A Study Of Matthew | Chapter 8 | @solomonsporchp1
In Chapter 8 we start to see the authority of Christ in action.
Verses 1-4 After all this time teaching with authority people began to go to Jesus with their problems. Many already had faith because faith comes by hearing, and hearing the Word of God. Romans 10: 17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Leprosy was all inclusive of any kind of skin disease. People were afraid of transferable diseases that could be contracted through merely touching another person. Notice the man says, “if you are willing.” We can remember in the Lord’s prayer when Jesus told us to pray, “your will be done.” This man may have viewed Jesus as God or at least having the authority of God. After Jesus healed the man he told him to go and follow the Jewish law of letting the priest examine him and make the appropriate offering required for a person who has been healed of leprosy.
Verses 5-13 There was a roman officer (or centurion) who recognized Jesus’ authority over the things in this world. Jews often hated centurions because of the authority they had over them. This officer understood that Jesus only had to speak to the illness of his servant and the command would travel to the servant from where he was standing. Jesus then told the people that this non-follower had more faith than he had seen up to this point because he believed in the authority of Christ and understood it. This situation also shows that Jesus meets us where our faith lies. We often see Jesus meeting people at their level of faith. This is one of those many examples. Jesus then talks about gentiles being seated next to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven. This fulfills Genesis 18:18, 18 “For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him.
Verses 14-17 We are given the fact that Peter was married because Jesus healed his mother-in-law. As soon as she was healed she served Jesus. Then many people started to come around for healing. His commands sent the demons and sickness away. This fulfilled Isaiah 53:4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried;
it was our sorrows[a] that weighed him down.
This meant Yet it was our sicknesses he carried; it was our diseases.
Verses 18-22 One of the leaders were telling Jesus that he would follow him anywhere. What Jesus said had two explanations. One fact was that he had no place to lay his head. He did not get too comfortable where he was. The other meaning for head was headship. Foxes ruled the dens and birds ruled the sky. It wasn’t just a place to live or sleep. This was a place of authority. Jesus didn’t have a body to lead to this point. His place of “head” was not yet formed. He had to go to the cross for that to take place. Was this man ready to follow Jesus to the cross? Are we, if need be? I do not think Jesus was telling us that we would have to go through all these terrible things, but we need to be certain we could if it happened. One of the highest religious duties in Judaism was burying their dead parents as a part of “honoring their mother and father.” We can not get so caught up in religious practices that we miss our opportunity to really serve Christ. We see the pharisees having this problem often throughout the ministry of Christ. They formed traditions in the name of the law and were holding everyone to it as the law itself. We can often fall into this ourselves if we are not careful.
Verses 23-27 While Jesus and his disciples were on the boat Jesus went to rest. When the storm began to raise up Jesus was still resting. He knew they would be okay. While Jesus was sleeping the disciples were terrified because some of the waves were spilling into the boat. Sometimes the troubles of the world can spill into our lives, but we must still find rest in Jesus. When they woke Jesus up he asked why they had so little faith? They had heard Jesus teachings and seen him work. He had been showing them that with faith they can do the work he has also taught them to do. So he calms the winds and the waves to ease them. Jesus did not just calm the storm he rebuked the cause of the storm. Jesus is showing that we should address the things that cause the major problems and we should learn to address those.
Verses 28- 34 There were men possessed by demons. Sometimes what people thought were demon possession could have been epilepsy or other medical conditions that were got rid of because of the healing power of Christ. In this scenario it was truly a demon possession because the demons asked Jesus if he was coming to send them to cast them out before the appointed time. This time referenced is the end times. Demons are eternal beings so they understand everything that is going to happen in eternity and when it will happen. Demons are here to steal, kill, and destroy. This is why as soon as they were cast in to the pigs, they ran off the cliff and drowned in the water. After this the whole town was terrified of Jesus because they did not understand what he was able to do. Any other idol they formed they could contain one way or another. They could not restrict Jesus, therefore they could not control him. We often become scared to follow Jesus and let him lead then end up dismissing him and doing it without listening to the Holy Spirit. We must remain faithful to Him even if we can’t make sense of what is going on around us or if we don’t understand what he may be doing in that moment.