Jesus had an undeniable passion for people.
3 Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.Matthew 8:3 NASB1995
13 And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.Matthew 8:13 NASB1995
14 When Jesus came into Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her . . . and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.”Matthew 8:14-17 (excerpts) NASB 1995
He also probes beneath the external appearance, circumstances, or conversation to expose their heart issues.
- But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.”
- He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?”
- “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.”
- He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. . . “
He did not come just to put bandaids on problems or set up a corner non-drug store. He did not content himself with surface treatments when the need festered far beneath. He lived out the Old Testament adage that God desired compassion, not sacrifice. He was not looking for someone who looked like they had it all together. He was calling the broken hearted. Whether that heart broke over their own circumstance or another’s, Jesus sought those who knew the best was yet to come.
These chapters show person after person interrupting Jesus’ day with a need, a burden. Each time Jesus stopped and saw them and had compassion on them. Leper, centurion, synagogue official, crippled man, demon possessed, blind men, a woman with an unmentionable illness, and on and on. This was why he had come, because the need was overwhelming. Those that should have been caring for these hurting people were too busy offering sacrifices and analyzing the law.
What am I too busy doing? Do I stop and notice and respond? If any of those steps is missing, I’m falling short of following Christ’s example. I might not be able to restore sight or life or health, but the act of seeing is often the most craved. As Jesus showed us in his interaction with the crippled man, physical healing was not his greatest need.
He set a clear example for us to follow, now the choice rests with us.
Lord God, help me to see the greatest needs of those around me. Help me to slow down, to see them in their hurt and speak with relevance into it. Open my eyes to the heart issues that need hope, and to the brokenness that needs love. Saturate my word choice with your wisdom and vision for those around me. In Jesus name, amen.