14th December 2021

The cost of healing

‘…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power… he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.’
Acts 10:38 (NIVUK)

When describing Jesus as a shepherd, Matthew (9:36) and Mark (6:34) both used the words ‘had compassion’: Jesus had compassion when he gazed upon the multitudes (his flock). The Hebrew word for compassion is rachamim, the plural for ‘womb’. So an understanding of compassion is of a mother’s feelings for her unborn or new-born baby, of them both within or of one body.

Jesus does this for us, he makes himself one body with sinners (us), and feels for us as a mother for her unborn baby. Jesus expresses this in so many ways. The header scripture mentions one – healing. And here healing throws light on an often missed aspect: the cost and anguish of Jesus’ compassion, to Jesus himself.

A look at some examples of healing reveals more about that cost. In John 11 where Jesus was at the grave of Lazarus, he groaned (Greek: enebrimesato) in the spirit (John 11:33 NKJV), and groaning (embrimomenos) in himself (v.38). In Mark 1:40-43 (KJV) Jesus heals the leper and ‘charges him’ (embrimesamenos ‘with groans’). In Mark 7:34 when Jesus healed someone who was deaf and speech-impaired, Jesus looked heavenwards and ‘sighed’ (stenazein ‘groaned’).

Healing also throws light on Jesus’ continual struggle with evil. Jesus himself makes it obvious how important and central this struggle is, by inserting ‘deliver us from evil’ in his own Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13. We can see why Jesus constantly renewed his strength, through prayer, against his struggle with evil.

Reminding ourselves of this struggle, and the cost and anguish to Jesus, we can approach his spoken words in Matthew 11:28-29 with awe and wondrous thanks: ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (NIVUK).

Jesus willingly yoked himself to us. Yoked, he feels all our pain. But for us, that yoke unburdens us, all of us, from where we once were.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, may we praise your Son Jesus for what he did and does, and who he is, for everyone. In his name, Amen.

Study by Andrew Montgomery

 

About the writer:
Andrew Montgomery is a Deacon in the Edinburgh congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local congregation:
Contact local congregational contact for details of weekly church
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Local congregational contact:
Peter Mill
Email: edinburgh@gracecom.church

Word of Life contact:
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