Evil and Healing
In Luke 4:31-43, we see Jesus curing the sick and casting out unclean spirits. Often we are disturbed at the accounts in which Jesus encounters and rebukes demons. We try to explain away the demons—that the cause of these individual’s illnesses is really not evil at all, but an organic reason instead. They are mentally ill or through medical knowledge, we define the ailment and its disease process. However true these scientific reasons may be, we still must acknowledge the existence of corporate and individual evil in our world.
Merely because as enlightened moderns we do not embrace the belief in demons, we must remember that although the names given to evil have changed, their presence has not.
Evil, demons if you will, were of the supernatural world. This is how they recognized Jesus as a person of God, who was an opponent of all forces that hurt and oppress individuals. Since evil has pain and destruction as its goal, there was confrontation between Jesus and evil in his healings and exorcisms. It was only through the power of the Spirit that Christ had that he was able to rebuke evil. We would do well to remember that we too have power over evil in its various forms of sickness, through our dependence on the Spirit. The Spirit gives us strength. We may not be healed of our physical ailment, but we can be assured of its power to heal our spiritual diseases and in turn conquer evil at its roots.
- What are the “demons” today? What are your personal “demons”?
- How does it affect your faith when you pray for someone’s physical healing and it doesn’t happen? Is prayer then not viable?
- What part does evil play in physical sickness and societal oppression?
- Why could the demons identify Jesus? Why is this important?
How Do I Act?
- Pray for those who are in need of physical and/or spiritual healing. Remember that healing takes place in many ways. Commit to a daily plan of prayer choosing a specific place and time if it is possible. Creating a ritual for your prayer time can make this a regular part of your life.
- Have a hospital chaplain come speak to your church about how they approach sick individuals from a spiritual perspective. If your pastor makes regular hospital visits, set up a schedule to go with them.
- Visit a nursing home. Share with the patients, prayer and songs. Notice how you are received.
- Discuss with a friend faith healing and healing with medicine. Are they mutually exclusive techniques? Do some research on the wonders of healing. Read books and articles such as Bill Moyers Healing and the Mind and share your information with your friend.