Preached @ Anchor Community Church on September 21st 2014
We are finishing up part three of these first 17 verses. Matthew has particularly picked three healings to make his point regarding Jesus’ authority and power over brokenness and the marginalized.
All 3 Healings Represent Someone Marginalized
- The Leper who was a shamed individual in Jesus’ culture due to the fact that a lot of the people felt that leprosy was a direct judgment of God, and would remove the person from community because of the infectious nature of the disease.
- The Centurion was a hated, Roman enemy. A military man nonetheless. He was a “Non-Believer” and not part of the “Nation” of Israel! However his faith showed off any Jew, and Matthew used this story to highlight the fact that God’s Kingdom was always a kingdom for the “Nations” and not just for the Jews.
- Today we look at Peter’s Mother in Law was a woman in the 1st century, and usually not used as any form of witness for the ancient records.
Big Picture: Jesus demonstrates His power and authority over every form of brokenness as the promised Messiah; Part 3
We have learned Four Things about the Authority of Jesus in the first 17 verses:
Jesus’ Authority to Heal Was An Earmark of the Messiah (Matthew 8:1-3)
The Authority of Jesus Is Seen In Both His Submission and His Fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 8:4)
Jesus’ Authority Is Derived From God the Father (vv. 5-9)
Jesus’ Authority is a Comfort to Those Who Trust and a Terror to the Religious (vv. 8:10-13)
Today we will see how:
From the Head…
The Authority of Jesus Is A Function of His Work On the Cross (Matthew 8:14-17)
Peter’s “Mother In Law” reminds us that Peter was married. In 1 Corinthians 9:5 we read, “Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife, as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas (Peter)?” Thus any notion that Peter became the 1st Pope and was unmarried, is simply unbiblical.
This healing is a simple one. No one asked Jesus to heal, as they did in the other ones, He just did. Jesus’ touches her one again displaying that He is not defiled by human brokenness, but has power over it. Verse.16 then includes, “He cast out Spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill.” The question is why is this so simple? And why did Matthew use it? First, both Matthew 4:23 and 9:35 show us that Matthew is lumping topics in to demonstrate that Jesus is whom He said He is. It’s one of the main purposes for Matthew to show that Jesus is the promised Messiah, who would “Teach” and who would “heal” and do “Miracles.” These verses aren’t here to show that God will always heal you.
The simplicity points to another crucial point, and why He came; “To seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The verse tells us that “to take on our infirmities and carry away our disease” This is a reference to Isaiah 53: 4-5 where we are told that “By His wounds we are healed.” What does His healing represent? Does God always heal? How is healing connected to Why He came?
A Brief Excursus Re: Healing
1.Sickness/Death are related to sin/brokenness.
- This is something that is eradicated in the Complete Kingdom
- Some sickness is directly related to sin, other illnesses are not are not (See John 5:14 cf. John 9:3).
- Some sickness is healed, some is not. To this theologian DA Carson writes,
“The God who allows James to be killed by Herod while providing escape for Peter is the God who arranges for Paul to be ill while granting life to Dorcas.”
Healing and forgiving sin is often synonymous (See Matthew 9:1-8). When sin is eradicated, so will all illness be eradicated?
Matthew understands that the healings are Glimpses of the real Kingdom. The Real Kingdom can only come as a result of the cross of Jesus. This is why Matthew connects the healing to Isaiah 53. Healings come from the cross of Christ. When God needs to demonstrate the power of the Kingdom He heals, reminding us that this is a reality in the Final Kingdom. It’s at the Cross that we are completely healed.
It’s also important to realize that in verse 16, Jesus “Cast out evil Spirits.” To many this is crazy; demons don’t exist, but here lies the problem of the skeptic. They have no real cause, or understanding of evil, and how broken this world is. The best they can do is to try and find cures for “Evil,” whether it’s physical or spiritual, but they have no category for sickness and death. Most often they refer to death as a “Normal” cycle of life, but they know when they experience loss, it isn’t normal, and many skeptics have become skeptics when god “Didn’t heal their ________!!”
In the gospel, we understand that sickness and death are pure evil, and not normal, and something that God will eradicate in eternity as a true sign of His full kingdom here on earth. God is destroying evil, just not on time in our eyes. We live in in a linear time zone, God doesn’t, and His timing is perfect timing in he end.
1.The benefits and blessings we have in Christ are directly related to the Cross of Chris
2. There is healing in the atonement. That healing can’t be denied by those that try and control God by saying that healings and miracles have ceased, nor can it be controlled by those believe God has to heal based on their faith, command, etc…
…to the Heart
Have you come to Christ looking for healing? Is Christ the means to an end? Or is Christ the end game? We come to Christ in recognition that we are sinners needing His grace, repenting of our sins, and trusting Him as our Lord and savior! He is not a means to an end (Perfect health, wealth and power), He comes reminding us that in the life we will have tribulation, but in Him, we will have peace (See John 16:33).
Questions To Ponder
- Why does Jesus heal?
- Why doesn’t He always heal?
- What is the point of healing in His ministry?
- In what way(s) do Jesus’ healings point to His cross?
- Why would this matter?
For Further Reading
A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Craig S. Keener
The NIV Application Commentary: Matthew, Michael J. Wilkins
The Gospel According to Matthew, Leon Morris
Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament 1A, ed. Manlio Simonetti
Sermon On the Mount; Sinclair Ferguson