“They went out and preached that men should repent. And they were casting out many demons and were anointing with oil many sick people and healing them.” (Mark 6:12-14NASB)
That was some oil!
That was not ordinary oil. It was blessed oil. These were not ordinary men. They were the blessed who became messengers of repentance. They exercised power over demons and anointed men with this powerful oil. Surely it was oil blessed by God, it healed. Ever wondered why our oil has seemed to loose its power? Men can’t empower oil!
These are the instructions for its use.
“Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15NASB)
Seems simple enough.
We follow the procedure. With some it’s a show to draw the crowd who come with hope and contributions. The prayers are prayed, and the oil is pressed or splashed with all sincerity. Sadly, this ritual usually results with a still suffering, but now oily sinner. Man has no power to bless the oil. Only God can blessed the oil. And he will under these conditions.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:14-16NASB)
“And preached that men should repent.”
Just like John the Baptist and Jesus our early church fathers preached repentance and confession. Humility before God and toward man. This is when God blesses the oil. What will it hurt to follow God’s instructions? Pastors what will it hurt to preach repentance and confession of sin? Only our pride, our idols and sensitivities.