Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week #4 Acts 4:10-12 "Jesus Saves, Jesus Heals"

"Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone." Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."

Healed....a word that I love. It conjures up so many wonderful God-images in my mind. I'm not necessarily talking about physical ailments and infirmities, although God is able to heal our physical wounds and sicknesses. Yes, I believe that. Even in the face of heart-breaking diseases, I can still say that God can heal.

But the truth also remains that God does not always "cure" a physical ailment. But, He does heal. He just doesn't always heal in a way (or the "condition") that we expect.

In this passage, Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin to defend themselves. What horrible, sinful act had they committed? They healed a man paralyzed from birth.

But the religious powers-that-be demanded an explanation, "by what power or what name do you do this?" After all, what Peter and John had done caused quite an uproar in town. People were praising God for what they saw, and the healed man was "walking and leaping and praising God" for what He had done for him.

No, the Pharisees didn't want to know the name of Jesus so they, too, could worship Him. They wanted to hear Jesus' name so they could try to discredit Him.

But I noticed Peter and John's explanation. First, they declared the name of Jesus Christ. Second, they proclaimed His healing. Then they preached His salvation, saying that it "is found in no one else."

I want healing. On the surface, I want healing from all the aches and pains my middle-aged body suffers. I also want healing from the bouts of depression I experience. But, if I dig deeply into my inner-most being, what I really want is healing from my alone-ness, my sinfulness and my shame.

Will becoming a Christian heal these things? Not always instantly, and not necessarily in the way we imagine He might.

Look at the "ailments" in my heart of hearts: alone-ness, sinfulness and shame. Guess who took care of that on the cross? And guess who has the power to heal all that...and more?

As for the depression, I can trust Him for that, too. It'll take work, and trust, and more work. But together Jesus and I (and my wonderful Christian counselor) can walk through the valley of the shadow of depression. Healing will happen gradually, in stages and in His time. And I am expecting wonderful things to arise from that process of pain and healing.

I know there is power in the name of Jesus. There is healing in the name of Jesus. But there is salvation in the name of Jesus. Even though most in our society have also rejected the stone that the builders rejected, I cannot.

I shouldn't be afraid to declare His salvation, because I've already testified to His power and healing in my life, both from physical ailments and ailments of my heart and spirit. After all, healing is a nice touchy-feely thing to declare.

But, I should not be ashamed of Jesus' salvation. He has both saved me and healed me. Others may roll their eyes and patronize me saying, "Well, Jesus is fine if it works for you, it just doesn't work for me."

Re-read verse 12: "...for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." I am not ashamed to say this: Jesus does work for me. He works for you. He works for everyone, because, there is no other name by which we can be saved. Or healed.

That, I believe, is the truth.

1 comment:

  1. This helped me put something in perspective, although God may not cure my mothers cancer, He has the power and she has the faith to rest her heart from the pain of leaving her family for His home. He also knows that my mother raised us with God as our father; Our faith will not be shaken and we will continued to guided by His light.