Monday, August 14, 2006

Every Bible story is unique

Every Bible miracle is unique. Often we feel that the main point of the story is to show us that we must have faith. But if we study each miracle carefully, we will see that while faith is present, other occurrences in the story also teach us about how to receive miracles in our lives.
Yes, there is more besides faith.
Here are a few examples of other lessons we can learn from these miracles. I’ll only deal with the miracles done by Jesus.
The raising of the widow’s son
Here is a case where God healed simply because he was compassionate and his heart grieved for someone. The widow didn’t even ask for her son to be healed. Perhaps she was wondering in her heart about how she would live without a son in her old age, but she didn’t expect such a divine appointment. If we understood God’s love, and how faith works by love, what miracles we would have!
The woman with the issue of blood
She had heard that Jesus was healing people and she knew that some considered him to be the Messiah. She searched the Scriptures to see if what she heard about him was true and decided to touch the fringes of his garments – which symbolized the Malachi promise of the Son of Righteousness rising with healing in his wings. Continue confessing the word: She believed what she heard about Jesus and from that moment she kept saying "If I touch him, I will be healed." We don’t know how long she said this, but she didn’t only think this, she spoke this over and over. The law of healing works for all who fall in line with it. She was healed without Jesus being aware of her. This reminds me of the keys to the kingdom can be used by any who understand it. Such laws such as tithing, speaking positively, etc have been used by those outside the kingdom. The gospel is preached to the poor and if one has neither money nor medical help, there is still a savior. Don’t care about other’s people’s opinion of your faith.– She could have been killed because she was unclean because of the issue of blood, but she didn’t have the fear of man that brings a snare.
The friends of the crippled man
This teaches the power of intercession. This paralyzed man doesn’t say anything. His healing comes because of his friends. This certainly teaches that in some cases, a sick person doesn’t have to speak to God about his illness. The prayer of a loving and interceding church can do wonders. What a challenge it is to most modern churches! When someone is sick among us, we should show our love and our faith by going all out to intercede for the person. This doesn’t mean judging the person or exhorting them or trying to get the person to acknowledge his sin. Just simply being obsessed with getting our brothers and sisters well. This story also teaches that sometimes a sin is behind a disease. Jesus told the man to go and sin no more. We assume the man didn’t sin again.
The man beside the pool of Bethesda
This is a miracle about a man who was waiting for one kind of miracle and received a higher form of miracle. This man was always looking for an intercessor to help him, and for a supernatural agency to bring about his healing. This man was in a rut and could only see one way out of his healing. I have no doubt there are supernatural ways of being healed that has nothing to do with Jesus, but some of these are so far-fetched and the person is so alone we must look to Jesus. Jesus wanted him to look to the source of healing. Jesus. Perhaps this would heal the man and make him feel less forgotten and rejected. He was also among other sick folks and in his own mind, there were other folks as sick or sicker than he was. The ones who were sicker had family to help them. The ones who weren’t so sick could help themselves. There is nothing worse than thinking healing has a time or quantity limit and one has to fight with other sick people for the universe’s attention. When Jesus called to him, he must have been surprised to see that God had not forgotten him. This miracle also challenges us to ask ourselves if we really do want to be healed. Some people have gotten used to their sickness because the illness has been with them long. Some people can’t be healed because in their heart they really want to die. This man had been in such a state for so long that he needed to know that God saw him. Like the woman with the issue of blood, and like Lazarus, we understand that it is never too late to have a miracle.

The man born blind (without eyes)
This man was born with a disability and from childhood had been told all the supposed reasons why God made him sick. In many countries even now people think some people are born sick because of something they did in the womb or in a past life or because of family generational sins. Whatever the reason, Jesus told the man that the man was not born to be disabled all his life; the man was born to be healed.
The blind man outside Bethsaida
This is the only healing where Jesus actually asked the sick person if it worked, and where Jesus had to pray twice. Bethsaida is one of the cities Jesus cursed because of their hardened hearts. This shows that sometimes a sick person must be taken away from an atmosphere of unbelief in order to be healed, and after they’ve been healed they must be careful about returning to unbelievers lest they lose their healing.
The raising of Lazarus
This healing shows that Jesus often delays most when helping those whom he loves most. It shows also that delay doesn’t mean denial. It is never too late for Jesus to help. Like the raising of the widow’s son, this healing would seem to be unnecessary. After all, we are taught to believe that if someone dies we simply bury them, but the early church didn’t think so. When someone died, they often prayed for them to become alive again. How wonderful it would be if whenever we hear that someone has died, the first thing we would do as Christians is to pray for them to be returned to us!
The few sick folk in Jesus hometown
This is another case of unbelief. But this is the unbelief of people who think they "know" Jesus. They are like people who have "grown up knowing all about Jesus" and so they don’t want to be enlightened or to see him in a new way.
Carole McDonnell is the author of a How to Write and Teach Bible Studies which is available for free download from ebooks-and-authors.com See her other articles at http://www.isnare.com/?s=author&a=Carole+McDonnell
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