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Bringing People to Jesus

Mark 1:32-34
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all who were ill and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. (NIVUK)

Diseases of the body and mind have long perplexed humanity.  But Jesus knew their origin.  They are a by-product of Satan's seduction and rebellion against God, infecting Eve and Adam and through them the entire human race.  Disease is part of the downward trajectory of human-kind from the Garden of Eden to 'returning to the dust' (Genesis 3:17-19).  It is very rare that diseases are the direct result of the person's sin, or that their illness marks a spiritual failure in prayer or tithing – as has been suggested by some cults.  Death, and all that leads to it, is a part of the curse of sin: it affects all of humanity.  

When Jesus came, His ministry included dramatic signs that He has power over sin and sickness, disease and the devil.  People came flocking to Him, bringing people who were sick in body, mind and spirit.  For many, their illness had no hope of recovery and Jesus was the only hope they had.  Their healing was a sign that the authority of Satan was not only under threat but would eventually be overturned.  So, Jesus' early ministry demonstrated the supremacy of the Kingdom of God (John 9:1-3), and silenced the hopeless anxiety caused by the devil's lies.  At the same time, God showed His mercy and kindness to many whose lives had been torn by sickness.

Statements such as 'all the sick', 'whole town gathered', 'healed many' and 'many demons' emphasised that there was a massive problem of unresolved disease.  The fact that they emerged only after the Sabbath sunset, showed that religion only prevented relief reaching the oppressed.  It was Jesus, and Jesus only, who could destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) - and prevent the demons from having any say in the matter.  

Most offices, schools, professional practices and industrial sites are full of hurting people who have been disillusioned by religion.  Modern medicine has found answers for much of the physical and mental illness.  But there is no answer for the dis-ease of heart and spirit without Jesus.  Without Him, no creed can console a breaking heart, no ritual can bring peace to the sinful conscience and there is no eternal hope.  That is why the followers of Jesus still bring their friends and family, community and colleagues to Jesus, praying for them and explaining how they can receive the great physician of our souls (www.crosscheck.org.uk).  Christians are being watched by those who feel hopeless, to see if  Jesus could be the light at the end of their tunnel.  So live the Christian life with confidence in Christ’s power to heal hearts, and with compassion to explain the gospel.  That may well spark a curious longing which only Jesus can satisfy.   There is every good reason to announce that the Lord is here, and His Spirit is with you.  For some of your dis-eased colleagues, it is just the news they have been waiting for!

Dear Lord God. Thank You that Your compassion can reach every dis-eased person who I meet today. Forgive me for my lack of confidence in bringing people to Jesus, or lack of compassion in genuinely caring for them. Give me the courage to announce Your presence. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams