Sunday January 28, 2007 | Greg Boyd
Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath he taught the people. They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority.
In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"
“Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.
All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
The Good News Jesus came to proclaim to humanity was for all people and for all areas of our lives. He came to heal and set free the poor, the oppressed, the blind, the captives and prisoners of judgment. Jesus applied Kingdom liberation to every form of oppression. Jesus sets a pattern of speaking the truth in love and then following through with action. He does not just talk about the Kingdom. He acts upon it.
The Good News Jesus came to proclaim to humanity was for all people and for all areas of our lives. He came to heal and set free the poor, the oppressed, the blind, the captives and prisoners of judgment. Jesus applied Kingdom liberation to every form of oppression. Jesus sets a pattern of speaking the truth in love and then following through with action. He does not just talk about the Kingdom. He acts upon it. He goes down to Capernaum to minister and when he is there he speaks about freedom for the captives and also lays hands on them to heal and release them from oppression.
What amazed the people of Jesus’ day so much was the “authority” with which Jesus delivered and healed people. Unlike the usual fanfare of long incantations and magical practices, Jesus simply spoke and acted on the truth. This is one of the consistent ties we see throughout his ministry. Jesus was not flashy, but was direct about his authority and his ministry.
Jesus shows us how we are to operate in the world. He blesses people, befriends them, serves them and prays for their healing. He does this while proclaiming “the Kingdom of God is here.” He shows the love of God through the way he ministers to others. St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel to every living creature, and when necessary use words.” This is similar to how Jesus ministered. He not only shared the Gospel through preaching, but also through healing, service, friendship and prayer. This is the example that we are to follow as his disciples.
As believers we are encouraged to minister to and pray for the sick to be healed. We are to ask God to deliver others from oppression and to serve them as Jesus did. Sometimes this can be discouraging. We do not always see the effects of our prayers, or they are not answered in the way we had hoped. Although we do not and must not assume to know why some are healed and some are not, one truth that we are sure of is that God loves us and a time is coming when all sin, all illness, all loneliness, all demonic influence, all tears and pain will be finally destroyed forever. That is the hope that Jesus has given us-a life forever worshipping him with joy! As believers we must not grow weary of prayer or service but pray with faith knowing that even if God does not heal in the way we were hoping, he has already conquered our sorrow for eternity.