Our Healer (Isaiah 53:1-12; Matthew 8:17)
The next Messianic prophecy occurs at Matthew 8:17.
This is a “strange” text (at least to me). I find it “strange” because the original prophecy occurs in Isaiah 53:4. Because of Acts 8:32-35, we know the prophecy refers specifically to Jesus. The prophecy in Isaiah does refer to Jesus’ death. However, Matthew also applies it to Jesus’ healing.
The Original Prophecy (Isaiah 53:1-12)
Notice that in this text, there is certainly the idea of sickness, disease, torture and death being placed upon the Messiah.
There are several texts in Isaiah that refer to God’s servant (52:13). Because of Isaiah 53, the servant is often called “the Suffering Servant.” The servant is seen as suffering for the people’s sins.
The Prophecy and Jesus
Matthew 8:17 really serves as an explanation for all the miracles Jesus has done in this chapter. The healing of the leper (8:1-4). The healing of the centurion’s servant (8:5-13). The healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (8:14-15). The healing of the crowds (8:16).
The first three healings demonstrate Jesus’ great compassion. The Pharisees considered three classes of people to be outcasts: lepers, Gentiles and women. Jesus shows compassion for them all. Matthew certainly arranged his material to make this point.
We should notice that Jesus as “Our Healer” is doing His miracles in the open. Anyone who comes to him in Capernaum are healed (v 16). Often those who attempted to do miracles today can only heal those “with enough faith.” Jesus is able to heal everybody. He does it in the open.
How does Jesus heal us? Some might say that this prophecy only applied to his earthly ministry.
I’m not so sure. Obviously, the prophecy applied there, but I think that Jesus is also our healer. There is a clear connection in Scripture between sin and illness/death. Romans 5:12. I do believe that all illness is in the world because sin is in the world. At the resurrection, we will get new bodies (1 Cor 15:42-50). Those new bodies will not be susceptible to illness and death. Jesus will have healed us.