Well people do not need doctors (Mt 9:12-9:12)

“But when Jesus

Heard it,

He said.

‘Those who are well

Have no need

Of a physician,

But those who are sick

Do need one.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας εἶπεν Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες ἰατροῦ ἀλλ’ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες

 

This response of Jesus is almost the same as in Mark, chapter 2:17, and Luke, chapter 5:31-32.  Jesus heard (ὁ δὲ ἀκούσας) what the Pharisees were saying to his disciples.  He responded that the well people or strong ones do not need (εἶπεν Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ἰσχύοντες) a physician or medical doctor (ἰατροῦ), but the sick do (ἀλλ’ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες). As Pope Francis likes to say, the Church is a mobile ambulance, not a hospital waiting for people to come in.

Healing the sick and possessed (Mt 8:16-8:16)

“That evening,

They brought to him

Many who were possessed

With demons.

Jesus cast out

The spirits

With a word.

He cures all

Who were sick.”

 

Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δαιμονιζομένους πολλούς· καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ, καὶ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ἐθεράπευσεν·

 

There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-34, and Luke, chapter 4:40-41.  When evening came (Ὀψίας δὲ γενομένης), they brought many people who were possessed with demons or under the power of evil spirits (προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δαιμονιζομένους πολλούς).  He cast out these demons with merely a word (καὶ ἐξέβαλεν τὰ πνεύματα λόγῳ).  He cured or healed all the sick people (καὶ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ἐθεράπευσεν) around there without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer.

The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (Mt 8:14-8:15)

“When Jesus entered

Peter’s house,

He saw

His mother-in-law

Lying in bed

With a fever.

He touched

Her hand.

The fever left her.

She got up.

She began to serve them.”

 

Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν·

καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς, καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός· καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.

 

This healing story about the mother-in-law of Peter can be found in Mark, chapter 1:29-31, and Luke, chapter 4:38-39.  The context is different in Luke and Mark since Jesus was leaving the synagogue.  He also went into Simon’s house, his Hebrew name, rather than Peter’s house, his Greek name.  Here Jesus entered Peter’s house (Καὶ ἐλθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν Πέτρου).  He then saw Peter’s mother-in-law (εἶδεν τὴν πενθερὰν αὐτοῦ), lying in bed sick with a fever (βεβλημένην καὶ πυρέσσουσαν).  He then touched her hand (καὶ ἥψατο τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῆς) and her fever went away (καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτὴν ὁ πυρετός).  Then she got up and began to serve or wait on them (καὶ ἠγέρθη, καὶ διηκόνει αὐτῷ.) with her normal hospitality.  This was a typical healing that took place with a touching hand.  The mother-in law of Peter was staying at his house.  She was cured so well, that she able to do the normal tasks of hospitality.  However, there was no mention of Peter’s wife.

Famous faith healer in Syria (Mt 4:24-4:24)

“So,

Jesus’ fame spread

Throughout all Syria.

They brought to him

All the sick.

This included

Those afflicted

With various diseases,

And with oppressive pains.

It also included

Demoniacs,

Epileptics,

And paralytics.

He cured them.”

 

καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εἰς ὅλην τὴν Συρίαν· καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ βασάνοις συνεχομένους, δαιμονιζομένους καὶ σεληνιαζομένους καὶ παραλυτικούς, καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς.

 

Once again, Matthew has some unique information about the fame or the news of Jesus that had spread all over Syria (καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἡ ἀκοὴ αὐτοῦ εἰς ὅλην τὴν Συρίαν) that was not in the other gospel stories.  This was not impossible since Syria was just north of Galilee and actually Damascus was closer to the Sea of Galilee than Jerusalem.  Besides, there was a large Jewish population in Syria also.  Perhaps this Gospel of Matthew came from Syria.  However, the key element was the healing power of Jesus that also was very strong in the Gospel of Mark.  Here in Matthew, Jesus is the faith healer per excellence.  They brought all kinds of sick people to Jesus (καὶ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ πάντας τοὺς κακῶς).  This included people with various diseases and oppressive pains (ἔχοντας ποικίλαις νόσοις καὶ βασάνοις συνεχομένους).  There was also demoniacs, epileptics, and paralytics (δαιμονιζομένους καὶ σεληνιαζομένους καὶ παραλυτικούς) who came to him.  He cured them all (καὶ ἐθεράπευσεν αὐτούς.).  There was no difference between spiritual and physical illness, so that healing those possessed of the devil was not out of the question.

Profanation of the name of Yahweh (Mal 1:12-1:14)

“But you profane it

When you say

That Yahweh’s table

Is polluted.

Thus,

The food for it

May be despised.

‘What a weariness this is.’

You say.

‘You sniff at me.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘You bring what has been taken

By violence,

Or is lame,

Or sick.

This you bring

As your offering!

Shall I accept that

From your hand?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Cursed be the cheat,

Who has a male in his flock!

If he vows to give it,

Yet sacrifices to Yahweh

What is blemished!

I am a great King!’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘My name is revered

Among the nations.’”

These priests have profaned the name of Yahweh.  They have polluted Yahweh’s table.  They have brought despised food to Yahweh’s altar.  They were tired, weary, and sniffing at Yahweh.  They brought offerings that had been violated, lame, or sick.  Should Yahweh accept these blemished offerings?  No, he should curse those who vowed to bring sacrificial offerings, but instead cheated him by bringing blemished animals.  Yahweh was a great king whose name was revered throughout the whole world, among all the countries.

The polluted food (Mal 1:7-1:8)

“Yahweh said.

‘By offering polluted food

Upon my altar.

You say.

‘How have we polluted it?’

‘By thinking

That Yahweh’s table

May be despised.

When you offer blind animals

In sacrifice,

Is that not wrong?

When you offer those

That are lame

Or sick,

Is that not wrong?

Try presenting that

To your governor!

Will he be pleased

With you?

Will he show you favor?’

Says Yahweh of hosts.”

Yahweh was upset at these priests.  They had offered up polluted food on the altar of Yahweh.  These priests wanted to know how they had polluted the food.  Yahweh responded that they had despised him by offering up blind, lame, and sick animals instead of healthy and sound animals.  They had done Yahweh wrong.  Would they present these kinds of wounded animals to their governor?  Would he be pleased with them?  Would he show them favors?  Thus, they have despised Yahweh by offering these kinds of wounded, unfit, or unclean animals.

The false alliance with Assyria (Hos 5:13-5:14)

“Ephraim saw

His sickness.

Judah saw

His wound.

Then Ephraim

Went to Assyria.

He sent

To the great king.

But he is not able

To cure you.

He was not able

To heal your wound.

I will be

Like a lion

To Ephraim.

I will be

Like a young lion

To the house of Judah.

I myself

Will tear.

I will go away.

I will carry off.

None shall rescue.”

Ephraim and Judah saw that they were not in a good place, since they were sick and wounded. King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria had taken over the northern half of Israel. Then the king of Israel, King Pekah (737-732 BCE) made an alliance with the king of Aram, the area around Damascus, or southern Syria. However, this did not help. Therefore, Yahweh was going to be a lion against Ephraim, and a young lion against Judah. Meanwhile, Yahweh was going to tear himself away. He was not going to rescue them.

The free prostitute (Ezek 16:30-16:31)

“Says Yahweh God.

‘How sick is your heart?

You did all these things.

You did the deeds

Of a brazen whore.

You built a platform

At the head

Of every street.

You made your lofty place

In every square.

Yet you were not

Like a whore,

Because you scorned payment.’”

Yahweh God spoke out again. How sick was the heart of Jerusalem? She had acted like a brazen whore, a prostitute. As mentioned earlier, she built a platform at every street corner and a lofty place in the town square. The only difference between her and a common whore, was that she did not accept any payment for her prostitution activities.

The sickness (Lam 5:17-5:18)

“Our hearts

Are sick

Because of this.

Our eyes

Have grown dim

Because of these things.

Mount Zion

Lies desolate.

Jackals prowl

Over it.”

The hearts of the people of Jerusalem are sick. Their eyes have grown dim. Mount Zion has become desolate. The famous jackals prowl all around the city.

Forgiveness for all (Isa 33:23-33:24)

“Your riggings hangs loose.

It cannot hold the mast firm in its place.

It cannot keep the sail spread out.

Then prey in abundance will be divided.

Spoil in abundance will be divided.

Even the lame will fall to plundering.

No inhabitant will say.

‘I am sick.’

The people who live there

Will be forgiven their iniquity.”

Isaiah remarks that despite the fact that the ship is not in good shape since the riggings are loose, the mast is not firm, and the sail is not spread out, you will not have to worry. There will be enough prey to be divided up. There will be so much spoil that even the lame will be able to plunder the area. No one will be sick in this utopian time. In fact, all their iniquity will be forgiven so that they do not have to be anxious or troubled.