38 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. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
40 At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 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.
42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Earlier in Luke chapter 4, Jesus reads from a passage of ancient scripture that was written about 500 years before he walked the earth:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
And Luke goes straight into recording how focussed on this mission Jesus is – He starts casting out demons and healing the sick.
Here though we see that the people just want him to keep doing this for them, but he says that he needs to also get on with the proclaiming part of his mission, and he needs to travel all over the countryside to proclaim the good news to the poor and the freedom for prisoners and the year of the Lord’s favour.
As I read this passage today and reflect on what it is saying to me, I realise that as a Christian, I can get very focussed on doing the “Christian stuff” that I am good at, but lose sight of the bigger picture.
I feel like God has reminded me through this scripture that I need to continue to be responsive to people’s felt needs, but I also need to be good at recognising the deeper afflictions and challenges within a person’s world and learn how to speak God’s life into those things with a sense of hope.
Lord, give me the wisdom and discernment to better know how to respond to the needs of the people around me so that Your life can become more active in them.
Written By Ps. Justin Ware