Matthew 8:2,3--Right away a man with a serious skin disease came up and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Reaching out His hand He touched him, saying, “I am willing; be made clean.” Immediately his disease was healed.
I recently engaged in a study of Jesus healing in the gospels as part of preaching through the book of Matthew. Healing was a huge part of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus healed people because He loved them and out of obedience to the mission God gave Him. His miracles brought glory to God from those who witnessed or heard about His actions with the exception of the religious leaders who resented Him for healing on the Sabbath.
Every time the sick or demon-possessed are mentioned in the NT in the presence of Jesus, He healed them. Jesus touched all kinds of needy people: Jews, Gentiles, old, young, those born with afflictions, those stricken w/ illness later in life, the demon-possessed etc. (Mat.4:23,24; 9:35,12:15, 14:35,36; 18:1,2)
Whenever healing did not take place in the gospels it was caused either by a lack of faith (Mat. 17:14-18; Mark 6:5,6) or a lack of prayer (Mark 9:25-29). Scripture further reveals that God’s will was not always to bring healing—(2 Chronicles 16:12,13; 2 Samuel 12:14-18; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Jesus commanded His followers to heal those they encountered who were sick or demon-possessed in the towns they entered (Mat.10:1,8). After He ascended to heaven, healing continued to be a significant aspect of the Apostles ministry. They were effective because He gave them His authority. Healing always takes place under the context of God’s authority. Nowhere does Scripture say God has pulled His authority from us so that we cannot experience His power today!
One of the most potent ways we can witness to people in our community is to minister to those who are sick in the powerful name of Jesus. Is it possible that we do not pray for others to be healed because we are afraid God might not respond? Praying with someone for healing can be a tremendous expression of love. If the Holy Spirit gives us the freedom to pray for someone afflicted we should do so. Whether or not the healing takes place is not up to us but to God. I prayed for my mother to be healed and she died. I prayed for my son to be healed and God miraculously continues to keep him alive. While I may not always understand God’s plan or purpose I can confidently rest assured that He knows what is best.
There are compelling reasons why Jesus healed all who came to Him. We need to follow His example. It is easy to criticize the Political Correctness (PC) movement. Yet, are we guilty of emphasizing Spiritual Correctness (SC)? “Lord if you are willing” is the pious prayer of the saint for the stricken. But often I wonder if that prayer could really be translated, “Lord, I don’t want to look bad, I don’t want to let this person down and I certainly don’t want You to look weak, so if this person isn’t healed, obviously You were not willing.” This is hardly the stuff of faith! Are you willing to trust God to work through you to bring healing in the lives of those hurting around you? Then boldly go before the throne and ask! God may use you to reach a town, a city, a nation whose real sickness is the need to know Jesus!
When God does not heal it is time we got down to close quarters with Him and asked Him why. There is a deep lesson behind; we cannot lay down a general law for everyone, we can only find out the reason by going to God.—Oswald Chambers in The Servant As His Lord
©2000 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)