Is anyone among you sick?

“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:14-15)

a. “Is anyone among you sick?” It implies that sickness was the exception, not the rule.

b. The sick person must call the elders. Jesus didn’t go around looking for the sick, they were looking for Him.

c. We assume it’s concerning serious illness, not a cold or a head ache, because, surely, if the person was able to get out of bed they would have gone to the assembly for prayer. It’s for incapacitated people, to call the elders to come to them. Not for people who can’t be bothered going to church and want someone to come and serve them.

d. The elders, plural, are to be called. This assumes the sick person is part of an assembly governed by elders. Note, it doesn’t say to call the pastor, although that would be okay if there are no elders. Call anyone who is a proven man or woman of God. Certainly, calling someone to come might tell you about their true nature as a shepherd, whether they are willing to come or not.

e. Anointing with oil is a symbolic gesture. The prayer of faith will save the sick, the oil won’t save them, however, perhaps, the oil is to remind of how serious such a transaction with God is, and as a practical expression of faith.

f. A group of men are praying, but it’s called “the prayer of faith”, singular. It’s one prayer. It’s a group praying as one voice, in agreement. And Jesus said when we agree together in prayer it will be done.

g. Implied, that if the sickness was caused by sin, the patient is truly sorry and penitent for that sin, so, along with being healed, they are forgiven, and God’s healing that sickness a sign He has forgiven the sin which caused it. And yet not all sickness is caused by sin.

h. It’s fair to say this scenario is nearly extinct from the church. Many people are so self sufficient or depend entirely on medical care or medication, that they wouldn’t do this. And, where would you find a group of elders willing to visit such a patient at any time of the day in an urgent time of need?

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