For he had cured many of them, and so people kept crowding around him, so all who were sick might touch him.
living icons are few
their very scarcity
increases their commodity value
no Black Friday Sale
could be more dangerous
we reach over one another
not worried whose neck
we are pushing off from
crowd stampedes are mindless
fear flee repeat
where does my need
trump your advantage
reach stretch touch
this is high magic
and we are enthralled
Too much of a good thing is as dangerous as having too little.
In this case healing, a good thing, brings forth more cases than can be handled with the resources available. [So, why doesn’t G*D, Jesus, your favorite saint, or just plain spontaneity wave one magic implement or other and cure everything at once?]
Jesus and ourselves can both be driven by exterior forces beyond our control. At times those forces are destructive in nature and sometimes they are constructive. In excess, either is capable of swamping an initial call to prepare a way (by clearing a way) toward a better way through repentance and changed ways of living (extending mercy).
When a goal becomes to reach out to touch (read greedily grab for one’s self) sources of power, it needs tempering through learning about internal power as well as external. What is it that needs shifting within us so we can distinguish between curing and healing, between negative space of exorcism and positive space of holism?
When not confronted with hands pushing you away (those for whom your message is nonsense) or hands reaching to touch and pull power from you (those for whom your message strikes an adoring chord), there is a healthy rhythm of engagement and reflection, an ability to deal with tests without an anxiety often carried with them.
At this point in Mark’s tale, both pressures are coming to bear at the same time. A perfect storm is brewing.
Do note, however, that Jesus’ need to retreat is more often related to responses of desire (to be healed) rather than threats, conspiracies, and trials. To be more worn out by internal, positive expenditures of energy carries more maturity than having external negatives take so much psychic energy from our living.