Lately I have been studying the Old Testament book Jeremiah during my quiet time with the Lord. While reading through the sixth chapter the fourteenth verse really jumped out at me. As I sat in my office I couldn’t get this verse off of my mind. So I decided to share my thoughts.
They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. – Jeremiah 6:14 NASB
Let’s face it. We all know superficial people. To some degree each of us are guilty of it ourselves–and probably more often than we would ever be comfortable admitting. I could spend the next few paragraphs talking about the shallow superficiality of people; but that’s not really what this passage is about.
Plainly Jeremiah is writing of superficial healing being touted about by the religious order of the day. What does that mean? It means that the religious leadership of Israel were not addressing any deep problems of their time.
We see this all the time in our era as well. The human heart hasn’t changed much in the last 2,500 years and we still have pretty much the same disposition toward wickedness that the prophet’s contemporaries did–we’ve only came up with flashier ways to package and present them. To remove this idea from a religious context for one moment it is very much like a physician who seeks only to treat symptoms and not the underlying problem, be it sickness, injury, or disease.
Now, think about this within the framework of Christianity. Do we do this? Do we try really hard to treat people’s problems without addressing their condition? Absolutely. The movement I belong to is, I think, sometimes especially guilty of this. We become incredibly concerned with seeing people respond immediately within a religious service, but often fail to find out or follow up with how they might be responding in a month’s time.
When men encounter the genuine message of the Gospel, and through it–God, it forces a change. I present this as a challenge to myself and my fellow believers: does the message we present to those around us go beyond the finite temporal struggles of a daily existence and address a deeper condition. Is the Gospel, Tylenol for a moral headache, or Virtuous Healing for a diseased soul?
See the rest of the series here.