Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was. Mark 3:7-12 NIV
In this snapshot of Jesus’ ministry, Jesus withdraws to the lake, or the Sea of Galilee, with his disciples. Perhaps this was to be a time of teaching for them, or a time of solitude. But a crowd of people seeking healing follows them. Mark tells us the people came from all over Israel and its neighboring areas. The news has spread throughout Israel and beyond that Jesus can heal, and many are willing to travel long distances to seek healing.
Psalm 107:19-21 is a picture of this from the Old Testament, “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men.” Jesus demonstrated his deity by healing. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John uses “the Word” to demonstrate that Jesus is God, Jesus is God’s Word. This psalm tells us God sent forth his word and healed the people – in Mark, Jesus, the Word – healed people of all kinds of diseases and drove out demons as well.
It is sad and ironic that the Pharisees recognized that Jesus was speaking with authority, healing the people, making claims that only God can make, and yet would not recognize him as God. Whereas the demons that Jesus drove out of people readily recognized Jesus as God, declared him as God, and Jesus would not let them proclaim it. It was not appropriate for demons to declare Jesus as God.
God has always been in the business of healing people; his desire is to bring about restoration in our lives. He desires us to be healed, restored with himself and with each other. Are you in need of healing, or restoration? Spend some time with God today. Read his word, pray, take a walk, meditate on a verse, sing a praise song, or journal about your need. Listen to what God has to say to you about his unfailing love, and his desire to heal you. Take one step toward healing or restoration.
By Grace Hunter