It seems Jesus healed many people right in the midst of the crowd. A prayer. A word. A touch while others looked on, perhaps awaiting their turn for Jesus’ attention and deliverance from some ailment. But I noticed something moving yesterday as I read in the gospel of Mark. When people brought a deaf and speech impaired man to Jesus, Jesus took him “aside from the crowd privately” (see Mark 7:31-37). In the next chapter people bring a blind man to Jesus for healing (see Mark 8:22-26). This time Jesus “took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village” (Mark 8:23). Jesus pulled each of them aside. He removed them from the masses.
In both cases He touched them. He talked with them. Personal attention. Individual care. Jesus stuck His fingers in the deaf man’s ears. He touched the man’s impaired tongue. Similarly, Jesus touched the blind man and, then, touched him again. He asked the blind man questions that engaged him in his own healing. Jesus used His own saliva in both healings. It doesn’t get more personal than that.
I’m grateful to the gospel writer for including these details. He must have been impressed (as I am) that Jesus took a man “aside from the crowd privately” and that He “took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village.”
So I ask Jesus to pull me aside and touch me,
to touch what He sees needs healing,
to ask me questions that help me move towards wholeness.
“As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God!” (Psalm 40:17).
Jesus pulls you aside, too. He takes thought for you. Live the mystery.