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Spirit of Grace Ministries
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Jesus Our Healer

Jesus our Healer

by Dennis Pollock

Jesus healed people – a lot! When you read through the gospels you cannot help but be astounded by the sheer number of healings and the dramatic nature of those healings. It seems like you can hardly read a page or two without reading of Jesus healing someone. Clearly healing was part and parcel of our Lord's dramatic and amazing ministry, as He walked the dusty streets of Israel. Matthew put it this way: "Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people" (Matthew 9:35).

This is no small thing. In attempting to gain an accurate understanding of the Savior, we cannot overlook the healing aspect of His life and ministry. Jesus was a Healer! He was a lot more than that of course. He was a Teacher, He was a Prophet, He was an Evangelist, and He was a Shepherd. He was and is the Savior, our Mighty King, and the Word made flesh. But without question He was also a Healer. And what a Healer! His record was perfect. He never met a case too difficult. He never had to turn someone away, telling them, "I'm sorry but I really cannot help you." Nor, on the many occasions in which people came to Him for help, did He ever say, "It is not My will to heal you," or "God does not want you healed."

Once the news got out that Jesus, the Galilean, was performing healings and miracles wholesale, the sick came to him singly, they came in groups, and sometimes in huge masses. In the gospels we read again and again of the gracious healing heart of our Lord:

  1. … 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. (Matthew 4:24)
  2. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. (Matthew 12:15)
  3. When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. (Luke 4:40)
  4. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all. (Luke 6:19)

Those Who Came

If you believe the gospel accounts at all, you must conclude that the Lord Jesus was very much pro-healing and anti-sickness. And when you consider the huge numbers of people that were healed through His ministry, it becomes abundantly clear that these folks were not healed because of their own holiness or moral superiority. The ones who came to Jesus were ordinary people: shopkeepers, farmers, housewives, seamstresses, and carpenters. They worked and sweated and argued and worried and complained and did all the things that ordinary men and women have been doing from time immemorial. They were not plaster saints; they were not great Bible scholars; they were not deep-thinking theologians. They were for the most part simple folks who had great need and recognized that Jesus was the answer to that need. And they were not disappointed! They left Jesus and went back home completely healed, their physical ailments no longer troubling them. This happened again and again, day after day throughout the time of the brief but spectacular ministry of the Messiah of Israel, Jesus of Nazareth.

There is a great lesson for us in considering the ordinary nature of the people Jesus healed. Satan has gotten great mileage out of a major argument he uses against sick believers to drain them of faith and keep them in the morass of hopelessness. It is the thought: “I am so flawed, so ordinary, and so far from “sainthood” there is no chance Christ would have the slightest inclination to heal me." But when you recognize just how ordinary these Israelites were who came to Jesus during His time on earth, you come to see that ordinary, flawed people are just the type of folks Jesus considers His specialty.

Most of His “healees” were not the nobles, or the great political leaders, or Biblical scholars. They were people just like you and me! Absolute perfection or great Biblical knowledge are not required as prerequisites to your healing. All that is necessary is a knowledge that Jesus is the source of healing, and a little bit of faith to go with it. This is all the people of Israel had as they approached Jesus, and none of them left disappointed. His record, as seen in the gospels, was perfect. Exactly 100 percent of those who came to Jesus for healing were healed - not half, not most, but all. Some of the most wonderful words we read in the New Testament are these: “And He healed them all.”

Jesus' Perspective

Jesus heals the lameNot only do we have the testimony of the actual healings that Jesus performed to convince us of His healing nature; Jesus' words also reveal His attitude about sickness and health. Jesus could have avoided a lot of trouble and controversy in His life if only He had stayed away from healing on the Sabbath. He could have perhaps doubled up on the healings the day before and taken it easy on the Sabbath day. This wouldn’t have given Him a free pass with the Pharisees and Jewish leaders, but it would have taken a lot of ammunition out of their hands. But this Jesus would not do. Once a synagogue leader tried to rebuke Jesus indirectly by telling the people that they should not be coming to Him on the Sabbath. There were six days of the week in which they could come and be healed, so leave Him alone on the Sabbath.

