Matthew 8 The Credentials Of The King
THE KING ACTING IN POWER
What Jesus taught [chapters 5-7]
The Lord Jesus Christ had just presented the Manifesto of the kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount, presenting the vision of life in the kingdom giving the standards to live by [ch.5-7]. He had authenticated Himself as the Messiah [ch.3-4]. Now in chapters 8-10, we read of the credentials of the King beginning with ten miracles giving evidence of His power. These testify that He who presented the ethics expected in the kingdom is the One who gives the power to live them out. He is not suggesting better ways of living, but acts to reach people where they need Him.
What Jesus wrought [chapters 8-10]
He gives three illustrations of power and we see the effect on the people by what they saw. Then there are three more illustrations and the effect and again the third time He repeats the same thing.
- Cleansing the leper [1-4]
- Centurion’s servant’s palsy [5-13]
- Peter’s wife’s mother’s fever [14-15]
- Stilling the storm [23-27]
- Demoniacs healed [28-34]
- Man cured of palsy [9:1-8]
- Woman with hemorrhage [9:18-22]
- Ruler’s daughter raised [23-26]
- Two blind men given sight [27-31]
- Dumb demoniac healed [32-34]
Power Over Disease
MEETING NEEDS AT ITS LOWEST [v.1-4] A testimony to great need
At the bottom of the mountain
- The Leper came with a known need: the Greek word for “leprosy” was used for many similar diseases – some were contagious
- The Leper came with an honest confession
- The Leper came with a submissive attitude, “If…”
- The Leper came with worship, “Lord…”
- The Leper came with confidence, “Thou canst make me clean.”
HE RESPONDS TO AN APPEAL FOR ANOTHER [v.5-13] The principle of authority
In the city
- The Centurion came with the need of another: palsied; paralyzed
- The Centurion came with personal humility, “beseeching … I am not worthy…”
- The Centurion came with great faith, “speak the word only…”
- The Centurion came with intelligent confidence, “my servant shall be healed…”
HE RESPONDS TO A PERSONAL NEED [v.14-17] The principle of substitution
In the home
- The Woman in fever needed the help of others
- He touched the woman and the fever left.
- She arose and ministered to Him
- She responded by becoming His servant
Lessons: God’s purity is greater than man’s pollution. His virtue and purity healed the leper.
His authority and deity extended to the Roman’s servant
His compassion and touch healed Peter’s mother-in-law
Isaiah 53:4. In order to deal with the underlying causes of diseases – sin – He took hold of sin itself. The physical need was evidence of the spiritual need which He would deal with at the cross. He restored the healed ones to their natural state. These were restorations made by the King to restore a lost order. All this was done that men would listen to, and obey, Him.
Power Over Demonic Forces
Three areas of power: Personal, Physical, Spiritual
The scribe came with impulse and daring: the Son of Man had no place in this world where He could fit in with the world system around. Those that follow Him do not belong here. The necessity of the cross to deal with our need was before Him. The second man was called to service. He had conflicting affections. Not realizing that affections hinder us in following Christ. He was not going to attend a funeral but was wanting to wait for his kin to die.
His supremacy over nature shows His power. We do not have to be afraid even of the things over which we have no control. Retain confidence in the Lord in spite of all adversity. Wait for His deliverance and trust His for peace when the difficulty is all past.
There are times when we are tempted to give way to evil spirits. We are told to “try the spirits” which include teachings as well the demons that promote them. The Lord Jesus had authority over demons. Beyond human ability is the power of the King. There is no limit to His power in heaven and in earth.