21st February 2015

Healing—Beyond Our Control?  Not Completely! 

He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.”
Isaiah 53:5 (MSG)

The above scripture is often used to ‘prove’ that Jesus Christ will heal us.  The word ‘healing’ in Hebrew and Greek can translate to both physical and spiritual healing.  In Matthew 8:16-18, the author says this was fulfilled by Jesus Christ, “That evening a lot of demon-afflicted people were brought to him. He relieved the inwardly tormented. He cured the bodily ill. He fulfilled Isaiah’s well-known sermon: He took our illnesses, He carried our diseases.” So Jesus Christ has already fulfilled this prophecy!

Throughout the gospels Jesus Christ healed many people. Mark 1:32-34 tells us “…they brought sick and evil-afflicted people to him, the whole city lined up at his door! He cured their sick bodies and tormented spirits.” But at some point it became overwhelming. We read later in chapter 3 verses 7-10, “Jesus went off with his disciples to the sea to get away. But a huge crowd from Galilee trailed after them—also from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, across the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon—swarms of people who had heard the reports and had come to see for themselves. He told his disciples to get a boat ready so he wouldn’t be trampled by the crowd. He had healed many people, and now everyone who had something wrong was pushing and shoving to get near and touch him.’

People came from far and wide to be healed, but did Jesus heal them all? No, He healed ‘many,’ but not all. Why? The answer is revealed in Mark 1:37-38, Simon said, “‘Everybody’s looking for you.’ Jesus said ‘Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also. This is why I’ve come.’” Jesus Christ came primarily to preach the good news of salvation for all.

In 1 Peter 2:24 we read, “He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way.  His wounds became your healing.”  The word ‘healing’ refers to making whole as well as free from sin, and bringing about one’s salvation, but the context is salvation.  There is no promise to physically heal us now.

So what can we do? We read in James 5:14-15, “Are you sick? Call the church leaders together to pray and anoint you with oil in the name of the Master. Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet.”  Philippians 4:6 says, “Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.” And Matthew 21:22 says, “Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.” In Christ’s prayer in Luke 22:42, he says “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” God could have saved Christ from a physical death, but He had a bigger picture … the salvation of mankind. Will our loved ones be healed? Not necessarily! 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “And how bold and free we then become in his presence, freely asking according to his will, sure that he’s listening. And if we’re confident that he’s listening, we know that what we’ve asked for is as good as ours.” Consistently we are pointed towards prayer—prayer according to God’s will—and prayer which has faith that God will do what’s best.

Independent scientific studies evidence that ‘Being prayed for improves physical recovery from acute illness.’ God hasn’t promised to heal us, but statistically prayer increases the likelihood of healing. So let’s petition God to heal, in faith and that His will be done.

Prayer
Father, we thank you for your gift of salvation for all. We ask that you heal our loved ones and those we don’t know, according to your will. We accept in faith that you have bespoke journeys for us all.
Amen
 

Study by Irene Tibbenham

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irenetibbenhamAbout the Author:
Irene Tibbenham is a deaconess in the Norwich Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Norwich
New Hope Christian Centre
Martineau Lane
NORWICH
NR1 2HX

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Tony Goudie
Phone: 01508 498165
Mobile: 07931 580409
Email:  tony_goudie@wcg.org.uk

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