Pulling a crowd

At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. – Mark 1:28

Over the past few days I’ve been reading Mark 1:21-2:12, which focus on Jesus’ healing ministry. This has called to mind a point made by Dick Lucas in relation to these chapters, in particular verses such as the following:

That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. (1:32,33)

But [the cured leper] went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. (1:45)

So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them.

Now, one of Dick Lucas’ favourite targets is Morris Cerullo, who held a number of large “healing” events in London in the early 1990s. These were heavily advertised on billboards and on the radio, and Dick contrasted this with what we see in the early chapters of Mark:

You see, brothers, when healing really is happening, there’s no need to advertise it. The whole world will beat a path to your door without any need of advertising.

Nailed it. If we want to assess the claims of those churches where miraculous healings are supposedly taking place on a large scale each week, all it takes is a moment’s imagination – or a quick read of Mark 1 & 2 – to visualise what would happen if people really were getting incontrovertibly healed of real, physical (and mental) illnesses at these churches in the way that Jesus was healing people. It would lead every news bulletin in the world, traffic would be gridlocked, the army would need to be called out to protect the church buildings from the desperate crowds, the churches involved would need to move their ministry to the Glastonbury Festival site just to survive.

That’s not to say miraculous healings don’t happen today: it’s just that any claim for healings on the same scale and in the same manner as those seen in Jesus’ ministry, or any attempt to invoke John 14:12 (“greater works”) in relation to them, is demonstrably false.

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5 Responses to Pulling a crowd

  1. CPA says:

    That’s also a good apologetic for the truthfulness of Jesus’s healings.

  2. Richard Moring says:

    Morris Cerullo is a fraud. He was indicted by a grand jury for falsely filing income tax returns. On August 21 2007 he faces the judge! He could go to prision. Morris and his son David Cerullo use the ministry to prospoer personally. They use their seed giving mesage to gain personal wealth. Judgement is coming to them!

  3. If you want to find out where Morris Cerullo,
    Benny Hinn and others anointing really come
    from. I invite you to go to “You Tube”
    and look for a video called
    The Anointing of Benny Hinn.
    You can also visit my web site at
    We had a very sad and painful experience
    with Morris Cerullo.
    The man needs prayers

    Pastor Yves Brault

  4. Marty says:

    I regretfully see the publicized healers and sigh with chagrin. Healing, miraculous healing, begins with individuals giving up their worldly wants, needs and desires, and inviting Christ into their lives. When that happens, healing begins. And in many cases, it happens right before your eyes. In most cases, God works slowly as the recipients of His grace slowly change their perspectives on the world in which they live. As they grow in Christ…Christ grows in them.
    Dis-ease comes from not having a spiritual life. When one becomes truly spiritual, their dis-ease is replaced by the ease of a loving God. Miraculous healing comes when people miraculously give over their life to God.
    Thank you for this topic and post.

  5. Kyle says:

    I couldn’t give you beans in defense of any particular “faith healer,” but I don’t know that you’re right about the public response to healing. A higher percentage of people (at least in the west) are inclined to doubt rather than believe a story like that than 2000 years ago. Even Augustine complained that people were inclined not to believe in that sort of thing primarily because the true incidents weren’t properly publicized. Since he believed that such things were intended by God to be made known, Augustine then went and did a little publicizing himself in The City of God, Book 22.

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