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Healing & the Kingdom

And {Jesus} came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.- Luke 6:17-19

In Jesus Gods future has broken into the present-‘The Kingdom of God is at hand!’

And the reign and the rule was at hand in the hands of Jesus who reached out to the blind, paralytics, those with skin diseases and the mentally ill.

In the first-century world of Galilee and Judea, sickness and disability were experienced differently than in modern developed societies. The cultural framework of a society determines the negative impact of illness or disability, the paths to recovery, and how others perceive those who are ill.

Consider a person unable to see, described in the Bible as 'the blind.' In the ancient world, the blind would often view themselves as cursed by God, and excluded from mainstream society. Without state financial support, they would more easily be pushed into destitution and begging. The first century Jewish peasant wouldn’t look at their illness as ‘medical’ but rather spiritual and social, cursed by God and rejected by others, excluded and ashamed.

The Jesus of history overturns this cultural and theological framework by moving with compassion toward those who believed they were abandoned and excluded by God. In his kingdom ministry, Jesus brought healing to the afflicted, alleviated distress, and restored the excluded by granting them dignity and acceptance within the community.

The healing work of Jesus continues in and through the work of the church in as much it strives to conform to His image and the values of the kingdom. The kingdom of God is embodied, and the life of Christ is incarnated, when the excluded are included, dignity is embraced instead of shame, the cursed are blessed, and the hurting are made whole.


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