Saint Paul's Lutheran Church of Irvine

Tomorrow at Saint Paul’s: “Our Savior Who Heals, Prays, and Preaches (Mark 1:29-39),” The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 5th, 2012

The Gospel from Mark 1:29-39 demonstrates why Jesus conducted miracles of healing. First, He did it to show His tremendous compassion for us. He comes to help us with our great need! Second, Christ demonstrates how approachable He is. He receives the report about Peter’s mother-in-law and without any recorded questions, He just responds to the request. He loves to receive the prayers of His people! And then the miracle itself is recorded. Why?

So many claim that this is a blueprint for the “signs and wonders” that we should expect today. When such an expectation occurs, an atrocious theology ensues. With such a lens, it is just a matter a time before we hear of Christians who died on account of insufficient faith and prayers devoid of charismatic power. These are tragic circumstances that lead people to sink into spiritual despair!

The miracles of healing are intended to point us Christ’s identity. He is truly the Great Physician, the Son of God whose stripes would lead to the greatest healing (Isaiah 53). The miracles say, “Behold the Son of God!” Now, follow Him, listen to Him, trust in Him! These miracles are epiphanies of the work of the Savior of the world. While every clinic and hospital is His gift to us, if He had simply come to set up a clinic in Capernaum, His Messiahship would have been reduced to an earthly Kingdom. Instead, He comes to heal throughout the world through the forgiveness of our sins.

That is, Jesus has cut to the chase: He does not specialize in the cure of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease, but in the cure of sin which is the basis for all of these and more importantly, the basis for death itself. And as Jesus here in Mark 1 rebuked the fever (as He rebuked the wind and the waves), He rebukes our sin and like the fever left Peter’s mother-in-law, the condemnation of sin leaves us!

And then He prayed. He prayed so fervently that He would not give into the temptation of a false identity. The people were so pleased and they wanted to control Him. He wouldn’t allow it and He went forth to preach and this preaching continues to this day. This is what we must seek. While we are tenderly invited to give Him all of our needs and ask Him for whatever is on our hearts (in conformity with His Word), we are chiefly bound to seek His Word. In this Word, our true healing comes…not just to get you to the next day, month or year in the body, but to give you eternal life and release from the bonds of sin, death, and the grave. This is the healing that He gives. To have this healing by the way, leads to healing for everything else…even our bodies will be restored!

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! (Job 19:25-27).”

In Your Service and To Christ’s Glory,


Dr. Espinosa



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