Leprosy is a horrible, disfiguring disease. The OT book of Leviticus used the term leprosy in reference to numerous maladies, all requiring both physical and ceremonial cleansing. Thus, the leper asked to be made clean. Not all of Jesus’ healing miracles required faith, but cleansing from our sins always requires faith and obedience (John 8:24). The leper was an outcast. All sinners are separated from God. We were undeserving of God’s Son (Rom. 5:6-8).
The healing of the centurion’s servant demonstrates faith in one who asked on behalf of another. It also demonstrates Jesus’ ability to heal over distance. Jesus did not have to be present to heal. At that very time the servant was healed. Jesus commends the faith of the Gentile, Roman centurion (an officer in charge of 100 soldiers), in contrast to the faith of the Israelites who were so slow to believe.
Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever. In gratitude, she then began to wait on him, or tend to his needs. How do we respond to the Lord’s blessings, especially forgiveness? How do we use our resources, selfishly or with a servant heart? As he often does, Matthew connects the activity of Jesus with OT prophecy. Isaiah had foretold that the Messiah would be a great healer. The Great Physician truly is now near, the healer of the soul’s diseases.
We cannot follow Jesus without cost. Jesus gave his life for us; we must give our life to him. We could always make excuses, but when Jesus chose to die for us, he made no excuse. Let the world deal with mundane things. Follow him. Jesus miraculously calmed a real storm on the lake (called Galilee, Gennesaret, Tiberias, and in the OT, called Kinnereth). Jesus can quiet the storms of life. He will keep us from drowning in worldly cares and worries. Do not be afraid; even the winds and waves obey him. It seems that once the divine power to deal with them was no longer present on earth, the evil spirits were not among men. How pitiful that the Gadarene people were more upset over losing their pigs than they had been over the demon-possessed men. Sadly, the world often prefers its pigs to Jesus.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.