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Jesus Only . . . our source of healing

All who are healed should live lives of gratitude, telling others all that Jesus has done.

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I was called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ at the age of 16. When I told my friends, they laughed hysterically—not because of my age but my health. I was born a chronic asthmatic. I could not even recite my address without reaching for my inhaler. How could I think I could preach a sermon?

Then it happened. On a hot, humid day in southwest Georgia, I lay on my bed, wheezing, coughing and gasping. “Lord,” I pleaded desperately, “I have a sermon to deliver at our youth group tonight, but I can’t even breathe. If you called me to preach, heal me right now.” Instantly, brightness filled the room. My body became warm and peaceful. It felt as if a miraculous supply of oxygen had enveloped me. My clogged lungs filled with fresh wind and my heart with fresh hope. Jesus had healed me.

Jesus also healed the 10 lepers (Luke 17). They too were taunted and disdained. Both my healing and that of the lepers tell us that Jesus hears our cries, offers hope to our souls and heals our diseases.

Leprosy, a disease that produces disfigurement and loss of sensation, was one of the most painful and pitiful of all ancient maladies. Anyone found to have it was shunned by society (Leviticus 13–14). During the late stages of the disease, the vocal chords are affected, making it difficult for the victim to speak. The 10 lepers may have been in the final stages as they joined their feeble voices to cry for help. In the midst of His journey to Jerusalem, Jesus heard them. One was a Samaritan, a group ridiculed by the Jews as half-breeds. Jesus heard his cry as well. His loving power to heal reaches everyone.

No matter how sickness has broken and bruised our bodies, our hopes and our dreams, Jesus hears our cry and offers hope! Lepers were treated as the scum of society, often like HIV/AIDS victims of today. But Christ spoke words of prophetic power to them, instructing them to show themselves to the priest. These were words of hope, because a leper would not do that unless he thought he was healed (Leviticus 14).

Today is a good day to turn down the noise that may be blocking the words of hope that Jesus has for you. Turn off the radio, the television, the CDs, the iPods and the mp3 players. Tune in instead to station J-E-S-U-S. The Bible has declared that the Lord sent forth His Word (Jesus) and healed them (Psalm 107:20). Go to His Word today and allow hope into your hopeless situation.

Christ’s healing power can’t be boxed into any particular methodology. He spat on the ground and healed a blind man. He did not touch the woman with the issue of blood, but she was healed when she lightly brushed the hem of His garment. He healed me from asthma as I lay all alone in my bedroom. He healed a friend of mine one Sunday as she was listening to the church choir. He has healed many during prayer services that were dedicated to the sick, and He has healed countless others through modern medicine.

Interestingly, Jesus did not physically touch the 10 lepers but spiritually touched them with His words. As they faithfully went to the priest, the Bible says that they were healed. We are not told at what point that happened, but we know one thing for sure—only one came back to thank Jesus. Why? Perhaps one thought that he had started feeling better before he encountered Jesus. Perhaps another thought only of his family, whom he had not seen in years. Another may have felt that if he went back, he would not only have to thank Jesus but also be devoted to Him. There are many who want only the healing but not the healer.

We must never forget that Christ is the healer. A. B. Simpson wrote in the article “Himself ”: “A friend . . . said, ‘You were healed by faith.’ ‘Oh, no,’ I said, ‘I was healed by Christ.’ What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I labored to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had gotten the faith, ‘Heal me.’ I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him.”

All who are healed should live lives of gratitude, telling others all that Jesus has done. I have not had one asthma attack since the day He healed me, yet for months afterward I kept a supply of inhalers just in case. However, as I have walked with Jesus, He has made me whole. I no longer fear the disease. I have been delivered from the low-self esteem that chronic illness inflicts. All praise and glory belong to Christ alone. In his book The Power of Praise, Merlin Caruthers states, “I’ve met many people who are able to praise God for their circumstances, simply because they accept the word of the Bible that they are supposed to praise God in everything. Praising Him, they soon experience the results of an attitude of consistent thanksgiving and joy; and in turn, their faith is strengthened, and they can continue to live this way.”

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