Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Limiting The Word of God

In my earlier post, "I Am, Therefore I Do - a little debate on facebook", I showed you an exchange of opinion with Gwee Li Sui over whether Isaiah 53:5 refers to healing of the physical body:

 I did not reply to Gwee but what he said bothered me because the way he interpreted the verse (and other verses) is common among many "knowledgeable" Christians in that they tend to apply the verses to only "a higher spiritual reality", which is of no bloody use to our "lower" physical reality here on earth.

Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came that we "may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)" (Amplified Bible). What is the life that Jesus was referring to? Here on earth or in heaven? Does this abundant life include good health?

Gwee asks, "Did Jesus become very sick or was He made a leper?" Of course not! Isaiah 53:5 is talking about Jesus' work on the Cross, not His minstry on earth. He bore our diseases on the Cross so that we might have divine health.  "Did Jesus live a long life on earth?" Of course not! Jesus' life was cut short so that we might have a long life, in fact, a long and abundant one.

Is Gwee wrong to say that Isaiah 53:5 refers to Jesus dying for our sins? No, he is not wrong but I believe he is wrong to exclude physical healing from the verse; he is shortchanging himself by limiting the Word of God.  Let us take a look at the story recorded in Mark 2 and Luke 5 of  the paralysed man whose friends lowered him from a hole made in the roof into Jesus' presence: What was the first thing that Jesus said to the paralysed man?

Son, your sins are forgiven you.
Mark 2:5
Did the man come to Jesus for forgiveness of his sins or for physical healing? Physical healing, of course! Surely Jesus must have known that! Why then the first thing that Jesus did was to forgive the man's sin?  This is because the greatest power that Jesus has is to forgive sins and He has that power because of His work on the Cross. The power to heal is all wrapped up in His power to forgive sins; if Jesus has the power to forgive because of the Cross, then He definitely has the power to heal because of the Cross.

Jesus himself demonstrated this truth in Mark 2:9-11 :
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

Which is easier for Jesus? To heal or to forgive?

 Update: Gwee posted a link to this article on facebook, and a brother made a good point:

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