Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Devotion based on Matthew 4:23
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Isn’t it interesting how Matthew writes about Jesus’ miracles? These works that bend the laws of nature are stated so matter-of-factly that they run the risk of going unnoticed altogether. More importantly, notice who’s benefitting from Jesus’ divine, miraculous work. When Jesus flexes a little almighty muscle, it’s not to pump up his Instagram likes or to boost the views on his webpage. It’s not to benefit him, but those who trust in him.
When you look at action words in this verse, you see that all of Jesus’ work here was born of his outward-focused, servant heart. Going…teaching…proclaiming…healing. It was all to draw people closer to God. Truly “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
And today, Jesus still serves, sending his Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of his people through the words of the Bible and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. And wonderful changes take place. First, they see him as the Savior who indeed gave his life as a ransom for them. And then they serve, with grateful hearts. No, it’s not a perfect service—no sinner could offer that! But by the Holy Spirit’s power, naturally self-centered people now look outward. People who are naturally inclined to serve self, now also seek to serve God and neighbor. People who by themselves are spiritually powerless, are empowered to be God’s instruments bringing help for people’s lives and hope for people’s souls. That is a miraculous change of heart and purpose. May God ever equip his people for such a changed life!
Gracious God, continue to miraculously change my heart and train me to serve, rejoicing in sins forgiven and following the example of my Savior Jesus. Amen.