Summary: A look at the peculiar phrase in Matthew 8:17 that Jesus "took up our infirmities and carried our diseases." It's an easy phrase to overlook, but what exactly does that mean?
WHAT DOES VERSE 17 SAY? It tells us that Jesus “received our sicknesses” and that he “bore our diseases.”
- Matthew 8:17.
- We read right past that phrase without thinking about it, but when you pause on it there is a peculiarity to it. What exactly does that mean?
- I want to stop and think about it for a moment.
- In what sense did He receive our sickness? In what sense did He bear our diseases?
- We usually think of the work of Christ on the cross in terms of spiritual impact. We don’t think of it usually as far as sickness and disease.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? Jesus apparently not only died for spiritual sin, but also took the physical implications of sin upon Himself.
- Isaiah 53:3-5, 10-12; Matthew 8:17.
- This chapter up to here has focused on physical healings and spiritual healings:
a. vv. 1-4 – Physical healing of leprosy.
b. vv. 5-13 – Physical healing of paralysis.
c. vv. 14-15 – Physical healing of fever.
d. v. 16a – Spiritual healing of demons.
e. v. 16b – Physical healings of “all the sick.”
- The repeated focus has been on physical healing.
- It is following those statements that this verse is quoted, so the focus is clearly on physical healing.
- We also see this as we study the passage that Matthew quotes from.
- Points to consider out of Isaiah 53:
a. v. 4 – This is the quoted verse from the passage in Matthew 8.
b. v. 3 – He was familiar with suffering.
c. v. 5 – This is a more traditional thought, having to do with our sinfulness.
d. v. 12 – He bore the sin of many.
e. v. 10 – This suffering was the Lord’s will. Why? Because it was the only way to bring our healing.
f. v. 10 – His suffering will prolong our lives. How long? Eternal life.
g. v. 11 – After the suffering, He will see the light of life and be satisfied.
h. v. 11 – He justifies many and bears their iniquities.
- Going back to the Matthew 8 idea for a second, it appears that Jesus also took the physical dimensions of the Fall upon Himself as well: disease, sickness, and death.
- This is something we usually don’t think about in that way.
- We think of sin being placed upon Him, but we don’t usually think about the global implications of sin also being something that He had to bear.
- It does make sense, though. For sin to be taken away, all of sin would have to atoned for.
WHAT ARE THE PHYSICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THIS ACT?
1. The first thing to understand is that the healing miracles are signs.
- Matthew 8:14-17; Matthew 9:1-7.
- What’s a sign? It tells you what’s ahead.
- The miracles of healing were obviously valuable to the person who was healed.
- The larger point of the miracles of healing, though, was to point to a larger point: a change had come and Jesus was making a way toward something greater.
- His goal was not merely instructive (although it was that). His goal was not merely to bring comfort (although He did that). His goal was transformative and redemptive. He intended to changed the way things are.