Summary: Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law and drives out demons. A discussion of how Jesus fulfilled Messianic prophecy.
We’re in a series from Matthew studying the Parables and Miracles of Jesus. Every time you come to church you can be sure that the main theme is Jesus. And remember, there’s a parable in every miracle and a miracle in every parable.
Today we’re going to look at some of the healing miracles of Jesus. One Sunday, a pastor asked, “Does anyone need special prayer?” Old Frank stood up and said, “Pastor will you pray for my hearing?” The pastor motioned for Frank to walk down to the front of the church and when Frank arrived, the preacher slapped both of his palms over Frank’s ears and began to pray in a loud voice, “Dear Lord, restore Frank’s hearing. In Jesus’ name Amen!” Then the preacher said, “Well, Frank, how is your hearing now?” Frank was a little startled and he finally said, “I don’t know preacher, my hearing isn’t until next Wednesday at the courthouse!”
We sometimes misunderstand what others really need, but Jesus knows exactly what you need today, and He is STILL performing miracles.
Matthew 8:14-17. “When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our infirmities and carried our diseases.’”
There are a variety of miracles in this passage. We don’t know much about Simon Peter’s family, but we know he was married, because his mother-in-law was ill and Jesus healed her. Ron Dunn used to say that’s probably why Peter later denied the Lord three times! In addition to that specific miracle, Jesus cast out demons and healed the sick. Some people say all sickness is due to demonic influence, but that’s not true. Our text says Jesus drove out demons and healed the sick. Just because you have the flu doesn’t mean you are under demonic attack. But other than the miracles of healing and liberation from demons, there is a MAJOR miracle in this passage that you might miss unless you are looking for it.
I. THE MIRACLE OF FULFILLMENT
After Matthew reported these various miracles he wrote, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘He took our infirmities and carried our diseases.’” (Matthew 8:17) Fifteen times in Matthew we read that exact phrase, “This was to fulfill what was written.” Matthew quotes the Old Testament 36 times in his 28 chapters—far more than Mark, Luke, or John. Don’t forget, Matthew was a tax collector before he became a disciple. As a CPA, his job was to reconcile columns of figures. As he wrote his account of Jesus’ life, he was comparing two columns: On one side were the Old Testament predictions about the Messiah, and on the other side were the details of Jesus’ life. As an accounting type, he couldn’t miss the fact the two columns agreed!
(1) There are over 40 Messianic prophecies Jesus has already fulfilled
A Messianic prophecy is a passage in the Old Testament that predicts things about the life of the coming Messiah, the King of Kings. Some scholars suggest there are around 300 Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, but some of the passages are open to debate about whether they are about the Messiah. So that’s why I’m using the conservative number of forty. For instance, the Old Testament predicted the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and Daniel even predicted when He would be born. The prophecies predicted that in an attempt to kill Him, there would be a slaughter of innocent children, and the young Messiah would be taken to Egypt. It was predicted the Messiah would be betrayed by a friend for exactly 30 pieces of silver. And centuries before crucifixion was even invented, the Old Testament predicted the Messiah’s hands and feet would be pierced, but none of His bones would be broken. I don’t have time in this message to report all the fulfilled prophecies, but if you’re interested in seeing a list, I’ve posted one on my September 1 blog at www.daviddykes.com.
The fact that Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled these prophecies is powerful evidence that the Bible is a supernatural book and Jesus is who He claimed to be—the Son of the Living God. Why? Because the odds of one person randomly fulfilling 40 predictions about the details of their life are astronomical! To help you understand the science of probability, let’s use a coin as an example. If I flip a coin, what are the odds of it coming up heads? 1 in 2 chances. But then what are the odds that I can flip it and it will be heads twice in a row? 1 chance in 4. The odds of getting three heads in a row are 1 in 8. To jump ahead, do you know what the odds are of getting 10 heads in a row? 1 chance in 1,024. But watch how the probability changes. The odds of getting 20 heads in a row are 1 chance in 1,048,576!