Arulvakku

05.07.10 FAITH

Posted under Reflections on July 4th, 2010 by

 While he was saying these things to them, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, "My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live." Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured." Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, "Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you." And from that hour the woman was cured. When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping." And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land. (Mt 9:18-26)

 

An official with faith, came forward and asked Jesus to come to his house to raise her daughter who had just died. Faith raised the dead. The girl lived. In the Gospels we see Jesus raising the dead son of the widow of Nain, Lazarus who was dead for few days and the girl who had just died. Jesus raised the ‘just dead’, few hours after death, and few days after death. Death and the time were not matters of concern for raising the dead. It was faith and God that were important.

Jesus was not actively involved in healing the woman suffering from haemorrhage. The woman touched only the tassel of his cloak. The faith of the woman wrought the miracle. Jesus had no role to play in that. He did not make any effort to touch her or asked her even to express her faith etc. Faith alone matters here.


We also see a crowd sitting and making commotion and probably they had no faith. Because they ridiculed Jesus for his action and statement. Shall we say that people of no faith or little faith are the one who always stand at the place where the event takes place? In a sense they are the witnesses. They go around and spread the news about the miracle. They receive faith (shall we say so). For faith is a gift from God.  Faith works miracles and the real miracle is receiving faith. 

04.07.10 SEVENTY

Posted under Reflections on July 3rd, 2010 by

 After this the Lord appointed seventy (-two) others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit. He said to them, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves. Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this household.' If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment. Do not move about from one house to another. Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, 'The kingdom of God is at hand for you.' Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘the dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.' Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand. I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day than for that town. The seventy (-two) returned rejoicing, and said, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." (Lk 10:1-12, 17)

 

Jesus sent seventy (+two) ahead of him. They were sent to prepare for his visit. It is only a preparatory work. Hence they had no need to stay longer there and they did not have the need to take extra money and extra cloths etc. Their mission was urgent and hence they did not have the need to build up relationship with anyone greeting them etc. Their mission was only to announce the coming of Jesus and prepare for his visit. It had nothing to do with themselves.

Were there seventy or seventy two? There has been much discussion on this. It should have had some symbolic meaning. If Luke was seeing Jesus in the light of Moses then the symbolic meaning had an interesting result. Moses chose 70 elders to assist him and thy were given a share in God’s spirit (Numbers 11.16,25). The 70 were to assist Moses in leading the people (exodus). Here Jesus has begun a journey of New Exodus and hence the 70 were appointed to assist in this mission.


The message of the 70 was, 'Peace to this household’.  But the Jews of the time of Jesus were for all out war against the Romans and Samaritans etc. They wanted justice to be done which would only mean destroying the enemy. But the kingdom that Jesus was ushering in was to reveal the love of God and that too a healing love of God. This healing love of God was seen in peace, peace with everyone. So the new exodus was leading people forward to the kingdom with peace and not looking backward (to Egypt for the people of Israel at the time of Moses) with violence and hatred towards enemies. 

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