What do you need? No doubt I could receive a thousand and one answers from my readers. But I trust that by the time you have read this material, you will know that every need you now have, can and will be supplied by God.
Why is this secret of receiving your needs from God located here in Matthew chapter eight? The answer to this can be found in the structure of the book of Matthew. The Bible is the Word of God and everything God does has unity and purpose. In chapters one and two the birth of Jesus is recorded. Chapter three takes us to His baptism and in chapter four His temptation and the commencement of His ministry.
Let us notice particularly Matthew 4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” And so in chapters five, six, and seven we find the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus is teaching and preaching, meeting the spiritual need of the people.
Matthew 8 follows the Sermon on the Mount, and we see the miracle-working Christ in action, ‘healing all manner of sickness.” As we follow carefully the five miracles recorded in this one chapter, we shall see a definite pattern emerge that will give us the secret of receiving your need from God. You need to know this secret and operate it in your daily life for the glory of God.
In Matthew chapter 8, verse 2, Jesus is met by a leper. This man was in desperate need. He was the victim of a disease that in its advanced stages is horrible indeed. He could have been in this condition for a long time, but perhaps your need could be of even longer standing. However, this is no problem to our God.
The leper did two things, and you should note his reverence and his request. “There came a leper and worshipped him” (verse 2). The biblical attitude of worship was to kneel down or prostrate oneself, showing humility and a recognition of the greatness of the one standing before you. Your attitude often determines what you get materially as well as spiritually. If you are a salesman, and you approach a customer with a large dollar sign on your forehead, you can be sure he will not buy much from you. But if you approach the customer with the attitude that you are there to bring him benefit, the sale is nearly made.
Not only did the leper show his reverence, but he also made known his request. “Lord, if you will you can make me clean” (verse 2). Perhaps the leper had seen or heard about some of the miracles recorded in the latter part of chapter 4. He knew healing was available: “You can make me clean.” Even today most people do not doubt the ability of God to do these things, for if there were anything that God could not do, He would not be God. Also, like the leper, most people today would ask “If thou wilt.” “God can, but is He willing to do it for me? I’m sure He can, but will He?” This must be established before you can receive what you need from God.
The Word of God is the will of God. In the Word it is clearly revealed that a multitude of blessings are for everyone who believes. Would it be a good thing if God supplied that lack in your life, fixed up that problem, went to work in those circumstances? Then notice what it says in James 1:17: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father.” Notice also Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
The purpose of the leper’s request was to establish the will of God in his case. If you will work the Word you can establish the will of God in your case. This must be the first step in receiving your need from God. Until you know what is the will of God you will be unable to use the key of believing to make it a reality in your own life and circumstances. Let me repeat this first step: Establish the will of God from the integrity of His Word.
God never says “No” to anyone who comes to Him claiming His promises. He never has, and He never will.
Verse 3 gives the two-fold response of Jesus that took this man from failure to success in just a moment of time. The first thing that Jesus did was “put forth his hand, and touched him.” This was the first of eight recorded incidents in which Jesus touched a person in ministering healing. The wonderful thing about it on this occasion was the fact that Christ actually touched a leper. Leprosy is a contagious disease, and because of this no Jew would ever touch a leper or anything that could have had contact with a leper. The germ that causes leprosy is only .006 mm long, and lodges in any minute crack in the skin. But did Jesus become leprous? No, because whenever and wherever you are operating the power of God in your life, God will take care of you. Jesus did not lay hands on everyone He ministered to, but only did so by revelation. This teaches us that just laying hands on the sick is not sufficient. There has to be some other part of the healing act.
The second thing that Jesus did, after being moved with compassion and moving his hands in ministering, was to move his lips. He spoke just two words, translated into five words in the King James version: “I will; be thou clean.” He did not say, “Wait a moment, and I will find out if it is allowed,” or “Let me check the church manual and see what the ritual is for this thing.” He knew the will of God and therefore He went straight ahead and ministered. In John 8:28 Jesus said, “I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” Verse 29: “For I do always those things that please him.”
Two things left the leper the moment Jesus spoke the will of God to him. First, his doubt of God’s will left him. He immediately believed, and according to his believing faith it was done. Second, his leprosy left, for verse 3 tells us that “immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” One moment his skin was white as snow, the next moment it became as smooth and clean as the skin of a baby. What a thrill this was to see such a long-standing problem dealt with by the power of God.
The final command of Jesus was for the leper to go and obtain independent proof of his healing, for this would bring glory to God (verse 4). The leper had shown his reverence and asked his request of Jesus. In return, Jesus moved his hands and moved his lips to meet the man’s great need. The first step you must take to receive your need from God is to Establish the will of God.
Before any building can be erected someone must give the authority for the work to commence. Before you can receive your need from God you must recognise the authority of God’s Word. In the first miracle in Matthew 8 we saw how necessary it is to first establish the will of God for your circumstances. Now, as we look closely at the second miracle we see a remarkable incident in the ministry of Jesus.
Upon returning home to His headquarters in Capernaum, Jesus was met by a centurion, an officer in the Roman army. He was a real man over men. The position of a centurion was one obtained only when the soldier had met strict conditions. Because of his position he had a slave to attend to his personal wants. A Roman slave was what might be termed a “living tool”; they had no rights and could be ill-treated or killed if their master so desired. Consider these facts in the light of this centurion’s act.
The centurion, beseeching Jesus, said: “Lord, my servant lies at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” This man had true compassion for he was moved to do what he could on behalf of his servant. You will always find it a greater blessing to do something for another person than to do even the same thing for yourself.
The answer of Jesus to the centurion’s request reminds us of His answer to the leper in the previous incident. On that occasion He said: “I will; be thou clean.” Once again, without having to consult anybody or anything, “Jesus said unto him, I will come and heal him.” This should be a great encouragement to those in need of healing, for twice in this chapter we have seen God’s will in regard of healing. The Word declares God’s will for all that you need.
At this point in the incident there occurs a remarkable turn of event. The centurion was no doubt thrilled and grateful that Jesus was willing to help his servant, but now he persuades the Lord not to come to his house to perform the healing act. In this statement of the centurion we will find the second step to receiving your need from God.
“The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” There is a power in the Word of God that few believers have yet discovered or utilised. This Gentile soldier recognised that when Jesus spoke, things happened! We are even given an insight into his thinking, showing us how he knew this to be true.
“For I [also] am a man under authority, having soldiers under me” (verse 9a). (The Greek text has the word “also,” unfortunately omitted by the King James translators.) This is a tremendous statement. The centurion is not only describing his own position, but is at the same time applying it to Jesus. He is telling the Lord that he knows the power of authority, and likewise that he knows the Lord has that authority. Jesus recognised this fact, for if it were not true He would have corrected the centurion’s statement, in the same way He corrected many statements made to Him by the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus was a man under authority, as well as a man with authority.
In John 8:28 Jesus said: “I do nothing of myself.” In John 8:26 He relates this to his speech: “I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him [God].” In John 5:19 He relates it to His works: “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do.”
The second step in receiving your need from God is to Recognise the authority of the Word. Christ is the Living Word; He had authority over Satan, over sin, and over sickness. Just read the four Gospels and this truth will stand out clearly for you. His ministry is summed up in Acts 10:38 where it states that He “went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
In the miracle before us in Matthew 8 we see the authority of Christ in the Spoken Word. The centurion had asked Jesus to “speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” When he continued by giving his reasons how this could be, Jesus “marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (verse 10). And turning to the centurion He said: “Go thy way; and as you have believed, so be it done unto you. And his servant was healed in the same hour” (verse 13).
You must recognise the authority of the Bible, the Written Word. The Word has the answer for every detail of your life. The Psalmist said: “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). In another place he said: “He sent his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions” (Psalm 107:20). It was only when men started questioning the Word that modernism and evolution and other faith-destroying theories spread throughout the Church. What is needed today is belief in the integrity of God’s Word.
If you recognise the authority of the Living and Written Word, you will not find it difficult to recognise the authority of the Prevailing Word. This is the Written Word on the lips of the believing ones, and it prevails mightily over Satan, sin, sickness, and every want known to man. In Acts 19:20, after that great bonfire when the books of this world, valued at 50,000 pieces of silver, were destroyed, the record states: “So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” To receive your need from God you will need to recognise the authority of the Prevailing Word as being greater than the philosophy and “how to-do-it” books of this generation. Paul thanked God for the Thessalonian believers “because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13).
Do you want to receive your need from God? Then here are the first steps you need to take: (1) Establish the will of God from His Word, and (2) Recognise the authority of the Word in its inherent integrity. If you will sincerely do this, the results can be just as glorious in your life as you have already seen in the miracles in Matthew 8. Start acting on this today.
God has made a complete provision for everything you need! This is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You cannot limit the atonement of Jesus to just include the time He spent upon the cross. The scriptures indicate that the atonement commenced at the whipping post and continued right through to His resurrection and ascension. Paul says: “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (I Corinthians 15:14). This is why Paul’s heart-cry was “that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).
In verses 14 to 17 of Matthew 8, containing unnumbered miracles, we find illustrated the third step in receiving your need from God. The first two verses of this section give the account of the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law. She was gripped by possibly malaria or typhoid fever and was unable to assist in making their guest welcome. It is interesting to notice the three steps in her deliverance, seen in the comparison of the accounts given in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
In Matthew 8:15 it says that Jesus “touched her hand.” In Mark 1:31 it is recorded that He “took her by the hand, and lifted her up.” In other words, He took charge of the situation. It matters not what your greatest need is right now, but if you will fulfill the conditions laid down in the Word, God will immediately get to work on the problem. In Luke 4:39 we read: “He stood over her, and rebuked the fever.” The command of Jesus brought deliverance. It was an immediate healing for “she arose and ministered unto them” (Matthew 8:15).
Both Mark and Luke tell us that this healing took place on the Sabbath. This is important to note in view of what follows. That same evening, when the sun had set, “all the city was gathered together at the door” (Mark 1:33). Why did the people wait until evening to bring their sick to the Lord? It was nothing less than the power of religion. The people were bound by the strict rules of the religious leaders who considered it a sin to help anyone with medical aid on the Sabbath. The people therefore waited until the Sabbath ended at sunset, and then flocked to Peter’s house, bringing their sick and devil-oppressed relatives and friends. It is this part of the scripture that we need to meditate upon, for here is the key to the third step.
There is no record of anyone coming to Jesus sick and going away in the same condition. So it is no surprise to read that “He cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick” (Matthew 8:16). This should thrill you for it is again further proof that when you come to the man of God in the way God has stated, you will receive your need from Him.
Matthew alone, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives the most vital verse in the whole story, verse 17. Why did Jesus heal all the sick? “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” This is the Spirit’s record of the original meaning of Isaiah 53:4 and should have been the guide of every translator of the scriptures. However, in Isaiah 53:4 the King James version reads: “Surely he hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows.” The Amplified Bible rightly makes this footnote: “Sickness is the literal and marginal reading. See ASV, RSV, etc., margins and commentaries generally.” Above all this, it is correct because of its rendering in Matthew 8:17.
The importance of Matthew 8:17 is seen when we realise that it is quoted from Isaiah 53, the great redemption chapter. Here we have not an eye-witness account of the death of Christ, but an “inside” view of exactly what happened during His atonement. Did Christ pay the penalty for our sins? Yes — and He also made the provision for our physical needs. The two go hand-in-hand all the way through the Bible. For instance, Psalm 103:3, “Who forgiveth all thine in iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases.”
However, do not limit it to just these two blessings. Read this verse carefully: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8: 32). What is included in “all things”? There is only one logical and scriptural answer, and that is everything! Since He freely gives us all things, we are therefore enabled to be “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).
