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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Healing And Restoring To Life (Modernism Part 49)

Readings: Acts 9:31-42 Psalm 116:12-17 John 6:60-69

Peter, invoking Jesus, healed Aeneas, and the people “turned to the Lord.” (Acts 9:35). Peter raised Tabitha from the dead, and “many came to believe in the Lord.” (Acts 9:42). People turn to God due to signs and wonders that bring them healing and life. On the other hand, some disciples of Jesus could not accept what he said about them eating his flesh and drinking his blood, and “as a result of this, many of his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.” (Jn 6:66).

People turn to God for what physical or material benefit they can get. On the other hand, they reject the hard teachings of Jesus with regard to spiritual matters. “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (Jn 6:60). People go with what they can see with their human eyes and what can make them feel good but reject the truths that they cannot grasp, or that make life more challenging for them.

This seems to be the thought process of modernist teachers and pastors. They accommodate and accompany but do not talk of one’s sin, because accompaniment and acceptance make people feel good while being told of their sin hurts or even angers them. Modernists take the easy way but fail in proclaiming the authentic faith.

Let me test you. The best thing to be done to Tabitha was to be restored to life, right? No! By her death she had already entered into the doorway to eternal life, and because “she was completely occupied with good deeds and almsgiving” (Acts 9:36b), she would have been heading to heaven. But Peter brought her back to this valley of tears.

Do we see with human or spiritual eyes? The psalmist says that “dear in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his devoted.” (Ps 116:15). For the devoted one, death is a blessing. It is dear to the eyes of the Lord because the Lord sees things differently. For the Lord’s servant, with death, he can say to the Lord, “you have loosed my bonds.” (Ps 116:16). With death, God would set us free from our bondage to the fallen world, to our sins, to our human weaknesses, our imperfections, to selfishness.

So did Peter do wrong in restoring Tabitha to life? Well, he did not do her a favor, but he did right, as this miracle brought many people to the Lord. But this is what modernists need to learn. Doing good humanly speaking is part of God’s ways with people, but it cannot be done apart from spiritual truths and ultimately righteousness. Peter only wanted that people would turn to God. As he said to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (Jn 6:68b-69).

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