By Force

Some things must be forcefully done to establish a kingdom.

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Matthew 8:17 – That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

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Our Text for Today is a critically powerful statement in how the kingdom of God operates.  It is the focal point of Jesus’s ministry of healing to Peter’s mother-in-law.  When Jesus came into Peter’s house, He saw the mother-in-law sick of a fever. His touch alone caused the fever to lift from her, and she was refreshed, got up, and ministered to the guests present.  Now, for a moment, read our Text for Today once again and think on it for a moment.  We read that Jesus “bare our sicknesses.”  That is a powerful and all-encompassing statement.  It does not say that Jesus “bare some of our sicknesses,” but that He “bare our sicknesses.”  It plainly states that Jesus “bare our (all) sicknesses.”

But I urge you to take time also and consider the other half of that great statement.  It states, once again very clearly, that “Himself took our infirmities.”  Do you see the forcefulness of that statement?  To “bare” our sicknesses reveals a loving willingness to sacrifice for us.  But that He “took” our infirmities indicates an urgency and strong desire on the part of Jesus. 

Imagine yourself holding a deed in your hands.  That is the deed to all your infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases.  Now see Jesus stepping forth, not to ASK for the deed, though I’m sure most people would gladly give it up, but to TAKE the deed from you without asking, without your permission, or asking any person’s by-your-leave.  And once again, keep in mind that this is ALL your infirmities, sicknesses, and diseases. 

Now carry your thought yet forward.  Someone comes to you with a piece of paper that looks exactly like the deed Jesus took.  He stops before you and offers that document to you.  What do you do?  Sadly, most Christians seem to remember nothing of their covenant, and simply accept it as though it belonged to them.  Now stop!  What did Jesus do?  He “tookyour sicknesses and infirmities.  Here, emphasize “your.”  If Jesus “took” your sicknesses and infirmities, then what are you doing accepting something that looks just like them?  DO NOT accept that which is given to you by anyone when Jesus has bourne and taken what formerly belonged to you.  It does not belong to you.  You are being offered a lie, a counterfeit.  At that moment, as you would with any testing of your faith, draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Refuse to accept that which is not your own.

Manna for Today – Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34; John 14:12-14; John 17:18; John 20:21;       Matthew 11:12