Saturday, April 21, 2012

T or F: Jesus wants to heal the sick

Does Jesus want to heal the sick? Any of them, some of them, all of them? This is a tough question because it makes us take a look at what Jesus wants (as opposed to what we want) and it makes us address the idea of suffering from God's point of view and not ours.

If we look to Jesus of the gospels, we see several things. One of them is that he heals a lot of people, even going so far as to raise some from the dead. But he also allows suffering. He hesitated before going to raise Lazarus, causing his family added grief. We are told that in his own hometown he did not do many miracles because of their lack of faith. He heals some, others not. Is it like a lottery?

I don't think so. One thing I know about Jesus is that he too was willing to suffer. He did not view the cross as something to be avoided. So perhaps we too need to view our suffering in such a way. Remember Job. Remember that our trials purify us. Remember that it is not about me and my comfort.

I believe that when Jesus heals, he does so with a purpose, and when he does not heal, he also does so with a purpose. A fellow blogger, Kansas Bob, has blogged about miraculous healing that he was witnessed. I do not doubt him. But what about those who do not receive such results?

Healing is not an automatic for the Christian. At least not physical healing on demand. Healing is a blessing,but sometimes so is not healing. Garth Brooks, is his song, "Unanswered Prayers" tells a story of a young man who was in love, only to not have that love returned. In the end, he ends up happily married to someone else, a person he would have missed had the other woman returned his affections. I am not saying the theology of the song is perfect. No theological system is. But sometimes no is a good thing, and God knows when that is on every account.

Jesus wants us to find our joy in our God, not our circumstance. Sometimes healing brings us to that place. Sometimes it does not. But if we find our strength in the Lord, and not in his gifts, then it is not a matter of what we get from Him, but how we live in Him. And that is something that Jesus wants for us, and lived out himself, all of the time.

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