WISE MAN AND HEALER
He didn’t have cultural power like the Scribes. He wasn’t an intellectual in studies. Nor did he possess the sacred power of the temple priests. He wasn’t a member of a noble family nor did he belong to the city elites of Sepphoris or Tiberias. Jesus was a construction worker from an unknown village in Lower Galilee.
He hadn’t studied in any rabbinical school. He wasn’t dedicated to explaining the law. The doctrinal debates didn’t concern him. Nor was he ever interested in the temple rites. The people saw him as a teacher who taught about understanding life and living it in a different manner.
According to Mark, when Jesus arrives in Nazareth accompanied by his disciples, his neighbors end up surprised by two things: the wisdom of his heart and the healing power of his hands. That was what most drew the people. Jesus isn’t a thinker who explains a doctrine, but a wise man who communicates his experience of God and teaches how to live under the sign of love. He isn’t an authoritarian leader who imposes his power, but a healer who cures life and alleviates suffering.
However the people of Nazareth don’t accept him. They negate his presence with all kinds of questions, suspicions and distrust. They don’t let him teach them nor do they open themselves to his healing power. Jesus doesn’t succeed in bringing them closer to God or in healing all of them as he would have wished.
Jesus can’t be understood from the outside. You need to enter into contact with him. Let him teach us things that are so decisive like the joy of living, compassion or the will to create a more just world. Let him help us to live in the loving and close presence of God. When someone comes close to Jesus, they don’t feel attracted by a doctrine, but invited to live in a new way.
On the other hand, in order to experience his saving power it’s necessary to let ourselves be healed by him: recover little by little the inner freedom, be freed from fears that paralyze us, dare to leave mediocrity behind. Jesus keeps «imposing his hands» today. Only those can be cured who believe in him.
José Antonio Pagola
Translator: Fr. Jay VonHandorf