Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Disability" and the Bible

My papers in my New Testament class this semester all had to do with "disability" and the Bible.

What came out of it for me is that more often, "disability" is used to explain something spiritual. What we understand is physicality, so it's used to help our understanding.

But I'm wondering if, for the pharisees and for people in our day, it really backfired and people look at it as physicality and exclude themselves from passages.

And there are passages where I'm wondering if Jesus was feeding into the way society looked at "disability". (There was a part in Luke 7 last night where my version used the word "wretched" while other versions use poor. Some think that that's another group of people, but if it's looked at as the people with "disabilities" in those days WERE part of the poor/oppressed/wretched, couldn't that just be explaining each group talked about before (it was verse 22).

I get that a lot of healing etc. was also used to show who God was, and is still used today. But why does it matter? Is it important because YOU need it to really see and believe in God or because you think I do? If it's the latter, you don't know me very well.

The one thing that I will say is that I used to beg God for it if it meant that someone I loved would come to know God. I know I don't need it for myself, but if someone else does, I hope that God will use me in that way. But I get to see how God uses me the way I am every day. Those who can't or don't allow themselves to see it, I think, are those who are truly blind. Isn't spiritual sight etc. way more important than physical? Look at the blind men in the Bible who knew Jesus and what He could do even before they could see with their physical eyes.

I could go on...I just wrote a 20 page paper about it all... :-)