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Matthew 9:1-13 Righteous Sinners

Yeshua said to His disciples in Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” 

Righteousness and religion existed before Yeshua began His earthly Ministry. The righteous religious scribes and Pharisees held the people to a religious standard determined by them. Those who failed to live up to the standards were considered sinners compared to the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. 

Yeshua challenges the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees from the Scriptures. Yeshua attempts to reveal their righteousness as sinful as they attempt to expose Him as a sinner. After ministering to the man with legions of demons, who had been cast into the swine, Yeshua returns back to Capernaum on the opposite side of the Sea. 

Mt 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 

Yeshua demonstrates His power over sin.

Mt 9:2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Yeshua seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. 

The people brought the man to Yeshua in faith. Seeing the faith of the ones who brought him caused Yeshua to encourage the man to be of good cheer. Regardless to the condition of the man, he had people around him that had faith for him.


Palsy – 3885 παραλυτικός paralutikos {par-al-oo-tee-kos'} 

Meaning:  1) paralytic 1a) suffering from the relaxing of the nerves of one's side 1b) disabled, weak of limb 

Usage:  AV - sick of palsy 9, (one) that has the palsy 1; 10


Yeshua does not reveal the sins that gave place to the sickness of the palsy, but He connects the condition of palsy to the man’s sin.


The wages of sin is death. When we give place to sin it is generally a temptation to us.

Jas 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 

Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 

Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 

Jas 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.


Yeshua’s statement acknowledges that the man’s condition of palsy was the result of sins and by forgiving the sin, the palsy would have to leave.

Mt 9:3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 


When Yeshua puts His authority over sin on display in the midst of the scribes (religious righteous), they accuse Him of blasphemy. 


The religious righteous get their authority from their religion, their denominational doctrine, and belief systems. 

Yeshua’s authority came from YeHoVaH. Remember, Yeshua taught with authority (not like the scribes), and He walked in the authority.


The religious righteous are always trying to humble you, put you in your place, and suppress you and the authority you have been given. Religious people appear pious to the naked eye but think evil in their hearts.

Mt 9:4 And Yeshua knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? 


Yeshua’s confidence in His authority, when He spoke about sin being forgiven, caused the evil in the hearts of the scribes to manifest with their words of accusation of blasphemy.


Mt 9:5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 

Mt 9:6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 

Mt 9:7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 

3 Perspectives

  1. The religious righteous saw blasphemy.

  2. Yeshua saw faith. 

  3. The people saw power. 

Mt 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men. 


James writes about confessing our sins.


Jas 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 

Jas 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 

Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Mt 9:9 And as Yeshua passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. 


We spoke at length about Matthew in the introduction to this verse-by-verse study of the Gospel narrative that bears his name.

Matthew’s, also called Levi, occupation was revealed as a Publican/Tax Collector 

Matthew’s father was called Alphaeus 

– Mark 2:14

Matthew’s mother was called Mary 

– Mark 15:40

Matthew’s brother was called James the Less 

– Mark 15:40

Mt 9:10 And it came to pass, as Yeshua sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 

Mt 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? 


Publicans were despised by the Pharisees and others, and by virtue of their occupation categorized as sinners.


Yeshua’s response:

Mt 9:12 But when Yeshua heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 

Yeshua ate with publicans and sinners, not to hang out and simply have fellowship; but based on His own words, He recognized they were sick, in need of a physician/healer, and called them to repentance.

A Master lesson from the Master.

Mt 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. 

Hos 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goeth away. Hos 6:5 Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth. Hos 6:6 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Mic 6:6 Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Mic 6:7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 

Mic 6:8 He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Mt 12:7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. 

Mt 12:8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.


Yeshua not only had authority over sin, but He gave us that authority; not only over our own sins, but the power to forgive others and release them from the bondage of sin. 

He gave us power over the devil and his angels, just as YeHoVaH told Cain that sin crouched at his door, but he must master it.   

Ge 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

02403 חַטָּאָה chatta'ah {khat-taw-aw'} or חַטָּאת chatta'th {khat-tawth'} Meaning:  1) sin, sinful 2) sin, sin offering 2a) sin 2b) condition of sin, guilt of sin 2c) punishment for sin 2d) sin-offering 2e) purification from sins of ceremonial uncleanness 

Origin:  from 02398; TWOT - 638e; n f

Usage:  AV - sin 182, sin offering 116, punishment 3, purification for sin 2, purifying 1, sinful 1, sinner 1; 296

The root of sin in this context is offense. We must rule over offenses. We must not let offenses rule over or conquer us. We must forgive.

02398 חטא chata' {khaw-taw'} 

Meaning:  1) to sin, miss, miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt, forfeit, purify from uncleanness 1a) 1a1) to miss 1a2) to sin, miss the goal or path of right and duty 1a3) to incur guilt, incur penalty by sin, forfeit 1b)  

Usage:  AV - sin 188, purify 11, cleanse 8, sinner 8, committed 6, offended 4, blame 2, done 2, fault 1, harm 1, loss 1, miss 1, offender 1, purge 1, reconciliation 1, sinful 1, trespass 1; 238

Romans 5:17 offense is sin.

Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Messiah.)

The righteousness is defined in the Hebrew 

06666 צְדָקָה tsedaqah {tsed-aw-kaw'} Meaning:  1) justice, righteousness 1a) righteousness (in government) 1a1) of judge, ruler, king 1a2) of law 1a3) of Davidic king Messiah 1b) righteousness (of God's attribute) 1c) righteousness Usage:  AV - righteousness 128, justice 15, right 9, righteous acts 3, moderately 1, righteously 1; 157

Righteousness in many cases is defined by the person who claims to be righteous.

If you believe wearing makeup is wrong, you will subconsciously judge people who do.

If you believe women and men should wear head coverings, you can subconsciously judge or condemn those who don’t. 

Likewise with wearing jewelry, women wearing pants, men who are clean shaven, 

meat eaters, vegetarians, etc.

It is religious righteousness when you try to hold people accountable for actions that are not clearly a violation of Scripture.

Yeshua forgave sins and was accused of blasphemy. 

John 20:23 - Like Yeshua, we have been given power to forgive the sins of men.

Jn 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 

Jn 20:23 Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

Religious righteous  

Mt 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 

Mt 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

The Law of YeHoVaH is Righteous 


Dt 4:8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

Faith establishes the Law 

Romans 3:31

Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

  • Righteous sinners hide their sin.

Pr 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

  • Religious righteous minimize their sin or refuse to see their sin as it really is.

  • Righteous sinners will attempt to justify their sin.

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 

Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 

Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Love covers sin. 

1 Peter 4:8

Grace confronts sin. 

Titus 2:11-13

The Grace of YeHoVaH Saves. 

Grace does not give license to give in to the works of the flesh.

Tit 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 

Tit 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 

Tit 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Yeshua Messiah;


Last Updated on August 23, 2021 by

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