Matthew Chapter 8
"Second Period of the Ministry. Proclamation of the King."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org/plough.htm
Matthew 8:1 "When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him."
Jesus had been healing many people, and the word was spreading fast. He was not just talking about healing but performing miracles right before their eyes. Their loved ones that were sick, became well and diseases vanished right before their eyes. The miracle works that Jesus was doing created this multitude of people. It was not Jesus teaching ministry that brought the people out, for the day that Jesus died on the cross, the multitude was not there.
Matthew 8:2 "And, behold there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean."
The term "worshipped" lets us know that the man believed Jesus was the Christ, because you do not worship anyone without the belief. Worship identifies both belief and faith. This is a positive statement in todays terms; "Lord if you want to, you can cleanse me." The leper has shown the strength of faith in Christ.
Matthew 8:3 "And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, "I will; be thou clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed."
Jesus saw the man's faith, and said, "I'm willing"; and He touched the leper man, and instantly he became clean.
Matthew 8:4 "And Jesus saith unto him, "See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."
Jesus is teaching the man a lesson here. Jesus instructed the man to tell no one, so that this could become a side show, but that the man would become both physically and spiritually healed. Jesus had not died on the cross yet, and the ordinances of Moses were still in effect. It was the priest's duties to cleans and heal sickness, and we see what Jesus is doing is recorded from Leviticus 14: 3 and continues to the end of the chapter.
What was to be done. Lets look at Leviticus 14:3-7; "And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper;  Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:  And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water:" 
"As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water:  And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field."  This process continues into other parts of the ritual dealing with his hair, his bathe and his cloths, for another forty verses.
So why would Jesus tell this cleansed leper to go and do this? Jesus was sending word to the priests that there were miracles being worked, but even though they were cleansed, they were to take the two birds, and follow through with the sacrifice ritual.
Jesus Christ would be going to the cross shortly and He was giving a lesson that through those stripes and the shedding of that blood, our sickness and sins would also be getting the healing.
In the communion we take the cup, in remembrance of his blood which was shed for our sins, and through the unleavened bread, broken, we are reminded of His body that was broken for us, and by those stripes we are healed. Do you believe that? Friend that is required to be part of the body of Christ, and to enter into His kingdom.
The priesthood [Caiaphas, the High Priest] of Christ's day was not appointed by almighty God, but by the Roman government. It was a political appointment to the religious affairs. Christ was forewarning that priesthood, that the Christ had arrived.
The foundation of our Government in America is just opposite then the arrangement within the Roman Empire. Then the Roman Government had a bearing on religion, however today it is just the opposite, the church can affect the government, however the government can not dictate to the church. God appoints and directs men into His ministry.
Matthew 8:5 "And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him,"
The "centurion" is a Roman military officer. He was a Gentile. The Centurion was an officer over one hundred men.
Matthew 8:6 "And saying, "Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented."
This centurion felt real sorrow for his servant, who was paralyzed and in great pain, and laying home in bed. The centurion was there to intercede for his servant, and he knew positively that Christ could heal, or he would not have been there. These officers don't waste time, and as a military man, when he sets his course he is absolute indirection and his faith in the completion of the task.
Matthew 8:7 "And Jesus saith unto him, "I will come and heal him."
Jesus saw the faith of this centurion, and was willing to go with the officer.
Matthew 8:8 "The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."
Can you see the faith of the centurion in this statement? He didn't say "could you?" he knew that Jesus was the Christ and had the authority of God.
Matthew 8:9 "For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man 'Go', and he goeth; and to another, 'come', and he cometh; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he doeth it."
This centurion knew what authority was, that when a man says something, those under his authority must react, or suffer the punishment. The centurion knew that whatever powers Christ had, they came directly from God, and those powers were subject to Christ just by saying the word. This was obvious to Him. The centurion saw the miracles, and the works of Christ, and he knew that they were real. There was no doubt in his Gentile mind.
Matthew 8:10 "When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to them that followed, "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." "
Jesus was sent to be the Savior of Israel, and Jesus is telling the multitude around Him, I have not found this kind of faith in all of Israel.
Matthew 8:11 "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven."
