The Amazing Power of Jesus
Miracles of Sight and Sound
Matthew 9:27-33
Ever since the Garden of Eden, the promise of God has been that one of these days a Man would come and He would be a deliverer.
In fact, in Genesis chapter 3, no sooner had man fallen than God gave the promise that there would come One who would be called the Seed of the woman; and that very One would bruise the serpent's head.
From that time on, the Old Testament was filled with promises of this One Who would come.  And when He came, He would wipe out disease and death and pain and illness and sorrow and war and fighting.
He is referred to as the Anointed Son, the King of kings, the Satan-Conqueror, the Death-Defeater, the Sin-Destroyer, the Healer.  The Jews know Him as the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Prophet, Priest, and King surpassing all others.  And "someday," says the Old Testament, "He'll come.  Someday He'll establish His throne.  Someday it'll be as God intended it to be in the world."
Then when we open the New Testament, there He is.  “Someday” has arrived and the One who can right the wrongs, who can reverse the curse, who can establish the Kingdom, who can destroy the enemy is on the scene.
And a part of the Gospel record is devoted to telling us about His power.
In particular, we’ve been looking at a series of miracles in Matthew 8 and 9.  And I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but it seems to me the miracles recorded there are not random.  I think they are fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.
They are God’s way of saying through Matthew, “Jesus is the Messiah.  He fulfills the prophecy.  The prophecy says He will do certain things, and you are seeing it fulfilled before your eyes.”
For instance, the first three miracles deal with healing. They show us Jesus’ power over disease.
The prophet Isaiah said, in 33:22-24, “The Lord is our King.  He will save us, and the inhabitants shall not say, 'I am sick.'"
So in the Kingdom of Christ there will be no sickness.
And because of prophecy like that, Jews anticipated that the Messiah would bring the end of disease. So Matthew shows us that He has power over disease.
The next three miracles deal with His power over disorder; disorder in the physical world, disorder in the spiritual world (demons), and disorder in the moral world (sin).
In regard to the physical world, Isaiah 35 tells us that when the Kingdom comes, the Messiah will change the earth.  The desert will blossom like a rose, and rivers and streams will appear in the desert.  The topography will change.
So what happens when Jesus shows up?  He is able to quiet the winds and the waves with the sound of His voice and Matthew tells us about that as evidence of His power over the natural world.
We also saw Jesus power over demons as they are removed from a man eaten up with the power of Satan and placed into pigs.
The book of Daniel, particularly chapters 9-11, talks  about this conflict between holy and fallen demons and how, in the end, God and His angels will be victorious.  Jesus fulfilled that prophecy.
In Matthew 9:1-8, we find Jesus forgiving a man of his sin.  Why?  Because it says in Isaiah 33:24 that those "In the Kingdom shall be forgiven all their iniquity."  The Messiah must be able to forgive sin.
He must deal with the physical world and heal diseases; He must deal with the spiritual world and conquer demons and forgive sin, and the third set of miracles, the ones that appear next, deal primarily with His power over death.  We started looking at those last week as He raises a girl who has died.
And that is exactly the prophecy of Daniel 12:2.  The Messiah will have power to raise the dead.  So if Jesus is the Messiah, then He must demonstrate that power.
In fact, as we’ll see tonight, He not only has power over dead people, but even over the dead parts of a living human being, such as their eyes and their ears and their tongues.
And it’s amazing to me that prophecy is even given in regard to that power.
Isaiah 29:18
And then Isaiah 35:5-6
So the Old Testament said that the deaf would hear and the dumb would speak and the blind would sing and the lame would walk and that the Messiah would give back life to dead faculties.  Miracles of sight and sound, and that is precisely what you have in verses 27 to 33 of Matthew 9.
Let’s read them
Matthew 9:27-33
It’s been a busy day, and as He leaves the house of  Jairus, there's a mass of humanity crushing around Him.  In fact, I would suspicion the crowd has increased.  There is the crowd that's been following Him all along, but now added to is the crowd of mourners and paid who were holding the funeral service for the daughter.
