Jesus Heals Many People
(Matthew 8.14-17; Luke 4.38-41)
29As soon as Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went home with Simon and Andrew. 30When they got there, Jesus was told that Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever. 31Jesus went to her. He took hold of her hand and helped her up. The fever left her, and she served them a meal.
32That evening after sunset, all who were sick or had demons in them were brought to Jesus. 33In fact, the whole town gathered around the door of the house. 34Jesus healed all kinds of terrible diseases and forced out a lot of demons. But the demons knew who he was, and he did not let them speak.
35Very early the next morning before daylight, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray. 36Simon and the others started looking for him. 37And when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you!”
38Jesus replied, “We must go to the nearby towns, so that I can tell the good news to those people. This is why I have come.” 39 Then Jesus went to their synagogues everywhere in Galilee, where he preached and forced out demons.
Jesus’ day started with confronting an evil spirit in the synagogue (Mark 1:21-28) and ended, long after sunset, with him healing “all kinds of terrible diseases” and silencing and forcing out a lot of demons who knew who he was (Mark1: 34).
Not only did Jesus heal people and force out demons, he did so in front of the whole town that was gathered around Simon’s house. Everywhere he turned there must have been a person in need.
We know that Jesus was fully human and fully divine. What we don’t know is how his humanity and divinity co-existed. We know from other gospel accounts that Jesus experienced physical tiredness – he was asleep during a storm (Mark 4:38) and he met the woman at the well because he was tired from travelling (John 4:6). But did he also experience spiritual tiredness? He certainly knew when “power had gone out of him” (Mark 5:30).
Perhaps Jesus silenced the demons so that he could demonstrate who he was by his own words and actions when so many people saw him as just a miracle worker.
So very early the next morning, Jesus went to a place where he could be alone and pray. As a spiritual director, this passage is really helpful and important to me. Though Jesus was divine, he still needed to be alone with God. If he needed to do so, in the midst of all that he was experiencing, how much more do we need to be with God?
As soon as Jesus was found, he restated his purpose for coming to earth: to tell the good news to people. And then he went and did just that.
Lord God, just as your Son needed to spend time with you, so do I. Thank you for always being there when I do turn to you. In your Son’s name I pray, Amen.