Posted under Reflections on January 19th, 2011 by

Jesus withdrew toward the sea with his disciples. A large number of people (followed) from Galilee and from Judea. Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him. He had cured many and, as a result, those who had diseases were pressing upon him to touch him. And whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, "You are the Son of God." He warned them sternly not to make him known. (Mk 3:7-12)



Jesus had crowds of people following him. Crowds came from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, Tyre, Sidon etc. Jesus activities and preaching were localized (in and around Galilee – in Mark’s Gospel) yet his fame and the message about his ministry reached far and wide. It reached beyond the Judean territory to the other countries.


One of the messages that reached the people about Jesus was that he had healed many. One of the distinguishing element about Jesus compared to others was that He healed many. Healing was one of the specific qualities of the kingdom. He healed many and gave this power to heal to all his disciples. Where there was healing there was kingdom and Jesus was also there.


Healing from physical illnesses was a special sign of the kingdom also was the power to cast demons. Unclean spirits recognized him and worshiped him. His identity was spread all the land and also it was recognized by the people of the other world (world of spirits). Jesus’ name and fame spread through this world and the world of spirits. 


Posted under Reflections on January 18th, 2011 by

 Again he entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death. (Mk 3:1-6)



Here, as before, we see Jesus busy at work in the synagogue. He was a regular participant in the synagogue activities but this did not prevent him from being what he was. They watched him closely: this was not because he was attending the synagogue activities but rather his personal way of teaching, preaching and doing good to the poor.


The man (with the withered hand) was disabled to work for his living and hence he was an object of charity. But the spectators were very unkind to the man. Instead of helping him or interceding for him they hinder Jesus doing good to him. They proved themselves to be inhuman and unkind.


Jesus’ attention was on the man with the withered hand. Jesus saw the man in need first. There were so many others but Jesus went straight to this man. He was always sure of his option. Jesus always had his attention turned to any man in need/ in suffering/ poor. 

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