You don’t have to live very long before you realize life doesn’t always make sense. I know I’m a pastor and I’m not supposed to make those kinds of statements. I know I’m supposed to have it all figured out and have it together, whatever IT is. How about you? Do you have it all figured out? Here’s some proof you probably don’t!
In the eighth chapter of the book of Matthew, Jesus goes into the home of Peter. Peter’s mother is laying in bed with a fever. So Jesus touches her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. Every thing makes perfect sense up until this point. She’s sick- Jesus heals her.
But then Matthew tells us more:
That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.” Matthew 8:16-17
Wait a minute, how could we know that unless Matthew told us? Good question! Chances are when you interpret that passage from Isaiah, you associate it with what Jesus did on the cross. Isaiah is writing about a future event as if it’s already happened.
Why does prophecy have to be so tricky? Glad you asked. I don’t know. What I do know is there are a lot of people who make predictions based on prophecy. In some cases, there is not a lot of evidence to back up their claims. Meanwhile, the intent of the original writer becomes fuzzy.
What’s wrong with trying to figure out the details? Nothing. The problem is when you start focusing on small setbacks in your life, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Was it a drag that Peter’s mother-in-law was sick? Sure. However, we all have setbacks in life. We all suffer and go through trials and tribulations. The good news is there is a bigger picture to consider. In the bigger picture, God is in control and loves you. He knew you’d need encouragement, so he left you with passages like Isaiah 53:4
Why is the bible so hard to understand? Glad you asked! It’s only hard to understand if you lose sight of the whole story. In a nutshell, the bible is about ruin, redemption and restoration. God spoke paradise into existence and placed man in it and they disobeyed him and sin entered the picture. Throughout history, God set the stage for Christ to come on the scene and die for mankind. Now God is in the process of restoring all things. The bible is only hard to understand when you try to figure it out without keeping the whole story in mind. We can endure sickness and heartache when we know God has a plan for our lives.
What did Jesus mean when he said we’ll do greater works? Probably just what he said. We are his body in the world. Who’s to say what we’re capable of. Perhaps we’ve already done more than we could ever realize. If we knew, we’d probably be overly proud and hung up on ourselves. Anyway, you can be sure God is perfectly capable of using you for his purpose.
Can we have an idea of how significant we really are? Who knows. Have you ever been sick or know someone who was? Matthew tells is writing to an audience of Jews. He makes a connection between the healing power of Jesus and Isaiah’s prophecy. Matthew informs his readers that Jesus cares for those who are sick and possessed. That’s good news, not just for them, but for you and I!
How hard is life? Real hard. Sometimes you get sick or discouraged and wonder why? Sometimes it’s hard to put all the pieces together. It’s real easy to get to the point where you wonder if anyone really cares, including God.
Remember, when I asked my wife for a title for this post, she jokingly said, “When life’s a lemon, suck it up!”. Don’t believe me? Go back and read the subtitle. God knew this was the mantra of the world, so he left love notes like those found in Matthew 8 and Isaiah 53:4 to remind us just how much he really cares! I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I do know one thing, God’s got a plan!