#65 – What the Gospels Teach – He Took our Infirmities – Matthew 8:16-17

When evening came, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES." (Matthew 8:16-17 NASB)

Jesus was simply amazing, and while we know this, it would serve us well to dwell on that for a moment.  The first thing we must recall is that Jesus is indeed God the Son, nonetheless He came and dwelt in human flesh, which comes with all the difficulties of humanity.  Jesus indeed was tempted often, and had to deal with the same nature that we also have to deal with.  Consider that... we often will write off our sinfulness to our human nature (which is the legitimate cause) but Christ also had that same nature and yet did not sin, utterly sin free, and yet dwelling in the same sinful flesh which all men must dwell in.  Now with Christ and our common humanity let’s look into this verse. 

“When evening came...”  Evening is when we cease to work, when we want to stop and rest.  We deal with our issues all day, and we look at the evening as time to slow down.  “They brought to Him many...”  Christ was constantly bombarded with people who had needs, and people who knew He was their only hope.  Now knowing that Christ indeed is God, and while in the flesh was God we can see that He would be all compassionate and never tire of doing what is right.  Nonetheless Christ who also was 100% man would have His entire humanity railing against Him and tempting Him to send the people away.  Of course Christ has indeed overcame the flesh and was victorious over it, but if we place ourselves in His sandals at the point of this verse we can see the struggle it must have been to continue to deal with “MANY who were demon-possessed...” and to deal with them into the evening.  You and I have trouble dealing with our own neighbors, parents, children, spouses, and such into the evenings, we tire we get irritable and are constantly tempted to sin and disregard our duties toward them.  Here you have Christ with everyone’s problems, and many people coming to have them dealt with, and He was tempted in all places just as we are, meaning that He had to overcome the same temptations to neglect the duties His flesh would not have wanted to perform.  Can you see how this is amazing?  Christ dealt with the same tiredness, headaches, hunger, and so on.

“He Cast out the spirits with a word, and healed ALL who were ill.”  He did not leave anyone behind... you do not see instances of Jesus not healing, or not serving.  He stayed the course and served in the entire capacity of His human flesh.  The point is this:  His entire life was a sacrifice, every single minute of it... not just the crucifixion... all of it.  He suffered not only on the cross, but His entire life was suffering.  “He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief...” (Isaiah 53).  The last section of Matthew 8:17 says, "HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND CARRIED AWAY OUR DISEASES." Which is a quote from Isaiah 53.  Typically in our reading of Isaiah 53 we focus on the crucifixion sequence, and consider the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, but we fail to focus on the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ in His life.  We focus on substitutionary death, which we should, but we neglect His substitutionary life.  Paul reminds us that Christ has imputed His righteousness too us... how?  By giving us credit for, not His death, but His life!  Our life was imputed to Him which resulted in the cross... His life was imputed to us which results in life everlasting.

This account of Jesus healing the MANY demon-possessed into the evening is important.  The life Jesus lived was just as critical to your salvation as the death Jesus died.
I hope I have not taken too much liberty with this passage but what is said is important.

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