In Kaleidoscope last week, someone noticed that Jesus told the woman that she was free even before he laid hands on her, before he healed her, before she stood up straight. Could that be because he knew that he had to free her mind before he could free her body? He had to cast off that crippling spirit that had let her disability do so much damage to her sense of self. First she had to be set free from the lies that told her that there was no wholeness in her and that there could be no healing for her. At some point in our lives, haven’t we believed those lies? We all have to be mentally and spiritually ready to be physically healed.
Jesus warned them not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. [Mark 3:29] I use to wonder what he meant. Now I’ve come to believe that we blaspheme against the Holy Spirit whenever we deny what is holy in ourselves or in others. The scribes denied that Jesus’ healing power was divine. They thought his power was diabolic. When any of us deny who we truly are, the power and the passion and the promise that God planted in each of us, we are blaspheming the Holy Spirit that is in us. Jesus refused to do that and so must we.
Coming home from a mission trip is always disorienting, even without mass shootings. Home doesn’t quite feel the same anymore. I’m probably not the only one who came back to Silicon Valley feeling like Abraham and Sarah, “strangers and foreigners on the earth.” Following Jesus by following Joe brought me to the realization that like Abraham, I am—we are—seeking a homeland, and it’s a shock to learn that this isn’t it. I love this nation, but the events of this past week only intensify the desire for “a better country” where God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.