Friday, July 25, 2008

The Willingness of Heaven on Earth

When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (Matthew 8:1-3)
In the Sermon of Heaven on Earth, Jesus taught them to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The kingdom of God is the will of God being done on earth just as it is being done in heaven. When He came down from the mount, a leper came and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can heal me.” He had no doubt that Jesus had the power an authority to heal, but what He wanted to know what was the will of God in the matter. Would cleansing him of leprosy demonstrate the will of God being done on earth as it is in heaven?

This was the only time anyone asked Jesus if He was willing to heal, and He settled the question: “I am willing; be cleansed.” And the man was healed of leprosy.

Jesus then went into Capernaum, where he was met by a Roman centurion who desired Him to heal his servant, who was at home paralyzed. Jesus again demonstrated the willingness of heaven to be manifested on earth. “I will come and heal him,” He said (Matthew 8:5-13)

Next, Jesus came to Peter’s house, where Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with fever. Jesus touched her hand and the fever left her (Matthew 8:14-15). That evening, people came to the house bringing many who were demonized and sick. Jesus cast out the demons and healed all who were sick (Matthew 8:16-17). It was the will of God being done on earth as it is in heaven.

A little while later, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee to the country of the Gergesenes, where He was met by two men who were violently demon-possessed, and He cast out the evil spirits (Matthew 8:28-34). Then He got back into the boat and came back across to His own town, where He healed a paralytic who had been brought to Him by his friends.

“Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you,” He said. When some of the scribes fumed over this, thinking Jesus a blasphemer, He said,
Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Arise and walk”? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins, — then He said to the paralytic “Arise, take up your bed and go to your house.”
The man got up, took his bed and went home. The crowds marveled and gave God glory, because Jesus showed it was the will of God in heaven to release His power on earth to heal sickness and forgive sins (Matthew 9:1-8).

Not long afterwards, a ruler in the synagogue asked Jesus to come home and lay His hand on his daughter so that she would live. Jesus was willing, so He got up and followed him. Along the way, a woman who suffered from constant bleeding came up behind Jesus to touch the hem of His garment. “Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well,” He told her, and the woman was healed. Jesus was completely willing for her to receive it. Arriving at the house of the synagogue ruler, Jesus went in and raised the dead girl to life, for it is the will of God in heaven that even the dead be restored on earth (Matthew 9:18-26)

When Jesus left there, two blind men began to follow Him, crying out, “Son of David, have mercy on us.” Jesus stopped and said, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They answered, “Yes, Lord.” He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” They believed that He was both able and willing to grant their request, and they received their sight (Matthew 9:27-31).

Then a man was brought to Him, who was mute and demonized. Jesus cast out the demon and the man was able to speak. The crowds were amazed. “It was never seen like this in Israel.” But the Pharisees had no understanding of the will of God in heaven. They answered, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”

Jesus did not turn away anyone who came to Him in faith, but granted them whatever they were seeking. For the kingdom of Heaven on Earth is the willingness of God to forgive sins, heal diseases, and set the captives free.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.