Summary: More than two thousand years later Jesus is still in the healing business.
A Messiah Who Cares
Text: Matt. 15:29-31
1. Illustration: One scholar has written that "in all three sections of the Jewish Scriptures... the image of Yahweh as healer is present as a central aspect of God's relationship to the covenant people" (Purdy, Systematic Theology).
2. Exodus 15:26 (NLT) "...for I am the Lord who heals you.”
3. There are two great truths about God's healing.
a. Jesus heals because he cares.
b. Jesus Is Worthy of Worship Because He Heals
4. Read Matt. 15:29-31
Proposition: More than two thousand years later Jesus is still in the healing business.
Transition: How do we know that Jesus heals?
I. Jesus Heals Because He Cares (29-30).
A. He Healed Them All
1. In our text today, we see Jesus leaving the Tyre and Sidon and going back to the Sea of Galilee.
2. Matthew tells us, "Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee..."
a. But to which side of the Sea of Galilee did he go? If to the west, he was in Jewish Galilee; if to the east, in predominantly Gentile Decapolis.
b. Could it be that Matthew simply does not care about where Jesus was at this point?
c. No; the evidence suggests rather that he assumes it.
d. The clause "they praised the God of Israel" (v. 31) could be naturally said only by Gentiles (Carson, Expositor's Bible Commentary).
3. Matthew also points out that when Jesus got there he "...climbed a hill and sat down."
a. When Jesus climbed that hill it was not to rest, but to work.
b. That Jesus "sat down" does not mean that he kept sitting. The same verb is used in Luke 24:49 when Jesus told his disciples to "stay here" in Jerusalem.
c. What is being expressed here is that Jesus stayed there a few days (Horton, 330).
d. He went there because he knew that there were people there who had serious needs, and that He was the only one who could meet those needs.
e. More importantly, however, Jesus went there because He cared about their needs.
4. As He sat down there on the hill, "A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others..."
a. The people there quickly assembled the lame, blind, handicapped, and those sick from various diseases.
b. Brought is from a Greek word which means to cast or throw down in haste but not carelessly.
c. They could not reach Jesus too quickly or get too close. The crowd eventually numbered "four thousand men, besides women and children" (15:38), and therefore could have totaled as many as twenty thousand.
d. We do not know how many of that number had come for healing, but it must have been many hundreds and perhaps several thousand. (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).
5. Matthew says that as they did, "They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all."
a. They all came to receive the healing touch of Jesus.
b. It didn't seem to make a difference who the people were. According to verse 32, He did this for three days (Horton, 331).
c. Jesus allowed the people to bring their needs. He was approachable.
d. He treated no one as an outcast. No one was too repulsive, vile, vulgar, dirty, ugly, deformed, maimed, lost, or needy for Him to help—if they would only come to Him.
e. Jesus met their needs, healing everyone—every kind of sickness and suffering, both physical and spiritual.
f. What we need to see though is the significance of the word itself.
g. Healed: to cause someone to recover health, often with the implication of having taken care of such a person (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
h. Jesus didn't do it for notoriety or fame; he didn't do it for accolades or money; he did it because he cared for them.
B. We Are Healed!
1. Illustration: Dwight Morrow, the father of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, once held a dinner party to which Calvin Coolidge had been invited. After Coolidge left, Morrow told the remaining guests that Coolidge would make a good president. The others disagreed. They felt Coolidge was too quiet, that he lacked color and personality. No one would like him, they said. Anne, then age six, spoke up: "I like him," she said. Then she displayed a finger with a small bandage around it. "He was the only one at the party who asked about my sore finger." "And that's why he would make a good president."
2. Jesus paid the price for our healing.
a. Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.