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Advent Day 17

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses (Matt 8:17).

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted” (Isa 53:4).


In the midst of a chapter in Matthew that chronicled healing and casting out demonic oppression, Scripture reveals Jesus as the Suffering Servant—the One who carries our illnesses with all authority of the Son of God, the Incarnate God in flesh through His Spirit’s conception (Matt 8:29; Luke 1:35 ). As the Son, Jesus has the very nature and character of God. Jesus cleansed a leper with the touch of His hand (8:3), healed the centurion’s servant through the power of His word (vv. 7,13) healed Peter’s mother-in-law by the touch of His hand (v. 15), cast out the many possessed with devils by casting out spirits (v. 16), rebuked the raging sea through His own command (v. v. 28), and exorcised two demoniacs with the one-word “Go” (v. 32). Matthew wrote in 8:16 that Jesus, “cast out spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick.”

The messianic nature fulfills the words of Esaias in Isa 53:4 by Jesus taking our infirmities and bearing our diseases: “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Took and bare together encompass the Hebrew bore from Isa 53:4 (Bullinger). The verb bore (Heb: נָשָׂא; nasa’) means to lift, lay upon, or carry (qal perfect). Conjugated in the qal, active tense perfect, it points to the actions of Jesus the Messiah.

But, what did Jesus lay upon Himself? The verb nasa’ signifies sin and the making atonement for it. Jesus the Suffering Servant, who did not come in sinful flesh, would bear all infirmities and take away the sin of humanity—diseases, griefs, and punishment of the world. He would bare sin on the Cross at Calvary so that His children would be dead to sin, but alive in righteousness (1 Pet 2:24).

Jan Paron, PhD

(Excerpt from Incarnational Theology of Emmanuel in the Book of Matthew)