FROM THE BIBLE-Disease, Healing and Miracles II

por diácono Orlando Fernández Guerra-orlandof@arqhabana.org

Certainly, healings support the doctrine set forth by the Master. Thus, when he heals the servant of the Roman Centurion, the universality of salvation that reaches even the heathen is evident (Mt 8:13; Acts 10, 47). When he heals the paralyzed, he shows how his sins are automatically clean (Mt 9:2; Mc 2, 5; Lk 5:24). When He heals that man’s atrophyful hand along the way, He manifests that like the Father, He heals on a Sabbath (Mk 3:3-5). And when he heals the devilish boy, he manifests the strength of faith (Mk 3:3-5; Lk 8:39). In this way, the evangelists make it clear that Jesus has come to announce that “the blind see and the lame walk, the lepers are clean, and the deaf hear, the dead are resurrected, and the poor are proclaimed the Good News” (Mt 11:5; Lk 7:22), because: “Those who are strong, but those who are evil, need not a doctor” (Mk 2:17). For the poor and marginalized, Jesus is the good news.
And no one better than the sick rejoice in it, beginning with the lepers (Lev 13:8). Under that name was included a wide range of skin sufferers. Both those with Hansen’s leprosy or disease, as well as those with ulcers, tumors, lymphangitis, psoriasis, vitiligo and many other diseases that may or may not be contagious (Lev 13:2). The sick person was automatically impure and polluted everything he touched, so he had to go down the roads screaming: Impure, impure! (Lev 13:45). The Gospels tell us that Jesus healed them by touching them (Mt 8:3; Mc 1, 41; Lk 5:13), invalidating the old belief in this way (Lev 5:2-3). The same thing happened to the women who during their menstrual period polluted everything they touched: the bed where they slept, the seat where they sat, the objects they used (Lev 15:19-27). How much would not suffer that woman who suffered endless flows of blood and who, impoverished, sat on the edge of the road, hoping that touching Jesus would be healthy. And the miracle happened (Mk 5:30; Mt 9, 20-22; Lk 8: 43-48).
To the disabled the law forbade them to approach the altar. Even if they were priests because of their offspring of the tribe of Aaron: “neither blind, nor lame, nor deformed, nor monstrous, nor crippled, nor manic; neither hunchbacked, nor rachytic, nor defected in one eye, nor mangy or tingy, nor eunuch” (Lev 21:17-22). In King David’s time, the blind and lame were forbidden to enter an area of Mount Zion where Solomon would later build the Temple of Jerusalem (2 Sm 5:8). Jesus healed many of these unfortunates by re-inserting them back into the community (Mt 15:30-31; 21:14). Another case was that of the devils, who were not only those who suffered from demonic possession and who when expelled recognized Jesus as Messiah (Mt 8:29; Mc 1, 24; 5, 6-7; Lk 4:34; 8, 28), but also many of us who today consider sick with epilepsy, schizophrenia or any other disorder of the mind (Mt 8:28; Lk 8: 27-28; 9, 39; Mc 5, 3-5; 9, 18).
It is curious how the miracles Jesus performs are often misinterpreted and even rejected by some of his contemporaries, especially members of one of the religious groups with the most authority and influence among the people. The Pharisees attribute their miracles to the power of Belzebub, the prince of demons (Mt 12:24; Mc 3, 22; Lk 11:14). Jesus assures them that He cast out the demons by the power of God, because the Kingdom has come to them (Mt 12:28-29), but that their sin of blasphemy will not be forgiven in this life or in the future, because they sinned against the Holy Spirit (Mt 12:31-32).
Also, those towns near Lake Galilee – Corozain, Betsaida and Cafarnaúm – which witnessed their healings, did not, however, know in them the signs of the kingdom’s arrival and refused to convert (Mt 11:20-24; Lk 10, 13-15). God’s reign, as predicted by the prophets, was already among them. And Jesus’ miracles were a confirmation of this reality that only the poor knew how to appreciate. For this reason, thank God by saying, “I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for you have hidden these things from wise and intelligent, and revealed them to you little ones. Yes, Father, for such has been your blessing. Everything has been given to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son but the Father, nor does the Father know anyone but the Son, and the one to whom the Son wants to reveal it. Come to me all of you who are fatigued and overloaded, and I will give you rest. Take upon you my yoke, and learn from me, that I am meek and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. Because my yoke is soft and my load light” (Mt 11:25-30). Ω

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