Sunday School Helps for Explore the Bible, 1/31/2016-Matt. 8:5-13

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Matthew 8:5-13

Matthew 8:5 Capernaum meaning “village of Nahum”. located on the NW shore of the sea of Galilee. It served as Jesus’ base of operations when Jesus began his ministry (see Matthew 4:13). It is believed that Peter’s home still stands in this city today.

Matthew 8:5 This man was a Gentile and would have been a commander of a group of soldiers (anywhere from 60-100 men) occupying Israel during this time. He would’ve been considered unclean by orthodox Jews because of his race and his roll in Roman subjugation. The mention of a Gentile centurion would’ve challenged social taboos of Jesus’ day. Ironically, every biblical mention of a centurion casts them in a positive light.

Matthew 8:5  Throughout his appeal, the centurion demonstrates a sense of helplessness and an inadequacy to address his need. He needed Jesus’ help.

Matthew 8:6  Notice the volume of respect paid to Jesus through his address. No doubt, this was not the common designation of Jews by the occupying Roman army. So, in this centurion we see the prized quality of humility. Luke’s account of this story (Luke 7:3–6) tells us that some Jewish elders came on the Centurion’s behalf saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” No doubt he was a man of unusual character.

Matthew 8:6  We also see in this centurion much compassion. He demonstrates an unusually high level of concern for one who is merely a “servent”.

Matthew 8:6  The word used to describe this servant could very well be understood to mean a child (7-14yrs old) servant. This adds to the compassion and concern displayed in this centurion’s character because children were not highly esteemed in this culture.

Matthew 8:7  Jesus uses here what we call “an emphatic ‘I'”. The first person singular pronoun “I” is actually unnecessary in the Aramaic and Greek constructs. Verb conjugations relay information about who is doing the action in the sentence. Take a Spanish sentence as an example: 1) Hablo Ingles. (I speak English.) 2) Hablas Ingles. (You (sng.) speak English.) 3) Habla Engles. (He/She speaks English.) 4) Yo hablo Ingles. (I speak English.) Thus, the emphatic I empahsizes Jesus’ authority over the situation and the fact that He, himself would be responsible for the healing.

Matthew 8:7  To offer to enter a Gentile’s home was unthinkable for a Jew—especially for a respected Jewish teacher (Acts 10:27–29). Israel never seemed to understand that as God’s chosen people, they were to be a medium of ministry to all nations of earth (Gen. 12:3; Deut. 4:6–8; Ps. 67; Isa. 42:6–7; 49:6). Israel took the Lord’s prohibitions against any fraternization that might lead Israel into idolatry, and they applied it wholesale to any contact with Gentiles. They also held to an elitist attitude, because they were the people to whom God had revealed the law (Rom. 2:17–29). They should have realized that he was revealing the law (his heart) not to them, but also through them to the world. APP: The church should take percaution against forming the same attitude against those who don’t follow Christ.

Matthew 8:8  “The centurion feels unworthy to be an inconvienience to Jesus. He recognizes the barriers of ritual uncleanliness that would have prevented a Jew from entering his home, and he amazingly believes in Jesus’ ability to cure his servant from a distance merely by a word of command. Such healing was virtually unprecedented in ancient Judaism, and Matthew has not prepared his readers to expect it. But the centurion bases his belief on his own experience with the military. Just as he can command others to carry out the orders he himself has been given and can expect their instant and complete obedience, so also he believes that Jesus, under God’s authority, gives orders for illnesses to be cured instantaneously. “Authority” is obviously the key term again in these verses.” – Blomberg, C. (1992). Matthew (Vol. 22, p. 141). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Matthew 8:9 In this statement, he acknowledges Jesus to be the ultimate authority, essentially that just as he commands men, Jesus commands things out of a normal person’s reach.

Matthew 8:11  The centurion becomes an example of the “many” who “will come from east and west” – Gentiles. Psalm 107:1-3 – Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

Matthew 8:11  The image of eating together with Old Testament patriarchs paints a heavenly picture of intimate worship of God and fellowship among God’s people. THEO: This verse suggests that we will not only fellowship with God, but also recognize and fellowship with one another.

Matthew 8:12  The horror of believing to be in the kingdom (i.e. Jews), when in actuality you aren’t must have been shocking for Jesus’ hearers. APP: Ethnic background is meaningless when we face our eternity. What matters is our response of faith to the invitation of the gospel.

Matthew 8:12  Separation from God in Hell is a place of intense agony.

Matthew 8:13 Jesus is in complete control of the situation.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 3:22 PM January 27, 2016.

Author: Joy Manley