Healed to Serve

As we look at Christ in Matthew 8:14-17, we find another unexpected miracle at the hand of Jesus. He had already done the unthinkable in touching and healing the leper, and then aiding a gentile centurion by healing his servant. Now the scene moves towards Christ entering the home of His disciple Peter. As we examine the Scriptures we observe that the Apostles were not bound to celibacy. Quite the contrary they had families (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:5). As Jesus enters Peter’s home, He takes the initiative to heal Peter’s sick mother-in-law.

What does this reveal about Jesus? Matthew took the liberty in v.17 to inform us of what is going on behind the scenes. Yes, we see Jesus heal an individual, and later groups of people, but are these merely isolated events? Absolutely not. Matthew understood the work of Christ to be none other than the prophetic fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4. This portion of the prophet, is called by scholars the fourth Servant Song (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) which highlights the mission of the coming Messiah. The Suffering Servant would come to bring peace to God’s people through His broken body, and suffering in their place. Matthew makes it clear that the Suffering Servant is none other than Jesus Christ.

Every time our world demonstrates its brokenness, its pain, its failure and evil and sin, what our world is screaming out for is a champion. The world is yearning for One who can bear on His shoulders the full weight of the brokenness of this world, who can carry all the pain this world has to offer and not be crushed. This is precisely why Christ must be God. For only God can undertake and accomplish such a herculean task of bring peace to our broken world. Not just peace in a military sense, but peace in our bodies, and in our hearts. Nevertheless, God must do more than bring peace to our bodies physically, He must bring peace to our souls. He does so through Christ; the One who came to bring peace between God and Man.

All of Christ’s work revealed the glorious truth that you and I don’t need another 12-step program, or another laundry list of moral to-dos. What you and I need even as we draw our next breath is the King of Kings. What we need is a righteous King who rules justly and with kindness, One worth devoting all of our lives to, Who is indeed the supreme treasure of the universe. Matthew proclaims to his audience that Jesus is this great King. Christ came to bring peace to us by His work on the Cross where God’s mercy and justice kissed. At the cross Jesus purchased our redemption and secured the future resurrection of His holy people.

Jesus met this woman right where she was and transformed her life in an instant. As an immediate act of gratitude, she served Christ with the skills and gifts she had. What talents has God given YOU for service in His kingdom? Maybe you can’t lead a Bible study, but perhaps you’re really good at listening. God has given you that gift to listen to others and encourage them. The list is infinite but what is important is that we, in response to His great love, take what He has given to us and love Him and others by being selfless. God is most fond of taking crooked sticks and drawing His straight lines. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t be used by God, ask the Lord to help you believe His Word and serve right where you are, with what you have in your hands. God can and indeed does extraordinary things through ordinary people like you and me. Are you willing to step out and do great things for Him?

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