by Caitlin O’Hare, board member of The Outreach Foundation
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’” —Abraham Kuyper
Dignity. Every human being needs it to thrive. Without dignity we feel ashamed, broken, helpless, in despair, inferior, hopeless. For many around the world, prolonged illness or physical disabilities can lead to both a perceived and felt loss of dignity. In some places, people with special needs and their families face social stigma. Chronic conditions isolate community members. Cultural beliefs and superstitions create divisions.
But Jesus changes everything. He is Lord of everything.
That includes our physical bodies. Throughout His ministry, Jesus shows His concern for people as holistic beings. Our bodies and lives aren’t separated into disparate aspects of spiritual, physical and psychological. We’re interwoven and interconnected in ways we don’t yet fully understand, but Jesus does. Whether a woman bleeding for 12 years (Mark 5:25–34), a blind man (Mark 10:46–52), a demon-possessed girl (Matthew 15:21–28), a paralytic (Mark 2:1–12) or even a dead man (John 11:38–44), scripture makes clear that Jesus’ compassion and love are often displayed through the healing of body, mind and soul. Healing becomes a sign of the rule and reign of God—a preview of coming attractions. The redemption and restoration of all things.
Jesus also makes new our attitudes towards those suffering from disease, illness or addiction. He reveals the sinfulness and brokenness in our cultures, prejudices and assumptions. He declares all humanity made in the image of God—worthy of love, respect and dignity. The Good News of God’s Kingdom is that He heals us wholly, leaving nothing untouched. And while many may not experience complete physical healing in this life, we have assurance of new life to come.
Does your body, mind or soul cry out for renewal? Ask Him to show Himself strong where you feel weak, fearful or vulnerable. Pray for people you know who need Jesus’ healing. Pray for those you don’t know—and may never meet—who need to encounter Him. Praise God for replacing our brokenness and shame with a crown of grace and satisfying our need with His abundance.
Read more from our Advent devotional series.