Christian healing: a time for action

"The demand to do something for someone else, and my obedience to it, were the turning point."

"Rise, Take Up thy bed, and walk." What if Jesus had asked this of me? Would I have been able to do what the man in the Bible story did? He had been waiting for thirty-eight years to be healed by getting into what was considered to be a magical pool of water (see John 5:2-9). When Jesus first meets him, he asks the man, "Wilt thou be made whole?" But the man replies with almost an excuse: "I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me." When Jesus shifts from a question to the command "Rise," the man is instantly healed as he complies.

To the man blind from birth, Jesus says, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (John 9:7). To walk a long distance, find the pool, and wash are big demands for someone who cannot see. To the man with a withered hand in the synagogue, Jesus says: "Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. . . . Stretch forth thy hand" (Luke 6:8, 10). Any deformity was considered by the Jewish legal code to be unclean, so to stand in front of everyone and show a deformity would be embarrassing, even risky, for the man. Likewise, to the ten lepers, Jesus says, "Go shew yourselves unto the priests" (Luke 17:14). They probably wondered why they should make this trip if there was no evidence of healing, but they were obedient and were healed. In all three of these instances, healing was instant when the people were obedient to the demand that they take action.

The demands to "rise," to "stand forth," and to "wash" can have symbolic meaning for us as we seek spiritual growth and healing today. They can stir us, wake us, and compel us to take action.

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Love one another—soar free!
November 9, 1998

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