BY SIMON NDONG’A
A miracle can be described as an occurrence that excites wonder or astonishment; effects in the physical world that surpass all known human or natural powers and are therefore attributed to a supernatural agency.
A miracle, amazing to the eye of the beholder, is something beyond his ability to perform or even to understand fully. It is also a powerful work, requiring greater power or knowledge than he has.
It is therefore no wonder that when people purportedly see someone being healed, the awe with which the healer is held is quite reverential. I am however very skeptical about the so called faith healers who claim to heal on the basis of the amount of faith that the recipient possesses.
I can say that I have considerable knowledge of the Bible and from what I have gleaned from it, a Christian walks by faith and not by sight. Secondly, miracles, including those of healing, were for the purpose of establishing the authenticity of God’s messengers.
Moses performed miracles and “at this the people believed.” The same was true regarding Christ Jesus. He said, “If I am not doing the works of my Father, do not believe me. But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works.” (John 10:37, 38).
Further note that Jesus did not limit his miraculous works to healing but performed many other miracles. He raised the dead, fed thousands on just a few loaves and fishes, changed water into wine, stilled the raging sea, read persons’ minds, and uttered many prophecies that were fulfilled.
This is in contrast to the many supposed ‘miracles’ being performed today which are done only in front of huge crowds of people and in which the alleged healed people are never known by anyone present.
Suffice to say, healing is a wonderful deed, but going to the Kenyatta National Hospital and abolishing sickness altogether would for me be termed as ‘The Miracle.’
Going to any of the mortuaries within the city and raising up the dead would be a divine act. Feeding the thousands of people dying of starvation and other natural occurrences would be the greatest celestial deed that people would look forward to.
But has it ever happened? Definitely not and that brings to the fore the question about whether preachers who supposedly perform such supernatural acts are actually real or are only pulling the wool over people’s eyes.
In My opinion, I would take the latter point of view.
On the other hand, much has been learned in recent years about the body-mind relationship and some authorities hold that about one third of all sicknesses are caused by the mind, one third by the body and one third by a combination of both.
To the extent that any ailment is caused by mental or emotional factors, to that extent it could easily respond to “faith cure.” Besides, it is well known that the mind has a great power over the body.
It is also a well-known fact that fakirs, medicine men and the shamans of pagan lands are actually able to perform cures, sometimes in cases that failed to respond to modern medicine.
A good question then is, ‘Are these types called Faith-healing miracles’?
Further making many faith healers suspect is the emphasis they have placed on contributions, the sensational methods used to attract publicity and the countless numbers that fail to respond, all of which is in striking contrast with the divine healing program as carried on by Jesus and his early disciples.
The healing power was to be used for the benefits of others and not for the healer’s personal comfort. Neither was the healer to enrich himself by this practice and accept financial pay or material rewards for his miracles.
An example is that of Elisha who refused a reward from Naaman for cleansing him of his plague but gave the glory to God. So when his servant Gehazi deceitfully tried to collect the reward offered and misused Elisha’s name, he was stricken with the disease from which Naaman had been cleansed. (2 Ki. 5:1-27)
Once again, in my opinion, those who pretend to practice divine healing and who accept pay or rewards or take up collections of money render themselves unclean before God.