Jesus the Great Healer
Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened. When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
This passage from Mark is rich with vivid imagery and deep meaning – Jesus going up the mountain alone to pray; Jesus walking on the water; Jesus stilling the storm; Jesus being recognized and swarmed by the crowds following him; and Jesus being rushed by people begging to touch him to be healed. Today, it is that last verse of the passage cited above that really speaks to me. I can easily imagine in my mind’s eye the crush of people desperate to be healed because they had tried everything else and believed Jesus was the key to their healing and wholeness – perhaps even the difference between life and death. One recalls the woman suffering from hemorrhages who had tried everything, spent all she had, and reached out in the crowd to touch Jesus’ cloak and was immediately healed. (Mark 5:25-34)
In this season of Lent, our own self-examination and meditation can reveal those places in our lives that are broken and in need of healing – mind, body, spirit, relationship. Perhaps we like the woman suffering from hemorrhages have tried everything else but still find ourselves broken and suffering and longing just to be made whole. The Bible is replete with stories of Jesus healing so many people who, like us, were broken in so many ways. Samuel Chadwick once wrote that, “It’s a wonder what God can do with a broken heart if God gets all the pieces.” This Lent, offer that which needs healing in your life to Jesus, the great healer who was and is and is to come.
Blessings and in faith,
Heal me hands of Jesus, and search out all my pain: restore my hope, remove my fear and bring me peace again. (Wonder, Love, and Praise #773, words by Michael Perry)