“Then, as the sun was setting, all those who had friends suffering from every kind of disease brought them to Jesus and he laid his hands on each one of them separately and healed them.”
– Luke 4:40, Phillips –
Healing was more than a job for Jesus.
He healed very few people en masse, although He did heal the ten lepers with only a word (Luke 17:11-19). But ten isn’t a very large crowd for a God who spoke a galaxy into motion.
“Our God is at home with the rolling spheres, And at home with broken hearts.”
– M. P. Ferguson –
He could have very easily said the word and healed everyone at once.
But He didn’t.
When He called a rag-tag group of disciples to follow Him across the countryside, He could have used supernatural revelation to reveal His vast knowledge to them in an instant. Instead, He spent three years walking and talking with them. He didn’t infuse their minds automatically with Himself–He let them slowly soak in and learn of Him.
He lived in moments and worked in the context of time. More importantly, centering His will on His Father’s plan, He concentrated on whoever was in front of Him.
Not to say that Jesus had a people-centric view of life. He was always God-centric.
But that divine fellowship daily overflowed into moments focused on loving others. Complete in His triune nature, God, in His great grace, overflows to those who could never repay it. We are poor companions, yet He delights to know us. We are unfaithful partners, yet He is pleased to wash us and bring us back home.
I was listening to the Daily Audio Bible this week and heard a passage from Luke 4. Eager crowds flooded Jesus with friends in need of healing, and the passage takes great care to record His response: “Then, as the sun was setting, all those who had friends suffering from every kind of disease brought them to Jesus and he laid his hands on each one of them separately and healed them” (Luke 4:40, Phillips).
He put his hands on them.
Each and everyone one of them.
And they were healed.
This is how my God does business. He works in subtle moments and cultivated relationships. He moves in compassion, not just addressing a problem with a general, one-size-fits-all solution, but with a wise plan tailored just for me, just for you.
He stopped and poured Himself into each precious moment with whoever stood before Him.
He paused in a crowd to search out the woman who had grasped His robe in faith. He stopped His sermon for the lame man being let down from the ceiling. On the roads, He paused for cripples, the blind, and lepers who called out for His mercy.
And when we are stumbling along in our own confusion, He is there, also. The God of galaxies smiles upon us and puts His hand on us.
Separately. Individually. Specially.
The Church is the Bride of Christ, all the members together making one body. But individually, we still matter to our Father. We are not faceless appendages in the body. We are treasured children.
“See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!
– 1 John 3:1, AMP –
The gospel is not people-centered. God’s love doesn’t revolve around me. I am not the center of the universe or the focal point of heaven. And I was never meant to be.
But oh, what grace is mine! What have I done that He would stop and look upon me?
We should not be surprised to hear that heaven and earth does not wait for our beck and call.
But we should be surprised, eternally surprised, that God would ever stoop to look at the specks upon this planet–specks that, somehow, He has seen, and loved, and filled with the image of Himself.
We serve the same Jesus that lovingly attended to each person He met. He has not changed.
Sometimes God is silent. Sometimes He does not move when we think it is time for something to happen. Sometimes He says no.
But He comes when we call. He places His hand upon our heads when we cry out in need. He cares about our cries.
“Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
– Deuteronomy 31:6, HCSB –