Friday, February 5, 2010

Fruit of the Spirit - Part Four

Our Bible Lesson continues on with another interesting healing, further proof of the 'fruit of the Spirit'. Jesus is teaching in the synogogue this time. He sees a woman there who is struggling with a physical problem. Luke, himself a doctor, describes her as having 'a spirit of infirmity' that had been going on for 18 years with the result that she was bowed together and could in no way lift herself up. What could have happened 18 years earlier that could have weighed on her all this time? The birth of a child? The loss of a child? The passing of her husband? Some awful mistake in judgment? How about in your life? The failure of a business? A disagreement with a friend? Disruption in your church?

Whatever had happened, it had weighed on her to such an extent that the sorrow of it kept her bent over, always looking at the ground. But, she was in the temple. We can surmise that she had come there to pray. Like the man brought to Jesus by his friends, this woman does not speak. She does not ask Jesus to heal her. Could it be she does not believe she deserves to be healed? Has she accepted this disability as a punishment? Does she think this disease is incurable? Whatever is going on in her thought, we know what was going on in his.

He calls her to himself. The Christ, the great Comforter, is waiting. If he calls out to you, you must choose to respond. She must have gone to him. She must have been willing to make that move. And what does he do? He puts his hands on her, probably on her bowed shoulders, the outward symbol of her inner conflict and pain. Interestingly, unlike the man who he called 'son', he addresses her as 'woman'. He might have said daughter but I do not think she had alienated herself from God for she was in the temple. He tells her that she is 'loosed' from her affirmity. Her burden has been lifted, the weight of guilt is removed, the hold of disease is gone. Would you like to be 'loosed' from something? He can do that for you.

How long did it take to reverse the accumulated effects of an 18-year-long problem? She was healed immediately. She was 'made straight'. She stood upright without therapy or the need to retrain muscles or strengthen bent bones. As soon as he assured her that she was free......she was free. She did not suddenly start leaping around but she did glorify God.

When you experience healing, what is your immediate reaction? Do you turn back, as that leper did when he saw that his leprosy had vanished? Do you say thank you? Do you acknowledge the divine Love that was behind that healing? Do you go back to mourning or feeling guilty? I should hope not!

Righteousness simply means right-thinking. I like to think of it as Truth-knowing. Jesus was always right-thinking and Truth-knowing and the fruits of that were healing. At all times. Under all circumstances. And it is every bit as accessible today. Mrs. Eddy writes: "Consciousness contructs a better body when faith in matter has been conquered. Correct material belief by spiritual understanding, and Spirit will form you anew."

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