25 Days of December: Matthew Chapter 8

Hello all! If this is your first time joining us: this is post #5 in a 25 part series I call “25 Days of December,” where we will be studying the book of Matthew in hopes of gaining access to “soul food” during this season of busyness and distraction! I’m so glad you’re here!

I want to remind you that I will be referencing The Message and NIV translations with occasional mentions of biblehub.com. If you do not have a bible handy, you can click here to link straight to Matthew chapter 8 on biblehub.com. I have been asked what bible I use. If you would like to view the two bibles I use, you can visit Amazon through these links: link 1 and link 2 and purchase your own! (Note: link 2 is to a bible that is SIMILAR to The Message translation that I use. The exact one I have, is not available on Amazon but the one linked is a women’s version I’m sure you will love! If you are looking to gift one, there are many other versions available including men’s and youth versions!)

Now that we are prepared with reading material, let’s get started!

So far, we have learned some very practical tips we can apply to our everyday life. I am just going to say it: things are about to get real! Deep. Chapter 8 is not only about healing, but about true faith, our ultimate mission here on Earth and even a confrontations with the enemy.

The points we will be touching on today are:

  • “Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” -Matthew 8:4 (The Message translation)
  • Having TRUE faith
  • “Your business is life, not death” -Section title heading (The Message)
  • The enemy gets very uncomfortable around those who speak the truth. Even the enemy knows Jesus will be returning!

 

  • “Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” -Matthew 8:4 (The Message translation)

Matthew 8:1-4 (The Message) reads: “Jesus came down the mountain with the cheers of the crowd still ringing in his ears. Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, ‘Master, if you want to, you can heal my body.’ Jesus reached out and touched him, saying, ‘I want to. Be clean.’ Then and there, all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, ‘Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.’

I pondered these verses for a while before I finally got revelation. The best example I can use here is: If you suffer from alcoholism (for example) and the Lord heals you, don’t go around town boasting of your alcohol free life. Allow your sober living to speak for itself and give credit to God if someone notices.

  • Having TRUE faith

Two verses stuck out to me here.

Matthew 8:10 (The Message) says: Taken aback, Jesus said, ‘I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know all about God and how he works.'”

Matthew 8:12 (The Message) makes this point again: “‘Then those who grew up ‘in faith’ but had no faith will find themselves out in the cold, outsiders to grace and wondering what happened.'”

People who claim to be “believers” and even more so, the people who have claimed to be “Christians” their whole lives but have no faith will find themselves out in the cold missing out on their blessings and wondering why God isn’t hearing them. We must reach down and find our true faith, not only in times when things are going our way, but most importantly when things ARE NOT going our way. We must trust in God’s timing. Who are we to accuse God of not hearing us? He hears us and we must believe that He has our best interest at heart. I find a lot of times, that if God doesn’t answer our prayers in the way we want Him to or WHEN we want Him to, we give up. We get mad. We doubt. We lose our way. Have a little faith in the creator of ALL things and the One who holds the blueprint to your entire life and beyond.

  • “Your business is life, not death” -Section title heading (The Message)

Matthew 8:20-22 (The Message): ” Jesus was curt: ‘Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.’ Another follower said, ‘Master, excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have my father’s funeral to take care of.’ Jesus refused. ‘First things first. Your business is life, not death. Follow me. Pursue life.'”

In this verse, they may be talking about the actual physical death of this follower’s father but I want to take this a step further and apply it to things we may experience daily. Let’s think about the “death” of friendships, jobs, houses, projects and seasons of our lives. We can not stay focused on the “death” of those things. Grieve and move on. (I promise I’m not heartless!!) We MUST focus on life and what God has planned for us. If we are too busy looking back, we may miss what is right in front of us. Please, don’t hangout in the yucky feelings of that loss. God has a PLAN for you and he is waiting for you to knock on the door and say, “Here I am Lord, and I’m ready to go through this with you, thick and thin.”

  • The enemy gets very uncomfortable around those who speak the truth. Even the enemy knows Jesus will be returning!

Matthew 8:29 (NIV) says: “‘What do you want with us, Son of God?’ They shouted. ‘Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?‘”

The enemy was hoping Jesus was going to leave them alone until the time of His return. Boy were their hopes about to be squashed!

Matthew 8:34 (NIV) says: “Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.”

The enemy wants NO part in being exposed or told to leave! Be prepared to face trials during a time where you are exposing the wrong things of this world. Can you recall a time where you told a friend they were being cheated on and you did not face condemnation or judgement from those involved?

You guys, you just dove into the deep end with me! I hope I didn’t lose you. Being a Christian is not for the faint of heart! Contrary to popular belief- being a christian does not mean you show up on Sunday with a smile plastered on your face and go around shaking hands all week. Christianity is about getting on your knees in your quiet time and crying and praying for those who are hurting, it’s about trying our best to apply scripture to our own life no matter HOW HARD that proves to be, it’s about sacrificing your date night to show up for a suicidal friend, and it’s about going through the trials and struggles of this world with FAITH that God is with us and has a wonderful plan for our life and a bundle of promises to fill our eternity! Amen. 🙂

Please join me tomorrow as we dive deeper into the book of Matthew, Chapter 9! Pray you all have an amazing rest of your Sunday and begin this next week with a newfound strength in your faith!

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