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Tuesday, March 8 2016

Matthew 9: The Calling Of Matthew

"And as Jesus passed forth from thence, He saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and He saith unto him, Follow Me. And he arose, and followed Him"

The first four of those who would become the twelve apostles were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4:18-22). Matthew, who was a tax collector at the Sea of Galilee fishing town of Capernaum, where Jesus moved after He left Nazareth (see The Last Words At Nazareth) was called not long afterward.

The English-language rendering of the name Matthew originated from a Greek name, pronounced mat-tath-ee-as, or its shorter version, pronounced mat-thah-yos, that itself actually originated from a more-ancient Hebrew name, pronounced maw-tith-yaw-hoo - from the compounded words, pronounced maw-tawth, meaning a gift, and yaw, an abbreviated form of the Sacred Name (see The Sacred Name Controversies).

The day of Matthew's calling began with more healings by the Messiah (see Healings Of Man And Nature).

Emperor Tiberius

"9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

9:3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.

9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 9:5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 9:7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men." (Matthew 9:1-8 KJV)

Then, the calling of Matthew, a "publican" (i.e. a tax collector and accountant) for the Roman occupation of the land of Israel. His skill as an accountant enabled him to become the writer of the Book of Matthew.

Tiberius, as seen on the coin above, was the Roman Emperor at the time. As shown on the coins farther below, there were two Emperors during the Messiah's lifetime - Augustus, at the time of the birth of the Messiah, and Tiberius, at the time of the Crucifixion of the Messiah (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).

"9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.

9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?

9:12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (Matthew 9:9-13 KJV)

It was ironic that Matthew was one of the hated "publicans" - even by the self-righteous Pharisees who lived a life of religious and financial hypocrisy over the people.

Roman Coins

"9:14 Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?

9:15 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

9:16 No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved." (Matthew 9:14-17 KJV)

Matthew witnessed the Messiah's miracles, miracle after miracle, right from the beginning of the Messiah's Ministry. He was a direct observer of what he then skillfully recorded.

"9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. 9:19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

9:20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

9:23 And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. 9:25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. 9:26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land." (Matthew 9:18-26 KJV)

More irony. The Messiah healed the repentant physically blind, while the unrepentant spiritually blind Pharisees came to hate and fear Him because they regarded the miraculous healings as a threat to their "authority" over the people's worship of the LORD - Who was the Messiah that they rejected (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour).

"9:27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.

9:28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?

They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. 9:30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 9:31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

9:32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 9:33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.

9:34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils." (Matthew 9:27-34 KJV)

The Messiah and His disciples who became the apostles nevertheless continued "preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."

"9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 9:38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:35-38 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does the Messiah mean by "salt of the Earth" and "light of the world"?
See The Salt Of The Earth and Light Of The World Prophecy

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This Day In History, March 8

1126: Alfonso VII was proclaimed king of Castile and Leon.

1576: Spanish explorer Diego GarcĂ­a de Palacio first sighted the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Copan.

1618: Johann Kepler discovered what humans call the third Law of Planetary Motion (see also The First Scientist).

1702: King William III of England was killed in a riding accident at age 52. Queen Ann became the English monarch.

1736: Nader Shah, founder of the Afsharid dynasty, was crowned Shah of Persia (Persia became known as Iran in the 1920s; see also How Hadassah Of Benjamin Became The Queen Of Persia and The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia).

1765: One-quarter of Montreal was destroyed by fire.

1782: The Gnadenhutten massacre. 96 Native Americans in Gnadenhutten, Ohio, who had converted to Christianity, were murdered by Pennsylvania militiamen in supposed retaliation for raids carried out by other "Indians."

1801: During the Napoleonic Wars, the British forces under Ralph Abercromby captured Aboukir Bay from the French. Abercromby was killed in the battle (Britain put only a small fraction of its military forces into the War of 1812-14 against the U.S.; the bulk of the British army and navy was involved in fighting Napoleon's French Empire in Europe and Africa e.g. British Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory over the French fleet at Trafalgar and Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo).

1844: King Oscar I ascended to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

1917: Riots and strikes in St. Petersburg marked the start of the "February Revolution" in Russia.

1920: Abdullah was proclaimed king of Iraq, but he declined the throne which was later given to his brother Faysal I. Abdullah later became the king of Jordan when it became independent in 1946 (many of the present-day artificial borders between the Arab nations were imposed by Western imperial nations).

1921: Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato was assassinated in Madrid.

1921: Following Germany's failure to pay reparations from the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), French troops occupied Duesseldorf and other towns in the Ruhr.

1942: During the Second World War (1939-1945), Japanese forces entered Rangoon, Burma, the day after British forces evacuated.

1948: The U.S. Supreme Court ("In God We Trust") ruled that religious teaching in public schools violated the U.S. Constitution.

1965: 4,000 U.S. marines (marine troops have been known for over 2,000 years, in ancient China and Greece; today, about 60 countries have marines) arrived at Da Nang in South Vietnam to become the first U.S. combat troops to become involved in the Vietnam civil war. Earlier French imperialism in southeast Asia resulted in the ancient nation of Vietnam being divided into North and South Vietnam, a foreign-imposed partition of the Vietnamese people that did not end until the early 1970s after the U.S. had involved itself in the Vietnamese civil conflict for over a decade.

1973: "Irish Republican Army" terrorist car bombs exploded outside the Old Bailey courthouse and Scotland Yard police headquarters in London, killing one person and injuring 238. On the same day a referendum in Northern Ireland favored maintaining ties with the United Kingdom.

1983: U.S. President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire." The Soviets responded by calling the U.S. an "evil empire."

2004: A new constitution of Iraq was signed by the U.S.-installed "Governing Council." The puppet regime was however unable to stop the insurgency that demanded genuine independence for Iraq.

2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.


Copyright © Wayne Blank