Friday, September 19, 2008

God's Purpose in Physical Healing

On Wednesday night we had just an amazing Evangelistic Bible study. We were taking a gander at Mark 2:1-12 and in it there's just the crazy story of Jesus who heals that paralytic guy who was lowered through the roof (or "ruff" for those of you from the Midwest). You've probably, like me, heard it many times since way back in Sunday School. Normally I just left it there as just a great story about Jesus' ability to heal sickness and faith. But Wednesday I realized that there is just so much more to this story than that!

After telling how these 4 dudes come and lower the paralytic man through the roof, Mark relates how Jesus looked up, saw their faith and then in vs. 5, said "My son, your sins are forgiven." (ESV) Sins are forgiven, what's with that? These guys came for healing not forgiveness of sins. But then as soon as Jesus says this the nearby Pharisees start to question him, IN THEIR MINDS, and think about how this power to forgive sins only belongs to God.

And here's the amazing part, Jesus turns addresses their thought questions, and then says "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins'-he said to the paralytic-'I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.'" (Mk. 2:10-11, ESV)

Jesus heals the man to show as literally walking proof to the world that he has power and authority (see also vs 8-9) to forgive sins, demonstrating his deity!

And so how does this relate to today? Well assuming that God is still in control of the universe, that means that he's also the one, while not physically present in Jesus, giving healing and controlling healing processes in every sick and sore person on the planet. That includes every single patient a doctor may ever see. But from a doctor's standpoint, if he realizes that it's God, not his skills and medicine per se, that ultimately gives healing, every single doctor has a wide open door to be an evangelist to point to healing and disease and showcase God's glory and sovereignty!

So my question is, do we actively look around and see sickness and healing as ways that God is demonstrating his power and authority to not only heal and fix, but also to forgive? Do we make the tie between control over the physical to control over the spiritual too?

Pretty deep thoughts, but that's totally awesome that while I'm not Jesus being to use healing to show my divinity, I could still later in my career use healing to point to God's provision, control and character!

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