A Prophecy Fulfilled

Read: Matthew 8:16-17; Isaiah 53

He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. (v. 16)

To fully understand Jesus’s miracles we have to go beyond a simple retelling of the events. In performing miracles, Jesus was fulfilling the word of God’s prophet Isaiah.

Long before Jesus was born, Isaiah told God’s people that their disobedience to God, their worship of idols, and their injustice to the poor were violations of the covenant they had made with him—to bring them into a good land where he would be their God and they would be his people (Exod. 6:7). The consequence of their disobedience would be exile in a pagan nation, Babylon, living as slaves, not as the free people God had rescued for himself (Jer. 20:1-5). That exile was a terrible but loving discipline. God eventually brought them back to their land (Jeremiah 30, Ezra 1). But that was only half the solution. Who would remove Israel’s sin? Isaiah completed his prophecy with a solution they hadn’t imagined. A Suffering Servant would come to them, remove their sins, and bear them himself.

In today’s reading, we glimpse the power of that prophecy, and the faithfulness of God, showing us that Jesus’s miracles were the beginnings of that fulfillment, completed on the cross. The prophecy of restoration is fulfilled by the miracle of suffering. The restoration of every person who turns from sin and believes is perfected in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

As you pray, thank God for keeping his word, and for the suffering he endured in Christ to perfect your restoration to him.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 6 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus