Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The business of healing

While reading through the New Testament it is hard to miss the miracles of divine healing. Unless you cut out every story of the blind being restored to health, paralyzed made to walk again, mute given voice and even dead being raised, you will read that Jesus Christ was in the business of healing people.
Every manner and type of affliction was no match for Jesus' power. He cast out demons with the simple word "go" and they fled to the swine in Matthew chapter 8. With the words "be clean" He healed a leper. Jesus simply spoke the words and the healing occurred.
How could it be that straightforward? If it is that easy why aren't we all healed from our sickness, ailments, aches and pains? If Jesus CAN heal us, then why won't He?
In reading through the many stories of the sick and suffering who found relief in Jesus there is a common thread that is key to understanding Jesus' power to heal. Each man or woman who received healing believed they would be healed. They believed that Jesus had the power to make their bodies new again and restore them to health.
Matthew 8:5-13 shows the unwavering faith of those that came to Jesus in search of healing.
"When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 'Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.' And he said to him, 'I will come and heal him.'  But the centurion replied, 'Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, "Go," and he goes, and to another, "Come," and he comes, and to my servant,"Do this," and he does it.' When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, 'Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' And to the centurion Jesus said, 'Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.' And the servant was healed at that very moment."
Jesus didn't need a special ritual to be performed. He didn't need to know the man's health history or symptoms. Jesus didn't even need to see the man lying sick and paralyzed! All He needed was the faith of the believer. The centurion believed that Jesus had the power to heal his servant and further, He believed that Jesus was going to use that power. His faith was sure and strong. 
This passage of scripture is a perfect example of the power of faith in Jesus and the pleasure it brings God when we claim that faith with unwavering assurance. Jesus thought so much of this man's faith that the Bible actually says he marveled at it. What a beautiful picture for the believer. Our faith can bring God pleasure. Jesus marvels at the faith of His steadfast followers who put their entire trust and assurance in Him, believing without a shadow of a doubt that He is mighty enough to save their souls and their bodies.
Healing didn't end when the New Testament closed with Revelation 22. Healing is still available to us today through the power of the Holy Spirit who Jesus left in His place. In John 14 Jesus promised that He would leave us with the Holy Spirit as our Helper. God actually sends us the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name. The power that Jesus displayed through His earthly ministry is now available to each and every one of us by the power of the Spirit which can live and dwell inside of us. Our role is to believe in the Spirit's power and invite it into our heart's to reign.
Every person healed by Jesus believed that Jesus had the power to heal them. Their faith was so strong and so sure that they knew the words of Christ could bring restoration to their physical bodies. Do we still believe in that power today? Are we living in the light of Jesus' power available to us in the Holy Spirit?
There is victory in Jesus Christ. He has the healing power to restore our souls to a right relationship with Him and He has the power to restore our bodies to health. His timing is not always our own timing and satan wants us to lose our faith while we wait. He wants to us to stop believing that Jesus can and will heal. Satan wants to break our faith.
But Jesus marvels at His followers when their faith cannot be shaken.
Jesus Christ is still in the business of healing. He can and will use the Holy Spirit to do that work in us. First, we must believe; putting our faith in the power of Jesus Christ who is as alive and mighty today as He was in the days of the centurion believer.

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