After telling of the healing and deliverance of all the sick in the town of Capernaum, Matthew gives us a tiny little Messianic Bible Study.
He takes the events of the day, and applies them to what we know as Isaiah 53:4.
And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES.” ~ Matthew 8:16-17
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted. ~ Isaiah 53:4
Allow me just a little bit of word study: (feel free to skip this part if you really don’t want the details.)
The Hebrew word that is translated griefs here in the NASB (khol·ē' – pretty much pronounced ‘holy’ only with that gruff throat noise at the beginning) shows up about 24 times in the bible, and 19 times it is translated either sickness or disease. In the lexicon used in BlueLetterBible.org the only offering for translation is ‘sickness.’
The Hebrew word that is translated sorrows here in the NASB (mak·ōve' – pronounced like mac, as in Big Mac or mac and cheese, and ov, as in over – only again you need that guttural kind of chuffing on the c in mac) (do you even care?) This one is most often translated sorrows, but all the definitions relate to pain, though this pain can be physical or mental.
Thanks – now back to the post:
What fascinates me, is that, in my evangelical upbringing, I was taught on a regular basis that what Jesus did on the cross, and what was prophesied here by Isaiah was about my spiritual well being.
And yet, when Matthew, the great pointer outer of fulfilled prophecies, points out this one, he is applying it to physical healings and the casting out of demons.
Why make a fuss about this? Well, I have to say that when my understanding of this scripture, and others, turned from a strictly spiritual interpretation, to a ‘whole man,’ spirit soul and body interpretations, my prayers changed, and the results changed.
When I began to believe that the price Jesus paid and the salvation Jesus purchased was for the whole man, was not simply a path to eventual restoration of health and wholeness someday when we die, but could be pursued here and now, it changed my life.
Hey – there is plenty I don’t understand, and many times I see saints suffer and die in sickness and disease, and please hear me, that is not a reflection on them, or on their community of faith. There is so much more to our world than what we currently see or perceive.
I do understand this – everyone they brought to Jesus, was healed. Every account recorded in scripture of people coming to Jesus while he walked the earth ended with a person made whole. [Tweet This] Not every sick person in all of Judea, but at least every sick person in Capernaum.
This story blows my mind. I really want to be like Jesus. Don’t you?
Lord, today I want to be more like You. I want to walk like You walked, and do the works that You did, and the greater works You promised.
Thanks for coming by.
See you again soon.