|"You cannot separate what God's power will do. It is not an onion. Where it touches man, it heals the body and the mind and cleanses the heart."
A BEDRIDDEN MAN was let down through the roof in front of Jesus, and Jesus’ first words to him were that he was forgiven. The scribes took umbrage, calling that blasphemy, and Jesus, knowing their thoughts, called their thinking evil. We typically look at this story aware of how it ends, but if we put ourselves in that moment, we must ask why Jesus said that. Why were their thoughts evil? They were defending the observance of the Law. Was that such a bad thing? Clearly it was, given Jesus’ answer, because implied in it is their unwillingness to forgive the sick man and something larger which Jesus addresses with His next words.
“For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” (Matthew 9:5-6)
Who Jesus was was the issue and also what He’d come to do. They did not see Him as Christ. This is accepted in our thinking. That He’d come to earth to forgive is also accepted by the Christian church. But this was a man sick and bedridden. He was brought there for physical healing. And he left healed, but it was because he was forgiven.
THE SAME POWER THAT CAME TO FORGIVE ALSO CAME TO HEAL.
You cannot separate one operation from the other, and here many in the church pull up a chair and balk. “That was Jesus,” they say. Or, “Healing died out with the last apostle.” Which is not in the Word of God anywhere. Neither there being no more apostles nor healing having died out. You can’t find Scripture and verse for it. What you can find is a slew of evidence to God being eternal, His mercy as everlasting, His Word being always full of power, and it always doing what it was sent to do. You can find Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He is the Head of the church, and we are His body, filled with all His fullness. The Word says the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
WHAT WE MUST SEE IS JESUS HEALED A MAN WITH THE SAME POWER WHICH FORGAVE HIM.
We can see it in the rest of the chapter where this story is told in Matthew. First, we see a pattern of healings, which draws a portrait of a man, hanging upside-down. You have the bedridden man, who could not walk (legs and feet), a young girl who dies (the heart), a woman who is continuously bleeding (the blood), then two blind men (the eyes), and a man struck dumb (the mouth). Then the chapter ends with both healing and forgiveness.
Verse 35 says, “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” In Verse 36-38, Jesus says to pray for laborers to be sent into the harvest. Here is healing of the body and the mind paired with forgiveness of the heart.
Backing up, we also have the story of Jesus eating dinner with publicans and sinners. The religious leaders again grew upset and wanted to know why Jesus did this. Why would He be seen with “people like that?” Jesus’ answer involves physical healing.
“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
He came to forgive sinners (repentance) as a physician for those who are sick. Some say this is strictly sickness of the soul, but that conclusion alienates the rest of the chapter where Jesus showed the Father’s heart to heal the body and the mind. He has not changed. Healing was part of the Old Covenant. We find cleansing from leprosy written in the Law. Jesus referred to it when He healed the leper in Matthew 8:4. We read the story of Naaman the leper being healed by washing in the river as directed by the prophet. We find the widow’s son being raised from death when she refused to accept it. King Hezekiah was given fifteen more years of life at the word of the prophet. If healing was found before Jesus came to earth, why then, is the church so eager to toss it out after His death and Resurrection? This is a new and better covenant.
“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24)
You cannot separate what God’s power will do. It is not an onion. Where it touches man, it heals the body and the mind and cleanses the heart. Can a man sit in a stream and not become clean? If you eat cake, you will consume both the flour and the eggs. They are inseparable.
We are given the measure of faith. That’s Jesus. He’s the measure of faith given to every child of God. That faith, strengthened through use, will bring forgiveness and also healing. It will bring any answer to prayer, whether that’s money, job promotion, a prodigal child. Or healing. FAITH AND PATIENCE FOR WHATEVER WE ASK BRINGS THE PROMISE. Faith in God’s Word will also bring protection. We can say no to sickness and disease ever entering our household, regardless of what it is, how prevalent it may be, and how many have had it. We don’t ever have to get sick with any virus, disease, family genetic illness. Anything. We don’t have to fear accidents or slip-and-falls. We can put a stop to them with our faith.
When we mess up, we ask for forgiveness and Jesus’ blood provides it every time. When we feel sick, we ask for healing, and Jesus’ blood provides it every time (Isaiah 53:4; 1 Peter 2:24). There is no exception to either of these promises. God is never picking one over the other for anyone, but it is according to our faith that we receive. His mercy heals. His mercy forgives.
The issue in people’s beliefs regarding God’s desire to heal has been established because some have died sick. God does not condemn anyone for being in heaven early. Nor should we. Where we have questions, we must seek Jesus for the answer. And walk by faith. But what we cannot do is rewrite the Word of God and eliminate healing from God’s nature. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us, and we are commissioned to both preach the gospel and lay hands on the sick and see them recover. In fact, healing is a sign which follows them that believe (Mark 16:15-18).
These words are in red. Jesus spoke them after His Resurrection, before He ascended to the Father. Then it tells us, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (Mark 16:20) After He’d ascended, when He was in heaven, through the power of the Spirit, they laid hands on the sick and people were healed, Jesus working with them.
We will speak only what we know, whether truth or misbeliefs. What is in our heart is what comes out of our mouth. The most dangerous thing a person can do is close their minds to increased knowledge and revelation of God. We never know it all but are always learning, always studying. There is always more the Spirit of God desires to pour into us. We protect chosen doctrine, defensive. But what God wants us to do is stand in faith and ask Him for clarity. If it’s something we have always heard, we must ask if it is correct. If it is something we’ve just heard that goes against what we’ve believed, we must ask if it is correct. He delights in answering, and it is in our seeking that we come to know Him, and the questions of faith are answered.
Where there is doubt, we need Jesus. Where there is sickness, we need Jesus. Where there is sin, we need Jesus. For the power of God, which is Christ, is the goodness of God for all of these.
“Jesus visited all the towns and villages in the region. He taught in their synagogues and preached the good news of his kingdom of love and of the Remedy he brought, demonstrating his mission by healing every disease and sickness. When he looked into the crowds, his heart ached with compassion because they were hurting, suffering, and helpless to heal themselves. They were like injured sheep without a shepherd to tend their wounds.” (Matthew 9:35-36)
“I also pray that your reasoning abilities and conscience may be healed so that you can discern and understand God’s purpose for all humanity—the incredible, rich inheritance in store for his children— and God’s incomparable power to heal and restore all who trust him.” (Ephesians 1:18-19, Remedy)
Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay
Suzanne D. Williams, Author