Message Supplement (8 February 2015)

Who’s our faith doctor? Mark 1:29-39 finds Jesus continuing his exciting ministry. No sooner had Jesus finished teaching in a synagogue than he began practicing what he had been preaching. Jesus accompanied the twin sets of brothers (Simon & Andrew, James & John) to Simon’s house, where they found the mother-in-law feverish. Jesus healed her, and then word spread because Jesus spent the rest of the day healing sick and demon possessed persons. After the busy schedule, Jesus got up before sunrise the next day and went to a deserted place to meditate.

Jesus didn’t simply preach about healing and restoration, he practiced them. There’s constant argument about the nature and reality of demon possession, what precisely occurs, and whether such events are primarily psychiatric or spiritual (or some combination of the two). Arguing misses the point and does damage because the crucial concern is that something was—and is—hindering peoples’ relationships with God. The source of what ails us isn’t so much the point as what it does to us. You can talk about evil spirits or chronic depression; the effect of either can corrode our hearts and minds. The good news is that the Great Physician knows how to heal us.

For those with leprosy and other physical issues, Jesus healed many of them as well. Whether the problem is a disease, a state of mind, or something else, the bottom-line is overcoming whatever is holding you back from who God wants you to be. Have you ever had an impediment to your spiritual development? Is there anything interfering with your relationship with the Almighty? Take comfort in knowing that God will care for you.

Jesus not only encouraged people by teaching principles, but he also healed their ills with power. It is one thing to identify problems and quite another to cure them. As any of you know who have had a serious medical issue, you can feel a double blessing when a doctor can both diagnose and treat you successfully. Described as the great physician, Jesus offers us forgiveness for soul sickness, which is the most deadly condition. Even when physical problems remain we know that disease doesn’t infect our souls. Our bodies are mortal, and each one of us will succumb to illness, accident, or we will simply wear out. Nonetheless, the eternal healing that God offers transcends all of our fatal flaws and ensures our eternal soul health.

Maintaining a vibrant spiritual life can yield all sorts of benefits. Our emotions, intellect, physical health and spirits can become healthier when we translate principles into actions. What do you want God to do with you and through you? After all, God + You = Renew. Sure this equation is a cute slogan but it captures essential truth, worth a constant reminder. Please give generously and support the future of our church. Your sacrificial giving ensures that we will fulfill our mission and purpose.

–Reverend Larry Hoxey