Why did Paul not heal the apostle Trophimus?
False doctrine at healing events
One hears again and again, especially in charismatic churches, that God wants to heal everyone physically. Often passages from the Old Testament are used (e.g. Ps.107.19; Ex. 15.26; Ex. 23.25; Jer 30.17) to underpin this teaching.
However, one overlooks the fact that this is about promises to the people of Israel and that the verses are taken out of context. These promises do not apply to the New Testament church. There is no teaching that Christians must always be healthy and is therefore to be rejected as heresy.
If you read the letters in the NT, you can clearly see that believing Christians can be sick. E.g.
If Paul could heal indefinitely, why did he leave Trophimus sick in Miletus? "But I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. "(2 Tim. 4:20)
So we see that even model Christians like Paul and Timothy were often sick and God did not heal them. Did that make them unspiritual or useless? By no means! Just when we Christians are weak and powerless, God can use us (2 Cor. 12: 9-10). More on that later.
But what about Mark 16: 17-18?
„But these signs will accompany those who have believed: In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues, snakes will lift them up, and if they drink something deadly it will do them no harm; They will lay hands on sick people and they will be well.“
Basically, it should be said that these are not requests to do these things. There are no imperatives here. The passage merely indicates what the disciples and apostles will then experience in the Acts of the Apostles. Whoever concludes from this point that he has the task of laying hands on the sick must also be ready to drink poison and pick up poisonous snakes. In addition, verses 9-20 are controversial in the textual criticism, as they are missing in most of the oldest manuscripts. Anyone who sees a healing mandate based on this point has not worked exegetically correctly.
But what about the people who are healed at healing events?
First of all, one should ask oneself why such events always only cure non-visible diseases. Who has ever seen an amputated arm or foot regrow? Or that an obvious skin disease will go away? How many people are cured of their nearsightedness or missing teeth?
It is almost always diseases such as back pain, intestinal problems, tension, body aches or the like that are "cured", ie diseases where the audience cannot really check the healing.
Incidentally, Derren Brown clearly shows in his video "Miracles for Sale" that there can be apparent healings that have nothing to do with divine intervention.
The reason many people believe that they will feel better after a healer has touched them is that they have certain expectations and that the adrenaline in their body suppresses the pain. These people are often far removed from permanent healing (as Jesus healed).
Often times, after the healer heals them, people are asked if they feel any improvement. The answer is usually “yes”, even if there has been no real improvement. There are many reasons for that. On the one hand, the person does not want to expose the healer ("what would the audience think if I said 'no' now?On the other hand, that would also mean that the sick person had too little faith (this is how it is often taught when one is not cured). And who wants to admit a lack of faith in front of the audience?
However, according to the accounts of the New Testament, to be healed, one does not need faith at all. Jesus healed countless people who did not believe in him at all. See e.g. the 10 lepers in Lk. 17: 12-19, only one of whom believe. If there is no healing, it is because of the unbelief of the healer and not because of the unbelief of the sick person. This is made clear by Mt. 17: 14-21, where the disciples could not drive out the dumb demon and Jesus rebukes them for their unbelief.
With regard to healings, one often hears the argument that God is the same yesterday, today and for all eternity (Hebr. 13: 8) and therefore the same healings must still be available today. However, this Bible verse is completely misunderstood here. The verse does not say that Jesus acts the same way today as he did two thousand years ago. Anyone who has studied the ages of salvation knows that God acts differently at different times. God acts differently today than he did in the time of the Patriarchs, and He acts differently today than he did in the time of the Apostles. So the verse does not refer to action, but to the nature of God!
Often you hear that God wants to heal everyone and if it doesn't work then you call the passage from 1 Timothy. 2.2 where it says that God wants to save all people, but that doesn't happen either, although it is God's will. But this is a mistake in thinking because the reason why not all people are saved is because most people do not accept salvation. God offers salvation to everyone, but not all accept it. If healing has not occurred, however, it cannot be said that the patient did not want to be healed. Here the patient wants to get well, but he will not, because the healer does not really have the gift of healing.
Read the article: The (false) miracles of Billy Smith
Former alliance chairman Dr. Rolf Hille is right when he writes the following: "Although the question of guilt has been clarified for Christians by the fact that Jesus Christ forgives sins, the question of happiness and well-being in earthly life remains open. For him, the charismatic movement is "the most tragic movement in the history of the church", said Hille. They fail because of a faulty interpretation of the Bible, since they see healing as a normal case and illness as an exception. However, the desire to restore Paradise is not fulfilled in this life(ideaSpektrum 36/2009, p. 14).
What to do in case of illness
The biblical answer is Jak. 5.13 "Does anyone suffer from you? He is praying". As Paul did in 2 Cor. 12: 8 we may plead directly to God that he will take away our suffering or sickness. You don't need a healer for that. We can and should also make use of doctors and medical help (cf. Mt. 9:12; Lk. 10: 33-34; 1 Tim. 5:23; Jer. 8:22). Should we not be redeemed from our illness, then this is God's will for our life. He wants us to live with it and serve him precisely in our imperfections and weaknesses (2 Cor. 12: 9-10). Illness is never an obstacle to service. This is how the French writer André Gide writes “I believe that diseases are keys that can open certain doors for us. I believe there are certain gates that only disease can open. "And Martin Luther also writes"God is often more glorified in sickness than in health.“
So we can pray like Blaise Pascal: "Heavenly Father, I ask neither for health nor for illness, neither for life nor for death, but that you may dispose of my health and my illness, my life and my death for your honor and my salvation. You alone know what is useful to me. You alone are the Lord, do what you want. Give or take from me, but make my will equal to yours. Amen.“
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