He Healed Them All!
Matthew 15:29-31; Mark 7:31-37
“A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.’” – Matthew 15:30 NLT
There are so many recorded incidents of Jesus healing people in the Bible that they can easily become almost non-events to us. We just expect Jesus to heal people. At least we expect Jesus to heal people in the Bible. We’re not quite so confident when it comes to real life. But when it comes to reading the Scriptures we have gotten so used to the stories about blind people receiving their sight, lame people suddenly being able to walk, and mute people gaining back the ability to speak, that they no longer shock or surprise us. But in Jesus’ day, these miracles were anything but expected, and the people had not become complacent about them. When Jesus showed up, the sick and needy showed up as well. And Jesus rarely, if ever, disappointed. Matthew records an occasion where Jesus, having returned to the shore of Galilee from the region of Tyre and Sidon, sits down on a nearby hillside and suddenly finds Himself surrounded by a crowd. They had brought with them all kinds of people with all kinds of needs, and they laid them all at the feet of Jesus. Imagine the scene. People unable to walk, crippled by disease, birth defects or injury, are hobbling or laying at the feet of Jesus. Some are on mats, some are on crutches, but all are in need. They can’t work or make a living. Some are probably in great pain. Next to them are the blind. These people live in a constant world of darkness, unable to see the faces of their own family members or enjoy the beauty of the world around them. There are probably young and old alike. Some have been born blind, while others have lost their sight due to injury, disease, illness or just old age. But each of them suffers the same fate: A life marked by certain poverty, constant darkness and little hope. Mixed in with these two groups were the mute. For whatever reason, these people found themselves unable to speak, trapped in a world where their thoughts, ideas and emotions had to be communicated through hand motions or scribbled notes. They were incapable of expressing words of love, affirmation, encouragement, joy, or praise. They couldn’t sing, shout, whisper, laugh or tell another living soul what they were thinking, feeling, or needing.
What a sad scenario. It reminds me of a scene from the recent movie, Lincoln, where President Lincoln tours a makeshift hospital filled with Union soldiers who have been injured in battle during the Civil War. Many have had their limbs amputated. Others have been permanently blinded by the fragments of exploding bombs. None will ever be the same again. Many will not live to see old age. And all the president can do is walk among them, issuing words of thanks and encouragement. How helpless. How hopeless. How frustrating.
But Jesus did not face those same limitations. He could do so much more, and He did. He healed them all. Matthew does not tell us how Jesus did it. He could have made His way among them, touching each one and speaking to them individually. Or He could have simply healed the entire group in one single, magnificent moment. I tend to believe that is what He did. And Matthew tells us that the crowd was amazed. They were blown away! And we would have been too. Suddenly there were people who had never walked before, running and jumping, shouting and screaming for joy. There were blind people covering their eyes from the blinding light of the sun, then slowly taking in the sights around them. They were grabbing the faces of spouses, children, family members and friends, perhaps seeing them for the first time in their lives. Their were tears being shed, sounds of laughter and shouts of joy. But the loudest group was probably those who had once been unable to speak. Suddenly, they are able to shout, scream, sing, and praise God. And I’m sure they did. Most of them probably shouted themselves hoarse!.
What a scene! I think it’s safe to say that none of us have ever experienced anything like it. But the truth is, every time we get together with a group of other believers, that is just the kind of experience we should have. Each of us who have received salvation through Jesus Christ have been healed of the greatest disease plaguing mankind – sin. We have been taken from death to life. We have been set free from slavery to sin. It reminds me of the lyrics from that great old hymn, Amazing Grace. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” Our salvation is no less amazing than what happened on that hillside that day. In fact, it is more amazing. Those peoples’ conditions, while improved physically, remained the same spiritually. While they praised the name of the God of Israel for what had happened, there is no indication that they believed in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They received physical healing, but not spiritual healing. They were still condemned because of their sin and lost without a Savior. But for those of us who are recipients of the amazing grace of God through placing our faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we have much to shout about. Our lives should be marked by joy, singing, excitement, excitement, anticipation and grateful appreciation.
Jesus, You have healed my life and made me whole. You have taken away my sin and replaced it with Your righteousness. I was once dead, but You have made me alive and well. I was once helpless and hopeless, but You have given me eternal life and a life free from condemnation and the fear of death. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!. Amen.
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men