So now He has this whole collection of humanity and as He moves from that place back toward the house in which He was staying, the story unfolds.  And I want us to work our way through the story with just a simple little outline.
First we encounter two blind men, and I notice first of all,
1. The Condition of the Men
verse 27
Blindness was a fairly common problem in that day.  In fact, the Gospel records include more healings of blind people than any other type of healing.  That may indicate its commonness.
There were some who are affected by eye disease; for others it might have been unsanitary conditions, and some were blind from birth.
We aren’t told any more in regard to these two men than they were blind.  That’s their condition.
Secondly, we see
2.  The Cry of the Men
Verse 27
Notice they are “crying” out.  That’s an interesting word, this word cry.  It has a broad range of possible interpretations, but the word basically means to yell or to scream or to shriek.
It’s used a lot of different ways in the New Testament.  It is the word used to describe the shrieks of the demonic man living in the cemetery in Gadara in Mark 5.
It is used in Mark 15:39 of our Lord on the cross when "He cried out and gave up His Spirit."
It is used in Revelation 12:2 of a woman who is screaming in the pangs of childbirth.
It doesn't necessarily have to refer to intelligent speech or verbalization.  It may be an unintelligible crying of agony.
We read of these men they were crying out one phrase in particular.
"Son of David, have mercy on us"
Now, why did they say that?  Why did they call Jesus of Nazareth Son of David? Did they know His lineage from Joseph, who was of the line of David?  Did they know His lineage from Mary, who also, according to Luke 3, was of the lineage of David?
I'm not sure they knew that.  I think their cry is based on something entirely different.  The term “Son of David” was the common Jewish designation for the Messiah. I believe they are affirming beyond doubt that they believe this is the long-awaited Messiah.  This is the rightful heir, the King of Israel.
And, by the way, you have to remember that John the Baptist had had a far-reaching and effective ministry; and his ministry was to heighten the anticipation of the coming of Messiah.
So people are living in and expectation.  And when Jesus came along healing diseases and calming the winds and waves and casting out demons and raising the dead, it became apparent to some, including these two, that this was One.  So they give Him the  title of the Messiah.
And maybe they knew Isaiah 35 that said He would heal the blind when He came.
So notice what else they say, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
They believed that Jesus was the Messiah.  They believed He had the power to bring Kingdom blessings and, yet, they knew that they were undeserving, so they asked for mercy.
Now mercy is not getting what you deserve.  Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.  They ask for mercy.
So they come with, not only a right understanding of who Christ was, but a right understanding of how unworthy they were. They sought mercy.  And boy, did they come to the right Person because He was so merciful!
Listen to a quote from John MacArthur’s book on Kingdom Living:  "He was the most merciful human being who ever lived.  He reached out to the sick and healed them.  He reached out to the crippled and gave them legs to walk.  He healed the eyes of the blind, the ears of the deaf, and the mouths of the dumb.  He found prostitutes and tax collectors and those who were debauched and drunken, and drew them into the circle of His love and redeemed them and set them on their feet.  He took the lonely and made them feel loved.  He took little children and gathered them into His arms and loved them.  Never was there a person on the face of the earth with the mercy of this One.  Once a funeral procession came by, and He saw a mother weeping, because her son was dead.  She was already a widow, and now she had no child to care for her.  Who would care?  Jesus stopped the funeral procession, put His hand on the casket, and raised the child from the dead, because He cared."
That's our merciful Lord.  Hebrews 2:17 says, "He was made like His brethren in all things that He might become a merciful, faithful high priest."  Titus 3:5 says, "He saved us according to His mercy."  Ephesians 2 says, "He's rich in mercy."
Daniel 9 says, "To the Lord, our God, belong mercies and forgivenesses."  In Lamentations, it says -- the most beautiful of all the mercy passages -- "It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning.  Great is thy faithfulness."...
