Matthew: Jesus Heals Infirmities, Sicknesses, Possessions

Memory Verse: Matthew 8:16-17

8:1-4 Jesus Heals A Leper

  • 8:1 Jesus just finished His teaching to the disciples and the people who followed Him. He came down from the mountain and great multitudes continued to follow him. Everyone was amazed by His authoritative teaching, but they are about to be even more amazed by what He does next. Jesus will prove His authority through His healing power.
  • 8:2-3 A leper came and worshipped Jesus. Leprosy is a contagious skin disease that causes skin lesions, nerve damage and sometimes deformities. In Jesus day, this person would be an outcast from society. This man knew Jesus was more than just a man. He called Jesus “Lord,” and said, “if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” This leprous man had genuine faith in Jesus. We can know this because he worshipped Jesus and stated Jesus ability to perform a miracle according to Jesus’ will. Who but God should be worshipped or do miracles? This man was professing real faith. Jesus responds by putting forth His hand and touching the leper—Jesus actually touches the “unclean” man rejected by society and who has this contagious disease—saying, “I will; be thou clean.” Immediately the man’s leprosy was gone and he was cleansed. Jesus is showing that His teaching has power behind it and that He came to heal, not just the physically unclean, but also those who are spiritual unclean. Like this leper, it doesn’t matter how unclean you are Jesus is willing to make you spiritually clean—to forgive your sin.
    Mark 1:41, 42; Luke 5:12, 13; Leviticus 5:3
  • 8:4 After he was healed, Jesus told the man to not tell anyone—because it would hinder Jesus’ work at that point—but to go his way and show himself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them—he probably was tempted to tell everyone he was healed and not make the journey to Jerusalem or to follow the necessary procedures to certify and publicly demonstrate he was really cured. But he needed to go, so he could be restored, declared clean as the law required. From this point on, His life would be changed. He no longer would be an outcast, but he would be accepted by his people again. Jesus healed more than just his sickness, but restored his humanity, his life. Jesus wants to change your life—all of it.
    Leviticus 13:1-59; 14:1-32

8:5-13 Jesus Heals A Servant Sick Of The Palsy

  • 8:5-6 Jesus went to Capernaum and when He entered into the village a centurion came to ask something of Him. Jesus was informed that he had a servant at home who was sick of the palsy and grievously tormented because of it. He was lying down because the palsy meant he was crippled or was disabled in his legs or feet. Paralysis is disease of the central nervous system and it probably started at the feet and spread through his body, now at the point of death.
    Luke 7:2-6
  • 8:7-9 Jesus responds to this man who address Him as “Lord,” saying that He is willing to come and heal the sick man—(Jews saw entering Gentile houses as unclean, but Jesus was willing to go anyway). The centurion did not feel worthy for Jesus to come to his house. The centurion was not Jewish, but an officer of the Roman army. He would command around one-hundred people, but also would take orders from higher authorities. This man understood authority and how it worked (he even had servants speaking on his behalf). He knew that based on Jesus authority it was unnecessary for Jesus to come to His house, that He could just speak the words without going and seeing the sick servant, and the servant would be healed. He showed genuine faith in Jesus.
    Luke 7:1-10
  • 8:10-13 When Jesus heard the centurions response, he marvelled, and decided to use it as a teaching point to those who were following Him. He told them that He didn’t find such “great faith” in Israel. This would be hard to hear, because the Jews were to be God’s people and yet this gentile had greater faith than them. Then Jesus goes on to show that people from all nations (from the East and West) will be saved (shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven). On the contrary, the people who are supposed to be God’s people—Jews (the children of the kingdom) are going to reject Jesus and won’t be saved (shall be cast out into outer darkness) and enter eternal punishment (there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth). Those with genuine faith in Jesus will be saved and those without genuine faith in Jesus won’t be saved, no matter who you are, Jewish or gentile. After Jesus teaches this important lesson, He turns to the centurion and tells him to go his way and it will be done according to what he believed. Therefore, his servant was healed in that hour. Jesus speaks with the authority of God.

8:14-15 Jesus Heals A Mother-in-law Sick Of A Fever

  • 8:14-15 Next, Jesus went to Peter’s house and saw Peter’s mother-in-law laying in bed sick of a fever (which could be the result of an infection or something else serious). Jesus touches her hand and the fever left her. She gets out of bed and starts to minister to them.
    Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39

8:16-17 Jesus Heals The Many Who Were Possessed And Sick

  • 8:16 In the evening, the people brought many people who were possessed with devils unto Jesus. Jesus cast out the spirits with His word. Jesus also healed all that were sick—it doesn’t matter what sickness it was, He could heal it all. Jesus has the authority of God to heal and speaks with the authority of God. Unlike modern day false healers, Jesus could just speak or touch a person and they would be healed instantly and definitely.
  • 8:17 Matthew tells us Jesus did this so that what the prophet Isaiah (Esaias) spoke would be fulfilled: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Jesus came to heal us of our sins forever. The temporal healing of these people (as they would also die one day) was a foreshadow of what Jesus was going to accomplish on the cross. He would permanently take away our sin and it’s consequences (including infirmities and sickness) for all those who have faith in Him. They will live in a place where this is no more death, sorrow, crying or pain. Also, for Him to heal people would give evidence to who He was claiming to be, the Son of God, and thus to His crucifixion. Therefore, for Jesus to heal would mean that He would have to pay the costs, and this was all part of the plan to bring true healing—momentary and eternally.
    Isaiah 53:4; Palms 103:3; Revelation 21:4

Review Questions

  • What did the leper do when he came to Jesus?
  • What was the leper to do after he was healed? Why?
  • Why did Jesus marvel at the centurions response?
  • What does Jesus healing ministry teach us about His authority?
  • What does this foreshadow Jesus doing?

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