Blog # 271 Healing
This blog comes in response to Isaiah Chapter 9: 1 - 5 and Isaiah Chapter 11: 1 - 9, coupled with Mark 1: 40 - 45.
Isaiah is telling God's people about God's great power and love for them. There is no need to be afraid. God is within us! The blind will see, The deaf will hear. The lame will run. Those who cannot speak now will sing. Water is promised even for the desert! God's power is without limit. God's love is real. Isaiah presents a wonderful and clear image of Jesus. These passages are traditionally and well used as stepping off points for Christmas reflections.
In the passage from Mark Jesus lives out the prophecy of Isaiah. The story is of a leper whom Jesus heals by simply declaring the leper to be healed. Jesus possesses, demonstrates, and shares the compassion, power, and love of God in Himself. This is clear and wonderful. A strange element enters the story when Mark tells us Jesus asked the man who was healed not to tell anyone about the cure. "Not a word to anyone, now." Jesus said. The .man went off and began to proclaim the whole matter freely, making the story public. As a result of this, it was no longer possible for Jesus to enter a town openly. He stayed in desert places; yet people kept coming to Him from all sides."
This is as it seems to have happened regularly. The people missed the point of what Jesus had come among them to say and do. They wanted gifts for the present life. Jesus came with the message and gift of eternal life. They sought to be able to talk to walk and to hear. Jesus as one of us understood first hand their desires. But He was sent to give them something more.
Jesus wanted to give them something to say, someplace to go, and a message to hear and proclaim that could come from no other source than God. With God's power over nature within Him, Jesus could produce physical healing by merely willing it. But in God's design that would not be enough to satisfy God's love for those who would trust and believe in Jesus.
Others could heal the body in the name of God and in some instances, in their own minds, independently of God's name. But Jesus is among us not as a physician, to heal the body more quickly or wisely or more generously than others, indeed perhaps, in the name of God's love and as an example to others who might dedicate themselves to the welfare of their neighbors on earth. Rather Jesus is God's love. Jesus healed and performed physical cures to that we would know He has God's power and love within Him, yes. But He wanted us to know as well the more important truth that God's plan for us was not that we should all and always have healthy bodies fine homes and long lives on earth. Rather God's plan called us all to be holy, have peace of mind, and even now by faith to possess protect and enjoy a new life, God's life/love within us, that would last forever.
The people in our passage from Mark did not understand this and they went after all of their friends who were sick and crippled to bring them to Jesus for physical healing.
Let us pray: Jesus, help us to understand the message of Your life. Guide us so we do not miss the point of it. Help us to stand in awe at the reality of God's life in You and shared by faith in our own finite individual unique way. Heal us of whatever it might be that hinders us from seeing hearing and following You in the challenges opportunities and gifts of the Father's love that we receive each day throughout our lives.