Reflection By Father Stefan on Today Gospel Mark 1 29-39

Reflection by Father Stefan, Today Gospel

And immediately he left the synagogue, and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them. 32 That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together about the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

When reading this gospel I was struck by the words, “They brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.” You certainly get a picture that there were thousands of people there.  We read, “The whole city was gathered about the door.”

But what struck me was, “And he cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons.”

We see the words “All were brought to him.” And, “He cured many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons.”

Was wondering what the commentary said about the change of words from all too many? Were there people who were ill that were not healed?

William Barclay writes, “ But there is the beginning of tragedy here. The crowds came, but they came because they wanted something out of Jesus. They did not come because they loved him. In the last analysis they wanted to use him.”

So checked 3 commentaries and none gave insights into the all and many question. Namely were there people who were not healed?

It seems like the answer is yes.  It seem most of the people were healed but not all.  Jesus needs faith to heal. He doesn’t heal people to just heal them. When we are healed we are called to follow Jesus more faithfully. Jesus heals and casts out demons.

One commentary did say, In this Gospel, “healing takes place when (Jesus’) authority is acknowledged, either by the spirits, who know who he is…, or by the sick, who come to him in the faith that he has the power to heal them….  Where there is no faith –– no acknowledgement of his authority –– there are no healings” (Hooker, 72-73).

We do get a picture of hundreds if not thousands of people getting healed. But today as in the days of Jesus we still need faith.

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