Jesus the Healer

Mk.6:53-56 – They made landfall at Gennesaret and anchored there. The moment they got out of the boat, everyone recognized that it was Jesus, the healer! So they ran throughout the region, telling the people, “Bring all the sick—even those too sick to walk and bring them on mats!” Wherever he went, in the countryside, villages, or towns, they placed the sick on mats in the streets or in public places and begged him, saying, “Just let us touch the tassel of your prayer shawl!” And all who touched him were instantly healed!

It’s far too easy to read a passage like this and just gloss over it. If you stop and really take notice some amazing things will jump out at you. First, Luke uses the phrase “those too sick to walk”. Being a medical doctor Luke’s words about healing carry a special weight about them. What kind of ailments could Luke be describing? Maybe some were crippled or paralyzed. Some may have been maimed, missing limbs. Others had diseases in their last stages. Could have been things like malaria, dysentery, or cholera that brought people to the place of total hopelessness. These sick folk had no hope until Hope Himself came to their region. The other phrase that caught my attention is that they brought them on mats. Can you imagine the scene? There were people carrying sick family or friends for miles to receive their healing touch. The sick and injured were placed on both sides of the street and would touch the tassel of His prayer shawl as many as had touched it were healed. Albert Barnes made an interesting comment speaking about the woman with the flow of blood touched Him. Check this out.

“Her faith, her strong confidence in Jesus, had been the means of her restoration. It was the power of Jesus that cured her; but that power would not have been exerted but in connexion with faith. So in the salvation of a sinner. No one is saved who does not believe; but faith is the instrument, and not the power, that saves.”

So faith becomes the vehicle that the power of God flows through. Jesus exercised faith as He ministered healing, the friends portrayed faith as they carried their sick friends to the Lord, and the sick released faith when they reached out to touch the Lord. So whether we are in need of healing or are longing to see others healed, the answer is always the same, get as close to Jesus as you can reach out and touch Him.

THE LIFTING OF THE BOWED DOWN

MERRY FRIDAY BY PARRIS-

“When all you can see is dark”

“And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” Luke 13:11

Some say Luke’s allusions to the story of the healing of the “daughter of Abraham” comes into the larger paradigm of the warfare between the seed of the woman and the seed of the Serpent. I would say this has played out throughout history.

But lets step into this scene in the synagogue, a place that is supposed to be safe and welcome for anyone. This woman unseen by so many, came bent together. . . . unable to unbend says Ellicott. Even Spurgeon goes into detail saying, “that she had lost all her natural brightness. They are perpetually bowed down, and though they recollect happier days the memory only serves to deepen their present gloom.” This poor woman was bowed towards herself and towards that which was depressing. She seemed to grow downwards; her life was stooping; she bent lower and lower, as the weight of years pressed upon her. Her looks were all earthward, nothing heavenly, nothing bright could come before her eyes; her views were narrowed to the dust, and to the grave.

This woman like so many of us was bound by Satan according to Jesus. We become tied up as if we were animals unable to see or feel love. What I love about this story is that Jesus was fully aware of her rights as being a daughter of Abraham. She being unable to even use her eyes to look up, nor her voice to ask, Jesus went to her to unloose her like he does with us today.

Spurgeon goes onto to say again, “I conceive that the Lord poured His life into her.” While the Pharisees mocked Jesus for healing on the sabbath. Jesus replied back, “ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham be loosed?” He also rebuked the pharisee because they took more care of their animals than this women.

All it takes is just one touch! Christ touches the woman and she becomes loosed, her back straightened and she got back her voice glorifying God. You too are a child of the father, who loves you and someone or should I say something has bound you up. Don’t let the “spirit” of this world keep you tied up. We can be loosed, we can raise the weary hands, lift the muted voice and declare to the world that our God lives!

WITHERED HAND HEALED

Mk.3:5 – Then looking around at everyone, Jesus was moved with indignation and grieved by the hardness of their hearts and said to the man, “Now stretch out your hand!” As he stretched out his hand, it was instantly healed!

The poor man in this story probably felt helpless, hopeless, and possibly a little cornered. He couldn’t hold down his old job (tradition says he was a plasterer) which always leads to other problems. Bills, strife, which leads to tension in the marriage and family, and all he got at the synagogue was a load of rules and obligations. Certainly this guy had heard of the miracles that Jesus was performing but there seemed to be tension in the air as the leaders of the synagogue were glaring at Jesus as if they were daring Him to do something. Jesus pressed through the resistance and brought total healing to this man. What a great example of how the love of God breaks through the barriers that preconceived religious ideas can build up. This man got a brand new life. Here are some interesting thoughts from the Passion Notes on this passage.

