On Monday night we continued our study in what Jesus reveals to us about God, humanity, and life. Here are the notes:
Last week we looked at the fact that the number on concern of Jesus was to deal with people’s biggest problem—sin and its eternal consequences. Tonight we’ll look at some of the most famous things Jesus did while he was here–specifically, his miracles of healing and restoration in people’s lives. Let’s see what they show us about how God feels about human suffering.
Things Jesus did:
Matthew 4:23-25 Healing
Matthew 9:18-26 No more death
Matthew 15:32-38 Everyone fed
Matthew 17:14-20 Freedom from Spiritual Oppression
And we might read the gospels and come up with a whole list of other things: Jesus shows us that God wants world where no one rips anyone else off ,the poor and the outcast are included, religious hypocrisy is done away with, and the entire world is filled with real humanity, family, clarity, and truth.
Point 1: If Jesus is the clearest revelation of God, and if we want to see what God wants to do in the world, and what he is doing, then, we only need to look at the things Jesus did when he was here. And when we do, see that Jesus spent a lot of time miraculously taking care of people’s needs. This shows us that God has it in his heart to battle sickness and suffering, and to get rid of them. He is against them.
And…look at Matthew 8:14-17 – one point of all this healing work Jesus did was to show that he was the kind of Lord, and God was the kind of God, who gets close to our sickness and weakness, close enough to carry them himself. Therefore we say that God wants a world where everyone is healthy and whole. You can’t judge God by the circumstances of your life. You have to understand him by the circumstances of Jesus’ life. Then, once you have known him as Jesus shows him to truly be, you will be able to rightly interpret the circumstances you are in. (ex. John 3:16)
Point 2: Question: If that’s the case, why doesn’t God just get rid of sickness now? And why didn’t Jesus heal everyone then?
Matthew 9:1-8 The other point of the healings was as a sign, a billboard: the message? “I am the one who can forgive sins.” Jesus healed so that everyone would know that he was the one who deals with the root cause of all sin and suffering. His main goal was not to heal the symptoms, but to destroy the seed and the root, so that he could get rid of sickness and suffering forever.
So the healing Jesus did shows to things:
- God’s feelings about sickness and suffering
- God’s method for dealing with the sickness of the world.
His way of curing the world’s sickness and suffering was not (and is not) by healing sickness and stopping suffering whenever and wherever it pops up. Instead, he dealt with sickness and suffering (and still does today) by undoing sin and inviting people to find forgiveness in Christ…and then entrance into the kingdom of God, where they will be free of suffering forever.
A challenge to believers: We must allow the life and teaching of Christ to shape our view of God, and not our own lives.
A challenge to non-believers: Are you willing to allow Jesus the authority in your life to put your sin to death?