Scripture: Matthew 8:1-17
Key verse: (3) “He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’”
Reflection: In these 17 verses for today we read the account of three specific healings, and hear of many more in general. When confronted by the leper asking whether Jesus would heal his disease or not, Jesus proclaims, “I do choose. Be made clean.” The centurion approaches Jesus on behalf of his servant, and from afar Jesus heals the sick servant. And when Jesus enters Peter’s house, he immediately sees that Peter’s mother is sick and without any prodding Jesus heals the woman. We can never fully discern when or how Jesus heals, it looks different each and every time. And surely there are people who Jesus didn’t heal, or who weren’t able to make it to Jesus. What has been your experience in life, have you been one of the ones who has seen or experienced Jesus’ healing, or are you still waiting for Jesus’ healing to take place, wondering if you have been passed over? Wherever you stand, we can be assured that Jesus’ desire is for wholeness for all, his persistence and his presence shows this.
This wholeness for all I am talking about isn’t just healing for those who were sick, but a healing of an entire community. This includes a leper no longer isolated who could return into family and communal life, a servant whose master’s love sent him searching for solutions, and Peter’s mother who cared for her household. Whenever one is sick the ripple effects of that illness go out from the one who is ill touching many. And when the sick are healed the ripple effects of healing and wholeness are felt far and wide. If you have experienced the ripple effect of Christ’s healing, give thanks today. But may we also remember those who are still seeking healing. Responding to Christ’s desire for wholeness, reach out today to those in your life who are sick or ill, lift them and their circles of community in prayer for healing. And whether you are battling an illness or are caring for a loved one, may you know that you are not alone, for the presence of God’s community surrounds you.
Prayer: Loving God, we give you thanks for your desire for wholeness. Surround us Spirit, that we may know your love that embraces us, guide us to be your presence for those in need and soften our hearts to receive your love from those who care for us. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].