Read: Matthew 4:23–5:12
Bible in a Year: Leviticus 26–27; Mark 2
Remain in me, as I also remain in you.—John 15:4
When Dr. Rishi Manchanda asks his patients, “Where do you live?” he’s looking for more than an address. He has seen a pattern. Those who come to him for help often live in conditions of environmental stress. Molds, pests, and toxins are making them sick. So Dr. Manchanda has become an advocate of what he calls Upstream Doctors. These are health care workers who, while providing urgent medical care, are working with patients and communities to get to the source of better health.
As Jesus healed those who came to Him (Matthew 4:23-24), He lifted their eyes beyond the need for urgent physical and material care. With His Sermon on the Mount He offered more than a medical miracle (5:1-12). Seven times Jesus described attitudes of mind and heart that reflect a well-being that begins with a new vision and promise of spiritual well-being (vv. 3-9). Two more times he called blessed those who experience relentless persecution and find their hope and home in Him (vv. 10-12).
Jesus’s words leave me wondering. Where am I living? How aware am I of my need for a well-being that is greater than my urgent need for physical and material relief? As I long for a miracle, do I embrace as enviable the poor, broken, hungry, merciful, peacemaking heart that Jesus calls blessed? —Mart DeHaan
Father in heaven, it’s so hard to see beyond our pain. Please let us sense Your mercy in this moment. Lift our eyes beyond ourselves. Let us find a new vision and source of health in the care of Christ, who heals.
When God is our home, our hope is in Him.
INSIGHT: The end of Matthew 4 implies that people were following Him in the hope of being healed of anything that ailed them. Yet in response to the crowd’s desire to be physically healed, Jesus responds with words that can heal the soul. The Great Physician looks deep into our hearts and heals not just our bodies but our souls as well. J.R. Hudberg