The more prosperous and educated we are

When you read through the New Testament healing stories, you start to see some patterns.

One is that the people who come to Jesus for help are desperate. Another is that they are convinced he can actually do something about their situation.

For example, in Matthew 9:18 a respectable synagogue leader kneels before Jesus in a posture of humility after his daughter has died and says, “come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Two verses later a woman who has been bleeding for twelve years says, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Both are desperate, and both are convinced he can actually do something to help.

Let’s be honest. Here in North America, a lot of us are doing okay. Even if we’re going through some troubles, most of us have a friend to lean on, a hospital to go to, medicine to access, some education in the pocket, and some programs to tap.

Plus, because we’ve been saturated by the prevailing cynicism of our society, I wonder how many of us are really convinced that Jesus can do something significant to help our problems.

Roger Olson is a Professor of Ethics. He says, “The more prosperous and educated we are, the more likely we are to substitute our own cleverness and accomplishments for the power of prayer. That’s the seductive power of prosperity—it makes us less reliant on God. We think we’ve got everything under control.”

And guess what? Here in North America we’re generally very prosperous and well educated!

But no matter who you are, and no matter how “well” you may (or may not) be doing, remember this: We have a loving God who cares and is able to help.

Despite the illusion of own our “cleverness and accomplishments,” the extent to which we need God never dips below 100%.

By Matthew Ruttan

  • Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast which was Part 2 in the Miracles series: “Is God Actually God?Listen in here. Enjoy!
  • If you missed my interview with Abby, a volunteer engaged in the fight against human trafficking, you can watch it here.
  • Bible quotes are from the New International Version.


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