(by Kirk Massey: Assistant Teacher of the Lighthouse)
I. Ground work: Matthew 8 – 9
1. In chapters 8 and 9, Matthew reported ten miracles. They are not given in chronological order, except the last four.
2. Why did Jesus perform miracles?
a. He wanted to meet human need’s, He is concerned about the temporal well-being of his creatures as well as their eternal happiness.
3. We shouldn’t separate ministry to the body and ministry to the soul, we must minister to the whole person.
Matthew 4:23-25 (NIV)
(23) Jesus went all over Galilee. He taught in the synagogues and spread the good news of the kingdom. He also cured every disease and sickness among the people. (24) The new about Jesus spread throughout Syria. People brought him everyone who was sick, those who suffered from any kind of disease or pain. They also brought epileptics, those who were paralyzed, and people possessed by demons, and he cured them ALL! (25) Large crowds followed him. They came from Galilee, the ten cities, Jerusalem, Judea, and from across the Jordan River.
4. This mentions teaching and preaching the good news of the kingdom, healing EVERY disease and sickness, this news spread like wildfire.
5. These actions were ADDED credentials to prove His claim as the Messiah of Israel.
6. The Jews required a sign
1 Cor. 1:22 NIV
Jews ask for miraculous signs, and Greeks look for wisdom.
7. While miracles of themselves are not proof that a man has been sent by God they do add weight to Jesus claim, especially if His character and conduct are godly.
a. Even Satan can perform miracles
2Thess. 2:9 NIV
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.
8. The Jews were looking for a super warrior, a conquering KING with many signs and wonders. They expected the Messiah to restore David’s throne, but instead he was executed as a criminal. How could a criminal be the Messiah-Savior? The Greeks considered the gospel foolish. They didn’t believe in a bodily resurrection, they didn’t see the mythological power of their gods in him.
(18) In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of the gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
(19) Once more the humble will rejoice in the Lord: the needy will rejoice In the Holy One of Israel.
(4)Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong do not fear: your God will come he will come with vengeance: with divine retribution he will come to save you.” (5) Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstop. (6) Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.
10. Matthew 8:17 indicates that what the prophet Isaiah had said came true: HE took away our weaknesses and removed our diseases. This verse refers us to Isaiah 53:4 (He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases). Paraphrased: How could an Old Testament person understand the idea of Christ dying for our sins, actually bearing the punishment that we deserved? Sacrifices suggested this idea, but it is one thing to kill a lamb, and something quite different to think of God’s chosen servant as the Lamb. But, God pulled aside the curtain of time to let the people of Isaiah’s day look ahead to the suffering of the future Messiah and the resulting forgiveness made available to ALL mankind!!
11. In Matt 11:1-5, Jesus referred John the Baptist followers whom John sent to ask Jesus if he is really the Messiah. Jesus points to acts of healing the blind, deaf, lame, and healing curing the lepers, raising the dead, and preaching the good news to all including the poor!
12. These same signs and wonders would be the credentials of his followers in their ministries.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons, FREELY you have received, FREELY give.
13. Side note: In (Matt 10:5-7), These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: Do Not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. (6) Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. (7) As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. MAYBE the Gentiles and Samaritans were picking up on something the Jews were not?
14. If you ever doubt your salvation, the forgiveness of your sins, or God’s work in your life, look at the evidence in scripture and the change in your life. When you doubt, don’t turn away for God turn to Him.
15. Jesus had compassion and credentials up to this point. A third reason for miracles was His concern to reveal saving truth to people. The miracles were “sermons in action”.
16. Nicodemus was even impressed (John 3:1-2). He was a member of the ruling council. He told Jesus that he knew he was a teacher sent from God. No one can perform such miracles unless God was with him.
17. It is worth mentioning that five of these miracles were performed in Capernaum and yet the city rejected Jesus.
Matt 11:23 (NIV)
And you, Capernaum, will you go to heaven? NO, you will go down to hell! If the miracles that had been worked in you had been worked in Sodom, it would still be there today.
18. The rejection of Jesus by Israel fulfilled Old Testament prophecy.
John 12: 37-41 (NIV)
(37) Although they had seen Jesus perform so many miracles, they wouldn’t believe in him. (38) In this way the words of the prophet Isaiah came true: “Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord’s power been revealed?” (39) So the people couldn’t believe because, as Isaiah also said, (40) God blinded them and made them close-minded so that their eyes don’t see and their minds don’t understand. And they never turn to me for healing!” (41) Isaiah said this is because he had seen Jesus’ glory and had spoken about him.
19. Like the judgments against Egypt in Moses day, the miracles of the Lord were judgments in Israel, for the people had to face facts and make decisions.
