Blog 114 March 17, 2019
MIRACLES NEVER CEASE DO YOU HAVE AN EXPERIENCE TO SHARE? Robert Wise would be delighted to learn about your divine intervention. If you have a story to share, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s looking forward to hearing from you.
This week I want to return to the question of what actually happens when a divine intervention occurs. My conversations with a multitude of people suggest that the power of new life is added to a person’s struggling condition. Let’s look further.
The New Testament had a more expansive understanding of life than we generally recognize today. The Greek word zoe’ (ζωη) implies natural life or normal existence. (I Corinthians 15:45-48) The word implies living in health. (Mark 5:23). Consequently, life is a supreme good. (Mark 8:36-37) ) St. Paul was clear this bodily container of ζωη comes to end when we die.
Jesus’ miracles restored life as it was intended to be. All of this is true and possible because God is the only One who is the creator of life. All life originates in Him. (John 5:26) Whether we recognize it or not, a healthy vibrant life remains a gift from God. The Gospels tell us Jesus bestowed this gift on people in need. We can conclude that when the sick are prayed for, this supreme form of life is to some degree imparted to them.
Hidden in the folds of the scripture’s use of the word ζωη is the recognition that life implies a dependency on God. Whether understood or not, such remains true. As Jesus came preaching, both his words and his example made it clear that we should not live for ourselves but for God. (Romans 14:7-8) The scripture indicates that a cosmic event happened when Jesus was crucified that was for the good of the human race. Rather than only another Jew dying under the heavy hand of Rome, Christians contend that this death reached beyond history and effected every generation that followed. By giving up his life on the cross, Jesus broke the power of death and released new life that has never stopped flowing into this world. His wounds can heal our brokenness. Consequently, Christians believe they should live righteously for the good of the world because they have received ζωη from him. They are to live life with the awareness that every day is an anticipation of eternal life after they die. Paul expressed this insight when he wroteh that his life was not his own, but that of Christ living in him. (Galatians 2:19-20) Our present life is sustained by the certainty of that future. Ζωη offers this promise to us. When we pray for healing, we are calling for this reality of life to be increased in the person.
For the first three hundred years, believers struggled to completely define Jesus’ identity. Part of this struggle involved avoiding death from the Romans. During this time, the first church endeavored to clarify Jesus nature. Interestingly enough, this lack of precision and definition did not stop the flow of healing and restoration. I believe we can gather from that period that we don’t have to be dogmatic or 100% certain in how we define our beliefs to be able to reach for the hand of God to bring divine interventions. The people I interviewed would tell you the issue is not in theological precision, but in humbling ourselves and reaching out to receive.
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