This past Sunday, at Christ City Church, we moved towards finishing out our series on the book of James. This was the next to last Sunday and, with that, James 5:13-18 was covered. This is the passage that exhorts the sick to call the elders to “pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord,” all for offering prayer for the sick person that they may be healed, or that the Lord may “raise them up.”
As Jonathan McIntosh fleshed out the passage, he also drew from the gospels to remind us of the powerful invasion of the rule and order (kingdom) of God in Jesus’ ministry. One major way the rule of God was made known was through the healing of people. When God’s rule comes on earth as in heaven, people are “saved” (delivered, liberated) from a holistic standpoint.
In all, what I found most interesting was this quote from Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. I thought it very stirring.
“Whenever we take any kind of medicine or seek any medial help for an illness, by those actions we admit that we think it to be God’s will that we seek to be well. If we thought that God wanted us to continue in our illness, we would never seek medical means for healing! So when we pray it seems right that our first assumption, unless we have specific reason to think otherwise, should be that God would be pleased to heal the person we are praying for – as far as we can tell from Scripture, this is God’s revealed will.”
I love the theological thought behind that.