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Daily Bible Reading (Wednesday, January 10th)

19

Matthew 8 (ESV)

 

Jesus Cleanses a Leper

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a lepera]">[a] came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesusb]">[b] stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.”And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

The Faith of a Centurion

When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him,“Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant,c]">[c] ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israeld]">[d] have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

Jesus Heals Many

14 And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever.15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.16 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”

The Cost of Following Jesus

18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

Jesus Calms a Storm

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Jesus Heals Two Men with Demons

28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes,e]">[e] two demon-possessedf]">[f] men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 8:2 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
  2. Matthew 8:3 Greek he
  3. Matthew 8:9 Or bondservant
  4. Matthew 8:10 Some manuscripts not even in Israel
  5. Matthew 8:28 Some manuscripts Gergesenes; some Gerasenes
  6. Matthew 8:28 Greek daimonizomai (demonized); also verse 33; elsewhere rendered oppressed by demons

19 Comments

Jesus said, you of little faith? I think about that and I trust him w all that I am... when fear tries to come over me I remember Fear not for I am w you always! Faith conquers

Thinking back on the sermon "Amazing Faith", regarding the faith of the Centurion. Thinking about His humility before Christ, his character towards his slaves, his recognition of Christ's authority and confidence in Christ's ability and character.

A high, high and lifted up view of Christ is what we need for amazing faith.

"Lord I believe, help my unbelief."

Praying we all grow in faith, and confidence in Jesus.

I'm encouraged to see the theme of faith. Jesus marvels that the centurion had "the assurance of the things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen", Heb 11:1.
When Jesus calms the storm, he chided the disciples for their little faith.
I want to more and more be increasing in my faith...that the promises spoken in the Word, and the character of God are so sure to me. Also, I'm encouraged that a growing and maturing faith leads to a difference in attitude and action (the difference between being afraid during a great storm vs being certain of the Lord's decree to come to pass)....Faith affects our everyday life.

Two words "Jesus marveled" make me have a great pause. To contemplate that The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator and Sustainer of all Universe, our Savior and Lord looks on one of His clay pots and marvels at his faith is an unbelievable truth to meditate on. It is an amazing thing to see what our Lord is pleased with and how He responded to the Centurion's great faith, humility and love by giving the Centurion what he asked for.

I was beautifully reminded in v. 2-3 how I too need to humbly bow before the Lord each night for cleansing of my daily sins and can be assured of those precious words "I am willing....Be clean" by our loving and gentle Savior.

They saw the miracles. They heard his words. The issue for them is the same issue for us though: Are we willing to follow him (vv. 18-22)? Are we going to believe in such a way that it causes us to place ourselves under his authority for the rest of our lives (vv. 8-10)?

There's so much to today's reading! Christ shows His deity by healing those around Him and calming a storm; yet, these same stories also show Christ's amazing love and compassion for us. The Centurion shows us what true faith looks like. And finally, the disciples show us what Jesus expects of His followers > obedience no matter what the circumstances. I pray my faith will be like that of the Centurion's so that I will be able to obey Christ even in the difficult circumstances.

I was struck by the humility of the centurion (Verse 8--I am not worthy). While we would be quick to agree that we are not worthy of salvation, that it is totally because of God's grace, not our works, how easy it is for spiritual pride to creep in. We can be deceived into subtly expecting God to bless us in certain ways because we are following Him, to feel that it isn't fair when we encounter difficulties or are mistreated. I am so thankful for a God that isn't fair (giving me the eternal punishment I deserve), but merciful.

Tommy and Martha - Matthew presents Jesus as the promised Messiah/King of Israel. Chapter 8 demonstrates the power of the King over everything. But He is not just the Savior for the Jews but also the Gentiles as many OT prophecies made clear and that is why so much of His ministry was focused in Galilee. The other side of the Sea of Galilee was predominantly Gentile. After Jesus cast out demons the other gospels tell us that the people were afraid. Having encountered Christ they wanted nothing to do with Him. They were more comfortable with the demon possessed people that they felt they could manage. So this chapter clearly shows Jesus as the King but it also shows that while many will trust Him (both Jew and Gentile) most will reject Him. The people of the Gadarenes are much like people today. They would prefer the way things are over submitting to Christ even though it is obvious who He is because they don't want to give things up for Him.

