Roger was excited as he walked into the classroom at Long Hall at the University of Religion for the first time. Standing before him was the renowned Professor Mann, about to commence the first session of Excusiology 101. Roger listened intently as Professor Mann began his lecture.
“One question you’ll hear,” said the professor, “is why people aren’t healed today as they were in the four gospels and the book of Acts. Some people might expect that it should be the same today. This is why our study of Excusiology is so vital; we need to be able to logically talk people out of expecting that today.”
Roger was paying good money to take this class, so he took careful notes and even turned off his cell phone. “The linchpin of basic Excusiology,” said Professor Mann as he peered over his brown horn-rimmed glasses, “is the need to realize that Jesus changed between the days He walked the earth in the gospels and today when He sits at God’s right hand in heaven.”
Roger sat up in his seat. That was a concept that wasn’t familiar to him. He would never have come to that conclusion without help from Professor Mann, whose Ph.D. happened to be in Excusiology.
“When He was the way He used to be,” said Mann, “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil. Multitudes came to Him and He healed them all on many occasions. This was back when He used to be moved with compassion.” “Used to be?” thought Roger. “I’d never have come up with this on my own just by reading my Bible.”
“Jesus is not as compassionate anymore,” Mann continued, “ Today He only has compassion on some, not all. He flips a drachma or something to figure out who gets healed and who doesn’t. You just never know His will anymore.”
Dr. Mann went on: “In Bible days, people just expected Jesus to heal them. But today Jesus has revealed through a good modern marketer that God intends for every Christian to return to health and stay in health by taking daily doses of Igga-Batta Juice (straight or in new convenient condensed capsule form) while avoiding lobster and chocolate glazed doughnuts. In fact, He now tells some who come for healing, ‘Sorry, but My path for your healing is through worldly physicians and hospitals. Take up your Blue Cross card and follow Me to the nearest one. I want you to be able to ‘witness’ to someone there by being patient in your affliction.’ He didn’t say things like that before He changed.”
Roger raised his hand. “Sorry to interrupt, Professor, but I have a question. Why do so many people get healed in Christian services in third world countries? Why doesn’t Jesus tell them ‘I won’t heal you Myself – see a doctor,’ like He tells some people here?” “That’s easy,” said Dr. Mann. “They think simplistically and just believe the Bible instead of interpreting the Bible as we more sophisticated people do.”
Mann concluded, “Here are some other statements Jesus didn’t make before He changed: ‘Wait, I want to heal you later.’ ‘Keep your illness because God is trying to teach you something.’ ‘No, this is God’s way of humbling you.’ ‘I won’t, don’t be cleaned of your leprosy.’ ‘God is working in His mysterious ways in this, and I can’t heal you because then I’d be fighting your Heavenly Father’s loving will for that cancer to eat up your vital organs.’ That’s why it’s so important to realize that He changed since the days He healed in the New Testament – because if He didn’t change, He couldn’t make those statements He’s making today that He didn’t make then. We need to realize that the Early Church was fortunate enough to get in on the action before the day Jesus changed.”
“Very interesting,” said Roger to Dr. Mann, “I never realized that there was an Early Church Age and then a Later Church Age for us when Jesus changed and healing doesn’t work like it used to. Where’s a verse in the Bible that proves that?” “My son,” smiled Mann, “Remember to interpret the Bible instead of believing it. Otherwise you’d see that verse ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever’ in Hebrews 13:8 and just believe it, and that might make you flunk Excusiology!”