December the 11th finds us again in the book of Isaiah, chapter 35, verses 5-6:
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness. Mayim Chayim, Living Water will gush forth. Jesus is that Living Water. This Messianic prophecy in Isaiah refers to two things. The first one was fulfilled when Jesus healed so many people during His three year ministry, a small sample follows:
• Matthew 8:1-3 Jesus heals a man with leprosy
• Matthew 8:5-13 Jesus heals the centurion’s servant
• Matthew 12:22 Jesus heals a demon-possessed man, casting out the demon, healing his blindness and making him able to speak again
• Matthew 15:28 Jesus heals the demon-possessed daughter of a Canaanite woman
• Mark 3:5 Jesus heals a man with a disabled hand
• Mark 5:28-34 Jesus heals a sick woman
• Luke 4:40-41 Jesus healed a multitude of people and drove out demons from many
• Luke 7:21 Jesus healed many people of sicknesses and blindness and casting out many demons
• John 4:46-54 Jesus heals the royal official's son in Cana
• John 5:1-15 Jesus heals the helpless man at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem
• John 9:1-6 Jesus heals a man blind from birth
The second way that this prophecy will be fulfilled is during the millennial reign of the Messiah, when the spiritual blindness and deafness of the people of Israel will be reversed. There will be full physical restoration for the afflicted during the millennium too.
Jesus certainly fulfilled the prophecy found in Isaiah 35:5-6. And many more were healed. In fact, John said in his Gospel chapter 20, verses 30-31:
Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.
When Jesus was answering John the Baptist's questions about Himself in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 11 verses 2-6, He quoted Isaiah 35:5 and Isaiah 61:1:
When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of Me.”
Have you ever had doubts? I have. Jesus doesn’t punish us for doubting. He encourages us in our times of doubting, just as He did for John here in this passage in Matthew. In His answer to John, Jesus didn’t give promises. He gave clearly observable evidence. John knew what was in Scripture, what the Messiah would do:
In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll,
and out of the gloom and darkness
the eyes of the blind will see.
Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD;
the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 29:18-19)
The Messiah’s ministry would be one of preaching good news (Gospel) and healing the sick and the disabled. Jesus was reminding John of what he saw in Jesus at the Jordan River:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
The ornament that goes beside the tree tonight is a small sign with a list of verses that tell some of the healings Jesus did during His ministry.