A Thrill of Hope for the Helpless - Healing
The Hope of Healing still exists today.
And these signs shall follow those who believe...they shall lay hands on the sick and the sick shall recover. Mark 16:17-18
In one of his Messianic prophecies, the prophet Isaiah writes about the what the coming Messiah would bring to all people:
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening of our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5, NASB).
This Old Testament prophetic passage is often cited as the Messiah healing us of our sins. The New Testament disciple and writer Matthew in his defense that Jesus is this the fulfillment of this expected Messiah includes physical healing and deliverance from the demonic. Jesus, the Messiah, pays the full price for our freedom in his own body.
And when Jesus had come to Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in be with a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and began to wait on Him. And when evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill in order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, “HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES, AND CARRIED OUR DISEASES” [sic, caps original to text] (Matthew 8:14-17, NASB).
Jesus also directly shows his willingness to heal as seen in the healing of a leper. “And behold, a leper came to Him, and bowed down to him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ And stretching our His hand, He touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ And immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8: 2-3, NASB).
Not only did Jesus heal this leper, his coming and his good news included healing to many.
And Jesus was going about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. And news about Him went out into all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, taken with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them (Matthew 4: 23-24, NASB).
Jesus’s Gospel of healing has been left as a commission to the Church as seen in Acts 5:15-16, where people were drawn to the disciples because of healing “to such an extent they even carried the sick out into the streets, and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. And also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits; and they were all being healed.”
Each of us has sought healing from affliction or infirmity. God uses the gift of medical science to bring the hope of healing to many. And Jesus has commissioned his Church to offer that same hope for healing through the gifts of healing given to the Church through the price he paid in the sacrifice of his own body on the cross. Jesus also invites us to express the hope of his willingness to heal the sick by sending us into a broken and helpless world.
May the Hope of Healing be one of the gifts you give this Christmas.
Hope for the Helpless from Pastor Greg Haswell.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the promise that your disciples shall lay hands on the sick, and the sick will recover. Lord, use my hands as your own.