ODJ: Based on a True Story

February 27, 2017 

READ: Matthew 8:14-17 

This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases” (v. 17).

I told my hairstylist that I was going to see the movie Miracles from Heaven, the story of a young girl who after falling thirty feet headfirst into a hollowed-out tree was miraculously healed of her incurable illness. The stylist had heard it was “based on a true story,” but said that “could simply mean the child fell from a tree.”

After joking about the “creative license” filmmakers often take with true events, I shared that if this film’s basic story was true, as I’d heard, then it’s based on the best story of all. “Oh yeah?” she replied, “What story is that?”

I smiled, and then briefly shared the story of the Bible— from creation to human rebellion to God’s promise of redemption and a renewed creation.

When we got to Jesus, I explained that many of His stunning miracles, from healing the sick to raising the dead, were previews of an eventual end to the reign of sickness, sin, and death in our world (Romans 8:21). I then suggested that the miraculous healing this little girl experienced was a sample of the greater healing to come when Jesus returns to reign and renew all things (Revelation 21:4-5).

The story of the Scriptures is the best explanation for the possibility of miracles. It’s what Matthew’s gospel account draws from to explain Jesus’ miraculous healings: “This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, ‘He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases’ ” (Matthew 8:17; compare to Isaiah 53:4).

Matthew’s quote from Isaiah connects the dots. It reminds us that healing on any level is rooted in the “good news” that anticipates a time of complete restoration when “all the ends of the earth will see the victory” of our God who reigns! (Isaiah 52:7-10).

—Jeff Olson

365-day plan: Joshua 1:1-18

Read Matthew 8:1-17 and note the variety of people Jesus healed—revealing that His healing is for all. 
How are you encouraged today by the reality that one day Jesus will bring ultimate healing to all creation? What restoration has He brought to your life?