Unity in Christ Jesus
Matthew 8:1-17: Today’s reading introduces us to Jesus’s healing ministry, which begins in Galilee. Jesus heals a man with a dreaded skin disease, a Roman officer’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and many other people.
Jesus Heals a Man
8 When Jesus came down from the hill, large crowds followed him. 2 Then a man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to him, knelt down before him, and said, “Sir, if you want to, you can make me clean.”[a]
3 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I do want to,” he answered. “Be clean!” At once the man was healed of his disease. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “Listen! Don’t tell anyone, but go straight to the priest and let him examine you; then in order to prove to everyone that you are cured, offer the sacrifice that Moses ordered.”
Jesus Heals a Roman Officer’s Servant
5 When Jesus entered Capernaum, a Roman officer met him and begged for help: 6 “Sir, my servant is sick in bed at home, unable to move and suffering terribly.”
7 “I will go and make him well,” Jesus said.
8 “Oh no, sir,” answered the officer. “I do not deserve to have you come into my house. Just give the order, and my servant will get well. 9 I, too, am a man under the authority of superior officers, and I have soldiers under me. I order this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and I order that one, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and I order my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was surprised and said to the people following him, “I tell you, I have never found anyone in Israel with faith like this. 11 I assure you that many will come from the east and the west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of heaven. 12 But those who should be in the Kingdom will be thrown out into the darkness, where they will cry and gnash their teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the officer, “Go home, and what you believe will be done for you.”
And the officer’s servant was healed that very moment.
Jesus Heals Many People
14 Jesus went to Peter’s home, and there he saw Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand; the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, people brought to Jesus many who had demons in them. Jesus drove out the evil spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 17 He did this to make come true what the prophet Isaiah had said, “He himself took our sickness and carried away our diseases.”
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 8:16b
Jesus drove out the evil spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.
What do these stories of healing teach you about Jesus? What surprised Jesus about the Roman officer (verse 10)? For what did Jesus commend the officer? In what ways does your community of faith care for those who are sick?
Gracious God, be with all people who need healing today. Stretch forth your loving and healing hand, surround them with your peaceful presence, and ease their pain and suffering. Amen.
And now, join us in praying for millions of Middle Eastern refugees who have been forced to flee their countries to escape war and persecution. Holy God, many people in the Middle East are struggling to survive financially, and the effects of the pandemic and lockdowns have caused much stress and heartache. Many of the refugees are children; and we are grateful that through the generosity of Bible-A-Month Partners, the Bible Society was able to distribute Bible Storybooks to each of the children enrolled in a children’s ministry program at a Middle Eastern church. We thank and praise you, God, that the children are excited to have their very first Bible storybook and are eager to share the stories that they have learned. Amen.
Matthew 8:18-34: Jesus calms a storm and heals two men with demons.