Today’s Bible Reading:
Genesis 8; Matthew 8; Ezra 8; Acts 8: Proverbs 8
As I continue to ponder where my treasure is today’s reading in Proverbs seemed particularly fitting.
Wisdom is calling with these words:
“Take my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than choicest gold. For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her.” Proverbs 8:10-11, NASB
“I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, even pure gold, and my yield better than the choicest silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, to endow those who love me with wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.” Proverbs 8:17-21, NASB
“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways. Heed instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 8:32-35, NASB
In light of this I consider the people who met Jesus as recorded in my reading of Matthew chapter 8 today:
First the man with leprosy, who came to Jesus and bowed down before Him. This man knew Jesus could heal him and yet also understood that it would only happen if Jesus was willing to do so. It kind of makes me think of Jesus’ own prayer in the garden the night he was arrested, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” -Matthew 26:39b, NASB
And Jesus healed this man. From everything I have learned about leprosy at the time it could not have been easy for this man to gain access to Jesus. The verse that introduces this encounter says large crowds were following Jesus. A person with leprosy was shunned by everyone, they were unclean and had to constantly announce such to any who came near. Yet here we see Jesus touching this man and completely healing him-from unclean to clean in an instant. What a picture of what God has done in our lives through the saving work of Jesus Christ. What a treasure we have!
Next comes the Roman officer who seeks Jesus in order for his servant to be healed. Jesus offers to come with the centurion and heal his servant, but the officer’s response is: “Lord, I am not worthy for you to come under my roof, but just say the word and my servant will be healed.” Jesus, commends this Roman for his great faith…faith that exceeds any He has seen in the people of Israel. I imagine too that this Roman officer was another who would have been despised by the people that were surrounding Jesus-but he was not despised by Jesus. I am struck again by my own unworthiness to have received the marvelous gift of grace from God’s Son. What a treasure I have in Jesus!
After this Jesus arrives at Peter’s house where he notices that Peter’s mother-in-law is sick in bed. Seemingly without a word Jesus goes to her and heals her. As far as what is recorded she did not ask for anything from Jesus, but He saw her need and healed her so that she could go about the work that needed to be done-and it was going to be a very busy evening and many people came to Jesus to be healed. Matthew writes, “This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases.’” -verse 17. Just reading about this night when so many came and were healed by Jesus stirs my innermost being as I imagine what it would have been like to witness this. This is the Jesus who is my Lord and Savior. What a treasure I have!
Next, Matthew records to very short accounts of men who came to Jesus, seeking to follow Him. The first stated that he wanted to follow Jesus wherever He goes. We don’t know what became of this man, but it feels like Jesus is telling this man that to follow Him means leaving the comfort and security of a home behind. Is this treasure I have found worth that to me?
The second man, perhaps upon hearing Jesus’ response to the first man, asked that Jesus would first permit him to go and bury his father. I have always thought Jesus response rather strange, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” -Matthew 8:22. It has always struck me as a little harsh, perhaps it follows well behind Jesus’ previous statement to the first man-as if He is saying, “Okay, so you would leave home behind, but how about your family? I wonder too if Jesus is saying that to follow Him is life and to choose another path is death, so do you stay behind with those who are dead rather than following the One who is Life? I don’t know, just a thought. But with that thought, recognizing that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, what a treasure I have in Him!
Grace, peace, and mercy,