August 16

 Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-28

At a time of pandemic when health and healing is given priority in public policy, let’s be reminded that God is not only the Creator but also the Restorer of creation. The healing activity of Jesus point us to God as the great healer. The Book of Ecclesiasticus in the Apocrypha of the Old Testament has a section in chapter 38 where this is clearly expressed, and the doctor is seen as a servant of God. This theme of God as healer is relevant to us on both a personal and on a world-wide level.

When the gospels say that the people whom Jesus healed were victims of demonic forces, don’t just dismiss this as the mistaken view of a pre-scientific age. It indicates that illness and disability are opposed to God’s good ordering of things, and that God wants healing. God works toward wholeness whether it be physical, mental, spiritual – or communal.

Through Jesus, God initiated a process of healing for the human race. Humanity is sick. It suffers from sin sickness. It does not flourish with the health that God wants for it. However, the joyful message is that, through Jesus, God brings healing. The message is for all people everywhere. It is open to all who in faith open themselves to God’s healing and restorative activity. As the last chapter of the Bible puts it, the leaves on the tree of life are for the healing of the nations.

  • Faith is an important part of the story in Matthew 15:21-28. Whose faith? Why was it important?
  • What is the relationship between God’s healing activity and medical services?
  • How is humanity’s ill-health made evident?
  • How is God’s healing activity made evident?