3:59 PM

Miracles or just Houdini wannabes? Jed

1.) In verses 1 and 8 the disciples are given authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. A majority take chapter 10 as a calling for the church as a whole (everyone who is a member of the spiritual church of Jesus Christ that is). But most Christians do not perform healing or driving out of evil spirits. Is the church given this charge or is it solely for the disciples tasks after Post-Jesus? Do the disciples truly heal people or are they just performing illusions on poor souls who don't know better?

2.) Hauerwas describes the disciples as a giant simile. The disciples are not expected to be Jesus, but to be "like the teacher."(111) Luz comments that if miracles were just for the disciples at the beginning of the church's history because uneducated fishermen had something new to tell then we are mistaken.(67)

3.)As Luz states, "Is becoming well the only form of liberation from illness, or can it also be a form of healing, for example, to recognize in an illness some meaning, perhaps, even an opportunity?(76) The charge to drive out evil spirits and heal every disease is a miracle, it is a concrete example of salvation. The question remains, who has this authority? Matthew 10 is a commentary on how the people of the Lord should behave and as Luz puts it, "miracles are to make sure the message doesn't become an ethical exhortation but includes concrete experiences of salvation." Christians today do have the authority to drive out evil spirits without performing an exorcism and can heal every disease without attending medical school. By being a giant simile for Christ, Christians can liberate the world from sin through the profound miracle of love.

Comment (1)

J,
I like what Luz says about the concreteness of salvation. I wonder if we can make the connection a little tighter between these concrete cases of deliverance and the Kingdom of God that the apostles are proclaiming. How should we describe the conditions of demonization, leprosy, sickness, and death? What do these do to human bodies/communities? How does the Kingdom of God bring healing to those bodies/communities so described? I think this can help us make better sense of what sort of healing happens where the Kingdom of God takes hold today. That would help us better understand what discipleship demands of us.

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