Jesus’ ministry is fundamentally a healing ministry. His preaching and teaching are healing acts. Jesus’ aim is to make a difference, to make God’s difference, in the world. This was, and is, good news.
This was surely a large part of why people flocked to hear him in big numbers. As word got around, the people came. Matthew 4, verse 24 – the news about him spread through the whole country of Syria.
It goes on to say – people brought to him all those who were sick, suffering from all kinds of diseases and disorders: people with demons, and epileptics, and paralytics – and Jesus healed them all.
There is no doubt that there were a lot of people who needed healing in Jesus’ day – and it is not really surprising for that to be the bit that hit the headlines. His ministry is there to present God’s love, and God’s love looks to bring about wholeness. Another word for that is healing.
We live in a world that is broken in so many ways. We encounter people who are hurting in so many different ways. Some of the needs and diseases today may be different from how it was in Jesus’ time but the basic need – and desire – for healing is exactly the same.
The good news, today as then, is that it can happen. God’s healing love is available to us. It may not always work the way we want or expect – but God is there for us and with us. That’s the promise. The Gospel is about being rescued. It always was. It is. It always will be. That’s what Jesus starts proclaiming. That’s the ministry – and that is what the first disciples, and all disciples since (including us), are called to share with the world around us.