Now that we’ve heard Jesus’ teaching on life in that Kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus heads down off the “mountain of God” to enter the everyday realities of life in a world that doesn’t reflect the Kingdom.
In Matthew 8-9 we see Jesus encounter and respond to the brokenness and need in people’s lives – cleansing lepers, healing the sick, calming a storm at sea, driving out demons, inviting tax collectors and sinners into God’s Kingdom.
Jesus is not a God who lives “up in heaven” somewhere; he’s not distant, detached, unaffected by our needs, pains, fears and sorrows. He is the God who draws near. He gets down in the reality of our everyday lives to show compassion, to heal, help, save, deliver, and welcome all who will come.