed before him and said, ¡°My daughter has just died, but come and place your hands on her, and she will live.¡±

19 Jesus stood up and followed him with his disciples.

20 Then a woman who had suffered from a severe bleeding for twelve years came up from behind and touched the edge of his cloak.

21 For she thought, ¡°If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.¡±

22 Jesus turned, saw her and said, ¡°Cour age, my daughter, your faith has saved you.¡± And from that moment the woman was cured.

23 When Jesus arrived at the offi cial¡¯s house and saw the flute players and the excited crowd, he said,

24 ¡°Get out of here! The girl is not dead. She is only sleeping!¡± And they laughed at him.

25 But once the crowd had been turned out, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up.

26 The news of this spread through the whole area.

27 As Jesus moved on from there, two blind men followed him, shouting, ¡°Son of David, help us!¡±

28 When he was about to enter the house, the blind men caught up with him, and Jesus said to them, ¡°Do you believe that I am able to do what you want?¡± They answered, ¡°Yes, sir!¡±

29 Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, ¡°As you have believed, so let it be.¡±

30 And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus gave them a stern warning, ¡°Be careful and let no one know about this.¡±

31 But as soon as they went away, they spread the news about him through the whole area.

32 When they had just left, some peo ple brought to Jesus a man who was dumb because he was possessed by a demon.

33 When the demon was driven out, the dumb man began to speak. The crowds were astonished and said, ¡°Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.¡±

34 But the Pharisees said, ¡°He drives away demons with the help of the prince of demons.¡±)

35 Jesus went around all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom, and he cured every sickness and disease.

36 When he saw the crowds he was moved with pity, for they were ha rassed and helpless like sheep without a she pherd.

37 Then he said to his disciples, ¡°The harvest is abundant but the workers are only few.

38 Ask the master of the harvest to send workers to gather his harvest.¡±


Comments Mathew, Chapter 9

• 9.1 See commentary on Mk 2:1; Lk 5:17.  

They praised God for giving such power to human beings (v. 8). This formula is rather clumsy. The crowd is astonished to see how God¡¯s saving power is manifest among people, and through a man, Jesus. Matthew has no wish to separate the Church from Christ: every Christian community received the gifts of God for healing and reconciliation. It is known that the ministers of the Church have special authority to pardon, but the grace of God also flows in many other very different channels. (1 Cor 5:3-5; 2 Cor 2:5-11). When we establish relations of mercy and trust, and accept fraternal correction humbly, when there is mutual forgiveness between spouses, Christ is the one who forgives and pardons, and what is forgiven among us on earth, is forgiven in heaven (Mt 18:18).

• 9. See commentary on Mark 2:13.

• 18. See commentary on Mark 5:21.

She touched the edge of his cloak (v. 20). As a good Jew, Jesus had fringes on his cloak (Num 15:38; Mt 23:5).

• 27. Two blind men followed him shouting. In what manner, if they were blind? Stumbling and being carried by others perhaps. When you sin, shout to the Lord and keep on looking for Christ.

• 35. With this paragraph that briefly summarizes the ministry of Jesus in Galilee, Matthew intends to show that indeed the kingdom of God is there: evil has been given a fatal blow.

He was moved with pity, because they were like sheep with out a shepherd. See Num 27:17; Ezk 34:5; Zec 10:3; Jn 4:35; Mk 6:34; and Lk 10:2.


God himself, in Jesus, had come down to cure humankind. Because this work would be very long and painful, it was necessary to provide some visible signs to help people be lieve in this almost im per ceptible healing.

Jesus ought to heal sick persons and, even in our days, the Christian community should give signs of what they preach. They must cure to day¡¯s world of its sicknesses. The gifts of heal ing are not limited to healing bodily ills and the devil is responsible for more than individual maladies.

People seek after those who can cure their illnesses, and so great crowds followed Jesus. For him, however, sickness as well as the exploitation of the human person, hunger and war, are only fruits and signs of a deeper illness attached to our heart, which is sin. Constant work and the unity of all people of goodwill are sufficient to remedy some of our misfortunes, but the only way to eradicate evil at its roots is to restore human persons to their dignity as children of God. This requires a personal transformation that comes from God sending us his Spirit.

Jesus asks each of us to serve humankind with our own talents. He needs also workers for the harvest of the Kingdom, that is, to ga ther into the Church those who receive a call from God. ¡°Pray,¡± says Jesus, ¡°and you will perhaps hear God¡¯s call.¡±

Of course, each Christian community prays to God and the Spirit brings forth the charisms and ministers and pastors that are needed. Here Jesus asks us to pray for workers in the mission field: they are and always will be too few, especially those who evangelize and build the Church among the poor.