Disease and Medicine with Ancient Man
Ancient doctors were few in number, expensive, most lacking in knowledge of effective treatments and, although learned for their time, still quite ignorant and superstitious.
Temples to Asclepius, the Greco-Roman god of healing, were found all over the Mediterranean world. These temples were somewhat like the spas of today; therapy consisted more of rest, massage and a modified diet than of what we would call medicine.
Religion also played a major role. A common healing method was “incubation,” whereby the sick person would sleep in the confines of the temple of Asclepius in the hope of receiving a dream-revelation from the god.
Those who had been healed made special contributions to the temples, which often included plaster reproductions of whatever parts of their bodies had been healed. These were set on display as testimonies to healing power of the god.
The 2nd century orator and chronic invalid Aelius Aristides, in his Sacred Tales, gives us an insight into the need people had for healing and the methods employed to that end.
After falling ill on a journey to Rome and enduring brutal surgery at the hands of Roman doctors, Aristides became a devotee of Asclepius.
The cures prescribed for him in the dreams included bathing in a churning river during winter, pouring mud on himself before sitting in the courtyard of the temple, walking about without shoes all winter and blood-letting from various parts of his body.
It was in such a world that Jesus performed his ministry of healing. Unlike many doctors connected to temples, Jesus healed without charge or fanfare.
Also, He did not follow any specific ritual that might have been regarded as the key to tapping into magical healing power.
Sometimes He would touch a person; in other instances he might place a daub of mud on a blind man’s eyes or simply speak a word.
In short, Jesus’ healings pointed to the power of God that dwelled within him; they did not encourage people to seek out rituals for magical healing but were part of his proclamation of the kingdom.
Physical healing pointed always to the restoration of creation.
I’m sure a lot of people died due to the lack of medical knowledge that most of the doctors had. The mighty kings and the wealthy could purchase outlandish tombs.
Tomorrow we’re going to look at…
Jesus before Pontius Pilate
1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
“Pilate” – the Roman governor had his main headquarters in Caesarea, but he was in Jerusalem during passover to prevent trouble from the large number of Jews assembled for the occasion.
2 And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
“Perverting the nation” – large crowds followed Jesus, but He was not misleading them or turning them against Rome.
“Saying that he himself is Christ a King” – Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, but not a political or military king, the kind Rome would be anxious to eliminate.
3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
“Throughout all Jewry” – may here refer to the whole of the land of the Jews (including Galilee) or to the southern section only, where the region of Judea proper was governed by Pilate.
6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
7 And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
“At Jerusalem” – Herod’s main headquarters was in Tiberias on the sea of Galilee; but, like Pilate, he had come to Jerusalem because of the crowds at passover.
8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
“Was desirous to see him” – Herod was worried about Jesus’ identity, but there is no record that Jesus ever preached in Tiberias where Herod’s residence was located.
9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
“I will therefore chastise him” – although Pilate found Jesus “not guilty” as charged, he was willing to have Him illegally beaten in order to satisfy the chief priests and the people and to warn against any possible trouble in the future.
Scourging, though not intended to kill, was sometimes fatal.
That’s politics for you. I believe that many, if not all, of the stupid and improper things that Bill Clinton had done were to satisfy Hilary. Bill has no more guts than Pilate.
Obama, the stupid and evil things he does is due to peer pressure, i.e., he needs to satisfy everyone because of his insecurities (definitely plural). We can’t call him narcissistic because he lacks the most important symptom, intelligence.
Old Man Bush has as much wit to run a country as a slug does to fly an airplane.
Baby Bush, he’s just flat out evil. Evil enough that would throw rocks in a glass house.
Hilary Clinton makes the Wicked Witch of the West look like a saint.
Nancy Pelosi could be Hilary’s ugly evil twin.
Michelle Obama, because her husband is president, thinks she has accomplished something. Who is the biggest racist in the world? It isn’t Al Sharpton.
Pope Francis isn’t intentionally evil, he’s just in love with himself, but he like all of those above will find himself in hell if he doesn’t leave them altar boys alone and get right with Jesus.
17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
22 And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
25 And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
“Weep for yourselves, and for your children” – here Jesus is talking about the present and future. Present – because of the terrible suffering to befall Jerusalem some 40 years later when the Romans would besiege the city and utterly destroy the temple.
Future – the time prior to Jesus’ Second Coming, it’s going to get real ugly, but it will be much worse after the rapture.
“Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhibiters of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time (Rev 12:12).
29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
“Blessed are the barren” – it would be better not to have children than to have them experience such suffering.
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
“Fall on us” – people would seek escape through destruction in death rather than endure God’s judgment.
31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
“Calvary” – the Latin word for skull is Calvaria.
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
“Veil of the Temple” – the curtain between the holy place and the most holy place. It’s tearing symbolized Christ’s opening the way directly to God.
46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
51 (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
54 And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.
55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid.
56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
“Spices and ointments” – yard of cloth and large quantities of spices were used in preparing a body for burial. “About a hundred pounds” of myrrh and aloes were already used on that first evening. More was purchased for the return of the women after the Sabbath.
“According to the commandment” – it is clear by this phrase that the Sabbath in question was Saturday, the day the fourth commandment enjoins to be kept holy. That Christ died on Friday seems beyond question.
…Jewish burial places.