Preaching and healing (Lk 9:6-9:6)

“The twelve apostles

Departed.

They passed

Through the villages,

Bringing the good news

And curing diseases

Everywhere.”

 

ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας εὐαγγελιζόμενοι καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ.

 

Luke said that the 12 apostles departed (ἐξερχόμενοι δὲ).  They passed through the various villages (διήρχοντο κατὰ τὰς κώμας), bringing the good news or evangelizing (εὐαγγελιζόμενοι) and curing diseases everywhere (καὶ θεραπεύοντες πανταχοῦ).  There was something similar in Mark, chapter 6:13, but not in Matthew, where these 12 apostles carried out the dual functions of casting out demons and healing people.  Mark always put a lot of emphasis on casting out these demons.  But they also anointed many sick with oil that cured them, since oil was considered a basic healing element in the ancient world.  Mark never mentioned preaching, but it was part of Jesus’ message, as indicated by Luke.  What do you think the role of a Christian missionary should be?

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Well and sick people (Lk 5:31-5:31)

“Jesus answered them.

‘Those who are well

Have no need

Of a physician.

But those who are sick

Do need one.’”

 

καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ὑγιαίνοντες ἰατροῦ ἀλλὰ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες·

 

Luke indicated that Jesus answered them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς).  He said to them (εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) that those who are well (οἱ ὑγιαίνοντες) do not need a physician (Οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν…ἰατροῦ).  However, those who are sick do need one (ἀλλὰ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες).  Mark, chapter 2:17, and Matthew, chapter 9:12, are almost word for word to Luke, so that Mark might be the source of this saying.  Mark and Matthew said that Jesus heard what the Pharisees were saying to his disciples.  Jesus responded to them that the well people or strong ones did not need a physician or medical doctor, but the sick did.  As Pope Francis likes to say, the Church is a mobile ambulance, not a hospital waiting for people to come in.  Jesus saw his mission as reaching out, rather than expecting people to come to him.

The healings (Lk 4:40-4:40)

“As the sun

Was setting,

All those who had

Any person

Who was sick

With various kinds

Of diseases,

Brought them

To Jesus.

He laid his hands

On each of them.

He cured them.”

 

Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν· ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς.

 

Luke said that as the sun was setting (Δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου), all those who had any person who was sick with various kinds of diseases (ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις) brought them to Jesus. (ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν).  This would not have been the Sabbath, because the sun had set on the Sabbath.  Jesus laid his hands on each of them (ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς) and so he cured them (ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς).  Luke concentrated on the sick people, emphasized healing.  There are similar generic statements about healing sick and chasing out demons in Mark, chapter 1:32-33, and Matthew, chapter 8:16.  Matthew emphasized the casting out of demons.  Jesus cast out these demons with merely a word.  At the same time, he also healed all the sick people around there, without indicating how this was done.  Apparently, during biblical times, there were a lot of people who were possessed by the devil.  Mark was the only one to mention that the whole city gathered at his door.  Mark said that they brought to him all who had a sickness or were possessed with demons.  Jesus was also a daring faith healer, since many saw the connection between both sickness and demonic evil spirit possession.

They will be miracle workers (Mk 16:18-16:18)

“They will pick up

Snakes

In their hands.

If they drink

Any deadly thing,

It will not hurt them.

They will lay

Their hands

On the sick.

They will recover.”

 

ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ, ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν.

 

This is another unique section of this longer ending to Mark.  Jesus was reminding his followers of what would happen to them.  They would have special powers.  They would be able to pick up snakes in their hands (ὄφεις ἀροῦσιν).  They would be able to drink any deadly drink (κἂν θανάσιμόν τι πίωσιν), without it hurting them (οὐ μὴ αὐτοὺς βλάψῃ).  They would be able to lay their hands-on sick people (ἐπὶ ἀρρώστους χεῖρας ἐπιθήσουσιν) and they would recover or become well again (καὶ καλῶς ἕξουσιν).  They would be like miracle workers or super heroes with special powers.

Jesus heals people (Mk 6:56-6:56)

“Wherever Jesus went,

In villages,

Or cities,

Or country farms,

They laid the sick

In the market places.

They begged him

That they might touch

Even the fringe

Of his cloak.

All who touched it

Were healed.”

 

καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο εἰς κώμας ἢ εἰς πόλεις ἢ εἰς ἀγροὺς, ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας, καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται· καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο.