“This miracle is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. It contains valuable lessons for us today, for the hand symbolizes holding, giving, receiving, doing. It was his right hand (Luke 6:6), which brings the added significance of power (i.e., God’s right hand, Ex. 15:6), pleasure (Ps. 16:11), approval (Heb. 1:13), and righteousness (Ps. 48:10). A crippled right hand points to the lack of all these things. Human beings are helpless before God, crippled in all our works. But the power of Jesus heals our limitations and brokenness. Religion cannot heal us, but Jesus can.”

This man’s withered hand was a picture of how religion without power hinders and even binds us up. The healing brought freedom and the ability to operate again. He could hold his wife and children again, he could work and support his family again. Now that he was whole he could receive the reward and fruit of his labors. He could also begin to be a contributing member of his community. I wouldn’t be surprised if this plasterer by trade became one of the supporters of this carpenter from Nazareth.

When we see the end of this story we can begin to understand the anger that Jesus had. These men who where apparently serving God at the synagogue were actually blocking what the Lord wanted to do. If you feel that part of your life is “withered” and void of power its time to come to Jesus and stretch out your hand, just maybe a miracle is coming your way.

OF COURSE I WANT YOU TO BE HEALED

Mk.1:41 – Being deeply moved with tender compassion, Jesus reached out and touched the skin of the leper and told him, “Of course I want you to be healed—so now, be cleansed!”

Most people would take a major step back when they encountered a leper. The response was probably a combination of repulsion at the grossness of the disease and fear of being contaminated, if not physically, certainly spiritually. The Jewish society had zero contact with lepers and zero answers for their dilemma. In one sense leprosy was a long, slow, horrific death sentence. This was all different with Jesus. No foul appearance or odor could offend Him, no threat of contamination or uncleanness could effect Him. When He saw the leper and heard his pitiful cry for help He immediately responded, “Of course I want you to be healed—so now, be cleansed!”

The difference with the Lord was the compassion that was seated deep within His bosom. He was moved and directed by His love for hurting people. That’s why He had come among us in the first place. Without hesitation Jesus broke all of the accepted codes, He reached out and physically touched the leper. Instead of Jesus being contaminated the leper was cleansed. Here is how Mary Healy describes this compassion that empowered and motivated the Lord.

“Seeing the man’s wretched condition, Jesus was, “moved with compassion.” The Greek word means physically churned up or stirred with gut-wrenching emotion. It was deeply human reaction of the Son of God. Jesus never looked upon afflicted people with detachment or indifference, but always with the empathy that comes from knowing the human condition from within. We can imagine the love in his eyes as he replied, “I do will it. Be made clean.” Does he will to make a man whole, to undo the ravages of the fall? This is what he came for!”

Now, are you ready for the best news? The Lord knows what you are going through. He is not disgusted or afraid, but just like He was for the leper He is moved with compassion for you. Maybe you think your sin is so foul that there is no hope for you. That is the whole point of this story. No matter how dirty you feel Jesus has a plan of washing and healing you of your impurities and the ramifications of them. He is willing to heal you; just come to Him and bow down like the leper, Jesus will gladly touch you and raise you up from your affliction.

HE HEALS OUR DISEASES

Matt.8:16,17 – 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 sick,

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

Everywhere Jesus went while He was on earth He healed the sick. Obviously He hated sickness which is really the first throes of death that effects our mortal bodies. The work of Jesus on the cross will ultimately destroy sickness and disease for all time. In today’s verse Matthew quotes from Isaiah’s famous prophesy about the death of Christ on the cross and connects it to healing for our bodies. In this verse Matthew also connects Isaiah’s prophesy about healing to the healing ministry of Jesus on earth. The good news for us today is that Jesus hasn’t changed. He stills hates sickness and He is still healing the sick. Obviously, in this age we will all get old, wear out, and finally die. In the meantime He is still healing our mortal bodies just like He did when He was here on earth. One day we will see Him and all sickness will be done for all time. In the meantime He is still touching and healing the sick. Here is a quote from the Fire Bible on today’s verses.

