Wednesday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41

He Took Our Illnesses and Bore Our Diseases

We now enter upon that time in Jesus’ ministry which was marked by much activity – healing and casting out demons, but always, most important, preaching the kingdom of God.  After healing the demoniac we discussed yesterday, both Mark and Luke report that “at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee” (Mark 1:28; Luke 4:37; also see Matthew 4:23-25).

But the next healing miracle the gospels cover after the demoniac is a fever that Peter’s mother-in-law had.  The report in each of the gospels is quite simple: they inform Jesus about her condition, he takes her by the hand, and the fever leaves her.  Luke adds that he “rebuked” the fever.  This teaches us that not all of Jesus’ miracles were dramatic; indeed, it seems Jesus did not want them to be.  When the demons cried out, he shushed them.  Jesus’ miracles always have a dignity about them that lends credence to their integrity.  Jesus did not seek the limelight; he did seek to minister, however.  Another point I wish to make about this passage is what Peter’s mother-in-law did after she was healed.  All three gospels report that “she began to serve them.”  (Matthew says that she began to serve “him,” meaning Jesus.)  Luke even adds that she did so “immediately.”  This should be instructive for us.  When the Lord blesses us, we are not called to bask in the glow of that blessing, but to bless others.  In other words, our Lord blesses us that we may be a blessing to others.  This usually takes the form of some service done in the name of Christ.  Please remember that last part.  If we don’t let the person receiving our service know in some way that we are Christians and doing service in his name, then they will not bless the Lord on our behalf but bless us.  We take the glory – and we don’t want to do that.

The rest of the passage relates how people came to him from all over even at sunset, the sick and demon-possessed, and he healed them all.  Indeed, Jesus never seemed to tire.  And Matthew gives us the reason: “This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.’”  This is from Isaiah 53:4, a passage normally read in churches on Good Friday about our Lord’s passion.  But here, it is used in relation to his healing of our illnesses and diseases; indeed, not just that he healed us of them, but bore them or carried them.  We usually think of Jesus’ bearing our sins, not our illnesses.  But this passage includes our infirmities in his bearing of us.  You see, Jesus bore everything about us throughout his entire life and ministry.  Remember, he bore everything for us.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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