He is a God of mercy.  He has mercy for healing, mercy for saving, and it was available to these two desperate men.  So they follow along.  They had the right knowledge.  They had a right attitude.  Screaming that they believed He was Messiah and begging and pleading that He extend to them the mercy that they really didn't even deserve.
The condition, the cry, then we see
3. The Confrontation
verse 28
Now apparently they followed Him for a while and got no response.  And He finally got home after a busy day of teaching and preaching and healing and walking and dealing with a mass of humanity and He went in the house.
And notice, they followed Him into the house.  I am struck by the utter lack of privacy that our Lord had.  There was this constant pressure as the crowd was with Him every step and then these two go right in the house after Him.
I don't think any of us can even begin to fathom what it must have been like to have these desperate people clinging to Him all through His ministry, knowing no moments of privacy, unless late in the night as He would go away to some private place of prayer.
And finally, in the house, He can't avoid them.  There's an important truth here. Every one of the healings we've seen in this chapter involves persistence, and that is how Jesus drew out true faith.  That's why all the healings we see so far are not only physical healings, but spiritual conversions, as well.
He uses their desperation in a physical need to draw out the faith for a spiritual need.  The friends of the paralytic, in order to get him healed, had to literally tear the roof apart.  That's persistence.  They didn't say, "Hey, it's crowded in there.  Charlie, let's come back another day."  No, they took the roof apart.
And the ruler came to Jesus more than once and even though his daughter is dead, he’s not willing to give up.  And when he finally got Jesus to go, they are interrupted with the woman with an issue of blood.  Can you imagine how irritating that must have been for the ruler?  His daughter is dead and time is passing and Jesus is stopping to deal with this reviled woman.  After all, she’s been dealing with the problem for 12 years; what difference will another hour or so make?
And then there was the woman herself.  She doesn’t let the crowd stop her, and she doesn’t let religious  regulations or social expectations get in the way.
And once she finally gets hold of the hem of His garment, she doesn’t let go.
All of these are people who are determined to get to Jesus and not leave until they have what they came after.  And now with these two blind men, they followed and screamed and worshipped and done everything they can to get His attention , and now they have Him cornered in the house.
They would have made great Jehovah Witnesses, don’t you think?
And when they finally get an alone moment of conversation with the Lord, He asks this strange question.
verse 28
“Do we believe you're able to do this?  Man, we've been feeling our way through this crowd, we’ve screamed until our lungs have cramps, we’ve been bold enough to force our way in the house, and you’re asking Do we believe you can do this?”
Why does He ask that?
I think He is causing them to meet a scriptural requirement for salvation. Paul said, "If you will confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."  And I believe He is drawing out a verbal confession, an affirmation of their faith.
"Do you believe I'm able to do this?"  And they said, "Yes, Lord."
That was the affirmation of their faith.  Now, as I've said before, faith is not necessary for healing.  The Gospels are loaded with times that Jesus healed, and people didn't have any faith.  But faith is necessary for salvation and He wanted to bring these men all the way that their faith would take them.
See what’s happening?  They have admitted their need, “We need mercy".
They have confessed the belief in their heart.  Son of David, You are the promised Messiah”.
Then they say, “Because You are Lord, we believe You can do what You say You can do.”
And upon the meeting of those scriptural requirements, they were saved.  That’s where we see
4.  The Conversion
verses 29-30
Not only were their physical eyes opened, but at that moment, they became children of God.
In verse 30, he says, "They're eyes were opened."
There is not a more fitting description of salvation than that.  It’s what caused Newton to write that phrase, “twas blind but now I see”.
He has the power to give sight, but beyond that,  He has the power to save.
We see the condition, the cry, confrontation, conversion.  Now listen to
5. The Command
verse 30
Apparently the Lord is very serious about his command.  The word He uses is used of the snorting of a horse.  It carries the idea of bing sternly colded.
 Why does He say that?  Some say, "He wants to hide the fact that He's a miracle worker."  Well That’ a stupid comment.  He’s doing all kinds of miracles out in public.  That isn't the reason.
