5/22/2007

Jesus healed illness not disease

I believe Jesus confronted the deep social, political, and theological illness of his society. This illness isolated and excluded those who were sick, different, and foreign. This illness created segregated poolside communities, dumping grounds for the tainted, Bantustans for the disabled... Jesus spent his life shooting holes in the philosophical and theological rationale that under-girded such segregation. He sought to bring the powerless to the powerful in order to question the nature and distribution of power. He sought to bring the labellers of illness to those so labelled in order that labels were lifted from the backs of the excluded. Jesus physically challenged and confronted the system of oppression.

Those who believe Jesus was a faith-healer who cured people’s disability have a problem. They have to believe that God physically intervenes to cure some and not others. This belief, however, apart from being irrational and immoral does not critique society at all. The disability is the man’s problem, not the society’s. The cure is fixing the man, not society. ‘There is nothing wrong with society,’ say the advocates of Jesus the faith-healer, ‘What is wrong is the man’s disability’. They paint Jesus as a healer of individuals, not a revolutionary out to change the world. He’s safer that way.

Jesus’ challenge to the lepers and disabled he met was to walk into confrontation. Following him wasn’t going to be all nice, safe, and predictable. It was going to be awkward, hard, and scary. Instead of sitting safe amongst the excluded waiting for some Benny Hinn, Jesus asked them to get up, and hobble along with Jesus into the so-called clean and able community and to challenge their prejudice. They weren’t going to be welcomed there. Sure they might find a few allies but generally they were going to be labelled anarchists, parasites, and told to go far away.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:10 AM

    So very very true, it is so good to read someone who writes the truth and doesn't run from the hard stuff.

    Keep writting Lucky, we need this sort of honesty

    ReplyDelete