“This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and carried away our diseases’” (Matthew 8:17).
Jesus Christ died for the sins of all who trust Him, yet believers still sin. By His resurrection He conquered death, yet Christians still die. He overcame suffering and illness, yet believers still have pain and disease. Jesus’ main purpose in the atonement was to conquer sin and death, not just to conquer physical suffering. That latter fulfillment is still in the future (cf. Rom. 8:22–25; 13:11).
It is hard to argue that Jesus’ healing ministry and crucifixion now mean that Christians should no longer expect illness. If that argument is true, then we should expect not to die—but that’s false. Again, the gospel is all about forgiveness from sin, not deliverance from disease (cf. 1 Peter 2:24).
In view of the convincing nature of Jesus’ healing ministry, it’s hard to understand why anyone who heard or saw any of those miracles would not receive Him. It is especially hard to fathom that God’s own people, with all their special blessings—the law, the prophets, the covenant—would mostly reject the Son of their God. But from the outset of Christ’s incarnation, John speaks of this rejection: “Those who were His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11).
Any denial of Jesus flies in the face of the facts, whether such unbelief was by people in Jesus’ day or by skeptics today. As His healing ministry progressed, the proofs of His divinity, power, mercy, and goodness became obvious beyond contradiction. They all demand a saving faith in the one true Savior and Lord.
How do you think you would have responded to the ministry of Christ, had you been there to witness it firsthand? Are the reasons for doubting Him today any different than they were then?
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008.