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HE HEALED THEIR DISEASES

Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture references are to the British text of the New International Version. Where the Scripture is not quoted, you can click on the citation to read the passage.

Mark 1: 29–45

He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases (Matt. 8: 17)

 

JESUS LEFT the Capernaum synagogue and went to Peter’s home, where Peter’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. It was the work of but a moment for the Saviour to take her by the hand and raise her up to health. The fame of Jesus had spread and by evening crowds were appealing for His healing words and touch. He attended to many that were sick from various diseases, and cast out many evil spirits, not allowing the demons to speak, because they knew him.

            But He did not remain to deepen the favourable impression He had made. The next morning, long before daylight, He left the city and went into a desert place for prayer and communion with God. Peter and the others who had accepted the call to discipleship followed and found Jesus later, apparently to urge His return, saying, “Everyone is looking for you.” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else — to the nearby villages — so I can preach there also” (Mark 1: 37, 38). And He went into the synagogues throughout Galilee, preaching and casting out demons.

He Healed Their Diseases

            What could be more attractive to the human mind than the miraculous power of healing disease!
All people dread disease and pain and suffering and long to be healed. It should not surprise us today that many false doctrines, wholly out of harmony with God’s Word, commend themselves to the poor, groaning creation by promises of relief from physical ailments, without medicine, theoretically by the power and favour of God, and supposedly in proof of the doctrines advocated by the healers.

            It is quite true that under the Law Covenant which God made with Israel, He agreed that sickness should be a penalty for violation of the Law, and health a reward for obedience. The statement of the Prophet, “who . . . heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103: 3) applied physically to the Israelites under the Law Covenant.

          But the healing of the new mind, heart and will and the healing of bodily infirmities are different processes. Soul-sickness and the troubled heart are all cured by the Good Physician — even though one’s human body may suffer pain and will go down into death. We are to remember that the condition upon which we were enlightened by the holy spirit was a full surrender of human life and its interests, as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing, which is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12: 1).

          There is no evidence of any change in the Lord’s dealings with the Church from the very beginning. So far as the records show, all (or nearly all) who were healed by Jesus and the Apostles were “sinners”. Although Paul healed many ill, yet when Epaphroditus was near death there seemed to have been no attempt to miraculously revive him. Similarly, in the case of Timothy, we find that Paul sent him neither napkins or handkerchiefs for his healing, but recommended an occasional wine and less water (1 Timothy 5: 23). For God’s consecrated people to ask for physical healing would be to attempt to take back again what they have specifically consecrated to the Lord.

          The miracles performed by Jesus and the Apostles were not attempts to heal all sickness, to banish pain and sorrow to perpetuity. They were merely intended to attract attention to the Gospel message. The time when God shall wipe away all tears from all faces, and when there shall be no more sighing and crying and dying, will be during and as a result of Messiah’s reign.

          The Scriptures provide proof along this line. Jesus did many mighty works in Capernaum, but merely to attract attention. He went to other cities and towns, leaving behind many sick and disappointed in Capernaum. Similarly, we read that when Jesus passed the pool of Siloam, a great multitude of blind, halt, and withered were there needing healing, waiting the opportunity to go down into the water. Jesus merely observed one in that multitude and said to him “Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5: 1-9).

A Cleansed Leper Thankful

Another case of healing is described in Mark 1: 40-45. The leper of this lesson had faith in the power of Jesus, coming and kneeling before Him to plead for healing, cleansing. His prayer was answered, not because he was one of Jesus’ disciples, nor because he promised to become one, but because of his evident faith, and it was in order to make his case a testimony to the priests, that Jesus exercised Divine power. Jesus exhorted the man to present the customary offering, expressing his thanks to God and giving his testimony to the priest respecting his being healed and to be examined as the Law required.

Although Jesus admonished the cured leper not to advertise this miracle, he could not restrain himself and told everyone. Consequently, Jesus could not thereafter visit the large cities because He knew He would be overwhelmed with the number of cases which would be brought to Him. He therefore frequented the rural districts. And still they came.

In the coming Kingdom of Christ He will dispense eternal restitution blessings and bring healing to the innumerable millions of Adam’s race, condemned through the fall of Adam, and redeemed by the precious blood of Calvary.

 

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