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