“If you will, you can make me clean.”
My home church is at the tail end of our chronological bible plan and just beginning the gospels in which Jesus does a lot of his miracles. It’s almost a shame to read through this material as fast as we do because it’s hard to let it all soak in. On the other hand, there is great benefit with having read the bible cover to cover many, many times. The only way to do that is to do it. You won’t be able to get to the bottom of every question, but you will begin to understand that King David is written about in several different places for different reasons.
As with much of the bible, the answer isn’t either/or but rather both. One simply must take time to both read the entire bible often AND read the bible in detail. The key is to take the time. Like any good habit, the hardest part is to begin. I really must take more time to relish in all the stories of Jesus healing. Can you imagine if he was here today? Think about it! Everywhere he went, he had crowds pushing in on him to heal the sick and cast out demons. They knew what he could do, and the flocked to see him.
But Jesus isn’t on earth anymore, and we no longer see healing like that. Oh, sure, from time to time people experience the miracle of healing. I certainly did with my alcoholism. But for the most part, there are no great healers anymore that haven’t been tainted with scandal. I’m getting off on a tangent, but many claim we are missing out of a great spiritual blessing by not pursuing the ministry of healing and point to scripture to support it. I get that, but here is one that confuses me:
Matthew 10:5-8 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.
Now, if we say that Jesus commanded us to heal the sick, then what about the rest of this? Why don’t faith healers raise the dead? It’s right there in scripture, next to the healing.
The fact is, it is a rare thing to be healed miraculously. It’s also a fact that nobody prays for the dead to be raised. Why don’t we? Because it doesn’t happen. When you think about it, healing is probably one of the LEAST answered of our prayers. Is that because we lack faith? Then we must have ZERO faith that God can raise the dead. See where I’m going with this?
Here’s my opinion. Our first reaction to cancer is to pray for complete healing. If that doesn’t work, we pray the doctors will be able to cure it – completely. Then we move on to extending life, and finally, to comfort on the deathbed. What’s our motive behind this prayer? Fear.
Is it any wonder that God seldom heals like we ask? Might there be other ways to glorify God than our fear-based petitions?
Could it also be that healing is really Jesus’ business? Yes, he still heals our physical illness. He still raises the dead from time to time. And he still casts out a few demons. And, yes, sometimes he does that when we pray. But it seems to me that miracles on a scale we see in the gospels will only be possible when Jesus is present.
I’m quite certain all our illnesses will be healed, all demons driven out, and death will be overturned when we see Jesus face to face. Of that, I have faith.
Father, I look forward to that day! Amen!
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers