HE HEALS OUR DISEASES

Matt.8:16,17 – When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

Everywhere Jesus went while He was on earth He healed the sick. Obviously He hated sickness which is really the first throes of death that effects our mortal bodies. The work of Jesus on the cross will ultimately destroy sickness and disease for all time. In today’s verse Matthew quotes from Isaiah’s famous prophesy about the death of Christ on the cross and connects it to healing for our bodies. In this verse Matthew also connects Isaiah’s prophesy about healing to the healing ministry of Jesus on earth. The good news for us today is that Jesus hasn’t changed. He stills hates sickness and He is still healing the sick. Obviously, in this age we will all get old, wear out, and finally die. In the meantime He is still healing our mortal bodies just like He did when He was here on earth. One day we will see Him and all sickness will be done for all time. In the meantime He is still touching and healing the sick. Here is a quote from the Fire Bible on today’s verses.

“Through the life and sacrifice of his Son, Jesus, God provides freedom, restoration and other benefits that far exceed the pain, destruction and other consequences of humankind’s sin and rebellion against God. For sin, God provides forgiveness; for death, God provides resurrection and eternal life; and for sickness, God provides healing. For this reason, Jesus’ ministry while he was on earth focused on three areas: (a) teaching God’s Word, (b) preaching about the opportunity to turn from our own sinful way, entrust our lives to Christ and follow God’s plan (which deals with the sin problem) and the benefits of God’s kingdom (which restore the life purposes God intended for us) and (c) healing every kind of sickness and disease among the people.”

Directly or indirectly the sinfulness of man is connected to disease. That’s why Matthew said that Jesus carried our sicknesses and bore our infirmities. The same wounds that bring us forgiveness for sin bring healing for our bodies. If you are struggling with sin or sickness just look to the cross. He carried away our sins and by His wounds we are healed.

TOUCHING THE UNTOUCHABLE

Matt.8:1-3 – When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

I love the miracles of Jesus. Here we see Jesus touching someone no one else would touch. Lepers were outcasts. Their disease was a scourge leaving the sick unclean, not allowed to interact with anyone. The lonliness and rejection had to be as miserable as leprosy itself. No one would touch a leper because of the religious implications as well as fear of the disease itself. That is no one but Jesus. His touch cleansed the leper and had no effect on Jesus. Here is Barclay’s comment on this miracle.

“There is the healing of the leper. Here we see Jesus touching the untouchable. The leper was banished from the society of men; to touch him, and even to approach him, was to break the Law. Here we see the man who was kept at arm’s length by all men wrapped around with pity and the compassion of the love of God.”

That’s what all of the Lord’s miracles were about, His compassion for hurting people. He was moved by this man’s sickness as well as his lonliness. His touch was the touch of compassion. Here is a thought from Spurgeon on this leper’s struggle to be made whole.

“He could not live in the city, but he might be found on the mount, in the outskirts of the crowd, where he would hear that gracious voice; and he came and “worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean,” in which I detect no unbelief, but rather a very strong faith. “If thou dost but will, I can be made clean”…. Christ’s grace, which usually wrought at once, in an instant, wrought for ever — the man was cleansed, never to be sick again; cured perfectly; the leprosy was cleansed.”

So maybe you feel like this rejected, untouchable leper in today’s story. You may be rejected by family and friends but never by the Lord. No matter how filthy your life has become, one touch from the Lord and you will be totally clean. Just draw near and call out to Him. You will be surprised at His sudden response.

WHEN JESUS COMES TO YOUR HOUSE

Matt 8:14,15 – And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.

Jesus loved to do home visits. He would often go into people’s homes for meals or maybe a place to rest for the evening or possibly just to hang out. None of those were the real reasons He was visiting people’s homes, He always had bigger things in mind. When He went to Jairus’s home Jairus’s dead daughter was raised from the dead. When He went to Peter’s house Peter’s mother in law was healed and spiritual awakening visited that fishing village. He went to Zacheus’s home and repentance and restitution took place. He went to Mary and Martha’s home and the very atmosphere was changed. What would happen if Jesus came to your home? Of course I don’t know but everything seems to improve no matter what the situation when the Lord comes knocking at the door. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on Jesus’s practice of home visitation.

“Outside Peter’s door hung fishing nets…yet beneath that lowly roof Immanuel… unveiled Himself…. Little did Peter know the blessing that entered his house when Jesus crossed the threshold, nor how vast a river of mercy would stream forth from his door down the streets of Capernaum. …(It may be that your house isn’t much; no writer has written about you or your home. No one rides by and says, “I wonder who lives there?”) Yet, is there no reason why the Lord should not visit you and make your house like that of Obed-edom, in which the ark resided, or like that of Zaccheus to which salvation came. Our Lord can make your house a center of mercy for the whole region, a little sun scattering in all directions, a spiritual dispensary distributing health to the multitudes around.” Let our prayer be, “Lord, dwell where I dwell, and in so doing make my house a blessing to the neighborhood,” marvelous results must follow.”

Tradition says that Jesus was a guest at John Mark’s mother’s home when He served the last supper. John Mark’s family thought they were just having a Passover dinner, they had no idea that Jesus was unveiling the way into the new and living way that night. So maybe you want Jesus to come to your house, don’t be surprised if you get way more than you bargained for.

