Everyone is familiar with healing. As a child, when you fell down and skinned your knee, in a few days after the scab formed, you peeled it off and fresh, new skin was underneath. A little reddened and a little tender, but brand new skin nonetheless. However, when a healing occurs right away, when a sickness or an injury that would normally take weeks to mend or may not fully recover at all is suddenly healed, that is a miracle. The Key Verse tells us where the power for that healing comes from. It comes from God, our Father in Heaven.
God, the source of all Spirit, pours out His Holy Spirit to Christ, through Whom we receive it. Just as we receive God’s Holy Spirit to unite with our spirit to become a new person in Christ, the Spirit of healing comes to certain ones the same way. The Spirit of healing comes through Christ, our Great Physician, (Mark 2:17). and empowers those He chooses to possess it with the gift to heal. It is described, in Matthew 10:1, how Jesus called His twelve disciples and gave them power to heal sickness and all manner of disease and again in Mark 3:14-15, how He ordained the twelve to preach and to have the power to heal sicknesses. In these passages, it is shown that the power to heal comes directly from Christ the same way as we receive His Spirit. All of the gifts come through God’s Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8-11) including the Spirit of the gift of healing. In Luke 5:17, an event is taking place with a great crowd listening to Jesus teach. While this occasion was going on, the Scripture points out that “the power of the Lord was present to heal them.” The word “power” comes from the Greek word dunamis from which our word dynamic is derived. This power or “dynamic force” is the Spirit of healing. The individual who receives this Spirit of healing can heal in a miraculous way. Today that gift appears to be very rare.
James explains a course of action that the church can take to achieve healing (James 5:14-16). Three important elements of this healing effort are love, prayers, and faith. Not only is it indicated that the one healed is forgiven, but the members of the congregation should acknowledge their mistakes to one another and pray together for forgiveness. For the power of healing to abide in a church, the members of that congregation must be in harmonious concert with each other. This comes when they put aside petty matters of contentiousness and fellowship in a forgiving spirit of love. With this atmosphere of love, faith, and “effectual fervent prayer” the promise is given that much will be accomplished.
The anointing by the elders is a form of healing by touch. Jesus healed with His touch. When He went to Peter’s house and saw Peter’s mother-in-law sick with fever, He touched her hand and she was immediately healed and the fever left her. She recovered sufficiently to be able to get up and perform the duties of hostess to her Distinguished Visitor (Matthew 8). He healed a leper by touching him (Luke 5). Paul healed by the laying on of hands (Acts 28). Sometimes the one healed did the touching. A woman who had suffered with an issue of blood for twelve years touched His garment and was healed. Healing must expend energy, because Jesus felt virtue (dunamis, i.e. force) leave Him (Mark 5:25-30). The healing of the woman had to be accomplished by this healing energy, imparted from Jesus to her the same way as His Holy Spirit is imparted to us to dwell in us.
Sometimes healing occurs without touching. Jesus could heal without being in the presence of the one being healed. As He entered Capernaum a Roman centurion approached Him, earnestly pleading for Him to heal a sick servant (Matthew 8). Jesus agreed to go to his house and heal the servant, but the centurion, being an humble man, deferred, saying, “speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Here we have the three essential elements for healing: the centurion’s love for his servant, his faith at which Jesus was amazed, and the face to face request made to Jesus which is by far the best kind of prayer. When we pray, although He cannot be seen, we are face to face with Jesus. From where He stood at that moment, Jesus healed the servant that same hour, without touching him.
During his ministry in Lystra, Paul saw a man crippled from birth, unable to walk (Acts 14). As Paul preached, he noticed the attentiveness of the man and perceived that he had faith. Looking intently at the man, Paul said with a loud voice, “Stand upright on thy feet.” The man leaped up and immediately walked. Again, the three elements of healing: Paul’s love for the man demonstrated by his unsolicited act of healing, the faith Paul discerned in the man, and who could doubt the hope and desire of the man to walk, merging into his heart as a prayer? Paul, not being the source of the healing power, also prayed when he told the man to stand up.
In the examples above, the healing occurred immediately. The servant, Peter’s mother-in-law, and the crippled man were all cured right away and went ahead with the tasks of everyday living. Some may doubt that such is the case. Perhaps deep faith in the validity of God’s Word is lacking. Chapter 12 of Matthew gives an example whereby the speed of the healing cannot be denied. While in the synagogue, Jesus healed a withered hand. If the only action seen by the Pharisees had been Jesus speaking, they would have had no cause to object. However, when they saw the hand immediately restored, they knew that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath.
There will be occasions when the healing will not take place right away. King Hezekiah was terminally ill and was informed by Isaiah to set his affairs in order for he was going to die (2 Kings 20). The king turned his face to the wall, prayed and wept, reminding God of his obedience, good works, and respect for God’s truth. Hezekiah’s love for God was demonstrated through his obedience, his faith was shown through his good works, and now his prayer caused God to relent and grant him fifteen more years of life. Apparently the healing was not immediate. A medication of compressed figs was applied to the inflammation and after three days Hezekiah was well enough to go to the temple.
Today, a prayer for healing isn’t always answered right away. Our culture has moved too far from God to be worthy of such immediate attention. However, the remnant church (The remnant church, according to Revelation 12:17, are those who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.) has the knowledge of what is required and can experience miraculous healing. Sometimes the miracle is obvious because of the healing of a serious sickness from which one would not have normally recovered. Sometimes the speed of recuperation reveals the divine nature of the healing. Other times the healing proceeds at a normal pace but the pain and suffering are minimal and this, too, is a divine blessing of healing. The miracle isn’t always in the shortness of the healing time, it is in the superior results of the mending.
The sin of man is repulsive to God and He doesn’t want to be around it. In order to heal, the Spirit of healing must be present. When God’s Spirit is present, God is present. When a nation of people are disobedient or proud and exalt themselves above God, He will turn away from them and leave them to their own waywardness. Jesus is not going to take people by the hand and force them to do what is right. If righteousness is not found in them, He will withhold healing (Matthew 13:15). He spoke in parables because He wants conversion to be real, not an exercise in temporary emotion. With study, prayer, and obedience to His will, the miracle of healing may become a normal daily event.
FOR FURTHER STUDY:
Numbers 12:1-15 Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days.
2 Kings 20:1-5 Hezekiah healed on the third day.
Psalm 103:3 He forgives sins and heals.
Malachi 4:2 For you who fear my name the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings.
Matthew 8:5-13 Jesus enters Capernaum and meets a centurion.
Matthew 8:14-15 Jesus visits Peter's house and heals his wife's mother.
Matthew 12:9-14 Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?
Luke 5:13 Jesus heals a leper by touching him.
Luke 6:19 The multitude touched Him and virtue went out of Him and healed them all.
Luke 13:14 The ruler of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath.
Acts 14:8-10 Paul heals a man at Lystra.
Acts 28:8 Paul prayed and laid hands on him and healed him.
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