“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases …” (Psalm 103:2-3)
“…for I am the LORD, your healer.” (Exodus 15:26)
Healthcare is an ongoing crisis in our nation and our world. Ever-increasing costs are aggravating the problem of limited availability, particularly among the poor, and despite our wonderful advances in medical science, there are still many health problems we have been unable to cure.
The answer to this problem has a name: “Jehovah Rapha”, which translated from Hebrew means, “the Lord our healer”. God gave Himself this name because it describes His heart. God even inspired a song (psalm) that celebrates His desire to both forgive all our sins and heal all our diseases.
Yet the vast majority of Christian churches in America have no healing ministry, and there is very little outreach of divine healing to the lost. Why?
As Bible-believing Christians, we are called to be both hearers and doers of God’s Word. (James 1:22-25). In addition to God’s name as Healer and God’s song of healing, here is what scripture says about divine healing.
In the old covenant of law between God and the Hebrew people, divine healing was a promised benefit for God’s people if they obeyed His commandments. (Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 7:15) Our new covenant of grace with God through faith in Jesus Christ is superior to that old covenant, not inferior. (2 Corinthians 3:5-18)
Jesus reveals the Father because they are one. (John 10:30, 14:8) Jesus’ ministry on earth included preaching, teaching and healing. (Matthew 4:23-24) Anointed with the Holy Spirit, Christ went about healing all who were oppressed by the devil. (Acts 10:37-38) Then He assigned and equipped His disciples to do the same – first His inner circle of twelve apostles and then seventy- two other followers. (Matthew 10:1-8; Luke 10:1, 8)
Jesus forgave sins and healed diseases because both forgiveness and healing expressed His Kingdom authority. (Matthew 9: 2-6, 35) Likewise, His disciples were given authority to heal as an expression of God’s Kingdom coming near. (Luke 10:8) Just as there was no disease in the Garden of Eden and there is no disease in heaven, so there is no disease wherever the Kingdom of God is being rightfully and fully expressed. The keys (authority) of that Kingdom have now been given to us as we are sent to proclaim His Kingdom throughout the world. (Matthew 16:18-19, 24:14)
Jesus declared that “anyone who believes in” Him would do the same works that He did, and even greater works. (John 14:12) He sends us out into the world just like the Father sent Him. (John 20:21) This means we are sent out to express the same Kingdom He revealed, and we are given the same Holy Spirit to empower us. (John 20:22; Acts 1:8) As we fulfill this Great Commission, healing is one of the signs that should accompany us. (Mark 16:15-18)
Just as we are all called to witness but some are given a special spiritual gift of evangelism, so we are all called to bring healing but some are given special gifts of healings and miracles. (1 Corinthians 12:9-10) The apostle James told Christians who were sick to seek prayer from the elders because prayers of faith would heal them. (James 5:14-16) Are those ministries of healers and “elders” active in your church today?
Finally, look at the prophetic description of Christ’s suffering and death in Isaiah 53. We all celebrate the fact that Jesus bore our sins on the cross so we could have forgiveness. (v. 5, 11) But too many of us have failed to embrace the truth that by his stripes (some translations say “wounds” or “bruises”) we are healed! (v. 5)
Note here that some argue this healing is for our soul but not our bodies because the previous verse 4 says in most English translations that He bore our “griefs” and “sorrows”. But those Hebrew words used in verse 4 most commonly mean “disease” and “pain”. And in the midst of a description of Jesus’ healing ministry, Matthew 8:17 gives us the Gospel’s definitive translation: “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases”. It is clear Christ’s blood and death paid the price for our forgiveness of sin, and His pre-death suffering paid the price for our healing. Just as we receive forgiveness by faith, so we can receive healing by faith. (Matthew 9:22)
Finally, for those who still want to argue without any scriptural backing that the healing ministry of Jesus was for biblical times but not for today, I emphatically declare, “JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER!” (Hebrews 13:8) He healed in His natural body when He walked this earth, and He wants to heal through His corporate Body today.
If your child was sick and you had the power to heal, would you not heal your child? If you, who are not good, would do that, then how much more will our heavenly Father heal His children, if only they will ask? (Matthew 7:7-11)
The heart of our problem is unbelief. When Jesus went back to his hometown of Nazareth, He was unable to do many healings, or any miracles, because of their unbelief. (Mark 6:1-6) Jesus had never done healings or miracles in their presence before, so they concluded He just couldn’t do them. For most of the Church today, divine healing has not been taught, preached or experienced, and so just like Nazareth, we don’t believe today.
Use God’s Word to purge your unbelief! Become doers of God’s Word rather than your own limited intellect and experience. (Proverbs 4:20-22) Begin to ask so you can begin to receive. The Lord is our Healer!
God bless you, and God bless our community.