“But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and gave him back to his father.” Luke 9: 42
Jesus was constantly healing people during his earthly ministry. He healed because he loved and had compassion for the people he came into contact with. We don’t know what happened to most of the people that Jesus healed; they could seem to be mere highlights along His path to Calvary and Resurrection. In Luke 9, after the Transfiguration, Jesus comes down the mountain and immediately encounters a man whose son Jesus’ disciples have not been able to heal. Our Lord is frustrated with his disciples’ inability to deal with the boy’s problem. But I would not have been able to heal the boy either, who has apparently been suffering from a demon, which presents as seizures, for his whole life. Jesus calls for the boy to be brought and, in the midst of one of boy’s “fits” or seizures, Jesus heals him and “gave him back to his father.”
Now I really like Jesus’ giving back of this boy, who has been broken and tormented, to his father. And that, to me, is the crux of the Gospel: Jesus gives us back to ourselves, back to life, and back to possibility, as He heals us with His all too loving touch. We get lost in so much in our world. I have seen much suffering but it is a drop in the proverbial bucket to all the world’s suffering. What can heal the world of its most vexing problems: poverty, racism, selfishness, and rampant apathy toward the plight of others? Christ speaks with a strong voice as He tells us that true healing only comes through our acceptance of not the idea of Christ but of the true promise of Christ. We are brought back to ourselves and each other only when we seize on who Jesus has called us to be: instruments of His grace in our communities, families, and regions. Jesus has given us a commandment to love and He has led the way, with a love that doesn’t blow its own horn, but in humility pours itself out on the world.