How To Get Health And Wealth From God

Jesus did many miracles. We have seen His miracles throughout Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus did miracles in order to show that He was the Messiah prophesied about in the Old Testament (Cf. 8:17). Once again, the text leads us to consider Jesus’s miracles of healing and provision. As we consider miracles again, I want to ask—How can we get Christ’s miracles to work for us? How can we tap in to the miraculous and experience healing and plenty, health and wealth?

Matthew 15:29-39

Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”

The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?”

And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”

And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. And sending away the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.

Jesus heals the crowds (v. 29-31)

Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.

Departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon (Cf. v. 21), Jesus and the twelve travelled about 40 miles southeast to the Sea of Galilee—a journey that would have taken about sixteen hours on foot without stopping, but I imagine Jesus stopped along the way with His disciples. Jesus is now sitting on a mountain, and crowds begin coming to Him and bringing their sick and physically incapacitated. Jesus heals them as He normally does during His bodily ministry on this earth. Jewish people come to Jesus and, without any further qualification, Jesus takes their infirmities like the prophets foretold (Cf. 8:17). This is the nature of the Messiah’s work among the Jews (Cf. Isaiah 53:4). Healing is, in the First Century, neither normative for every nation nor prescribed for ministries beyond those of Christ and the twelve apostles. Healing is a particular characteristic of the Messiah’s incarnate ministry according to Old Testament prophecy and specific to the Jews, though Jesus did heal Gentiles on occasion (Cf. 8:5-10; 15:21-28). It makes sense that Matthew majors on the Messiah’s miraculous works rather than His providential work. God works both ways, but Matthew majors on the miraculous because he is writing to Jews in order to prove that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah; Israel’s prophets foretold that the Messiah would come take the infirmities of the Israelite nation. Jesus fulfills the prophets. The result of Jesus’s miracles was the glorification of the Father, not the exaltation of people—as we so often neglect when we consider God’s miraculous work.

May we never misconstrue God’s word to insist that ministries must be characterized by the miraculous and that modern people, especially gentiles, should come to the gathering expecting to plainly experience the miraculous. Further, may we never misconstrue God’s miraculous work as if it is centered on us—When God performs a miracle, it is for His glory and not our amusement or self-exaltation.

Jesus’s will (v. 32)

And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”

The people have been with Jesus for three days, and Jesus feels compassion for them.Either they have gone three days without food or they have had time enough to run out of provisions. Jesus does not want them to go away hungry. Something can be said, here, about Jesus’s general compassion for people and His whole creation. Something can also be said about Christ’s promise to provide for His people.

In His sermon on the mount, Jesus taught:

For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:25-34).

Do you see the promise? Seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness, and the provisions we need will be added to us according to God’s will. What do we see happening in Matthew 15?

  1. Many Jews have sought out Jesus according to Isaiah’s promise.
  2. They have been with Jesus for three days listening to Him and being glorifying God—not seeking to get something more from God.
  3. Now, Jesus wills (Greek: θελω) that they should not go away without provisions.

When was the last time you accidentally stayed in church for three days because you go caught up glorifying the Father? People today can barely stand to glorify God in worship for one hour before they have to get back to their homes, their schedules, their chores, their work, and their own provisions. If we are so anxious to go about our business and about our own lives, we have not glorified the Father but ourselves. We have sought miracles rather than God and God’s righteousness. What will James write to the church?

You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures (James 4:3).

These Galileans are glorifying God and God is keeping His promise to those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; He wills to provide for them in a miraculous way—a promise not only for the Jews but all those who seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

Jesus’s provisionary work (v. 33-39)

The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?”
And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.”
And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

I guess Jesus’s twelve disciples don’t remember the feeding of the five thousand (Cf. 14:13-21). Like He did then, Jesus miraculously multiplies bread and fish to feed four thousand men and their families. There were leftovers. Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness and every provision will be added unto you.

