“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases.” Psalm 103:2-3
As a medical practitioner I am interested in helping people discover and recover their best health with consultations and programs that REALLY work. You will be so impressed with the simplicity of healing and how good you REALLY can feel through our Start a New YOU! and Cathedral of Health Programs. As we close out one year and look to another, perhaps you are asking “Can I really be healed?”
During Jesus’ sojourn on this earth, He did more healing than preaching. When He publicly announced His mission, He quoted from Isaiah and applied it to Himself (Luke 4:16-21; Isaiah 61:1-4):
“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.’ And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all of them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say unto them, ‘This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.’”
This passage incapsulates the keynote of Jesus’ life and mission. He came to preach the Good News of God’s love, to heal the brokenhearted, deliver the captives of the archenemy of our souls, and set us free from all the enemy’s deceptions, lies, and temptations. He came to restore proper spiritual perspective, and to restore in man the image and character of our Creator. When we look at Jesus’ ministry from this perspective, we see He made healing a priority.
If Jesus made healing the sick a priority, should healing the sick also be a priority for Jesus’ followers today? If Jesus did more healing than preaching, should not that same formula be seen today?
In the Old Testament, people were raised from the dead, people were healed, and many other miracles were done.
For example, in 2 Kings 4:8-37, a barren Shunammite woman is promised a son by prophet Elisha. As prophesied, she conceives and bore a son. The son becomes ill and dies. “Elisha came into the house; he saw the child lying dead on his bed. So, he went in and shut the door behind the two of them and prayed to the Lord… The child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes…”
In the New Testament, people were raised from the dead, people were healed, and many other miracles were done.
For example, in Luke 7:11-17, “As [Jesus] drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow… And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, 'Do not weep.' Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And He said, 'Young man, I say to you, arise.' And he that was dead sat up and began to speak."
God desires us to be in health (3 John 2) and God’s Word is Truth (Psalm 119:160; John 17:17). Not one of His promises shall fail (1 Kings 8:56). It is not a lack of power on the part of Christ that we do not see healing as a priority today, for God is faithful Who has promised these blessings. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and God does not change (Malachi 3:6).
The priority of healing was carried forth by the disciples. The report of the seventy that were sent out (see Luke 10) included powerful healing experiences. And so, it was also with the early church.
Why is healing not connected with the church today?
In 313 A.D., Constantine became ruler of the Roman Empire. He witnessed the persecution of the Christians, and it seems to him the martyrs’ blood only increased their number instead of destroying them. His philosophy was “if you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em.” And that is what he did. He called himself a Christian, restored the land that had been taken away from the Christians, and brought Christianity into favor with the world.
How did this affect Christendom? Constantine was what we would call today a “nominal Christian” and that nominal philosophy quickly pervaded the church leadership. Christianity became watered-down through compromise and lost its power. The focus became man-focused, resulting in the elevation of the leadership, versus God-focused and empowerment by the Holy Spirit for every Christian. The teachings became blurred, and the responsibility of a Christian became confused.
This may have happened a long time ago, but Christianity has never really come out of that watered-down, apostasy state. Neither do we see God’s people doing the same works as Jesus did, nor having the same results, at least not in the Western world.
In third world countries, we do see healing as part of the common work among God’s people. So why not so much in the Western World?
We find one explanation given by Jesus when the disciples were not able to heal. (Matthew 17:9-21, Mark 9:9-29, and Luke 9:37-45).
As Jesus descends the mount with His three disciples, the crowd comes running toward Him. With His quick eye of discernment Jesus reads the pervading perplexity of the crowd. The disciples appear troubled, disappointed, and humiliated. The crowd is anxious and bewildered.
While Jesus was in the mount, a father asked the disciples to heal his son who was possessed by a demon that was wreaking havoc in his life. The disciples had successfully cast out demons before. In the name of Christ, they commanded the torturing spirit to leave his victim, but the demon mocked them with a grand display of power.
What is going on here?
