The Roles of Diagnosis & Discernment


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An Example From Jesus' Ministry   MARK 9:14-29

One of the issues in praying for healing is the role of natural diagnostic techniques and the spiritual gift of discernment.

Diagnostic techniques are also an important part of the process of spiritual healing as evidenced by Jesus' own ministry. In MARK 9:14-29 we see him ministering to a young boy whose illness (deaf - mutism) and self-destructive behaviour is the result of demonisation.

Things To Notice

1. The father gives Jesus background information about the problem, rather as a patient might when the GP is obtaining a case history.

2. The obviously demonic nature of the boy's dumbness is revealed by the spirit's reaction to the presence of Jesus and provides further confirmation of what the father has just said.

3. Jesus asks the sort of question a GP would ask as part of a case history:  "How long has this been going on?" To which the father replies: "Since early childhood." And proceeds to give Jesus more information about the problem.

4. Jesus then checks to see where the father stands as regards the possibility of a miraculous healing through deliverance, since unbelief and scepticism are real barriers to spiritual healing.

5. Having ascertained this is a spiritual rather than an organic problem, he proceeds to address the demonic spirit in the child and orders it to leave him.

6. The spiritual nature of the child's problem is confirmed by his complete deliverance and healing at Jesus' command.

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