Matthew 8-9

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 16–18

After Jesus taught His great Sermon on the Mount, He went among the people, teaching them and also performing many miracles. In Matthew 8–9 is recorded several miracles Jesus performed while He was in the area near the Sea of Galilee. What might be the importance of these miracles? Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught that while most often “our Lord in his ministry is preaching the gospel of the kingdom; … announcing to all men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come,” the Savior also performed miracles, as “visible evidences in the eyes of all, believers and nonbelievers alike, that he has more than mortal power. They are proof, as it were, that his words are true” (Mortal Messiah, 2:42; see also Matthew 11:3–5). Elder McConkie also taught that “miracles of themselves do not convert men to the truth. … But miracles may so impress the sincere investigator as to cause him to take the steps that lead to faith” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 2:81).As you read the accounts in Matthew 8–9 of miracles Jesus performed, consider what they teach you about Jesus and ways each miracle could strengthen your faith and encourage you to more fully trust in Him.

Understanding the Scriptures

Matthew 8

Leper, leprosy (vv. 2–3)Leprosy refers to various diseases of the skin, tissues, or nerves (see also Bible Dictionary, “leper” and “leprosy,” pp. 723–24) 
Centurion (vv. 5, 8, 13)A leader in the Roman army in charge of one hundred soldiers 
Palsy (v. 6)A disease that left a person disabled 
Grievously tormented (v. 6)In terrible pain 
Even (v. 16)Evening 
Infirmities (v. 17)Weaknesses 
Bare (v. 17)Carried 
Perish, perished (vv. 25, 32)Die 
Rebuked (v. 26)Commanded to quit 
Torment (v. 29)Punish 
Swine (vv. 30–32)Pigs 
Besought (vv. 31, 34)Asked 
Befallen (v. 33)Happened 

Matthew 8:4—Why Would Jesus Tell Those He Healed to Not Tell Anyone about It?

See “Understanding the Scriptures” for Matthew 16:20 (p. 24).

Matthew 8:21–22—Why Wouldn’t Jesus Let the Man Bury His Father?

The following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie helps us understand why Jesus asked the man to follow Him rather than go and bury his father: “When men are called of God by the spirit of revelation, called in the omnipotent wisdom of him who knoweth all things, those calls take precedence over all conflicting interests. Missionaries so sent forth habitually forsake all personal and family obligations. Loved ones may pass away, but missionaries remain at their posts, preaching the kingdom of God” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:304).

It is important to remember that no matter the circumstance, we are to follow Christ.

Matthew 9

His own city (v. 1)Capernaum (see Bible Dictionary, “Capernaum,” p. 631) 
Blasphemeth (v. 3)Speaks irreverently about sacred things 
Son of man (v. 6)Jesus called Himself the Son of Man because He is the Son of God the Father, and one of Heavenly Father’s names is “Man of Holiness” (see Moses 6:57). Therefore, Jesus is “Son of Man of Holiness.” 
Thence (vv. 9, 27)There 
Receipt of custom (v. 9)Place to collect taxes 
Sat at meat (v. 10)Was eating a meal 
Publicans (vv. 10–11)Tax collectors 
Oft (v. 14)Many times (short for often) 
Children of the bridechamber (v. 15)Wedding guests 
Bridegroom (v. 15)Man who is getting married (often symbolic of Christ, and the woman is the Church) 
Garment (vv. 16, 20)Piece of clothing 
Rent (v. 16)Tear 
Minstrels (v. 23)People who play music 
Give place (v. 24)Move away, make room 
Laughed him to scorn (v. 24)Made fun of him, were disrespectful 
Son of David (v. 27)A special name that shows they believed He was the descendant of King David who was to be their king, or Messiah, or Christ 
Dumb (vv. 32–33)Cannot speak 
Moved with compassion (v. 36)Felt kind, loving feelings; felt sorry 
Fainted (v. 36)Discouraged, weary 
Plenteous (v. 37)Many 

Studying the Scriptures

Do three of the following activities (A–D) as you study Matthew 8–9.

Activity A iconGreat Examples of Faith

Roman soldier in armor
  1. 1.

    Matthew 8:5–13 tells the story of a leader in the Roman army—a Gentile, not an Israelite—who sought help from the Savior. What did the Savior say in verse 10 about the centurion’s faith compared to the faith of the Israelites of that day?

  2. 2.

    From what you read in Matthew 8:5–9, explain at least two ways the centurion showed remarkable faith.

  3. 3.

    What did the woman in Matthew 9:20–22 and the men in Matthew 9:27–29 do to show their faith?

  4. 4.

    Choose an area of your life or a teaching of the gospel in which you would like to have more faith. How could the example of the centurion, the woman, or the two men help you increase your faith in that area?

Activity B icon“Perhaps the Greatest Miracle”

Elder John A. Widtsoe, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said, “I have come to understand that perhaps the greatest miracle in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the transformation that comes to a man or a woman who in faith accepts the truth of the gospel and who then lives it in his or her life. … As new and greater truths come, as the understanding of them develops within us if we accept and live them, we are transformed from ordinary men into new powers and possibilities” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1952, 34).

Among all the stories found in Matthew 9, which do you think is perhaps the best example of the kind of miracle Elder Widtsoe spoke about? Why?

Activity C iconWhen to See the Doctor

  1. 1.

    According to Matthew 9:10–12, who needs a doctor?

  2. 2.

    How could these verses help you grow spiritually?

  3. 3.

    How could they help you as you try to help another person join the Church or come back into activity?

Activity D iconLaborers Wanted

  1. 1.

    According to Matthew 9:36–38, how did Jesus feel? Why did He feel that way?

  2. 2.

    Write an imaginary advertisement for a newspaper, asking for people to apply for this “labour” Jesus spoke of in Matthew 9:36–38. Include in the advertisement the qualifications you think Jesus would want of those who serve with Him.