Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Living in the Story - Lent #24, 2009
Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5)
I have never seen a miraculous healing. I know it happens. I know people it has happened to and through and I believe them. I have just never been there to witness one...not a documented, "no shadow of a doubt" healing. I really want to, I do not want to lose hope that it can happen.
An old friend of mine once pointed out that there is a big difference in ministering healing to people and praying for people to be healed. Jesus ministered healing. He didn't pray "Oh God, please heal this man!", he said to the man, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
I know what you're thinking, "...but that was Jesus and..." The Apostles also administered healing in this way, "Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk."
Scripture does talk about praying for the sick in James 5..."Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven." This is the community of faith gathering around a sick brother or sister. We rarely do this too.
Jesus said he only did what he saw the Father doing, he only said what he heard the Father saying...he had no fear about placing his hands on people and telling them to be healed. He saw and heard the Father doing it. Jesus didn't have to pray, "Oh please, maybe if you could, I'd appreciate it if you would..." No, Christ's ministry started and ended with intimacy with God and knowing His heart for people and walking confidently knowing what the Father was doing and hearing what the Father was saying.
Can we be like that? Can we walk in that kind of intimacy? Can we see the sick healed? Can we see the lost come to Jesus? Can we preach good news to the poor? Can we speak freedom to captives? Can we know what the Father is doing and hear what the Father is saying?
"Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." (John 14)