The terms of consent

Yielding to God's power goes hand in hand with spiritual healing. And God alone establishes the terms of our freedom.

At one point in his healing ministry, Christ Jesus came upon a man who had been crippled for thirty-eight years, sitting by a pool of water hoping to be healed (see John 5:1–9). Apparently many others were waiting there too with the conviction that the first person into the pool, after an angel had stirred up the water, would be healed. It seems reasonable to assume that those waiting must have seen or heard of some evidence of physical change in others or they wouldn't have continued to wait there. But was it the water, the angel, the stirring, and the firstness that brought changes in people? If so, wouldn't Jesus have waited with the man and helped him to be the first one into the pool?

Instead Jesus asked the man a question: "Wilt thou be made whole?" Certainly the man was wanting a healing, so why would the Master ask him this question? Could he have been directing the man's thought away from the material conditions that people assumed were required for healing and toward a more fundamental, mental need? Was Jesus calling on him to give his consent to be healed in accordance with the spiritually maintained fact of man's true wholeness? Moments later the man did walk away, healed by Jesus.

The Master's healing work always involved turning thought from material conditions. It didn't matter how long the healing had been needed, how far away from Jesus the individual was, how few fish there were on hand to feed multitudes, or how great was the storm to be calmed. It didn't even matter that Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus arrived on the scene. Jesus was able to restore harmony, health, peace, abundance, and life in these situations. About his healing method, Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health: "Jesus never asked if disease were acute or chronic, and he never recommended attention to laws of health, never gave drugs, never prayed to know if God were willing that a man should live. He understood man, whose Life is God, to be immortal, and knew that man has not two lives, one to be destroyed and the other to be made indestructible" (p. 369).

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"The harvest truly is plenteous ..."*
November 22, 1993

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