The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 8: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/8?lang=eng
Jesus Sought Spiritual Renewal in Order to Serve the People
Jesus had spent some time on a mountain. Do we do the same? The temple is considered the mountain of the Lord. Do we seek spiritual renewal so that we can meet the demands of our callings, or our family relationships, or our jobs? Do we find our own places of quiet worship where we can be alone with God?
When Jesus came down from the mountain, the people immediately sought Him. A leper approached Him with faith and worship. “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” Jesus seeing His faith, ‘put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, “I will; be though clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed’ (Matt 8:2-3).
Why did Jesus ask him not to make the miracle known other than going to the priest according to the law of Moses?
In Capernaum, a centurion told Jesus of his servant that was sick with palsy. Jesus was willing to go to the centurion’s home to heal his servant, but the centurion felt uneasy at having the great honor of the Lord entering his home; he deemed himself unworthy. But his faith was so great that he told Jesus that he knew the servant would be healed if Jesus commanded it to be so. Jesus marveled at his great faith and told the people who followed Him that He hadn’t seen such faith in Israel.
He then made known that it will be the faithful who sit down in heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the faithful from all over the world; but, many who were first presented with the kingdom of heaven will be cast out, because they weren’t faithful, or they did not accept Jesus and His gospel, His laws and His ordinances. Those unfaithful stewards will bitterly weep when they realize what they’ve lost.
Jesus then told the centurion that he was free to go and that because of his belief his servant would be healed. The centurion found out that his servant was immediately healed right at that time.
Peter’s wife’s mother was another person that Jesus healed. She had a fever, and Jesus touched her hand and the fever left. As good hostesses do, she arose and served them: probably Jesus, Peter, and others of the apostles.
There is much significance in these two verses (See vs. 14-15), not just because Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, but also because Peter was indeed married. He had a wife.
Further thought: Truly according to Jewish law and customs of that time, in order to be a preacher, as Jesus and His apostles were, a man needed to be at least 30 years of age and married.
In the evening, again many people were brought to Jesus by those who expected Jesus to deliver them from their afflictions. “With His word” (vs. 16) He healed many of their illnesses and cast devils out of others.
Because of the great multitudes of people, Jesus was going to depart to the other side (of the water). Before He and His disciples departed, a scribe said that he’d follow Jesus anywhere. Jesus told him that he didn’t have a permanent place to go. One disciple wanted to bury his father before following after Jesus. ‘But Jesus said unto him, “Follow me; and let the deed bury their dead” (vs. 22).
Further thought: Was Jesus unsympathetic to the loss of family members. Of course not. But Jesus wanted his disciples to understand the sacrifice they were making in following Him. They needed to be willing to forsake all else to truly follow Him.
While on the ship passing to the other side, Jesus fell asleep. When a great tempest arose in the sea, the disciples were fearful of perishing and awoke Jesus. Jesus rebuked the winds and calmed the sea; and, His disciples marveled.
Further thought: Do we marvel at the many miracles all around us? Do we acknowledge the power and majesty of God and His Son? Do we wonder at their power and abilities, and that they still personally care for us?
In the country of the Gergesenes, two men possessed with devils met Jesus. The devils recognized Jesus and cried out, “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time” (vs. 29)? The devils then asked Jesus to let them enter a herd of swine when He cast them out of the two men. They were allowed this. But the whole herd ran down a steep slope into the waters and drowned.
Further thoughts: It appears that the devils would rather possess pigs’ bodies than no bodies at all; and, it appears that the pigs had rather die than be possessed by the devils.
(According to the Law of Moses, pigs were considered unclean animals.)
Seeing the destruction of the swine, the people of the city begged Jesus to leave their coasts.
Do we care more about our possessions than we do about the welfare of our brothers and sisters?