Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Safe In The Arms Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 9:11b – [Jesus] welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing. (NIV)
There are some days when I desperately need Jesus to walk beside me, to show me the kingdom of God, and to heal my hurts and disappointments, my anxieties and fears, as well as my sickness and sadness. In my heart, I know that only He can do that for me; only Jesus can bind up my wounds, release me from my stress, and restore me spiritually. Whenever I feel like this, I usually turn to the gospels to find a story or a situation that resonates with my present state. Recently, I happily came across Luke 9:10-17, and instantly embraced the whole passage.
The story is just typical of Jesus. He has had a busy morning debriefing the disciples about their winter ministry exploits in other villages. In order to help them to de-stress, He decides to take them on a quiet retreat to Bethsaida. But things don't go according to plan because the country folk hear of His location and end up coming in their thousands to listen to Him preach or to see a miracle.
No doubt the disciples were peeved, for they wanted some quality time with Jesus. Christ could also have refused to meet the expectations of the crowd because He had something more important to do. But this is Jesus, so typically, He gets among the people, speaking to them about the kingdom of God and healing those who needed healing.
In theological terms, it's called incarnational ministry. Jesus is in the midst of His people, preaching to them about God's ways, and showing those ways to be true by mercifully healing the sick. It's the image of the compassionate and gentle Shepherd that most of us see in our minds when we think about Him. It's also the way in which we hope that He will welcome us, talk to us, and heal us of all our sicknesses, whether they be physical or emotional, spiritual or cultural, personal or filial. Whenever I feel disappointed or go through some unexpected stress, I look to Jesus for those blessings. If you are presently experiencing something similar, may Christ come to bless you, too.
Questions for personal reflection: What is currently troubling me? Am I willing to let Jesus reach me and heal me?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Saviour of the world and the healer of broken souls. Welcome us into Your heart today and heal us of all that harms us in body, mind, heart, and spirit. In Your holy name, we humbly pray. Amen.