“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” — John Keating to his students in Dead Poets’ Society
God spoke. He said, “Let there be light,” and light appeared. He said, “Let us make man,” and man was created.
Jesus spoke. Whenever the gospels record Jesus healing an individual, Jesus speaks before the healing occurs. The same holds true for his calming wild winds, the feedings of thousands, for turning water into wine, and even for his death and resurrection.
It should amaze us that God’s very words bring about their intention. He says, “Let this be so,” and it is. Jesus says, “You are well,” and you are. He says, “Come out from the grave,” and a man steps through the door of mortality.
When Jesus tells a common thief dying in a public execution, “You’ll be with me in paradise today,” he speaks the truth. When he says, “Your sins are forgiven,” we can believe they are. He has an authority such that his very words change physical and spiritual states. Those who witnessed him in action recognized his authority.
The miracles themselves – the healings, the stilling of storms, the feasts he provided, his rising from death – might all have had a second purpose. He saw blind and crippled men and wanted to restore them; he saw nature in need of control; he saw families wanting for food; and he saw a need to deal with death. But he needed us to believe his ability to restore our lives and souls, to calm hearts in turmoil, to feed our spirits, to deliver us from the living dead into the living living.
If he can accomplish these things in his life, we can believe him when he speaks into our lives. He told us we’re blessed exactly when we think we’re cursed (see the Beatitudes, Matt. 5: 1-12); he told us we’re forgiven when we think we’ve exceeded grace’s grasp; he told us the kingdom is at hand; he told us he’d not leave us alone; he said that he’s with us and that he’d never leave.
His healing of bodies foreshadowed the greater healing of persons. He could make the body right, and so he could make the person right.
“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But so that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins …”
Healing a broken body might be easier to believe. That’s why he started there.
Jesus says we find life in him. Can you believe this?
Is there a value conferred on us because God has spoken to us directly?
How do you see the physical representing the spiritual?
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