It was a little early in Christ's ministry to declare that He had been sent to the people of Israel, and tell them that upon His death He would open salvation to all peoples. It didn't matter what race you were in, for His blood would cleanse all of them. The word "many" as it is use here, and in the Greek, "Euphemisms", means "Gentile". Jesus did not want to offend those of Israel that knew of the coming Messiah which was to lead Israel, so to avoid giving offence to them, he used "many".
The word "Abraham" means "father of many nations" in the Hebrew tongue. Through Abraham would come the Christ, and spiritual life to all nations. God created all men, of all nations, and through Christ the way is made for many men [women] of all nations to come and sit with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Christ's heavenly kingdom. Through the blood of Christ all races can have the same salvation that is offered to Israel. Thus in a spiritual sense, Abraham is also their father.
So Jesus is marveling as He sees the great faith in this Gentile, and He taught this multitude, even though the people didn't understand. Years later Jesus would reveal to John how these Gentile nations will come in the Millennium kingdom age to the four walls in Jerusalem, to worship Christ; in Revelation 21:20-24. The saved of all races will even have their own kings and queen in that Millennium age, and they will have earned their rights in this flesh age to their positions.
This is a wonderful time to live, for we live in an age where the prophesies concerning the end of this earth age are passing by us on a daily basis. The only sign that Jesus gave to the people [Pharisees] of His day was the sign of Jonah, however, there are virtually hundreds of prophesies passing by us daily. The two biggest signs for our generation are the establishing of a homeland for the Jews, and a one world political system that every nation on the face of the earth subscribes to. Friend, you have no excuse for not knowing the difference between Christ and Antichrist. You know the prophesies to be true, because you can see them, and all of His Word is coming to light.
Matthew 8:12 "But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
This "weeping and gnashing of teeth" will be done by those who claim to be Christians, and followed the Antichrist. This takes place at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ at the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet. This is the last day of Satan, the Antichrist's rule over his religious kingdom, that is know as the great tribulation.
Those Christians followed the counterfeit Christ. This great savior will come, appearing out of the clouds saying, "I have come to rapture you away," and as much as the end time church will be teaching that, the whole world will believe it, and bow to the Antichrist. In their flesh body they will think that they are now existing in Jesus Christ's kingdom. This is a false teaching according to God's Word, for they deny the text in the Greek, which shows that the subject and the object in Paul's letter of I Thessalonians 4 is "Where are the dead". They have taken Paul's letter instructing Christians that upon death, their souls go immediately to the Heavenly Father, and from it have created a fly-away doctrine, attached to soul sleep.
If you believe this, it is time to read Paul's apology, in II Thessalonians 2, where he says; "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him," II Thessalonians 2:1 This "gathering together will take place on earth at the coming of Jesus Christ at the seventh trumpet.
II Thessalonians 2:2; "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand." Paul is telling you not to get all shook up when people come to you and tell you that Jesus Christ is here. Don't let the spirit of your soul be troubled over rumors.
II Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." The "falling away" is what the Bible calls the Great Tribulation [Deception], and "that day" is the coming of the Lord. The "man of sin" is Satan, the Antichrist", and he is the "son of perdition, which means death. His revealing comes by what Daniel calls the abomination of desolation, which is properly translated "the abomination by the desolator". Satan is the desolator, and the abomination is when Satan, the Antichrist stands in the temple in Jerusalem, and calls himself God. It is at this time that the weeping and the gnashing of teeth will begin, for the day of the Lord is at hand, and they will then know that they have been deceived.
So Jesus Christ is making it clear, that at the end of this earth age, many that think that they are of His kingdom, and call themselves Christian will be in great shame. The outer darkness is the fact that through the Millennium age, they will be separated form Christ, and will go through the thousand year period in teaching and discipline. There is no grace for those who bow to Antichrist, and at the end of the Millennium age, then will come the joining of families together, and the hell fire to all who refuse Christ. It will be only by their works that they find salvation then.
How embarrassing to those that spent their entire life chasing after the illusion of a rapture, only to find out that it was a hoax. And then see their righteous acts all be eliminated because of their own ignorance. Our Fathers letter outlines our inheritance in Christ, and those that chase after man's traditions, and doctrines of demons don't deserve an inheritance, when they do not follow our Fathers instructions.
Matthew 8:13 "And Jesus said unto the centurion, "Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour."
