Jesus, the Great Physician
Whenever people came to Jesus to be healed, Jesus healed them. And He taught His disciples to follow in His footsteps and go about healing the sick also. (Mark 16:18: Luke 9:1,2 and 6: Luke 10:8-9: and John 14:12) Jesus was and is the Great Physician. Jesus not only cares for lost souls but He cares for broken bodies. Much of His time on earth was spent healing the sick and those with physical problems. These following scriptures are just a few of many that tell some of the story of Jesus’ healing ministry while He was on earth.
“People brought to Jesus all who were ill with various diseases, or demon-possessed, those having seizures and the paralyzed, and Jesus healed them all.”(Matthew 4:24)
“When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to Jesus, and He drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick persons.” (Matthew 8:16)
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed all of their sick.” (Matthew 14:14)
“Great crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet: and He healed them all.” (Matthew 15:30)
Everywhere Jesus went the crowds followed as He healed people and taught them about God. His fame spread throughout the land of Israel. One of the reasons the religious leaders wanted to have Him put to death was because so many Israelites believed in Him as their Messiah and Savior. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the Pharisees were especially upset. They wanted to keep their religious power and influence over the people, but Jesus’ healings and miracles were causing too many people to ask questions. Could He be the Messiah that God had promised Israel?
When we look at Jesus’ healing ministry we see that healing is also God the Father’s will. The Bible tells us that Jesus was the perfect expression of the Father’s will. (John 1:18) Jesus often said: “I have come to do your will, Oh God.” (Hebrews 10:8)
Scripture tells us that it is God’s will to heal the sick. Healing is God’s nature. One of the names for God in the Old Testament is “Jehovah Rapha” (Exodus 15:26) which is translated: “I am the Lord, who heals you.” God the Father is a God who restores and saves and binds up and strengthens and heals. (Isaiah 61:1, Malakai 4:2)
But many churches today are afraid to pray for healing for the sick. Praying for the sick can move a church out of its comfort zone. But God is calling us to step into the waters and pray for the sick. Healing was not just for the time when Jesus was on earth in His physical body. Scripture says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Christ is still healing today through us. So, we are to carry on Christ’s healing ministry today and be His hands and feet.
For healing to happen when we pray, we must be empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not minister healing until the power of the Holy Spirit came upon Him. And He told His followers not to begin their healing ministry until they were “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49) Healing comes through a release of power of the Holy Spirit. If you are filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit that power to heal is within you. And if you do not have the fulness or baptism of the Holy Spirit you can ask God for this and He will give it to you. (Luke 11:5-13)
The other thing we need to follow Christ in the healing ministry is faith. Scripture tells us that faith releases the Holy Spirit’s anointing to move and work in a situation. Many times, when people received their healing Jesus would say: “Your faith has made you well.” (Matthew 9:22, Mark 5:34, Luke 8:48) Scripture says: “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrews 11:6) If you want more faith – the faith to move mountains- you can pray to our heavenly Father and ask Him for more faith and He will give you more.
Unbelief can put out the fire of the anointing of the Holy Spirit so that healing cannot operate. When Jesus visited Nazareth, his hometown, there was such an atmosphere of unbelief in that town that He could not heal many or perform many miracles. (Mark 6:5-6) When the general attitude towards divine healing was unbelief, even Jesus could not heal! Today Christians in many churches are taught not to trust God for healing. Not to expect miracles. And then we don’t have divine healings and miracles and we never know what we are missing! Let’s not just have sound doctrine and never get to experience the power of the Spirit!
There are some misconceptions concerning divine healing. Some people think that if the healing is from God that it will be instantaneous. The Bible shows that healing is not always immediate. Jesus says that His disciples “will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” (Mark 16:18) Often the power of the sickness is broken and recovery begins at a natural process. And sometimes healing is partial and may come in stages, needing more prayer.
Another misconception is that healing is always permanent. If the sickness is caused by something the sick person is doing, then if he or she continues this behavior the sickness may return. Jesus warns a man that He had healed to: “Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (Matthew 12:45) Jesus healed a man suffering from demonic oppression and then warned that he could experience a return of the problem if he continued sinning. Also, we must remember that all the people that Jesus healed eventually died. Sometimes God heals by taking the sick person home to heaven. All of us will die some day and then we will be permanently healed in heaven when our mortal (dying) bodies will put on immortality (will never die).
Another misconception some have is that if a priest or pastor lays hands on a sick person and prays for God’s healing that the sick person should not go to a doctor. Seeking medical help might show a lack of faith in God’s healing. But a belief that God will heal does not rule out receiving medical treatment as well as receiving prayer. Jesus said that the sick need to see a doctor. (Luke 5:31) When we are sick we are to do our part and go to a doctor and let God do His part and bring healing after we ask other Christians to pray for us.
Jesus said “You have not because you ask not. Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full.” (john 16:24) What are we waiting for?
Many thoughts in this blog were taken from Robert Heider’s book, “Experiencing the Spirit”