This great principle of the Word is repeated again and again, especially in the Epistles. “For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours” (I Corinthians 3:21b-22). Well, are they yours?
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Every thing is ready — the provision has already been made.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). I am so thankful that He does not supply our need out of His riches in glory, for then the supply might run out. But the scripture states plainly that He “shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory.” That is, on the basis and with the same magnitude of His riches He will make us rich. A man is called a rich man because he has the ability and resources to provide his every want and need. God has made this provision for us through the atonement of Christ: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (II Corinthians 8:9).
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3). As we know this great truth, then we start operating our lives on the fact of the Word, and not on feelings or circumstances.
This is the third step in receiving your need from God: Know your sonship rights. Know what is rightfully yours and know that it only becomes reality when you acknowledge the atonement of Christ as the provision for your every personal need. When you acknowledged Christ as the Lord of your life you became a child of God, a member of the family of God. God would say to you what the father said to the eldest son: “Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine” (Luke 15:31). Determine now to make it the one aim of your life to “know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Corinthians 2:12).
Faith and believing are the most talked about words in Christian circles, but the least acted upon. People study faith, talk faith, read about faith, but do not operate their believing faith. Faith and believing are most important words to a Christian; to many they mean the same thing, but this is not so. The two words must be clearly distinguished and understood in the light of their immediate context, and whether they appear in the Gospels or the Epistles. Faith is given to us by God at the time we are saved. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that [faith] not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:16, 20b).
Believing is operative in the lives of saved and unsaved alike. It is an amazing fact that nowhere in the Epistles are we urged to have faith, whereas all through the Gospels Jesus was encouraging people to believe. Students of the Word who desire a greater spiritual insight into faith and believing should work these words carefully.
The usage of the word “believing” in our current language does not assist us in a true understanding of this vital principle. Today its meaning is so often only what might be termed “mental assent,” agreeing instead of acting. You will recall that a verb is a word of doing, a word of action. Believing therefore demands action. Let me illustrate this simply for you before proceeding with this section from Matthew, chapter 8.
When you visit in a home, your host indicates where you will sit. Approaching your seat, you glance quickly at it and then sit down, resting your weight upon the legs of the chair. When you glanced at your seat, it was for the purpose of determining whether you considered it capable of holding your weight. You knew your host would not use a chair that would collapse under you, and since the one you approached seemed to be trustworthy by outward appearance, you sat down. This is believing, because you acted upon what your mind considered was right. If you remained standing after agreeing the seat would hold your weight and there was no accompanying action, this then would be only mental assent.
The key that will unlock the provision of God on your behalf is your believing. Perhaps we could re phrase the statement of a great man of past days and say “More things are wrought by believing than this world dreams of!”
There are two tests given by Jesus to his disciples in Matthew 8:18-27. In the first section (verses 18 22) there is the test of discipleship and in the second section (verses 23-27), the test of believing. Our main aim at this time is to share with you the second section.
The incident of the stilling of the storm was a tremendous test of the disciples’ believing. A sudden storm erupted on the Sea of Galilee, on this occasion being the result of an earthquake under the sea. The word “tempest” (verse 24) is seismos, translated elsewhere in the New Testament as “earthquake.” The waves ran high and with much force, “insomuch that the ship was covered with waves.” We need to remember that a number of these men were expert fishermen, but the fury of the storm was so great that they were unable to keep control of the ship. Can you imagine a worse situation, a small ship in the midst of an unusually fierce sea?
Jesus was in the back of the ship asleep, no doubt tired after a long day of teaching and healing. When all seemed just about lost, “his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish” (verse 25). As far as their natural eyes could determine, and in accordance with their past experience on the water, the statement was true enough. However, they made just one mistake — they forgot what Jesus had said to them. The same mistake is made by most believers today. Jesus had given “commandment to depart unto the other side” (Matthew 8:18). He had declared they should go over, not go under! If they had remembered His statement, they would have been full of believing instead of full of fear (wrong believing.)
Jesus said to them, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” (verse 26a). Much fear equals little believing. The inference is that if they had only operated their believing, they would not be in a situation where they had to ask the Lord to help them. “Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm” (verse 26b). He had already rebuked the disciples for their lack of believing; then He rebuked the storm. Who caused the storm? It was Satan, for Jesus would not rebuke the work of God, His Father.
Note: “a great tempest” (verse 24) and “a great calm” (verse 26). Believing can make a tremendous difference in your life also, when it is put into operation. Just a quick reading of the Gospels will bring to light the oft-repeated saying of Jesus: “According to your believing be it unto you.” By an act of your will, Use the key of believing, unlock the treasure chest of good things, and receive your need from God.
When we speak of retaining your need from God, let us be sure we do not get the impression that God wants or expects us to lose it. God wants you to keep His blessing, but Satan wants to take it from you. Satan will do all he can to trick you into giving up that which God has freely provided for you. God’s blessings are permanently yours as far as God is concerned. They are only a “flash in the pan” as far as Satan is concerned. Now the real issue hinges on you — your attitude, your believing, your conviction to stand on the Word.
The word “retain” has been deliberately used to indicate the continued manifestation of the blessing of God. For example, if we have received healing, continued health would be the manifestation of the effectiveness of the healing from God.
The battle in which you are engaged is a little different from those of this world. In this battle you are sure of victory! “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4). “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4) .
As we come to the last miracle recorded in Matthew chapter 8, we find the secret of keeping your need from God. It is this: Retain by renewing your mind.
The record states the men in verse 28 were possessed of devils, and notes that they were “exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way” (8:28). Consider this picture for a while to come to an understanding of their state. Let me remind you that Satan has not gone out of business today, he has just become a little more respectable! To be without Christ is to be in bondage to Satan (Ephesians 2:2,3): to have Christ within is to be “delivered… from the power of darkness” (Colossians 1:13).
These men, completely under the control of devil spirits, ran toward Jesus but Jesus stood His ground. You can only do this when you know your sonship rights, that the power of God is in you (Romans 8: 11; Ephesians 1:19). You are now a child of God (I John 3:2), so take your stand. The devils knew Jesus and knew the power of God, but they still followed their leader and used that little word “if”: “If you cast us out…” (Matthew 8:31). There was to be no “if” about it. Jesus said simply, but with great authority, “Go.” The devils immediately left the men and went into a herd of swine nearby. The “swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters” (verse 32). That there was a great change for the better in the men, no one could deny. However, because of the loss of the animals, the herdsmen “asked him to depart out of their coasts”.
At this point we see the secret of success in retaining your need from God. For the finale of this incident we turn to Mark chapter 5, where one man is singled out for our learning. The man “prayed that he might be with him [Jesus]. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but said unto him, Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and has had compassion on you. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel” (Mark 5:18b-20). You must retain your need from God by praise and confession, evidences of a renewing of the mind. If this man had not obeyed Jesus he would not have remained free, but would soon have become worse than he was before (Matthew 12:43-45).
The Greek word used for confession, homologeo, means saying the same thing. Our confession then is saying what God says about our situation or our need. This we find in the Word, specifically in those parts addressed to us, the Church Epistles. Is this confession a lie? No, it is saying what God has said, which is truth, and is in contrast to sense-knowledge facts.
Do you need healing? Confess that with His “stripes ye were healed” (I Peter 2:24). Do you need finances? Confess that “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Do you need boldness? Confess that in Him “we have boldness” (Ephesians 3:12). Whatever your need, the praise and confession of your renewing of the mind will retain the blessings of God.
To receive your need from God:
- Establish the will of God,
- Recognise the authority of the Word,
- Know your sonship rights,
- Use the key of believing, and
- Retain by renewing your mind
You now know the secret of receiving your need from God — do not hesitate any longer. Receive!
Copyright © 1998 Peter Wade. The Bible text in this publication, except where otherwise indicated, is from the King James Version. This article appears on the site: https://www.peterwade.com/.