Thursday, June 30, 2016

Howard W. Hunter on allowing Jesus to heal our lives

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"'And when he saw him [that is, when Jairus saw Jesus], he fell at his feet.' (see Mark 5:22–24)
"This was an unusual circumstance for a man of rank and prestige, a ruler of the synagogue, to kneel at Jesus' feet—at the feet of one considered to be an itinerant teacher with the gift of healing. Many others of learning and prestige saw Jesus also but ignored him. Their minds were closed. Today is no different; obstacles stand in the way of many to accept him.
"'And [Jairus] besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death.' This is typical of what happens frequently when a man comes to Christ, not so much for his own need, but because of the desperate need of a loved one. The tremor we hear in Jairus's voice as he speaks of 'My little daughter' stirs our souls with sympathy as we think of this man of high position in the synagogue on his knees before the Savior.
"Then comes a great acknowledgement of faith: 'I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.' These are not only the words of faith of a father torn with grief but are also a reminder to us that whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives. If Jesus lays his hands upon a marriage, it lives. If he is allowed to lay his hands on the family, it lives."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Reading the Scriptures," Ensign, Nov 1979, 64
Click here to read the full talk

The story of Jairus is fascinating. Apparently a man of "rank and prestige" but one who could be brought to humility and desperation by the love of a daughter. What loving father would not do likewise—perform any act or go to any length to find help that may be the only chance of saving a loved one? He begs Jesus to come, to "lay thy hands on her, that... she shall live." President Hunter applies those words to each of us; "whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives."

The two questions we should ponder are:

What aspects of my life need the glorious healing promise of the hands of Jesus? Is it some personal struggle, a relationship, a needed change of direction, a sorrow or disappointment, an ongoing struggle, a specific challenge in obedience? Each of us has something that could be blessed by a divine healing influence.

And secondly, how do I approach Jesus, so that His healing influence might be applied? What are the steps I need to take, like Jairus did, to come to Him with the request? Is it more sincere and humble prayer? Is there something blocking or inhibiting my communication with Deity?

"Whatever Jesus lays his hands upon lives." It's a glorious promise!

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