We are going to begin a series of posts which will focus on the healing ministry of Jesus. A person cannot go through the Gospel account recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s Gospels without reading accounts of the great miracles that occurred in Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
I believe that it is important for Christians to be familiar with Jesus’ ministry while He walked on the earth. The author of Hebrews tells us that He is the same “yesterday, today, and forever”. If He is unchanging then it would be reasonable to expect that the things He did while walking the earth would be what He desires to do through His Church today.
Many people spend countless hours arguing about whether or not Jesus still heals today. I do not want to be one of those and am not trying to create an argument. My goal in these posts is to simply show what I have found in Scripture so that my readers will be able to make an educated choice of what to believe.
Let’s start with a few question that each of us should consider as we study Jesus’ ministry together:
- If Jesus spent a large portion of His time ministering healing wouldn’t it make sense for Christians to do the same today?
When I was in Bible college there were professors that would get mad at me for asking them to provide Scripture to back up some things they taught. In many classes we were required to quote at least three commentaries in our papers but only a few of my professors required us to quote actual Scripture.
I once heard a minister say, “Stop focusing on people’s habits and take them to Jesus. If He can’t take away their want to, neither can you.”
My goal in these posts is strangely not to convince anyone that Jesus still heals today or that He does not. Instead, it is to examine the Scriptures to find out what they say. It seems logical to think that if we see an emphasis on healing in the Bible that this would be an area of high importance to God don’t you think?
I have heard people argue that times have changed and miracles are not needed like they were when Jesus walked the earth. Maybe the pandemic that has recently swept the globe could change their minds? It seems that we need the miraculous power of God just as much today as the people Jesus ministered to. Times have changed but people are still suffering as much as they did in the Roman era.
The following assumptions will be made to guide us in our examination of the Gospel account:
- God has not changed.
- The devil has not changed.
- Human needs have not changed.
- The Word of God has not changed.
There is a lot of information in the Gospels so we will try and focus our study on the individual accounts of healing. There are approximately nineteen specific individuals who have their healings discussed in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It may seem like there are more because some of the accounts are recorded by more than one of the four authors.
We are going to focus in on individual accounts in these posts. There are many places where we are told that “many were healed” or “all were healed”. No details of what these people were suffering of how Jesus ministered to them is given.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Jesus has not changed since the days He walked the earth. He is still ministering to the sick today through His body, the Church. I believe that ministry has not changed and so there are lessons to be learned from the way He ministered.
My goal for our upcoming posts is to study and examine the individual healing accounts in Jesus’ ministry to learn how He ministered and also how the people received from His ministry. Many of us have struggled in the past with physical challenges in our bodies and it is my prayer that we will be able to learn how to overcome these.
We will see that faith was a common factor in the individual accounts. I have heard ministers talk about healing and miracles passing away because they are no longer needed. The question in my mind though is if this is true and people received their healing through faith in Jesus’ day, wouldn’t the argument extend to faith being passed away? I mean if these ministers believe healing and miracles are no longer needed then it would be reasonable that they would also believe faith is no longer needed, wouldn’t it?
Since salvation is received by faith and the Bible tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith, we know faith has not been done away with! God’s kingdom operates by faith and we receive all of His blessings by faith. Since He is unchanging it seems logical to myself that if people were able to receive healing through faith in Jesus’ day that they would be able to do the same today. Do you agree?
I told you that there are about nineteen individual cases of healing provided in the Gospel account recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is interesting that ten of these cases have a reference to the individuals faith. Several of the others infer that the individual being ministered used their faith.
There are a few cases in the nineteen accounts that we will examine where faith is not mentioned. The majority of the people healed under Jesus’ ministry used their own faith. We will see that their faith was a determining factor and this will be one of our assumptions for our study:
- Faith was a determining factor for individuals to receive healing during Jesus’ earthly ministry
- Jesus is the same “yesterday, today, and forever”
- Christians are called to walk by faith
- It is impossible to please God without faith
- Therefore faith must be a determining factor in people receiving healing today
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
Theses verses are a sample of ones we will look at in this series of posts. I believe that all ministry today is an extension of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus healed while walking on the earth and I believe that He is still healing today. My belief in His healing today is not enough though. Our faith must be built on Scripture and so I ask you to join me in the posts ahead. We will examine what the Bible says and pray for the Holy Spirit to open each of our understanding to its truths.
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