From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Lectio Divina: “great crowd of his disciples”

Lectio Divina: “great crowd of his disciples”

Gospel reading: Luke 6.12-19

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.


Jesus had just chosen the Twelve, but these weren’t all of his disciples by any means. There were many more who sat at his feet and learned from him as Teacher or Rabbi. We just don’t know their names or who they were.

This passage is full of great numbers: “a great crowd of his disciples”, “a great multitude”, “from all Judea” and many other places, “all in the crowd”, “all of them”.

Some of the crowd “had come to hear him”, some had come “to be healed of their diseases”. And Jesus healed not just the latter but “all of them”, whether they knew they needed curing or not: physically, mentally, spiritually, whatever they needed.

Last week I reflected on Jesus being the perfect healer. This week is about quantity as well as quality.

One of my week-long stays on Iona coincided with a visit of Kathy Galloway, the then leader of the Iona Community. Standing at the head of the Communion table on a Thursday night in the Abbey, her voice rang out again and again in the invitation to share in the bread and wine: “All are welcome! All are welcome!”.

God is generous, lavish with love and mercy. God teaches all. God heals all. All are welcome.


Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio Divina group on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.