Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Matthew Chapter 8

This chapter begins a section of Matthew’s Gospel that is sometimes referred to as Jesus’s Ministry and Mission in Galilee. It runs until chapter 11 when the focus changes yet again. But for the time being, we begin to see Jesus doing things: exercising his ministry: healing, calling disciples, forgiving sins and teaching. In chapter 8 we have five healing pericopes (scenes) and then the famous pericope of Jesus calming the storm.

There seems to be this tension between the visible signs of Jesus healing those who come to him, and the fact that his disciples are still struggling with believing who Jesus is (vv. 23-27). This is something that we will see often as we explore the Gospels, especially in the person of Peter who lives in nearly constant flux between faith and doubt.  But we’ll tackle this in due time.

Notice Jesus’s interaction with those that come to him for healing. Notice his generosity and yet his desire for them to draw closer to God who is the one who accomplishes the healing (vv. 2-4, 13). The last healing pericope (vv. 28-34) is an interesting one. We see Jesus healing two sick people and then the people of the village asking Jesus to leave their town… that’s kind of weird.

Point for Prayer
Click here and listen to a great song by Hillsong United called “Still”. Life is stormy, crazy, hectic- can’t do much about that. Jesus’s recommendation: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10).

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