The Most Important Healing2
“And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all” (Luke 6:17-19, ESV).
Crowds tended to form around Jesus most places he went. Luke gives two initial reasons why the crowds come. They come to hear Jesus, of course. But they also come to be healed of their diseases.
That the latter is by far the most important reason to the crowds is made evident by the description that follows, literally by the number of words Luke uses to describe the healings in verses 18-19.
And isn’t it marvelous, even reading about it a little over 2,000 years later? Troubled with unclean spirits? Such people were cured. And it was sufficient simply to touch Jesus, who was overflowing with power for healing.
We read other accounts in the gospels where this is the case as well. This would be in contrast to the elaborate ceremonies and attempts at healing common in the culture at the time, both in Jewish circles and the general culture. Elaborate ceremonies aren’t necessary. Jesus’ power to heal is direct and effective, needing nothing in addition. No wonder he attracted large crowds!
But the first reason is not forgotten, is it? The crowds came to hear him, which is also very important. Luke uses this to introduce Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, a parallel account of the Sermon on the Mount, but likely given at a different time and place. If the number of words and the description of the healings and Jesus’ power indicates how important healing was to the crowds, then how much more important is what Jesus had to say emphasized. Many more words and a great deal of rich and radical content that begin, in verse 20, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”
The physical healing was important, but Jesus’ teaching was more important because it literally goes to the very heart of the matter. It’s the gospel, the implications of the gospel, which mean ultimate spiritual healing, and that’s the most important of all.
Jesus is no longer physically with us. We can’t touch him and feel that power, though sometimes he delivers it anyway in unexpected ways. But his words, his teaching as preserved in the gospels are with us always, and we have access to them -- and hence to Jesus himself -- at all times and at any place. We just have to open the Book (the Bible) and read!
This is where healing begins, only to end with the second coming of Christ and his direct presence with us forever. As Peter says, "...you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God" (1 Peter 1:23).
Open the Book. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Believe it and abide by it. Here is the source of true eternal healing.
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