The opening of the chapter caught my attention. I often think of Jesus seeing crowds and healing those who are sick but not on this occasion. Today he taught.
Even as I meditate and write, this thought seems too simple but it tugs on me. Jesus understood that the people needed understanding and wisdom for living, that they craved help with this life. How are we supposed to live?
Jesus also understood that God’s way is not something we will come up with by ourselves. Damaged by sin, we see the world through selfish eyes. We need to be taught another way, a better way, God’s way. We need a re-patterning of our thinking and that requires new information.
Addicts who enter a program have to face the fact that the way they were living is not working. Cleaning their bodies of the chemical dependencies is only one step. To stay clean they need to re-pattern their thinking and behaviors, and that requires information so they can see their world differently.
Jesus understood that people needed more that healing. People need teaching if lives are going to change. So when he saw the crowds … he began to teach them…
Jesus also understood what people needed when. When their presenting issue was illness, He healed. When they were hungry He fed. And when given the opportunity, He taught so that people knew both the way to God and the kind of life that pleased God.
Father, help me to listen to Jesus and His teaching and to re-pattern my life in the way He teaches. Lord, I pray for my areas of weakness, I pray for strength to grow to bring my thoughts and actions in line with Your will and way.
Help me, too, in humility to grow in wisdom, knowing when and how to help people re-pattern their lives after You. Also in knowing when and how to teach and to point people to Jesus who will point them to You, Father. Holy Spirit, guide me because I cannot do this on my own. In and through Jesus, I pray. Amen.