We began a series yesterday working through Matthew chapters 8 & 9. Following on from Jesus’ first public words in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew narrates Jesus’ first public actions. Throughout this series we’ll be looking for the big picture Matthew is building up by arranging these stories together.
Yesterday, we saw Jesus’ first healing: of a man with leprosy, an Israelite who was an outcast in his own society. It was a story of Jesus meeting people’s needs in the here-and-now, as a sign that he was fulfilling the “suffering servant” role spoken of in Isaiah 53.
Today, we see Jesus’ second healing, which is equally significant: a non-Israelite, who nevertheless displays the key requirement for experiencing the blessing of the kingdom – faith.