Lesson

Kingdom Come: Receiving the Kingdom, Giving the Kingdom (Matthew 8:1-22)

Bible Passage: Matthew 8:1-22

What does it look like to have heaven invade earth? How do we receive the kingdom and how do we give it to others? Jesus shows us what this looks like when he confronts people on the margins of society through the miracle of healing. 

In chapters 5 to 7 we see the start of Jesus’ ministry in the form of teaching about discipleship, we’ve just finished going through the Sermon on the Mount. In chapters 8 and 9 Matthew goes on to present a parallel collection of stories, but this time focusing on His miraculous activity. These two chapters contain exactly half of all Jesus’ miracles individually recorded in Matthew. Jesus is demonstrating what He’s just talked about. Today we’ll be thinking about the first three miracles. 

The Outcast
1. (The leper)
Leprosy was a horrible skin disease, killing nerve endings on your limbs, people would end up burning themselves, cutting themselves, losing limbs. It was incredibly contagious. This man had to walk around proclaiming ‘I am unclean’. Lepers had to live outside the city walls. Rabbis had to keep 6 feet away from them. This man comes right up  to Jesus, he is desperate. 

‘Lord, if you are willing you will make me clean’ – such faith and confidence. Jesus answers ‘I am willing’ revealing His character, and the Father’s character, Jesus is willing to destroy the works of the enemy. 

2. (The centurion)
This man is a gentile, leads a roman army. He would lead 100 men. This man is a national enemy, an occupying enemy, who’s probably been violent and committed crimes against the Israelites. And he knows this, he says ‘I am not worthy’. But Jesus meets this man with love, no conditions. We read that Jesus blesses peacemakers, He is non-violent. Jesus knows that it’s God’s kindness that draws people in, we don’t ask people to change their behaviour before they enter the Kingdom. It’s the most compelling thing in the world to be loved when you don’t deserve it. We belong before we behave, that is the Gospel. We see it here. The centurion’s faith rocked Jesus. 

3. (The woman)
Peter’s mother-in-law, women were at the bottom of society, they weren’t able to enter the inner courts of the temple where the healing power of God was. So Jesus went to her, she didn’t even need to ask. 

V16 – Jesus started to heal everyone and cast out demons. People started to come towards Jesus. Jesus was fulfilling what was said in the book of Isaiah. 

These people were all outcasts, on the fringes of society. Regardless of where you’re at, how do we receive the kingdom and how do we give the kingdom?

Potential Applications:

  • Spend some time after the sermon in corporate prayer, praising Jesus’ character, how He demonstrates love to all people.
  • Bring challenge the Community Groups to serve the ‘outcast’
  • The title of the sermon is about receiving the Kingdom and giving the Kingdom, people could respond to say they want to step more into God’s kingdom.