October 24, 2021 – Matthew 9

Lesson Date: October 24, 2021

Focal Scripture Passage: Matthew 9:1-38

AIM: To lead students to identify several specific areas of life over which Jesus has authority, and then yield themselves to His authority in those and other areas of their lives.


Before class: Read the notes on Matthew 9 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the word “Authority” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Locate a picture of a police car and bring it to class.  Have your driver’s license ready to show to the class.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Remind the class that we are studying the life of Christ as described in the Gospel of Matthew.  Ask: “What did we learn about Jesus in last week’s lesson?” (that He is omnipotent; in other words, He has all power).  Specifically, we learned last week that Jesus has power over disease, the spirit world, and the natural world).

Direct the students’ attention to the word “Authority” written on the board.  Tell them the title of today’s lesson is Jesus’ Authority.  Explain that the words power and authority have different meanings: the word power refers to your ability to do something, while the word authority refers to your right to do it.

Hold up your driver’s license so everyone can see it.  Ask them what it is.  Tell them this license gives you certain authority that someone without such a license does not have.  Ask them what authority the license gives you (the authority to drive an automobile on public roadways).  The driver’s license gives you a certain amount of authority on the roads.

Hold up the picture of the police carThis picture represents a certain amount of authority on the roads.  Ask the class to describe the authority a policeman has.  Ask: “Does my driver’s license give me the same authority as the policeman has?” (no).

Tell the students that we all have a certain amount of authority in certain areas of our lives, but Jesus Christ has all authority in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18).  Stated another way, Jesus has authority over everything.  In this lesson from Matthew 9 we are going to identify several specific aspects of Jesus’ authority.



  1. Jesus has Authority to Forgive Sins.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 9:1-8.
    • Explain the following:
    • Ask: “What did Jesus say to the man in verse 2?” (He told him to be of good cheer because His sins were forgiven).
    • Ask: “Why were the scribes upset about this?” (since only God can forgive sins, they realized that Jesus was claiming to be God).
    • Explain that the word power in verse 6 is the Greek word that means authority.
    • Tell the class verse 6 says Jesus wanted to show the Jewish religious leaders that He did, in fact, have authority to forgive sins.
    • Ask: “What did He do to prove that He had authority to forgive sins?” (He did a visible miracle – He healed the man physically).
    • Summarize: Through healing the paralyzed man, Jesus proved that He has authority to forgive sins.
  2. Jesus has Authority to Interrupt A Life and Make it New.
    • Read Matthew 9:9.
    • Explain the following:
      • The “receipt of custom” was the tax collector’s booth.
      • Matthew was a tax collector.
      • Ancient Jewish tax collectors worked for the hated Roman government – collecting taxes from their fellow Jews to give to the Romans.
      • Tax collectors (also known as publicans) were notoriously corrupt, extorting from the people far more than the Roman government required.
      • Because of this, they were wealthy and hated by the rest of the Jews.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus say to Matthew?” (“Follow me”).
    • Ask: “What did Matthew do when Jesus called him?” (he immediately left his lucrative business and followed Jesus).
    • Tell the students that Matthew hosted a large dinner so his lost friends could meet and hear Jesus. This upset the Pharisees, who said Jesus defiled Himself by eating with sinners.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 9:12-13.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus say to the Pharisees?” (His mission was to call sinners to repentance; doing that required Him to interact with sinners).
    • Read Matthew 9:16-17.
    • Explain that the illustrations Jesus gave show that He didn’t come just to patch up old lives, but to give new life (2 Cor. 5:17).
    • Summarize: Jesus’ calling of Matthew proved that He has authority to interrupt a life and make it brand new.
  3. Jesus has Authority to Heal Sickness and Raise the Dead.
    • Read Matthew 9:18-31.
    • Ask: “What miracles did Jesus perform in those verses?” (He healed a sick woman who touched the hem of His garment, He raised a dead girl back to life, and He gave sight to two blind men).
    • Explain that these miracles, like much of what we read last week in chapter 8, demonstrated Jesus’ supernatural power over sickness and even over death.
    • Tell the class Jesus has the raw power and ability to do those things.
    • Ask: “Did Jesus have to ask anyone’s permission before healing the sick or raising the dead?” (no).
    • Stress the fact that Jesus has absolute authority to exercise His miracle-working power as He sees fit.
    • Summarize: Through His miracles, Jesus proved that He has authority to heal sickness and raise the dead.
  4. Jesus has Authority to Cast Out Demons.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 9:32-33.
    • Tell the class that some people brought a demon-possessed man to Jesus.
    • Explain that the demon made the man mute – he could not speak.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus do?” (cast out the demon).
    • Ask: “What happened to the man when the demon left?” (the man could speak again).
    • Stress the fact that when Jesus commanded the demon to leave it had to obey, because He had authority to send it away.
    • Read Matthew 9:35.
    • Explain that this verse (like Matt. 4:23) is a summary of Jesus’ ministry: He went about teaching, preaching, and healing.
    • Summarize: Through His encounters with demon-possessed people, Jesus proved that He has authority to cast out demons.
  5. Jesus has Authority to Send Forth Laborers.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 9:36-38.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus feel when He looked upon the multitudes that followed Him?” (compassion, because they were like sheep without a shepherd).
    • Tell the students in verse 37 Jesus said there was a great harvest of souls, but there weren’t many laborers.
    • Ask: “What did He tell His disciples to do in verse 38?” (pray, asking the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest).
    • Ask: “Who has authority to send forth laborers?” (the Lord of the harvest).
    • Stress the fact that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the harvest.
    • Summarize: Jesus’ instructions to His disciples show that He has authority to send forth laborers to reach out to the lost.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the students in this lesson we have identified five specific aspects of Jesus’ authority.  Those five areas over which Jesus has authority are:

  • Jesus has authority to forgive sins (v. 1-8).
  • Jesus has authority to interrupt a life and make it new (v. 9-17).
  • Jesus has authority to heal sickness and raise the dead (v. 18-31).
  • Jesus has authority to cast out demons (v. 32-35).
  • Jesus has authority to send forth laborers (v. 36-38).

Direct the class’ attention once again to the picture of the police carTell them a policeman has authority to enforce traffic laws.  Whether we believe in that authority and yield to it or not, he has that authority.  If we refuse to yield to the policeman’s authority we will incur traffic fines and perhaps even go to jail.  Our rebellion toward the policeman’s authority does not change the fact that he has authority; it just means we will have to pay the penalty for defying his authority.

Tell the students that Jesus Christ has authority over the five aspects of life we have studied today.  In fact, He has all authority in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18).  That is a fact, whether we yield to it or not.  If we refuse to yield to Jesus’ authority that doesn’t mean He loses His authority; it just means we must bear the penalty for defying His authority.

Tell the students the wisest thing for all of us to do is to yield to Jesus’ authority.  Encourage them to yield to His authority over all areas of their lives.  Lead a closing prayer of submission to Jesus’ authority.


CONCLUSION: Urge the students to thank Jesus for His authority over their lives and to yield to that authority every day this week.

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