Free and whole forever
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Matthew 9:36-10:1, 8
Jesus was moved with pity at the sight of the crowds, because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd … He summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness … he told them, “Freely you have received; freely give.”
Jesus’ healing is a renewable resource. There is always more where that came from. He never runs out. He fills his disciples with the stuff of healing, and they are sent out to do more of what he’s been doing.
Jesus only does what his Father is doing. Jesus’ Father must also be moved with pity. His Father must want everyone Jesus touches to be healed. His Father loves Jesus, and through him He touches thousands of people with that love. Just as he talked to Adam and Eve in the garden before their fall, his Father talks through Jesus to his children now. And so he becomes our Father too.
What does he say? “Freely you have received. Freely give.” Never think about what you don’t have; dwell with constant gratitude on what you do have. And give it away, knowing you will always receive more. What goes around, comes around.
In this atmosphere, healing is much deeper than merely physical change. Physical changes are symptoms of a freely loved, accepted soul, craving nothing any longer except the sweet touch of its Source, of God, its All. Any kind of physical death is overwhelmed by confidence in Life, which never ends, and even what Satan supposes to be his victory is hollow and false. Death has no dominion.
Jesus knew that everyone he touched would eventually die. And he also knew that he was bringing each of those people what he often called “living water,” which triumphed over and under and through death. “Today you shall be with me in Paradise,” he told a crucified thief. When you look at death, look again and just a little past it, and be amazed at what you see.
Lord, your touch changes everything. Pain doesn’t go away, and death remains for each of us. But your touch changes everything. There is nothing in my face except yours, Lord. Looking me straight in the eye. Telling me, “I love you.”