Confessions of a Questioning Christian

Posts Tagged ‘demons

Matthew 9

Posted on: February 7, 2012

Jesus just keeps performing miracles and healing people of their illnesses and problems. If they have faith, he responds. It’s a good lesson for me. If I believe in Jesus, I should have more faith that he will do what I request… or is that too much to ask for?

But what does he mean when he says “your sins are forgiven?” His sins are what caused him to be paralyzed? Maybe something he did previously? Or does he simply mean that anything that is keeping us fron being the best and healthiest we can be is wrong, a sin?

Also, they saw him as a man, a prophet, and also later they see him as a messiah – The Messiah. But what does the comment in verse 8 mean when they talk about him being a man who has been given power by God?

Next, Matthew makes a cameo appearance in the story and we see the side of Jesus that makes me love him and want to follow him: he hangs out with the fringe groups of people that are looked down upon. Whenever I got to church, I get frustrated when people are dressed to the nines and covered in expensive bangles and jewels. If I was a poor person and walked in, I wouldn’t feel welcome. But Jesus reclined with them! I want to be someone on the fringe, or who the fringe people are okay with hanging with.

“I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” What does that mean?

Now notice this little remark Jesus says to the Pharisees: “But go and learn what this means: Why did Jesus say this? Because Jesus knows all about the Pharisees. That was their thing! Debating, analyzing, arguing, dissecting, trying to get the exact meaning of every word in the Scripture. Yet they couldn’t recognize COMPASSION because their hearts were empty! He is basically saying, “Go off and study, have your meetings, discussions and debates and try to figure what LOVE is all about. Jesus knew they would NEVER GET IT, because love, compassion and mercy CANNOT be learned by studying but only by each person’s experience of pain, rejection, struggle and suffering. It is a HEART MATTER.

Jesus continues,‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Jesus is referring to Hosea 6:6 which says:
“For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

The Pharisees taught themselves that serving God was all about performing rituals, sacrificing burnt offerings and keeping traditions. Yet see at how God feels about all of this done…without love. (epistle)

I don’t have a lot to say other than how much it would suck to keep having your period for 12 straight years.

When Jesus heals the mute guy who is oppressed by demons, it makes me wonder if “demons” were attributed to any handicapped or mentally ill people.

What did I learn today? That if people asked things of Jesus in faith, he would respond, lavishing them with the healing they desperately wanted and needed.

Lingering Questions:

  • Why did Jesus attribute affliction to sins?
  • What did they mean when they were awed by miracles being done by a man (Jesus wasn’t simply a man…)?
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Matthew 8

Posted on: February 6, 2012

So Jesus heals a guy with leprosy. My first thought was 1) Wow, that leper had some mega faith. How did he hear Jesus (as in, if he was an outcast, how was he able to get through the crowds to hear Jesus speak, let alone speak to him). However it happened, it’s pretty impressive.

I am also curious about why Jesus told him not to tell anyone. I think I knew this once. I believe it was because Jesus was still trying to just teach, not be put up on this pedestal that he knew was coming.  Wikipedia says that the leper went into town anyway and told everyone, and that Jesus was no longer able to go into the cities, but had to remain outside the towns. Why?

To our way of thinking, it would seem that Jesus would want everyone to know about the miracle. But Jesus knew that publicity over such miracles might hinder His mission and divert public attention from His message. Mark records that this is exactly what happened. In this man’s excitement over his being miraculously healed, he disobeyed. As a result, Christ had to move His ministry away from the city and into the desert regions (Mark 1:45) “As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to Him from everywhere.”

In addition, Christ, though he had cleansed the leper, still required him to be obedient to the law of the land – to go at once to the priest, and not to make delay by stopping to converse about his being healed. It was also possible that, if he did not go at once, evil-minded men would go before him and prejudice the priest, and prevent his declaring the healing to be true because it was done by Jesus. It was of further importance that the priest should pronounce it to be a genuine cure, that there might be no prejudice among the Jews against its being a real miracle.

Finally, Jesus did not want people focusing on the miracles He performed, but rather the message He proclaimed and the death He was going to die. The same is true today. God would rather that we be focused on the healing miracle of salvation through Jesus Christ instead of focusing on other healings and/or miracles. (gotquestions.org)

So a centurion (a professional officer of the Roman army) shows up and asks Jesus to help his servant. At first I was a little confused about why Jesus marveled at this, but the centurion wasn’t Jewish and had no reason to pay attention to Jesus, let alone have faith in him. None the less, he came to him, humbled himself (pretty miraculous given his position), and asked for Jesus’ help.

I don’t know for sure what Jesus was rambling about as far as the sons of the kingdom being thrown out of the dinner party, though.

Jesus heals many, which results in more prophesies being fulfilled.

Jesus also starts using his weird riddles to talk to people again – I don’t understand what these mean most of the time.

Okay, this is another one of the miracles of Jesus that is etched into my brain.

I don’t understand why they woke him up if they were going to be surprised when he saved them, but maybe it’s the manner in which he spoke to nature and it responded.

It kind of sucks that he let the demons go into the pigs. For one thing, why was he entertaining the requests of demons? And for another, what happened to the men? Also, those pigs were owned by people, and allowing them to be killed seems like a form of stealing…? Then again, why would Jews be raising pigs, an unclean animal? Maybe they weren’t in Jewish land? So confused.

I assume the city asked him to leave because he was destructive to their property.

Lingering Questions:

  • Why couldn’t Jesus go into the cities if people knew about him? Did they not want him to or was he worried about being mobbed by adoring fans?
  • What/who was Jesus threatening about being sent away from the dinner party?
  • What exactly was Jesus trying to say when he talked about the cost of following him? Was he referring to the coming crucifixion, or something else?
  • Why did the disciples seem so surprised? They seem kind of stupid sometimes. Maybe they are supposed to represent all of us – we see God in so many ways, but we never actually have faith in him?
  • The whole last part about the demons and the pigs is foggy to me.