Jesus HealingQUESTION: Jesus healing - Why was healing so important in Jesus' ministry?ANSWER:
Healing was essential to the ministry of Jesus because He had the power to perform miracles. They flowed from within Him as heat from the sun, as wet from a waterfall, as dry from sirocco winds. He knew it, people sensed it, and to Him they came in droves and multitudes. In unconquered confidence, Jesus welcomed blind, crippled, leprous, even dead people into His presence. No problem loomed too great for His skill; none intimidated Him into silence. He performed all the healings we would expect since He came as God's Healer.
Healing was essential to the ministry of Jesus because He had compassion equal to His power, as Matthew 8:17 notes; as Matthew 14:14 illustrates. When the burgeoning throng interrupted His plans for a quiet retreat with His disciples, He healed their sick, then He fed them. That contrasted starkly with the disciples, who wanted the pesky crowds dispersed.
Knowing they could receive help if only they could access Him, people responded to that compassion, in bold, unorthodox ways. The Canaanite woman struggled through His disciples' desire to dismiss her, and His own initial, courteous refusal, to get what she knew she could trust Him to grant (Matthew 16:28). The woman with a hemorrhage crept silently through the crowd to merely touch His clothes (Mark 5:28). And the crowds "begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak," (Matthew 14:36), for "all who touched him were healed."
Healing was essential to the ministry of Jesus because it symbolized His success in the spiritual warfare between Himself and Satan. In ongoing discussions about evil, all secular, and many Christian thinkers fail to mention Satan as the agent by which illness, disease, and disaster entered the world.
Yet, in Luke 13:16, Jesus identified Satan as the enemy responsible for the harm done to humanity. Satan hates God compulsively, but has no recourse but to harm the humanity made in God's image. He unrelentingly attacks humanity, knowing His time to oppose God's creation is short (Revelation 12:12).
Whenever Jesus confronted Satan's presence in illness, disease, or demon-possession, He overcame the symptoms of Satan's presence to prove His conquest of Satan personally. Since "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. . ." (1 John 3:8), He had to dismantle the apparatus of illness, disease, and demon-possession by which Satan exercised control over creation. The victory He won in the wilderness could be authenticated in ministry only by evicting Satan's power from the lives he had bludgeoned.
By healing all bodily systems, and every bodily dysfunction, Jesus reclaimed and recovered for God all that Satan pirated. Healings proved that Jesus had invaded Satan's realm, shackled him and, despite his unavailing protests, plundered and snatched from his malevolence any victim He pleased.
Through all His healings, Jesus assaulted Satan from first one corridor, then another and still another. Satan never knew where the next attack would originate or how devastating it would be. But when it came, he always felt IT was the hardest blow yet!
Healing was essential to the ministry of Jesus because He envisioned healing as a physical symbol of forgiveness. He guaranteed the ultimate glory of the human body through His personal resurrection, but forecast that restoration by healing twisted, shrunken, blinded limbs and organs. The paralytic's restoration is but one of many such examples (Mark 2:1-12).
All of our physical ailments, limitations, and adversities have their final removal in the Master's initial healings and ultimate victory over death. The perfected result of forgiveness is the new, imperishable body Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:35-57.
Healing was essential to the ministry of Jesus because healings offered indisputable evidence that He is the Christ of God (John 21:30-31). Understand: He considered healings as credentials, but only as extensions of Himself as His own best defense. Understand: since Jesus expected healings to recruit faith in Him, He wouldn't heal gratuitously. Thus, when the Pharisees wanted to see a miraculous sign (Matthew 12:38), He instead figuratively preached His death and resurrection. On His second visit to Nazareth, He performed but a few miracles because the people doubted Him (Mark 6:5). And He turned a cold eye on Herod's hope for a miracle (Luke 23:9). Nevertheless, in Christ's works lurked evidence that God Almighty lived in human form and loved the humanity created in their image.