Wednesday 01-23-13

Jesus Heals with shadow-site


      And He Healed them all: Ears to Hear.mp3

Stir it up!  PDF

Key Text:

II Samuel 12:1-24

I Kings 14:1-13, 17

John 9:1-3

John 6



To begin with we revisited one of the questions which was addressed on Sunday morning, “Do some things just happen? If parents loose a baby during delivery, is that the fault of the parents or does it sometimes just happen?” This is a touchy question, but one that deserves the light of scripture to shine upon it and address some very tough issues. We showed that in scripture we see that either could be true and that it depends entirely upon the specifics surrounding an event. In both David and Jeroboam’s lives, one of their own children died and it was in fact the judgement of God for their sin. Both situations differ slightly but also hold much in common. While it was not my goal to study these cases thoroughly for more specific answers (though I believe that is more than possible) we only read them to provide an example of this specific question being addressed in scripture. Then we moved to John 9, where a man was born blind and Jesus said that it was not due to his parent’s sin. So here is an example of tragedy from birth that seemingly just “happened”. Many attempt to misconstrue the verses to say that God had the child born blind just so He could turn around and heal him later to get glory. In my view this is a very base view of God and one that seems wholly inconsistent with His revealed nature throughout biblical history. Anyone who has studied the languages of the Bible know, that English punctuation has been superficially added at intervals which seem most likely to the board of interpreters, but that with few exceptions, there are no hard fast rules which require a comma to appear in place of a period or the other way around. Grammatically, there are many cases where the meaning of a passage changes entirely if you simply move (or remove) the comma or period. Then best way to determine where a pauses can and should be distinguished from the end of a sentence is allowing scripture to interpret scripture. Such is the case in John 9:1-5,

As He passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from his birth. So His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned–this man or his parents–that he was born blind?” “Neither he nor his parents sinned,” answered Jesus, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” ~ John 9:1-5

In this passage the comma is placed after the word “sinned”, implying that Jesus was not done answering the question about why the man had been born blind. however, in the original language there is absolutely NO reason to place a comma there nor a colon – it would be perfectly reasonable and grammatically true tot he text to place the period in this place, which entirely changes the words of this passage. Done this way it reads,

As He passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from his birth. So His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned–this man or his parents–that he was born blind?” “Neither he nor his parents sinned.” answered Jesus, “But that the works of God should be revealed in him, I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” ~ John 9:1-5

Given the nature of what Jesus did following this statement, the above punctuation makes far better sense in the context of this dialog and it is more in keeping with all we know of God’s character. What did Jesus do after saying these things? He did the work of His Father! What was the work of His Father? He healed the blind man.

After thus speaking, He spat on the ground, and then, kneading the dust and spittle into clay, He smeared the clay over the man’s eyes and said to him, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam” –the name means ‘Sent.’ So he went and washed his eyes, and returned able to see.

This is consistent with all he know if the Father! The scriptures say so themselves,

“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  ~ Acts 10:38

What do these verses insinuate?

  1. Jesus healed because He was doing the work of His Father – “FOR God was with Him”
  2. Oppression comes from the devil- not God!

The rest of our time we spent working through John the 6th chapter to study a case where belief in Christ came quickly upon the heels of a “sign” (miracle) but the faith did not last. Jesus addresses that group with some warnings and encouragement which is still giving light to us today.

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keeps authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provide teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!