Luke 6:17-19: Preparing to Preach
Read: Luke 6:17-19
Jesus’ fame had spread throughout the region. People were coming from cities in Phoenicia (Type and Sidon) and Judea (Jerusalem) to hear him preach and with hopes that they might have and opportunity to be healed of demon possession and medical infirmities. The archetype for these kinds of healing were setup by Luke (Luke 4:31-42). Luke separates exorcisms from physical healing to note the difference in the nature of the miracle in that Jesus has power over demons and power over disease. The great multitudes wanted to merely touch him because power.
In keeping with his emphasis to show that Jesus was the savior of all peoples, Jesus’ mission was to preach (Luke 4:43), which he does when the multitudes come. But many of those who came to him came to be healed. Jesus was compassionate, and he did take time to heal those that needed it regardless of their standing as Jew or Gentile. Luke shows this by including Gentile and Jewish cities alike.
The healings set the stage for what Jesus does next, which is to deliver a discourse that includes many of the famous teachings and sayings of Jesus. A similar sermon recorded in Matthew 5-7, known as “Sermon on the Mount”. This shorter sermon is called “Sermon on the Plain”. Whether these are both referring to the same event or separate events is not certain, but nevertheless there are many similarities between the two.
The specifics of the teachings will be unpacked over the next few devotions, but here, Christians can be reminded of the greater need that people have than their infirmities, which is the truth of the gospel. Good deeds without the gospel is empty, but likewise one should also put into practice what he or she preaches too with good deeds alike. Deeds don’t save a person (Ephesians 2:8-9), but they do demonstrate faith corroborate a message that is good news for all the world (James 2:14-26).
Lord, help me to teach and heal as you did!