Jump Start # 2263
Matthew 4:23 “Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in the synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.”
We continue our thoughts on the miraculous healing power of Jesus. Twice in this passage the expression, “every kind” is used. Every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Every kind, not just the simple ones that chicken soup and a good nights sleep will cure. But every kind. The big ones as well as the little ones. And, when Jesus healed someone, they didn’t need chicken soup and they didn’t need to go to bed. They were well. They were cured. Right then, right there. No recover. No slight improvements. What ever got them down, was gone.
Now, in all of this, there are more interesting things that surface. Maybe I’m the only one who ever thinks about these things, but they do show some great lessons.
First, have you noticed that Jesus only heals people. There was one occasion when Jesus sent demons into pigs, but you never see Him making a sick pig well. What about the poor farmer who has only one mule and his mule is down. That stops all his work. We don’t find Jesus healing mules, sick puppies, birds with broken wings, or bringing cats down out of trees.
Second, you don’t find Jesus telling the people how to prevent these diseases. You don’t see Jesus telling stone masons to wear some protective goggles so that it will prevent eye injuries. You don’t find Jesus talking about preserving food, throwing out old meat, and eating healthy. You don’t find Jesus talking about vitamins, getting exercise, or dieting. Medical folks today understand the importance of wearing masks, gloves and gowns. It keeps them safe as well as spreading things to others. Why didn’t Jesus share that info with others?
Third, while we are on this, there are so many other things that Jesus could have told the apostles that would have helped in their work. Imagine Paul with a copy machine. Just think what Peter could do with a cell phone. And, travel? Instead of months in a boat, they could have flown to places in hours. God knows all. He didn’t reveal any of these things. Printing presses. Technology. Safety in medicine and health. So many lives could have been saved and life could have been so much better. Imagine electricity back then. Imagine refrigeration. Imagine modern surgery. Jesus knew, but Jesus never revealed.
Fourth, there are times when Jesus withdrew alone with the disciples. Mark 6 is one of those occasions. They got in a boat and went out to an isolated place away from the people. Now, wasn’t there more people that Jesus could have healed? Wasn’t there more that could have been done? Why is He resting when villages were overcome with diseased, crippled and handicapped people. The demand was great and yet, there is Jesus getting away.
The subject of Jesus and healing is very interesting. Too often we simple tuck all of us under the subject of miracles and quickly cover the entire subject in a few rapid moments and are done with it. Jesus healed. It was a miracle. We can’t do that and that’s it. Really?
Why did Jesus heal people and not sick animals? Why didn’t Jesus leave strict medical guidelines to prevent future outbreaks? Why didn’t Jesus pull from the future technology that would have helped that generation? Why were there times when He got away and could have been healing even more? These questions make us tap the brakes just a bit. They call upon us to think beyond the obvious. They demand that we lower our nets a bit deeper into the water.
The healings were not the focus of His work. They were a way to get the multitudes to see that Jesus can do in an instant what man can never do, given decades. All Jesus needed to do was to say a word. It wasn’t one special or magical word. The power was within Him and with His Father. There were times when Jesus touched blind eyes, leprous hands and the side of a coffin. There were other times when He never saw the sick person. The Canaanite’s demon possessed daughter was in another place when Jesus healed her. He never saw the girl. So, Jesus didn’t have to do a medical assessment of a person. He didn’t have to see the person. He didn’t have to be near the person. His words, His powers, His authority were limitless. He didn’t need satellites, good reception, clear days or even believing hearts. He could command demons and they obeyed Him. He could talk to the dead and they heard Him. There was no disease, no storms, no powers that could match Jesus. He was God on earth.
The healings were a way to show all this. In an instant He could restore. In a second, sight and sound could return. Just like that, the dead came back and the demons left. This wasn’t done to run doctors out of business. This was to show a greater need. Not every person had leprosy. Not every person was blind. Not every person had a demon. Yet, every person had sin. The greatest healing, was not in the flesh, but in the heart and the soul of man. Physically, Jesus did what no man could do. Spiritually, Jesus did what no man could do, and, that was to save our souls.
Jesus didn’t come here to make life easier. He came to give abundant life and that was spiritually through Him. Salvation, hope, and a redeeming relationship with our Father is Jesus’ greatest work. This is why His attention was upon people. He didn’t show us how to build taller buildings, but rather how to be taller people by walking by faith, forgiving others, and extending grace. He didn’t give insights into up coming inventions, but He showed us how to be servants, how to love all and how to the people of God.
When I read about the crippled man who was lowered through the roof, in front of Jesus, I wonder how many people in that crowded house saw that and thought, “I wish I had brought my crippled mother today.” And, yet, how many left that house, with a crippled heart? And, how many leave a Sunday worship service, still sick and still crippled on the inside? We so often pray for our co-workers, our friends and our neighbors who are having surgery and that’s a fine thing to do. But how rarely do we pray for their souls? So, a person survives the surgery only to later die without knowing Jesus? What good has that been? Jesus healed, but His focus and His attention was upon healing sick and diseased hearts that have become plagued with sin. Healing the body lasts for a short time. Healing the soul lasts for eternity.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.