Matthew 8

A man who had an illness of the skin comes to meet Jesus

1 Jesus came down from the hill and a large crowd followed him. 2 A man with a bad illness of the skin came to meet him. He went down on his knees in front of Jesus and he said, ‘Sir, if you want, you can make me well again. Please do it.’

3 Jesus put out his hand towards him and he touched him. ‘I do want to help you. Be clean again,’ Jesus said. Immediately, the man's skin was clean again. 4 Jesus said to the man, ‘Listen. You must not tell anyone about this. Instead, go and show yourself to the priest. Take a gift to him for God. Moses taught the people what gift to take to God after this kind of illness. This will show everyone that you are now well again.’

An officer in the army believes that Jesus can help him

5 Jesus went into Capernaum. An officer in the Roman army came to meet him. He asked Jesus to help him. 6 ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘My servant is lying in bed at home. He cannot move his legs and he has a lot of pain.’

8:5The officer was a soldier in the army of King Herod Antipas. He had authority over 100 men. The officer was a good man and he took care of his men. The officer was not a Jew, but the Jews said good things about him. The Jews did not usually say good things about those who were not Jews.

7 Jesus said to the officer, ‘I will go with you to your house and I will make your servant well again.’

8 But the officer answered, ‘Sir, I am not good enough for you to come into my house. Instead, just say that my servant will get better. I know that he will then be well again. 9 In my work, someone has authority over me. I also have authority over other soldiers. I say to one soldier, “Go!” and he goes. I say to another one, “Come!” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this!” and he does it.’

10 Jesus heard what the officer said. He was very surprised. He spoke to the crowd that was following him. ‘I tell you this. I have never found anybody like this man in all of Israel. Nobody else believes in me as well as he does. 11 I tell you, many people will come from all over the world to take their place in the kingdom of heaven. There they will sit down to eat with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 12 But other people who think that God's kingdom belongs to them will not be there. God's angels will throw them into the dark places that are far away from God. There those people will cry very much. They will bite their teeth together.’

8:10The officer was not a Jew. Jesus would have thought that the Jews should have believed in him. They should have believed in him more than other people did.
8:12Jesus was talking about many of the Jews. God chose the Jews to be his own people. But many of them did not obey God, so they could not be part of his kingdom.

13 Then Jesus said to the officer, ‘Go home. You believed that I would make your servant well again. So I will do it for you.’ At that moment, the servant did become well again.

Jesus makes many people well again

14 Jesus went into Peter's house. There, he saw the mother of Peter's wife. She was lying in bed. She was ill and her body was very hot. 15 Jesus touched her hand and immediately she was well again. So, she got up and she prepared food for Jesus.

16 That evening, people brought to Jesus many people who were ill. Many of them had bad spirits in them. Jesus spoke a word so that the bad spirits left them. He made everybody who was ill well again. 17 Jesus did this so that the words of the prophet Isaiah would become true:

‘He took away everything that makes us weak.

He carried away everything that makes us ill.’

18 One day, Jesus saw a large crowd of people round him. So he told his disciples, ‘We should go across the lake to the other side.’ 19 A teacher of God's Law came to Jesus and said to him, ‘Teacher, I will go with you everywhere that you go.’ 20 Jesus replied, ‘Wild animals and birds have their own places to live. But I, the Son of Man, have no place of my own to lie down and rest.’

21 Another man who was one of Jesus' disciples said to him, ‘Sir, I want to come with you. But first, let me go home and bury my father. Then I will come with you.’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘No! You must come with me now. Let those people who are dead themselves bury their own dead people.’

8:22The man wanted to wait until his father had died. Then he would go with Jesus and be his disciple. People who did not believe in Jesus could bury the dead people. Jesus needed people now to tell the good news about the kingdom of God.

Jesus stops a storm

23 Then Jesus got into a boat. His disciples also went with him. 24 Immediately a great storm began to blow across the lake. Water began to go into the boat and fill it. Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went to him and they woke him. ‘Master, save us!’ they said. ‘We are going to die here in the water!’ 26 Jesus said to them, ‘You should not be so afraid. You should trust me more than you do!’ Then he stood up and he spoke strongly to the wind and the water. ‘Stop!’ he said. Then the wind and the water became quiet again.

27 The disciples were very surprised. They asked each other, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the water obey him!’

Jesus makes two men well again

28 Jesus arrived at the other side of Lake Galilee. He came to a place where the Gadarene people lived. Two men who had bad spirits in them came to meet him. These men lived in a place where they buried dead people. They were very strong and dangerous. People were too afraid to walk that way because of them. 29 When the two men saw Jesus, they immediately shouted at him, ‘You are the Son of God! We have nothing in common! Have you come to punish us before the right time comes?’

8:28This place is across the lake from Galilee on the east side of the lake. About 2 kilometres (one mile) from the shore there is a small village called Khersa. There were some big holes in the rocks there. The people from the village buried dead people in the holes. Some people also lived in the big holes as houses. They were not Jews.
8:29The bad spirits were speaking to Jesus. They knew who Jesus was. They knew that one day God would judge them.

30 A large group of pigs was eating there, not very far away. 31 The bad spirits said to Jesus, ‘If you make us leave these men, please send us to those pigs. Let us go into them.’ 32 Jesus said to the bad spirits, ‘Go!’ So the bad spirits came out of the men and they went into the pigs. All the pigs rushed together down the hill into the lake. They all died there in the water. 33 When this happened, the men who took care of the pigs ran away. They went into the town. They told people there everything that had happened to the men with the bad spirits in them. 34 So everybody came out of the town to meet Jesus. When they saw him, they said, ‘Please go away. Leave our part of the country.’