A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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iv               THE ECCCESIA AND PNEUMATIC THERAPY            139
But Peter introduced two innovations into the methods of Jesus : he did not wait for the patient to ask for healing, but imposed suggestibility, a typical Petrine self-assertion ; and he used the phrase ' in the Name of Jesus '. Among the Jews, as in all the ancient world, the name of a person was more than a mere label but was believed to convey something of the personality. In magic, to know the name of a spirit was to have the power of compelling its obedience. In this passage, ' in the Name of Jesus ' means by the authority of Jesus. Another illustration of healing effected by Peter according to the same principles is that of Aeneas at Lydda. This man had been for eight years bedridden with paralysis. Peter, when he found him, said to him, ' Aeneas, Jesus the Christ cures you ! Get up and make your bed ! ' Aeneas immediately got up (Acts ix, 33-34). To what extent Peter was regarded as a healer is shown by the way people even tried to place themselves where his shadow would pass over them, thinking they would be helped by this (Acts v, 15). Obviously this reputation for healing would contribute to the success of the apostles' preaching work. In fact there is evidence that sometimes, as in the mission-field to-day, medical work opened the door for evangelism. For instance, tradition says that Mark's first convert in Alexandria was one Annianus, who welcomed him to his house and heard his message after he had healed him of a supposedly incurable disease. Afterwards Annianus became the first Egyptian bishop.
In the account of Paul's conversion, given in three different passages of the Book of Acts (ix, 1-19 ; xxii, 4-16; and xxvi, 9-20), Paul is reported to have become blind and to have been healed by the laying on of hands by Ananias. This is not the place to enter into a lengthy discussion of Paul's conversion ; but it is obvious that