GOSPEL READING: Luke 4:38-44
38 And he arose and left the synagogue, and entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they asked him about her. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately she rose and served them. 40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. 42 And when it was day he departed and went into a lonely place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them; 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Meditation: Who do you take your troubles to? Jesus’ disciples freely brought their troubles to him because they found him ready and able to deal with any difficulty, affliction, or sickness which they encountered. When Simon Peter brought Jesus to his home for the Sabbath meal (right after Jesus preached in the synagogue in Capernaum), his mother-in-law was instantly healed because Jesus heard Simon’s prayer. Jesus could not avoid drawing a crowd wherever he went.
Jesus wants to set us free today
No one who asked Jesus for help was left disappointed. Jesus’ numerous healings and exorcisms demonstrated the power and authority of his word, the “good news of the kingdom of God.” When he rebuked the fever, it immediately left. When he rebuked the demons, they left as well. Why did the demons shudder at Jesus’ presence? They recognized that he was the Christ, the Son of God and that he had power to destroy their kingdom by releasing those bound by it. Jesus came to set us free from bondage to sin and evil. Do you seek freedom in Christ and trust in his power to set you free?
When Jesus and the disciples sought a lonely place to regroup and rest, they found instead a crowd waiting for them! Did they resent this intrusion on their hard-earned need for privacy and refreshment? Jesus certainly didn’t but welcomed them with open-arms. Jesus put human need ahead of everything else. His compassion showed the depths of God’s love and concern for all who are truly needy. Jesus gave the people the word of God and he healed them physically as well as spiritually.
Jesus never tires of hearing and answering our pleas
We can never intrude upon God nor exhaust his generosity and kindness. He is ever ready to give to those who earnestly seek him out. Do you allow Jesus to be the Lord and Healer in your personal life, family, and community? Approach him with expectant faith. God’s healing power restores us not only to health but to active service and care of others. There is no trouble he does not want to help us with and there is no bondage he can’t set us free from. Do you take your troubles to him with expectant faith that he will help you?
Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver. There is no trouble nor bondage you cannot overcome. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service.
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will thank you for ever, because you have done it. I will proclaim your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: Jesus the Chief Physician, by Jerome (347-420 AD)
“‘Now Simon’s mother-in-law was kept in her bed sick with a fever.’ May Christ come to our house and enter in and by his command cure the fever of our sins. Each one of us is sick with a fever. Whenever I give way to anger, I have a fever. There are as many fevers as there are faults and vices. Let us beg the apostles to intercede for us with Jesus, that he may come to us and touch our hand. If he does so, at once our fever is gone. He is an excellent physician and truly the chief Physician. Moses is a physician. Isaiah is a physician. All the saints are physicians, but he is the chief Physician.” (excerpt from HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF MARK 75.1)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.
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