Friday after the First Sunday of Advent

Psalm 6, Mark 5:24–34, Luke 7:36–50 (read online ⧉)

We greatly honor our doctors and nurses who nurse ourselves and our loved ones to health. However, what we do today is different than it used to be. Science and medicine have provided us information that is beyond ancient knowledge. Even we untrained people have a far greater knowledge of healing than was available to the normal person many years ago. Thus when the scriptures ask for healing, and when healing occurs it is a miracle. This is not to diminish the healing received then or now. However, there is something here in Scripture that is only recently coming into mainstream thinking…peace.

The woman who touched Jesus’ cloak was both desperate and had faith. An interesting combination to say the least. Suffering from an injury/illness for 12 years and bankrupt because of it. We’ve heard stories of or known people who may have not suffered as long but certainly lost everything. Healing was great. Peace was needed too with all that she had gone through.

Then there was the woman who poured perfume on and washed Jesus’ feet. Obviously infamous among the “clean” and “appropriate” people, she was probably a societal outcast in some form or another. Her entire life was not likely to be a gentle one. She needed peace.

Neither woman, at the point we meet them, are doing well in life. Based on context, we can reasonably say that they were the downtrodden of the downtrodden, and they were women. All of this piled together in that time meant that even being healed or being defended by Jesus would not necessarily make their lives easier.

What Jesus did is justify their existence. He saw them for what they were…children of God. He valued them. By valuing them, and publically doing so no less, he gave them an opportunity to have something they may have never had, or hadn’t had in a very long time…peace.

Our medicine and science are great. We are doing so well on the “mechanical” side of healing. We aren’t, however, doing as well in healing hearts. In cases of severe health issues, just being healed is only the beginning. There are some forms of emotional trauma that go along with that. Those that have suffered need peace.

1) The “mechanical” nature of medicine resembles other “mechanical” areas of our society. Why do we avoid dealing with emotions? What does it mean to you that Jesus brings peace in those situations?

2) Societal healing is painful. Currently, there are a lot of scabs being peeled off and oozing sores finally being treated. Thinking of the above stories, what does that tell us about how Jesus would respond today?

3) Christians regularly pray for physical healing. Why? What do we miss when we pray for physical healing alone?