Matthew Chapter 9
As we come to chapter 9, we witness Jesus pouring out the new wine out of a new wineskin. That wineskin is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew prefers this term rather than the “Kingdom of God”) and the new wine is the Holy Spirit being poured through the ministry of Jesus.
New wine always upsets the status quo – the religious crowd of that day – but new wine brings refreshing, freedom, and forgiveness to the needy. After all, Jesus did not come for those who are well, but he came for those who are sick and needy. He came preaching the Kingdom of God, which is not a place but an atmosphere of the reign of God – where the power of God is in manifestation. In Jesus, the Kingdom of God came breaking through against the darkness of this world.
In this chapter, we witness what it looks like when the Kingdom of God breaks through: sins are forgiven, paralytics take up their bed and walk, hated publicans (tax collectors) become loyal followers of Christ, sinners are welcomed at the table, the scourge of 12 years of suffering is relieved in a moment of faith, the dead are raised, the blind see, and the demonized are healed.
What Jesus asks of us today is to come and be part of this kingdom advance. Pray that God will send laborers into his harvest; then, go out into the fields of harvest and be an answer to that prayer.