Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Don't Miss the Point: Seek the Healer First, Not the Healing (Reflection on Mark 6:53-56)

As they left the boat, people recognized Jesus at once. So they ran throughout the whole region; and wherever they heard he was, they brought to him the sick lying on their mats. And everywhere Jesus went, to villages, towns, or farms, people would take their sick to the marketplaces and beg him to let the sick at least touch the edge of his cloak. And all who touched it were made well” (Mark 6:54-56, GNB).

Jesus and his disciples “crossed the lake and came to the land at Gennesaret, where they tied up the boat” (Mark 6:53). There must be many people recognized Jesus as the Christ or the Messiah. But their understanding of the Messiah is not complete and different from what they first expected. At least, in my opinion, they believed that the Messiah come to heal their deceases. So when they heard that Jesus is coming, they determine to grasp the present opportunity. They all seems to come for what they can get – healing, not necessary the Healer. They have little understanding of who Jesus really is and what his message is all about.

I work in student ministry. I just want to say that there are many individuals who are so obsessed with healing and deliverance ministry that it sometime become the centre of their message. I understand that many individuals who are involved with these kind of ministries are very sincere and well-meaning people (Some however are obviously false teachers). It’s not my intention to pass judgment on the kindness and sincerity of others who are trying to help people through these ministries, I just deeply concern with the unbiblical practices that take place in student fellowships and even churches.

For example, before the service there will be a special initial prayer going on as to ‘bind’ evil spirits and praying around the campsite area (doa sekeliling) as to ‘seal’ it from invincible dark spirits. Before the service end, minister calls for altar calls with the heavy sound of music and exorcist demons by laying of hand with olive oil, etc. All of these examples are more to black magic rather than Christianity to me. Can you imagine Jesus did all of these? People are so obsess with what they can get from God. Like the people of Gennesaret who seem to only care about getting something from Jesus, we should be careful that we might not desire healing more than the Healer or the delivering more than the Deliverer Himself, Jesus Christ.

Sadly as I read this part of Mark’s gospel, even though Jesus spontaneously and unselfishly healed all of them from their sicknesses, there is no reference that Jesus ever preach or teach them. Because Jesus is compassionate, it is possible for people to be healed of their sicknesses without even having personal faith in him. Also, because Jesus is not forceful, it is possible for Jesus to be in our midst and not speak to us. When we’re busy seeking healing rather than the Healer, we might acknowledge His power but not His Person. When we’re busy performing deliverance and not proclaiming the Deliverer, we miss the point of Christian fellowship. When God’s Word is not open and read to the people, Jesus will simply become a celebrity to us rather than the Lord that we should worship with all our hearts, souls and minds.

Don’t be like the Gennasarites.
What’s the point of having a healthy body but losing Jesus?
Jesus, only Jesus you must seek.
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