In this episode of the Rediscover Bethel video series, Bill Johnson and Bethel Associate Pastor and Dean of BSSM Dann Farrelly discuss more on The Theology of Sickness.1

i just i just don’t want to create a

theology that insulates us from the

obvious need to seek the healer for the



a phrase somebody you know thought you

might have said is i refuse to create a

theology that allows for sickness

and and so

if i’m have ongoing sickness that’s like

what what do you mean by that is this my

fault so maybe you speak to that what

are you trying to say with that sentence

what are you not trying to say with that

idea um what i’m not saying

is that if somebody’s sick they’ve got

sin in their life

or they have no faith or

their theology is bad or any of those

things could be true but that’s it’s not

an automatic and it’s it’s never a


is i never would make a statement like


to pin somebody to uh to confront

somebody or to

expose them or shame them in any way

it’s a personal

statement that that i am not going to

allow in my world

sickness to be equal with suffering for

the lord i’m not going to deify it i’m

not going to sanctify sickness as having

this divine role can god use it my

goodness he can use everything

he can use my stupid choices

you know to teach me and train me and

advance me in the kingdom he he just he

can win with anything absolutely but it

doesn’t mean he designed it and i i


sanctify sickness in that sense

that i say

god gave it to me to make me a better

you know to learn suffering or whatever

well if he gave it to me why do i go to

the doctor i’m warring against what he

what he gave me then we’ve got to think

through these things because

because they’re they’re they’re not

treated that way in scripture jesus

never once

came to somebody and said ah

and it’s just it’s just not time you

need to walk in this pain or this

blindness or whatever another year or so

and you’ll be ready he just never did

that we do that but he didn’t do that

and so i’m just trying to

i’m trying to respect what i think he

respected i’m trying to honor what i

think he honored

and uh and just not uh

uh make a spiritual uh a disease you

know let’s call it for what it is

you know yeah yeah god can use it

you know but

but it’s not his design yeah are we

that’s all i think you said the

sometimes i’ll talk about it like

suffering isn’t a virtue

yes and you can go through suffering

with virtue

yes with the hand of the lord with you


walking hand in hand but when we embrace

suffering as a virtue that that invites

all sorts of brokenness and then and

stamps the approval of god on it yeah

and it’s really a dangerous place to be

so that’s what you’re trying to say it’s

like exactly

it’s it’s like

if i see sickness as my chance to suffer

for jesus

where do i have liberty to pursue

healing because you don’t want to

violate what he the work he’s doing in


and it’s just that

that tension is never addressed in

jesus’s life and that’s why

that’s why i have to approach it that

way on the other hand somebody comes to

me in great pain or sickness it’s mercy

mercy mercy it’s just let’s just try to

help them i mean yeah and even we see

you know paul it seems like he came to

one community he was like who said he

was weak he doesn’t quite explicitly say

he had a sickness but he’s weak he’s

just not thriving and they they didn’t

beat him up for that they still

respected his message and what he

brought to them

so he was celebrating like i came week

and you guys you guys met me and then he

struggled with epaphrodes for his friend

in prayer and then finally says then the

lord had mercy yeah yeah yeah

you know and uh and spared me uh from

this grief and so we see paul having to

wrestle through continue in prayer and

then but then he got the breakthrough in

the sickness and was

really grateful for it yeah there was

only one target

and that was the health of of his friend

yeah and that’s the target and uh i just

i just don’t want to create a theology

that insulates us from the obvious need

to seek the healer for the healing in

the same way i would say

that again so you don’t want to create a

theology that insulates us or keeps us

from the need deadens me

from my awareness i’ve got to go to

jesus to be healed in the same way i’ve

got to go to jesus to be forgiven i’ve

got to you know i need help with

relationship or with finances or

whatever it might be i’m going to go to

him with these things and i don’t want


what i consider to be a false narrative

a false theology that insulates me from

my awareness of

of the need and privilege to go to him

and we kind of get back to that idea

that jesus’s perfect theology again is

just that when we see in the life of

jesus he makes no case for this is

character building to stay a little

longer and that he heals everybody who

comes to him


that we see in scripture so that’s like

we go like that if that’s what his role

was that’s what we embrace as well right

right he he didn’t he didn’t heal

everyone who was sick in that day no

because we see uh the guy they walked by

they get beautiful you know he’s there

for how many years and uh and everybody

at the pool of salome except the one guy

yeah yeah so it’s it’s not like shazam

everybody’s well now

it wasn’t that it was it was

it’s a relational journey

it’s the people who came to him as the

people he connected with it’s you know

this blind bartimaeus in the back of the

crowd yelling out for help it’s it’s

this relational journey where he

responded in mercy and

and to me that’s the beautiful picture

is it’s it’s uh

it’s him being moved with compassion for

for people in his journey