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Healing Faith

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Matt 8:1-17

Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy

Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. 2 Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

3 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

The Faith of a Roman Officer

5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.

Jesus Heals Many People

14 When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. 15 But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.

16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. 17 This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said,

“He took our sicknesses

and removed our diseases.”

This is one of the most exciting chapters in the book of Matthew. After Jesus preaches his Sermon on the Mount, He embarks on a healing campaign. A Leper, A Servant, a mother-in-law, and ultimately an entire community are the recipients of Gods grace and mercy in the form of physical and spiritual healing. It is captivating to read how Jesus interacted with people who were going through difficulties. HE engaged with them as if they were important to him. In two instances there was a dialog. In the other Jesus ate with the family of the healed one. Then in the evening demon possessed and tormented came. Under cover of darkness, they came. When the good folk had been , around during the day, the midnight creepers and peepers, the scandalous and rejected. they came.
I want to place a pin in one of the most remarkable instances in this chapter. Starting in verse 5, right when Jesus returns to Capernaum, his ministry home base, a roman soldier comes to plead with him about a servant. This is a significant event because it is an example of military and political power coming in humility to ask something that only real, God-power can accomplish. Now this man was not just any roman soldier, this man was a centurion, a commander of at least 100 men. Centurions start as ordinary soldiers who rise in rank based on their experience and knowledge. They were typically battle hardened, tough but effective leaders. Centurions and Romans in generally held the Jews in contempt, having defeated them in conflicts that comprise the First Jewish Uprising. It is amazing, then to hear of a hardened Roman soldier coming to a poor,barefoot, Palestinian, “jackleg” preacher, begging him to heal a lowly servant. What is more amazing is that Jesus even speaks to him, and more amazing is that Jesus tells him that he will come and heal this servant. A Jew, going to a gentile’s house? Unthinkable! Not only is this person a Roman soldier, he is a gentile. no self-respecting Jew would cross the threshold of the man’s door let alone go to do some good for the man. That is the goodness of Jesus. No matter the race, creed or color of another, Jesus is ready to help.
Now comes the crux of this passage and why I have called this message Healing Faith. When Jesus offers to accompany the man back to his house , the centurion stops him. OK, here comes the prejudice and the racism, right? Wrong! This centurion says he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his house. Look, He called him Lord, begged him to heal his servant, and now confesses that he is not all that and a bag of chips, that the Master should even come to his house. Then the double bombshell. He asks jesus to just speak the word. Just give the command to the sickness and his servant will recover. What faith! But isn’t that my premise from the start? Faith is Trusting in God and his word and acting on that trust.
In praising the centurion,s faith and criticizing the lack of faith of God’s people, Jesus lets something slip. He alludes to the reality that those who seem to be far away from God, will trust God for their lives, and souls. The rejected ones, the left-out ones, the forgotten ones…these will sit in the kingdom with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Why? because they trust in Christ, In the Word of God and in God’s promise that God makes available to everyone!
Jesus tells the man to go home, and that as he believed it will be done. Do you believe? Can you trust God to bring healing to you? I believe in divine healing. I believe that God heals today. I don’t need to charge for it, and you don’t have to pay. All you need to do is trust God. The Bible says that God sends his word to heal (Psalm 107:20). God can heal today, if you trust in Him. I hear someone saying, “I asked God to heal my________, and they died.How do you explain that?” Well, all things work according to God’s will not ours. Sometimes death is the ultimate healer, especially for those who trust Christ as their savior. We want that loved one to stay around for a long time, but God knows what is best. The bottom line is that we trust God to do what is right and righteous
One thing I know God wants to do is heal our souls. Do you know him as savior and Lord? Have you invited Jesus into your heart and life? Trust in his saving and healing power. He will transform your life.
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