Jesus Said, ” I Will, Be Healed”

 

Matthew 8

Jesus Heals a Sick Man

When Jesus came down from the hill, great crowds followed him. Then a man with a skin disease came to Jesus. The man bowed down before him and said, “Lord, you can heal me if you will.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man and said, “I will. Be healed!” And immediately the man was healed from his disease. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. But go and show yourself to the priest[a] and offer the gift Moses commanded[b] for people who are made well. This will show the people what I have done.”

 

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The “I Will” of God

“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:4–5)

There are mornings when I wake up feeling fragile. Vulnerable. It’s often vague. No single threat. No one weakness. Just an amorphous sense that something is going to go wrong and I will be responsible.

It’s usually after a lot of criticism. Or maybe after a lot of expectations that have deadlines, and that seem too big and too many.

As I look back over about 50 years of such periodic mornings, I am amazed how the Lord Jesus has preserved my life. And my ministry. The temptation to run away from the stress has never won out — not yet anyway. This is amazing. I worship my great God for this.

Instead of letting me sink into a paralysis of fear, or run to a mirage of greener grass, he has awakened a cry for help and then answered with concrete promises.

Here’s an example. This is recent. I woke up feeling emotionally fragile. Weak. Vulnerable. I prayed: “Lord help me. I’m not even sure how to pray.”

An hour later I was reading in Zechariah, seeking the help I had cried out for. It came.

“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be the glory in her midst.” (Zechariah 2:4–5)

There will be such prosperity and growth for the people of God that Jerusalem will not be able to be walled in any more. “The multitude of people and livestock” will be so many that Jerusalem will be like many villages spreading out across the land without walls.

Prosperity is nice, but what about protection?

To which God says in verse 5, “I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord.” Yes. That’s it. That is the promise. The “I will” of God. That is what I need.

And if it is true for the vulnerable villages of Jerusalem, it is true for me a child of God. That is how I apply the Old Testament promises to God’s people. All the promises are yes to me in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20). There is a “how much more” after every promise for those who are in Christ. God will be a “wall of fire all around” me. Yes. He will. He has been. And he will be.

And it gets better. Inside that fiery wall of protection he says, “And I will be the glory in her midst.” God is never content to give us the protection of his fire; he aims to give us the pleasure of his presence. I love the “I wills” of God!

 

He Will Fight For You

“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 (ESV)

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I was 19 at the time. I’d been following Jesus for a few months, and I remember starting to get angry. At God.

I gave my life to You … why is it still falling apart?

I thought You were supposed to make my life easier.

Why does some part of me still want to do the things I don’t want to do anymore?

I never would’ve said it publicly, but I held some serious resentment and disillusionment toward God.

Sadly, it wasn’t because of anything He’d done or said. In fact, it was a lot of religious baggage and ideas I had picked up along the way that were the reason for the resentment.

Growing up and going to church here and there, I always thought the people who went on stage during testimony services had it all together. Or at least, they did once they started following Jesus! They’d say things like, “I was an alcoholic for 40 years. Then, I gave my life to Jesus and have never wanted a drink since.”

I’d sink lower in my chair because what about me? In some ways life actually got harder after I started following Jesus. I now felt conflicted. I felt woken up to a battle of sorts. Was there something wrong with me?

I remember being in this season and reading the Exodus story in a fresh new way. I’d heard it tons growing up, but sometimes that’s a good reason to miss the true heart of a passage. Yet, at that time, one verse particularly stuck out.

It was right after the Israelites were freed for the final time and began to leave Egypt and Pharaoh’s rule.

That’s when they got to the Red Sea. And they started to feel the impossible ahead of them. To make matters worse, they turned around and saw Pharaoh chasing them. He had changed his mind about letting them go.

A sea in front of them, and an army behind them. They were trapped. And they began to curse and hurl harsh words at Moses: Did you bring us out here to die?! We could’ve stayed in Egypt to do that! (Exodus 14:11)

That’s when my favorite verse shows up. Moses responds:“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14).

I really try to feel Israel’s plight, but I can’t imagine how it felt. The terror. The fear. Completely shut in and stuck. Moses tells Israel they do have to do something. They do have a job. To get through this they need to obey. And the command they need to obey? Be quiet and watch God work. Have true faith in the One who brought them out of slavery.

I don’t know what you’re facing today, but what would it look like to stop and trust in your Creator? He didn’t get you this far to leave you out to dry. God goes before you and after you. He will fight for you.

My favorite part about this story is that after God opens up the Red Sea, Israel is commanded to walk. Sometimes being silent and trusting God looks like putting one foot in front of the other while towers of water are on your left and your right. But He is good, and He can be trusted.

 

Chastisement—now and afterwards

By: Charles Sourgeon

‘Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.’ Hebrews 12:11

Suggested Further Reading: Deuteronomy 8:1–10

Blessed is that chastening which being fruitful in us makes us also fruitful. It brings forth the ‘fruit of righteousness’; not natural, and therefore impure fruit, but fruit such as God himself may accept—holiness, purity, patience, joy, faith, love, and every Christian grace. It does not make the Christian more righteous in the sense of justification, for he is completely so in Christ; but it makes him more apparently so in the eyes of onlookers, while he, through his experience, exhibits more of the character of his Lord. Note again, that this righteous fruit is ‘peaceable.’ None so happy as tried Christians—afterwards. No calm is more deep than that which follows a storm. Who has not seen clear shinings after rain? God gives sweet banquets to his children after the battle. It is after the rod that he gives the honeycomb; after climbing the Hill Difficulty, we sit down in the arbour to rest; after passing the wilderness we come to the House Beautiful; after we have gone down the Valley of Humiliation, after we have fought with Apollyon, the shining one appears to us and gives us the branch which heals us. It is always ‘afterwards’ with the Christian. He has his best things last, and he must be expecting, therefore, to have his worst things first. It is always ‘afterwards.’ Still, when it does come, it is peace, sweet, deep peace. What a delightful sensation it is, after long illness, once more to walk abroad; though perhaps, you are still pale to look upon, and feeble in body, you walk out of doors and breathe the air again; you can feel your blood leap in your veins, and every bone seems to sing out because of the mercy of God. Such is the peace which follows long and sharp affliction.

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