This week we turn to the second category of the Jesus’ healings, the physical conditions that hamper our ability to move and see in the world and also to hear and to see and to understand what Jesus taught. Jesus healed many blind people, deaf and deaf mutes, people who were paralyzed, one with a shriveled hand, one who suffered from seizures, one who was lame, These people all had physical conditions which got in the way of their functioning in the world. These were isolating conditions, possibly keeping them from earning a living, making them dependent on others, leaving them on the outskirts of the temple society. They all had pretty obvious disabilities.
But looking at these conditions from a deeper vantage point, we remember Jesus’ injunction that his parables were only heard and understood by those whose eyes were opened and who could hear clearly. And we understand that we, too, are blind and deaf and crippled when it comes to understanding the deeper implications of Jesus’ teachings. And aren’t we hampered by our own blindness and deafness? Aren’t we dependent on others to interpret what Jesus means to us? Don’t we often feel isolated or sidelined in our communities?
Jesus often healed these conditions on the Sabbath, in spite of the prohibitions from the Temple leaders, in spite of the growing danger to himself as the Pharisees totaled up his transgressions of the Law. He had compassion on the crowds, on the people who had brought the deaf and blind and crippled for him to heal, on those that needed healing; he healed them then and there. He opened their eyes and their ears, healed their shriveled hands, and the paralysis. He healed the denials which kept them from hearing the truth, the walls between them and others, the disinclination to see the truth, the inability to move about and the rigidity within which insists on always seeing and thinking the same way, the crippling caused by abuse, the paralyzing fears which get in our way. He healed the conditions that keep us from loving God, from following Jesus, from allowing the Holy Spirit in to transform us.
Jesus offers us healing every day. He holds his hand out to us to heal what is not true, what gets in our way of loving him, what blinds us, makes us deaf or crippled. He offers us his healing touch eternally, always wanting to heal us, always wishing our true selves to take hold, always holding his grace and blessings and healing out for us, if we are but willing to allow him into our lives. Our willingness is the major ingredient in his healing. We, like the blind and deaf and lame, need to ask for his healing. “What do you want?” he asks us still. And we answer, “I want to see you as you are.” “I want to hear and to understand what you are telling me.” “I want to see and hear and know you.” “I want to move freely in my life.” “I want to be healed.”
Our desire to be healed then meets Jesus’ desire to heal us. Are we willing to be healed? Will we ask for healing from Jesus? What would keep us from asking? Pride? Indifference? Independence? Fear? Anger? What keeps you from asking?