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  • Sam Matthews. K

137. Gospel promise of healing.

The third Gospel promise is 'unconditional' healing in Christ. Have you ever wondered why all who came in contact with Jesus received their healing? 'Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the the good news of the kingdom and healing EVERY disease and sickness among the people.' (Matthew 4:23-24) 'When evening came, many who were demon possessed were brought to him and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed ALL the sick.' (Matthew 8:16) 'People brought all their sick to him and begged him to let the sick touch the edge of his cloak and ALL who touched him were healed.' (Matthew 14:35-36)That is why it is said that all who touched him or were touched by him, received healing. No one was denied healing, not even his enemies, for the servant of the high priest, who was among those who came to arrest him, received the healing touch! ( Luke 22:50-51) God seems to be generous with healing because he wants everyone to 'taste and see that the Lord is good'. (Psalm 34:8) However, healing under the old covenant was 'conditional' in that it required obedience. (Read Exodus 15:26) Though the nation of Israel had received the promise of healing, many couldn't experience it because the conditions were not fulfilled. The proof of this fact is that when Jesus the arrived on the scene, Israel was filled with sickness and diseases, though they had received the promise of healing. Then how could Jesus violate the covenant by healing everyone unconditionally? He never asked them whether they obeyed the law and kept the requirements. The least that he asked was, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" (Matthew 9:28) 'This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: "He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases."' ( Matthew 8:17) While the old covenant was still in effect, Isaiah prophesied about this coming healing by the wounds of Christ. 'He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed.' (Isaiah 53:5) Since Christ died for the sins of all men, it is His right to heal even the unbelievers because their sins too have been atoned for, whether they believe it or not. The Lord doesn't mind healing them, if that would turn them to God. Multitudes received healing through Jesus but many didn't follow him thereafter. Whether they were able to keep the healing is a matter of question. Nevertheless, it is possible for anyone to experience unconditional healing. However, the Gospel promise of the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit is conditional in that they will have to confess Jesus as their personal Saviour and be washed in the blood to receive the promise of the Spirit. Likewise to receive the covenant blessings of Abraham through Christ, they will have to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. Healing is therefore a vehicle to reach the world with the Gospel. That is why he sent out his disciples with these instructions: "As you go, preach this message: The kingdom of heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." (Matthew 10:7-8) Just as everyone received healing when Jesus ministered, so did everyone receive healing when the Apostles ministered. 'Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits and ALL of them were healed.' (Acts 5:16) Healing is a covenant blessing administered through a believer. The first recorded healing in the Bible is that of Abhimelech and his family. (Genesis 20:17-18) 'Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abhimelech, his wife and his slave girls ...' It is through the believer that the Lord intents to administer healing to the world. No wonder Scripture says this about believers : "... they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well." (Mark 16:18) However this has to be differentiated from the 'gifts of healing' that bring about instant healing. (1 Corinthians 12:9) Just because everyone doesn't receive healing today, it doesn't mean that it was meant to be an unique feature of the early Church. Had Jesus and the Apostles ministered today, they still would have healed all the sick, because the truth hasn't changed with time. Let's not tailor the doctrine to suit our unbelief. Say "Amen" to the promise of healing by faith and not by sight. 'For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.' ( 2 Corinthians 1:20)

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