Friday, August 24, 2007

Another look at "to preach or to heal"

In my last post, What did Jesus really want to do – preach or heal?, I discussed the somewhat apparent preference Jesus had early in his ministry on preaching the kingdom of God over performing healing services (not that he didn't do both).

I will again look narrowly at a relatively small segment of scripture, Mark 2:1-12, in an effort to explore and interpret the actions and intentions of Jesus while he performed his earthly ministry. So, please understand this is not intended to be a macro view or representation of the ministry of Christ.

In the account of the paralytic found in the Gospel of Mark we again witness a leaning toward preaching as Jesus' primary ministry while healing seems to be a secondary aspect.

  1. Jesus preached the Word to the crowd. v. 2
  2. When his planned teaching was very unexpectedly interrupted, Jesus forgave the paralytic's sins after witnessing his aggressive faith (spiritual healing). v.5
  3. Jesus heals the paralytic (physical healing) to prove his authority to forgive sins. v.10-11

So, while we know Jesus cares for our physical health, these verses indicate his primary concern is with our spiritual health. This text indicates that healing a paralytic was not on Jesus' agenda that day. But, preaching the word of God was.

NOTE: I must say that I am not trying to make any significant theological statement in this post or the prior one. I am simply enjoying the observations.

Wonderful related post at Anonymous Discipleship.

1 comment:

Gord said...

Eric, thats another great post.

It just so happens that I have just posted a story about the paralytic. One that I wrote in 2003 that is based on that very story. I thought you might like to read it so I have provided the link. It seems to confirm your post here. Let me know if you enjoy it. I would welcome any constructive criticism you may have. Blessings!