Devotions to help you live out your faith


Kingdom: Healing

{Matthew 8:1-17, 9:1-8,18-34}
“And he said to him, “I will come and heal him”” Matthew 8:7
We have made it past the Sermon on the Mount, and as Matthew continues his Gospel account of the life of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom he now takes time to share with us some of the things Jesus does. And over the course of chapters 8 and 9 there is healing after healing. First a leper (8v1-4), then a centurion’s servant (8:5-13), then Peter’s mother-in-law (8:14-15), then ‘many’ (8:15), then two men with demons (8:28-34), then a paralytic (9:1-8), then a dead girl ((:18-19,24-25), then a woman with a menstrual disorder (9:20-22), then two blind men (9:27-31), and finally a mute man (9:32-34).
Matthew uses this series of healings to reveal a number of truths about the Kingdom. Firstly, that we should expect healings in the Kingdom. Isaiah had prophesied that Jesus’ ministry would be marked by healing. Matthew references this saying in Matthew 8:17 that the healings were “to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illness and bore our diseases.”” Jesus’ ministry was marked by healings and so therefore as we live as citizens of the Kingdom He established we should expect healings. Not just every now and again, but the healing of “many” for we are a part of a Kingdom established by the one who “healed all who were sick” Matthew 8:16.
All the healings happened through Jesus’ power, and so it is for us today. Healing comes through Jesus. As Isaiah states “with his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5. We need to remember that Jesus is the source of healing. Not a place. Not a special prayer. Not water from a certain lake or river. The source of healing is Jesus. This is another example of the inclusively exclusive nature of the Kingdom. No-one is excluded, for all can come to Jesus. Even those who have physical ailments that prevented them getting to where Jesus was during His time on earth like the paralytic in Matthew 9:2 or the dead girl in Matthew 9:8 could be brought to Jesus by friends or family. So if we are serious about seeing the Kingdom advance on earth and want to see more people healed maybe we have to do more bringing to Jesus. Unlike the friends of the paralytic man we no longer have to literally carry our sick friends and family members to Jesus but instead carry them to Him in prayer, with faith that He has the power and authority to bring healing.
Another lesson we learn is that healing is not earned. As the centurion says to Jesus in Matthew 8:8Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word and my servant will be healed.” The radical, crazy message of the Kingdom is we can have what we do not deserve and have not earned. Healing is a gift from God, a visible sign of the Kingdom breaking through and God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven.
We also learn that the Kingdom is for all. Matthew is very deliberate in the accounts of healing he chooses to share. There is a foreigner – the despised centurion. There are females, seen as second class citizens in Jesus’ day (but not by Jesus!). There are the unclean – the woman with the menstrual problems, the dead girl and the leper – people society wouldn’t touch. People who were shunned. Yet Jesus reaches out and brings healing to them. None are excluded. There is healing and welcome for all in the Kingdom. No-one is shunned. None get left outside. All are welcome in the Kingdom.
We learn that Jesus’ power reigns over all disease and disability. He is not just able to heal a small subset of ailments, but brings healing to the paralyzed, the pyrexic, the possessed, the bleeding, the blind, the mute and the dead. He healed “all who were sick” (Matthew 8:17). Jesus is greater than whatever illness we face!
One final note on healing. We live in the now but also the not yet of the Kingdom. SO while in the Kingdom there is total healing and fullness of health the healing may not come yet. It may not come until the Kingdom is fully, finally, triumphantly established. But healing is coming! We can have hope for we follow a God who promises a day when there will be pain no more.
Focus verseHe will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” Revelation 21:4
To ponder:

  • Do you believe in and expect healings today? Why/why not?
  • Who do you need to carry to Jesus for healing?

What struggles do you have living in the now and not yet of the Kingdom and waiting on healing coming?