Wednesday, August 22, 2012


14 And when Jesus went into Peter's house, He saw his mother-in-law lying ill with a fever;
15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began waiting on Him.
16 When evening had come they brought to Him many who were under the power of demons, and He drove out the spirits with a word, and restored to health all who were sick;
17 And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, HE HIMSELF TOOK (in order to carry away) OUR WEAKNESSES AND INFIRMITIES AND BORE AWAY OUR DISEASES.
(Matthew 8:14-17). [Amplified Bible].

Key Verses: 16-17.

16 Matthew mentions the evening to show the pace of Jesus' ministry. He focuses his attention on Jesus' power and on the scriptural witness to his person and ministry. He drives out "the spirits," evil beings that are often recognized in intertestamental literature as agents of disease (see Mark 1:23-26, 34).

17 Matthew goes on to say that Isaiah 53:4 is being fulfilled in Jesus' healing ministry. What is the connection between the two? It is generally understood that when the NT quotes a brief OT passage, it often refers implicitly to the entire context of the quotation (which in this case is the entire "Servant Song" of Isaiah 52:13-53:12). Bothe scripture and Jewish tradition understand that all sickness is caused, directly or indirectly, by sin (see Matthew 4:24). But one main emphasis in the Servant Song is substitutionary atonement, whereby the servant bears the sickness of others through his suffering and death. Thus, Matthew suggests that Jesus' healing ministry is itself a function of his substitionary death, by which he lays the foundation for destroying sickness.
     That connection is supported by various collateral arguments. The prologue insists Jesus came to save his people from their sin, and this within the context of the coming of the kingdom. When Jesus began his ministry, he not only proclaimed the kingdom but healed the sick (see Matthew 4:24). Healing and forgiveness are tied together, not only in a pericope like Matthew 9:1-8, but by the fact that the consummated kingdom, in which there is no sickness, is made possible by Jesus' death and the new covenant that his death enacted (Matthew 26:27-29). Thus the healings during Jesus' ministry can be understood not only as the fortaste of the kingdom but also as the fruit of Jesus' death. In other words, for Matthew, Jesus' healing miracles pointed beyond themselves to the Cross.
      Furthermore, the miracles in this chapter have been framed to emphasize Jesus' athority (see vv. 8-9). This authority was never used to satisfy himself (cf. Matthew 4:1-10). He healed a despised leper (vv.1-4), a Gentile centurion's servant who was hopelessly ill (vv.5-13), and other sick people (vv.14-15), no matter how many (vv.1617). Thus when he gave his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28), it was nothing less than an extension of the same authority directed toward the good of others. Jesus' death reflected the intermingling of authority and servanthood already noted (e.g., Matthew 3:17) and now progressively developed.
It should be stated that this discussion cannot be used to justify healing on demand. This text and others clearly teach that there is also the promise of a resurrection body in the Atonement, even though believers do not inherit it until thr Parousia. From the perspective of the NT writers, the Cross is the basis for all the benefits that accrue to believers; but this does not mean that all such benefits can be secured at the present time on demand, any more than we have the right and power to demand our resurrection bodies.
[NIV BIBLE COMMENTARY Volume 2: New Testament].



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