Thursday, January 30, 2014

Proximal prayer


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sometimes Jesus gave a verbal command in order to heal: Matt. 12:13; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10; John 5:8

    But most of the time Jesus physically touched people to heal (or bless) them by laying His hands on them or taking them by the hand using His own hands to pick/lift them up:
    Matt. 8:3, 15; 9:18, 25; 19:13-15; 9:29; Mark 1:31, 41; 5:41; 6:5; 7:33; 8:23-25; 9:27; Luke 4:40; 5:13; 8:54; 13:13; 22:51; John 9:6

    Evidently this was so common in Jesus' ministry that people who heard of Jesus' fame would ask him to either come to them for Him to heal or they specifically asked Jesus to "lay His hands" on someone to heal. For example, Jairus asked "...Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed..." (Mark 5:23). Physical contact was so integral to Jesus' healing ministry that the woman with the issue of blood decided to GO HERSELF AND TOUCH Jesus (Matt. 9:20). When she was healed, the story spread so far and wide that other people got the idea to go to Jesus to touch Him for their healing (five chapters later in Matt. 14:36). The people in the region of Decapolis "...begged [Jesus] to put His hand on..." a deaf-mute (Mark 7:32). The nobleman in John 4:47 asked Jesus to come and heal his son, but Jesus ended up healing by a verbal command at a distance like the centurion's servant. When the centurion (via proxy) asked Jesus to heal, Jesus HIMSELF OFFERED TO GO to him and heal the servant. But the Centurion, in expectation that Jesus might offer to come to him, gave orders in advance to his proxies to tell Jesus He merely needed to give a verbal command. Sometimes Jesus healed by a combination of both touching (or laying hands on) the sick person AND giving a verbal command (e.g. the deaf-mute Mark 7:31-34).

    Jesus touching or laying hands on people to heal them was so common that people described His ministry by saying "...mighty works are performed by His hands!" (Mark 6:2). This may be a figurative description only, but I suspect it was meant both figuratively and literally (i.e. referring to Jesus' actual physical hands).

    The apostles also touched or laid hands on people to perform miracles: Acts 5:12; 14:3

    Peter's hands: Acts 3:7; 9:41;
    Paul's hands: Acts 9:11; 14:3; 28:8;
    Ananias laid hands on Saul/Paul to restore his sight: Acts 9:12-17.

    Hands were laid to bestow the Holy Spirit: Acts 6:6; 8:17-19; 19:6.

    There are cases of laying hands on others for Gospel commisioning: Acts 13:3;
    for the giving of spiritual gifts: 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6;
    for ordaining into the ministry: 1 Tim. 5:22.

    Even the "touch" of Peter's shadow resulted in miracles Acts 5:15.
    Just as pieces of cloth Paul previously touched resulted in miracles when they made contact with the sick: Acts 19:12.

    The apostle also used oil to anoint people for healing both BEFORE (Mark 6:13) and AFTER (James 5:14) Christ's resurrection. Both involve touching the sick.

    While God did heal at a distance and without any physical contact between Christ (or a believer) and the sick, it apparently seems that God's usual method of healing in the New Testament was through some kind of physical contact. The universality of healing by touch in the early church can explain why the interpolation of the ending of Mark has Jesus saying, "And these sign shall follow those who believe: in My Name.....they will lay their hands on the sick and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18).

    1. I wrote: Sometimes Jesus gave a verbal command in order to heal: Matt. 12:13; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10; John 5:8

      While none of these lists are meant to be exhaustive, an obvious example missing in this list is that of Christ's command for the centurion's servant to be healed. Matt. 8:13; Luke 7:8-10.