Thursday, February 20, 2014

That Jesus came to heal and to save

Luke 4:18-19
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me 
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

We have been praying for a young cousin who had a valve replaced in his heart a few weeks ago, since he grew out of the previous one put in as a baby.  However, during a recent checkup the doctors discovered that a bubble had formed between valves, and it needed to be removed as soon as possible.  What was hoped to be a four-hour surgery became the work of ten hours, and his recovery is not going as smoothly either.

Through this time friends, relatives, friends of friends, churches of relatives, missionaries across the globe - people have been praying everywhere for his healing, that his heart will work properly and he can go back to being the active teenager he was a few weeks ago.  A while back at my prayer group, a friend reminded us that "Jesus came to heal and to save" (one of her common sayings), which in turn prompted a discussion how hard it seems to be to believe that Jesus heals - and that He healed everyone who came to Him (Matt 12:15).  

Jesus came to save us from our sins.  I wholeheartedly believe that, and I have no doubts that I will be in glory with Him some day.  I do not believe that He needs to re-save me every time I sin and ask for forgiveness.  He has saved me to eternity.  He has saved our cousin to eternity also.  The moment I accepted that free gift of salvation, I was saved. 

Jesus came to heal  - to heal the brokenhearted and proclaim recovery of sight to the blind.  I believe that He came not just to save us, but to heal us.  Look at His miracles - He healed everyone.  But it is hard to believe that He still heals everyone - sometimes we see healing, but  . . .  not always.  Sometimes He answers our prayers affirmatively, but sometimes our loved ones don't heal.  Examples of friends and relatives who were not healed have piled up into a mountain of discouragement. 

A friend brought up the point that as Christians, we really don't treat salvation and healing the same, even though Jesus came for both.  He saved us once and for all by dying on the cross - the moment we accept that free gift from God, we are saved.  It doesn't need to happen again and again.  So why do we not treat healing the same?  Accept that we are healed and believe it?  And while we are at it, accept that we are free from oppression and no longer captive to the world?  Then live in that firm belief, just as we believe we are saved? 

In any case, it is indisputable that Jesus came to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed.  To me, that means He came to heal everyone

So we declare:

God, You came to save us from our sins; You came to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.  That is why You were here on earth, and that means that in Jesus' holy name You have already healed my cousin's physically broken heart.  We ask for increased faith to believe it, and as You lifted Peter up when he was sinking on the sea, catch us and lift us up when our faith wavers.  And while we're at it, a little evidence to his healing would not go amiss - astound the doctors with an unprecedentedly quick and complete recovery!  Amen!

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