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Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net. Daily Devotional | God with us: The Gospel of Matthew | Man fishing with a net.

Daily Devotional | Healing in His Presence

Young children love to spend time at a playground. They feel free and independent as they scramble from the slide to the swing set to the mini climbing wall. In reality, parents are keeping a watchful eye at a distance and are quick to respond and rescue their child from any danger.

While we may sometimes fear that God is far away and unable to see our physical and emotional needs, Matthew 8 points out that quite the opposite is true. Here, we encounter two profound healing accounts: a leper who has faith in Jesus’ ability to make him clean and a Roman centurion who believes in Jesus’ authority to heal his servant from afar. In both instances, Jesus responds with healing power, demonstrating His presence and divine authority during their afflictions.

For the leper, who was a social outcast, Jesus’ words, “I am willing. Be clean!”(v. 3), communicated more than just a physical healing. Jesus offered the comforting presence of God to someone who had experienced rejection from others and personal despair. For the Roman centurion, Jesus expresses admiration: “I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith” (v. 10). In this second miracle, even though Jesus was not physically present with the man’s sick servant (vv. 6–7), Jesus’ healing power reached him. The healing accounts of the leper and the centurion’s servant demonstrate how God’s presence can transcend physical boundaries and circumstances.

If you are wrestling with personal issues—be it illness, loneliness, or despair—draw near to Jesus in faith. God is not unaware of your situation. In every trial, in every cry for help, recognize that He is present, willing, and able to step in to restore and provide for what you really need.

Go Deeper

How can we model Jesus’ behavior when faced with the needs of friends and family? How can we serve as channels of His comforting and healing presence in the world?

Pray with Us: Lord Jesus, You heal our souls and bodies. You bring peace into our lives. Grant us grace to love what You command and desire what You promise. In this changing world, may our eyes and hearts stay fixed on You, our Immanuel!

BY James Coakley

Dr. Jim Coakleyis professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute. He earned his BA in Pastoral Studies from Calvary Bible College, his M.Div. and Th.M. in Old Testament from Grace Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from Covenant Theological Seminary. Jim is the author of 14 Fresh Ways to Enjoy the Bible (Moody Publishers). He and his wife, Gayle, live in the western suburbs of Chicago and have two adult children and three grandchildren. 

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