Saturday, May 9, 2015

Insight from my devotions from Matt. 8.14-18: Insights into (Magical) Healing Ministries

Jesus counters ideas coming from pop-healing-ministry culture then and now.

Then like now many people thought that to be healed you needed a special touch, or a special word spoken, or some other kind of "power encounter."

But Jesus just touches a woman's hand, and she is dramatically healed of a crippling fever so much that she gets up and get to work.

But Jesus just speaks and the demons flee.

But Jesus heals so many people that the Bible doesn't even elaborate on how.

This is because the power that Jesus has to heal and save doesn't come from magical words, magical touches, or magical "power encounters." Instead, Jesus is powerful because of Who He is, not what He does.

The only reason I think of that Jesus does touch and speak when He heals is so that our human minds can reasonably establish cause and effect.

Without the words, without the touches, we might not realize the grace of Christ comes from Christ, as we often don't in our everyday lives (because Christ heals and save us so much without even forcing us to see Him as responsible).

Yet, because of who God created us to be, human beings who see cause and effect, but hopefully only when there is reason to, Jesus touches, Jesus speaks, Jesus explains.

There are the times as here in Matt. 8.14-18, where the healing seems to come with speaking to and touching the afflicted, but there are other instances where a woman in need of healing touches Him instead of being touched by Him (Matt. 9.20-22), and where Jesus says the healing has already happened (Mark 7.29-30).This means that of course Jesus is more seeking to help us see Him as the reason for the healing than to see special words, laying on of hands, or "power encounters" as powerful.

The truth is only Jesus Christ has the power to heal, save, and exorcise. And we as Christians have that power only in Christ. It is not flashy words, putting our hands on someone's head, or some other dramatic activity, or even the music or the chanting or whatever that we heal and exorcise. Rather we heal and cast out demons as emissaries of Christ. Not because the syllables of "Jesus Christ" are intrinsically powerful, but because Jesus Christ is intrinsically powerful and we depend on Him as we represent Him to the world.

Therefore, if you or I happen to encounter someone that is treating a certain phrase like magic, or someone that insists he/she must touch you to heal you, or someone who can't ever seem to heal any one without music blaring over the speakers and a quick sweeping off balance, then I suggest that such a person is not of Christ. Because the power of Christ doesn't require a particular circumstance but dependence on a particular person, Jesus Christ.

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