Friday, February 6, 2009

This morning I am doing some research into one of Jesus' healings. It appears in this week's Bible lesson on Spirit. One of the themes running through this lesson is a clearer understanding of 'uprightness'. Uprightness is defined as adhereing strictly to principle. In Christian Science, another name for God is Principle. So I have been looking at each section of this lesson for examples of uprightness.

This account is in John's gospel. Jesus returns to Galilee where a nobleman, who has heard of his miracles, seeks him out. He wants Jesus to come to Capernaum, about 20 miles away, to heal his son who is dying of a fever. One Bible commentary feels this
3 man was driven by his need to seek out Jesus, not by his sincere desire to learn from his teachings. Jesus' reply is "except ye see signs and wonders ye will not believe'. This man's thought is very different from the Samaratins Jesus had just encountered who were willing to believe without miracles. This man was pleading with Jesus to come with him, in a way limiting his ability to heal. He is asking Jesus to 'come down' since he himself cannot raise himself to that level of belief. The man is not deterred but continue to plead for he does believe that Jesus could heal his son, even if he is linking it to the bodily presence of the Lord. The best thing Jesus can do for this man is to strengthen his faith by not agreeing to come with him, but he sends him away with full assurance that his son lives. We can only imagine how Jesus spoke those words but it must have been with authority and grace and power for the man stopped pleading and headed home. He no longer needed to plead for the Lord had granted his request for healing. In effect, Jesus had not only healed the child, he had healed the father. In a lovely completion of this healing we are told that as the man returned home. He travels at a normal pace, no longer rushing, because it is the next day when his servants meet up with him. They have wonderful news and confirm that his son is alive. He asked them when the child began to get better, amend. They tell him that the fever completely left him the day before at the very hour he had been speaking with the Master. At the height of his belief the father had only been looking for a gradual recovery but what occured with a complete, instantaneous healing. So he now fully believed along with his whole household.

There are many lessons here to ponder, especially when we feel we are seeking the Christ under dire circumstances. Is our faith at the same level as that father's had been? Do we look for 'signs and wonders' before we accept the possibility of something so frightening being truely healed? And once we have the assurance that God, Principle, is on the case, do we go our way with confidence and gratitude? Do we expect the problem to be fully and completely dealt with or are we settling for a gradual return to normal health or circumstances? All interesting things to pray about as we continue on our spiritual journey, growing in our understanding of the immense love God has for us, His unlimited power for good, and our ability to demonstrate uprightness.

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