Day 5

Jesus Heals

from the Matthew reading plan


Matthew 8:1-34, 2 Samuel 22:16, Isaiah 53:4-5

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Matthew 8:1-34, 2 Samuel 22:16, Isaiah 53:4-5

Reading Matthew 8 reminds me of Sunday School. Every story—six of them in just 34 verses—is familiar, conjuring up memories of flannel boards and coloring pages from my elementary school days. Jesus heals a leper, He calms a storm, He casts out the demons into pigs … it’s like a WOW! That’s What We Call Miracles Greatest Hits compilation. If you grew up in the Church, you know these stories.

When we know Bible stories like the back of our hand, we risk missing the miraculous. Perhaps more importantly though, we read them as just that—stories. But these stories are true. And more than true, they are promises. Each story is not just a historical event, something that Jesus did. Rather, they are glimpses of everything that Jesus will do.

In his book The Reason for God, Tim Keller writes:

We modern people think of miracles as the suspension of the natural order, but Jesus meant them to be the restoration of the natural order. The Bible tells us that God did not originally make the world to have disease, hunger, and death in it. Jesus has come to redeem where it is wrong and heal the world where it is broken. His miracles are not just proofs that he has power but also wonderful foretastes of what he is going to do with that power. Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we all want is coming.

The miracles of Matthew 8 are about people in a specific place and time. They are about a leper, a centurion and his servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, the disciples on an angry sea, and two men with demons. But each miracle is also about the Israelites who wandered and trusted the God who promised them that one day their King would come. Each miracle is about the Jews, torn away from Jerusalem, listening to Isaiah prophesy that a Messiah would come to take on their illnesses and bear their diseases. And each miracle is about us, with our mix of ancient faith and modern doubt. Each miracle proved to the Jewish people then and teaches us now that Jesus is who He says He is, that He fulfilled God’s promises, and that He will fulfill them again.

I risk reading this passage purely at face value: people needed help, they asked Jesus, and He helped them, healing the dying and rescuing the scared disciples. In my own life, I am tempted to pray with the same expectation for earthly healing and immediate help. Every prayer is my own version of “calm the storm, Jesus!” But my own experience has taught me that Jesus doesn’t always work that way. Matthew is telling us that while Jesus can do all we could ever ask or imagine, He may not always answer our earthly needs in the way we think He should. Is it enough for me to know that the One who makes even the winds and sea obey Him will also makes everything new one day? (Matthew 8:27; Revelation 21:5).

So I continue to pray for miracles, yes. I pray with faithful expectation, and sometimes, with honest doubt. I live in the tension of the already and the not yet.

God has already fulfilled His promises, and we know that we can trust Him. But He has not yet fully restored His kingdom—what Keller called “the world we all want.” So we wait and pray, hope and trust. And we read these stories about Jesus, and take heart because we know they were true then, and they are just as true for us today.

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Melanie Rainer is the director of content for JellyTelly, where she writes and edits family spiritual formation resources. She is a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, a passionate home baker, and makes her always-messy home with her husband, Price, and their delightful daughter, Ellie, near historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee.

Post Comments (119)

119 thoughts on "Jesus Heals"

  1. Mercedes Baeverstad says:

    Those people knew Jesus had the power to heal. Yet did not expect it. Just simply asked and waited.

  2. Joann says:

    When I read about how the disciples rushed to find Jesus in the storm, it dawned upon me that when trouble or scary things or in general bad thing happen- the first thing the disciples did were to run to Jesus instead of trying to figure it out themselves on how to steer the boat. They seek Jesus first. And Jesus then rebuked the waves and the wind and all was calm. It reminded me that we should always be like the disciples in this situation. To always seek Him first in every situation. For He is the only one who is able to calm the storm in our hearts and in our lives. ♥️

  3. Lindsey Bailey says:

    Jesus’ entire ministry was touching people’s lives through miracles. Sometimes I think our faith is like the disciples in the boat. We don’t expect. We doubt. We see the waves instead of the one who made the water in those waves. My mother-in-law just received a supernatural healing. It was instant, and there was no denying God’s hand was responsible. After two years of unexplainable, debilitating abdominal pain, she was healed. It was like a shot of faith into my life. Jesus met the physical needs of everyday people to show that He was an extraordinary God. The physical healing brought forth spiritual healing. So, although some miracles may only be realized in eternity, I won’t stop asking. I won’t stop believing. I will keep knocking. I believe God desires our hearts and if he has to use the physical to transform the heart, I believe He can. I believe He will.

  4. Liz Baylus says:

    Amanda’s comment brought up something the Lord has been laying on my heart. In 2015 I suffered two miscarriages shortly after finding out I was pregnant. The second one happened a week after Mother’s Day that year. Anger, fear, frustration, and anxiety clouded my mind to the exclusion of all else, my relationship with God included. I was so angry, and I acted like a petulant child. I threw a temper tantrum my four month old son would be proud of.

    You see, a little over a year ago I got my yearly flu, or so I thought. When my period was late I chalked it up to my body being out of whack due to being sick. Until it was a week late. When I read that dang digital test a couple days later that said I was pregnant, I lost it. All those feelings came flooding right back. I was so scared. When I started spotting around the same time I lost my other two babies, I lashed out at God. What kind of a good God puts one of His children through this? We made our way to the ER to confirm what I thought I already knew.

    When the nurse told me I was still pregnant and my baby was very much alive I hugged her. The ultrasound technician got one too when she pointed out his tiny little heartbeat. Eight months later, I got to hold him in my arms for the first time, though he’s a had a hold on my heart since I found out I was pregnant. And yet I haven’t thought to seek forgiveness for how I acted towards God in the weeks after I found out I was pregnant.

    I’m not really sure why. God didn’t want me to lose those babies. That’s just the reality of living in a fallen world.

  5. Jinny says:

    But he was pierced for Jinny’s transgressions;
    he was crushed for her iniquities;
    upon him was the chastisement that brought her peace,
    and with his wounds Jinny is healed.

  6. Amanda says:

    I’ve been praying for the Lord’s healing for over 3 years. 3 years of infertility, miscarriage, and dashed hope every. single. month. 3 years of bleeding and pain and surgeries and thousands spent on medicine and supplements. I wish Jesus would show up and touch me, or offer me the corner of His robe. I wish He would hear from one of His disciples of my suffering, say something profound, and rush to my house and heal me with a single word. I will be honest and say that I have begun to really lag in the belief department, and often allow my doubts to overrun everything else, till I am incapacitated and unable to pray at all. Or even WANT to pray at all. I doubt in His willingness to heal, in His desire to heal ME, in His love for me. But this reminded me that infertility, miscarriage, and the failings of my body are NOT His doing, it isn’t His plan, and even if I never get to hold my babies here on earth, He will restore these days that the “locusts have eaten away”, and will heal me and restore me to the point of this earthly pain not even being remembered anymore. It’s almost impossible to wrap my head around that truth. But it is TRUTH! So thankful for this post. <3

    1. Jeannette Walti says:

      Oh Amanda, I am so sorry. Thankful that you know His truth…like you wrote that He will restore these days. My heart aches for you… Yet I will believe with you. Sending a big hug.

    2. Lynn Michelle says:

      Praying for you Amanda! God’s timing is always perfect. Hoping you have peace and joy as you wait on HIM to make you a mother in whatever way HE chooses! ❤️

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