Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dr. McCoy???

Ralph H. put it very simply: "People are the same now as they were back then," referring to the similarities between people today and Bible times. He spoke about how people react, how they are tempted, how prone they are to sin, etc.. "It is the same now as back then," he concluded. I am convinced he is right. 

This is my principal foundation for my attempts to take the stories found in the life of Jesus (or any other place in the Bible) and try to bring them into the 21st century. I try to answer the question "What would it look like today?"

But tonight's efforts on a Bible story is proving frustrating. I am having trouble 'modernizing'. So I will ask you two things. First, try to do what I try to do with this story and add to the comment box. Maybe you can do what I can't. Second, just look at the story with me as it is told, and join me in amazement of the event.

Jesus has just left the synagogue after ejecting a bad spirit from a man using his authority. It may have been well after lunch when he goes over to Pete and Andy's house. There we learn that Pete is married and his mother-in-law lives with them. She has a fever, and Jesus is told about it. Another writer of the event said it is a high fever, indicating a serious illness, not a common cold. There, without any pomp, ceremony, or anything special, he takes her by the hand, lifted her up and she is well. Instantly she has recovered from a major illness. He did it quietly and privately in Pete's house. There was no fanfare, no publicity.
But shortly after 6 p.m. the whole town, with all the sick people, showed up at the door. All they had seen or heard was about the bad spirit in the synagogue. And Jesus did his soon-to-be-ordinary healing 'thing'. It didn't matter what their ailment was, he fixed it. He gave immediate relief. And again, like earlier in the day, he didn't let the bad spirits or demons tell people who he really was.
How long did it take to heal everyone in town? Mark does not say. But he does get finished and gets a little rest.
Then he uses a habit learned in the wilderness -- prayer in solitude. Maybe not everything during those 40 days were wasted. He got away from everyone and all their distractions so he could pray effectively. On another occasion He will teach them, according to Matthew, to get into a closet if necessary, to have one-on-one time with the Father in power-filled prayer.
After Pete and the others at the house did a search for him, He told them,"Let's do some more of this in other towns." He then disclosed that preaching was his purpose, and he needed to get on the move.
In this town, Capernaum, did he accomplished the goal of the people learning he was God's son by looking at the evidence? At this point Mark says nothing. Neither do the other writers now. Years later, Jesus will make a very unfavorable comparison between Sodom and Capernaum because they did not recognize from the miracles (evidence) who was with them.
At the beginning maybe I could have told a story of Dr. McCoy of the Federation Starship Enterprise healing an entire civilization without violating the prime directive. Hmmm... Maybe another time.

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