- Series: November 2015
- Scripture: Mark 9:14-29
The scripture warns against sudden laying on of hands upon someone. One is required to first establish the cause of ailment before venturing out to administer the cure. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ asked how long the child had been suffering under the spell of the dumb spirit that would cause the little one to pine. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Word, and the Word is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart. Christ knew exactly how long the child had been in that condition, but He demonstrates the process of how to go about in helping the needy. In Jeremiah 8:22, the question was asked, Is there no balm in Gilead? Why is the health of the daughters of my people not recovered? The situation painted by the scripture is that of people suffering in the midst of the very help that should end their plight. It is just like what we experience today and the same question can be asked about the Message of the Hour. Is there no deliverance in the Message of the Hour? Why are people grappling with problems day in and day out? Why are people not victorious? Why are people not overcoming? Gideon is also puzzled by his captivity in spite of the miraculous powers of God to deliver His people. Why should people live in calamity when their God is a deliverer? Sometimes God allows troubles to come as wages of sin and disobedience or simply to show His Grace. Paul had an eye problem for which he besought the Lord about 3 times but did not get healed. Instead, the apostle was told, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Before providing the cure, there is great need for diagnosis of the problem. The cause is crucial. For example, there is a water problem in Johannesburg, but in Durban there is plenty of water there. Thus we find the need in Johannesburg for water can be satisfied by a solution in Durban. This is the same as the need to import reconditioned vehicles from Asia. The need is in South Africa for the vehicle, and the supplier has the vehicle in China, but the country’s regulations do not allow imported vehicles to come in. Similarly, one can have a money problem, despite the presence of financial institutions that can lend the money. One would need to establish why the person is always in money problems. Is it because of poor spending patterns? For a long time, we have run off people without really diagnosing the cause for the problems in the first place. And we have consoled ourselves with the comforting scripture that those who are not with us were never part of us in the first place. We have chased and dismissed people away under the self-righteous justification that those people are not God’s seed from the beginning. No wonder the Prophet of God says that if one goes to a doctor and that medical practitioner simply prescribes aspirin without really diagnosing the cause, that physician is not good at all. It is the cause which determines how the solution should be given. Even when the cause is known and the solution is clear, there is need to be careful with respect to the approach in administering the very solution needed. That is why the Prophet would recommend different solutions and remedies to people having exactly the same problem because of the difference in approaches. People’s temperaments differ and some can withstand public scrutiny much better than others. Therefore if one is brought to an open shame for something they might have done, that would be the end of their Christian walk whereas others are able to endure such disasters. Therefore sometimes we kill people without building them up and use scriptures to defend our actions. The Lord Jesus Christ’s approach in the divine healing ministry shows how sensitively He diagnosed the cause before providing the cure. The Lord comes across some lepers and simply tells them to go and show themselves to the priests. As the lepers leave, they discover they are healed along the way. Thus we learn an important principle that as we continue to be in service of our Lord, our problems vanish away. However, the Lord meets another leper and he had to lay hands on the patient for healing. Another instance is the healing of the blind people. Blind Bartimaeus received his healing through the spoken word. Another blind man received his healing through washing mud smeared on his eyes by the same Lord Jesus Christ. Yet another example is that of a blind man who saw people as trees after the Lord Jesus Christ had prayed for him. Thereafter, the Lord touched him on his head, and asked him how his sight was. At the second prayer, the man could see clearly. The blindness had vanished at the first prayer in fact. Seeing people as trees was not a visual problem but a mental challenge. That is why the Lord Jesus Christ touched the man’s head and prayed for him again. When the mind problem was cleared, then he could see the people clearly and not as trees. When Christ first pronounced the blind man as healed, he was already healed. The second prayer was not for the sight, for God does things only once and that is perfect for ever. But a second challenge remained, which was solved by the laying on of hands upon the patient’s head. Yet another blind man in Mark 7:33 receives a different healing touch. The Lord first puts his fingers in the man’s ears, then spat on the fingers, then placed the same fingers on the man’s tongue before pronouncing him healed. God operates differently depending on the problem at hand. Sometimes the LORD requires us to do something before getting what we need. At the wedding in Cana, the people had to first fill up the water pots before getting the oil they wanted. The woman with the blood issue had to first touch the Lord before being healed as did Mary and Martha remove the stone from the grave before the resurrection of Lazarus. When Peter refused any association with the Lord Jesus Christ before the cock crowed, he developed a negative complex. He felt that he was no longer needed in the ministry. Therefore when Christ rose from the dead, he told the women to specifically tell Peter about the resurrection. The Lord knew that Peter was depressed and needed that assurance from the Lord Himself that he was still part of the ministry. That is why it is needful when dealing with marital problems of couples to first solve things in the past. When the past is cleared, then the family can move forward. The effect of the past can be seen in the woman who came for discernment before the Prophet. She was suffering from nervousness and the Prophet traced the condition to an incident when the woman was chased by a dog, and developed that unsettled feeling from that dog chase. So the woman would get tense whenever an argument arises, and she would rehearse in her mind the same incident of a dog chasing her, thus she developed nervousness. Diagnosing the cause is important even in ordinary course of dealing with others. One man bought motor oil which later knocked down his car because he had heard the Prophet recommend that motor oil as something he likes. But the Prophet liked the motor oil as polish for his boots because it produces a sparkle and shine which he liked. Many times people exhibit selective perception, which is the assimilation of facts which support their own world view. This results in the tendency called confirmation bias. There is a woman who went to countless doctors seeking treatment about anorexia. But when finally referred to the last specialist, the doctor discovered that she did not have anorexia. Rather, she had a condition in her blood, which caused a disorder in eating. The reason why the last doctor managed to find the cause is because he was prepared to start the diagnosis on a clean page. He did not go by what other doctors had written about the woman. He asked the patient to start narrating her story from the beginning while he took notes. The woman felt relieved afterwards and that was the end of her problems. It is important to really know the cause before giving the cure because some challenges have the same symptoms but require different treatment. For example, a wounded spirit will exhibit the same tendencies as a stubborn spirit. If one lacks discernment, they may mistake the one for the other. A wounded spirit requires special handling, but a stubborn spirit needs one to be really hard on it. Therefore applying the hardness needed to break a stubborn spirit on the wounded one would result in further damage to the wounded spirit. Other health complications in human beings arise from a complaining spirit. A complaining spirit always weakens the believer. It is the same as a resenting spirit which hinders the move of the Holy Ghost in the church. Smoking can cause nervousness, as the Prophet discovered in the prayer line when one woman came to him. Whereas people generally believe that smoking can calm the nerves, the opposite is the real truth – smoking causes nervousness in the smoker. Therefore one needs to be aware of how God cannot be boxed in a container. When God heals, He uses different ways, as we see from the blind people and lepers and others mentioned in the Bible. Love can heal. A little understanding can heal. Talking can heal. God’s methods cannot be exhausted, but discernment is required to know which one applies more appropriately in a given situation. Using confirmation bias can lead to wrong conclusions. For example, Pakistan people in South Africa tend to hold hands when they walk together. Upon seeing them with locked hands, one can assume that they possibly have homosexual tendencies but yet that is how they fellowship and commune one with another.