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Matthew 9New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 9

The Healing of a Paralytic. [a]He entered a boat, made the crossing, and came into his own town. And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” At that, some of the scribes[b] said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why do you harbor evil thoughts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? [c]But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic, “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He rose and went home. [d]When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe and glorified God who had given such authority to human beings.

The Call of Matthew.[e] As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew[f] sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. 10 While he was at table in his house,[g] many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. 11 The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher[h] eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do.[i] 13 Go and learn the meaning of the words, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’[j] I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The Question About Fasting. 14 Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast [much], but your disciples do not fast?” 15 Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.[k] 16 No one patches an old cloak with a piece of unshrunken cloth,[l] for its fullness pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. 17 People do not put new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the skins burst, the wine spills out, and the skins are ruined. Rather, they pour new wine into fresh wineskins, and both are preserved.”

The Official’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage. 18 [m]While he was saying these things to them, an official[n] came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel[o] on his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” 22 Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured.

23 When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”[p] And they ridiculed him. 25 When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. 26 And news of this spread throughout all that land.

The Healing of Two Blind Men.[q] 27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed [him], crying out, “Son of David,[r] have pity on us!” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men approached him and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they said to him. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread word of him through all that land.

The Healing of a Mute Person. 32 As they were going out,[s] a demoniac who could not speak was brought to him, 33 and when the demon was driven out the mute person spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 [t]But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

The Compassion of Jesus. 35 [u]Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. 36 At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned,[v] like sheep without a shepherd. 37 [w]Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; 38 so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”


  1. 9:1 His own town: Capernaum; see Mt 4:13.
  2. 9:3 Scribes: see note on Mk 2:6. Matthew omits the reason given in the Marcan story for the charge of blasphemy: “Who but God alone can forgive sins?” (Mk 2:7).
  3. 9:6 It is not clear whether But that you may know…to forgive sins is intended to be a continuation of the words of Jesus or a parenthetical comment of the evangelist to those who would hear or read this gospel. In any case, Matthew here follows the Marcan text.
  4. 9:8 Who had given such authority to human beings: a significant difference from Mk 2:12 (“They…glorified God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this’”). Matthew’s extension to human beings of the authority to forgive sins points to the belief that such authority was being claimed by Matthew’s church.
  5. 9:9–17 In this section the order is the same as that of Mk 2:13–22.
  6. 9:9 A man named Matthew: Mark names this tax collector Levi (Mk 2:14). No such name appears in the four lists of the twelve who were the closest companions of Jesus (Mt 10:2–4; Mk 3:16–19; Lk 6:14–16; Acts 1:13 [eleven, because of the defection of Judas Iscariot]), whereas all four list a Matthew, designated in Mt 10:3 as “the tax collector.” The evangelist may have changed the “Levi” of his source to Matthew so that this man, whose call is given special notice, like that of the first four disciples (Mt 4:18–22), might be included among the twelve. Another reason for the change may be that the disciple Matthew was the source of traditions peculiar to the church for which the evangelist was writing.
  7. 9:10 His house: it is not clear whether his refers to Jesus or Matthew. Tax collectors: see note on Mt 5:46. Table association with such persons would cause ritual impurity.
  8. 9:11 Teacher: see note on Mt 8:19.
  9. 9:12 See note on Mk 2:17.
  10. 9:13 Go and learn…not sacrifice: Matthew adds the prophetic statement of Hos 6:6 to the Marcan account (see also Mt 12:7). If mercy is superior to the temple sacrifices, how much more to the laws of ritual impurity.
  11. 9:15 Fasting is a sign of mourning and would be as inappropriate at this time of joy, when Jesus is proclaiming the kingdom, as it would be at a marriage feast. Yet the saying looks forward to the time when Jesus will no longer be with the disciples visibly, the time of Matthew’s church. Then they will fast: see Didache 8:1.
  12. 9:16–17 Each of these parables speaks of the unsuitability of attempting to combine the old and the new. Jesus’ teaching is not a patching up of Judaism, nor can the gospel be contained within the limits of Mosaic law.
  13. 9:18–34 In this third group of miracles, the first (Mt 9:18–26) is clearly dependent on Mark (Mk 5:21–43). Though it tells of two miracles, the cure of the woman had already been included within the story of the raising of the official’s daughter, so that the two were probably regarded as a single unit. The other miracles seem to have been derived from Mark and Q, respectively, though there Matthew’s own editing is much more evident.
  14. 9:18 Official: literally, “ruler.” Mark calls him “one of the synagogue officials” (Mk 5:22). My daughter has just died: Matthew heightens the Marcan “my daughter is at the point of death” (Mk 5:23).
  15. 9:20 Tassel: possibly “fringe.” The Mosaic law prescribed that tassels be worn on the corners of one’s garment as a reminder to keep the commandments (see Nm 15:37–39; Dt 22:12).
  16. 9:24 Sleeping: sleep is a biblical metaphor for death (see Ps 87:6 LXX; Dn 12:2; 1 Thes 5:10). Jesus’ statement is not a denial of the child’s real death, but an assurance that she will be roused from her sleep of death.
  17. 9:27–31 This story was probably composed by Matthew out of Mark’s story of the healing of a blind man named Bartimaeus (Mk 10:46–52). Mark places the event late in Jesus’ ministry, just before his entrance into Jerusalem, and Matthew has followed his Marcan source at that point in his gospel also (see Mt 20:29–34). In each of the Matthean stories the single blind man of Mark becomes two. The reason why Matthew would have given a double version of the Marcan story and placed the earlier one here may be that he wished to add a story of Jesus’ curing the blind at this point in order to prepare for Jesus’ answer to the emissaries of the Baptist (Mt 11:4–6) in which Jesus, recounting his works, begins with his giving sight to the blind.
  18. 9:27 Son of David: this messianic title is connected once with the healing power of Jesus in Mark (Mk 10:47–48) and Luke (Lk 18:38–39) but more frequently in Matthew (see also Mt 12:23; 15:22; 20:30–31).
  19. 9:32–34 The source of this story seems to be Q (see Lk 11:14–15). As in the preceding healing of the blind, Matthew has two versions of this healing, the later in Mt 12:22–24 and the earlier here.
  20. 9:34 This spiteful accusation foreshadows the growing opposition to Jesus in Mt 11 and 12.
  21. 9:35 See notes on Mt 4:23–25; Mt 8:1–9:38.
  22. 9:36 See Mk 6:34; Nm 27:17; 1 Kgs 22:17.
  23. 9:37–38 This Q saying (see Lk 10:2) is only imperfectly related to this context. It presupposes that only God (the master of the harvest) can take the initiative in sending out preachers of the gospel, whereas in Matthew’s setting it leads into Mt 10 where Jesus does so.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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