Luke 4: 40 (NRSVA)
40 As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
Our passage today comes from the early chapters of Luke’s gospel. Before this, Jesus has been baptised; tempted in the desert; and returned in the power of the Spirit to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour (reading from Isaiah in the synagogue as his manifesto). Jesus publicly says that God has given him authority to heal and set people free. The verses that follow show the truth of this declaration in action: Jesus preaches with power, a man is released from an evil spirit, and Simon’s mother-in-law is healed. This exciting news is shared around the area.
So, in today’s passage, no wonder that Jesus is being asked to heal people of all kinds of sickness, as the sun sets. This is not an election campaign trail, Jesus gaining notoriety for a future vote. The truth of who Jesus is comes out but he refuses to let these voices speak as he is concentrating on his purpose of proclaiming the kingdom of God and setting people free — one person at a time. Jesus lays his hands on each of the people brought to him and heals them of their sickness.
At Scargill, we have the privilege of praying with and for our guests. Our listening is as important as formal prayer — and we take our time. We honour the person sat with us and ask for God’s help, wherever it is needed, praying that God’s kingdom will come in this situation. We trust God for what happens next.
Jesus, You looked at me.
You did, I could feel your stare through my lidded eyes.
A voice, patient, connected and interested
in what I had to say.
Usually I don’t get a word in.
Me Mam is fierce in her explaining,
wherever we go,
but I don’t get spoken to much.
I can’t see — you see — well I expect you do,
You’re standing there.
You hold my hand.
I feel the power come into me
(heat through your shaking hand)
and overwhelming Love.
You see it all.
Now I see You,
smiling all over your face.