Scripture: Luke 4:28-30, Luke 4:40-43, Luke 5:15-16
In Luke chapter 5, a man with leprosy finds Jesus, falls on the ground before him and begs, ‘Lord, if you are willing, I know you can make me clean.’ We see God’s heart for those who suffer in Jesus’ answer. ‘I am willing. Be clean!’ Instantly, the man is healed. And even though Jesus asks him to keep it quiet, word gets out. Soon a huge crowd surrounded Jesus–seeking God, seeking wholeness, seeking healing.
He escaped to a quiet place to pray. And Luke tells us Jesus did this often. Slipped away from the crowds at Nazareth, at Capernaum, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Over and over, people seeking food, seeking healing, seeking forgiveness, seeking God came to Jesus. And he healed, freed many, fed many, helped many–but not all. Some were left hungry, left sick, left behind when Jesus went away. He could have stayed and done more–but he didn’t. Why?
Why did the one who taught us that God leaves the 99 to rescue the one lost sheep, why did he leave before all the need was met? Resting and praying are important–but are they more important than healing the sick? After all, Jesus got in trouble for healing on the sabbath–surely praying could have waited a little longer? How can it be that Jesus left some people behind–and what does it mean for us?
Would you believe me if I told you, it was good news?
Beloved, our God is worthy of praise–and even though sometimes it surely looks otherwise, our God never leaves anyone out and never leaves anyone behind.