The healing of the two blind men (Mt 20:32-20:34)

“Jesus stopped.

He called them.

Saying.

‘What do you want me

to do for you?’

They said to him.

‘Lord!

Let our eyes be opened!’

Moved with compassion,

Jesus touched their eyes.

Immediately,

They regained their sight.

They followed him.’”

 

καὶ στὰς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐφώνησεν αὐτοὺς καὶ εἶπεν Τί θέλετε ποιήσω ὑμῖν;

λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Κύριε, ἵνα ἀνοιγῶσιν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν.

σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἥψατο τῶν ὀμμάτων αὐτῶν, καὶ εὐθέως ἀνέβλεψαν καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.

 

Both Mark, chapter 10:49-52, and Luke, chapter 18:40-43 have a more elaborate explanation.  Jesus stopped or stood still (καὶ στὰς ὁ Ἰησοῦς) when he heard all this noise.  He then called (ἐφώνησεν αὐτοὺς) the two blind men.  He wanted to know what they wanted him to do for them (καὶ εἶπεν Τί θέλετε ποιήσω ὑμῖν).  They then called Jesus Lord (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Κύριε).  They wanted their eyes opened (ἵνα ἀνοιγῶσιν οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν) so that they could see.  Jesus was moved with compassion and pity on them (σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ), so that he touched their eyes (ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἥψατο τῶν ὀμμάτων αὐτῶν).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), they regained their sight (ἀνέβλεψαν) and followed him (καὶ ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ).  These two blind men then became disciples of Jesus.  However, Matthew did not mention their faith explicitly as in Mark and Luke.

The adoration of the three apostles (Mt 17:6-17:8)

“When the disciples heard this,

They fell to the ground,

Face down.

They were overcome

With fear.

But Jesus came.

He touched them.

Saying.

‘Get up!

Do not be afraid!’

When they looked up,

They saw no one

Except Jesus himself alone.”

 

καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα.

καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν εἶπεν Ἐγέρθητε καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε.

πάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν οὐδένα εἶδον εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον.

 

This adoration of the apostles can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 9:8, Luke, chapter 9:36, and here in Matthew, which is more elaborate, even though there are other differences in all 3 accounts.  When the disciples heard (καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ) this voice from the cloud say that Jesus was the beloved Son, in whom the Father was well pleased, they fell face down to the ground (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν).  They were greatly terrified (ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν).  However, Jesus came (καὶ προσῆλθεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to them.  He touched them (καὶ ἁψάμενος αὐτῶν).  Then he told them to get up (εἶπεν Ἐγέρθητε) and not be afraid (μὴ φοβεῖσθε).  When they looked up or lifted up their eyes (πάραντες δὲ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν), they saw no one (οὐδένα εἶδον), but only Jesus himself alone (εἰ μὴ αὐτὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον).  Where were Moses and Elijah?  Was this just a dream?

Jesus cured the sick (Mt 14:35-14:36)

“After the people

Of that place

Recognized him,

They sent word

Throughout the region.

They brought

All who were sick

To him.

They begged him

That they might touch

Even the fringe

Of his coat.

All who touched it

Were healed.”

 

καὶ ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου ἀπέστειλαν εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον ἐκείνην, καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας,

καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα μόνον ἅψωνται τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ· καὶ ὅσοι ἥψαντο διεσώθησαν.

 

There is something similar to this in Mark, chapter 6:54-56.  Once the people of this area realized and recognized that this was Jesus (καὶ ἐπιγνόντες αὐτὸν), the men of that place sent word throughout the surrounding region (οἱ ἄνδρες τοῦ τόπου ἐκείνου ἀπέστειλαν εἰς ὅλην τὴν περίχωρον ἐκείνην).  They bought all the sick people to him (καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας).  They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν), if only they might touch the fringe or the tassel of his tunic coat (ἵνα μόνον ἅψωνται τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ).  Everyone who touched this fringe or tassel was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ψαντο διεσώθησαν).  These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus.  They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch.  They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat.

The woman with the hemorrhage (Mt 9:20-9:21)

“A woman,

Who had suffered

From hemorrhages

For twelve years,

Came up behind him.

She touched

The fringe

Of his cloak.

She said to herself.

‘If I only touch

His cloak,

I will be made well.’”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ αἱμορροοῦσα δώδεκα ἔτη προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ·

ἔλεγεν γὰρ ἐν ἑαυτῇ Ἐὰν μόνον ἅψωμαι τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ σωθήσομαι.

 

This episode about the woman with hemorrhages interrupts the story about the leader and his dead daughter.  However, it can be found in Mark, chapter 5:25-29, and Luke, chapter 8:43-44, except that Mark and Luke have a more elaborate story, about her background.  Interesting enough, the word that Matthew uses for hemorrhages (αἱμορροοῦσα) is only found here, but nowhere else in the biblical literature.  Mark and Luke said that she had flowing blood.  All agree that she had been suffering for 12 years with this bleeding (Καὶ ἰδοὺ γυνὴ αἱμορροοῦσα δώδεκα ἔτη).  She came up behind Jesus (προσελθοῦσα ὄπισθεν).  She wanted to touch the fringe or the tassel edge of his cloak (ἥψατο τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ).  These fringes (κρασπέδου) or bottom tassels often reminded people about the 10 commandments.  She was thinking to herself (ἔλεγεν γὰρ ἐν ἑαυτῇ), that if she only touched his cloak or garment (Ἐὰν μόνον ἅψωμαι τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ), she would be healed or cured (σωθήσομαι).

The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mt 8:14-8:15)

“When Jesus entered

Peter’s house,

He saw

His mother-in-law

Lying in bed

With a fever.

He touched

Her hand.

The fever left her.

She got up.

She began to serve them.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν·

καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός· καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.

 

This healing story about the mother-in-law of Peter can be found in Mark, chapter 1:29-31, and Luke, chapter 4:38-39.  The context is different in Luke and Mark since Jesus was leaving the synagogue.  He also went into Simon’s house, his Hebrew name, rather than Peter’s house, his Greek name.  Here Jesus entered Peter’s house (Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου).  He then saw Peter’s mother-in-law (εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ), lying in bed sick with a fever (βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν).  He then touched her hand (καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and her fever went away (καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός).  Then she got up and began to serve or wait on them (καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.) with her normal hospitality.  This was a typical healing that took place with a touching hand.  The mother-in law of Peter was staying at his house.  She was cured so well, that she able to do the normal tasks of hospitality.  However, there was no mention of Peter’s wife.

Curing the leper (Mt 8:3-8:3)

“Jesus stretched out

His hand.

He touched

The leper.

Saying.

‘I will!

Be made clean!’

Immediately,

His leprosy was cleansed.”

 

καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἥψατο αὐτοῦ λέγων Θέλω, καθαρίσθητι. καὶ εὐθέως ἐκαθερίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα

 

This leper healing story can be found in Luke, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 1:41-42, perhaps indicating Mark as the source.  For Matthew, this represents the first miracle of Jesus.  Jesus stretched out his hand (καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα) and touched the leper (ἥψατο αὐτοῦ), since it was not against Jewish law to touch a leper.  Then he said that he willed (λέγων Θέλω) or wanted to cure the leper.  Jesus then told the leper to be clean (καθαρίσθητι).  Immediately (καὶ εὐθέως), the leper was cleansed (ἐκαθερίσθη αὐτοῦ ἡ λέπρα), as the leprosy went away.  This first miracle of Jesus was a prophetic cleansing of a leper, because Jesus had this healing touch.

The plundering nations shall be plundered (Zech 2:8-2:9)

“Thus said Yahweh of hosts,

After his glory sent me,

Regarding the nations

That plundered you.

‘Truly,

One who touches you

Touches the apple of my eye.

See now!

I am going to raise my hand

Against them.

They shall become plunder

For their own slaves.

Then you will know

That Yahweh of hosts

Has sent me.’”

Yahweh explained to Zechariah about the nations that had plundered Israel and Judah.  Anyone that touched them, touched the apple of his eye.  They were his favored ones, special to Yahweh.  Now, he was going to raise his hand against these plundering nations.  He was going to have their own slaves plunder them.  That way, they would know that Yahweh of hosts had acted and sent Zechariah.

Question for the priests about holiness (Hag 2:11-2:12)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Ask the priests

For a ruling.

If one carries

Consecrated meat

In the fold

Of one’s garment,

Then if the fold

Of his garment,

Touches

Bread,

Or stew,

Or wine,

Or oil,

Or any kind of food,

Does it become holy?’

The priests answered.

‘No.’”

Haggai gave an example of what Yahweh was talking about.  Haggai was to ask the priests about holiness.  If someone was carrying consecrated holy meat in the fold or cover of his garment and it touched bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other kind of food, would that food then become holy by touching it?  That was the dilemma.  How could holiness be passed on?  The priests answered negatively, by saying no, because these things could not become holy by merely touching a holy thing accidently.

The siege of Nineveh (Nah 3:12-3:14)

“You also will be drunken.

You will go into hiding.

You will seek

A refuge

From the enemy.

All your fortresses are

Like fig trees

With first-ripe figs.

If shaken,

They fall

Into the mouth

Of the eater.

Look at your troops!

They are women

In your midst.

The gates

Of your land

Are wide open

To your foes.

Fire has devoured

The bars of your gates.

Draw water

For the siege!

Strengthen your forts!

Trample the clay!

Tread the mortar!

Take hold

Of the brick mold!”

So too, the people of Nineveh would be drunk and go into hiding, as they would seek to get away from their enemies.  All their strong fortresses would be like ripe fig trees.  If they would be touched or shaken, these strongholds would fall like ripe fruit right into the mouths of their enemies.  Women had become their troops.  The gates of the city were wide open to their enemies because fire had consumed the bars on their gates.  They had to get water during the siege.  They would have to strengthen their fortresses with clay, mortar, and bricks.

Daniel gets stronger (Dan 10:18-10:19)

“Again,

One in a human form

Touched me.

He strengthened me.

He said.

‘Do not fear!

Greatly beloved!

You are safe!

Be strong!

Be courageous!’

When he spoke

To me,

I was strengthened.

I said.

‘Let my lord speak!

You have strengthened me.’”

Then this appearance of a man or the angel Gabriel touched Daniel again. This time, it made Daniel stronger. This angel told Daniel not to fear because he was greatly loved and safe. Instead, Daniel was to be strong and courageous. When this figure spoke, Daniel felt strengthened. Finally, he told him, his lord, to speak because he had made him stronger.