Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christian Baptism (10/18/07)
TITLE: Healing Water
By DeWayne Bricker
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At the point of death almost at his last breath a small pamphlet written in his own language came flying through the air and landed open on his face. It was the book of Mark from the Bible and was open to chapter two where Jesus healed the paralytic man lowered through the roof. A missionary was passing by and could not enter the building for the horrible smell that was emanating from inside so he stuck his hand inside the door and flung the pamphlet.
Unable to move his arms or legs Timothy read the story open before his dying eyes. He knew nothing of this Jesus and has never heard of such a thing happening. He thought about this magnificent story and spoke aloud.
“Mr. Jesus, if you really exist, I ask you to come to me and heal me.” That was all he said then he passed out. Several days later he awoke. His body was covered with maggots and most of his flesh was rotting. He noticed that his toes were moving and to his surprise his legs could move at will. He righted himself and found that he could use his arms also. He pulled himself up and leaned his aching back against the table leg.
He managed to consume some rotting bread and after two weeks was walking again. Healed and armed with a newfound belief in this Mr. Jesus he set out to find his family and tribe. After a month he caught up with them. They were surprised to see him and all listened intently at his unheard of story. His father in law which was also the tribal priest denounced his new belief and his healing and refused to accept Timothy back into the clan.
One week later the father in law fell ill to the same virus and was also paralyzed from the neck down. On his death bed he sent for Timothy and asked him to ask this Mr. Jesus to heal him. Timothy knew nothing about healing but what he had read. He recounted the story to the dying man and like Jesus he laid his hands on him and asked Mr. Jesus to heal him. Within three days the man was healed and he too now believed in this Mr. Jesus.
On the back of the pamphlet was an address printed that gave the location of the mission office that had printed it. It was in Hyderabad India. Timothy thought that Mr. Jesus might be there so he sat out on foot to find him. Upon arriving at the mission he met the missionary that had flung the pamphlet into the hut. After several days of discussion and a more perfect understanding of whom Jesus was Timothy asked to be baptized. He was and he left there armed with the Gospel and a new mission in life; to lead people to this Mr. Jesus and baptize all that would come.
I went to this man’s village and baptized more than thirty new believers that had heard this same story. Afterwards at a small gathering in their small church I listened with great earnestness at their individual stories.
Back in the USA in my fine, large church I sit and look up at the stained glass and the well designed baptismal and think of those new Christians I had the privilege of baptizing in that dirty river in India. Each time someone is baptized in their clear white robes we stand and clap because someone is added to the kingdom of God, but now I think of something more. I think of what road or roads has led each of them to this healing water and I’ll never view Christian Baptism as such a simple event again.
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