JESUS HEALS

Matt.8:3 – And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

 

The healing power of Jesus is just as real today as it was the day the leper reached out to the Lord. Leprosy had taken away this man’s money, his family, and his hope. If something didn’t happen soon it would take his life. Maybe he had heard about the miracles of Jesus. He concluded Jesus had the power to heal, the only nagging question; would he heal him? Any fear of rejection gave way to his desperation. Sometimes desperation comes really close to faith. He bowed down in worship before the Lord, “I know you can, I’m just not sure you will heal me”. That was it, Jesus reached out his hand and his skin was cleansed. The leprosy was gone. Maybe you have questions today, “He did it for others, would He do it for me?” Why don’t you ask Him for yourself, He may just give you an answer. Here is how Spurgeon describes this scene.

 

 

“Anyone else would have been defiled by touching a leper; but the healing power in Jesus repelled pollution. He touches us by the finger of his humanity, but he is not thereby defiled. His touch proves his condescension, his sympathy, his fellowship. It was no accidental touch: “Jesus put forth his hand. ” Our Lord has come to us by his own act and effort: he was determined to come to us in all our loathsomeness and pollution. After the touch came the word: “I will. ” One has well observed that Jesus never says, “I will not.” He wills, whether ether we will or not. “Be thou clean ” was the royal word of one conscious of abundant power.

What a work, to cleanse a leper! Yet it is easy enough to our King, seeing he is divine: else unbelief would be most reasonable.

With what pleasure Jesus spake! With what joy the leper heard! With what curiosity the bystanders looked on! They had not to wait: the miracle followed the word without a moment’s delay. The cure was instantaneous.”

 

 

It’s one thing to believe miracles happened somewhere else and in some other place. The shocking good news, He is here now and His miracle power hasn’t diminished. Today He just might be reaching out His hand to you.

SAY THE WORD

SAY THE WORD

Matt. 8:8-9 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

This is an amazing display of faith. Actually, later in this passage, Jesus Himself is said to be amazed at the incredible response of the Roman centurion. Jesus said he had not seen faith like this in all of Israel. He actually used this occasion to prophesy about the Jewish people rejecting Christ and gentiles all over the world flocking to Christ in the days to come.
This passage describes the amazing authority Christ has over sickness and disease. He spoke the word and the centurion’s servant and he was healed. He speaks the word over us today and we are healed. Here is an interesting quote from Vincent’s Word Book.

“I also am a man under authority,” as well as thou. The centurion compares the Lord’s position with his own. Christ had authority over disease. The centurion also was in authority over soldiers. As the centurion had only to say to a soldier “Go!” and he went, so Christ had only to say to disease “Go!” and it would obey him.”

So what activated the word of God in this instance? Jesus said it was the faith displayed by the centurion. What releases the power of the word in our lives? Of course it is the same thing, faith in the word of God. Here are some comments from Gill on this same topic.

“‘But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.’
As the former expression declares his modesty and humility, and the mean apprehensions he had of himself; so this signifies his great faith in Christ, and the persuasion he had of his divine power: he does not say pray, and my servant shall be healed, as looking upon him barely as a man of God, a prophet, one that had great interest in God, and at the throne of grace; but speak, command, order it to be done, and it shall be done, which is ascribing omnipotence to him; such power as was put forth in creation, by the all commanding word of God; “he spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stood fast”, Ps 33:9 yea, he signifies that if he would but speak a word, the least word whatever; or, as Luke has it, “say in a word”; let but a word come out of thy mouth, and it will be done.”

Could it possibly be that simple? Is it possible that I can just rest in God’s love and His promises? Absolutely. Regardless of what you are facing the solutions are found in the power of God’s word. Say the word Lord, and I shall be made whole.

STORMS

Isaiah 43:1, 2

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:” Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

 

Living in Southeast Louisiana, hurricanes are a way of life.  Every couple of years we have a “scare” and a close call.  Each time we see the potential of a major storm, we recognize several things.  First we recognize the fragile life we all live.  Every one of us lives one tragedy away from eternity.  All of the physical possessions we work so hard for are so easily taken from us.  So one of the great truths that should become real when we are facing possible storms is that our life is not about our possessions but about eternity.  All that we can ultimately keep forever is our relationship with the Lord and our spiritual relationships with family and friends.

 

Secondly, we recognize the sovereign wisdom and power of God and trust Him to work out all things in our lives for our good. 

 

Matthew 8:24 – 26

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Sometimes it may seem that the Lord is “asleep” or that He does not care about our circumstances.  Having passed through Katrina, we know the tender and powerful care of our Lord.  We have seen His wisdom and His awesome generosity work in all of our lives. Take courage!  You are not forgotten.  He will care for you and bring you safely through whatever storm you may face.

 

Finally, these times can be special times of ministry.  The Lord seems to speak loudest and clearest when we are in difficult situations.  Listen to the Lord.  Call upon His name.  Draw near to Him in prayer.  Read your Bible.  You may be surprised at the clearness of His voice.  Hope to see you soon in church.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Frank Bailey