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Jesus Christ Our Healer

FOURTH IN A SERIES ON THE FOURFOLD GOSPEL

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The frantic phone call came at dinner time. “Could you meet us at the hospital? Our daughter had a seizure, and she’s not breathing.” A few minutes later I arrived at the emergency room, but neither the parents nor the doctor were in the cubicle with the young child. Instead, I found a nurse unplugging the flat-lined heart and brain monitors.

It was then that the Holy Spirit prompted me to do something I’d never done before—pray over a lifeless body. I asked the nurse if I could have a moment to pray, and in a low voice she whispered, “She’s dead, you know.” I knew, but I prayed anyway, asking God for something bigger than I had ever asked before. Then I went to find the parents.

They were with their doctor in an adjoining room, but strangely, they seemed to be comforting him, not the other way around. The child’s parents were talking to him about Jesus! About a minute later, we heard a scream, followed by the sound of the little girl crying for her mother! That day I learned in a whole new way that Jesus is still our healer.

Even a cursory reading of the New Testament will reveal a number of reasons why Jesus healed. At the most basic level, He did it to gain the attention of the people He had come to reach. Jesus knew that by meeting a physical need, the door would be opened to achieve His greater mission—the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom. More than that, it was a way of establishing His credentials as Messiah. In fact, whenever Jesus made an intangible claim, He backed it up with a physical miracle. He said, “I am the Light of the World,” and to prove it, He gave sight to a man who had been blind from birth. He claimed to have the authority to forgive sins. Then he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven . . . take your mat and go home” (Luke 5:20, 24). In His healing ministry, there was abundant evidence of His compassion for the needs of people. The miracles of healing were also given to demonstrate that salvation starts now! He heals in this life, in this moment, in anticipation of something much more complete that will come in eternity.

In His message to the disciples in the Upper Room, Jesus predicted that miracles of healing would continue even after He returned to the Father. “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12). The Book of Acts records this continuation through the ministry of the Holy Spirit working in the apostles, and there is nothing in the New Testament that says or even implies that the work of healing would stop at the end of the apostolic age. It didn’t.

Two extremely important principles must be understood if we are to experience divine healing in our lives and churches. The first is, or at least ought to be, self-evident: the power to heal comes from Jesus. It does not come from our faith, although there is an interaction with faith. Jesus challenged people to have faith. He even said, on some occasions, “Your faith has made you whole.” But faith was always a response to the person of Jesus. It was His power and not an individual’s faith that brought healing. Nor does the power to heal come from “within us” or from a “faith healer” or an occult object such as a crystal skull. (Indiana Jones was wrong!) Healing comes only from the hand of Jesus.

The second principle will help us greatly in understanding why some are healed and others are not. It is equally selfevident to anyone who has spent much time in the Word of God. The purpose of divine healing is always to bring glory to the Name of Jesus. Our prayers tend to be, “Jesus, heal me because I do not want to leave my family.” Or, “Jesus, heal me because I want to serve you more.” Or, “Heal me and take away this pain.” Perhaps a better way to pray would be this: “Lord, I want whatever will bring to You the most glory. I believe that You can heal me. In the absence of a firm word to the contrary, I believe that You will heal me. But the only reason I want to be healed is so that I can bring You glory, and if something else brings You greater glory, that’s OK with me. It’s not about me. It’s all about the glory of Jesus!”

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