Jesus Heals a Man
(Mark 1.40-45; Luke 5.12-16)
1As Jesus came down the mountain, he was followed by large crowds. 2Suddenly a man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus. He said, “Lord, you have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”
3Jesus put his hand on the man and said, “I want to! Now you are well.” At once the man's leprosy disappeared. 4 Jesus told him, “Don't tell anyone about this, but go and show the priest that you are well. Then take a gift to the temple just as Moses commanded, and everyone will know that you have been healed.”
(Luke 7.1-10; John 4.43-54)
5When Jesus was going into the town of Capernaum, an army officer came up to him and said, 6“Lord, my servant is at home in such terrible pain that he can't even move.”
7“I will go and heal him,” Jesus replied.
8But the officer said, “Lord, I'm not good enough for you to come into my house. Just give the order, and my servant will get well. 9 I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I can say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he will do it.”
10When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you in all of Israel I've never found anyone with this much faith! 11 Many people will come from everywhere to enjoy the feast in the kingdom of heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 12 But the ones who should have been in the kingdom will be thrown out into the dark. They will cry and grit their teeth in pain.”
13Then Jesus said to the officer, “You may go home now. Your faith has made it happen.”
Right then his servant was healed.
Reflections from a man with family members dealing with recurring pain and illness
. . . Jesus had finished his sermon, or his teachings, on the hillside. I was shocked by the simplicity, clarity and authority of it all. It was so different than anything I had ever heard. I had never heard anything like it before. It was like he was speaking right into my heart.
As he started to walk back towards Capernaum I pushed and fought to get really close to him. I wanted more. I wanted to see if this Jesus was for real.
Others had told me that Jesus was a healer. That he had done great miracles. Blind could see. Deaf could hear. I had come to see if that was true. My family was sick. My mother and my little brother.
But what I saw and heard was a message that touched my heart. I had to follow this Jesus.
I got close. There were only three or four people between Jesus and me.
Then everybody stopped. An unclean leper was in our path. Unmoving. But Jesus wasn’t afraid. He reached out and touched him! I saw it with my own eyes. He was healed. The crowd was silent with awe, then burst into applause. I could not believe it.
Then a Roman officer came to Jesus. He was a man of authority, but he came to Jesus with humility. I had to hear what Jesus said. I listened. I was overwhelmed with questions. My mind kept thinking of my family, while Jesus talked about faith.
Did I have faith like the leper, or like the Roman? Could I step out and call out to Jesus too? Would he listen to me?
Jesus, I want to have faith too. I want to trust you. I want to step out, knowing you are with me. Not just for me, but for my family, my community, my neighbour. Jesus, give me faith. Please.