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The Healing Touch of Jesus

Power was coming from him and healing them all. –Luke 6:19

The cartoon:

          A preacher standing before his congregation. In his mind, he pictures himself a general standing before an army shouting to them, “Charge!”
          Before him is the congregation. In their minds is the image of them as a soldier lying wounded on the battle field, yelling, “Medic!”

          We all know that Jesus is the Savior but sometimes forget He is also called “the great physician.” It is important to note that the line between “healing” and salvation (usually thought of as having to do with sins and heaven) is not all that distinct. In fact the same word (or words) are used for both. Its basic meaning is well-being and wholeness. We are continually reminded of the close relationship between body and spirit.
          There are certainly excesses and extremes of so-called “faith healers”, for example. And we are rightfully concerned about that.  One Christian with MS relates some examples that illustrate some confused thinking:

– “You must really like to be sick; you bring so much of it on yourself.”
– “The reason I have perfect health is that I think right; nobody gets sick unless he thinks wrong.”
– “Have you heard about the woman whose MS was cured by Shaklee products?” (A Shaklee dealer)
– “Dear, if your faith is sincere, tell everyone right now that God has healed you completely.”

          Nevertheless, as Bishop Mack Stokes reminds us, physical and emotional healing were not incidental to Jesus’ ministry. In fact Jesus clearly did not differentiate between spiritual/emotional and physical illness. This is seen in incidents like the cripple to whom Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven take up your bed and walk.”
          Like sin, disease was an enemy. As we have been talking about for the two previous posts people came to hear Jesus and be healed. He sent his disciples with instructions to preach and to heal. The missionary, E.S. Jones wrote, “Jesus….health” are synonymous. Charles Wesley, penned these words in a hymn: –“Jesus! The name….Tis life and health and peace.” Psalm 103—talks about the LORD who “forgives all my sins heals all my diseases.”
          Jesus is concerned with the whole person. As Stokes reminds us, healthy people was Jesus’ goal. It is no accident that the pastoral ministry of the church was often referred to as the “cure of souls.” To look to Jesus in faith brings salvation, healing.
          For some healing comes gradually through the processes of nature or medical science. There are those healed instantly and directly. But for others God gives grace to suffer redemptively (i.e. “power to make something out of it.- E.S. Jones) until the final healing which comes to us all in the resurrection. For those who trust Him, wholeness is plan. Praise God!

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