Blumhardt’s career was uneventful until, in 1842, the local physician asked what he would do for one of his parishioners, a young woman who suffered a severe nervous disorder and whose household was visited with strange psychic phenomena. Blumhardt concluded that the case was of a kind with those reported in the New Testament as demon possession. After two months of pastoral care, finding that he had no wisdom or power of his own that could help, he and the girl prayed together: “Lord Jesus, help us. We have seen long enough what the devil can do; now we want to see what the Lord Jesus can do.”
This prayer battle continued for almost two years until the tormented woman’s sister (who had come under demonic attack herself) finally uttered the cry, “Jesus is victor!” In the following months, a movement of repentance and renewal spread far beyond Blumhardt’s parish: marriages were restored, addictions broken, crimes confessed, and many people healed of physical illnesses. This story is recounted in The Awakening.
All over Germany, Möttlingen became known for the motto that expressed its inhabitants’ joy: Jesus is victor! The village could hardly accommodate the numbers of people streaming to it. Eventually, because of restrictions placed on his work by nervous church superiors, Blumhardt left his pastorate and moved his ministry to a former resort spa at Bad Boll. There he was able to continue caring for the thousands who came to him seeking physical and spiritual healing. After his death, Blumhardt’s work was carried forward by his son, Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt.
The Awakening: One Man’s Battle with Darkness by Friedrich Zündel
Pastor Johann Christoph Blumhardt: An Account of His Life by Friedrich Zündel
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