(by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt)
Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:29-31)
Great crows came to Jesus, bringing the lame, the maimed, the blind, the dumb and putting them at his feet; and he healed them. The news of his presence spread in a hurry. Indeed, if any one of us had been there and had heard of a chance to be freed from our affliction—who of us would not have given everything to come to Jesus?
With this gospel we can be certain that the wretchedness of this world will cease, just as we are sure of everlasting life. We cannot separate these two sides of Christ. We must not one-sidedly emphasize the cross and forgiveness, while ignoring the resurrection and the overcoming of our misery. It is Satan’s trick to try and make us waver so that the Savior does not receive a full and complete hearing.
Faced with the world’s longing for redemption, it is obvious that we can never bring real comfort through the gospel as long as we stress only the one thing—that the Savior forgives our sins—and otherwise the world can go its own way. Similarly, we would be unable to bring real comfort through the gospel, if we represented the Savior only as a miracle-worker and proclaimed, “Be comforted, you can be healed through the Savior.” Then repentance and forgiveness would be utterly forgotten, and no fundamental change would ever take place in men.
Jesus allowed the sick to come to him, just as he did sinners. He was ready to forgive sins and ready to heal. There were times when very few sinners came, only sick people. And Jesus welcomed them all. Oh, that the nations would hear the good news! That the sick would come, and that sinners would come—all are welcome!