“Through the life and sacrifice of his Son, Jesus, God provides freedom, restoration and other benefits that far exceed the pain, destruction and other consequences of humankind’s sin and rebellion against God. For sin, God provides forgiveness; for death, God provides resurrection and eternal life; and for sickness, God provides healing. For this reason, Jesus’ ministry while he was on earth focused on three areas: (a) teaching God’s Word, (b) preaching about the opportunity to turn from our own sinful way, entrust our lives to Christ and follow God’s plan (which deals with the sin problem) and the benefits of God’s kingdom (which restore the life purposes God intended for us) and (c) healing every kind of sickness and disease among the people.”

Directly or indirectly the sinfulness of man is connected to disease. That’s why Matthew said that Jesus carried our sicknesses and bore our infirmities. The same wounds that bring us forgiveness for sin bring healing for our bodies. If you are struggling with sin or sickness just look to the cross. He carried away our sins and by His wounds we are healed.

THE LAND OF THE LIVING

John 5:24 ¶ “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

The miracles of Jesus give us a glimpse into the eternal world. In John 5 Jesus healed a man who had apparently been lame for 38 years. His sickness had caused him to live a life of misery. I guess you could say he lived in the world of death. As Jesus began to share His word after the miracle something becomes amazingly clear, sickness is part of the curse of death on mankind. Jesus came to give us life. The lame man tasted the edge of the resurrection life in his miracle. This life was made very clear when Jesus conquered sickness and death once and for all at His resurrection. All of His followers will experience that resurrection at His coming. In Jesus’ ministry we see glimpses of His Resurrection power. Today, that power is being poured out on all the earth. Here is how Adam Clarke described the implications of this miracle in the words of Jesus.

“Death is the country where every Christ-less soul lives. The man who knows not God lives a dying life, or a living death; but he who believes in the Son of God passes over from the empire of death, to the empire of life. Reader! thou wast born in death: hast thou yet changed the place of thy natural residence? Remember that to live in sin is to live in death; and those who live and die thus shall die eternally.”

When we believe the Words of the Lord we are translated from the world of death into the world of life. We no longer live in the country that was so familiar to us in the past. The life of God has entered into us we and we have joined the land of the living. As you walk in this new life don’t be surprised if miracles and healings follow after you. This is just a confirmation that the new world has already begun. Sickness is only the results of death. Healing is a glimpse into Resurrection life. Today, as you read His word, listen carefully for His voice. His voice brings us into the land of the living.

STEP ON IN

John 5:2-4 – Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.

I love to see the collision of the natural world and the spiritual world. That’s what we see at the Pool of Bethesda. As rumor had it, sporadically an angel would stir the waters by the sheep gate and the first sick person who stepped in after this stirring would be healed. As a result, there was always a crowd of miserable people camped out by the pool. So in order to receive a miracle this way, you had to believe it (or you wouldn’t be there in the first place) and you had to be first in when the waters began to swirl. I’m sure there were many people in those days who didn’t believe in the angel water. Just like today, something is going on at that place on Airline Highway in New Orleans, but many wouldn’t dare be seen in those swirling Pentecostal waters. Nevertheless, the spiritual world is still invading and colliding with the natural world. Only those who believe it, wait on the Lord, and step on in, and are able to receive their miracle. Here is how Matthew Henry described the Pool of Bethesda.

“A miraculous limitation of the virtue as to the persons cured: He that first stepped in had the benefit; that is, he or they that stepped in immediately were cured, not those that lingered and came in afterwards. This teaches us to observe and improve our opportunities, and to look about us, that we slip not a season which may never return. The angel stirred the waters, but left the diseased to themselves to get in. God has put virtue into the scriptures and ordinances, for he would have healed us; but, if we do not make a due improvement of them, it is our own fault, we would not be healed.”

Today, the Spirit of God is being poured out continually, we don’t have to wait on an angel. Jesus is standing by the pool, the gathering of His believers, asking the age old question, “Do you want to be made whole?” If so, just step on in and leave the rest to the Lord.

THE SPIRIT WHO HEALS

Lk.6:19 – And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.

The healing power of Jesus reminds me of one of the last Old Testament prophecies, Mal.4:2 – “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;”

The healing rays of His anointing are like the rays of the sun, they are everywhere and effect everyone. During His earthly ministry His anointing flowed out from Him and healed all who came to Him. Today His power hasn’t diminished, if anything it is increasing. This anointing shines out from Him like the beams of the sun touching and healing all who come in faith. Here is a powerful statement from a Catholic charismatic, Raniero Cantalamessa, on the healing power of His anointing.

