23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24 News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. 25 Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him.

1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying:

Matt 4:23-5:2 (NIV)

Jesus came not only teaching and preaching but healing as well - authenticating His claim to be the Messiah. The Jewish mind would have rightly questioned if our Lord could perform the works which backed His Words. In our verses for today, we discover just that. His works pointed to the fact that He was the long awaited One – the One who came fulfilling prophecy to perfection.

“Miracles are the great bell of the universe, which draws men to God’s sermon.” John Foster

Our Lord was never slack in His duties, industriously going throughout Galilee teaching in the synagogues the good news of the kingdom of heaven. Indeed, He came to seek and to save what was lost. Christ went about continually doing what was good. Never was there such a preacher as sweet Jesus – never One as indefatigable as our Lord. Jesus speaks of His job description in Luke:

10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10 (NIV)

Our Lord was also a powerful physician – indeed, the Great Physician – Who was able to cure all diseases without exception yet surely not everyone. In His incarnation, He was limited by His fleshly temple. He grew tired, weary and hungry as we do and He could physically only be one place at a time. Yet nothing was too hard for Him. All torments of the body, all languishing of spirits were none too difficult for Him to heal with but a mere spoken Word. Surely this is not too surprising as He is able to heal – save completely – even the hardest of hearts – the most depraved of sinners. None but the Savior is able to completely save:

24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Heb 7:24-25 (NIV)

“I was the enemy of God. I was stamping through God’s universe, shaking my fist in His face. And in the very moment when I was shaking my fist in God’s face and tramping through the Creator’s universe, muddying all His streams, that’s when Jesus died for me. And if this is when Jesus died for me, what hope it gives me now! Now, even when I fall, the blood of Jesus is enough. He didn’t save me because I was strong; He saved me when I was weak. He didn’t save me when I was a pretty thing; He saved me when I was a mess. On the basis of this reality, I can have comfort.” Francis Schaeffer

Imagine with me for a moment if you will, the mayhem Jesus’ new disciples were both viewing and hearing. Those in severe pain often scream out in agony; those having seizures often writhe helplessly on the ground; the demon possessed – the worst form of human suffering produced by Satan’s agency - often shrieking, cutting themselves and foaming at the mouth; and the paralyzed often evoking our deepest empathy. These new followers of our Lord had to have been overwhelmed by the sight and sound, frozen in their inability to help the mass of human suffering before their eyes – and in and of themselves, indeed, they were not able.

I find it extremely interesting that before our Lord began healing He calls His guys to sit at His feet and learn from Him. This is hugely important for us as well. In and of ourselves we have nothing to give – nothing to hold out to human suffering that will help – eternally help – those in our spheres. We can throw money in a cup, give a kind word, hand out a pill or give a shot yet without Christ we are only putting a simple band-aid on a gaping hole. What the lost in our spheres need is Jesus and we must first be equipped with His power and direction discovered only at His feet. Sadly, many Christians often miss this. We tend not to starve our stomachs but often starve our souls. We have nothing to hold out to the hurting. That is not the way God intended it to be. We are to daily meet with Him – allowing Him to teach us through the enlightening of the Holy Spirit the Truth of His Word – asking for His direction and power in our prayers and petitions and going forth in His strength not our own. The original disciples came to know this at a gut level – how else could these “unlearned and ignorant men” have turned the world upside down with their message? One thing for sure, it was not done in their own power.

4 “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 (NIV)

“He was the most balanced and perhaps the most beloved being ever to enter the society of men. Though born amid most disgusting surroundings, the member of a modest working family, He bore Himself always with great dignity and assurance. Though He enjoyed no special advantages as a child, either in education or employment, His entire philosophy and outlook on life were the highest standards of human conduct ever set before mankind. Though He had no vast economic assets, political power or military might, no other person ever made such an enormous impact on the world’s history. Because of Him...people have come into a life of decency and honor and noble conduct...He came to set men free from their own sins, their own selves, their own fears. Those so liberated loved Him with fierce loyalty. It is this One who insists that He was the Good Shepherd, the understanding Shepherd, the concerned Shepherd who cares enough to seek out and save and restore lost men and women.” Phillip Keller

What I Glean

  • Miracles point me to God.
  • Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
  • I can do nothing eternal in my own power.