by Claude Thomas

Matthew 8:1-17

Introduction: A bumper sticker said, "Don't bug me! Hug me!" It has been said that it takes four hugs a day to survive, eight to maintain and twelve to grow. It seems our whole world is crying out for someone to care. The elderly lady suffering from Alzheimer's condition needs someone to hug her. The child of the incapacitated father needs someone to hug him.

It has always been that way. It was that way when Jesus lived. And from His life we learn:

I. He Hears Our Cry

Explanation: The cry of the humble - v. 2. The leper was desperate in his need. Notice his approach -- "worshipped Him, saying, 'Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean.'" The word for worship is "to bow down and reverence." It is a word used to describe the posture taken to show homage to a superior. He cried humbly to Jesus.

Explanation: The cry of the believer - v. 5. The centurion was considered the ""backbone" of the Roman Army. He commanded 100 soldiers and was deeply respected. He came to Jesus to plead with Him in behalf of His servant; literally, "my boy ... a paralytic, is being terribly tortured," v. 6.

Jesus responded favorably, v. 7, but the Centurion said, "I recognize authority -- I have it -- You have it in a greater and different measure. Just say the word and the boy will be well," vv. 8-9. Jesus marveled at the man. He announced, "No greater faith ..." Jesus heard the cry of the believer.

Explanation: The cry of the intercessor - vv. 14-15. Jesus entered the home of Simon Peter. Simon's mother-in-law was sick. According to Luke 4:38, friends asked Jesus to heal her in her behalf! They were intercessors and He heard their cry.

Transition Statement: The Bible is replete with examples of God hearing the cries of people. He still hears our cries ...

Application: He hears the silent cry - somehow these folks grip my heart. They need, but they don't cry aloud.

Illustration: Chicken ...

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