Today we see yet another (perhaps purposeful) misunderstanding of Jesus and his ministry. Firstly, we need to be mindful of the fact that the majority of Jesus’ “exorcisms” would have more than likely been a curing of what we would today understand as certain medical conditions, either physical or psychological. Either way, however, the important thing for us to understand is that Jesus has a willingness, and a desire, throughout this ministry, to heal.
This willingness, this outpouring of freely given love poses a challenge to the scribes, who seek to purposefully misunderstand, and misconstrue both Jesus’ intent, and his actions. While this may have been purposeful, it reminds us of the countless times Jesus is misunderstood, regardless of intent. By his family, his disciples, his community, the authorities. Again and again, his words and actions are met with misunderstanding.
In his very human nature, I wonder the loneliness he must have felt at times. To know the importance of his mission. The importance of what he had come to do, whilst at the same time, not having many, if any, who truly understood him.
It’s a reminder for us that the Passion of Jesus isn’t just a reference to Jesus’ torture and crucifixion. It’s a reference to all of the suffering in Jesus’ life. From the Cross itself, to the very ordinariness of loneliness. Jesus walks with us through it all.
Luke Bulley CP serves as the assistant priest at St Paul Apostle in Endeavour Hills. He is also a co-founder and Team Leader of The Francis Project, an interdenominational school for Church renewal.