This applies today just as it did when Jesus said it to the centurion. You are the one that decides whether God answers your prayers, or not. If God blesses you, it is because you believe with all your heart, and know with a certainty that He will touch you, for this Word must become a reality to you. Then as you believe, so shall you receive.
Many of God's elect have a destiny that would make an exception to this rule. Sometimes God has a purpose for you, and you just don't want to do things God's way, and He has to get a little rough with you until you see it God's way. God will bless you if you pray for guidance, and follow the instructions of His Word.
Matthew 8:14 "And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, He saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever."
Peter's mother-in-law is being laid out to death; she is about to die. They were already preparing her with the clothes for her death. This also documents that Peter was married.
Matthew 8:15 "And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them."
The Lord touched her, and she was instantly healed. She got up immediately and prepared them a meal [ministered]. She got up from her deathbed and fed her family. That is how Jesus operated, and those are His credentials.
Matthew 8:16 "When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick:"
These were not promises, but action. He gives us that same power to cast out demons [evil spirits] today, when we use the power of His name.
Matthew 8:17 "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."
Jesus is quoting Isaiah 53:4; "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." The New Testament is the addition to the completion of the story of the Old Testament. The people of Christ's day did allow it to come to pass.
Isaiah 53:5; "But he was sounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." So we see that even at the beginning of Christ's ministry, He touched many and healed them.
So we see two examples of healing here, at the beginning of Christ's ministry; one of Israel, and one a Gentile. That if they believed His blood, which is the example of the blood of the one killed bird that was placed on the other bird to let fly free. It is you that fly free, and it would be Jesus Christ that would die on the cross at Calvary's hill. Christ got the bruising, and you get the healings and the blessings, if you will but take it into your life, and believe. Our love should flow over in every part of our lives.
Do you think your worth what Jesus Christ did for you? In what way are you showing it? Do you even take the time to understand His message to you, that is written in His Word? Jesus thought you were, and that is why He did it. He created you, He loved you, and to prove it He died for you.
Matthew 8:18 "Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave commandment to depart unto the other side,"
Mark these words well for later, Jesus is saying that they are going to the other side.
Matthew 8:19 "And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, "Master, I will follow thee whethersoever thou goest."
This scribe was very impressed with Jesus.
Matthew 8:20 "And Jesus saith unto him, "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head."
The word "foxes" means a cunning person. It is an analogy, or a figure of speech.
Matthew 8:21 "And another of His disciples said unto Him, "Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father."
The word "disciples" does not mean he was one of the twelve, but one that was studying under Jesus teaching.
Matthew 8:22 "But Jesus said unto him, "Follow Me; and let the dead bury their dead."
Jesus is telling His disciples to let those that are spiritually dead, bury the dead. In the Greek, it is obvious that the person's father was not dead, but in the process of dying. What Christ is saying, is that there is something more important then waiting for death, come and follow me and bring life to others.
A point also to bring up here in the matter of the two birds, with one flying free. It deals with the matter of cremation, where at death the soul goes instantly to be with our Heavenly Father. What you are dealing with is the flesh body without the soul and spirit, for the soul is gone. If you are really acquainted with that person, you can tell that it is not your loved one for you just don't feel their spirit. You don't feel their presence, because they are not there. What is left, is there to decay into the dust of the earth, from where it came in the first place.
The flesh body shall never again be raised, and have any value in the sight of God, when the soul has departed from it. The soul has gone to heaven, and is not in that hole in the ground. Jesus is saying then, let the dead bury the dead.
Matthew 8:23 "And when He was entered into a ship, His disciples followed Him."
Remember Jesus said, we are departing to the other side, and they are getting into the boat to leave.
Matthew 8:24 "And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but He was asleep."
The swells were coming over the side of the boat, and the disciples were getting afraid. Yet Jesus slept through it all.
Matthew 8:25 "And His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Lord, save us: we perish."
They were scared, they thought they were going to die.
Matthew 8:26 "And He saith unto the, 'Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?' Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea: and there was a great calm."
Jesus is preparing them for the fact that soon He is going to leave them, but His comforter [the Holy Spirit] will be with them. When that time comes, what are you going to do when other fearful things happen? Are you going to carry on and cry out, or are you going to rely on that comforter that is your boat of life with you?
When the way gets a little rough, then that is the time to put your faith to work. We are going to ride it out, and the comforter will take control and see us through. If you believe you will make it to the other side, friend, you will. Jesus told His disciples that they were going to the other side, in verse eighteen, and you can count on it. Then when the journey got a little tough, they forgot Jesus promise; "we are going to the other side". "O ye of little faith".
When the way gets tough, that is when a Christian really likes it, for we can see God's promises then working in our lives. We don't fear, but turn to our Comforter, the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 8:27 "But the men marveled, saying, "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him!"
Jesus had just calmed the sea, and now He gave orders to the wind and the sea, and both responded to His words. This is Christ's own disciples, the ones that He approached, and commanded "follow Me". They followed Jesus, and yet they could not comprehend the supernatural, when they were confronted directly with it. They now have seen His casting out of demons, and healing of the sick, and now the witnessed Jesus Christ's power over the wind and the sea, and still there is disbelief in their minds.
Watch out how your flesh body causes you to think, and know that in reality our Comforter, the Spirit of the Living God is with you in your ship of life. You may see the rocks, and even hit the rocks, and drop anchor in a hurry, but you are going across.
Matthew 8:28 "And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way."
These two were possessed with evil spirits, completely. They were hiding out in the place of burial, and they would come out of the tombs and frighten people to where no one would pass by the tombs.
Matthew 8:29 "And, behold, they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?"
These two evil men came out of the tombs to scare Jesus and those that were with Him, and the demonic spirits recognized Jesus as "Thou Son of God". Even these evil spirits knew the plan of God, and they knew that their stay was temporary. Their time with their father, Satan [the Antichrist], the prince of darkness of this earth will come before they are to be done away with.
To this point, Jesus Christ had never called Himself, "The Son of God", the evil spirits knew who He was, and identified Him as the Scriptures would. They also called His by name in Mark 3:11; "And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, "Thou art the Son of God." Even the evil spirits knew Christ and believed him.
Mark 3:12; "And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known. They knew that the time was not yet for their confinement, and when that time does come, they will be dead. They knew that this one, Jesus Christ had the power to send them back. They also know that those that have believed and repented in the name of Jesus Christ, and are washed in the blood of the Lamb, have the authority in the name of Jesus Christ to order them back to that place. When that happens, it means death for them.
They are far wiser then most human beings, they are not looking forward to dying, and they run from men and women of God, to keep from having that authority being pronounced upon them.
Matthew 8:30 "And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding."
Evil spirits will bargain with you, to keep you from doing them harm. They are great negotiators.
Matthew 8:31 "So the devils besought Him, saying, "If Thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine."
These evil spirits and now negotiating with Jesus, and they are telling Christ to send them into swine, and not another human being, for they know Christ would not do that. This shows also that devils do not even have power over swine, for the swine ran into the lake and killed themselves.
Matthew 8:32 "And He said unto them, "Go " And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the water."
Matthew 8:33 "And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told everything, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils."
Those "possessed of the devils" are the two men that hung out around the tombs.
Matthew 8:34 "And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought Him that He would depart out of their coasts."
Why would these people ask Jesus to leave? Because they raised swine there, and it was bad on their profits. Their swine ran into the sea and killed themselves. They were more interested in their commercial ventures, then they were the souls of those two miserable men that were possessed by evil spirits.
When you cast demons out of the possessed, you had better know where you are casting them to. Jesus gave you the power to do this, as recorded in Luke 10:19; "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." This is given in the spiritual light, and the "serpents" are the Kenites, while the "scorpions" are these evil spirits. Don't charge out to pick up a snake or scorpion, or they will bite you. Know when the Word of God is being applied in an analogy to the spiritual sense, and use common sense.
When you are under the blood of Christ, and believe on His name, you just don't have to be afraid of evil spirits. They are the enemy, and they are powerless against you. You have all the authority over them, complete power, and the only power that they have on you, is what you allow them to have. Evil spirits can't make you do anything, but tempt you into doing what you know you should not do.
In using you authority over them, always make your commands in the name of Jesus, and send them back to where they came from. God knows where that is, and they know it also, and they will go. Don't leave them running around loose, and if you don't know what your doing, be very careful, for they may jump on you. They are not everywhere, but they are just as real as you are. However, you as a Christian, and in the name of Christ, and just order them out of your life and homes.
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