Jesus scans the crowd as He listens to the father; there was the awe-stricken multitude, the caviling scribes, the perplexed disciples, and the fearful father. Jesus reads the root of unbelief rippling through every heart of the assembled crowd. With great sorrow Jesus exclaims, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I suffer you?”
Jesus calls for the boy to be brought to Him. The enemy that had gained an advantage with the disciples now tries to do the same with Jesus. Again, the demon gives a fresh, violent demonstration of his power over the boy. The Prince of Life and the prince of darkness meet on the battlefield: Christ in fulfillment of His mission preaches deliverance to the captives (Luke 4:18), while satan seeks to hold his victim under his own destructive control.
The father exclaims, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.” If – even now the father falteringly questions the power of Christ.
Jesus replies, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.”
Jesus is not slack on power; greater is Christ who dwells in us, than satan who is in the world (1 John 4:4). The healing depends upon the father’s willingness to have faith in Jesus being able to do the impossible. Realizing his own weakness, the father casts himself upon Christ and with great sincerity of heart cries, “Lord, I believe; please help my unbelief.”
Now Jesus can work. Faith has paved the way. Jesus demands the demon leave. The boy is delivered and restored to perfect soundness of mind and body.
Faith is the connection between us and Heaven. It is faith that gives us strength for coping with the powers of darkness. In Christ, God has provided the means for subduing every sinful trait, resisting every temptation, however strong, and healing every disease according to His will.
Maybe it is time to take our eyes off self and look to Christ. He who healed the sick and cast out demons when He walked among men is the same mighty Redeemer today. John 6:37 encourages us to come to Jesus for He promises, “he that comes to Me I will in no wise cast away.”
So why could the disciples not cast out the demon?
Just before Jesus had gone to the mount, He told nine of His disciples to wait at the bottom of the hill, while he went with the other three disciples up the mount. The remaining nine allowed perplexity, sadness, doubt, and jealousy to overwhelm them. They were jealous of the three who were selected to go with Jesus to the mount. They dwelt upon their discouragements and personal grievances. This is a spirit contrary to the work of Christ. In this state of darkness, they had undertaken the sacred duty of Christ’s work. They entered a conflict with satan without the Spirit of Jesus.
Just before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He told His disciples, “The prince of the world (satan) comes, but he has nothing in me.” (John 14:30). When we approach the sacred work of Christ, it is necessary that we be completely covered with all the righteousness of Jesus and have not one cherished known sin clinging to us; emptied of self and filled up with Jesus to meet the enemy of souls and win. It is Jesus that gives us the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).
Jesus cuts right to the point as to why the disciples could not cast out the demon – unbelief. Their complaining shut them out from a deeper sympathy with Christ. They were more interested in elevating themselves than in elevating Christ and His Spirit. If men elevate men, where is the power? They are powerless.
And this was demonstrated when the disciples approached the sacred work with carelessness and a wrong spirit. The result was utter failure in the conflict with the powers of darkness.
To succeed in such a conflict with satan, they must come to the work in a different spirit. Jesus explained their faith must be strengthened by fervent prayer and fasting (see Isaiah 58 for the fast that is appropriate to God), and humiliation of heart. In other words, they must put self aside and look to Jesus, be emptied of self, and filled with the Spirit and Power of God. The Spirit will fill them with love and compassion for others and the work of Christ will no longer be just another job, but a joy and privilege to cooperate with the Divine.
“Earnest, persevering supplication to God in faith – faith that leads to entire dependence upon God, and unreserved consecration to His work – can alone avail to bring men the Holy Spirit’s aid in the battle against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and wicked spirits in high places.”
When we do this, we can lay hold upon God’s Word, and upon all the helpful agencies He has appointed, and our faith will strengthen; God will bring to our aid the power of heaven.
“Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:35-36).
Healing is available through cooperation with Jesus Christ our LORD! And that is Why He came to earth.
Would you like to learn more about God?
Join us Wednesday evenings at 5:30 pm CT at
Abundant Health Wellness Center, 240 Huntsville Rd., Eureka Springs, AR 72632
References:  White, E. G. The Desire of Ages, page 431