After delivering the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus comes down the mountain and engages a variety of people in Kingdom ministry. These 9 stories from Matthew 8 and 9 are intentionally compiled and arranged by Matthew in order to paint a picture of Jesus and the people He pursues. The "People of the King" reveal the purpose and personality of the King. Watch as Jesus touches, heals, and speaks His powerful word to those who desperately need His merciful grace. Matthew invites us all to discover a Jesus far greater than many presume. For in these people and their stories, we find the gospel in flesh and blood.
In this passage, Matthew's goal is to communicate the two-fold purpose of Jesus' healing ministry: the establishment of both His authority and His compassion. His is a power like none other submitted to the Father and used to extend grace, mercy and life. Though He has ultimate authority, He is not an authoritarian. And, as His people, we experience life at its fullest when we are in full submission to His lordship and participate in the work that He is ripening among the harvest at hand.
Rounding out the last and final of Matthew's story triads, Jesus raises the dead, heals a bleeding woman, restores sight to the blind, and looses a mute man's tongue. Compared to the other story sets and especially with the other gospel writers, Matthew's account is short, abbreviated and lacking many of the finer details. But why? As Matthew describes the ministry of Jesus, he continues to zoom in and frame an essential aspect of Jesus' person and ministry. It's this news and Jesus' fame that spreads like wildfire through the region. And may it continue.
In the 2nd of Matthew’s story triads, Jesus calms the sea, casts out demons, and forgives the paralytic. In each of these Jesus is doing what only the Divine can do. Even more than being a Master Teacher or a Healing Messiah, Jesus is demonstrating that He is God in the flesh. What happens when God shows up? And how do we follow Him? As Matthew will show us, God shows up in the most unlikely way- around the table with tax collectors and sinners who are called to follow Him.
In the first of Matthew's story triads, Jesus heals a leper, a Roman centurion and the Apostle Peter's mother-in-law. Using different means and methods, Jesus demonstrates his ability to heal all sorts of issues among a most unlikely sort. However, even more than just demonstrating His power, each scene provides a powerful message about Jesus and his Messiah mission for us all.