20. The religious leaders had decided Jesus was working for Satan. (Matt 9:31-34; 12:24)
21. One thing is certain: Jesus did not perform miracles to “get a crowd.” He usually avoided crowds. Time after time Jesus instructed those whom He had healed, to not talk too much. (Matt. 8:4, 18; 9:30: Luke 8:56). He did not want people trusting him simply on the basis of spectacular deeds. Faith must be based on His Word.
Rom. 10:17 NIV
(17 )So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.
Miracles demonstrating the power of the KING!
First: A Man with a skin disease.
1. Leapers, Gentiles, and women were considered outcast by many Jewish people, especially the Pharisees. Many Pharisees would pray each morning. “I give thanks that I am a man and not a women, a Jew and not a Gentile, a freeman and not a slave.”
2. The first case of a man with a skin disease is the healing of the man with Leprosy in Matt 8:1-3. Jesus had just come down from the mountain and this man approached him knelt down before Jesus and said “LORD if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Leprosy was the name for many skin related infections some of which were contagious. If a person contracted a contagious form then a priest would banish them as a leper from their home and city. They were sent to a community until they died or got better. (Now, what were the chances of getting better?). They would be forced to live apart from others and would have to cry UNCLEAN, UNCLEAN when anyone approached, so they would not be defiled.
3. Jesus was not afraid. He reached out and touched the man even though the man’s skin was covered with the dreaded disease.
4. Lev 13: 1-46 goes into great detail about skin diseases from the head to the toes.
5. When Jesus touched the leper, He contracted the leper’s defilement, BUT He also conveyed his health! This is what he did for us on the cross when He was made sin for us.
2Cor. 5:21 NIV
God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we mighty receive God’s approval through him.
6. The leaper did not question Jesus ability to heal: he only wondered if Jesus was willing.
1Timothy 2:4 (NIV)
(4) God wants all people to be saved and to learn the truth.
7. Jesus commanded the man to tell no one but to go directly to the priests and have him declare him clean and fit for society.
8. Now, this involved a very strict ceremony which is described in Leviticus 14. This is a picture of Christ’s work for sinners. The bird slain is the death of Christ, the bird released is the resurrection. Putting the bird in a jar is the Incarnation, when Christ took a human body that he might die for us. The application of the blood to the ear, thumb, and toe illustrates the need for personal faith in Jesus death. The oil on the blood reminds us of the Spirit of God, who enters the person when he trusts the Savior.
9. We all know the man did exactly opposite and told everyone (and we keep quiet).
10. Mark 1:45 tells us this caused such a ruckus that Jesus had to avoid the city but the crowds followed him anyway.
Second: Centurion’s Servant.
1. (Matt 8:5-13) The Centurion commander came to Jesus and asked him to heal his servant. Now let’s think about this for a minute.
2. Centurions were known to be gentlemen of high character. The fact that he even cared about a lowly servant-boy indicates this. This man would have been in charge of 100 soldiers.
3. He was a Gentile, a soldier, a man of war. Jesus was a Jew and a man of peace.
4. Jesus told him he would go with him to his house and heal his servant, however the Centurion understood Jesus AUTHORITY and told him only to speak the words and he knew his servant would be healed.
5. Jesus was amazed by this man’s FAITH and commented he had not seen such FAITH anywhere in Israel.
6. Jesus also explained to the crowd following him that many will be thrown out of Heaven due to their lack of FAITH!
7. Jesus told the Centurion to GO and told him that what you believe will be done, and at that moment the servant was healed.
8. This was an early sign that Gentiles would believe but the Jews would not.
Third: Peters Mother-in-law Healed.
1. Matt 8: 14-18 – Jesus had gone to Peter’s house and saw his mother in law in bed with fever, he simply touched her head. The fever left and she got up and prepared a meal for all that were there.
2. There isn’t much detail here; no big parade or anything, just the simple power of the King being displayed in a very simple way. However look at what it caused to happen.
3. A blessing in the home should lead to a blessing in the whole community!
4. While Jesus was there they brought many sick and he healed them all and cast out all the demon’s that were in many that were brought to him.
5. Matthew saw this as a fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4 Jesus fulfilled prophecy in (His life and during his ministry on earth).
6. The people involved in these three miracles all had a need for peace, and Jesus provided it.
Fourth: Calming the Sea.
1. (Matt 8: 23-27) The Sea of Galilee is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. It wasn’t unusual for violent storms to suddenly appear.
2. Jesus knew the storm was coming however, and this would be a teaching opportunity for his disciples.
3. Jesus was asleep and his disciples woke him up in fear for their lives. Jesus was asleep because he had faith in his father God and knew nothing would happen.
4. The disciples accused Jesus of not caring and he rebuked them for their LITTLE FAITH in contrast with the GREAT FAITH the Gentile Centurion had shown.
