The Ministry of HealingLuke 5:12-26
The Gospel of Luke Part II - The Ministry of Jesus
J. Josh Smith
May 31, 2015
The Garden of Eden in Genesis 1-2 was a place of physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness. When sin came onto the scene in chapter three, this wholeness was corrupted. Sickness, disease, and brokenness are all the result of the sinful world in which we live. However, when you look at the end of the Bible, you find that when God establishes His kingdom in its fullness, He will have accomplished a complete restoration. Our bodies, souls, and emotions will be completely restored and healed when God consummates His kingdom. When Jesus comes onto the scene at the beginning of His earthly ministry, He declares that the kingdom of God has come, meaning even today we see partial glimpses of God’s kingdom breaking into the present era. The healing ministry of Jesus is a foretaste of God’s kingdom. When God heals, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual healing, it is an instance of God’s kingdom coming. The kingdom of God is seen in the complete restoration of the whole man.
We see two realities from the two stories in Luke 5:12-26 of the leper and the paralytic. First, we see the picture of human brokenness. We see physical and emotional brokenness, especially in the story of the leper who had a horrible physical disease which required him to live outside the community apart from human contact. In verse 20 of the story of the paralytic, we see the reality of man’s spiritual brokenness. The truth is we are no different than the leper or the paralytic since we are all physically, emotionally, and spiritually broken as the result of sin. We also see in these two stories the picture of divine healing. Taken together, these stories demonstrate that Jesus is concerned about the whole man as His ministry of healing addressed their physical, emotional, and spiritual brokenness.
Any examination of the healing ministry of Jesus begs the question: What does this mean for us today? First, we must be confident in God’s healing ability. God is able to heal today. Healing is not just something God does; it is who God is. He is Jehovah Rapha, “The Lord your Healer.” Second, we must be confident in God’s healing activity. God is still healing today. There is no good biblical reason to assume that Jehovah Rapha has gone into temporary retirement until the Second Coming. We must be careful not to build a theology around everything God does not do. Does God heal everybody? No. But the Bible does teach that God is actively healing today. Finally, we must be confident in God’s healing approachability. God not only invites us to pray for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, He commands it. James 5:13-18 tells Christians who are sick to call upon the elders to pray for their healing.
The Bible does NOT teach the concept of “faith healers” who always have the ability to heal every sickness every time. The Bible does teach, however, that there are times when God sovereignly chooses to manifest the power of healing in the church as demonstration of the kingdom of God coming. There will be times in the present era when God heals; there will be times when He does not. God is glorified when He chooses to heal and when He chooses not to heal. Our responsibility is to approach the Healer whenever we need physical, emotional, or spiritual healing.
We must be careful not to ignore teachings of Scripture just because some Christian groups have abused them. It is true that some teachers are focused only on physical healing to the neglect of spiritual healing. It is also true that other teachers focus only on spiritual healing to the neglect of physical healing. The truth is: God is concerned with the whole man. Let’s pray for His kingdom to come. Let’s pray for Jehovah Rapha’s name to be hallowed. And let’s do all things to the exaltation of the One who has redeemed and is redeeming our bodies and souls!
Brokenness, Faith, Healing