In 1971, soon after the birth of their son, one couple penned a song that many of us find so helpful in difficult times. It starts off:
God sent His Son, they called him JesusWilliam and Gloria Gaither.
He came to love, heal, and forgive.
He lived and died to buy my pardon.
And empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living, Just because He lives.
That phrase “he came to love, heal, and forgive” serves as the underpinning of this passage this morning. We have already seen Jesus preach about the kingdom of God. We have already seen Jesus extend His compassion to many as well: the demoniac in the synagogue, Peter’s mother-in-law, city members, and even a leper. And last week, I asked you, “Which Jesus do you serve?” because we tend to gravitate toward the “preaching, truth-telling Jesus” or the compassionate, needs-meeting Jesus. Here, Jesus shows both of these truths in love components of himself and His ministry.
As we approach this passage, Jesus was at his home base in Capernaum. And as is the pattern, word got around that Jesus was in town. We find him “preaching the word to them.” Jesus’ primary aim was to preach the Kingdom of God with the sole entry point being “repent and believe the good news.” In Christ, the power of God was on display, body and soul. To heal and to forgive. Physical healing showed the true power of God to bring spiritual healing from the brokenness of abandoning God’s design for our lives (that is, sin).