Matthew 9Living Bible (TLB)
9 So Jesus climbed into a boat and went across the lake to Capernaum, his hometown.[a]
2 Soon some men brought him a paralyzed man on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick man, “Cheer up, son! For I have forgiven your sins!”
3 “Blasphemy! This man is saying he is God!” exclaimed some of the religious leaders to themselves.
4 Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked them, “Why are you thinking such evil thoughts? 5-6 I, the Messiah,[b] have the authority on earth to forgive sins. But talk is cheap—anybody could say that. So I’ll prove it to you by healing this man.” Then, turning to the paralyzed man, he commanded, “Pick up your stretcher and go on home, for you are healed.”
7 And the man jumped up and left!
8 A chill of fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen right before their eyes. How they praised God for giving such authority to a man!
9 As Jesus was going on down the road, he saw a tax collector, Matthew,[c] sitting at a tax collection booth. “Come and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him, and Matthew jumped up and went along with him.
10 Later, as Jesus and his disciples were eating dinner at Matthew’s house,[d] there were many notorious swindlers there as guests!
11 The Pharisees were indignant. “Why does your teacher associate with men like that?”
12 “Because people who are well don’t need a doctor! It’s the sick people who do!” was Jesus’ reply. 13 Then he added, “Now go away and learn the meaning of this verse of Scripture,
‘It isn’t your sacrifices and your gifts I want—I want you to be merciful.’[e]
For I have come to urge sinners, not the self-righteous, back to God.”
14 One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast as we do and as the Pharisees do?”
15 “Should the bridegroom’s friends mourn and go without food while he is with them?” Jesus asked. “But the time is coming when I[f] will be taken from them. Time enough then for them to refuse to eat.
16 “And who would patch an old garment with unshrunk cloth? For the patch would tear away and make the hole worse. 17 And who would use old wineskins[g] to store new wine? For the old skins would burst with the pressure, and the wine would be spilled and skins ruined. Only new wineskins are used to store new wine. That way both are preserved.”
18 As he was saying this, the rabbi of the local synagogue came and worshiped him. “My little daughter has just died,” he said, “but you can bring her back to life again if you will only come and touch her.”
19 As Jesus and the disciples were going to the rabbi’s home, 20 a woman who had been sick for twelve years with internal bleeding came up behind him and touched a tassel of his robe, 21 for she thought, “If I only touch him, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned around and spoke to her. “Daughter,” he said, “all is well! Your faith has healed you.” And the woman was well from that moment.
23 When Jesus arrived at the rabbi’s home and saw the noisy crowds and heard the funeral music, 24 he said, “Get them out, for the little girl isn’t dead; she is only sleeping!” Then how they all scoffed and sneered at him!
25 When the crowd was finally outside, Jesus went in where the little girl was lying and took her by the hand, and she jumped up and was all right again! 26 The report of this wonderful miracle swept the entire countryside.
27 As Jesus was leaving her home, two blind men followed along behind, shouting, “O Son of King David, have mercy on us.”
28 They went right into the house where he was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?”
“Yes, Lord,” they told him, “we do.”
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith it will happen.”
30 And suddenly they could see! Jesus sternly warned them not to tell anyone about it, 31 but instead they spread his fame all over the town.[h]
32 Leaving that place, Jesus met a man who couldn’t speak because a demon was inside him. 33 So Jesus cast out the demon, and instantly the man could talk. How the crowds marveled! “Never in all our lives have we seen anything like this,” they exclaimed.
34 But the Pharisees said, “The reason he can cast out demons is that he is demon-possessed himself—possessed by Satan, the demon king!”
35 Jesus traveled around through all the cities and villages of that area, teaching in the Jewish synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And wherever he went he healed people of every sort of illness. 36 And what pity he felt for the crowds that came, because their problems were so great and they didn’t know what to do or where to go for help. They were like sheep without a shepherd.
37 “The harvest is so great, and the workers are so few,” he told his disciples. 38 “So pray to the one in charge of the harvesting, and ask him to recruit more workers for his harvest fields.”