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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Day 280: Jesus heals many

It’s exciting, reading about the most transformational man in history.
The man with an evil spirit
Luke 4:33-37
Jesus heals many people
Matthew 8:14-17, Mark 1:29-34, Luke 4:36-41
Jesus in Galilee
Matthew 4:23-25, Mark 1:35-39, Luke 4:42-44
Jesus heals a leper
Matthew 8:2-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16
He heals a paralysed man
Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26

In this early phase of Jesus’ ministry, he travelled all over Galilee, teaching and healing. It was electric, and people pouted out of the towns and villages to see and hear him. He visited synagogues and preached - not without incident: he was challenged by a man with an evil spirit, but Jesus quelled him with a word. In the midst of this feverish excitement, Jesus used to seek out solitary places and time alone, so as not to be swept away by it all.
It became harder ad harder for Jesus to enter a town - he would be mobbed. So he began to spend more and more time out in the countryside, where people could gather around him in great numbers.
It wasn’t just supporters who were following Jesus, the teachers of the law were on his case too. They were trying to decide about him. Was he safe, or a dangerous heretic? There were two dangers they were aware of. One, the danger of false teaching that would lead people away from obedience to God. The other, the threat of Roman reprisals if these mass meetings began to look like sedition. So they were on the look out for Jesus encouraging people to break the law - either God’s law, or Roman law. Either would bring them to judge against him.
One day, Jesus challenged their orthodoxy by claiming to forgive sins, and backed it up by healing the paralyzed man in question. The crowds were amazed; the religious experts’ frown got deeper.

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