Signs of the Kingdom – Matthew 9

When Jesus was asked if He was the Messiah, King of the eternal kingdom of God, He responded by referencing the prophet Isaiah’s signs of the coming kingdom.

Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.   Matthew 11:4-5 (HCSB)

It was a unique report. Some of the prophets in the Old Testament are recorded in the Bible as having performed several physical miracles to attest to their credentials and to testify to the presence of God among His people.  But none of these came anywhere close to the volume and span of the amazing miracles that Jesus performed during His three-year ministry.  He performed these as He shared the good news of salvation with all people, especially with the poor and humble of the land.  Matthew gives an account of some of the things that happened on just one of these days as Jesus was preaching and teaching the crowds and the disciples about the kingdom of heaven.

18 As He was telling them these things, suddenly one of the leaders came and knelt down before Him, saying, “My daughter is near death, but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 So Jesus and His disciples got up and followed him.

20 Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years approached from behind and touched the tassel on His robe, 21 for she said to herself, “If I can just touch His robe, I’ll be made well!”

22 But Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” He said. “Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that moment.

23 When Jesus came to the leader’s house, He saw the flute players and a crowd lamenting loudly. 24 “Leave,” He said, “because the girl isn’t dead, but sleeping.” And they started laughing at Him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.  Matthew 9:18-25 (HCSB)

The truly amazing thing is that God still heals today.  He does not usually do so in such a pronounced way as He did when announcing the arrival of the kingdom – it will often be done quietly and discretely, in His timing, and using His chosen methods.  It may involve the medical community, or it may not.  If it does, He will make a way to put the right doctor or staff in the right place at the right time.  And He does not heal everyone.  God is sovereign, and He makes the call as to who gets healed or who does not.  But when His healing does not come to a believer, it is NOT because they did not have enough faith.  Their faith puts them and others in the powerful position of being able to rightfully petition Him, and He encourages believers to always do that.  His answer may be yes, but it may also be no, and if so, we will one day learn the reason why He responded in that way.

After raising the little girl from the dead, Matthew tells us that Jesus immediately encountered two blind men who wished to have their sight restored.

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, shouting, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”

28 When He entered the house, the blind men approached Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I can do this?”

“Yes, Lord,” they answered Him.

29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “Let it be done for you according to your faith!” 30 And their eyes were opened.  Matthew 9:27-30 (HCSB)

Jesus is a different type of king than any who came before Him.  He is filled with compassion for people and deeply loves them.  Though God, He was also human, and must have been physically exhausted by the press of the crowds as they desperately sought to be healed.  He stayed on course with His mission to seek out the lost sheep and to bring them under His eternal protection as their Good Shepherd.

35 Then Jesus went to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every sickness. 36 When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”  Matthew 9:35-38 (HCSB)

The work of the kingdom is ongoing today, one person at a time, one day at a time.  Jesus is calling us to join Him in His work, whatever that may be.  As a teacher named Rosemary Gallatin once said, it will be something we will enjoy, it will follow His word, and it will energize us as we work alongside Him on a harvest of restoration, recovery, and eternal salvation.  May eyes and hearts be opened as the Holy Spirit works through us to draw people to join Him and His eternal kingdom.  May all signs point to Jesus as the One True hope for the world and the people He created.


Father God, we ask You to continue sending workers out into Your harvest. Use us and the gifts and talents You have given us to help build Your kingdom.  By the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, teach us to work alongside You as holy instruments who have been purified and made fit for service by faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  May You be glorified in everything we do for the kingdom.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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