Thinking about Wholeness

Key Verse: “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
—Matthew 9:36

Selected Scripture:
Matthew 9:18-35

WHEN CHRISTIANS THINK about ‘wholeness,’ they are bound to think about Jesus’ ministry upon earth. The brief but marvelous testimony given by Peter, when he visited Cornelius, is that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy [Spirit] and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) It is recorded in Matthew 9:1-8 how a man with palsy was healed. Later, Matthew—a publican—was called to follow Jesus; he provided a farewell dinner for his friends, which led to a question asked by the Pharisees: “Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” Jesus replied, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”—Matt. 9:11,12

To be whole is to be complete, with bodily functions performing as they were designed by God. The Pharisees thought of themselves as being whole, but they were not. The sinners knew that they were lacking, and sought help. The ninth chapter of Matthew tells how Jesus encountered a woman who had been suffering from a disease involving her blood, and “the woman was made whole.” (Matt. 9:22) ‘Being made whole’ was equivalent to healing mankind of debilitating diseases. From the series of events in our lesson, we learn that Jesus healed two blind men; cast out a devil from a dumb man so that he was able to speak for the first time; and also raised from the dead a twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue.

Jairus had sought Jesus’ help because his daughter was very ill, and nearing death. Jesus consented to visit the house of Jairus, but the crowds thronged about him impeding his pathway. The Luke account of this incident provides more details than do the Matthew and Mark accounts. The crowd that interfered with Jesus going to Jairus’ home also prevented a very sick woman from approaching Jesus directly. Her faith was so strong that she thought touching the hem of his garment would heal her. She was able to do that, and as she did, she was healed. Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” His puzzled disciples remarked among themselves that with all the people thronging about him, pushing and shoving, there was no way to tell who it was who touched Jesus. Jesus, however, knew that someone of great faith had done so, because “virtue [power]” had left him. Luke 8:43-48

Following this delay, messengers arrived from Jairus’ house with the news that the young girl had died, and that Jairus should not trouble Jesus further. Jesus went, as originally planned, and upon entering Jairus’ house announced that the maid was “not dead, but sleepeth.” (Luke 8:52) The mourners laughed him to scorn, but Jesus proceeded to raise her from the dead.—Luke 8:41,42;49-56

Jesus’ acts of healing were intended to be samples of the kingdom work, including a resurrection from the dead, and of restoring mankind to wholeness again.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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