December 5

Text: Matthew 4:23, 24

And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.  And the news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.  (NASB)

Matthew viewed Jesus as a man of unusual, incredible power.  Jesus was doing three things: teaching in synagogues (which was a common occurrence for a righteous man), proclaiming the good news of the kingdom (given Jesus’ kingdom emphasis, an unusual thing), and healing a variety of diseases, pains, demoniacs, and continuing conditions (unheard of!).  This seems to be a summation statement that spoke of what Jesus did in Galilee.

First, note the variety of sicknesses Jesus addressed.  The physical illness problems were addressed.  The spiritually caused problems were addressed.  The long term conditions considered incurable were addressed.   Jesus’ power was equal to every kind of disease and sickness brought to him—which was considerable.  Jesus’ power over illness was widely known (consider Acts 10:37, 38 and 26:25, 26.)

Second, note that no illness problem exceeded Jesus’ power.  People heard of Jesus because his power was superior to any medical problem brought to him.  There were literally no medical problems that Jesus’ power could not heal—even previously incurable situations!

Third, note the close connection between Jesus’ activities that focused on his teachings and his activities that focused on ministering to physical illness.  A good friend (Terry Smith of Murray, Kentucky) discussed this with me.  Matthew was not here discussing Jesus’ compassion, but Jesus’ power.  Here Jesus’ message was not “I care” but “I can do something.”  Jesus’ power was not limited to sickness.  “Because you see what I can do, you have reason to consider what I teach.  Just as I am the solution to your physical problems, I am also the solution to your spiritual/moral problems.”

We can be moved because we care, but Jesus could and can destroy sin. Caring for a medical condition was a temporary solution.  Caring for a spiritual need was an eternal solution.

Suggestion for reflection: What is the solution to your problems?  (Read Matthew 15:1-14.)

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