An exciting characteristic of the life of Jesus is that wherever he went there was healing and when we read in the pages of the New Testament, the Gospels, we see these words “the power of the Lord was present to heal them” and wherever he went it would appear he drew people to him who were in need.
What is the characteristic – the one central characteristic of Jesus in this situation?
It surely is that he loved them.
He loved everyone he met with a passionate love, with a free, boundless, limitless love but more than that he called upon his followers to love as he loved. Again as we look into the Bible we see these words.
And again he said “this is my command. Love one another.” So therefore, right through the history of the Church, the followers of Jesus have expressed this love in the quality of their lives.
Therefore, a characteristic of the history, the life of the Church is that century by century it was an instrument of healing. It set up orphanages, it built hospitals but far more than that, right from the beginning, there were miracles.
Century by century the history of the Church gives us evidence of the way in which the blind were restored to sight, the deaf heard again, the dead lived. And whoever it may be that you’re looking at from St Augustine before and onwards, the evidence is there – Jesus sent his followers out to be instruments of healing.
I am convinced that today God is sending us out as his followers to be instruments of healing – He does the healing, we are merely the vehicle.
And so I believe there is an urgent need for the Church in this century to rediscover this command of Jesus, to rediscover this calling and again to recognise that the same power of God’s spirit, which was present in the early Church, is present now to heal and to save.
Healing must be at the very core and centre of our Christian life and of our Christian churches and this call to rediscovery, if you like, the great gift of the spirit is reservating, I believe, right across the world – wherever there is a revival of the Christian faith, we see evidence of healing.
I believe that God is saying to his people, here and now, show the world my nature by the quality of your lives – not just forgiving, not just feeding the hungry but actually recognising that the world is bursting with pain – recognise that at all sides there are signs of a fallen world and that sickness is manifested in the mind, in the heart, in the body, in the very souls of men and women and Jesus can transform, Jesus can heal now as then.
This is a message of hope in a world which has lost hope, in a world which is crushed with depression and sorrow. This is the message of the cross that Jesus himself was a wounded healer.
We are never told we’re not going to be sick, we’re not going to have sadness, we’re not going to have disappointment – we are promised, we are promised in the scripture by Jesus, by the prophets, by the preachers and evangelists in all ages that Jesus is with us in the centre of our human need – Jesus is the healer and though we go through fire we will not be burnt, though we go through a storm we will not drown – this is message of hope which needs to be proclaimed from every church on earth. Let’s start fresh in this country.
Let us show the power of God to heal in our generation.
God bless you
May I pray…
Lord, heal us and we shall be healed.
Lord, give to us this great gift of hope that we may see that life has purpose and that all the dark clouds can be swept on one side when the glorious light of your presence is shown to us and to all humanity.
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