Jesus wasn’t about to allow that to pass, and said to the man: “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?" Elsewhere Jesus defended His practice of healing on the Sabbath by saying, "It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath" (Mark 12:12). Jesus considered healing a very good thing; something so good there should never be boundaries set around it, even for the Sabbath’s sake. Doing good was what He was all about and He wasn’t about to pass up an opportunity when He saw one. In the book of Acts we read: “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38).

And just as Jesus considered health and healing a good thing, He considered sickness a very bad thing. He liked to compare sickness to animals that had fallen into a pit. No reasonable man would leave his sheep trapped in a deep pit — even on the Sabbath.  As a faithful Shepherd, Jesus was pulling sheep out of pits left and right as He went about doing good and healing the sick.

Let us imagine that you were living in Israel during the days of Jesus. Let us further suppose that you were dying of some sickness which was making you progressively weaker day by day. The doctors have told you that they can do nothing further. Your condition is beyond their power to cure. But now you have heard that Jesus of Nazareth is coming through your town. He will be walking right down the main street and spending the evening with a friend, before proceeding on His way. What would you do? If you knew anything about His healing ministry, you know what you would do. You would clear your schedule of everything you might have planned for that day, and you would be the first in line at the head of Main Street to see Jesus as He entered your town. And when you saw Him you would shout at the top of your lungs to get His attention, and let Him know exactly what you wanted: “Jesus, please heal me!”

And what do you suppose He would do? If you are familiar with the gospels you know exactly what the outcome would be. You would not turn out to be the one exception to Jesus’ perfect 100 percent healing record. You, too would be healed, not because you are so incredibly righteous or so smart or such a great Bible scholar, but because Jesus is so good - and because healing is what He does.

Today

We have been talking about the healings Jesus performed 2,000 years ago, because they are from the inspired accounts of His life and ministry. But what about today? Can we expect Him to still be a healer today? There is no evidence that His healing ministry stopped when He ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. In fact just the opposite. When we read the history of the early church, we find that healings were nearly as prominent in the church then as they were in the ministry of Jesus. In the book of Acts we find two particular individuals are highlighted. First is the apostle Peter and later the apostle Paul. Both had incredibly effective healing ministries. We are told that people used to bring the sick to Peter, hoping that they could at least get within the distance of his shadow. Paul was so anointed that the Bible says “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them" (Acts 19:11,12).

When Peter was ministering healing to a lame man named Aeneas, he told him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you” (Acts 9:34). Peter wanted to make sure this man knew that the healing he would experience was a continuation of Jesus' healing ministry. Jesus may now be ascended to heaven, but His healing ministry is still at work in the earth through the Holy Spirit and by the hands of His followers. Jesus Himself had predicted this would be the case, declaring that one of the signs that would mark believers is that "they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (Mark 16:18).

The Same Jesus

I am convinced that the reason many Christians have such a difficult time trusting Jesus as their healer is that they are not convinced that the Jesus who is in heaven is the same Jesus we read about in the gospels. Somehow He must have changed when He left this world and rejoined His Father. He isn't nearly as accessible today, not as responsive, not as empathetic as He was while on this earth. He must have had a bit of a personality change when He entered the heavenly realm.

But the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. One of the things that qualifies Jesus to be our great High Priest is His humanity, and the fact that He knows and cares about all that we endure. In other words, Jesus is still accessible, still empathetic, and still just as responsive today as He was 2,000 years ago. The Bible says: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15). The passing years have not changed Him, His heavenly location has not changed Him, and the fact that we may live in Detroit, Michigan or Montgomery, Alabama rather than Capernaum or Jerusalem makes no difference to Him.

There are always those nagging questions such as, "Why did my loved one die so young when I prayed fervently and tried to believe God as best as I knew how?" Or: "Why have I been praying and believing for a particular healing for years, and still see no results?" Those are questions only God can resolve, and it would be presumptuous and arrogant for us to pretend we know the answer or to suggest that one simply needs more faith. Specific cases like these are beyond the scope of our puny human understanding, and we do no good when we attempt to unravel their mystery.

One thing we can say for sure, however. The records are unequivocal. Healing and Jesus Christ will be forever linked together. The Jesus written about by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is a healing Savior. Do not hesitate to come to Him with your sicknesses and physical afflictions.

Healing is His business. That's who He is. That's what He does.

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