As I write this, I am dealing with some sinus drainage that I have asked God to remove, and He has chosen not to. I can still function to seek after Him and do His work. Two weeks ago, my stomach was churning, I was nauseated, warm, and could not think clearly to do the ministry of His word. I asked God to heal me and within the hour I had no symptoms and went about my day for His glory. There have been seasons in my life wherein I had no income and needed to pay rent and for groceries. God provided as He worked all things together. He never gave me more than I needed to continue doing the things He called me to do. When we seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness, He provides everything we need to continue seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. This is His promise to His people, but I need to make a couple clarifications about the promise.

  1. Jesus is not a slot-machine. We cannot put in our money or time, pull the lever, and hope something good comes out. This is the way the “prosperity” or “health and wealth” Gospel is usually preached. If you begin going to church because you think Christ is going to miraculously get your life together or try to follow some of God’s rules because you think you can earn a blessing, you are seriously misconstruing God’s promise to provide.
  2. We seek God’s kingdom, not our own. Seeking God’s kingdom is to seek after what He is doing as He renews this earth through the presentation of the true Gospel and inviting others to respond to His eternal Gospel—Repent; The kingdom of Heaven is at hand (Cf. 4:17).
  3. We do not seek after miracles or provision, for to seek after miracles and to fill our own needs is to seek after our own kingdoms.
  4. We seek God’s righteousness, not our own. To assume that we can be good enough to  earn a blessing from God or that God will give us good things if we follow some rules is to seek our own righteousness. That’s legalism. Seeking God’s righteousness means repenting and trusting in God to pass-over our trespasses—to lose ourselves as we glorify Him rather than ourselves and to know Him as He is, holy. The more we know Him, the more we are conformed to the image of His Messiah.

After all, Jesus teaches that he who wishes to find his life must lose it (Cf. Matthew 10:39; 16:25). He asks us simply to come sit at His feet and learn from Him (Cf. Matthew 11:29). When this is our lifelong pursuit, He makes every provision for our lives according to His will. 

And sending away the crowds, Jesus got into the boat and came to the region of Magadan.

Magadan is between Gennessaret and Magdala on the coast of the Sea of Galilee.

Jesus’s Identity According to Matthew 14-17:

Who Jesus is:Who Jesus is not:
The expected Messiah (Isaiah 35:4-5; 61:1-2):
The one who would heal His people, take their infirmities, raise the dead, and restore justice to the earth.
John the Baptist; the new Elijah (Cf. Malachi 4:5-6):
Not merely a prophet, teacher, or good person.
Compassionate provider; Israel’s Messiah (Cf. Exodus 3:6-9; 34:6; Psalm 78:38-39; 2 Kings 13:23; Isaiah 14:1; 49:13; Lamentations 3:32; Zechariah 10:6).Not merely  an inspirational figure or brilliant strategist. Not limited by human means.
The Son of God; the king who perpetually sits on the Messiah’s throne prepared through King David (2 Samuel 7:14-17; see also Proverbs 30:4; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Daniel 3:25; Micah 5:1-3 concerning the “Son of God” motif in the Old Testament). Israel’s deliverer.Not a wish-granter or halfway savior.
The one who upholds God’s Law and justifies the Father’s people from the inside out (Cf. Genesis 49:10; Isaiah 29:13-14; Jeremiah 23:5).Not the one who abolishes God’s Law according to people’s preferences, traditions, or philosophies (Cf. Matthew 5:17).
The one who engages and uproots false teachers, churches, and religions in His own perfect timing.Not the one who instructs his people to attract the world into the church no matter the cost or hunt down false teachers and their ministries.
The one who came to the lost sheep of Israel and through whom the nations of the world are blessed (Genesis 12; 15; 22).Not the one who condemns people based on religious ritual, standards, or traditions (outward acts).
The one who takes the infirmities of His people (Isaiah 53:4) and who makes provision for those who glorify the Father with their whole lives.Not a slot machine for people to use for their own glory or exaltation by putting in time, money, or self-righteous works.

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