And maybe now, you're saying, wait a minute...demons and things that don't bear fruit? That certainly sounds like my greatest struggles to me. That certainly sounds like all the trauma, addictions, illness, and brokenness that I've been dealing with. And if that's what Jesus was talking about, then we're back where we started - with Jesus telling us that just a little faith can overcome our greatest obstacles. Maybe everything we have heard about moving mountains is right.
This is one of the greatest disasters - dare I say, even, heresies - of postmodern Christianity. We have so taken the love of Christ and the grace of God and twisted them until God's primary concern is our lives. Until what God cares about most in this world is our happiness and thriving. Until we have a Gospel that is actually all about us and how we get to live the kind of beautiful lives that we want to live and until we have a Jesus whose ultimate aim was to fulfill us. This is the God that we've heard preached from the pulpit. This is the God that we've been convinced we're worshiping.
But it's not the God of the Scriptures. It's not the God of our Bible. It's not the God who in the beginning created the world and everything in it and then breathed His Spirit into us. And it's not the Jesus who walked the streets of Galilee. It's not even the Jesus who healed the sick and the lame and the demon-possessed.
What we have to understand about Jesus's healings is the same thing that we have to understand about Jesus's ministry, mission, and Kingdom in general - Jesus didn't heal the blind men because it would make their lives better. He didn't heal the bleeding woman because it would make her happier. He didn't heal the paraplegic because it would make his life easier. He didn't heal a single individual because it would make them more beautiful, more desirable, more successful, more relaxed, or even more faithful.
Jesus healed the sick and the lame and the demon-possessed because brokenness anywhere is an insult to His goodness. Because these things slapped in the face the goodness of God's creation. Because these things attempt to stand in witness against Him and His deep, abiding love for us. Jesus healed for the sake of the Kingdom, just like He did literally everything else.
And until we get that right, we've got nothing.
Jesus's mission was fully, thoroughly, absolutely about restoring the goodness of God one little piece at a time, not so that His people could live lives of ease, but so that His name could be praised.
If you're still thinking right now, "But Jesus gets the praise when I climb my biggest obstacle," then you're still not getting it.
Jesus didn't come so that you could beat your addiction; you can beat your addiction because Jesus came. Jesus didn't go to the Cross so that you could win the battle with sin; you can overcome sin in your live because Jesus went to the Cross. Jesus didn't walk out of that tomb so that you can defeat cancer; you defeat cancer because Jesus walked out of that tomb.
Jesus is the first and the last and everything in between. The Kingdom of God is central to all that He is and all that He did. So even when He's talking about moving mountains, this is what He's talking about - not your obstacles, hurts, habits, and hang-ups, but His Kingdom. Worship. Matters of the heart and soul.
No matter how we try to twist it.