Mat_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.
This was grand faith on the ruler’s part, believing that the touch of Christ’s hand would raise his dead daughter to life; we do not wonder that the Saviour honoured such faith as that at once.
Mat_9:19-20. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
This was while he was on the way to the ruler’s house. Jesus Christ can work many miracles while he is on the way to work other miracles.
Mat_9:21. For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
This also is wonderful faith again; in this chapter we get among the great believers. The man believes that the touch of Jesus can raise the dead the woman believes that the touch of his garment will make her whole
Mat_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.
Christ never comes short of our faith, but he often goes beyond it.
Mat_9:23. And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
These were hired men and women who were brought in to act as mourners
Mat_9:24-25. He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, —
There is a good deal that has to be “put forth” before the Lord Jesus Christ will fully reveal his power to bless. He would have you put forth your doubts, your fears, your wandering thoughts, your self-trust, in fact, everything that is contrary to his righteous rule. “When the people were put forth, he went in,” —
Mat_9:25-27. And took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.
See how busy our Lord was, and how ready for every application that was made to him, and note how he adapted his power to every case that came before him. First he heals an issue of blood, then he raises the dead, and now he is ready to open blind eyes. I wish the Lord might have such blessed business among us here, and he may have, for, if thou wilt cry to him for thy child, dead in trespasses and sins, he will make her to live; if thou wilt bring thy blind eyes to him, he will open them; and if thou wilt come to him with a disease that is sapping thy very life, he will heal thee.
Give the Lord plenty of this holy work to do. Drawn wells, they say, are sweetest; and a Saviour who is constantly used is most enjoyed.
Mat_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?
That is the question the Lord puts to any who are in soul trouble. “’Believe ye that I am able to do this?’ — to forgive your sins once for all, — to give you a new nature at this very moment, — to make you, a sinner, into a saint, — to save you, not merely for the next few weeks, but to save you eternally so that you shall see my face in glory with exceeding joy; — ‘Believe ye that I am able to do this?’”
Mat_9:28-29. They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you.
That is what Jesus says to every person here, “According to your faith be it unto you. “If you believe Christ a little, he will bless you a little, but if you believe him up to the hilt, he will bless you to the full. Your faith shall never outrun the manifestations of divine love. Believest thou this? Then thou shalt see it. “According to your faith be it unto you.”
Mat_9:30-32. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
These miracles were wrought so rapidly, and they concerned such different cases that, as we read of them, we rejoice to see how Christ Was ready for anything, and ready for everything. It did not matter what case was brought to him, he was never taken aback. Here he is just as fully prepared to heal the dumb as just now he was to cure the blind.
Mat_9:33. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: —
There is nothing like going at once to the root of the matter. Christ did not heal the dumb man, and leave the devil in him, but he first cast the devil out, and then “ the dumb spake. “And this is his way of saving men. He renews them by his Spirit, he casts the devil out, and then their despair goes, their prayerlessness disappears, their love of vice is killed. All evil is expelled when once the root of the evil is pulled up. “When the devil was cast out, the dumb spake:” —
Mat_9:33. And the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never before seen in lsrael.
Christ had wrought such miracles as the multitudes had never before seen, and they might well marvel.
Mat_9:34-35. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, —
What the Pharisees said was of such very small consequence that, for the time being, Christ vouchsafed them no answer but this, “Jesus went about all the cities and villages.” In like manner, it will be your best plan not to reply to slander. There are some lies that smell so strongly of the pit from which they came that everybody will recognize their origin, and therefore you need not take the trouble to point out that they are falsehoods. And the best reply to all scandal and slander is to go on with your work just as if you had never heard it. The Pharisees said that Christ cast out devils through the prince of the devils, and the very next sentence is, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages,” —
Mat_9:35-36. Teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, —
Yet Christ, while upon the earth in the flesh, never saw such multitudes as are gathered in London today, he never saw such multitudes as make up this nation; there never passed before the eyes of the Redeemer such multitudes as are crowded together in China and India today. No; the population of the world has wondrously increased since those days, so what must be the compassion of his heart when he sees the multitudes that are living in the world today! “When he saw the multitudes he was moved” — in the original, this is a very striking word; it signifies that he trembled with emotion, his inmost powers were moved, his heart was stirred “with compassion on them,” —
Mat_9:36-37. Because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
Not the preachers, but the labourers are few; not the talkers, but the labourers, — the patient, plodding, resolute, disinterested, industrious toilers who really go in for winning souls for Christ, — the men and women who do real work for God, and do not play at Christian service as some do, making it a kind of amusement to go and do some little good now and then it is these labourers who are few. You know the difference between a dock labourer, or a farm labourer, and the gentleman who takes a tool in his hand just for a pastime now and then.
Mat_9:38. Pray ye therefore the lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
It is earnest workers that we are to pray God to thrust forth into his harvest, for still the harvest is plenteous, and the labourers are few.