Today, I read Matthew 8 and 9. Well, also Genesis – several chapters – but nothing jumped out at me from them except how incredibly dysfunctional the early families were. Favoritism, deception, manipulation, outright hostility…No place like home!
These two chapters in Matthew show Jesus’ ministry really ramping up. He’s done some teaching about godly human interactions. Then – bam! – the miracles start. Out of (seemingly) nowhere, an invisible faucet turns on and healing water flows from Jesus’ touch. It was like he had a huge magnet attached to his back, drawing all the desperate physical needs right to Him. Matthew 8 starts with the healing of a man with leprosy. Each healing is different. Sometimes, Jesus asks questions. Sometimes, the sick person wonders or asks questions of Jesus: “Lord, if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean” (v2). “I am willing”, Jesus responds. Hallelujah!
Next, a centurion’s servant. Jesus only has to speak the word and the paralysis is gone (v.13). Peter’s mother-in-law is relieved of a high fever. Jesus heals two demon-possessed men who openly harass him, knowing his true identity (v.29). He sends the demons into a herd of pigs, who plunge down the mountainside into the sea.
Matthew 9 opens with a paralyzed man whom Jesus gets walking. A few verses later, Jesus heals a woman who had bled for 12 years with no relief just by touching Him! After that, he brought a little girl back from the dead. Word spread quickly and suddenly He had two blind men pestering him (v.27). He healed them, too. The last few healings I mentioned, Jesus often said, “Your faith has healed you” or “Because of your faith, it will happen”. It appears to be a necessary element for healing, something never before mentioned in the Bible. Faith was rising in the people. Healing before this always seemed to be at God’s whim, seen from a human perspective.
Jesus could not escape this time of making people well. He gathered momentum and disciples during this period. He was walking more determinedly in His calling, doing the Father’s work. He was exercising compassion in a tangible fashion. The time was ripe and He capitalized on it. Jesus spoke of this being the season of harvest. That means the crops must be ready, even now. He wasted no time, yet never hurried.
I believe there are seasons for healing. There are seasons for miracles. We have some friends of ours who are going to plant a church soon. I pray that this is their season for miracles. May the momentum pick up as they press in and go after all God has for them. Let their faith arise. May they see healings and all sorts of outpourings of the Spirit as they get established in a new place. Let the people’s faith rise. Let this be their season of blessing. Let the harvest be plentiful. May they capitalize on it.