Luke 9:11b Jesus welcomed them and spoke to them about the Kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
It’s just typical of Jesus. He has had a busy morning debriefing the disciples about their winter ministry exploits in other villages. In order to help them to de-stress, He decides to take them on a quiet retreat to Bethsaida. But things don’t go according to plan because the country folk get to hear of His location, and end up coming in their thousands to hear Him preach or see a miracle.
No doubt the disciples were peeved for they wanted some quality time to be with Jesus. Christ could also have refused to meet the expectations of the crowd because He had something more important to do. But this is Jesus, so typically He gets among the people, speaking to them about the Kingdom of God, and healing those who needed healing.
In theological terms, it’s called Incarnation ministry. Jesus is in the midst of His people, preaching to them about God’s ways, and showing those ways to be true by mercifully healing the sick. It’s the image of the compassionate and gentle Shepherd that most of us see in our minds when we think about Him. It’s also the way in which we hope that He will welcome us, talk to us, and heal us of all our sicknesses, whether they be physical or emotional, spiritual or cultural, personal or filial.
Today, I need that typical Jesus to walk beside me, to show me the Kingdom of God, and to heal my hurts and disappointments, my anxieties and fears, as well as my sickness and sadness. Only He can do that for me; only Jesus can bind up my wounds, release me from my fears, and restore me to health. Perhaps, you are feeling or experiencing something similar. My prayer for you would be that Christ can do the same.
Question: What is currently troubling me? Am I willing to let Jesus reach me and heal me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Savior of the World and the Healer of broken souls. Welcome us into Your heart today and heal us of all that harms us in body, mind, heart, and spirit. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is John’s latest Snowbird drawing called “Winter Woodpecker.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Woodpecker.