I cannot read this story without thinking of a scene from Jesus Christ Superstar (ok, I’m dating myself now). At one point Jesus went up a mountain to pray, and sick people literally started crawling out of holes in the ground. Jesus did his best to touch them all, but in the end, he was nearly swallowed by the masses of people needing something from him.
In my home, there are teens from all over town that hang out at my house. Sometimes some of them even live with us for a while. We believe all kids deserve to have a steady, solid, safe place to live, so our couches are always open. Some days it gets to be too much. I start and end every day doing dishes and cleaning up after them. (They try, but there are just too many to wrangle sometimes.) I can’t keep milk in my house longer than two days. Sometimes I feel like all I do is give with little in return. But then they sit at our table for dinner, these kids, and they open their lives to us. They tell us about their day, their friends, their lives. They shower us with love and gratitude. And suddenly the giving becomes receiving, and it’s all worth every bit of it.
As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah. At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.