“He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
Isaiah 53:4 & Matthew 8:17
Matthew quotes the prophet Isaiah here both to summarize the preceding incidents and to show them a fulfillment of the long expected Messiah. And Matthew does it in grand style. The first is a leper, a castaway from society. The second a centurion, an enemy as far as most Jews were concerned in Jesus’ day. The third, a mother-in-law. And finally, several who were demon-possessed, a startling, fearsome and mysterious condition, then as now. In short, there was no one He would not touch, no one he could not heal.
I want to affirm two things here: First, that Jesus did indeed heal these people and still possesses the power to do the same. The author of Hebrews reminds us,
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever”.
Second, I affirm that everyone of those people He healed is now dead. Jesus healed their infirmities and diseases, but did not prolong their lives an additional 2000 years. For all we know, their healing may have only prolonged their life some handful of years. That Jesus does not give us infinitesimal years in this body prone to aches and entropy should not be seen as a diminution of His power but an expression of His mercy.
Our bodies wear out like our clothes. Our master tailor who knit us together in our mother’s womb can mend and patch us up again. But sometimes, it just makes more sense to start afresh. This isn’t done with resignation on his part, but joy.
“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.'”
1 Corthinians 15:54
So pray for healing, knowing that Jesus heals. But look forward to glory, knowing it is victory.
Lord, heal me and draw my eyes to you.