Faith-Healing 101

Blind manMatthew 9:27-31

As Jesus was leaving, two blind guys followed along, calling, “Help us, Great Deliverer!” He went into his house, and they followed him in. Jesus said, “Do you really think I can do this?”

“Yes, sir” they said.

So he touched their eyes and said, “Let it be as you believe.” And they saw. Then Jesus said, “See to it that nobody gets wind of this.” But as soon as they left they started blathering it all over town.

In this instance, as well as in the previous healing story, being able to see and being made well has not so much to do with some magical power or ability of Jesus. It has to do with the capacity for faith, the system of beliefs, that pervade the lives of those needing sight and healing. All Jesus does is help us get in touch with that.

The woman with the flow of blood remained sick so long as she believed what everyone told her about her about being a pariah and unworthy of medical care.

With these blind guys, too, they see what they believe. Who knows what they were blind to, or what the content of their vision was that they saw in Jesus’ house that day! Perhaps they saw (gasp!) that Jesus wasn’t that kind of miracle worker. That Jesus was someone altogether different than the Deliverer they expected. Or could it be that their experience only confirmed what they thought they knew, making their misrepresentation about what kind of deliverer Jesus was even more far-fetched than before? What story – that Jesus didn’t want told – did they blather about town when they left?

We have no answers, of course. But the story leaves us with (at least) three questions worth pondering for ourselves:

  1. What do we say about Jesus, not because we know but because we’ve always been told it about him?
  2. What are we (intentionally) being blind to?
  3. Do we allow our experiences to enlighten us, to change our minds and paradigms, or do we shoehorn our experience into the contours of the stories and worldviews we’ve always told ourselves?

Happy soul searching (I mean faith healing)!