Reading: Matthew 4:23–9:13
In Matthew 4:12-22, we read when Jesus began to preach and called his disciples. Then in verses 4:23-9:13, we are given a glimpse when he embarked in 2 uninterrupted days of healing and preaching—even late into the night. Healing for the mortal bodies, and healing for the soul.
Previous to that, Jesus was already preaching and healing throughout Galilee. Word has spread around Syria, and sick people were brought to him—both those suffering from various diseases, and demon possession. And a large crowd from every place followed him.
This was the time when Jesus gave his sermon on the mount. When he came down from the mountainside he healed the man with leprosy, the centurion’s servant and Peter’s mother-in-law. When evening came, he healed more people who were sick and demon-possessed. Then he got into a boat to cross the lake, calmed the storm, and arriving at the other side—we presume the next morning, cast out demons from the two men who came from the tombs to meet him. Then he got into a boat again and crossed to his own town, where he forgave the paralytic of his sins and healed him. And that’s also the day that he met and called Matthew, and dined at his house in the company of many tax collectors and “sinners”.
In chapter 8 verse 17, Matthew quoted the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases” (NIV).
And in chapter 9 verse 13 Jesus said “… I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
The kingdom of God has come. We are in the year of the Lord’s favour. Jesus Christ has come to earth. He has sent us his Holy Spirit. Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts, giving us the choice to let him in, be our Lord and King– to experience the kingdom of God within us (Luke 17:21).
Luke 4:16-22 (NIV)
He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.