September 15 - Luke 4:38-44

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Luke 4:38-44 – Jesus’ Healing Ministry

How interesting to realize that though we know who Simon is, Luke doesn't say much about him. Why? Because he hasn't introduced the disciples yet. That will happen the very next thing in his retelling of the story. The other gospel writers at least introduce Andrew and Peter, but here, Luke sets the story of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law’s healing before his readers even meet the man. So, Simon is only recognized as the man of the household.

This short story precedes Luke’s telling of the crowds of people who need to be healed from many different things … sickness as well as demon possession. The words from Luke 4:18-19 are being fulfilled. Jesus is releasing the oppressed and healing the sick. Redemption and liberation are at hand.

When he tries to leave Capernaum, the people attempt to detain him … this isn't an aggressive crowd, but one who has finally found their shepherd. They know there will be a terrible sense of loss when he leaves. They love Jesus and can’t bear to see him go. This loss continues to be echoed throughout churches and lives when pastors sense God's calling on them to move. The people remain, but must grow on their own into the relationship God wants to have with them.

It is a difficult lesson that he teaches them. His message isn't for them alone, but for everyone. This is the mission that Jesus carries. When he speaks to the people, the imperative is strong for him. He ‘must’ preach because he was ‘sent.’ And so begins his ministry in the country of Judea.