19 November 2017
Reading: Matthew 1-4
23 From there he went all over Galilee. He used synagogues for meeting places and taught people the truth of God. God’s kingdom was his theme—that beginning right now they were under God’s government, a good government! He also healed people of their diseases and of the bad effects of their bad lives. 24 Word got around the entire Roman province of Syria. People brought anybody with an ailment, whether mental, emotional, or physical. Jesus healed them, one and all. (Matthew 4:23-24 MSG)
Jesus began his ministry with the same message his cousin John the Baptizer had been preaching, “Change your mind, change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” But Jesus added an element that hadn’t been present in John’s preaching – Jesus demonstrated the power of God’s kingdom by healing people “of their diseases and of the bad effects of their lives.”
Jesus healed people with mental, emotional, or physical ailments – ailments often caused by untreatable disease, poor nutrition, sinful practices, or evil spiritual activity. Whatever the ailment, whatever the cause, whatever the consequence, Jesus healed them all.
People still suffer from the bad effects of their bad lives. Addictions resulting from attempts to satisfy the soul by stimulating the flesh, loneliness or emotional hollowness resulting from shattered relationships, sexually transmitted diseases resulting from promiscuity, love of money and possessions resulting from greed and selfishness, rebellion or broken spirit resulting from abuse by someone in power, mental and emotional stress resulting from driven, hyperactive living – it’s quite a list. And there are a lot more I didn’t think of here.
I believe that God’s kingdom is still here and that Jesus can still heal people of the bad effects of their bad lives.
Father, Will you do this again? Will you help us make room for Jesus to re-introduce your kingdom and once again powerfully heal people of the bad effects of their bad lives. Amen.