The Greek word syntetrimmenous (συντετριμμένους) means crushed, shattered, or broken into tiny pieces. So when the Savior read Isaiah’s prophecy, declaring that God had sent Him to “heal the brokenhearted” (iasasthai tous syntetrimmenous ten kardian) (Luke 4:18, see also Isaiah 61:1), he wasn’t talking about a small injury or a minor bruise. He was talking about healing people who had been devastated and who may have felt that they were beyond repair.
After the destruction which coincided with the death of Jesus Christ, a group of people on the American continent sat in darkness for three days. Many of them had lost loved ones. Their cities had been destroyed. The darkness was so thick that they could not even light a flame. Their hearts were crushed.
But then they heard the voice of the Savior promising His healing power: “Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 9:20). Not only was He capable of healing their broken hearts, but the very brokenness of their hearts enabled them to receive His healing power.
In 1918, Joseph F. Smith saw in a vision the spirit world. One of the people he saw there was the prophet Isaiah, “who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:42). And he saw many people there who had been “faithful in the testimony of Jesus” and who were now “filled with joy and gladness” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:12, 15).
The Savior can heal us all. No matter how badly our hearts have been wounded, He can make them whole.
Today, I will be grateful for the Master Healer. I will bring to Him my broken heart, remembering that His mission is to “heal the brokenhearted.”