Water does not heal

Yesterday morning, my teacher had me read a passage out of the class textbook on the many languages present in the Spanish-speaking world. We briefly discussed the languages in Mexico, and he spoke with some amazement of how many languages there are in this country. I asked him how many had a Bible, and he said that perhaps two or three of the main ones did. I countered, "Then the others don't have the gospel." It stopped him, and he said, after a second, "Imagine so many in Mexico today that still don't have the gospel." Guys, I do not know this guy's heart, but I think God's working. Pray for him. Pray that he would begin to agitate in his church, begin to question the teachings, begin to read and think critically for himself.

In the evening yesterday, my friend and I went to two Bible studies and discussed John 5:1-18, the healing at Bethesda. I saw that, in John 4, Jesus makes plain that no place is special for worship, only hearts; that, in the healing of the official's son, He can heal at a distance, and place of healing is no issue; and in John 5, that the paralytic believes that there is healing in the water, but Jesus heals without the water. No place has power. I brought it up in the first study, but felt a check in myself to bring it up in the next study. At the very end, the guy in the family brought it up. I later found out that this family is still, in many ways, very Catholic and would be the sort of people who would still go on pilgrimage and expect a blessing. So it was awesome that that insight came from within the family instead of from me. That's a God thing.

That truth also pertains to something going on right now. Pilgrims are coming from all over Latin America to see the Virgin de los Lagos, in San Juan de Los Lagos, a town not far from here. Our Lady of San Juan de los Lagos stands about 15 inches tall and is made from wood and paste, with a painted face. She dates back to about 1542 and has been venerated for centuries for performing last-ditch miracles. Somewhere around 7 million pilgrims will walk all the way to the basilica holding the statue, many of them walking the last part of the journey on their knees. They spread the roads with paper because of the blood. Many of these people are repaying a promise to the Virgin; others seek help. But place is not important. Water does not heal; neither does an image. These hopes are unfounded.

Please pray for the pilgrims, and for the people in Mexico in general. Pray that they would turn from idols to serve the Living and True God. Pray that they would find all the things they're looking for in Jesus' face.

Thank you for praying!

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