MK often records Jesus engaging in a situation then withdrawing to a quieter scenario. This passage begins with the withdrawal that ends the previous one. After the healings, first, of Peter's mother-in- law, then among the crowd that followed, Jesus withdraws again from all this hustle & bustle. What can we say about this except that while we need to be thoroughly involved in our given agenda, we also need time apart, in small scale company, or by ourselves. Workaholism isn't one of the gifts of the Spirit! How's the work load, what are the work practices of the 'workers' in our congregation? Including ourself?
A question that keeps recurring in church circles is 'How does healing
work?' Some explanations leave me desperately craving a holiness I know
I don't have. Others make me tear out the little hair I have left. At this
stage of my journey, the closest I can get to how it 'works' is to believe
that 'healing' takes place when God's love is brought to bear by one means
or another, taking the form of healing energy. It might be the touch of
a hand (as here), well targeted medicine or surgery, or a host of other
ways. I believe God's energy brought to bear with love & integrity
still heals. There is no set formula. it is always an act of grace. No-one
need feel bad or guilty when someone we pray for dies. We haven't failed
if we've done what we could do. It takes a lot of love, a lot of integrity,
a lot of effort, a lot of persistence, & a lot of grace.* The
person on whose behalf God gives us the grace to apply these may still
die, but be sure real healing has taken place. Besides, we all need to
come to terms with our mortality somewhere along the way.
* My observation of those who make capital out of the healing ministry is that they lack some, or even all of these qualities. For the same reason, health care systems based solely on the profit motive will bring us undone as often as they help our healing. Stitching us up, whereas God raises us up. True healing isn't a commodity, any more than Jesus allows himself to become a commodity when he opts out of what people are chasing him for in 36-38.
Jesus now makes himself widely available in a wide sweep, reaching into
a lot of corners, teaching & 'casting out demons'. God's Good News
is never mere theory. There always needs to be some expectation that 'something
will happen'! Else, where is the Good News? The kinds of 'demons' people
face today are every bit as destructive as the kind 1st C people believed
in & fell victim to. How can we preach & minister, & our congregation
operate in such healing ways as will encourage those 'bound' today to face
their demons, name them, & accept the Good News that Jesus can 'cast
them out' like the ones of old.