“They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.” vs. 18
According to Luke there was no great mystery about the crowds that followed Jesus throughout Galilee. He was a teacher, a healer, and an exorcist, and in an age with few doctors and no hospitals, people were desperate for relief of every kind. In this instance a huge multitude gathers in a level place in what must have been a chaotic scene. The word had gone out that all one needed to do for a cure was to touch Jesus–we can imagine the pushing and the jostling that went on. That’s how people are when news of miraculous healings are spread. We’ll go anywhere and do anything to get the latest drug or be treated by reputed healers. We want to hang on to good health for as long as we possibly can and when illness intrudes we crave restoration. Followers of Jesus have inherited this basic ministry from the beginning–with the support of the Church hospitals were built and physicians and nurses were trained. Always there has been a concern for the poor and a conviction that healthcare is a basic right for all people, not just the rich. Most congregations regularly offer prayers for those who are sick. Often there are healing services with the laying on of hands and anointing with oil. We know in our hearts that wherever the Christ is present, healing will happen.
Thought for the Day: Why do some say that good healthcare is a privilege?