5. Jesus spoke to the waters and wind and they immediately became calm. The disciples again were amazed. They had been with him for some time now and yet they cried “what matter of man is this that even the sea and the wind obey him.”
Fifth: Two Demon Possessed Men.
1. (Matt 8: 28-34) Two demon possessed men approached him from out of the tombs. They knew He was the Son of God. No one could travel this road as these two men were too dangerous.
2. This shows us Satan robs men of sanity, self-control, and fills them with fear. It shows us also that society restrains, isolates, and threatens these types of cases all the while unable to change them.
3. (Matt 8: 29) They shouted, “Why are you bothering us now, SON OF GOD? Did you come here to torture us before it is time.”
4. Now these were fallen angels who were thrown out of heaven with Satan. Never discount that they have great destructive powers and are under Satan’s control. They use these powers to tempt people to sin, and are VERY GOOD at it.
5. They knew Jesus was going to cast them out and asked to be placed in a heard of pigs that was near. Now, we don’t know how many demons were in these two men; it most likely was many more than two. Jesus told them to GO!!!!!
6. Christ came to them and even braved a storm to help them. He will do this for anyone who reaches out to Him.
7. The demons immediately entered the pigs and they all ran off the cliff. The ones watching over the pigs went to town and told everyone what has happened.
8. Everyone from the city went to meet Jesus, and they asked him to leave their territory.
9. HOW SAD for these people. What else could He have done in this place? Mark 5: 18-20 shows one of these men asked to become a disciple but Jesus sent him home to be a witness. Christian service must begin at home.
There were three prayer’s in this event (1) the demons besought Jesus to send them into the pigs. (2) The citizens besought Jesus to leave, and (3) The one man besought Jesus to let him follow him.
Sixth: Healing of a Paralyzed Man.
1. (Matt 9: 1-8) This Miracle addresses two issues: one, the man’s sin and two, the man’s condition. Jesus was amazed at the faith of the man’s four friends.
2. Jesus in verse 2 tells the man your sins are forgiven. This really upset the scribes they said Jesus was dishonoring God.
3. Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked them “Is it easier for forgive a man’s sin or to say Get up and walk?”
4. Jesus was making the point that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.
5. He then told the man to pick up his bed and walk. The man did exactly that.
6. More importantly than the healing of this man’s body was the cleansing of his heart.
Seventh and Eighth: Synagogue Leader’s Daughter, and the Woman with Bleeding.
1. (Matt 9: 18-26) Jairus was the synagogue leader, a devout Jew. His daughter was dead and he came and knelt at Jesus feet. He knew only Jesus could intervene.
2. This would have to have been very hard as the other religious leaders were opposing him.
3. Jarius was responsible for administration of the synagogue which included “looking after the building, supervising worship, running the school, finding rabbis to teach.”
4. Christ can make a difference when it seems too late for anyone else to help!
5. Now, this woman with the 12 year bleeding issue was only trying to get to Jesus and touch Him. She believed and had the FAITH that all she needed to do was touch Jesus and she would be healed.
6. When she touched Jesus, she was immediately healed and Jesus knew the power had left His body. He turned and told her and everyone around her that her FAITH had healed her.
7. Now due to the woman’s healing this delayed Jesus arrival to Jarius house and in the process he was informed his daughter had died.
8. Jesus told Jarius to only believe; have FAITH and his daughter would be healed. So, they proceeded to his home.
9. When they arrived, Jesus told all the people that were mourning to leave the girl. She was only sleeping. They all laughed at him. He made them all leave the house, but no one laughed when Jesus brought the girl back to life. Jesus simply took her by the hand and she got up.
Ninth: Healing Two Blind Men.
1. (Matt 9: 27-31) These 2 men called out to Jesus addressing him by the title “Son of David”. This was the popular way to address Jesus as the Messiah because it was known that the Messiah would be a descendent of David. (Isaiah 9:7) Jesus ability to give sight to the blind was prophesied in (Isaiah 29: 18, 35:5, and 42:7.)
2. Jesus didn’t respond immediately to them but when Jesus had gone inside they came to him. This was a test to see if they had FAITH. Jesus asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said, “Yes Lord.”
3. Jesus touched their eyes and said “According to your FAITH will it be done to you”. Their sight was restored.
4. He told them to not tell anyone but again they went out and told all.
Tenth: Healing of a Demon Possessed Man.
1. (Matt 9: 32-34) As they were leaving some people brought a man that was demon possessed and was unable to speak due to the demon. Demons were very active while Jesus was here on earth.
2. Jesus drove the demon out and the crowds were amazed.
1. Jesus was a Healer as well as our Deliverer.
2. He also taught and preached.
3. He cannot do it all alone today. He needs help and guess who that help comes from now?
a. It comes from “US”.