Mark’s gospel moves from single acts of Jesus’ healing (the man with the unclean spirit and Simon’s mother-in-law) to Jesus receiving a whole city gathered at Simon’s door in hopes that he will heal the ill among them.
We’ve experienced those occasions when we were part of a community that rallied around a particular person in need: a child with a serious illness or someone who had lost everything in a devastating fire. Our individual efforts, however meager, became part of a collective response that made a tangible, visible difference. Joining our good intentions with the good intentions of others magnifies them all.
But sometimes the need seems so immense, the situation so overwhelming, that we wonder if there’s anything we can do. After Jesus heals two people, he becomes hope for the hopeless. They brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons (v. 32).
How do we respond when the need is greater than our ability to deal with it? When we realize how many live with injustice, poverty, or misery, do we withhold the PayPal donation or our volunteer hours because it seems impossible that those gifts will make a dent in the problem? When our help pales against the weighty issues of war, hunger, and disease, we do what we can and seek the one who is hope for the hopeless. Like the whole city (v. 33), we must learn to lift up the needs of a troubled world, take them to the place where we meet Jesus, watch and wait.
What keeps you from bringing the needs of the troubled to Jesus?
Compassionate God, give me faith that whatever I do in Jesus’ name helps your kingdom to come. Amen.