…for he had healed many…all who had diseases pressed upon him…
Thus far in Mark’s gospel, Jesus has been on a whirlwind of healing. Everywhere he went he healed and cast out demons. His reputation (as a healer) preceded him. People were flocking to be in his presence – some even lowered through the roof! Today they are coming from Galilee, Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea and beyond the Jordan – quite literally people are swarming from every direction! Jesus is worried about the size of the crowd – get me a boat so I don’t get crushed…
Jesus reputation was that of miracle worker, healer and everyone was attracted, everyone wanted to catch sight of him, to touch him, to be healed. The demons thought, cried out ‘You are the Son of God’. Does that have the same attraction? If Jesus is the Son of God, what does that mean for me? How do I enter into that?
It’s much easier, safer even to come to the ‘miracle worker’, let him touch me and cure me and then I can go my merry way. But if he is the ‘son of God’ do I have to stick around, do I have to believe? Follow? Change my ways even?
Could this little ‘pause in the action’ of Mark’s gospel calls us to pause as well. Who is Jesus for me? Do I have (or want) a relationship or is it easier just to ask for help every once and a while. What ‘miracle’ do I need to grow my relationship with the Son of God?
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.