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May 16, 2021

The Cleansing and Healing Christ

The Cleansing and Healing Christ

Passage: Matthew

Speaker: Pastor Stephen Palm

Series: Matthew: The King and His Kingdom

Category: Expository Book Study

In the last three-chapter (5 – 7) Christ has laid out the principles for living in the coming kingdom. Chapters 8 and 9 will now focus on the authority of the King and in this week’s message we will see His power over disease, demons, and death. These are not chronological miracles but rather they are themes that Matthew wants his Jewish audience to see. Because the Old Testament prophets spoke of the Messiah as one who cure the sick, open the eyes of the blind and cause the deaf to hear. In our first miracle a leprous man comes to Jesus in faith and asks to be healed of his debilitating disease that made him an outcast in society, worse yet it separated him from worshiping with the congregation of Israel. Jesus will always reward those who genuinely pursue Him and so he stretches out His hand making the man clean. There is striking contrast in our next miracle for the man that comes to Jesus is not a Jew, but a Roman captain that has apparently heard of Jesus wonder working power. In humility the captain recognizes that he is not worthy to have Lord come into his home and heal his servant. His request is that Jesus simply speak a word and the servant will be healed. The Lord is so taken aback by the captain’s appeal that he says, “truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith” (v. 10). There are only two times in Scripture where Jesus is said to have marvelled and one of them is with the Centurion’s faith. This also foreshadows the God is preparing the Gentiles to receive the gospel and that the Jews; especially the religious leaders are steadily growing in their opposition to the King. Which is why he refers to Abraham’s children as the “sons of the kingdom that will be thrown into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (v.12). Once again Matthew wants us to see the Jewish people have all the evidence, they needed to recognize who Jesus was, but they hardened their hearts against Him. In the final miracle Peter’s mother in – law is healed along with those oppressed by demons demonstrating Jesus’ authority over the spiritual realm. To close out of this section of Scripture Matthew looks towards the cross by paraphrasing the prophet Isaiah “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.” Sin is an incurable illness that infected all of humanity, but only the cross can cure its eternal consequences.