Monday, July 25, 2005

a question

i heard someone the other day talking a lot about 'kingdom theology' which i agree is a very interesting and important subject. in my experience the Kingdom of God - or 'signs of the kingdom' - is often defined quite narrowly - it's about people being physically healed etc. as i have pondered some of these things over the last few days i have been asking myself the following question: if there was the same standard of health care, medicine, hospitals etc. in Jesus' day as we have in ours would he have healed as many people? did Jesus heal so many people because there wasn't really any other way that they would have got better if he hadn't?
it's an honest question? i don't have any agenda or axe to grind.


Mark Porter said...

An interesting question. I think Jesus' ministry was about releasing people from what they were captive to, now if there were a lot less people captive to sickness in the same way then he would have probably not ministered quite so much in that area. The other thing though is that outer healing was a powerful sign of inward healing, and as such was an important sign of the kingdom in its own right.

On another note, I've been reading the Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard recently and I have to say his picture of the kingdom is an awesome one, he seems to regard spiritual formation as the main issue, with things such as signs and wonders being only of secondary importance.

Andy said...

I agree with Mark that Jesus seemed all about healing people from their brokeness rather than specifically their physical ailments. It always amazes me how the people Jesus went to were the 'lepers' of soceity - those who, through physical or 'captive' sickness were cast off by the culture of the day.

Jesus instead restored their dignity and their place - and so doing gave them a big thumbs up and let them know, in no uncertain terms, that God was for them, and not against them.

And that gets me thinking. Who are the lepers of our soceity? Who would Jesus gravitate towards and heal the pain of exclusion? The socially awkward? The sexually 'different'? The illegal immigrant?

Or perhaps all of us - I mean, we may not suffer physically in the west compared to history - but there sure seems to be an awful lot of spiritual and emotional brokenness about now. I think Tyler Durden from Fight Club sums it up well:

"We're the middle children of history, man - no purpose or place. We have no great war. No great depression. Our great war's a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives."

Simone said...

I am challenged by my three-year old daughter every day. The first thing she does when something hurts is ask Jesus to make it better. The first thing I suggest is medicine or a doctor. That, I think says something about where we as Christians are at; we trust the doctor first, then God.
I believe God wants to do more physical healings if we were to first come to Him.

That said, I agree with all the other points, about Spiritual formation etc.

Matt said...

thanks mark and andy for your comments. Simone - i guess i am suggesting that we need to recognise God's healing through the medical profession and perhaps God is interested in people getting healed (holistically) however that happens. 'every good gift comes from God' (ultimately).