Theme Summary: After teaching on the mountain about the genuine faith of those in the kingdom of heaven, an unclean leper, gentile centurion, and many sick (examples of those outside Israel from east and west) express such faith in their Lord like Abraham and are healed, while many Israelite disciples and a scribe (sons of the kingdom) express little faith. Jesus warns that the many sons of the kingdom, who should have the most genuine faith, will be shown to be hypocrites and thrown into the outer darkness.

I noticed that after teaching on the Kingdom of his Father throughout the sermon on the mount, chapter 8 is where people first (and repeatedly) begin calling Jesus "Lord." Not everyone who calls him "Lord" will enter the Kingdom of heaven (as he just taught in the sermon). Some enter by the narrow gate, others seek a wider gate and either haven't considered the cost of following Jesus or seek an easier way.

I'm finding it fruitful to read this chapter in light of Jesus' sermon, but how the casting out demons at the end fits in is not as clear (Matt 8:28-34). Is this exemplifying something about not throwing your pearls before pigs (Matt 7:6) lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you? Jesus heals two demon possessed men, and the people want him to leave their region. That might be too thin though. Why did Matthew include this story right here?

If someone came along who could heal even demon possessed men, making the town much safer because nobody could pass that way before, then why would they chase him away??

I agree with Art. Jesus' command to follow him has no preconditions, just a total commitment TO him!

"Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" I must admit there are times when Christ's words ring true in my ear, although as I grow in faith I know He keeps me!

So glad that our Lord is willing and more than able to make us clean just like He did the leper. Jesus is worthy of all our trust and confidence and yet there are times when we are fearful like the disciples on the boat. Thankful that we have Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to show us the Savior and strengthen our trust in Him.

The centurion, who leads 100 men, clearly understands delegation of power and authority. What really strikes me is that he deeply cared for his servant, which were the lowliest of the low in that day. Even though he can have his slaves and soldiers do whatever he asks by giving them orders, he knew that Jesus could heal his servant by just saying the word. In yesterday's scripture (Matt 7:7) it says, "Ask, and it will be given to you", the centurion certainly had great faith that Jesus would do this. He was also sensitive to the fact that he felt unworthy for Jesus to go to the trouble for him as well as cultural tradition of a Jew not entering a Gentile house to avoid contamination. This centurion leads with humility and a focus on others, not being consumed with a title or his power. Such a great example.

I'm struck by Jesus's exhortation in v. 18, come follow me. No preconditions, just a total commitment to Jesus. That's what Jesus wants, that's what Jesus is worthy of, our total and unconditional commitment to follow him.

What an all mighty, powerful savior we have the privilege to serve. We need to set our eyes on Him and have faith so he can execute his plan and purpose for our lives. Jesus is our protector and provider and he gives us all we need. “ Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.“ Mt 7:7

The Creator and sustainer of the universe created this centurion and still marveled at his great faith! His faith was greater than anyone in Israel, and this centurion was a Gentile! As a centurion myself, this provides me incredible encouragement in so many ways. I’m so thankful for this passage for the centurion’s faith.

What kind of man is this? (V. 27)

God in the flesh. The One who spoke everything out of nothing. Perfect. Holy. Alll knowing. Alll powerful. And willing to leave Heaven to come to earth as a baby, face the temptation of Satan and the rejection of His people, to be tortured and hung on a cross all so that he could pay the price that was due for our sin and could conquer death and save those who hung him on the cross in the first place.

His request in verse 22 to "Follow Me" seems like a no-brainer in light of what kind of man he was and what kind of God he is.

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