I have just been speaking to a friend of mine from bible college days about the healing he received on coming back to church in 1992. The meeting was being held in a pub and after the Pastor received a word of knowledge about my friends need for healing, he went forward. His left arm which was shorter began to grow over an inch and a half over the next 5-10 minutes. The Jesus he had known many years before had just moved in power in a way he did not expect.
There is lot’s about healing that I do not understand. Good Christian friends who pray for healing who do not get healed. Great Christian leaders who God has used to heal other people who do not get healed themselves. And yet healing was such an integral part of Jesus message and mission, with the expectation that it would continue into the life of the church – that I know we must pursue this gift of God in our lives and churches!
John Wimber used to say, pray for no one and no one gets healed, pray for everyone and some get healed! So we orient ourselves towards the promises and ministry of Jesus and seek the healing that is a part of his in-breaking kingdom. Of course the Christian hope is a future reality in which God will restore his creation, and his people will be fully healed and refreshed. But Jesus makes this future possible now.
The ministry of Jesus brought this future reality into the now – that is why he announced the kingdom of God was here in his ministry. That is why we are to pray “Your Kingdom come, your will be done.”. That is why he sent his disciples to “Heal the sick who are there and tell them the Kingdom of God is near you!” It is why the first disciples after they were filled with the Holy Spirit began to do the works of healing that Jesus had done. It is why the early churches were told by James, “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. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.” The kingdom of God is powerful to heal. It is a sign that there is a different reality breaking in that speaks of the love and goodness of God.
This Sunday we will be exploring the healing ministry of Jesus and then we will ask the Holy Spirit to come. I expect all to be touched in some way by presence of God. It is still a broken world, it is still a future hope, it is still an age where sickness is a part of our lives. But we seek every little touch where that future reality of total healing breaks into the now! It is good news!