Why Did Christ Heal?
a) There are 26 stories of healing and an additional 10 summaries of healing multitudes
1. Healing expresses the mind and will of God.
2. Jesus heals because He feels compassion
3. Jesus' healings fulfill prophecy (Isaiah)
4. Jesus healed to prove He can forgive sins.
5. Jesus healed to draw attention to the Gospel
6. Jesus healed to glorify God (raised Lazarus)
7. Jesus healed to stimulate faith.
b) But Jesus frequently asked people to have faith. (your faith has made you well, according to your faith let it be done to you) (because of their lack of faith he could/did not do many mighty works
c) curse of the Fall: sin, sickness, suffering, death, and the other works of the devil is the reason the Son came into the world.. Physical and emotional sickness is included in this.
d) Kingdom of God is eschatological and contemporary. Kingdom is a spiritual/heavenly reality which will be experienced in perfection when God and His Christ rule the world. The Kingdom has already been established as is among us now, growing like a seed (parables) Among the signs that the Kingdom is among us is healing and divine provision (food, drink, clothes)
8 The Healing Ministry of Disciples. Five times this is mentioned (see the 12 and the 70) and there are numerous examples of healing in Acts. Healing is linked to the commission to evangelize, signs and wonders are manifested in connection with prayer and ministry.
9. James and Corinthians. While every Christian can participate in the church's healing ministry, there are some who will manifest a special gift and calling. (this is a debated issue. some believe that the simple declaration of the Gospel is sufficient to manifest healing, in which case anyone who is able to share the promises and faithfulness of God and invite a trusting response can be a vehicle of healing. For others, the healing gift is a power--Jesus said I felt power leave me when the woman with the bleed touched Him for healing. Some believe everyone has a gift for healing which must be exercised. Personally, I tend to think that the Bible and church history indicate it is a gift to the church, but that it is a charism which some exercise more effectively. Like preaching and teaching, all can do and all should do it some, but special gifts are in evidence within few.)
10. Objections to this minsitry
a) value of suffering. (i was raised with this one...offer your sufferings to the Lord. there is an incredibly wide stream of Christian spiritual practice which embraced suffering and sought it out. I recall as a young man praying for suffering because I felt I had not suffered enough. My Spiritual Director let me know that I did not have to pray for it, suffering would find me in its own good time--it did. The meditations on the sufferings of Christ produced a school of spirituality which embraced suffering as an end in itself.) Glennon responds that suffering is not sickness, it is persecution and the cost of discipleship. Sickness is never called suffering in the Bible, it is called sickness and it is bad. Faith response to healing is being cured. (Jesus never tells someone to embrace their illness. He never refuses to heal someone on the ground that there is value in being sick. He responds to illness in a negative way--though not sick people. One huge barrier to the healing ministry is the subconscious and unconscious embrace of illness as some sort of a spiritual gift.]
b) Many hold up Paul's thorn in the side. Glennon says that perhaps the speculation that Paul had some recurrent illness may be accurate. However, he thinks this would be an exception, and notes it as such. However, he said that in the Old Testament the term frequently refers to people (the inhabitants in the land, in particular obnoxious ones). Because Paul also says, "an angel//messenger of satan to beat me" in his flesh,it is more likely that Paul is beset with a person who is a constant source of irritation and frustration. It makes sense that Paul is struggling with some person who he sees as an agent of the other side and that God told him, my strength is enough for you... Hence, this is not an illness at all, but a struggle for the Gospel