Read Matthew 8
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
Jesus Heals Many
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”
The Cost of Following Jesus
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
Jesus Calms the Storm
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed Men
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
Following the Sermon on the Mount, we see a transition in Matthew 8 from validating Jesus Christ’s authoritative teaching to demonstrating His power as Messiah and King through performing miracles. Each miracle of healing reveals more of who He is and His power and authority over every aspect of our lives. Jesus’s compassion and power over disease is revealed as He reaches, touches, and immediately cleanses and cures the outcast leper. This physical healing also points to our need for spiritual healing illustrating our sinful condition before God until Jesus Christ cleanses us from our sin. As Jesus responds to the request of faith by the centurion with healing of the centurion’s servant, it is Jesus’s authoritative word that results in healing. Matthew’s record of healing continues as Peter’s mother-in-law is fully healed and many sick and demon-possessed are healed. His authority as the promised Messiah is validated by these miracles. His power and authority to heal extends to our desperate need for spiritual healing. Jesus Christ alone has the power and authority to make us right with God.
Matthew continues to demonstrate Jesus’s power as King through Jesus’ authority over overwhelming forces of nature and the supernatural. Jesus’ remarkable demonstration of sheer power to calm the wind and still the waves with His words prompts the disciples to ask, “What kind of man is this?” Their amazement will grow as they encounter the violent, uncontrollable demon possessed men and witness the powerful authority of Jesus Christ displayed as He sends the demons away with a word. Jesus calms tormented souls as easily as a tempestuous sea. His power and authority extend over our overwhelming circumstances as well.
Reflecting on these miracles that demonstrate Jesus Christ’s authority over sickness, nature, and demonic forces should encourage us as we face events and storms beyond our control. Matthew is reminding each of us that Jesus Christ is King, for He is the all-powerful, sovereign, compassionate, miracle working Savior. He has power and authority over every aspect of our lives. He is more than worthy of our full surrender and whole-hearted worship. He is King Jesus!
How have you experienced Jesus’ miraculous spiritual cleansing? Would you take a moment to thank Him and then share this with another?
How do you answer the question – “What kind of man is this?” as you consider Jesus’ power and authority?
When faced with disturbing events that are completely out of your control, where do you turn for help?
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