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Matthew 8 The Voice (VOICE)

This teaching is different. Usually rabbis cite generations of rabbis before them when making claims about the meaning of Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus honors the law, but He is clear—the law must be read in a new way.

Large crowds followed Jesus when He came down from the mountain. And as Jesus was going along, a leper approached Him and knelt down before Him.

Leper: Lord, if You wish to, please heal me and make me clean!

Jesus (stretching out His hand): Of course I wish to. Be clean.

Immediately the man was healed.

Jesus: Don’t tell anyone what just happened. Rather, go to the priest, show yourself to him, and give a wave offering as Moses commanded. Your actions will tell the story of what happened here today.

Eventually Jesus came to the little town of Capernaum. In Capernaum a military officer came to Him and asked Him for help.

Officer: Lord, I have a servant who is lying at home in agony, paralyzed.

Jesus: I will come to your house, and I will heal him.

Officer: Lord, I don’t deserve to have You in my house. And, in truth, I know You don’t need to be with my servant to heal him. Just say the word, and he will be healed. That, after all, is how authority works. My troops obey me whether I am next to them or not—similarly, this sickness will obey You.

10 Jesus was stunned by the depth of the officer’s faith.

Jesus (to His followers): This is the plain truth: I have not met a single person in Israel with as much faith as this officer. 11 It will not be just the children of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob who celebrate at their heavenly banquet at the end of time. No, people will come from the East and the West—and those who recognize Me, regardless of their lineage, will sit with Me at that feast. 12 But those who have feigned their faith will be cast out into outer darkness where people weep and grind their teeth.

13 Then Jesus turned to the Centurion.[a]

Jesus: You may go home. For it is as you say it is; it is as you believe.

And the officer’s servant was healed, right then.

What happens next seems to embody the officer’s wise opinion about authority: over and over Jesus shows just what His authority means.

14 Jesus went to Peter’s house, and there He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed, sick and burning up with a fever. 15 Jesus touched her hand, and then she was healed—the fever vanished. She got up from bed and began to wait on Him.

16 Toward nighttime many people who were possessed by demons were brought to Jesus, and He said one word of command and drove the demons out, healing everyone who was sick. 17 These miraculous healings fulfilled what the prophet Isaiah had predicted:

He took our infirmities upon Himself,
    and He bore our diseases.[b]

18 Jesus saw that a crowd had gathered around Him, and He gave orders to go to the other side of the sea. 19 A scribe came up to Him.

Scribe: Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.

Jesus: 20 Foxes have dens in which to sleep, and the birds have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.

Disciple: 21 Jesus, before I do the things You’ve asked me to do, I must first bury my father.

Jesus: 22 Follow Me! And let the dead bury their own dead.

Does Jesus say, “Fair enough, you must of course bury your father. Just catch up with Me when you are done”? No. This is one of the strange and radical things Jesus brings about—our families are no longer our families. Our deepest bonds are not those of blood. Our family now is found in the bonds of fellowship made possible by this Jesus.

23 And then Jesus got into a boat, and His disciples followed Him. 24 Out of nowhere, a vicious storm blew over the sea. Waves were lapping up over the boat, threatening to overtake it! Yet Jesus was asleep. 25 Frightened (not to mention confused—how could anyone sleep through this?), the disciples woke Him up.

Disciples: Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!

Jesus: 26 Please! What are you so afraid of, you of little faith?

Jesus got up, told the wind and the waves to calm down, and they did. The sea became still and calm once again. 27 The disciples were astonished.

Disciples: Who is this? What sort of man is He, that the sea and the winds listen to Him?

28 Eventually Jesus came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gadarenes. There, two men who lived near the tombs and were possessed by demons came out to the seaside and met Jesus. They were flailing about, so violent that they obstructed the path of anyone who came their way.

Demons (screaming at Jesus): 29 Why are You here? Have You come to torture us even before the judgment day, O Son of God?

30 A ways off, though still visible, was a large herd of pigs, eating.

Demons: 31 If You cast us out of the bodies of these two men, do send us into that herd of pigs!

Jesus: 32 Very well then, go!

And the demons flew out of the bodies of the two flailing men, they set upon the pigs, and every last pig rushed over a steep bank into the sea and drowned. 33 The pig herders (totally undone, as you can imagine) took off; they headed straight for town, where they told everyone what they’d just seen—even about the demon-possessed men. 34 And so the whole town came out to see Jesus for themselves. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their area.

Footnotes:

  1. 8:13 A Roman military officer in charge of about 100 foot soldiers
  2. 8:17 Isaiah 53:4
The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Matthew 8 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

The Faith of the Centurion

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

Jesus Heals Many

14 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:

“He took up our infirmities
    and bore our diseases.”[b]

The Cost of Following Jesus

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Jesus Calms the Storm

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Jesus Restores Two Demon-Possessed Men

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes,[c] two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 8:2 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  2. Matthew 8:17 Isaiah 53:4 (see Septuagint)
  3. Matthew 8:28 Some manuscripts Gergesenes; other manuscripts Gerasenes
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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