Since ancient times God has offered healing when we go astray or are affected by circumstances not of our making. Let’s take a closer look at this blessing.
Let us learn how healing comes in many forms.
Let’s look at healing since ancient times, healing of a nation, all kinds of healing, healing prayer and anointing the sick.
1. Healing since Ancient Times
If God can create, he can certainly heal the creatures which he created. God reveals himself as our healer throughout the Bible. Possibly the earliest healing in the Bible is when Abraham prayed for Abimelech’s household and God healed them (Genesis 20:17). God promised healing to Israel inExodus 15:26 in return for their obedience. There is also our responsibility for the healing of those we have injured (Exodus 21:19). Numbers 12 and Deuteronomy 28 reveal that one cause of disease can be sin. And in Deuteronomy 32:39 God reveals himself as healer in a manner than no man can. So, when Jesus healed even what we term today as mental illnesses (Mark 1:21-28) it was a sign of his divinity. Though he does not always heal immediately, God’s promise of healing has not changed.
2. Healing of a Nation
God healed Israel’s national problems (1 Samuel 6), water sources (2 Kings 2), leaders (2 Kings 20), land (2 Chronicles 7:13-14) and the people themselves even though they were not perfect (2 Chronicles 30:18-20). It was conditional, if people would humble themselves and pray to God and turn from their wrongdoings. David sang of God healing all our diseases (Psalm 103:1-3) and broken hearts (Psalm 147:3). True healing covers both body and soul and the source of that healing is the cross (Isaiah 53:5). God promised to those who honor God’s name that a new day of righteousness would dawn with healing (Malachi 4:1-2). Jesus healed people in their bodies, souls and minds (Mark 1:21-28). He continues healing the lives of those who have joined a new spiritual nation, the kingdom of God.
3. All Kinds of Healing
Jesus performed numerous healings in Mark 1:29-39. So what kind of healings does God offer? Throughout the Bible we see that the healing offered by God is not limited to sicknesses, but encompasses all of our lives. The Bible includes examples of healing broken hearts, mental problems, national healing, healing agricultural land and healing a family breach. Every aspect of our lives is reachable with God’s healing. Today, we need to be healed nationally and individually. Our communities need healing, especially in our dishonest business practices and crime. Our churches need to be healed, especially the division caused by power politics and non-essentials of doctrine. Our politics needs to be healed, especially the bitter rancor and mud-slinging. Our families and marriages need to be healed, especially for our children’s sakes. Where is that healing available? Find out in church.
4. Healing Prayer
An important part of Jesus’ ministry two thousand years ago was to heal all kinds of illness and disease (Matthew 4:23;Mark 1:21-28). He later ordained twelve to preach and heal (Mark 3:14-15). Healing was connected to Jesus appointment of preaching the gospel, healing broken hearts, proclaiming deliverance for those captive to sin, recovery of sight and freedom for the oppressed (Luke 4:16-21). Some in the church have a special gift of healing, but not everyone (1 Corinthians 12:9, 28-30). James 5:14-16 gave special instructions regarding healing in the church. The elders, which in the context referred to local church leaders, would anoint the sick with oil. James’ instructions did not preclude using other elements in healing. Jesus used mud. It is the prayer of faith that saves the sick not the elements used.
5. Anointing the Sick
When Jesus healed people we are not always told what if any physical rituals or ceremonies he performed. Often he seems to have just helped someone to their feet and they were healed (Mark 1:29-39). The disciples anointed the sick with oil (Mark 6:13). Jesus, however, did one time anoint a man with mud made from his own spit for his healing and then asked him to wash himself in water (John 9:6-11). We could do that if people prefer, but somehow I think that most will opt for the example of the disciples and the instruction in James 5:14-16 to use oil. Who were the elders that James mentioned? The word elder means many different things to different denominations today. But, in the historical context of the day the word referred to local church leaders.
We saw how God has been desirous of healing us since ancient times, how he healed nationally, and all varieties of healing, healing prayer and anointing the sick. God offers us healing today. Please feel free to approach one of us who are leaders of the local church and we will gladly anoint you with oil and pray with you for healing.