Thursday, February 19, 2009
Thoughts on healing
In the Gospel readings this past couple weeks we are going through the book of Mark. I have really been struck in a different way about Jesus teachings on faith. I sense that God wants His people to have faith for healing and deliverence in a greater way. I have had a growing sense that as this time of great evangelism is upon us, those of us that God has spent the last ten, twenty and thirty years preparing in the Spirit are going to be called upon to stretch in the wisdom and gifts that we have been given. We are going to have to learn to rely on God's voice, not methods or formulas, and have greater faith in Him to touch lives.
Here in Mark 1, obviously very early in Jesus ministry, He proves that He has great power, there is a demon cast out of a man and then they leave the synagogue:
29As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her. 31So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33The whole town gathered at the door, 34and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.
This is the God we rely on. Who heals with a touch and the voice of command.
Those who had simple faith are healed like this man: " 40A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, "If you are willing, you can make me clean."
41Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" 42Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured." This man surely had faith in Jesus and Jesus immediately responded to that faith.
Then, of course there is the man who was healed NOT because of his own faith but because of the faith of his friends!:
Mark 2~ 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."... He said to the paralytic, 11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
Then in Mark 4 Jesus rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith(and the light perhaps starts to dawn for them that he is the Messiah!)
35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." 36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"
39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"
41They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"
In chapter 5 of Mark, Jesus tackles tougher problems, the demon possessed man who had a legion of demons and then He raises Jiarus daughter from the dead.
In Chapter 6, Jesus again encounters a lack of faith: 4Jesus said to them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." 5He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6And he was amazed at their lack of faith." notice that even though He is God incarnate, He cannot heal when there is a lack of faith!
In chapter 7 Jesus encounters a woman who will not take "no" for an answer. He even calls her a dog and she is not deterred " 27"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."28"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."29Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter." 30She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
This last one struck me for many reasons. First because I often fall for the lie that i am not good enough for God to bless. This woman told Jesus that she was at least good enough for the Crumbs from his table and that would be enough for her.
Next,it hit me for the first time,that Jesus drove out THIS demon without being present with the patient,or even speaking a word of command. He just told her, that her child was free. I believe that God wants us to learn to trust Him more and learn to tap into His power in greater ways.