“This power, which is the Holy Spirit, still now comes out of Jesus. Now that He is resurrected and is “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness”, that power comes forth from Him even more truly and more powerfully, if we can say that, than when He walked the earth. This power heals everybody. This is the decisive point we need to understand and to believe right now. We should say, as Jesus did in the synagogue at Nazareth, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled!”. The Holy Spirit does not have problems with numbers. A human doctor in front of a crowd of people with many and varied ailments would throw up his arms and say he was unable to heal everybody. But not the Holy Spirit. Just as the sun can bring light to one person or to a billion people, so too the Holy Spirit can do the same in the spiritual realm.”

Do you believe this is true? The healing power of the Holy Spirit is unlimited. He is everywhere and moving in the power of healing to all who come to Him in faith. He is literally being poured out on all mankind in these last days. Are you in need of a healing miracle? Step into His anointing. If you are having trouble receiving get into an atmosphere where His Spirit is welcomed and moving. Allow believers to pray for you. You too can experience the healing power of His anointing.

JESUS HEALS

Matt.8:3 – And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

 

The healing power of Jesus is just as real today as it was the day the leper reached out to the Lord. Leprosy had taken away this man’s money, his family, and his hope. If something didn’t happen soon it would take his life. Maybe he had heard about the miracles of Jesus. He concluded Jesus had the power to heal, the only nagging question; would he heal him? Any fear of rejection gave way to his desperation. Sometimes desperation comes really close to faith. He bowed down in worship before the Lord, “I know you can, I’m just not sure you will heal me”. That was it, Jesus reached out his hand and his skin was cleansed. The leprosy was gone. Maybe you have questions today, “He did it for others, would He do it for me?” Why don’t you ask Him for yourself, He may just give you an answer. Here is how Spurgeon describes this scene.

 

 

“Anyone else would have been defiled by touching a leper; but the healing power in Jesus repelled pollution. He touches us by the finger of his humanity, but he is not thereby defiled. His touch proves his condescension, his sympathy, his fellowship. It was no accidental touch: “Jesus put forth his hand. ” Our Lord has come to us by his own act and effort: he was determined to come to us in all our loathsomeness and pollution. After the touch came the word: “I will. ” One has well observed that Jesus never says, “I will not.” He wills, whether ether we will or not. “Be thou clean ” was the royal word of one conscious of abundant power.

What a work, to cleanse a leper! Yet it is easy enough to our King, seeing he is divine: else unbelief would be most reasonable.

With what pleasure Jesus spake! With what joy the leper heard! With what curiosity the bystanders looked on! They had not to wait: the miracle followed the word without a moment’s delay. The cure was instantaneous.”

 

 

It’s one thing to believe miracles happened somewhere else and in some other place. The shocking good news, He is here now and His miracle power hasn’t diminished. Today He just might be reaching out His hand to you.

WHO TOUCHED ME ?

neonbrand-443040.jpg

Mark 5:30 And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”

Miracles seemed to be in the air when Jesus came to town. Many times the people would line the streets with the injured and diseased when Jesus came through their town or village. Many would just touch the edge of His robe and experience the miracle power of the Lord. The blind, the deaf and mute, the paralyzed, and the lepers were healed by coming into contact with Jesus. Today, the same power is available through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The anointing that was on Jesus in His earthly ministry is now on His followers. Staying filled with the Spirit is critical if we want to see God’s miracle power heal the hurting in our world today. Here are some thoughts from the Fire Bible on the availability of the power of God.

“The Gospels often speak of the sick touching Jesus or of Jesus touching the sick. It was the contact and presence of Jesus that mattered. Because of his intimate relationship with God his Father and his complete dependence on the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ entire being was saturated with God’s miraculous power. This power is available to heal us because Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses and is our source of life and grace. Our responsibility in receiving healing is simply to stay in a close relationship with Christ, to ask him to meet our needs and to rely on him to do what is best for us. The same power that Jesus showed is also available to work miracles through his followers. As long as we remain in a deep personal relationship with God and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, we too can be used by God to bring physical healing to suffering individuals.”

I love this story and especially love what Jesus said to the woman after she was healed. He told her that more than physical healing had happened that day. The impartation she received when she touched Jesus had made her whole. Not only can we be healed by the power of God but we can receive spiritual wholeness by just one touch. Go ahead and reach out to him, just one touch of His glory and you will never be the same.