About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
I was recently
encouraged to listen again to a mega-faith preacher in whom I had little
Biblical respect. While I
watched one of his YouTube videos I noted that he had 3.39 million
subscribers, making my 4.3 thousand look pathetic.
In the three prior hours of me watching this video, 4,971 others
had watched it. His views on
Mark 11:24 irritated me as I expected.
Mark 11:24 reads:
I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received
it, and it will be yours."
From this one verse the
preacher taught that the precise moment you ask Jesus for anything, you
have it, and that despite the lack of any supporting evidence.
So I ask. Did Jesus
heal my legally blind eyes in the 1950's when I and others first asked Him
to? Am I now to live as if I
have 20/20 vision as I try to cross a street by hearing what my eyes may
not see? Am I to cross a
street by faith, believing I can see?
How does that actually work? Could
I sue this preacher if after following his teaching I get hit by a car?
Has he considered any common-sense implications of his teaching, or
has mega-faith replaced common sense?
To understand Mark 11:24
we must know the meaning of the word "believe," what verb tenses
are used, and, we need to compare it with other similar verses.
Our English word
"believe" is translated from the Greek word "pistis"
in Mark 11:24 and elsewhere in the New Testament.
Pistis means "trust."
Pistis does not imply a mere metal belief of something to be true
because pistis or trust is more a matter of the heart than a matter of the
mind. It's a heart-felt trust
in Jesus that causes us to surrender our lives to Him, no matter the
Mark 11:24 says
"believe that you have received." Does
that mean at the precise moment I ask, I have received?
At the risk of over-simplifying, "have received" is a
Greek aorist verb which has no regard for past, present, or future time.
We have no real equivalent in English, so an aorist verb is often,
but not always, translated into English as past tense.
This suggests to me that receiving could come any time, not
immediately upon a request.
Read John 14:14. It
helps clarify Mark 11:24.
may ask me for
anything in my name,
and I will do it."
John 14:14 tells us to
ask in the name of Jesus, which doesn't mean adding the words "in the
name of Jesus" to a request. Biblically
speaking, the term "name of Jesus" implies the authority
associated with Jesus' name. We
surrender to His authority as we go forth in His name to accomplish His
will. If in the process we
need anything to effectively complete His will, He will provide it, as I
believe is the meaning of John 14:14 and Mark 11:24.
To learn more about my views on divine healing, you can buy my book 'Clarifying Biblical Healing' on all Amazon sites.