In this episode, we tackle the controversial subject of healing. Does God still heal people? Do people have the gift of healing? We also talk about the recent court decision involving Planned Parenthood and David Daleiden. Our unreached people group is the Brahmin of India. Today’s Word finishes up chapter 4 in the book of John, the story of Jesus healing the royal official’s son.
Let’s talk about healing. I really don’t know what is more controversial – the gift of healing or the gift of tongues. They are both pretty far up the list. There are groups of people who believe that God doesn’t heal anyone miraculously anymore. There are groups that believe that he does, but it’s not the gift of healing, it’s just simply His will that someone was healed. There are also groups that believe that if you can just hold your nose in the right direction and say the magic words, God will heal everyone in your path. OK, that was a little bit of a stretch, but you get my drift.
Today we are simply going to see what the bible says on the subject. No one can argue that in the Bible, healing take place. From the Old Testament to the new, there is no question that God is in the healing business. We see God heal Abimilech in Genesis 20, the first healing recorded and then we see in Revelation that God heals the nations through the leaves on the Tree of Life. God’s character never changes.
Let’s look at one the Bible says:
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:1-5
Here we see that one of the “benefits” of the Lord is that he forgives sin (no one disputes this) and he heals all your diseases. This passage ties forgiveness and healing together. We have no problem believing in forgiveness in sins. Preachers preach on it every Sunday, but when it comes to healing (something much smaller than the forgiveness of sins) we struggle to believe.
Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:14-16.
These are New Testament instructions on what to do if someone you know is sick. It’s fairly simple and straightforward. I’m convinced that if you just read the Bible at face value, you will come away believing in miracles…believing in healing. So why do we struggle to believe? Because not everyone is healed. While God does heal people, he doesn’t heal everyone all the time. Why is that?
Let’s look at a story in the Bible. In Acts chapter 3, we see Peter and John going to the temple and they end up praying for a man who gets healed. A unique statement is put in this passage and it’s easy to miss. In verse 2, you see that the lame man was “set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful.” So, this lame man had been at the gate of the temple every day. Why is that important? Because Jesus went to the temple many times. And this man wasn’t healed. He possibly saw Jesus several times. He may have heard the stories or even saw someone healed, yet healing did not come to him. This man didn’t receive his healing until after Jesus had died and left the earth.
Sometimes people aren’t healed because it’s not God’s will at that time. Sometimes it’s because of sin. God knows what you need. And we must trust that He knows what’s best for us. In Romans, we see that God works all things (everything, even our sicknesses) for good. We also see that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).
Let’s move on. We’ve established that God heals people. The question now is do people possess the gift of healing? Pastor John Piper believes it’s for today and he explains that “some people are granted success more regularly in praying for healing than others.” He says that while God doesn’t guarantee that each church will have a certain amount of people with the gift of healing, he does believe that some people operate in this gifting.
If you don’t want to take his word for it, the Bible makes it clear that the gift of healing exists. 1 Cor 12:9 says when listing out the gifts of the Spirit, “to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit.” Elsewhere in the New Testament, Jesus commands his disciples to heal the sick.
Now I also think the gift of healing applies not only to people who are physically sick, but those who are mentally or emotionally sick as well. I think we see that throughout scripture, God is concerned with your overall well being. He’s not going to heal you from gout but let you drown in your depression. God’s desire is for you to be whole. This doesn’t mean you can’t struggle in areas from time to time, but I’ve seen people who’ve been set free from depression or anxiety or various other mental issues simply by people praying for them and God healing their mind.
Just like the other gifts mentioned in this passage, we should use them in a spirit of love. We shouldn’t seek them in a prideful way. We should seek to use them to build up the church. So next time we are going to talk about the gift of tongues and interpretation, so if you have any questions, be sure to shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer those questions.
Good News –
Unreached People Group –
Today’s Word – John 4:43-54
43 After the two days he left for Galilee. 44 (Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there.
46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”
50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living.52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed. 54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.