Summary: This is one in a series of messages dealing with some OT prophesies about the ministry of the coming Messiah. In this message, we learn that this baby who was born on Christmas has a ministry of healing in our lives. He’s the sun of righteousness who ha
He is your Healer
Series: What’s the big deal about a little baby?
Text: Malachi 4:1-3
This week, we’re beginning a new Christmas series of OT prophecies about Jesus. We’re calling it “What’s the big deal about a little baby?” Next Sunday we’ll see that “He is your Counselor.” On December 15, “He is Your Light.” On the 22nd, “He is your Shepherd.”
Today’s focus is in Malachi 4. A great British pastor, John Gill, once wrote, “This chapter contains… the happiness of the righteous by the coming of the Messiah.” See if you can see the prophecy about the coming of the Messiah…
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.
You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.
Is the Christ of Christmas in Malachi? Yes. Malachi didn’t see all the details we now see about the first coming of Jesus. He didn’t know that the Messiah would come twice; first, as a Lamb to die for our sins and second, as a Lion to rule and reign forever. Prophets like Malachi painted with broad strokes. The details about the two comings were revealed in the NT. We stand in the middle of this prophecy because we live between the first and second coming of Christ.
But Malachi’s prophecy contained truths about both comings. His predictions began to be fulfilled at the first Christmas. Is Christmas in Malachi? Yes! If you fast forward to the NT – to the time around the birth of Jesus, you’ll see a reference to Malachi 4:2 in Luke 1:78.
The Sunrise from on high will visit us, to shine upon those who sit in darkness… Luke 1:78b-79a
With the coming of Jesus, the sun of righteousness was rising. And Jesus has been rising all over this world ever since. One day the sun will reach high noon and Jesus will appear in glory. And our healing will be full and final.
This morning, let’s think together about how Jesus becomes our Healer. We’ll explore three big ideas today…
My healing will come when I…
1. … grow in my fear of God.
The fear of God. We don’t value that too much today. In fact, if you go to a secular psychologist and they find out that you fear God, they will work hard to rid you of that fear. But everywhere in God’s word, the fear of God is a good thing! Back in Malachi 1 we can see that God likes God-fearing men and women, girls and boys.
For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts and my name is feared among the nations.
It’s in our verse for today. Do you see it?
But for you who fear My name…
All the blessings of Jesus as Healer start when we fear God. Do you really fear God?
Mariah Carey caused a stir last year after a spontaneous striptease on MTV’s Total Request Live. I don’t know her. I can’t look inside her soul. But listen to what she says and ask yourself, “Do I sense that the fear of God is in her life?” Carey seemed stunned that people would be offended about her striptease act. “I’m like, it’s Total Request Live, I thought you were supposed to feel at home and do stupid stuff. I’m not going to stop being me because people don’t get me. The only thing I wish I had done is had a better camera angle.”
What does it mean to fear His name? You may have heard that expression before and misunderstood it.
… a “run from” fear.
When we talk about the “fear” of God, we’re not talking cowering in a corner, terrified. No, the word “fear” is a positive thing – not something that makes us cower, but something that makes us courageous.
… a “run to” fear.
The fear of God leads us to honor God rather than hide from God, to respect Him rather than run from Him. The fear of God causes us not to be afraid of Him but to be available to Him. It’s “fear” as in “respect.” It’s “fear” that recognizes the judgment and the justice of God.
An overly strict, uncaring, harsh high school principal might plant a “run from” fear in his students. But a principal who’s strict yet caring, who’s just but merciful, who disciplines yet loves can plant a “run to” fear in his students.