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5/1 THRU 5/31
"GOD'S WILLINGNESS TO HEAL THE SICK"
How many of us are aware that God is willing to heal our diseases? That you and I may have freedom from all the physical afflictions and pains we may be suffering from, be it chronic or acute infirmities? One by one, let us get to know what the Bible has for us about the Divine Healing works of our great God.
A. WHAT THE BIBLE TELLS ABOUT DIVINE HEALING IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
In the Old Testament, God had declared himself as Jehovah Rapha, “I am Jehovah Rapha – the Lord that healeth thee” Exodus 15:26. The Greek word for healing is “sozo,” which means to heal, to save, or to make whole. Another account is in Isaiah 53:4-5, “4Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows, yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But 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.” And in Matthew 8:17, “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
The Bible clearly tells us that physical healing is prophesied through Christ’s atonement. Healing is included in the atoning work of Christ, His suffering, and His cross. The words “griefs” and “sorrows” in V.4 specifically mean physical affliction. Moreover, Matthew 8:17 tells about Jesus healing people from sicknesses and other physical needs. Furthermore, the words “bore” or “carried” refer to Jesus’ atoning work on the Cross. These words are used to describe Christ’s bearing of our sins. Now this links the grounds of the provision for both our salvation and our healing to the atoning work of Calvary. However, for each provision, a soul’s eternal salvation or a person’s temporal, physical healing must be received by faith. Christ’s work on the Cross make each one possible; with a simple faith we receive each as we choose.
B. JESUS CHRIST OUR HEALER IS THE FULFILLMENT OF ISAIAH’S PROPHECY
“23Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. 24News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them" (Matthew 4:23-24).
These verses show the large extent of Jesus’ Healing Ministry. We see His ministry consisting of teaching, preaching, making disciples, healing the sick, and casting out of demons. This is the first New Testament record of Jesus healing physical afflictions and bringing deliverance to the demonically tormented. Some argue that Jesus healed only to demonstrate His deity. Bu this is not so because Jesus healed out of compassion for the suffering multitudes (Matthew 9:36-37 and 14:14). It was with compassion, not a show off! Remember He came and sacrificed Himself because of His great love for each one of us. Therefore, it is obvious that Jesus intended healing to be a part of the Great Christian Mission (Mark 16:15) together with deliverance. In addition, His commission includes a promise “…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:18). His commission displays His atonement, His compassion, and His promise of power to fulfill His Word.
C. THE BIBLICAL GROUNDS FOR DIVINE HEALING
Matthew 8:16-17 "When evening had come, they brought to him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 'He himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.'''
The provision of divine healing must rest on clear grounds. Obviously, it is biblical. But what are the redemptive grounds of divine healing? Is healing included in God’s saving provision in Christ? Or is it simply a loving gesture of His compassionate character? Isaiah 53:4-5 gives us clear evidence of divine healing as being provided by Christ’s atonement and redeeming work on the Cross. To avoid this truth some suggest that Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled completely through that healing of one day. Such would be impossible for the prophecy of Isaiah states that the servant of Yahweh would bear sickness in the same way that He would bear sins. Furthermore, He was to suffer for our sins and sicknesses. If “our” means all of us in regard to our sins and our being given a Savior, then it also means all of “us” in regard to sickness and our having been given a Divine Healer! What a perfect God we have, He is all that we need!
D. THE LORD’S WILLINGNESS TO HEAL
"40Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, 'If You are willing, You can make me clean'41Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, 'I am willing; be cleansed''' (Mark 1:40-41).
What a sweet and powerful word from our ever-loving Healer! Every time I read this passage, I can’t help but cry and praise Him for His loving kindness endures forever, hallelujah! “As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed” (V.42). Here, Jesus declares His willingness to heal the sick. Some insist that we must always preface our prayer for healing with “If it is your will.” How can one have positive faith that begins a request with an “If”? The leper was certain that Jesus was able to heal him, he was not sure that it was His will. However, Jesus’ response settled that question. “I am willing; be cleansed!” Are we not certain that it is the Lord’s will to do that for which He has made redemptive provision? One cannot be living in violation of God’s will and expect His promises will be fulfilled. Where biblical conditions for participating in God’s processes are present, they must be met but let us not avoid either God’s readiness or God’s remedies because of the question of His willingness. “If it is your will” is more often an expression of fear, a proviso to “excuse God of blame.” If our faith or His Sovereign purposes do not bring healing, if His will is questioned, leave the issue to His Sovereignty and remove it from your prayer. Our faith maybe weak or incomplete in some regards. We, in fact, may not be healed at times, which should never be viewed as reason for condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Nevertheless, in all things, let us praise Him for His faithfulness and compassion. This is a great environment for healing to be realized and is consistent with the Scriptures, which reveal Jesus as willing to heal! Many passages would confirm that Jesus healed ALL those who came to Him for healing. Aren’t you thankful for having a Healer who is so willing and compassionate?
E. HEALING THROUGH PERSISTENT FAITH
“25Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”… "33But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5: 25-30, 33-34).
This is an account of a desperate woman whose healing was the result of great and persistent faith. Her illness made her ceremonially unclean and disqualified her from mixing with crowds of people yet she was certain that “if only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well” (v28). Jesus did not rebuke the woman but delayed His mission to the home of Jairus, whose daughter was dying, in order to assure her of healing and salvation. And then Jesus later raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Isn't it God mighty? He is more than able to minister to each one of us in whatever situation we have. There is no such thing as too late for Him; everything is in perfect timing! In here, He took time to minister to one with positive faith. This implies that our God is not too busy to see and minister a person with a positive faith. In Hebrews11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He will reward those who diligently seek Him.” Faith pleases God and that those who seek him must seek him with all of their heart with diligence and surely you will be rewarded. The woman’s persistence healed her and it was her reward!
F. TOTAL SURRENDER OF ONE’S UNBELIEF WILL BRING HEALING
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible for him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!”(Mark 9: 23-24).
What an honest word from a desperate father who came to Jesus with a humble heart. This tells us that believing is the condition for answered prayer for a healing. The father answered in tears, “I believe” then added, “help my unbelief”! Since faith is a gift, we may pray for it as this father did. Note how quickly God’s grace answered; but there is another great lesson, where an atmosphere of unbelief prevailed. This is totally a different scenario where Jesus did not do many miracles because of unbelief (Matthew 13:58). This does not mean that God cannot do miracles due to unbelief rather it displeases God when unbelief is in the heart of men. This is supported in Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please God.” It is an offensive thing when a person doubts God’s ability to heal.
In view of all these truths, therefore, I urge each child of God to exercise our faith through praying the sick with boldness by declaring God’s promises for healing. Jesus himself said in Mark 16:18 ‘‘…they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” We need to understand and acknowledge Jesus’ willingness to heal every physical infirmity that we have. We only need to cultivate a climate of faith for our healing by asking God to remove our unbelief and laying aside every fear and doubt for it is not of God! You need to believe that it is a divine provision of the Father during Jesus Christ’ atonement on the Cross. It is finished, and By His stripes, we are healed!
Father, we come into your throne of grace and mercy through the name of your Son Jesus Christ. We acknowledge our fears and doubts, please forgive us from our unbelief. We thank you Jesus for this divine provision of salvation and healing for our spiritual and physical well-being. Now, I boldly declare healing upon my body from (Specify your disease) in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Amen!
LOVING HIM ALWAYS,
Ptr. JEFF QUEEN