 

There is something similar to this in Matthew, chapter 14:36.  Mark seems to emphasize the various places that these sick people were coming from.  Mark said that wherever Jesus traveled (καὶ ὅπου ἂν εἰσεπορεύετο), whether in villages (εἰς κώμας), in cities (ἢ εἰς πόλεις), or in country areas or farms (εἰς ἀγροὺς), they were placing or laying those ailing or sick people in the public market places (ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς ἐτίθεσαν τοὺς ἀσθενοῦντας).  They begged or entreated him (καὶ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν) to touch the fringe or the tassel of his clothing (ἵνα κἂν τοῦ κρασπέδου τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ ἅψωνται).  Everyone who touched him was healed (καὶ ὅσοι ἂν ἥψαντο αὐτοῦ ἐσῴζοντο).  These people in Gennesaret were well aware of the powers of Jesus.  They wanted to take advantage of his healing magic touch.  They wanted to touch his outer garment or tunic coat in order to be healed like the woman with the excessive blood flow.

Third narrative

This third narrative centered around a variety of miracles and various comments to his disciples.  Jesus cured the leper before great crowds, but then told him to keep it a secret.  Then he cured the centurion’s paralyzed servant at Capernaum.  This Roman soldier understood the role of authority since he had faith.  Jesus chastised the failure of the sons of Abraham but healed the Roman centurion’s servant.

Jesus also cured other sick and possessed people, including Peter’s mother-in-law.  He thus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah.  He had some scribe followers, even though Jesus was homeless.  Was the death of a father enough to disrupt a disciple?  During a stormy boat ride, they woke up Jesus.  Thus, he responded by showing them his power by calming the storm.

Jesus cured the two possessed demoniacs who were calling out to him as the Son of God.  These demons wanted to be pigs, so that they died in the sea, jumping off a cliff.  However, the herdsmen in the city were upset so that the people asked Jesus to leave.

Jesus then went home and cured a paralytic.  Did Jesus blaspheme?  What was the difference between sin and sickness?  The people were amazed at his powers.  Jesus then called Matthew, the tax collector.  Jesus hung out with these tax collectors and sinners, so that the Pharisees complained.  Jesus responded by asking if well people needed doctors?  Then there was a citation from Hosea about mercy.

The Pharisees wanted to know why his disciples were not fasting, but the disciples of John the Baptist were.  Jesus explained that there would be no fasting while he, the bridegroom, was present.  You did not use old cloth to mend clothes or put new wine in old wineskins.

Then Jesus cured the woman with hemorrhages, because she was a woman of faith.  Then he cured the dead girl who was only sleeping.  He cured the two blind men because they were believers also.  He cured the mute person so that he could speak again.  The Pharisees questioned the power of Jesus.  However, Jesus had compassion for the sheep because there would be a need for many laborers at the harvest time.

Then Jesus began his apostolic talk to his disciples, in particular about the authority of the twelve disciples, with four major apostles.  Matthew then listed the twelve apostles that would be sent to the Jews and what their work was.  Jesus told them what to bring with them and where to stay.  He told them how to enter a house.  Those unhospitable towns who did not accept them would be punished.  These apostles should be like wise simple sheep.  When they would be persecuted, the Holy Spirit would speak through them.  They would be involved in family disputes and hated.  Both the teacher and his disciples would suffer, but they should not be afraid.  They should proclaim the message.  They were to worry about their souls, since they had more value than sparrows.  They should acknowledge Jesus whether in peace or with the sword.  Who was worthy of Jesus?  You had to pick up your cross and lose your life to find it.  Receive Jesus and be a prophet as the righteous disciple of Jesus.

You did not take care of me (Mt 25:42-25:43)

“I was hungry!

You gave me

Nothing to eat!

I was thirsty!

You gave me

Nothing to drink!

I was a stranger!

You did not

Welcome me!

I was naked!

You did not

Give me clothing!

I was sick!

I was in prison!

You did not

Visit me!’”

 

ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν, ἐδίψησα καὶ οὐκ ἐποτίσατέ με,

ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με, γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με, ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με.

 

This last judgment section is unique to Matthew, as he reversed the sayings about the righteous sheep against these goat people.  Here in a first person singular response, Jesus said that he was hungry and they did not give him anything to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was thirsty and they did not give anything to drink (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν).  He was a stranger or foreigner and they did not welcome him or take him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με).  He was naked and they did not give him any clothes (γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με).  He was sick and in prison and they did not visit him (ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με).  They had failed in the corporal works of mercy, not the legal following of the Mosaic Law.