He didn't want anyone to find out at all. That can't be true.  I’ll guarantee you these two guys didn’t go down the road and back to their homes pretending to still be blind.  Obviously their friends and relatives are going to find out immediately.
isn't that He wanted to hide His miracles or that He doesn't want anybody to know.  I think He did it to avoid premature confrontation about His Messiah-ship.
 If they keep going around proclaiming Jesus as Messiah, Son of David, Heir to the throne, the Jews would get all up in the air about it because He didn't come through the Jewish establishment and the Romans aren’t going to like it either Caesar was their king.
And, ultimately, if you know the story of Christ, it was that very affirmation that He was the King that brought Him to the cross.
So He says to them, “Don’t tell anyone because the timing isn’t right yet.”
So what did they do?
verse 31
They did exactly what He told them not to do. Most of the time the Lord wants us to say things, and we don't.  But there are times when He doesn't want us to say things, and we do.  I guess it's a sin that only a grateful heart could commit, but it's nonetheless a sin.  So let’s call it
6. The Contrariness
They were commanded, but they were contrary to the command.
But the story doesn't end there.  We’ll come back to verse 31 next week, but let’s go ahead and quickly look at verse 32
You have the condition, the cry, the confrontation, the conversion, the command, the contrariness, and, finally,
7. The Commitment
Verse 32
Who is the “they” of verse 32?  I think it is the two blind men who were just healed.  I think he’s another person whom they knew and was in a very similar predicament and they go get him and bring him to Jesus.
Is that not the way it’s supposed to work?
Now with this man, we are told nothing about faith or salvation, but what we do find is that the two blind men immediately become useful to Christ because they are involved in bringing others to Him.
Now when you put it all together, their story is one of the most beautiful analogies of salvation in all of Matthew's Gospel.
First of all, they had a need.  They were blind, and they knew that.  That's where salvation begins.  Nobody comes to God unless he senses a need, unless he knows he cannot see.  He has no resources.  He has no hope.  He cannot discern the truth.  There's a sense of desperation.
Need is then followed by knowledge.  They found out who Jesus was; and they knew that He was the Deliverer, the Messiah, the Son of David.  Their knowledge was right.  Out of their need came their knowledge.  They sought to know, and they found the truth.  That's how salvation comes about.
First, there's a deep need; and out of the deep need comes a searching for the right answer.  And then that is followed by a sense of sinfulness.  They said, "Have mercy.  We're not here to tell You we deserve anything.  We're here to tell You we need something that we don't deserve."  And that's how salvation is.  You come with crying for mercy.
Fourthly, there was faith.  They said, "Yes, Lord, we followed You persistently, crying to You.  Doesn't that evidence our faith?"  The Old Testament says, "If you seek Me with all your heart, you'll find Me."
Salvation begins with a need, the knowledge of the solution, a sense of sinfulness that you don't deserve the solution, faith that persists in reaching out, and then comes confession.  "Do you believe?"  "Yes, Lord," the affirmation of the Lordship.
Then comes conversion.  "According to your faith, be it unto to."
Do you know what often follows conversion?  Weakness.  That's right.  Disobedience.  Why?  Because when you're born again, you are a newborn babe in Christ and babiees don't know how to discern.  They can be tossed to and fro.  They don't know the deep things of God, and there's a certain weakness there, a certain susceptibility to disobedience.  Sometimes even in their zeal, they are disobedient.
But, finally, the story ends with usefulness.  Intermingled with their disobedience was their desire to bring somebody else to Jesus Christ.
That is so often true of a new Christian.  They don't know all that's involved.  They just grab the nearest deaf and dumb guy and drag him in.  Say, "Here, Lord," and I don't think the Lord healed that man because of that man's faith.  I think He healed the man to show those two blind men that they were going to be useful to Him in the Kingdom.
So it's a beautiful picture of how salvation occurs in a life.  Jesus is the Messiah and those of us who’ve met Him need to tell others.  It’s just tthat simple.
Let’s pray
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