In the Gospels (the books Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), Jesus performs a total of 37 miracles. 11 of these appear in Matthew 8-9:
- Healing a man with leprosy (8:3)
- Heals a paralyzed servant (8:13)
- Heals Peter’s mother-in-law (8:15)
- Heals ‘many’ demon-possessed people
- Calms the storm (8:26)
- Heals two demon-possessed men (8:33)
- Heals a paralyzed man (9:7)
- Heals a sick woman (9:22)
- Brings a dead girl back to life (9:25)
- Heals two blind men’s sight (9:30)
- Heals a demon-possessed man and allows him to speak again (9:33)
How amazing is that? Jesus heals the sick, allows the paralyzed to walk again, exorcises demons, and brings sight and speech back to the blind and mute. That’s incredible. Most of these people already had faith in his miraculous abilities, but some of them didn’t even believe he could save them (8:25). And yet, despite their lack of faith, Jesus saved them anyway!
Helping Others or Obeying Rituals?
In the Old Testament, it was forbidden to touch anyone who was ceremonially unclean (for example, anyone who had leprosy). Yet in 8:3, Jesus touches a leprous man to heal him. By doing so, Jesus shows the people that he has God-given authority over the law, and that caring for people is sometimes more important than strict adherence to religious ritual.
Following Jesus for the Right Reasons
In 8:18-20, Jesus explains with no uncertainty that following him isn’t always easy. Being a disciple of Christ isn’t a cushy job with a lot of material benefits. By explaining that to the teacher of the law, Jesus was making sure the man was following him for the right reason. You shouldn’t follow Jesus because you think it will make a better impression on other people, or in the hopes of making a profit off it. You need to follow Jesus’ teachings because you believe in his word and power.
All People Sin
In Matthew 9:9-13, we learn a hard lesson: to be a follower of Christ, you have to be merciful. Don’t shun sinners and ridicule them. Look again at 9:12:
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”
People who are on the right track in life don’t need help in the same way wayward souls do. As a Christian, it is your duty to help those in need. You can’t do that and shun them at the same time. You have to accept them as humans who happened to lose their way. Keep in mind that it is impossible to be human and not sin, and that includes you. Just because your sin is different than theirs doesn’t mean you’re any better than them.