The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Saving Faith

Quite a few times, when Jesus healed someone, He then told them, 'your faith has made you well' (Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Mark 10:52, Luke 7:50, Luke 8:48, Luke 17:19, Luke 18:42 )! Was Jesus telling them that they had made themselves well?! Even given that faith itself is a gift of God ( Ephesians 2:8 & 9 ); is it possible that we can heal ourselves?!

As usual, in Scripture, we know that context is often what determines the intended meaning! The context, of course, of Jesus words above, was the first century. In most, if not all cases, those who were healed were native Israelites! Our modern translations do us a bit of a disservice here; rather than Jesus saying something like 'your faith has made you well' ( or 'whole' ), it might more correctly read, 'your faith has saved you'! Many times, in order to heal a person, before Jesus made that person whole again, He uttered the words, 'your sins are forgiven'. Jesus came to save His People from their sins, and by performing these miracles of healing & resurrection, Jesus was symbolically healing the diseases of Israel whereby they had corporately died the death of Adam and must be saved from the effects of the sin ( Romans 6:23 ) of Adam, before She could be raised to New Life!

Of course, we trust that Jesus did heal the physical ailments of these people, there's really no denying that! But even these healings were symbolic of the healing of the disease that Israel after the flesh had incurred with her rampant idolatry, harlotry & witchcraft! The Hebrew Scriptures are rife with examples of this, and even the seemingly meaningless ( to us today ) cleanliness laws codified in Leviticus & Numbers prophecy of the time when Israel herself would be removed from the Blessed Presence of God because of her ritual uncleanness! Israel, in the Time of Jesus, had become an unclean thing, and must be cleansed in order to prepare for the return of Her Lord & Master!

In today's day & age, we might often hear, from well intentioned ( but almost totally ignorant ) Christians, 'you just don't have enough faith'! Well, it is true that Jesus told His disciples that 'if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done'  ( Matthew 21:21-the apostle Paul reiterated this statement in I Corinthians 13:2 ), but here again, we must take into account the historical context of Jesus words! This might require more in-depth study & probably another whole article, but do you think maybe the Faith to Move Mountains was not simply to jump whatever hurdles we might face in life, but was given specifically to those first-century disciples so that they might overcome the false 'mountain of the Lord's house' ( Isaiah 2:2, Micah 4:1 ) that Israel according to the flesh had become?! The Time had come to cast Her into the Sea!

Our Heavenly Father has graciously provided many means today by which we may heal our own body, some more or less costly than others! Most often, the cures for whatever disease wracks our humanity can be found in nature, but with the rise of technology, doctors have been plying their trade, to varying degrees of success, with man-made drugs & placebos! For the most part, with these man-made drugs & placebos, doctors, rather than working toward curing, or healing, the actual disease, have been treating symptoms! But I digress....................

The conclusion that we should reach here, is that the Saving Faith of Israel and Israel's God had it's intended effect; it did provide for the salvation of His People! No more do the sin & the death of Adam reign! As we read in Revelation 20:14, 'Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire'! The death that Adam brought on his progeny is no more; death was defeated, first at the cross, by the one & final sacrifice of Jesus, the Perfect Lamb of God, and the decisively in AD70, with the destruction of Jerusalem & the Temple, symbols of the ministration of death itself!

It was the faithfulness of the Son of God that saved them then & and it is the faithfulness of the Son of God that heals us now, both spiritually & physically!

Charles Haddon Shank

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