Always the Same
â€œJesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.â€� Hebrews 13:8
This passage of Scripture is one of those used by us in the Charismatic segment of the Church to teach that healing is for today. Indeed, I believe healing is for today, and using this verse to support that understanding does not do violence to the text. It is acceptable, for the concept of â€œsamenessâ€� holds true in healing.
Yet, when it was spoken in the book of Hebrews, healing was not the context. As one studies the Scripture, we find that the statement is between an instruction to imitate Christ-like leaders, and one of the caution not to be led away by strange teachings. So this seems like a strange statement made in that context. Yet, we see that it fits very well.
Jesus Christ is always the same. He does not vary. He does not change. He is consistent. He is not in a good mood one day and a bad mood the next. His instructions are not one way this time, but in another situation, you will find them another. The leaders who follow the Lord in their teaching and in their life-style are always the ones the Lord will urge His people to imitate. The teachings of the word do not change. All the truth contained in shadow (symbol) form in the Old Testament is found in the fulfillment of reality in Christ Jesus. He is YHWH â€“ the One true God. He is the embodiment of all that is holy and righteous and just. He is the love, the truth, and the grace. He is the same. He does not change.
Inconsistency, manipulation, condemnation â€“ all are ways of the world to seduce Godâ€™s people into thinking that the word of the Lord has changed. It has not â€“ He has not. We can, in His power and presence, learn to trust that â€œsameness.â€�
Although we might be storm tossed by our circumstances and by people who demonstrate a lack of integrity, let us remember that following in the footsteps of Jesus we can develop in our hearts the â€œsamenessâ€� that His nature demonstrates toward us. In our prayer closets we are able to allow Him to convict us and change our interior landscape to be a reflection of His own. He is the One. He is the same.