Monday, March 02, 2009
The great Physician....
A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse--after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. -Mark 5:25-36
Many people could read the above story and relate to the crushing weight of financial impoverishment that comes all too easy today by the hands and systems of the medical, pharmaceutical and nutritional industry. As people struggle to find or afford health care, as our elders approach the season of life when health problems tend to increase and as disease and obesity issues escalate...we may find ourselves forced to look to Jesus more than the Physicians in the days ahead. Which if we truly study the scriptures and allow the truth of both covenants to open our eyes, inform our minds and encourage our hearts...we might even discover more healing for our bodies. The scriptures say that "the Lord is for the Body (1 Corinthians 6:13). He created it, He inhabits it, He will raise it anew and be glorified through it. He has instructed us on how to eat for it, rest with it, work it, dress it, care for it, pray for it. If there is any Physician that we should be consulting, visiting and seeking the wisdom and prescriptions from...it should be the Great Physician (Mark 2:17). But unfortunately we tend to be more earthy minded and trust more in men, like King Asa, who...:
In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but the physicians. -2 Chronicles 16:12
As I seek to understand, realign and honor and worship God with my body; I begin to see his desires for it:
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. -3 John 2
If you journey through the OT and spend time in the shadows of the NT realities...you discover so many dialogues, laws, intents, promises and hopes for our lives, bodies and health.
And He said, "If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer."..."But you shall serve the LORD your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst.-Exodus 15:26, 23:25
Listen to the mystical prophet Isaiah, who propesied a many sided diamond of truth about the Messiah, when he said:
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. -Isaiah 53:5
And even if these promises are but the shadows of what is found in Christ...the reality must eclipse the shadow. The spiritual truths that were often hinted at in the physical works, must encompass more than mere lessons of virtue or anticipations of an age to come...And I think a simple reading of the Gospels clearly unveils that truth.
Jesus healed "all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people." He went forth "healing every sickness and every disease ... " Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 11:5; 12:15; 15:30-31
When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases." Matthew 8:14-17
The point of this little Sunday school lesson is to open our eye to the often missing ingredient in the health and fitness discussion...and that is, Christian spirituality...which includes the sacraments for health (1 Cor 11:27-32). It includes the role of the faith community in our spiritual, emotional and physical health: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." -James 5:14,15
. Jesus is the Lord of life and following Him in His way, truth and life...leads to abundant life.(John 10:10). I would encourage anyone who is pursuing a more healthy lifestyle to spend time in the biblical story and rediscover the deep sources of wisdom found there for life and godliness.