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Matthew 8:1–4 CSB
1 When he came down from the mountain, large crowds followed him. 2 Right away a man with leprosy came up and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Reaching out his hand, Jesus touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 Then Jesus told him, “See that you don’t tell anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
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Matthew 8:5–13 CSB
5 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, pleading with him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible agony.” 7 He said to him, “Am I to come and heal him?” 8 “Lord,” the centurion replied, “I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. 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.” 10 Hearing this, Jesus was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with so great a faith. 11 I tell you that many will come from east and west to share the banquet with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus told the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment.
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Matthew 8:14–17 CSB
14 Jesus went into Peter’s house and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 So he touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and began to serve him. 16 When evening came, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick, 17 so that what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: He himself took our weaknesses and carried our diseases.
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Matthew 8:18–22 CSB
18 When Jesus saw a large crowd around him, he gave the order to go to the other side of the sea. 19 A scribe approached him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 21 “Lord,” another of his disciples said, “first let me go bury my father.” 22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
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Matthew 8:23–27 CSB
23 As he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly, a violent storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves—but Jesus kept sleeping. 25 So the disciples came and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to die!” 26 He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the sea obey him!”
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Matthew 8:28–34 CSB
28 When he had come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him as they came out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, “What do you have to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 A long way off from them, a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 “If you drive us out,” the demons begged him, “send us into the herd of pigs.” 32 “Go!” he told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. 33 Then the men who tended them fled. They went into the city and reported everything, especially what had happened to those who were demon-possessed. 34 At that, the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
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Here Matthew shows us that Jesus had powers that went far beyond any OT prophet, including Moses. Jesus could heal at will, even if not present, had uncontested power over evil spirits and even nature itself obeyed him.
Jesus had unlimited power because He was God in human flesh. He did however limit His use of His power in order to accomplish God’s ultimate will. To die on the cross for our sins.
Philippians 2:5–6 CSB
5 Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be exploited.
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That word exploited means grasped or held on to. The image of Jesus having that equality with God but letting go of it. Letting go of all the power and omniscience that comes with it. It doesn’t mean that he COULDN’T have used it to his advantage, it just means that he DIDN’T use it to his advantage.
Philippians 2:7 CSB
7 Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man,
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He chose to live in this world the way he expects us to live in this world. Completely dependent upon the Holy Spirit and God for what we need. That’s why when we read about him being tempted in the wilderness for 40 days to represent the 40 years that Israel was tempted in the wilderness, we see that Jesus did what Israel did not. Israel did not depend on God to provide food and water for them, but when Satan tempted Jesus to turn the stones into bread, Jesus did not. It is obvious from the temptation that Jesus did have the Power to turn stones into bread, but he chose not to in order to depend on God to provide what he needed. God led him into the wilderness and He would provided him with what he needed while in the wilderness.
This is also why we read in luke 2:52 that
Luke 2:52 CSB
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.
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He increased in wisdom, meaning that he was not omniscient at that point in his life. How was God in the flesh not omniscient? Because Philpians 2 said that in deciding to come to earth and live as a human, he did not grasp, or hold on to, all the things that made Him God, instead he emptied himself taking on the likeness of man. He did not come out of the womb knowing how to talk and how to solve all of life’s greatest problems. He came out of the womb as an infant, who had to learn how to talk, and read, and write, and had to learn God’s word, and memorize it, and store it in His heart. He had to depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance, and wisdom. That’s also why when the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched him and he turned around and asked who touched me? He really didn’t know who touched him, he only knew that power had went out from him.
Mark 5:25–34 CSB
25 Now a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years 26 had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. 27 Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothing. 28 For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well.” 29 Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 At once Jesus realized in himself that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But he was looking around to see who had done this. 33 The woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.”
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Jesus as God, had immediate access to unlimited power, but He did not use that power for his own advantage. He did not usurp His dependency on God and the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit did not tell him something, such as who touched him, then He did not know. If God wanted Him to know something that He could not have known otherwise, then He depended on the Holy Spirit to tell him, otherwise, he did not know. That is why He was both able to know the future and the thoughts of people that he could not have known otherwise, but yet still be able to truthfully say near the end of his earthly life:
Matthew 24:35–36 CSB
35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. 36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels of heaven nor the Son—except the Father alone.
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Even though as God in the flesh, He could have backed out of his choice to live and die as a human at any moment, He chose not to. He chose to empty himself, and be obedient to God, even to the point of death.
Philippians 2:7–8 CSB
7 Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man, 8 he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.
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He did not sin. He did not dominate others. He was completely committed to God’s kingdom. He was completely devoted to accomplish God’s will on earth and laid down his life for God’s glory and God’s kingdom.
Matthew chapter 8 is full of Jesus’ miracles and powers and authority over sickness, evil, and nature, but in the middle of the chapter, Matthew inserted a dialog Jesus had with those who said they would follow him, but didn’t. Do you remember that? Matthew 8:18-20
Matthew 8:18–20 CSB
18 When Jesus saw a large crowd around him, he gave the order to go to the other side of the sea. 19 A scribe approached him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
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Now let’s look at the parallel passage in Luke:
Luke 9:57–62 CSB
57 As they were traveling on the road someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens, and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” 59 Then he said to another, “Follow me.” “Lord,” he said, “first let me go bury my father.” 60 But he told him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me go and say good-bye to those at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
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Robby Gallaty said: Jesus is not looking for excuses. He is looking for disciples who will give their lives for God’s kingdom just as He did.
How committed am I to laying my life down every day and following Him? Am I looking back at anything?
Father, help me be as committed to Your kingdom as You were, and to the role You have given me in it.
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