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Matthew  ◦   Chapter 8

1 So when he came down from the mountainside, masses of people followed him.2 An outcast suffering with leprosy came and humbled himself before Jesus and said, "Lord, I know you can make me clean if you are willing."

3 Jesus gently reached out and touched the man whom no one else would touch, and said, "I am very willing. Be clean!" Immediately he was cured, the leprosy disappeared, and his skin became healthy and normal again.4 Then Jesus cautioned him, "Don't tell anyone that it was I who healed you, until you first go to the priests, with the offering Moses instructed, and get their official verdict of clean health."

5 Shortly after Jesus arrived at Capernaum, a Roman centurion came to him asking for help.6 He said, "Lord, my servant is at home paralyzed and suffering terribly."

7 Jesus replied, "Don't worry, I will go and heal him."

8 But the centurion answered: "Lord, I am not worthy of you coming to my home. I know you don't actually need to be there in person; just say the word and my servant will be healed.9 I myself am a man under authority, and I have soldiers under me. When I give orders, my soldiers obey, so I know that when you give the word, my servant will be healed."

10 When Jesus heard such confidence and understanding, he was deeply moved and said to those with him: "I tell you plainly, I haven't found one person in all Israel with such unshakable confidence.11 Understand this clearly: There will be many who come from other cultures around the world who will feast together in heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.12 But many others, who — because of ancestry or upbringing — considered themselves members of God's family, will be abandoned into eternal darkness, with great weeping and heartache."

13 Then Jesus turned to the centurion and said, "Go home; it is done just as you believed it would be." And his servant was healed at that very moment.

14 When Jesus arrived at Peter's home, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed sick with fever.15 He gently touched her hand, giving of himself to dispatch the sickness, and she was immediately healed. She got up and began to give of herself to minister to him.

16 That evening, many whose minds were dominated by demons were brought to him, and he not only freed them from demons, but also healed all who were physically sick.17 This was in fulfillment of what Isaiah prophesied: "He took our infirmities from us and carried away our diseases."

18 When Jesus saw the crowd pressing in, he told his disciples to take him to the other side of the lake.19 A lawyer came to him and said, "Teacher, take me with you; I want to be one of your students and go wherever you go."

20 Jesus made it clear for him what to expect, saying, "I don't even have the comforts of a fox's den or a bird's nest. If you come with me, it will be rough, often sleeping on the bare ground."

21 A different disciple said to him, "As soon as I bury my father and settle his estate, I will be back to follow you and learn what you have to teach me."

22 But Jesus told him, "Now is the time for you to follow me and pursue life; let the dead take care of the dead."

23 Then Jesus got into the boat, and his disciples joined him.24 As soon as they were away from shore, a vicious storm came up and the waves washed over the boat, threatening to capsize it. But Jesus slept through the storm.25 The disciples, though many were seasoned fishermen and familiar with the sea, were terrified and woke Jesus, calling, "Lord, do something! We're going to drown! Save us!"

26 He calmly replied, "Why do you trust so little? What is there to fear?" Then he stood up and said, "Be still!" Immediately the winds ceased, the rains stopped, the waves calmed, and it was peaceful again.

27 The disciples were awed and said to each other, "This is incredible! Who is this man? Even the wind and waves obey him!"

28 When they arrived on the other side of the lake, in a region known as Gadarenes, two men possessed by demons came out of the tombs to confront them. These men were so violent that people no longer traveled past the area.29 When they saw Jesus, they shouted: "What do you want with us, Son of the Most High God? Have you come here so we will suffer before the appointed time?"

30 There was a large herd of pigs feeding a short distance away.31 The demons, eager to flee the presence of Jesus, begged him, "If you make us leave, let us go into the herd of pigs."

32 Jesus said to them, "Go now!" So they left and went into the pigs, and the entire herd ran over a cliff into a lake and drowned.

33 Those tending the pigs ran into town and told the owners all that happened.34 Then the townspeople came out, and being more interested in their investments than in people, they asked Jesus to leave their region.