Matthew chapter 8
Matthew chapter 8 must be one of the most beautiful and revealing chapters in the whole bible, not only does Jesus heal a leper, a centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, two demon possessed men, and an unknown quantity of others individuals, but just for fun he talks to the wind and the waves to make them be still. Let’s examine each of these events a little closer to see what else might be revealed.
Jesus Cleanses a Leper
Jesus is walking along the road and a leper starts to follow him, not only was the leper following Him but he was also worshiping Him, that is to render religious reverence and homage to Him. Why would this leper do that? Obviously the man knew of, or had heard of Jesus, and recognized Him as deity. Next we read that the leper came to Jesus and said to Him,
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” It would appear from this statement that the leper had no doubt that Jesus could heal him, that is revealed in his words “you can make me clean”
Jesus response to this man’s faith was that He was moved to reach out His hand and touch the guy, saying “I am willing; be cleansed.” and immediately the leper was cleansed. It would appear the Jesus responded the mans faith by healing him, but then said, “See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” Why did Jesus not want this guy to tell anyone?
Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant
when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” It seems kinda funny that a Roman centurion would call Jesus Lord, that shows also that this man was mindful to show respect in order to gain Jesus’s compliance, or maybe the guy was actually a believer, which is more likely the case. It is interesting to see Jesus’s response here, He knew the man was a Roman soldier, and was till willing to go with him to his house, but the soldier apparently did not think he was worthy enough to have Jesus go out of His way to help him. The centurion knew something about the chain of command and said to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Jesus was astonished at this mans faith, it seemed that the centurion knew that Jesus had authority to just issue the command and it would be done, Jesus said “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel” then He also said; “Go your way; and as you have believed, let it be done for you.” So again we see Jesus’s response the plea of faith.
Peter’s Mother-in-Law Healed
In this passage we find Peters mother lying on a bed and not feeling too good with an apparent fever. Sometimes I think to myself, poor woman, there she was catching up on some well needed rest, and in comes Jesus and grabs her by the hand to get her up to serve them, when all she wanted to do was just rest in bed, I jest of course 🙂
According to Luke 4 v 39 Jesus stood very close to her and ordered the sickness to go away; in either gospel we see no faith being asserted or shown, in fact we are not even told whether this unnamed woman spoke at all. So it appears that peter and his buddies asked Jesus to help the woman, but the woman herself was not consented, so no faith was spoken on her part; but we can assume I think that she was at least willing to be healed.
Many Healed in the Evening
Now in the evening of the same day the locals brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. Whether or not they were still in Peters house or elsewhere, is not so important as the words “healed ALL who were sick” Was there any dialogue with those He healed? was there any faith being exhibited?
Whether any faith was present, Jesus healed them All we are told. To me this just shows that Jesus really is God, you see it is not just those with faith that were healed, but presumably those without Faith too, thereby showing God’s absolute authority over these circumstances and wills.
I am always impressed by the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8 v 44 who must have had such a great burning faith, that she was going to get her healing; and she stormed the gates of heaven to get it. This poor woman just knew in her knower, that if she just touched His garment she would be healed. Let us look at Jeusu’s response to this invasion of His kingdom; “who touched me” He said and the disciples think that it could have been any of the crowd pressing against them, but Jesus said, “I felt power go out from Me” Wow, could it be true? can God be barnstormed into healing? can faith produce such a result? Seemingly it can, that is why I believe that faith is so very important. Did not Jesus say “if
you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you”. Nothing will be impossible for you, I like the sound of that 🙂
Next time we’ll look at Jesus commanding the wind and the waves!