Jesus and the Sick (10-11-21)
Bible Reading: Mark 1:29-34, 40-42
As they left the synagogue, Jesus went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they immediately told Jesus about her. So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them. That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases.
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean." Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
Most of Jesus’ earthly ministry was taken up with teaching and with healing the sick. Today our churches continue this teaching ministry through sermons, bible studies and courses like Alpha. But what about the ministry of healing? How should we pray for the sick today?
If you were to compare the different times Jesus healed the sick in the bible you would struggle to find a common thread; they are all very different, but there are some helpful clues.
When Jesus goes to the home of Peter and his extended family, his mother-in-law is sick with a fever. All we know is that they told Jesus about her and left the rest up to him. And Jesus went and healed her.
Prayer for the sick can be as simple as saying ‘Jesus, here is …., they are sick’, and then leaving the situation with him, trusting him to do the right thing. We can all do that, can’t we?
The man with leprosy gives us other clues to the healing ministry. Here we see his faith in Jesus, both in coming to Jesus in humility and in believing that Jesus was able to heal him. We also see the compassion of Jesus who willingly reached out and touched a man who was ceremonially unclean in order to bring him healing.
The combination of the sick person’s simple faith in Jesus and Jesus’ compassion for the sick person was all that was necessary then, and the same is true today. If we reach out to Jesus in faith, he will reach out to us in compassion.
God heals in various ways. With many illnesses our bodies heal naturally because of the amazing way in which we are created. At other times medical science and the NHS help our bodies to heal and recover, for which I thank God. But let us not forget to bring our sick to Jesus in prayer, to come to him in faith and to trust in his compassion to heal the sick, by whatever means he chooses.
In the quiet, tell Jesus about anyone you know who is sick today…
Come to Jesus also with any sickness you have…
Hear Jesus say to you ‘I am willing, be clean’.
Thank you Lord that you are a healing God.
Be still, for the presence of the Lord