Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Great Physician

Today, my readings were about Jesus as "healer."  One commentary that I found particularly helpful discussed the fact that the healings of Jesus not only healed physical illnesses, but also restored the ill to fellowship in the community, removing "uncleanness" that forced them to be separated from "God’s holy community," as the writer put it.  This is the "shalom," the wholeness that is the peace of God.

I find it important that those who were healed by Jesus came to him; he did not seek them out.  While many of Jesus' healing miracles are described in some detail in the gospels, there are even more that are not.  On several occasions, the gospels report that great numbers of people came to Jesus bringing the sick, all of whom Jesus healed.  It is significant, too, that the only person Jesus addressed as "daughter" was the woman "with an issue of blood" who was healed simply by touching Jesus' garment.  It seems to me that there was a special connection between Jesus and those he healed, and I often wonder what became of all those who were healed by Jesus.  Did they go on to live abundant lives, transformed and restored to community as they were by the power of Jesus?

One writer commented on the fact that God chooses to heal some people and not others.  I don't recall an instance in the gospels where Jesus ever failed to heal one who came to him for healing.  That doesn't mean that everyone who asks God for healing will be healed instantaneously as was the case in the ministry of Jesus, but I do believe that God does heal every illness when God is asked for healing.  That healing may not come immediately; it may not take place in this life, but I believe that God grants wholeness to every person who seeks it.

It is wonderful to me that Jesus continues to bring wholeness, to restore us to community, to heal the broken and injured.  What is our role in this healing ministry?  What can we do to promote healing and wholeness, to bring the shalom of Jesus to all those who are hurting?

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