Sunday 02-10-13

Jesus Heals with shadow-site



And He Healed them all: The Healing Ministry of Jesus I.mp3 

Key Text:

Matt. 15:21-30

James 2:1-13

Matt. 19:2

Matt. 21:12-22

Mark 1:21-45

Mark 2:1-17


I continued our trek through the gospel accounts of healing with that of the Syrophenician woman’s daughter. Not far into this I found it necessary to spend a little more time explaining the healing as a mercy.

Many people who are strong in the topic of healing – knowing it is Gods will to heal, will often swing so far into the affirmative that they get presumptuous and forsake their awe of God as their awesome creator. These dear ones are the ones are in the grave danger of knowing healing is scriptural but failing to receive it in their own live which creates a crisis of theological belief – a.k.a. what they know to be fact is not demonstrated in their experience – leaving them in the position of rethinking their theology based on their subjective experience or in need of defending their belief in the face of unchanging circumstances. These people are dangerously close to shipwrecking their faith. I know what it is to be in that position which is why I know that those who are certain that healing belongs to them, but they often fail to experience it are the ones who will benefit the most from this teaching.

To them, the idea of healing being a “mercy” seems wholly incompatible with it being a kingdom right. However, nothing could be further from the truth! The scriptures often present concepts as working hand in hand, which we view as being polar opposites. This is due to our very Greek way of thinking. Our analytical minds tend towards thinking things are always “either/or” rather than “both/and”. So is the case with healing…

Perhaps an example would better illustrate this point.

In America we have recognized and supported a basic human right called the ‘Freedom of Movement’ dating all the way back to the Articles of Confederation. In order for this example to not turn into a history lesson, we will count it as obvious that these “rights” have been adapted to advances in our modes of travel from horseback across open fields to cars on highways. This right to unimpeded movement is extended to all citizen and is unimpeachable UNLESS one abuses their rights and breaks the law. We understand that in America a person could commit any number of crimes which have nothing directly to do with their freedom of movement, which may very well result in restricting it by way of incarceration.

The question is this – does the result of their behavior change the general  nature of the Freedom of Movement from being a right to being a privilege? The answer is NO. Their behavior has not power over the fundamental, universal right. What it does have the power to do is change their ability to partake of it freely. So it is with healing.

If healing is a mercy, then are there those to whom God will not show mercy? Absolutely!

James wrote in his letter to the Jewish Christians who fled from Roman during a time of heightening persecution, that mercy comes tot he merciful.

 “For he who shows no mercy will have judgement given against him without mercy; but mercy triumphs over judgement.” ~ James 2:13

There are an increasing number of Christians today who live life with a massive chip on their shoulder. Living lives out of their woundedness instead of out of forgiveness and mercy. Many believers have forsaken local assemblies and believed they can live a rogue sheep without shepherds all due to wounds (whether genuine or imagined). These ones are walking in a mode of protecting their own hearts by locking it off from those their Lord calls them to be open to and place themselves under. This unforgiveness is a root of bitterness which Hebrews 12:15 addresses. These ones are not properly discerning the Lord’s body, which is why Paul said many where sickly and many had died in Corinth,

For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. ~ 1Cor. 11:29-32

In this passage Paul was dealing with Christians who were mistreating their brothers and sisters while partaking of the communion meal. It was an egregious sin because participation in the communion table is to declare the death of the Lord and our union with Him in that death until He comes. If while claiming union with Christ by entering into His death we berate and take advantage of our brother – we are not discerning the body of the Lord which is our brothers and sisters and so show dishonor to Him and His sacrifice for us. It is to walk without mercy towards our brother.

What did our Lord say about this?

“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.

Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. ~Luke 6:27-36

Sadly there is a growing movement in the body of Christ who would find these words repulsive and offensive, yet they were spoken by our Lord!

Many times there is FAR more to healing (or failing to get healed) than the will of God TO HEAL. God would love to be free to bless everyone all the time, but He is first and foremost committed to the truth and to heart reconciliation. There are times when He will forego the healing of the body in favor of the restoration of the soul. Most of the time He is able to do both, but when we live lives committed to self we sow seeds of corruption and death, and eventually there will be a harvest. Is there forgiveness? Unquestionably! But does forgiving sin always eliminate the immediate consequences of sin? NO! Not historically, Biblically or any other way.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” ~ Gal. 6:7-10

There was much more to this lesson that this simple bit on mercy, but I hope it wets your appetite enough -even if by way of upsetting you – to listen to the entire recording and consider what was taught.


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!