14Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,15that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15
Consider meditating on John 3:14-15 today. The Gospel of John is one of my favorite books of the Bible. It's so filled with faith, hope, love, encouragement and doctrine. John 3:16 may be the most known and beloved verse in the entire Bible, but I believe many Christians miss vital nuggets of truth in the two verses preceding it. Many Christians are not familer with the story of the bronze snake. Yet its importance cannot be overstated, especially since our Lord mentioned it here, in the heart of John 3. For those who aren't familiar with the story of the bronze snake, please consider meditating on that passage also.
The Bronze Snake
4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"
6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.
8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:4-9
This passage says so much about God and His relationship with His people. It reveals so much about God's sovereignty, our sinfulness, faith, hope and love....and so much more.....especially when we view this passage in light of all that our Lord taught us in the New Testament. Unbelievers and philosophers melt before the Scriptures at a passage like this and falsely declare the Bible as very fallible and then quickly proceed to deny God OR instead create a god of their liking in their own minds.
As I said, meditate on these verses today. I won't attempt to expound them here, but since Curezone is a health forum, I will say this to Christian visitors seeking information on health and healing:
Jesus Chirst is the Great Physician. First and foremost He heals our souls of our sinful condition via:
His perfect sinless life in which He fulfilled ALL the requirements of the Law perfectly. His shed blood and death on the cross. His resurrection from the dead. Please know the Gospel of Jesus Christ and stay focused on it. All who repent and trust in Him will be saved from God's wrath.
Our Lord wants our eyes on Him at ALL times. Christians are bond servants to our Lord. At one time we were slaves to sin, but since we were born again by the Spirit of God (read John 3) we became slaves to Jesus Christ. We need to always keep our eyes on our Master.
Regarding physical healing, it is infinitely secondary to our spiritual healing. God heals us according to His will. All healing comes from God. God can heal us with a direct miracle, but it's more common for Him to indirectly heal us using doctors, medicine, chiropractic adjustments, whole foods, pure water, fresh air, herbs, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, cleanses, etc, etc, etc. Of course, when entering the realm of conventional or alternative medicine we need to exercise LOTS of discernment, wisdom, and prayer.
What makes this all the more complex is that we have a spiritual enemy that is a master counterfeiter. In our flesh, all of us are prone to extremes. The enemy knows this and it's easy for any of us to become a natural health fanatic, or even a conventional medicine fanatic, or a WOF fanatic, or a contempletive prayer fanatic, etc, OR addicted to just about anything. Lorraine Day and the fine folks at Hallalujuh Acres come to mind as staunch advocates of vegan vegetarianism. I don't mind people advocating vegetarianism, but when they start saying it's 'God's only health plan', then they have gone too far. I'm not putting down their 'programs', as I'm sure many have benefitted in some way from their dietary changes. But what I am saying is the moment we take our eyes off Jesus Christ and Him crucified, we are apt to be pushed to extremes in ANY direction--such as wrongly teaching vegan vegetarianism is the plan of God. The moment we start looking to the 'means of grace' more than our Lord of Grace, we have gone dangerously off course into serious error. Jesus Christ is the Bread of life....no other food will ever bring us close to God.
The main point of this post is remind people to keep their eyes firmly fixed on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, the Object of our faith. I believe we need to look to Him more and more, and to ourselves less and less. In the passage above, the Israelites who looked to their own wounds died. Perhaps some of them even tired to heal themselves via whatever remedies they had in those days.
Those who looked to the bronze snake lived.
Martin Luther said this about the passage above:
So if you want to be comforted when your conscience plagues you or when you are in dire distress, then you must do nothing but grasp Christ in faith and say "I believe in Jesus Christ, God's Son, who suffered, was crucified, and died for me. In His wounds and death I see my sin. In His resurrection I see victory over sin, death and the devil. I see righteousness, and eternal life as well. I want to see and hear nothing except Him" This is the true faith in Christ, and the right way to believe.
Choose your healing modalities very carefully, but never look to them alone for your healing--and be VERY cautious not to elevate them more than you ought. At all times, let us first and formost keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus Christ and Him crucified.