Matthew 9The Voice (VOICE)
9 He got back in the boat, crossed the sea, and returned to His own town. 2 When He got there, some men approached Him carrying a mat. On the mat was another man, a paralytic. The men evidently believed that Jesus could heal the paralytic, and Jesus saw their faith, how much faith they had in His authority and power.
Jesus: Rest assured, My son; your sins are forgiven.
3 Now some scribes and teachers of the law had been watching this whole scene.
Scribes and Teachers (to themselves): This man is blaspheming!
4 Though they had only spoken in low whispers among themselves, Jesus knew their thoughts.
Jesus: Why do you hold such hardness and wickedness in your hearts? 5 Look, is it easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or “Get up and walk”? 6 To make clear that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins (turning to the paralytic man on the mat), Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.
7 And the man did. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were amazed, even a little scared, and they praised God who had given humans the authority to do such miraculous things.
9 Later Jesus was walking along and He saw a man named Matthew sitting in the tax collector’s office.
Jesus (to Matthew): Follow Me.
Matthew got up and followed Him.
10 Once when He ate a meal at home with His disciples, a whole host of tax collectors and other sinners joined them. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked Jesus’ disciples,
Pharisees: Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?
Jesus (overhearing this): 12 Look, who needs a doctor—healthy people or sick people? 13 I am not here to attend to people who are already right with God; I am here to attend to sinners. In the book of the prophet Hosea, we read, “It is not sacrifice I want, but mercy.”[a] Go and meditate on that for a while—maybe you’ll come to understand it.
14 And then some of the disciples of John came.
John’s Disciples: What’s the story with fasting? We fast and the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast!
Jesus: 15 When you celebrate—as at a wedding when one’s dearest friend is getting married—you do not fast. The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them. Then My friends and followers will fast. 16 You would begin by washing and shrinking a patch you would use to mend a garment—otherwise, the patch would shrink later, pull away from the garment, and make the original tear even worse. 17 You wouldn’t pour new wine into old wineskins. If you did, the skins would burst, the wine would run out, and the wineskins would be ruined. No, you would pour new wine into new wineskins—and both the wine and the wineskins would be preserved.
18 As He was saying these things, a certain official came before Jesus and knelt in front of Him.
Official: My daughter just died. Would You come and lay Your hands on her? Then, I know, she would live again.
19 Jesus got up, and He and His disciples went with the man. 20-21 But as they were heading to the man’s house, a woman who had been hemorrhaging and bleeding for 12 years—12 years!—crept up behind Jesus.
She evidently believes that if she so much as touches the fringes of His cloak, she will be healed.
And so she came up behind Him and touched His cloak. 22 Jesus turned around and saw her.
Jesus: Take heart, daughter. Your faith has healed you.
And indeed, from that moment, the woman was healed. 23 Then Jesus went to the official’s house. He saw flute players and mourners.
Jesus (to the crowd): 24 Go away, and do your ministering somewhere else. This girl is not dead. She is merely asleep.
The crowd—who knew with certainty that the girl was dead—laughed at Him. 25 But they obeyed Him and left the house, and once they were gone, Jesus went to the girl. When He took her hand, she opened her eyes and stood up. 26 When the crowds outside learned that the girl was indeed alive, they spread throughout the town and the surrounding country telling everyone what had happened.
27 Jesus left the official’s house. And as He was walking, two blind men began to follow Him.
Blind Men: Son of David! Have mercy on us!
28 Jesus went to their house, and the blind men sat in front of Him.
Jesus: Do you believe that I am able to do this?
Blind Men: Yes, Lord.
Faith in Jesus and His power is essential for healing, so it isn’t surprising that all it takes is Jesus’ touch to heal these men.
Jesus (touching their eyes): 29 According to your faith, it will be done to you.
30 And they could see. Then Jesus spoke to them as He had spoken to the leper.
Jesus: Don’t tell anyone about this.
31 But when the men (who could now see) left, they told everyone in the area they met what had happened.
32 Later a man who was possessed by demons and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 Jesus drove out the demons, and the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed.
Crowd: Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.
Pharisees: 34 It must be the prince of demons who gives Him the power to cast out demons.
35 Jesus went through many towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues. He preached the good news of the kingdom of God. He healed every disease and sickness. 36 Whenever crowds came to Him, He had compassion for them because they were so deeply distraught, malaised, and heart-broken. They seemed to Him like lost sheep without a shepherd. 37 Jesus understood what an awesome task was before Him, so He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest to send more workers into His harvest field.”
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