Focal passage: Matthew 8:5-13
All too often we read the Bible through self-focused lenses rather than through God-focused lenses. We do this by reading a passage in light of the personal narrative of our lives rather than the meta-narrative of scripture. Often this causes us to miss the main point of a passage because we jump too quickly to personal application.
It is particularly easy to make this mistake when reading about the miracles that Jesus performs in the gospels. Matthew positions nine such miracles in Matthew 8-9. One might read of Jesus cleansing a leper, healing paralytics, curing a fever, calming a raging storm, casting a legion of demons into a herd of pigs, raising a dead girl to new life, healing a chronic bleeder, opening the eyes of the blind and the mouth of the mute, and then ask the question, “Why don’t we see these things happening more often today?”
To ask this question is to miss Matthew’s main point. These two chapters are organized like McDonald’s notorious hamburger, the Big Mac: There are 3 separate sets of 3 miracles (the bread of the Big Mac) and sandwiched in-between are two calls to discipleship (the meat of the Big Mac).
Matthew, as he does throughout this gospel, is organizing material in such a way that we see Jesus as the Authoritative King. When the Son of David speaks, creation obeys: diseases must leave, destructive storms must stop, demons must exit, death must let go and disciples must follow. This is what we are to see today as we read these texts: Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the Authoritative King over all creation.
Therefore let us read these miracles and first rejoice that Jesus, the authoritative King, is the One who came to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).
He is a trustworthy and powerful King who is able to defeat the great enemies that wage war against His people. Therefore, like the centurion, let us boldly and humbly present our requests to God believing that Christ is the King over all.