Praise God!

Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:29-31)

Hurting humanity constantly sought the Healer for healing. The signs of Christ’s power and of His goodness were neither scarce nor scanty.

“Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed, finding as He promised, perfect peace and rest.” -Frances Havergal
They still are not. In our verses for today we discover our Lord sitting on a mountainside so that He is both visible and accessible to all. Jesus received all kinds of people–the poor as well as the rich, the ordinary as well as the opulent, those in bondage physically as well as those in bondage emotionally and spiritually, the lowly, the outcast, the “undesirables.” We are all the same at the foot of the cross. As Jesus sat on the mountainside, it was as if he was settling in to do His gracious and good work. Isaiah tells us:

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
(Isaiah 30:18)

People were continually bringing their infirmed relatives and friends to Jesus and laying them at his feet as objects of pity for His healing touch. The illnesses spoke for those in need much more eloquently and clearly than any words could have ever accomplished. Certainly, the only way to find peace and relief for all problems plaguing humanity is to lay them at the feet of Jesus. Physical ailments and as well as spiritual diseases were no problem for the Great Physician. Now, just as then, the Lord Jesus eagerly desires to heal all.

When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no one to answer? Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you? (Isaiah 50:2)

“There are no disappointments to those whose wills are buried in the will of God.”
-Frederick William Faber
We all desire wholeness. We all want to experience peace like a river and righteousness like the waves of the sea. If we are honest with ourselves, we will acknowledge that our dreaded rebellious streak, our persistence in going our own way, and our determination to pursue paths which are against God and His ways have caused us much harm and produced nothing but futility. Yet Jesus holds out His arms to us, ever wooing and drawing us back.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

This is what the LORD saysyour Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”(Isaiah 48:17)

“His love in times past forbids me to think, He’ll leave me at last in trouble to sink.”
-John Newton
Faith comes in believing what God says is true. It is trusting that He has our best interest at heart and that His ways work out to our advantage in the end. This is not to say that our paths will be easy or painless but they will always accomplish God’s good work in us. We can trust Him. Similar to the physically sick people who were clamoring for His touch because they believed He could and would help them, we too can know that Jesus will help us. The scene described in the verses for today is reminiscent of the one described just prior to the Sermon on the Mount. Earlier in Matthew we are told:

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them. (Matthew 4:23-24)

The work of our Savior was not limited to His preaching. His miraculous deeds pointed to the fact that He was who He claimed to be. His actions authenticated His message. Indeed, Jesus came teaching, preaching, and healing:

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. (Matthew 9:35)

Take It to Heart

And they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:31)

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