Luke 4:40-41a, 42-44 - Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to Him (Jesus), and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, "You are the Son of God!" ... And when it was day, He departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought Him and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them, but He said to them, "I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose." And He was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
In the passage for today it says, "the people sought (Jesus) and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them." That resonates with me. I'd love to keep Jesus permanently around, always on tap, always available to do miracles of healing and casting out demons. I can totally see why the crowd wanted to stop Him from going anywhere else.
If we're honest, we'd like to do the same, wouldn't we? It's natural for us to put a high value on health. We may be ill ourselves, and that is very difficult to bear—especially if it involves pain or the inability to do things we really need to do. We may have people we love who are seriously ill, either in body or mind. Where else should we take them but to the Lord our healer?
And yet. And yet ... when the people of Capernaum tried to keep Jesus permanently, so He could go on with His healing ministry, Jesus said no. He said, "I must preach the Good News of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose." And so Jesus went on His way, teaching and preaching about God's kingdom and how God had prepared a way for people to be forgiven and saved from their sin.
Jesus is putting the Good News first. Though healing is clearly important to Jesus, the Good News comes even before healing. And why? Because that Good News offers us a deeper kind of healing that goes beyond the great miracles they saw Jesus do in their villages—beyond healing fevers, beyond healing cancer, beyond casting out demons. Whoever trusts in Jesus as Savior receives a healing that goes beyond anything else: the healing of their relationship with God, and the restoration of their human nature.
It is Jesus who has healed our relationship with God by offering Himself on the cross to take away our evil. He is the One who has risen from the dead so that we might share in His everlasting life. And He is the One who re-creates everyone who trusts in Him so that now we become God's children. Here in this life we have already the beginnings of that eternal healing, and it will be complete on the day when Jesus returns to us in glory.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me to treasure Your Good News and share it with others around me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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