What Does Jesus Teach About Healing
Roy Blizzard III © 2014
Text : John 5:5-10
5) A man was there, sick with a sickness for thirty eight years. 6) And Yeshua (Jesus) saw him lying there and knew well that his sickness was growing long for him. Yeshua said to him, “Would you take delight in being healed?” (because God takes delight in healing, and in being merciful, and on the Sabbath especially. This whole story is closely based upon Psalms 1 with imagery that is very similar) [Psalms 1, Jeremiah 9:23-24, Micah 7:18, Isaiah 58:13, Malachi 4:2] 7) And the sick man answered, “My Lord, I don’t have any man which can cast me into the troubled waters of the pool, so before I can come into the pool another gets down in before me.” (and is thusly healed before me) [Isaiah 33:13-24] 8) And Yeshua (Jesus) said to him, “Rise up, pick up your bed and carry it away walking.” (away from this place of Idolatry) 9) At a moment he was restored (healed) from his enduring affliction, and he lifted up his bed and walked off, and that day was a Sabbath day.
Today, when we turn our attention to the healing ministry of Jesus, we seem to be immediately barraged by all sorts of erroneous teaching and charlatans who aren’t really interested in your healing, but in separating you from your money. Does this mean that I believe that God doesn’t heal? Absolutely not! God is just as alive today as He has ever been. Does Jesus not want you to be healed and live in glorious power upon this earth? He absolutely does want you healed! Then what is our duty to others in regards to healing?
First of all, I want you to know that I don’t heal anyone nor does any other person on the face of the planet, only God heals them. So don’t look to man but to God and give Him the glory for all healings, whether they be through the hands of a physician or the miraculous hands of God. While we can explain how man heals we can no more explain how God heals than we can explain how God created the cosmos from nothing. But that is not our duty to do so. God and the great power that emanates from Him is not really our purview to explain, but just acknowledge.
When one comes under the influence of our Master and one feels His vibrancy and radiant life with its upsurge in inner power, explanations seem foolish. The fact that He is the possessor this power will not be denied by anyone who has had the good fortune to be on the receiving end of that power. Jesus never gave anyone any explanation of His power except that it was from God, nor does He ever perform a miracle or cure just to prove His greatness, but only to demonstrate that God is present upon the earth and creating still to this day.
The miracles of Jesus do reveal something of the greatness of Jesus, but they do not make Him great. His miracles flow out of His greatness, not His greatness out of His miracles. It should be noted that Jesus absolutely refused to wear such power as a “badge of authorization” and refused steadfastly to “show some sign” as credentials of Sonship.
To any student of the life of Jesus there are a couple of truths that present themselves for consideration as they relate to his ministry of healing. The first truth is Jesus’ primacy of His teaching ministry and the second is His attributing His ability to God alone.
In regards the primacy of Jesus’ teaching ministry, we have to face the fact that the healing ministry was secondary to teaching. A thorough study reveals that Jesus’ healings were almost incidental to His preaching and teaching. This in no way detracts from the utmost importance of Jesus’ healings, but it gives us an indication of how important Jesus thought teaching was. However, this also shows us something of the great compassion and love Jesus had for others in that He would stop His great mission to care for those sick and afflicted. Although Jesus is eager to announce His Kingdom to His people, He must stop His teaching about it in order to Demonstrate the Workings of it. Jesus does this as a religious or spiritual act and not as some magic show or marvel to amaze the crowds.
Look at what happens in Mark 1, at the close of the day of miracles in Galilee when many had been healed, Jesus sees that His preaching ministry is about to be eclipsed by His deeds of healing. So what does Jesus Do? He withdraws and spends most of the night in Prayer. The next morning when the Disciples come to get Him because ethe crowds are gathering and bringing the sick and afflicted, they are met with an astounding announcement by Jesus, “And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” Mark 1:38 With Heart searching prayer Jesus reached a decision, in unification with God, and it was in favor of the Message instead of the Miracles. Why I don’t know, but on His knees He sought the will of God and here He came to the firm conclusion that He could serve God’s will best by preaching. Romans 10:17 say, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Nowhere in the Biblical text do I ever see a reference to Faith comes by experiencing a healing.
If Jesus had given first priority to healing He would have subordinated the main purpose of His call to the Messiahship, and many would have just considered Him another wonder worker or magician. You see there were others in Jesus’ day who also worked wonders and cast out demons. This is revealed to us in Jesus’ question to the Pharisees who had accused Him of casting out demons by the powers of Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons. Whereupon He asked, “And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.” Matthew 12:27 These others however were not preaching the Kingdom of God in their midst.
Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; 2) To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3) To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
There are many times when Jesus asked those who He had healed not to tell anyone and He repeatedly refused to “show a sign” to those skeptics. Jesus was hurt because His people wanted some “sign” but was careful to not allow His ministry to fall into the level of the magic show sideshow. He kept people at the main event. Jesus did not usually hesitate to heal, but He wanted people to understand His mission and that was to preach the good news that the Kingdom of God was Here!
The second fact of Jesus is that He attributes only to God the credit for His acts that were done as religious and spiritual acts, not as some magic show to amaze crowds. He steadfastly rejected being some wonder worker to attract a following. Those who followed Him only for the benefits of loaves and fishes didn’t understand the sacrifices that were undertaken for them nor the sacrifices needed to be undertaken by them to exist within Jesus’ Kingdom. And frankly, most probably didn’t even care about existing within Jesus Kingdom. All most wanted to do was live their lives as they had always lived them, Powerless.
Jesus’ humility in his healings also reveals that Jesus considers himself to be secondary to God in all respects. God is to be Honored and Glorified and Jesus’ ministry is the work of God, as Jesus says in John 5:36, “But I have a testimony (witness to bear) that is greater than that of Yochanan (John the baptizer), because the works that my Father gave Me to complete, these same works that I am doing bear witness about Me, namely that the Father sent Me.” (the deeds that I do only can be done if God is manifesting) [Psalms 61, Isaiah 35:5-6, Isaiah 42, James 2:17 ff]
This fact is clearly seen in the healing of the Gadarene Demoniac, for after being restored and healed in mind he begs to be a disciple of Jesus, but Jesus says to him in Mark 5:19, “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
Another aspect of the healing ministry of Jesus is the close relationship of His Prayer life and the Healings by God through His hand. All great men of God have been prayers and before, and usually after, all of Jesus great miracles, He has been by Himself praying and seeking to exist within the purpose of God so that When He spoke, Is was as if God was speaking, when He was Healing it was as if God was healing, etc. His mind and His purposes had been given over to God so that the two were made one. This was the source of his power. He exchanged His life for the power of God and in this acceptance His life is empowered and we see again His great humility.
There is one specific instance where we see the great need for prayer in regards to God’s work and that is in Mark 9. After coming down from the Mt. of Transfiguration, Jesus healed the epileptic whom the Disciples could not heal. When they asked Jesus why this was He replied to them in 9:29, “This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.”
We can’t comprehend Jesus without understanding the importance of prayer in the healing ministry of Jesus and the power that flowed through Him as a result of that prayer life. While Jesus retreated for prayer, He didn’t just pray for the healings of people, but He had many things that needed prayer and they called Him to his knees. Prayer was native to His sense of need and in facing every great issue He chose to retreat into prayer. In fact the prayer habits of our Master was so vitally an integral part of His life it would be nearer the truth to say that prayer WAS His Life!
Finally, Jesus’ healing ministry sets forth His great trusting Faith / Faithfulness. It is His faithfulness that at once lifts Him above all others and makes Him, “the firstborn of many brethren.” Romans 8:29 H.is absolute trust and faithfulness to God gives an air of naturalness in His prayers that are different than any other’s. His prayers, all of them, disclose the faithfulness of one who completely trusts. His prayers were an extension of His boundless faithfulness in His God and His Father and His expectance in the manifestations of God’s presence.
Perhaps there is no place where this expectant faithfulness and trust is so evident to us as in Jesus’ healing acts. No case, however hard, that was presented to Him caused Him the least bit of doubt to the outcome of His prayer. To Jesus, all things were possible to God. And to God He had committed His whole life in complete surrender and in utmost faithfulness; and it was by the power of this faithfulness and trust that He removed the mountains of ills and sufferings, even down to this day.
So for Jesus, His faithfulness was a source of power that made the impossible, possible. It was not an earthly formulated or fleshly logically reasoned belief, but a faithfulness and trust so daring that it flew in the face of convention and earthly facts. It challenged the visible with a spiritual power and turned the unheard of into reality. Death and disease were realities of the flesh, but Jesus changed that reality into a new reality, one made possible by the creative existence of God manifesting through Him. Sickness and disease were realities changed in the twinkling of an eye, so too were our sins realities changed to righteousness with the same power; vibrant, fervent and creative.
As the Master had a complete reliance upon faithfulness and prayer, so too should we have the same level of faithfulness and trust when we pray. Our mission is not to question whether or not someone is healed when we pray, but to simply pray earnestly and seek the power of God to change the fleshly reality for those who are hurting for the creative reality within the existence of God. If we want to question why someone isn’t healed when we pray this is simply falling into the snare of the Devil who will begin to play mind games on us to get our minds off of Jesus and His healing power. We need to begin to exist within that existence inhabited by God just as Jesus does and begin preaching the GOOD NEWS of Jesus’ Kingdom and let God work the miracles.by