The grandson of Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa is best known for being the first to execute one of Jesus’ disciples. “He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw much this pleased the Jewish leaders, he arrested Peter” (Acts 12:2-3). An angel freed Peter.
The NT distinguishes between demonic possession and physical disease. Matthew 4:24 states that Jesus healed “all those who were afflicted, those suffering form various diseases and intense pains, the demon-possessed, the epileptics, and the paralytics” (HCSB). Thus the theory that demonic possession should be equated with epilepsy or any other neurotic ailment is weak. Some of the demons made assertions of Christ’s divinity when the disciples did not show such recognition. Mental or physical illness would not impart this type of knowledge (Mark 5:13; Luke 4:33-35; 8:29-33).
Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, which means he likely was one of the least popular citizens of Jericho. Jewish people in the first century AD despised tax collectors. They not only did the work of the hated Roman Empire but also overcharged their fellow Jews and pocketed the extra money. That’s why Luke describes Zacchaeus as “rich” (Luke 19:2). He likely built his wealth from the funds he stole from the people in his community.
The woman guilty of sexual misconduct was to lose her capacity for childbearing. This was a fearsome penalty indeed, for women in the ancient Near East established their sense of personal value and esteem on one activity only-bearing and raising children. Education, business, military status, community leadership-none of these were open to women; motherhood was everything.
This verse shows the determination of the friends of a disable man to get him to Jesus for healing. They brought their friends in a blanket or pallet to the house where Jesus was teaching. Unable to get into the building because of the crowd, they climbed an exterior stairway to the roof. After ripping a hole in the roof, they lowered him down to Jesus. Continue reading GOING TRHOUGH THE ROOF→
Matthew, author of the Gospel of Matthew, was a jewish citizen who collected taxes from his countrymen for the Roman government. After Jesus called Matthew to become one of His disciples, Matthew invited some of his tax collector friends to his home for a meal with Jesus and His other disciples.
The Pharisees criticized Jesus for associating with tax collectors and other whom they considered outcasts and sinners. Tax collectors were hated by the Jewish people because they considered them traitors who cooperated with the Romans to drain their country of its resources (read Luke 5:27).
But Jesus replied that His mission was to seek and to save people like Matthew and his friends. “They that be whole need not a physician,” He said, “but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:12).
MATTHEW 9:10- As Jesus sat at meat in the house [Matthew’s house,] behold, many publicans [tax collectors] and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
MATTHEW 9:12- But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
LUKE 5:27- And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of customs: and he said unto him Follow me.
Yes and no. Yes, prayer can cure sickness. In prayer we ask God to extend help, especially when we feel helpless. God answers prayers, often providing what we ask, sometimes not, but always giving what is best-even if that answer hurts. God heals the sick. Jesus showed us that in person. Healing is a miracle, though medical science plays its part, too. It’s important to remember that God, not our prayer to God, is the healing agent. Continue reading CAN PRAYER CURE SICKNESS?→