Jesus’ perpetual programme of healing people is nothing short of miraculous and extended from curing simple sickness to calming wild weather. Notice Jesus claim to have authority to forgive sins, is nothing short of claiming equality with God, because only God can forgive sins. The good news of God’s kingdom is that Jesus came to set us free from Satan, sin and death. Jesus describes those that choose to enter his kingdom as a harvest ready to be reaped. There is a shortage of servants to do this work, so Jesus invites us to pray for God to send his servants.
Matthew 8:1 – 9:38
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 paralysed, 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 who were ill. 17 This was to fulfil 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 nowhere 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.
Jesus forgives and heals a paralysed man
9 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralysed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, ‘Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.’
3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, ‘This fellow is blaspheming!’
4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, ‘Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, “Get up and walk”? 6 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.’ So he said to the paralysed man, ‘Get up, take your mat and go home.’ 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.
The calling of Matthew
9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. 13 But go and learn what this means: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’
Jesus questioned about fasting
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, ‘How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’
15 Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 ‘No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out, and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.’
Jesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick woman
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, ‘My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.’ 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’
22 Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and the people playing pipes, 24 he said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
Jesus heals the blind and the mute
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’
28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’
‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied.
29 Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith let it be done to you’; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, ‘See that no one knows about this.’ 31 But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region.
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, ‘Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.’
34 But the Pharisees said, ‘It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.’
The workers are few
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and illness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’
Prayer: Thank you Lord for having compassion on us. You did not leave us in our sickness and brokenness, but have come to rescue and heal us from Satan, sin and death. For this we are forever grateful. We pray for workers to bring in your promised harvest of those that choose to follow you. In Jesus name. Amen
A song to listen to: Jesus paid it all
Living Church – Creek Road