Monday Musings for May 28, 2018

Good morning, Musers… and happy Memorial Day!

I’ve always been fascinated by the accounts of people who reached out to touch Jesus’ garments with the belief that they’d be healed. On some level, this looks like subterfuge… as if the sick were trying to steal something that Jesus didn’t want them to have… which, of course, was not the case. But when you think about it, this was more a model of faith than when Jesus healed directly. So, we’ll explore this in our devotional thought today.

Don’t get me wrong. Jesus’ direct healings were wonderful! But they were just that — healings — signs from God that the Father had sent him. But the people who reached out and touched his garments were exercising faith. Jesus confirmed this when he told a woman who had finally reached him that her faith had made her well (Mark 5:34).

Did you notice that Jesus did not offer her an apologetic response? That is, he did not get all technical with her, telling her that it was God’s power and mercy that healed her… and that her faith just channeled his power. Instead, Jesus praised her for doing her part. Sure… God is behind everything… Tada! But Jesus — God’s first-century boots-on-the-ground teacher — told her that she was healed as a function of her faith.

There is a lesson here for us. If she hadn’t used her free will to act on the best information she had — and this includes God’s drawing (John 6:44), promptings by the Holy Spirit, Scripture and Jesus’ reputation (John 3:2) — she likely would have died with her disease. This is analogous to our dying in sin.

Unfortunately, these healing accounts send some people down the wrong paths. So-called “faith healers” leverage these passages beyond their warrant. But just because people misuse an idea doesn’t mean that the idea shouldn’t be used. Faith can and does heal us… but how? … and under what limits?

The first limit is God’s will… and be cautious here. It’s not God’s will that no one gets sick. It’s his will that no one should perish (2 Peter 3:9)  This is why the world’s song is bent towards pathos more than towards a happy tune. Perishing, along with its attendant woes, is our default condition.

But faith beats the odds. It saves every individual who reaches out to Jesus (John 1:12). But it is not a mere alternative to death. It is also a companion in a sad world. So, it’s worth pushing through the crowd to find the Savior. Countless are healed by the hem of his garment.

To read the article referenced above, visit the link below.

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