Patient and Compassionate Jesus
A scene in the gospels I love to picture is Jesus walking through a crowd and healing people, one-by-one, taking time with each person no matter how long it took (Mark 1:29-34). If I had been Jesus, I would have looked at that long line of people, excused myself and run away. Imagine examining each person’s disease and listening to every single story.
Picture the scene with me as it occurs at the end of an emotional day when Jesus has healed the mother-in-law of his best friend Peter. This drew the entire town to gather at the door! Below I have paraphrased the description from Life and Times of Jesus by Alfred Edersheim (pp. 336-337 of single edition).
On this autumn evening in Capernaum one by one the stars shone over the tranquil lake and festive city, lighting up earth’s darkness as if they stood there witnesses to Jesus’ divinity. No one thought of business, pleasure, or rest. To the many homes of sorrow in the populous neighborhood the door of hope was finally opened. To Jesus they brought their sick – their mothers, widows, wives, fathers, children, husbands. These loved ones were treasures they had almost lost. The whole city thronged – a solemn multitude, hushed in awe-expectant, waiting at the door of Simon’s dwelling and lining the street up to the market-place.
Jesus walked through that suffering throng, laying His hands in the blessing of healing on everyone of them. No picture of Christ is more dear to us than this unlimited healing of whatever disease of body or soul occurred. Jesus–the Light of the World, the Restorer of what sin has blighted, the Joy of the world’s deep sorrow – created a Sabbath of healing, joy and true rest. (end of paraphrase)
If I imagine myself as a disciple, I can see myself walking behind Jesus, watching his face, marveling at how he loved each person, listened intently to them and said just the right thing. As each disease faded and the color of skin and deepness of breath was restored, as bones knit together, as people walked to those they loved and wrapped their arms around them for the first time in years, I would have gasped. Can you see it happening?
The only appropriate response to Jesus is to worship this one who shows us the majesty and compassion of God all on an autumn evening. This is also the One who heals us too.
Grace and peace,
© Jan Johnson – For permission to reprint, Click Here