Signs and wonders followed Jesus as He taught and preached in the synagogues throughout Galilee.
Every kind of sickness or affliction departed the victims at His touch or His command. This kind of thing cannot be kept quiet. His fame began to spread throughout Galilee bringing multitudes to find Him wherever He might be. The news spread even to Syria where sick people and those tormented by demons and others plagued with diseases came to Him and were healed. Even those whose minds were defective and those who were paralyzed found sanity and mobility at the command of Jesus. All the while, He was preaching the Good News, calling for repentance, and teaching about the New Covenant to come. Attendance at the synagogues broke all records when He was scheduled to be there.
Healing and the Gospel
Today some believe that such Divine Healing somehow escaped this world when the Apostles died out. It is true that no one has walked this earth with healing in his wake the way Jesus did. Still, He promised that we would continue His work in the world. He even said that we would do greater things than He did. This is beyond my ability to explain, so I just believe it.
The preponderance of Scripture indicates that it has always been God’s plan to heal the sick as the Gospel is preached.
- Isaiah predicted that the cruel stripes on Messiah’s body would be for our healing.
- Malachi prophesied that The Sun of Righteousness would arise with healing in His wings.
- In Mark when Jesus gave the Great Commission, He said signs like healing the sick would follow those who preached the Gospel.
- Plural “gifts of healing” are mentioned in Paul’s marvelous list of spiritual gifts for public worship.
- James even tells us how to pray for the sick by anointing them with oil as the elders of the assembly pray.
Is this all for show? Is it just for the cameras? Sometimes it is faked but God doesn’t need actors and Divine Healing is not theatre. As the old time Pentecostals used to say, “Healing is the children’s bread.” Two great purposes arise for Divine Healing:
- To ease the suffering of the sick because God loves us and cares for us and,
- To confirm the reality of the Gospel. “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever!”
What about those who are not healed when prayed for?
Divine Healing is not always instantaneous. God uses time, medicine, rest, and good life habits to heal—it is all His work. We must be careful to see His hand in all of these methods and to give Him glory for His faithfulness.
When we see someone go to the grave with their illness when countless prayers have gone up in their behalf, we are puzzled and our hearts break. One such couple lost their only daughter to leukemia. Before she died she shared with her mother the answer to this dilemma:
“God heals everyone. Some of us He takes to heaven first.”
The crowds continued to grow and not just from Galilee but from the politicized south–Jerusalem, Judea—and even beyond the Jordan. Soon a crowd gathered on a mountain to hear the most famous sermon ever preached.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him — from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings;
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Is anyone among you sick? 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. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your healing power. In Your name we can ask for healing and expect a touch. The cruel stripes on Your back were put there to heal our sicknesses and diseases. I know that Your healing is a surety, even if You take us to heaven first. No one on the other side is sick or lame or blind or impaired in any way. Help me be a healer in this world as You walk in me in joy and strength. Thank You, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Words and Music: Lois Irwin
1. On the Cross crucified
In great sorrow my Saviour died.
Oh the Giver of so much life was He.
Yet my Lord was despised and rejected of men
Oh this Jesus of Calvary
He was wounded for our transgression
He was bruised for our iniquities
Surely he bought our sorrows
And by His stripes we are healed.
2. Price for healing was paid
When those cruel stripes were made
Within Pilate’s judgment hall.
Now His suffering affords Perfect healing for all.
This wonderful Healer is mine.
3. He has healed my sick soul
Made me every whit whole
And He’ll do the same for you.
He’s the same yesterday and today and for aye
This Healer of men today.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.