Friends, in our Gospel, we see Jesus in action. He is always hurrying from place to place, on the go. Today, Luke gives us a sort of “day in the life” of Jesus. And it is quite a day! Our Gospel opens just after the dramatic expulsion of a demon in the Capernaum synagogue. And after entering the house of Simon, Jesus cures Peter’s mother-in-law, and then the entire town comes to his door. He spends the whole evening curing presumably hundreds who were variously afflicted.
In the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, in an attempt to make Jesus more palatable to rationalists and “realists,” theologians put great stress on Jesus’ preaching, especially his ethical teaching.
But this is not the Jesus that Luke presents. Rather, he is a healer—Soter, rendered in Latin as salvator, which just means “the bearer of the salus,” or health. Jesus is portrayed as a healer, a savior. In him, divinity and humanity have come together; in him, the divine life and divine power are breaking through. God’s deepest intentions for his beloved creatures appears—what God plans for us in the kingdom to come is now historically anticipated.