December 15

Text: Matthew 8:1

And when He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.   (NASB)

Matthew saw an unusual man who had contact with unusual people.  Many saw the same thing.  There were many reasons that people followed Jesus.  Some followed because they hoped to be healed.  Some followed because he taught differently.  Some followed to see what might happen next.  However, some followed because they saw God at work through Jesus.

Just consider what took place in Matthew 8.  Jesus touched a leper.  He listened to a Roman officer (a Gentile!) and was willing to enter his house; he healed a servant long-distance based on a Gentile’s faith; he destroyed Peter’s mother-in-law’s fever; he made following him more difficult; he controlled wind and waves; and he demonstrated power over demonic forces.  What a variety of powers!  Some of those acts were not done—like touching lepers (see Numbers 5:1-3) or being kind to the Roman occupying force.  Some of those things were considered extremely difficult to impossible—immediately healing a fever and controlling wind and waves or demons.  Who would make following more difficult?  Was healing by long distance even possible?

Jesus even astounded his own disciples who witnessed the unusual many times.  When the disciples saw the wind and waves obey him, they wondered what kind of man he was.

Suggestion for reflection: What unusual thing has happened in your life because of your association with Jesus?  (Read John 20:26-31.)

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