Before treating the topic I first want to give a big thank you to 83 year – old Sir Amos Ofoneme (081 – 2268 – 1500), a Knight of St. Christopher of the Anglican Communion since 2005 and a 2014 Jerusalem Pilgrim for his appreciation of my column of last week. A 1967 B.Sc. Economics graduate, University of Nigeria Nsukka, he said the piece was one of the best I had written in recent years.
I am also grateful to Mr. John in Abuja (070 – 3587 – 3565) and Mr. Chris Chibuko (070 – 1686 – 4363) who prayed for me for helping mankind to get cure or successful management of prostate cancer and sickle cell anemia through the promotion of herbal medicine, and the uncommon education and spiritual upliftment of readers through my religious or scriptural scripts.
Today’s article is to show the flaw or limitation in the statement in the Biblical Book of James Chapter 5 verses 14 and 15 that sick people should get church elders to pray and administer olive oil on them for the cure of their diseases or ailments. As can be seen in the biographies of the authors of the 66 Books in the Bible, this James was not the Apostle who was one of the disciples of Jesus.
Rather, he was the oldest of the four half-brother of Jesus Christ (Matthew 13:53 – 56; Mark 6: 1 – 6 and Luke 4:16 – 30). So, his statement should be seen as his personal opinion, not an authoritative message of God passed through him. Only pastors and other Christians who had not read the stories of all the healings carried out by Jesus Christ, Prophet Elijah and Prophet Elisha would accept his proclamation or have such impressions.
Jesus cured people in three ways. These were by just saying the word, touching the sick or through actions which people today would describe as abracadabra or magic formula. The first set of those he cured by making the pronouncement to that effect were the servant of the centurion (a Roman commander of 100 soldiers) in Capernaum who had palsy (Matthew 8:5 – 13 and Luke 7: 1 – 10), the bed – ridden paralyzed man (Matthew 9: 1 – 8; Mark 2: 1 – 12 and Luke 5: 17 – 26) and the man with paralyzed hand in Matthew 12: 9 – 14; Mark 3: 1 – 6 and Luke 6: 6 – 11.
The others were the epileptic boy in Matthew 17: 14 – 21; Mark 9: 14 – 29 and Luke 9:37 – 43; the man with evil spirit in Capernaum (Mark 1: 21 – 28 and Luke 4: 31 – 37); the 10 lepers in Luke 17: 11 – 19 and the man who was lame for 38 years near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem (John 5: 1 – 18).
The people Jesus cured by touching began with the man with the dreaded skin disease (Matthew 8: 1 – 4; Mark 1:40 – 25 and Luke 5: 12 – 16); the mother – in – law of Apostle Peter who had fever (Matthew 8: 14 – 15; Mark 1:29 – 34 and Luke 4: 38 – 41) and the two blind men he gave sight to in Matthew 9: 27 – 32. The others were the dead son of the widow in Nain whom he brought to life by touching the casket (Luke 7:11 – 17) and the woman crippled for 18 years (Luke 13: 10 – 17).
Those Christ healed dramatically or in voodoo manner were the blind man in Bethsaida (Mark 8:22 – 26) and the man born blind in John 9:1 – 12. In the case of the man in Bethsaida Jesus took his hand and led him out of the village and spat on his eyes. And asked if he could see anything?
The man who was not born blind said, “Yes,” that he saw people, “but they looked like trees walking around.” Jesus again placed his hands on the man’s eyes and his sight was fully restored.
With regard to the second blind man who was born blind, Jesus spat on the ground and made mud from the spittle, and rubbed the substance on the man’s eyes. He then told him to go to the Pool of Siloam (meaning Sent) to wash his face. The man acted as he was told and came back seeing.
In 1 Kings 17: 8 – 24 Prophet Elijah brought back to life the dead son of the widow in Zarephath by stretching himself out on the boy three times and praying out aloud, saying “O Lord my God, restore this child to life!”
In reviving the dead son of the rich woman in Shunem, Prophet Elisha laid him down, placed his mouth, eyes and hands on those of the lad and prayed. He then got up, walked round the room and then stretched on the boy again. The lad sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha then handed him to his mother (2 Kings 4:32 – 37).
According to Jesus in John 8:27 – 29 he did nothing on his own, but always acted on the instruction of the Father (Almighty God). In other words, he cured people by saying the word, touching them or doing so through dramatic actions because that was what the Lord told him to do on each occasion.
From the ways Jesus Christ and Prophet Elijah and Elisha cured or gave sight to some, I hope Christians who see modern – day clerics healing people dramatically now realize that they are not magicians or people using diabolic or unchristian methods.
It just shows that as Jesus and others in the Bible did, they too consulted God to find out what to do to get the sick cured. It also shows that some pastors who resorted to only prayers could not get people healed because they did ask the Lord what to do precisely. I also hope that they now realize that effecting cure in some situations require more than just praying or fasting.
As shown in last week’s column God in Ezekiel 47: 12 and Revelation 22: 1 – 22 provided leaves for the healing of people, meaning that He approves of herbal medicine in the treatment of the sick. As the long – term readers of this column know, it was the Ancient of Days who told my Spiritual Guide in Ado – Ekiti the herbs he prepared for the cure of my diabetes in 2002. Something the orthodox medicine, Daonil and Glucophage I took for 10 years could not do.
There was an occasion in the early 1990s when I had fever and felt dizzy during a spiritual retreat in Ado – Ekiti. The Heavenly Father just decreed that the illness should leave me and I was instantly healed. Although He could have done the same thing when I had a painful left thumb problem about 18 years or so ago, but the Lord told me to go for surgical operation as a doctor at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital had recommended.
From these stories it can be seen that healing can come spiritually, through herbal medicine or orthodox treatment.
Next week: The report from those who took the herbal medicine for prostate cancer/enlargement given free of charge by Mr. Yakubu Adeiza, the grandson of late Pa Aliyu Giwa, the iconic herbalist in Kogi State