This week as we study Matthew 8:14-17, we look once again into the miraculous healing ministry of Jesus. While studying this portion of scripture, I was struck with the words of verse 16: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.” As Jesus travelled about the towns and villages of Galilee, the numbers of people following Him were staggering. There were those that were interested in His unique teaching abilities and they were impressed with His wisdom and His uncommon interpretations of the Mosaic Law. He presented something so new that people were excited to be near Him. This part of the crowd must have been interesting as there were academics as well as the ignorant that had come to learn.
But even more amazing was the sight of hundreds of people sick from every known disease. The crippled hobbled along; the blind haltingly made their way; the deaf obviously could not hear a word He said but they saw others throw away crudely fashioned crutches and the blind walking away from those that had previously led them. Others were paralyzed and had to be carried into His presence. Lepers stood at a distance and cried out to Him for mercy as well. The sixteenth verse says that not one of these people was turned away. There were no cases too hard to handle and not one time did Jesus call for a consult. Amazingly, He only spoke the word or reached out with a touch and all were healed.
Jesus was the only hope for these dying people since many of the diseases represented a death sentence. This verse says he healed “all that were sick.” There are only a few of these miracles recorded in scripture when in fact there were thousands that were performed. “…All that were sick…” What an amazing statement! People came with their worst and He gave them His best. The news that He was coming to town was an open invitation to be rid of lifelong infirmities as well as a broken bone. Note this however, the “all” does not mean “all” who stayed home refusing to believe He could help.
While I was writing this article for today’s bulletin, I was sitting in the waiting room of the Kaiser Medical Center waiting on my wife who was going through two very unpleasant procedures. In and out of the medical offices were people groaning, limping, hurting, and complaining. Many of these were older folks and I was reminded of how many truly hopeless people there are. My wife and I are blessed to know Christ as Saviour, so we come and go, realizing the sufferings of this life are only temporary. We have great expectations of being delivered from all of this when we come into the presence of Jesus.
Those who have not yet met the Saviour have no such hope. There is no expectation of being delivered from suffering. Even if a doctor is able to help alleviate some pain at present, their future in eternity holds no hope of any relief. This is why the gospel of Christ is so important. We do not have the same type of healing ministry of Christ today. Rather, we have something far, far better. There is eternal relief from the suffering of sin because Jesus is still available to heal “all that are sick.” The “all” in this instance are these: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” As those that were sick in Galilee had to be in touch with Jesus for healing, so those that are sin-sick today must come to Him for help. He will never turn away a single person that comes asking to be delivered from sin’s sentence of death.
Many of you today feel physically fine. I am happy for you and hope your good health continues. However, some of you are not spiritually fine. You do not know Christ and have not received the healing of the forgiveness of sin. I pray that you will come to Christ today. He will save you so that you will no longer be among “all that are sick!”
Pastor V. Mark Smith