I was reading Matthew Chapter 8 the other night and noticed the wide variety of healings accomplished by the Savior. I guess you could categorize the sicknesses in this fashion:
1. Casual sickness. In verses 14-15, we discover that Peter's mother-in-law was lying in bed with a fever. Maybe she had a cold or a virus of some sort. Apparently she didn't feel well and went to bed to recover. It is hard to say, but I'm thinking that maybe this was just a minor illness. After Jesus healed her, she got up and waited on Him. Many times in life we get hit by minor illnesses which are more or less a nuisance. We're not deathly sick, mind you. It's just that an illness interferes with our work or family plans. Maybe it goes away in a week or two, but it is still very annoying.
2. Chronic sickness. Verses 2-4 describe a man with leprosy, a chronic debilitating condition. Left untreated, leprosy caused permanent damage to the skin, nerves, limbs and eyes. There was also considerable social stigma associated with leprosy as lepers were considered unclean and had to dwell apart from the general population. It was a horrible way of life.
3. Calamitous sickness. Verses 5-13 list the centurion's servant, lying in bed, paralyzed and experiencing tremendous pain. Not really sure what was going on with this person, but it appeared to be a painful illness. He was immobile and suffering. It was a desperate situation.
4. Chaotic sickness. Verses 28-34 tell of two men who were demon-possessed. They lived in the tombs and were so violent that no one could pass by the road. The local residents went to great lengths to avoid any interaction, fearing their own personal safety. Sometimes illnesses today are so complex that families and neighbors are perplexed to understand how to intervene. There appears to be no simple cure.
However, no matter the depth of sickness, from Peter's mother-in-law to the demoniacs, Jesus healed them all. The centurion, knowing Jesus' power, was well aware of the secret for removing all of these ailments. In verse 8, he proclaimed to Jesus, "...just say the word and my servant will be healed." That's all it takes. Just a word from Jesus. Just say it and everything will be made well.
Furthermore, in today's world, we may also experience the different types of illness. Being treated by healthcare professionals (of which I am one) can help, but the ultimate cure comes from the lips of the Savior. We must entreat His favor with the attitude, "...speak, for Thy servant is listening". (I Samuel 3:10). Once He speaks the true healing begins, whether instantaneous or in time.