Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 12:9-21.
But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all (Matthew 12:15).
After describing the plotting of the Pharisees “how they might destroy him” (v. 14), Matthew begins, “But when Jesus knew it….” (v. 15). This is an indication of the true deity, alongside the true humanity of our Lord. He knows all things. In John 2, the apostle says, “he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (vv. 24-25).
Christ then withdrew himself from that place. At this point in his ministry, he knew that his hour had not yet come.
Matthew adds, “and great multitudes followed him…” Throughout his ministry, Christ was constantly being thronged by the weak, the sick, the demon-possessed, the dying, the needy (cf. Matthew 4:24-25; 9:35-36).
In the last part of v. 15 Matthew adds, “and he healed them all.” That is an amazing statement. The commentary in one study Bible notes, “In all of OT history there was never a time or person who exhibited such extensive healing power.”
Even today, Christ makes whole every single person who comes unto him.
Matthew will proceed to declare that in these actions Christ fulfilled the prophet Isaiah, citing Isaiah 42:1-3 (cf. Matthew 12:17-20). He closes by saying, “And in his name shall the Gentiles trust” (v. 21). This seems to indicate that among the multitudes that followed after Christ, there were not only Jews in need of healing but also Gentiles, “and he healed them all.”
This short verse provides a window into the breathtaking scope of our Lord’s ministry. In the end we are left in awe not merely at the fact that he healed all the multitude, or that he healed both Jews and Gentiles, but that his mercy and compassion has extended even unto us.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle