Thursday 29 August 2013

Matthew 8:1-17 - Dealing with sickness

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Jesus handles sickness in a very straightforward way. Here in Matthew 8:1-17 we have three examples, a leper, a centurion, and Peter's mother-in-law.

I'll just point out some things that occurred to me as I read this passage.

First, people treated Jesus with great respect. The leper knelt before him, and the centurion felt unworthy. They already knew that he was special in some way, unusual. People had been talking about the authority of his teaching 'unlike the scribes'.

Jesus sends the leper to the priest, as evidence, but evidence for what? Evidence of healing, clearly, but is there more to this? Would the priest have wanted to know how the leper was healed?

The centurion has real faith and Jesus is, frankly, amazed. Jesus was willing to heal this man's servant. A Roman military man, one of the 'enemy' in Jewish eyes. "Love your enemies" in action.

And it's interesting that it's not Peter's mother, but his mother-in-law. So Peter is clearly married even though he spends three years away from home, on the road with Jesus and the other disciples. Perhaps his wife was travelling with them too, that's entirely possible, even likely.

Finally, notice the fulfilment of prophecy. This is a constant theme, Jesus came as a fulfiller of prophecy, law, and the promises of his Father.

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