Matthew’s Mistake


The entire city is gathered at the door. And I mean the entire city. Sure, the population may be only around 1,500. But, hello. They’re all standing at the door.

Why? Well, because on the other side of this door is a man who just cast out a demon and healed a very sick lady, so anybody who is possibly ill or demon-possessed {or who simply wants in on the action} has frantically flocked to Jesus, because wouldn’t you?

Mark says,

They brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons. 1:32-34

Matthew adds,

This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” 8:17

Problem. That’s not what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah actually said,

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. 53:4

Yeah. That passage.

Now, griefs and sorrows could include illnesses and diseases, but I’m feeling like the point of Isaiah’s words is not the point Matthew gives them, right?

What do we do with this? Bash Matthew for misquoting Isaiah?

Not hardly. I’m for falling back on things we know . . .

If Matthew wasn’t supposed to “quote” Isaiah like he did, it wouldn’t be included in the Scriptures. Remember, this stuff is inspired by God.

Read Isaiah 53 as you think about the hundreds at the door and the healing touch of Jesus. Did you ever think about what those griefs and sorrows that Isaiah was talking about were? Now you know. Now you know how he bore them.

Read Matthew 8 as you recall the gospel story foretold many years before . . .
“He grew up before him like a young plant . . . He had not form or majesty . . . He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief . . . Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows . . .”

Matthew 8 is the realization of Isaiah 53. And since we have both sides of the story, we have the complete picture when we look at one or the other.

Matthew witnesses this unique spectacle: hundreds of hurting people rushing hysterically for the front door. And once they get past that door, they experience the fulfillment of a profound words prophesied long ago as he, the Man of Sorrows, bears their griefs and carries their sorrows.

Ah, the glorious beauty of Matthew’s “mistake.” It shouts not inconsistency, but perfection.

 [image credit:,]

5 thoughts on “Matthew’s Mistake

  1. There are times we quote a scripture (using our own translation) It becomes a prophesy and may bless others. Thanks for sharing with us here at Tell me a True Story.


  2. I enjoy finding the fulfillment of Old Testament prophesies and continuation of themes in the New Testament. Thanks for sharing our post on #FridayFrivolity. I hope you will party with us again.


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