Anointing with oil

James 5:14 - Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

This scripture has caused many to take oil and apply on the fore head of people and pray for them when they are sick.

In today's message the Lord wants us to understand what it means and it with truth and understanding.

At the Last Supper Jesus washed the feet of His disciples when He came to Simon Peter, Simon Peter initially resisted Jesus' washing His feet but when Jesus said if any person's feet were not washed by Him then that person would have nothing to do with Him. At this Simon Peter requested Jesus to wash even his hands and his head. Jesus told him any person who had bath did not need washing so why was Jesus washing only their feet?

Jesus' washing the feet of His disciples was symbolic to what He was to do. Feet symbolically represent way of life and washing the dirt of the feet symbolizes forgiving the sins of a person. That is reason after washing the feet of His disciples Jesus ordered them to wash each other's feet too.

If we look at the incident of the Lord appearing to Moses the first time in a burning bush, it was on a mountain and when Moses approached the burning bush the Lord told him to remove his footwear for it was holy ground. It was not that the place around the bush had some special finishing; it was as any other part of the mountain on which Moses stood, yet the Lord instructed Moses to remove his footwear when approaching Him. This symbolized man should approach God in honesty as he is, as God has made him and not to put on the worldly makeover when coming before Him.

People come to God to worship, they may even remove their footwear at worship but do not do the real instruction or meaning of it. They still carry their worldly burden and worldly life and come with full of sins and therefore do not really feel the presence of God's glory.

In today's message James does not speak of normal oil but the Greek word 'elaion' clearly specifies anointing with olive oil (Greek 'elaia' means olive). It is not that we need to stop using coconut oil or any other oil and start using olive oil from tomorrow.

Without going much into technical details an olive tree symbolizes Israel the man having authority and power with God. This tree is the first tree named in the Bible and mentioned when the dove sent by Noah returns from the flood with an olive leaf symbolizing the hope of Israel.

This tree has the property of being disease and fire resistant. There are incidents recorded in history where trees almost totally burned have sprouted in a few days. Normal olive trees live for about 100 to 200years but there is a record of an olive tree surviving 2400years.

The two outputs of this tree which it is known for, is its oil and its fruit. Oil symbolizes testimony and fruit man's spiritual productivity which is measured in relations to the growth of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

David in Psalms having knowledge of the symbolization refers to himself as a young olive tree. In Romans, Paul uses the olive tree to represent the redeem man (mankind) with Jesus being root of the tree. Jesus is the corner stone of redeemed Israel.

The Greek word to anoint means to grease. So in reality anointing the sick with olive oil means to share the testimony of those blessed in the Lord, so as to encourage the sick and build hope in the Lord.

So let us not just do meaningless traditions but with understanding let us do what the Lord instructed us so that we receive all that the Lord promised.

[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You said in your Word the days will come when your people will worship You in Spirit and Truth. Lord, we thank You for opening our minds to the understanding of your instructions and revealing which was hidden for even the most wise of this world. Help us encourage the sick with the mighty testimonies You have blessed your people with to let them know that You are God of wonders and You do not disappoint those who keep hope in You...

This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.

[ Reference Scriptures ]
Genesis 8:10-11
10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark.
11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth.

Psalms 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.

Romans 11:16-21
16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in."
20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

Acts 7:30-33
30 "And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.
31 "When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him,
32 "saying, 'I am the God of your fathers - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and dared not look.
33 'Then the LORD said to him, "Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.

John 13:3-15
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"
7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."
9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?
13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.
14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

The Word of God was given free to us, therefore we should also share it freely with others.
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