Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well. (Mark 16:15b-18.)
I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. (John 14:12)
I’ve been reflecting on these verses a lot lately, and talking to the Lord about what they mean for us as believers, born into a culture of unbelief. Denominational theories about healing run the gamut between complete denial of these verses to frenetic replication of every healing instance in the Bible. Personally I believe that every attempt we make to heal is good, because it is what He has called us all to do. But I don’t feel inclined to mimic every specific method He used. I haven’t attempted to rub spit and mud on anyone in a long time. My friends tell me they’re grateful.
But I have been spending a lot of time in His Word, looking at exactly who He healed throughout his public ministry. Here are a few representative quotes:
Matthew 4:23 Jesus went all over Galilee, teaching in the synagogues, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom, and healing people who had all kinds of disease and sickness.
Matthew 4:24 The news about him spread through the whole country of Syria, so that people brought to him all those who were sick, suffering from all kinds of diseases and disorders: people with demons, and epileptics, and paralytics—and Jesus healed them all .
Matthew 8:16 When evening came, people brought to Jesus many who had demons in them. Jesus drove out the evil spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.
Matthew 8:17 He did this to make come true what the prophet Isaiah had said, “He himself took our sickness and carried away our diseases.”
Matthew 9:35 Jesus went around visiting all the towns and villages. He taught in the synagogues, preached the Good News about the Kingdom, and healed people with every kind of disease and sickness.
Matthew 12:15 When Jesus heard about the plot against him, he went away from that place; and large crowds followed him. He healed all the sick
Mark 1:32 After the sun had set and evening had come, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had demons.
Mark 1:33-34 All the people of the town gathered in front of the house. Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything, because they knew who he was.
Luke 4:40 After sunset all who had friends who were sick with various diseases brought them to Jesus; he placed his hands on every one of them and healed them all.
Act 5:16 And crowds of people came in from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing those who were sick or who had evil spirits in them; and they were all healed.
Act 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Act 28:9 When this happened, all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.
OK. So what part of *ALL* don’t you understand? If Jesus healed all who came to him, then, we, as believers who are called to even greater feats than Jesus did, by His own Prophecy, need to be healing *all* who come to us. But how? I’ve been thinking–and praying–a lot about this.
First of all, as a God-man committed to using earthly tools–well, except for that water-into-wine and the loaves-and-fishes episodes, the walking-on-water routine, the Moses-and-Elijah incident, and the resurrections–He was generally restricted by the science and wisdom of His time. Jesus was human in a moment of human history that lacked the sophistication, resources, inventions, and medical advances of future generations.
He knew they were coming, so He knew we would have a lot more than water, mud, and spit to work with. He used everything He found to do the job He was called to do in that moment of time, in full agreement and unity with His Father and the Spirit. That was His lesson for us.
He demonstrated exactly who He wants us to heal (*ALL*), and how–with the tools, resources, and medical advances of *our* time, in communion with the power and presence of the Father, Son, and Spirit.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” He said; “Believe in Me,” He said; “Follow Me and do what I do,” He said; “You’ll do even greater things than me,” He said; “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature,” He said.
He’s commanded all of us, if we *are* believers, to heal everyone who comes to us, and to restore, forgive, extend mercy, love, compassion, and help, with whatever means necessary. Mercifully, He spread the work across the whole Body. Jesus promised us, “I am with you always,” and gave us lots of brothers and sisters to labor alongside us. None of us has to work alone, but we must *all* be about our Father’s business.
We will all heal differently, using whatever unique talents, tools, skills, inclinations, and resources we have, but we are *all* called to heal. So I’m asking again. What part of *all* don’t you understand?