Today we’re scheduled to read Mark 1.
If you had a terminal illness or a permanent, disfiguring, disabling injury, how far would you travel to be healed? Would you travel a long way if the chance of being healed was 50%? 20% 1%?
My guess is that just about everybody would travel as far as necessary even if the chances were slim. This explains the remark at the end of Mark 1, verse 45 that, “As a result [of the cured leper’s blabbing to everyone], Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.” Jesus had forbidden this man whom he healed from talking about it (vv. 43-44), but he talked about it anyway. So, people who were desperate, with no hope, kept looking for Jesus until they found him. They were undeterred by how difficult he was to find or how arduous the journey to him would become. The hope of healing compelled them to find Jesus. When they did, Jesus was gracious to heal them.
There were many purposes for the healings that Jesus performed. One was to fulfill prophecy and another was to demonstrate his love and compassion for people and their sufferings. But the biggest reason why Jesus healed was to demonstrate his power. The healings authenticated his message and gave a taste of the perfections of the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. Those of us who know Jesus by faith can read about these healings with hope. Jesus did not come to remove all human suffering in this age; he came to call us to trust him for a better age. The people he healed during his life on this earth are a demonstration of his absolute power over ever human problem. They also serve to remind us that one day we will be made whole when we enter his kingdom eternally.
Until we enter it eternally, we are citizens of it by faith but we live in exile, waiting for our true home. If you are suffering today and wondering if Jesus cares, take heart. He may not choose to heal you in this life but imagine the joy and thanks you will have when your sufferings are over and your body is glorified, perfected, and eternally protected from harm.
I trust this truth gives you hope today, no matter what you face.