Sunday, June 13, 2010

Preaching at Wheaton (7)

This morning the second question in the TRUTH SPACES series led us into deep places. When Jesus sees the paralysed man, who had been helpless for 38 years he doesn't immediately say: Get up! Take up your mat and walk. He could have done. Indeed, later he does. No. He slows down the encounter by asking this question: Do you will to be well? (John 5:6)

We saw it's a question about spiritual will-power. Human will-power is about self-belief and says "I can do it." Spiritual will-power is about putting will into Jesus' power to change. Its not self-belief but Jesus-belief; not "I can do it" but "I will that Jesus Christ does this."

We saw how this question about putting our wills in Jesus power addresses physical healing, moral healing, and social healing. At one point I raised the question "What do we believe Jesus is capable of doing in the twenty-first century? Too often modern skepticism about supernatural power has killed off any spiritual will-power to trust in Jesus to make changes in us today."

Several of you promised afterwards to think through personal implications of questions in the bulletin. But we know it's not just a cerebral response that's needed. Indeed, one person said they wanted to go forward for ministry -"How I wish I could have been able to respond there and then!" Let's be open to the Lord who keeps asking: "Do you will to be whole? "

Thank you for praying and preparing alongside me...these questions take us into demanding areas don't they?

1 comment:

Cadmus Hicks said...

Regarding obstacles to healing, Paul Tournier, in The Meaning of Persons, writes, on page 145, "It is possible then for an unconscious fear of healing to insinuate itself into the mind; for recovery would oblige the sufferer once more to face problems from which his sickness spares him." On page 29 he says, "I see it clearly when one of my patients, after treatment, comes to know himself better, and acquires a new freedom in his behavior. Nearly always he finds himself encountering strong resistance, because he is disturbing the established order."