Lent devotions: Jesus the Christ – Mark 6 v 13

Christ on the Cross at SundownMark 6:13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

The word ‘Christ’ means ‘the Anointed One’ and it was meant to signify that Jesus was specially chosen, divinely honored, and majestically exalted by God to be the Savior of His people. Anointing was primarily reserved for those who were to be crowned as ruler of a nation. Usually a priest did the anointing by pouring some precious oil on the forehead of the crown prince or high born ruler. If you look back at the old black and white recordings of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, you will see that the Archbishop of Canterbury anoints her during the ceremony. It is an ancient rite and one which marked rulers of kingdoms as being people who were specially chosen and predestined to reign by God.

In today’s Gospel passage, Christ uses anointing in a different way. Instead of reserving it for divinely chosen people and godly rulers, Jesus teaches the disciples to anoint those who are sick with oil before actually healing them. It’s as if Christ wanted to share His anointment with other people, especially those who were seriously sick and possibly at death’s door. Anointment then became an act of divine compassion instead of a holy rite of elitism. Jesus let His disciples show the weak and ill that they were not being punished by God, but instead that they were honored by God with His love, grace, and healing. Just as John was called the Baptist because he baptized people in the Jordan, so Jesus was called the Christ because He anointed people with God’s favor and healing.

Today we are all in need of God’s grace and Christ’s compassionate anointment. We have emotional, mental, and physical pains that bother, bruise, and burden us. Christ has the power to release us from past hurts and disappointments, present difficulties and circumstances, anxious moments and insecurity. If we allow Him into our lives, He can and will anoint us to heal us of the past, hold on to us presently, and lead us towards heaven and everlasting peace.

Prayer:                        Lord Jesus, You are the Christ, the Holy One chosen of God, who rules the universe, reconciles creation, and heals the entire world. You anointed the Earth with Your precious blood. You saved us from sin and compassionately healed the breach that separates us from God. Hallelujah! What a Savior! Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to pastor@erinpresbyterian.org.

Today’s image is from John’s Feast of Easter series and is called “Two More Days.” If you want to view the series, you can see them at the following link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traqair57/sets/72157600054864349/detail/

About Stushie

I'm originally from Scotland and have been a Presbyterian pastor for over thirty years. I live in Knoxville, TN. I enjoy art as a means of therapy, but also as a creative way to strengthen my spiritual connection to God.
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