It has always perplexed me. Describing a gathering in the home of Simon, Mark wrote:
That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus ALL the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed MANY who had various diseases. He also drove out MANY demons… (Mark 1:32-34, emphasis added).
In every translation I checked, the wording was the same – the people brought ALL the sick and possessed to Jesus, and He healed MANY. It may initially look like splitting hairs, but there is an important reality in these words. To be fair, it is possible that Mark meant that Jesus cured everyone who needed healing that night, and that amounted to MANY people. So, we can’t say dogmatically that Christ didn’t heal all.
However, we know beyond that night, God chooses not to heal ALL. In Scripture, we need look no further than Paul who begged on three occasions to be healed, but was denied for unknown reasons (2 Corinthians 12:7-8). In our own lives, we know that God doesn’t always choose to heal physically. Diseases sometimes progress, loved ones sometimes die.
Yet, I believe Mark’s words also remind us that God wants us to bring ALL of our concerns to Him. If we’ll look back over our lives, we’ll likely see that He has responded in ways we hoped MANY times – but, not all. In those situations when His answer is “no,” we are still promised that His grace will be sufficient for us to endure (2 Corinthians 12:9).
So, take ALL your requests to God. Thank Him for the MANY time He chooses to say “Yes;” and rest in His sufficient grace when His answer is “No.” –Dave
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