Saturday, 27 August 2022
And Jesus said to him, "I will come and restore him." Matthew 8:7 (AMP)
Our reading today is a continuation of Jesus’ ministry after the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). A large crowd is following Him with a great hope. The restoration of health for two people is recorded here- one for the leper and the servant of a Centurion.
When we examine the Word of God carefully, Jesus never said “No” to anyone who came to Him with faith. The leper came to Him, requesting: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean."- And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, I will; be clean.” (v.2-3). This is the first recorded healing of a leper in Jesus’ ministry. The leper didn’t know how Jesus would react but by Faith he came and declared his wish to Him. The restoration occurred within no time. In those days lepers were housed and treated outside the city as they were considered unclean. No one even dare go near them! To such a one who has been totally alienated and disappointed, Jesus reached out His hands to Restore - may be it was Jesus’ touch, the first he received after years of leprosy! How much mercy and grace was poured out to him!
The key verse is the response of Jesus to the Centurion’s servant’s pathetic situation. In the position of the Centurion, he didn’t have to consider the well-being of this particular servant (as he had many to serve him), neither did he have to come directly when he could have sent any of his soldiers to Jesus with his request. Its because of his good nature and great belief in Jesus - which Jesus Himself marvelled and stated to the crowd "I tell all of you with certainty, not even in Israel have I found this kind of faith! (v.10). And just as he believed, his servant received restoration of health (v.13).
In Jesus’ public ministry only two times it’s recorded He marvelled: (i) At the Faith of the Gentile (v.10) and (ii) the Unbelief of Jews (Mark 6:6). What a contradiction! The so-called children of God is seen to be in deep unbelief; Jesus marvelled at their unbelief. On the other hand, the so-called Gentile is seen to show his full faith at which Jesus marvelled. The opposite of faith is unbelief, which in fact is absence of faith.
It is not much different in our day from the time of Jesus. The promises of the Word of God can be received only through Faith. Every stage of the Christian life and walk is taken with steps of Faith. As a child of God, we may hear the word ‘FAITH’ innumerable times. But when we look deep within us, how much is our faith? Where/in whom is our dependence in the time of trouble? (Jer.17:5-8)
One of the purposes Jesus came to earth is restoration—not just in one area of life but in every area of our life- He wants to restore. Faith and restoration are connected. We may have received restoration in several areas of our life, but there are many yet not restored- because of our unbelief. As a child of God, let’s look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; so that we can endure the race which is set before us (Heb.121-3). Jesus told the crowd: “I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven …” (v.11)- that is- those of true faith in Him! As He promised, He is coming back soon. Will He find us with faith in Him?
To remember: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3)