In this competitive world where people strive for the society’s form of perfection; the people with disabilities come upon many disadvantages in the society; where they are marginalized and excluded from “civil and political processes” in the society. So, also It is sad to know; how even the church which is supposed to be inclusive; just as Christ has taught us; are just as exclusive as the society at large. This Blog’s post will look at being inclusive of the persons with disabilities by re reading the Bible focussing on Matthew 12:15; John 9; Mark 5:24-34 from their perspective.
Re reading the Bible
The bible can be read by any groups or individual from different perspective; that presents their views or speaks on their outlook. It has become a powerful instrument of different theologies; especially the marginalized and the oppressed in the possibilities of interpreting; and re-reading the bible from different approaches.
The same verse could mean something; when we read it at contented times and something else; when we read it during crucial times. So also, the same verse could mean something to a person; and something else to the others. Here are some of the views of re reading the bible from the perspective of persons with disabilities.
Re reading the Bible from the perspective of the persons with Disabilities: Matthew 12
This content of the chapter of Matthew also found in Mark 2:23-3:35 furthermore talks about Jesus healing many people. Mark 2:27 introduces the saying of Jesus that Sabbath was made for man and not man for Sabbath. And that the son of man is Lord over Sabbath (Matthew 12: 8).
With this Jesus continues to heal the man with the withered hand in the synagogue with the illustration of the sheep falling in to the pit. Jesus healed the man but also at the same time stood against the societal structure of Sabbath and its tradition.
Jesus through his illustration and healing showed how important it is to be inclusive of the people with disabilities. He did not only heal the man; but focused on the inclusivism that should dwell in the holy place of God; where the people should not only give alms outside the temples; give some few treatment to the people with disabilities or only sympathises with them but rather be inclusive of them in the church.
Jesus healed the man
Jesus purposely healed the man inside the synagogue and talked about the law which was less important than any life. He was in other way showing the people that doing good and acceptance of everyone regardless of how they look is what is most important.
Jesus then departed from that place where many crowds followed him and he healed all of them. This particular verse 12:15 talks about Jesus healing the crowds which simply says “and he cured all of them” could not only have been the people with disabilities; but also included the others whom Jesus healed of their minds about being inclusive to the people with disabilities.
Jesus cured the man who was blind and mute and demon possessed. After Jesus cured him it is written that he could speak and see which meant that he was healed of his blindness and muteness.
Then what about the demon he possessed? He was not possessed by any demons. That label was simply given by the society degrading him to being evil who possessed demons just because he was mute and blind.
And that may be another reason why Jesus charged the people saying forgiveness is not for the ones who speaks against the spirit. Jesus was ready to forgive even if they spoke against him that is the son of man. But he wasn’t ready to forgive those who spoke against the spirit that indirectly pointed to the soul and spirit of the people with disabilities; whom the society has tagged with evil spirits.
End of the Chapter
Jesus at the end of this chapter closes by saying that his family are the ones who does the will of God; which demands that the will of God is in being inclusive towards the people with disabilities; and whoever could do that are his family.
Christ does not say, “Whosoever shall do my will,” for he came not to seek or do his own will distinct from his Father’s. But his will and his Father’s are the same but he refers us to his Father’s will, because in his present state and work he referred himself to it….. Read more