Matthew 9 contains a different look at several stories recorded elsewhere in the gospels. We see the paralytic who was lying on a bed helplessly. We see the story of the woman who had been tormented for 12 years by a physical ailment. We see the ruler whose daughter had died and he came seeking Jesus. We see two blind men who cry out for mercy. And we see a demon possessed mute man who has not spoken before. Jesus healed them all – completely and without any fanfare. He set them free from their affliction. There are some common words that scripture uses to describe what Jesus sees and does. Check out these words: “when Jesus saw their faith…..your faith has made you well…..do you believe…..according to your faith be it done to you”. Jesus healed these folks based on their faith and the action they took. They came to Him believing He would act. The ruler’s daughter was already dead and he still believed Jesus could raise her. Do you have that kind of faith? Certainly I don’t all the time. Jesus takes action and makes a life changing impact on those who came seeking Him. That is exactly what His mission is for your life and mine. He is not just interested in having us receive Him as Savior and then go on about our life like nothing has changed. That is not the plan. He also came to be Lord of our life – to take over the reigns – to drive the car – to sit on the throne of our life. That is the piece we need to focus on. Jesus came to change our life. And He will if we let Him. But so often we fight it and want to do things our way. We want to be in control until things go bad and then quickly pass the wheel to Jesus. We see His heart in the call of Matthew to be His disciple. When the religious leaders of the day challenged Him for spending time with the folks who had life issues – He responded “those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick”. That is you and me friends. We are sick and definitely in need of the Master physician. But unless we let Him take care of us we can’t be blessed by His touch.
The woman came and had one goal – to touch His garment. She believed just getting close was all it would take to change her life forever. And she was right – but as she pursued that belief – Jesus met her. He turned and stopped what He was doing and touched her with His words and she was healed. The friends of the ruler “laughed at Him” when Jesus said the little girl wasn’t dead but only asleep. That didn’t stop Him. He went and raised her from the dead because of the faith of the father – not the doubts of his friends. Matthew tells us what Jesus did. He had three things on His agenda: “Jesus went…..teaching….proclaiming the gospel…..healing every disease and every affliction”. Jesus came to teach, proclaim and heal. That was His mission then and it is His mission today. He wants to help us live a full life and one that is filled with God’s love and power. Matthew goes on to tell us why. “…He had compassion for them because….like sheep without a shepherd”. We are sheep and we need a shepherd. You may not think so, but we all need Him to lead us and touch us and protect us. But as Matthew ends this chapter, he changes gears just a bit and says some critical words that we must pay close attention to. Jesus says “the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest”. The message is that there are a whole lot of opportunities for a whole lot of people to have their lives changed by Jesus. There is a huge need for people to share the truth with those around them. The reality is that even while He was here, Jesus was beginning to let the disciples, and ultimately you and me, know that the work of the ministry was going to be passed to them to accomplish. They are the ones who would need to step up as laborers for the Kingdom. That is you and me. We are the “they” today. How is your harvest going? Who have you talked with lately about Jesus? Are you living a life that draws people to His feet? We need to get on with it. He wants to touch you, and me, and will if we just let Him!