‘(Jesus) spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.’ Luke 9.11
There is something incredibly simple about this description of the activity of Jesus, yet Jesus obviously thought it was important as the words that follow indicate that it took him a long time! We are told that by the time he had finished it was ‘late in the afternoon’ and the amazing feeding of the 5,000 was about to take place.
Evidently the people were willing to spend considerable time listening to Jesus and receiving his ministry. Presumably he was not speaking words of judgment or making harsh statements since the people seemed to genuinely want to listen. We can only guess at the content of his teaching, but as it led directly into healing my guess is that Jesus may well have been speaking about God’s desire to bless, to show kindness and pour out mercy on their particular needs.
What is God’s ‘kingdom desire’ for your life and needs? It is likely to be all about freedom. He wants us to experience a life free from so many of the things that hold us back - the chains of unforgiveness that wrap around us, the crushing weight of guilt, the desire to put others down so that we can succeed and the pain of sickness about which we can do so little but he can do so much.
As you sit with Jesus, ask him to speak to you about the kingdom of God in your life, and let his message make a difference.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission