Wednesday (January 11): Jesus healed many who were sick
Scripture: Mark 1:29-39
29 And immediately he left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon's mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them. 32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together about the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him pursued him, 37 and they found him and said to him, "Every one is searching for you." 38 And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also; for that is why I came out." 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Meditation: Who do you take your troubles to? Jesus' disciples freely brought their troubles to him because they found him ready and able to deal with any difficulty, affliction, or sickness which they encountered. When Simon brought Jesus to his home, his mother-in-law was instantly healed because Jesus heard Simon's prayer. Jerome, an early church bible scholar and translator (c. 347-420), reflects on this passage:
"Can you imagine Jesus standing before your bed and you continue sleeping? It is absurd that you would remain in bed in his presence. Where is Jesus? He is already here offering himself to us. 'In the middle,' he says, 'among you he stands, whom you do not recognize' (Cf. John 1:26) 'The kingdom of God is in your midst' (Mark 1:15). Faith beholds Jesus among us. If we are unable to seize his hand, let us prostrate ourselves at his feet. If we are unable to reach his head, let us wash his feet with our tears. Our repentance is the perfume of the Savior. See how costly is the compassion of the Savior."Do you allow Jesus to be the Lord and healer in your personal life, family, and community? Approach the Lord with expectant faith. God's healing power restores us not only to health but to active service and care of others. There is no trouble he does not want to help us with and there is no bondage he can't set us free from. Do you take your troubles to him with expectant faith that he will help you?
"Lord Jesus Christ, you have all power to heal and to deliver from harm. There is no trouble nor bondage you cannot overcome. Set me free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously. May nothing hinder me from giving myself wholly to you and to your service."
1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. 2 He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods! 6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire; but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. 7 Then I said, "Behold, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me; 8 I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." 9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O LORD.Daily Quote from the early church fathers: The habit of prayer, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)
"Jesus prayed and did not pray in vain, since he received what he asked for in prayer when he might have done so without prayer. If so, who among us would neglect to pray? Mark says that 'in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed' (Mark 1:35). And Luke says, 'He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray,"' (Luke 11:1) and elsewhere, 'And all night he continued in prayer to God' (Luke 6:12). And John records his prayer, saying, 'When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you"' (John 17:1). The same Evangelist writes that the Lord said that he knew 'you hear me always' (John 11:42). All this shows that the one who prays always is always heard." (excerpt from ON PRAYER 13.1)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.