The Great Physician

For the fourth time in his Gospel, Matthew gives a summary statement of Jesus’ healing ministry. But this one is different, for Jesus has entered into Gentile territory.Having left the area of near the seacoast, he heads inland and goes up onto a mountain, perhaps to have some time alone with His disciples. Once again, however, He cannot remain hidden, and crowds come, bearing their sick for Him to heal. We see His greatness first, in that He did not refuse them, though it seems that He wanted solitude, and had perhaps gone away from Jewish regions in order to escape the crowds. Then we notice that He is meeting the needs of Gentiles, which no Rabbi would do. Though He was sent primarily to Jews, His love and compassion reached far beyond the borders of Israel to the entire world (Matthew 28:19-20). He healed multitudes, not just a few isolated sick people. Furthermore, the list of maladies indicates that His power extended to every sort of illness. Nothing could resist the life-giving energy of His touch or His word. In each case, He restored people to total health, so that they could function normally. These poor Gentiles, who had exercised such faith in Him, were not disappointed. Nor were they dense – they knew that Jesus was a Jew and that He derived His creative ability from God Himself. Perhaps He had also given them some instruction, for they rendered glory, not to their own “gods,” but to the God of Israel. For a variety of reasons, Jesus does not always answer prayers for total and immediate healing today, though miracles do sometimes still take place. That should not cause us to doubt either His pity or His power, however. In whatever way He thinks best, He will demonstrate His deity in our bodies, if only we come to Him in faith (see 2 Corinthians 12:9;Philippians 1:20).