Setting aside technological and industrial changes of today, people are the same today as they were in the days of Jesus. If you look at Jesus’ words in the gospels and Paul’s Words in the epistles, you see that they are both telling people that they need the one and only true God. They are telling people that they need to forgive, they need to be kind and put evil thoughts and behaviors out of their life, and that they can’t live their life without God’s help through Jesus Christ. The technology may have changed. The landscape and conveniences may have changed. Cultural ideas and behaviors may have changed, but people are still people. They have the same basic wants, needs, and desires.
I say all this with this thought in mind: People of that day just like this day, suffered from sickness and disease and/or were surrounded by the sick. Supernatural healing was no more accepted or fit into the general public’s everyday thoughts then, than it does today. When Jesus went around from place to place laying hands on and praying for the sick, to some it looked like God had sent a messenger from Heaven, to some a prophet or the awaited Messiah, and to others, some kind of scam artist. There was no more reason for Jesus and what He did to be accepted then, than there is today. Life always has its skeptics and Jesus was surrounded by them. It did not stop Him. Acts 10:38 reminds us, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.”
One Sunday I greeted a couple that I see most weekends in church. I was reminded of a time about seven years ago. They walked up to me prior to church starting. She wanted to tell me that the doctors had told him he had a short time to live and there was nothing medically they could do. I am sure they were experiencing the array of emotions that come with such a report, yet they also loved God and believed what Hebrews 13:8 declares; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” That means His heart, mercy, and compassion, toward people is the same today as it always has been. They believed that and asked for prayer. Their words at the time were something like, “We appreciate the doctors, the medical advances of today, and all they do, but they are not God and they are not our Healer. They are not the end of the story. Pastor Burt, will you pray for my husband and us?” I did pray for them as I knew others in the church were also.
They remind me of people in Jesus’ day that needed healing from God, but were also probably surrounded by doubting family, people, and critics debating whether this Jesus character was real or not. One blind man healed by Jesus was verbally attacked by the doubters of his day. He wasn’t about to enter into the debate. He had already experienced the healing power of God. When they wanted to debate he simply told them, “I don’t know whether Jesus is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”
This couple didn’t care about what others thought. They just knew that Jesus never changes and that James 5:14-15 instructs, “Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. And their prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make them well. And anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.”
Here they are seven years later sitting in the sanctuary worshipping God. They are wonderfully happy and are two people that clung to all who their Savior is. Just seeing them put a smile on my face!
Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV) Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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