The Lord's Goodness to All That He Meets: Kingdom Blessing for Gentiles

Matthew 8  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Matthew 8
Christ heals a leper of Israel. Leprosy is a picture of sin and uncleanness. The leper knows the power of God, but not His will. Christ, who is God, says, "I will." He touches and heals the leper without being defiled.
Healing the Gentile's servant gives rise to the declaration that many Gentiles shall be blessed in the kingdom of heaven together with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness." The "children of the kingdom" are the descendants of Abraham by natural birth who do not share his faith.
We have seen God's goodness to the Jewish leper and to the Gentile centurion, and now we see His goodness to Israel in healing Peter's wife's mother.
The Lord, the rejected One, continues His ministry, not being deceived by some who offered to follow Him. Man must forsake all, as Jesus did, to become His companion down here. He had nowhere to lay His head. The clever foxes and the unclean birds were at home on earth, but not Jesus. He came from His home above, emptying Himself of His glory to become like us, sin apart, to deliver us from so great a death-the death that will come on an unrepentant world.
The storm on the lake brought to light the unbelief of the disciples in the power and goodness of God. Are they the only ones who do not believe in His goodness? How about believers everywhere seeking security in everything and anything but God. Who can preserve us-the power and resources of men, or the power of God in Christ? The disciples had witnessed His power and presence in healing the leper, the centurion's servant and Peter's wife's mother.
We see God's goodness in showing how Christ and those with Him could not perish. We see the power of Christ in stilling the waves by speaking to them. The fishermen disciples knew storms; they knew there would be a long interval after a storm before the waters were quiet. The waters were immediately quiet at the voice of Jesus. May we learn this in our circumstances.
In the country of the Gergesenes, two possessed with demons, exceedingly fierce, came out of the tombs. They knew Jesus as the Son of God, and thought that He had come to torment them before the time. Jesus cast out the demons and by their request they entered a herd of swine nearby. The swine ran down into the lake and were drowned. The whole city, on hearing of this, came out, asking Jesus to depart from them. Could it be that those who were accustomed to being under the power of Satan preferred it to the power and presence of God who came in grace to deliver them? Yes!
Later, we learn of a man with a demon who was healed and who wanted to be with Jesus. Instead, he was sent back to his city to tell about the goodness of God in Christ. He did so and when Jesus returned (a picture of the millennial day), he found the city coming out to be healed. What a contrast between the kingdom of heaven and Sinai! One brings blessing, the other the curse.