A great portion of Christ’s time was dedicated to healing the sick. He healed all kinds of people: the blind, the paralyzed, the lame, the deaf, lepers, those who had fevers, and many with chronic illnesses.
“Jesus Is Still the Healer”
We find no record in the gospels of Jesus turning away anyone who came to him for healing, nor do we find that any disease was too difficult for him to heal. He even raised the dead. Miraculous healings still occur today—evidence that Christ is still our Healer.
The Purpose of Divine Healing is to Glorify Jesus. In the Book of Acts, we find three important truths we need to grasp: Jesus is still the Healer, Healing comes from Jesus alone, and the purpose of divine healing is always to glorify Him.
As a pastor, I was called to meet a couple at a hospital. Their daughter had suffered a seizure and was not breathing. When I reached the hospital, neither the parents nor the doctor were with the child. A nurse was unplugging the flat-lined machines.
The Holy Spirit prompted me to do something I’d never done before — pray over the girl’s lifeless body. I asked the nurse if I could pray for a minute, to which she replied, “You know she’s dead,” but allowed me to go ahead.
I asked God to restore the little girl. Then I went to next room and found the parents witnessing to the doctor. About a minute later, we heard a scream, then the little girl crying for her mommy. It’s never happened to me before or since. But Jesus is still healer.
Why did Jesus Heal so Many People?
- To get attention: Jesus knew that by meeting a physical need, healing, the door would be open to speak about Jesus’ greater mission—to bring salvation to souls. We see the same pattern throughout Jesus’ ministry. Whenever Jesus made an intangible claim, He backed it up with a tangible act of compassion. Jesus said He was the bread of life and fed 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread.
- To prove He could forgive sin: How do you prove such an intangible thing? First, Jesus lived in a culture where the assumption was that sickness was a result of sin. Second, based on the same assumption, healing comes with forgiveness of sin. To prove that He had the power to forgive sins, Jesus said to the man who was lowered down through roof on a mat, “Friend, your sins are forgiven…take your mat and go home” (Luke 5:20).
- To prove He was God: Jesus healed to prove He was the Messiah. Only One has authority to forgive sin—God alone—a charge the Pharisees made when Jesus healed sickness and at the same time forgave sins. He was claiming authority to be God.
- To show His compassion: Jesus healed because he cared. There is no record of Jesus turning anyone away who asked for his help.
- To show that He is the Lord of all of life: Jesus is the Lord of compassion—not just Lord of our souls but of our bodies as well.
- To show that salvation starts now: Jesus’ wonderful, compassionate willingness to reach out and touch our physical needs demonstrates that it’s not just future tense but present tense. Salvation starts now. He heals in this life, in this moment, in anticipation of something much more complete as eternity rolls on.
The Healings Did Not End With Jesus
- He Said They Would Continue: Healings did not end with Jesus. He told his disciples they would do greater things. Although there is some dispute as to the validity of the end of Mark’s gospel (Mark 16:18), it is clear in the Book of John that Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I am doing. He will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12).
- The Apostles Continued His Work: Nothing in the New Testament says or even implies that the healing ministry would stop at end of the New Testament. In fact, it says the opposite. Healing ministry will continue in age of the Church through His Body, the Church. The apostles continued his work.
- Jesus Is Still The Healer! Jesus is still the healer today. Why don’t we see it as the disciples in the Early Church did? They were full of the Holy Spirit. We leak. They were fully obedient. Too often, we are not. They fully expected to see Him work. We are often surprised that He does.
The Power Comes From Jesus
- Not From Our Faith: The power comes from Jesus. The power doesn’t come from faith. There is interaction with faith. Jesus challenged people to have faith. He even said, “Your faith has made you whole.” But faith was a response to the person of Jesus. It was power of Jesus and not individual faith that brought healing. If you believe the power comes from faith, there’s a problem. Faith is a necessary component but not what heals.
- Not From Within: Healing does not come from within us. It is not a matter of getting everything in balance. A great, satanic error of our day teaches that healing flows from inner peace or balance, some resource inside us, even if God put it in us. That simply is not true. Healing comes only from the hand of Jesus.
- Not From Faith Healers: Healing does not come from faith healers. There are gifts of healing. God uses prayer to raise up people who need a touch by Him. But the power is in Jesus, which means, if you need a touch from the Lord, you don’t need to look to a faith healer.
- Not From Crystal Skulls: Healing does not come from any occult objects, such as crystal skulls.
Why Isn’t Everyone Healed?
Why do people get sick in the first place? The Bible gives a theology of sickness as well as a theology of healing. There are a number of reasons for sickness. The first is sin. The Pharisees were right that some get sick because of sin but wrong that all get sick because of sin. In 1 Corinthians, we are warned about abusing the table of the Lord. “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you sleep.”
Sometimes God allows the enemy to make us sick. Sickness definitely is related to the curse, the fall, and the work of Satan. There is no better example than Job. In the testing, our faithfulness can be perfect. God allows sickness or disabilities to teach us lessons that would not be learned any other.
Healing also can be God’s way of taking us home, the moment of eschatological healing that ultimately comes when we are made perfect. No more glasses, no more insulin pumps. I won’t walk with a limp.
How Do We Respond?
Our prayers for healing tend to be, “Jesus heal me because I want to serve you more, I don’t want pain, or I want to be a testimony of your faithfulness. See how much more faith I have now.”
The only possible right response is: “What ever brings You glory, Lord. I believe you can. With the absence of a firm word to the contrary, then I believe that you will. But the only reason I want to be healed is because I want to bring You glory. If something else brings You more glory, that’s ok with me. It’s not about me. It’s all about Jesus.”
“In The Name Of Jesus Christ Of Nazareth, Walk!”
The power comes from Jesus. The purpose is to bring glory to Jesus. It is not to meet my needs, to make me feel better, or relieve me of my pain, although that is a nice side benefit.
The disciples with Jesus encountered a blind man (John 9). One of the disciples asked, “Who sinned—the man or his parents.” Jesus explained that neither the man nor His parents had sinned but “this had happened so that the work of God would be displayed in his life.”
Healing is all about glorifying Jesus. It’s not about us. It’s all about Him!
By Rev. John F. Soper