Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Jesus is Available and Willing to Heal You - Are You?

 Tuesday, February 1, 2022

And a leper came to Him, imploring Him and kneeling said to Him, If You will, You can make me clean." Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be cleansed." And immediately the leprosy left him and he was made clean. Mark 1:40-42

Jesus is Available and Willing to Heal You - Are You?

What does it mean to be sick?  Have you ever had to cope with a really serious prolonged illness?  If you have, you know that it has to do with more than just your physical condition.  It can involve your whole life and keep you from living up to your highest possibilities.

Sunday we learned about the man who was lame and had laid for 38 years on his mat by the pool of Bethesda. He couldn't help himself - but Jesus came by and helped him. In the passage above we read about a man with leprosy. He was willing to go do what he needed to do to be well - go to Jesus and ask for healing.

The several different kinds of healing works that Jesus uses that gives us some insight into the different things that can go wrong in a person's life.  Jesus healed some of disabling conditions like lameness or blindness that kept people from functioning as happy and productive people.  Jesus also healed some, like the person in our scripture lesson, of leprosy.  Leprosy was a much dreaded, multifaceted illness.  Not only was it a physical illness that could be terminal, it had an additional stigma attached to it.  There was a widely held belief that it was probably a punishment for some sin. It could make people look down on you.  And, because of ritual laws of uncleanness, it could cause you to be quarantined away from human relationships in the community and prevented from worshiping in the temple. It could alienate you from yourself, from family and community, and from God.

In the Bible, people were thought of as unified souls. The mind, the body, the emotions, the spirit and the relationships were all interrelated aspects of the one person.  If there was a serious problem that prevented a person from functioning fully in all of those aspects, there was sickness.  Can you see how the different kinds of physical sicknesses that Jesus healed represented different kinds of spiritual sicknesses that can overtake us?  Can you see how the different kinds of healing works that Jesus did related to more than just a person's physical health?  Jesus wants to heal us from all of our diseases; and the greatest may be our psychological, emotional or spiritual illnesses.  Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 9:35

This is really close to the essence of the Christian faith. We know that the Christian faith has a lot to do with being saved. But being saved in not just something that has to do with the hereafter. The Greek word sozein which is often translated "to be saved" can also mean to be healed or to be made whole. To be saved is to be made a whole person.

Whatever the sickness is that keeps us from being whole our Lord desires to minister healing to us.  While we wait for that healing, He is our comfort and source of strength.  We can also find help in the fellowship of the church.  Don’t feel alone or ashamed to be in need.  Call on Him for healing.

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. James 5:13-15

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