Matthew 8:16-20
Mat 8:16 (KJB)
When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:
As soon as the word spread that Jesus was in Capernaum at Peter’s home, the people who were devil possessed and sick with diseases were brought to the home of Peter. Since this was the sabbath day, the people had waited until it was officially over so they waited until evening and then the crowds started heading to the house of Peter. Jesus, just by His word, had cast the devils out of the people and healed those who were sick of various diseases. Here we read that Jesus had healed all that were sick and none left that day disappointed.
Mat 8:17 (KJB)
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
(Isa 53:4 KJV) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. Matthew alludes to Isaiah 53:4 in this passage. The word “infirmities” has to do with the fact of our spiritual weaknesses. James 5:14 (KJV) Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: The word “sick” in James 5:14 is the same word for “infirmities” in Matthew 8:17. What is in view here is not a physical sickness. The reason that is obvious is because first of all, the word “sick” carries with it the meaning of being without strength and spiritually weak. If one was sick, would they call for the elders of the church or the doctor? Elders of the Church deal with spiritual matters not medical matters. When the elders go to the person who is spiritually weak, they are prayed over and anointed with oil. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and when someone is anointed, they are consecrated or ordained to salvation. (1 John 2:27 KJV) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.
When we speak of the sick, the primary message of the Gospel is the healing of the sin sick soul and not the body. The miracles that Christ did and those of the Apostles were confirming the word that was spoken plus they gave a visible message showing the difference between someone who is afflicted with sin versus someone who has been healed. It was the picture of salvation. The sick ones were the picture of the unsaved and the healed ones were the picture of the saved. (1 Pet 2:24 KJV) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Notice that salvation is linked with the healing by the stripes of Christ. If the central message of the Gospel was physical healing, we would not need cemeteries, but we do. The body dies but the redeemed spirit goes to be with the Lord immediately on the separation which is called death.
Mat 8:18 (KJB)
Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.
Since it would have been night, Jesus would not have told the people to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee which would have been the eastern side unless there was enough light. This was a period of time maybe the next day or the day after because the great multitudes would have taken some time to assemble. So this was not right after He healed Peter’s mother in law but a period of time had lapsed.
Mat 8:19 (KJB)
And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
Apparently this scribe had wanted to follow Jesus and made the declaration that he was willing to follow Jesus wherever He went. The words “I will follow” are in the future tense. We do not know if this scribe was sincere because maybe he saw the miracles that Christ did and possibly thought that if he follows Jesus, there may be an opportunity for wealth and notoriety. He may have also have gotten caught up in the moment when Christ was healing and people were praising God for their healing. This is another lesson for us that we must make sure that we are not caught up in the moment of elation at evangelistic events but to make sure we know that if we do get involved, it will cost something. Many get excited at Bible conferences and special meetings at their church but never look beyond to assess what the actual commitment will cost.
Mat 8:20 (KJB)
And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
The scribes declaration of the following of Jesus prompted a quick and realistic answer from Jesus. Following him would not be a bed of roses and it would not be a life of ease. The scribe needed to assess the cost of the commitment in following Jesus. It cost as much as a person’s life. Jesus basically tells him that the foxes have their dens and the birds have their nests for rest and repose but the “Son of Man” has nothing like this. Jesus never had a permanent residence while He was here on earth but stayed in people’s homes or outside all night. This was the reality of following Him, it was not going to be five star hotels and everyone welcoming them and loving them. This is the first usage of the term “Son of Man” in the book of Matthew, where Jesus is pointing out the fact that he will suffer and die as a human and His followers can expect the same treatment. (John 15:20 KJV) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. The scribe was probably used to easy living and the life of a follower of Jesus was not for him unless he was truly saved and qualified to be a follower.