Tag: Matthew 8

Faith, love, and authority!

Scripture reading for January 12th:  Matthew 8

Key Scripture:  Matthew 8:13  “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go, It will be done just as you believed it would.”  And his servant was healed at that very hour.”  

Rome had placed units of their army in Judea and Galilee to keep peace and protect the land from insurrection.  A Roman centurion was a commander of a hundred men and was under direction of military officers.  The centurion in this story came to Jesus out of deep concern for a servant of his that was paralyzed.   He had evidently heard about Jesus’ ability to heal and came believing in Him.  After Jesus agreed to go and heal the servant, the centurion told Him not to bother coming but to just speak the word!  Jesus was amazed at this Gentile’s faith!  He simply told him to go and it would be done as he believed!  The results were immediate!

As we walk through this year, we will face many difficult situations and attacks of the enemy against us and our loved ones.  Jesus is honored as we call on Him and believe in the authority of His powerful Word!  Let’s make Jesus marvel at our faith each day as we ask and believe for the miraculous!

Observations for over-comers:  Let your compassion for hurting people move you to ask Jesus to heal and to claim His Word as authority over the attacks of Satan!  “. . .and call on Me in the day of trouble;  I will deliver you, and you will honor Me.”  (Psalm 50:15)

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Will you follow Jesus “wherever”?

Scripture reading for January 12th, 2014:  Matthew 8

“When Jesus saw the crowd around Him, He gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake.  Then a teacher of the law came to Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”  Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.”  Another disciple said to Him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”  But Jesus told him, “follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.””  Matthew 8:18-22

Two different men approached Jesus desiring to follow Him as apprentices.  Far from recruiting them and promising them fame and fortune for their willingness to learn, Jesus came back at them with strong statements of truth.  The first man was willing to follow Jesus “wherever” He would go. This man was told by Jesus that He had no place to go and stay.   Would he be willing to give up a home and it’s comforts to follow Him into the unknown?    Was this man willing to live by faith and trust Jesus for the future?

The second man asked Jesus for a leave of absence to bury his father.  We are not told if the father was sick and his death imminent or if this was a matter of this man waiting on time and chance to fulfill the obligation to care for his family.  Jesus firmly told him to come now!  Someone would always be there to bury the dead!  His was a ministry to those who wanted eternal life and urgency was required!  Check your own heart today!  Are you willing to follow Jesus “wherever” and “now”?

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Jesus, Please Leave!

Scripture reading for January 9th: Matthew 8, Psalm 7:1-9, Proverbs 2:12-15

Jesus had just left a fruitful place of ministry in Capernaum in Peter’s house where he healed many sick and cast out numerous demons.   The Holy Spirit led Jesus to cross the Sea of Galilee to a region known as Gadarenes.  This was Gentile territory and the people there raised lots of pigs.  But it wasn’t for the pigs that Jesus went!

On His way there with the disciples, they encountered a severe storm on the water that threatened to capsize their boat.  Even the experienced fishermen among the group were frantic, and awoke Jesus from his sleep in the bow of the boat.  Jesus stood up and rebuked the storm and a great calm settled over the sea.  He also rebuked the disciples for their lack of faith.  (Matthew 8:24-27)  They were amazed at His authority and wondered who He really was.

Upon arrival, the disciples and Jesus were greeted by two men who were demon possessed.  These men came out of a cemetery and spoke directly to Jesus, addressing Him as the “Son of God”.  It is interesting to note that the devil knew Jesus and recognized Him when the disciples were still wondering!  These evil spirits also knew that Jesus had authority over them and begged Jesus to at least send them into a large herd of pigs grazing nearby.  Jesus did not dialogue with these spirits, but simply said, “Go!”  Their exodus caused the pigs to rush headlong over a steep bank into the sea and all were drowned.

Mark tells the story in a little different manner giving more details than Matthew.  Mark tells of one man whose name was “Legion” for the many demons in him.  Mark also numbers the pigs, saying that there were nearly 2000 in that herd!  As Jesus was leaving, the man who was delivered begged to follow Jesus in his boat, but Jesus sent him back to share with his family and the region what God had done for him.  (Mark 5:11-20)

The saddest part of this story is the people of that town’s reaction to this man’s deliverance.  They came to Jesus and begged Him to leave their region!  The loss of their pigs was more important than the freedom of one or two souls from the devil’s grasp!  How would you respond if you were a character in this story?

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