Archive for December, 2009

Matthew 9

Posted: December 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

This whole project has proven harder than I thought.

I like to live my life in peace and I have been known to rid myself of things ( ), ideas (Bryan Adams is good-looking)and people (Perez Hilton)who bring to my life the opposite. But, I realize I can’t if I am opening myself to this sort of experiment.

I have received all sorts of comments, many of them supportive, though pitying. Some of them from those I have never met telling me I was never saved. It has been a blast!

But the biggest misconception I hear people telling me is they are sorry I was hurt by someone in the church. Let me say–not the case. In fact, you’ll see how great my life in the church was. I enjoyed it all and was fortunate to not have any horrible experiences.

My decision to no longer believe is based on stepping back and thinking about why/how/what I based my beliefs on.  Who I was began to disagree with what I thought I knew.

Just like at the bodies exhibit I saw in NY, my life can be sliced into many facets. How does each one respond to Matt. 9?

Medical genius. (Former Candy Striper at Doctors’ Hospital, Lake Worth, FL):

I grew up around medicine and still wholeheartedly believe I could deliver a baby c-section, if someone would give me a chance.

In college I read the biography of a female healer. I had broken my arm in 8th grade and the bone never healed properly. I could only straighten it out to about a 75 degree angle years later. But after reading about how this woman prayed for people (and the janitor would have to come through after the service to sweep up the tumors that fell off people) my faith was buoyed. I put my hand on my elbow and commanded the healing of it (asking is for the half-assed). There was a pop and it straightened. My medical parents were astounded. I was astounded myself, mostly in how unfazed I was. The Bible said it. It happened. What is there to be doubtful about.

It was around then that I heard that some people believed that sick people did not get better due to sin in their lives. There is even a theory as to what sins relate to which illnesses in people. If I hadn’t had someone who was chronically ill in my family, I might have jumped on that bandwagon.

In Matthew 9 verse 2, Jesus even heals a paralytic by saying, “Your sins are forgiven”, not “you are healed.” And later, “according to your faith, it will be done.” So sin=illness; faith=health.  This is not a theory I will allow to cross my thinking–I have many ill friends and family who I would not insult.

As for my healing–I have since seen many miracles that have been caused by belief–and not just belief in God, but belief healing can occur. For me to think Jesus would only heal the ones who prayed the hardest would lead me down a road of bitterness I could not return from. And if you have miracles of the blind seeing and cripples walking–please send the link of the newspaper article (not youtube video). God needs positive publicity.

picture-10

Psychology minor:

Beside being a healer, I learned in this chapter that Jesus read minds. This is not talked about very often. In fact, I never heard this in Sunday school. But according to verse 4, he “knew their thoughts.” This brings up a whole slew of questions about Jesus being somewhat surprised at events later on in the New Testament.

Writer:

Usually a writer of non-fiction (memoir, essay, journalism) knows s/he is the writer. Perhaps I am being hypersensitive to practicalities, but how does Matthew write chapters 1-8 and then introduce himself (in third person) in chapter 9? How does he know what actually happened before he came on the scene? Why does he refer to himself as “Matthew, the tax collector”?

Matt 9:9

“As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.”

The gemstones are the key to getting the facts.

And then in verses 18-26, Jesus heals a sick woman, and Matthew is the one who can read minds.  “She said to herself, ‘If only I could touch his cloak, I will be healed.'”

The woman was “subject to bleeding for 12 years.” We can only take that as testimony from the woman, unless there is proof that she has been walking the streets with it spouting form her ears. I assume this was some sort of internal bleeding or a m.a.j.o.r. period. (see how my medical genius comes into play?)

After Jesus healed her, she “was healed from that moment.” Okay–which disciple had to check that this was true? I bet it was Judas.

The assumptions of this writer to know what one was thinking and to know that the person was internally healed is the real miracle here.

Shy school girl:

Though some of you have little faith in this, through high school I was very quiet. I had one or two close friends and I had panic attacks whenever I had to speak publicly. I remember once I was asked to lead the prayer at GAs (Girls in Action), a church group that “actioned” up crafts of God’s eyes and pipe-cleaner bookmarks. (word of caution: googling “girls in action” does not result in the kind of visuals that benefit this blog)

My voice trembled, I stuttered and I blurted out a ridiculous prayer. The snorts were barely audible, but whoever led the group heard them and made a small speech about how brave I was to lead the prayer. Afterward, one of the girls mocked me. It sent me deeper into my shell, but closer to God, who I knew liked what I had said, even if I couldn’t spit it out.

Jesus seems to be taken over with shyness after he healed people in this chapter. After he healed a blind man he said, “See that no one knows about this.” Love how he said “see.” What a joker!

But why did he want to hide his miracles? And why did everyone–including Matthew–not obey him? Old Testament God would be smotin’ and smitin’ all over the place.

Goody-goody:

How I loved to be called this in high school. It really upped my playa persona.  People called me “the virgin” and “sweet Karen.” I was chaste and quiet, and as a few church boys referred to me as: “wife material.” I really tried to live by “J-O-Y”: Jesus, others, yourself.

Jesus walking around healing people and having “compassion” (vs. 35) is what really attracts me to his character. He saw that people were hurting and he did something about it. He didn’t just make pipe cleaner crafts. He took care of the sick who couldn’t take care of themselves. That is what is commendable.

Wouldn’t it be nice if WE could help sick people who we don’t even know get healed? I wish there were some sort of bill on the table that would do what Jesus taught.

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