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How was “sickness” interpreted in the Old Testament?
In the Old Testament sickness was often experienced as a severe trial, against which one could protest but in which one could also see God’s hand. In theprophets the thought appears that sufferings are not just a curse and not always the consequence of personal sin, that by patiently bearing sufferings one can also be there for others.
Why did Jesus show so much interest in the sick?
Jesus came in order to show God’s love. He often did this in places where we feel especially threatened: in the weakening of our life through sickness. God wants us to become well in body and soul and, therefore, to believe and to acknowledge the coming of God’s kingdom.
Sometimes a person has to become sick in order to recognize what we allhealthy or sickneed more than anything else: God. We have no life except in him. That iswhy sick people and sinners can have a special instinct for the essential things. Already in the New Testament it was precisely the sick people who sought the presence of Jesus; they tried “to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all” (Lk 6:19)