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Spiritual Healing: In The School of Christ
Spiritual healing of the sick in Christ has many Christians in a kind of spiritual vise. On the one hand they read about spiritual healing in their Bibles. On the other, they hear in pulpits that healing miracles have ceased and are not of today. The net effect is cause for confusion and even loss of faith. What is the truth about spiritual healing in today's Church?
When Jesus first appeared on the scene with His ministry, He was what Broadway show producers today would call a smash hit! As news spread about His teaching and healing, people literally swarmed around Him. And why not? The message Jesus presented to them was something no one had ever heard. He proclaimed the kingdom of God drawing near and then did something most amazing. He healed people-as many as could get close to Him.
The lesson was clear. God is breaking through to the physical world (into the affairs of man) to heal. Jesus never wavered in this teaching. He Preached the kingdom of God and healed the sick.
When Jesus selected His team to disciple, He taught them the nature of God's kingdom, instructed them how to heal, and sent them out to continue the work He had started. He commanded them to "Heal the sick..,' and tell people, 'The kingdom of God is near you.'" (Luke 10:9).
Jesus further said that anyone who has faith in Him after He is gone will "do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12). Again, Jesus was drawing on the message of his ministry and mission.
The more one studies the ministry of Jesus, the more one realizes the importance Jesus placed on healing the sick. For nearly one-fifth of the four Gospel accounts is devoted to Jesus' healing and the discussions raised by it. In fact, the emphasis on healing is greater than any other experience in the narrative. Out of 3,779 verses in the four Gospels, 727 relate specifically to the healing of physical and mental illness and the resurrection of the dead. And those healings that are recorded represent only a small fraction of the total (John 20:30). Compare this to the 165 verses that deal in general with eternal life.
Jesus saw Himself as being in conflict with evil, doing battle on a spiritual level made manifest in the physical realm. Unlike some believe, Jesus made clear that most people in their present condition do not deserve punishment. He healed freely, never asking what a person had done or how they had sinned. He viewed the effects of unclean spirits (sickness}in our lives as keeping us from reaching our full potential and calling. This then sets the backdrop of what it was like to be in the School of Christ.
The message is "God loves you." And what better way is there to demonstrate His love to you than for Him to heal you. This is the heart and soul of what the Incarnation of Christ is about (John 3:16), and what Jesus meant when He said the Kingdom of God is near you. It implies God breaking forth into the world and into the life of man to heal him from what evil has wrought.
But how did Jesus heal exactly? What did He specifically teach His disciples about healing? Is there anything we can learn from Scripture about healing the sick that we might apply today? In other words, is there a spiritual healing model recorded in the Bible we can use today in the healing ministry? The answer is a resounding, "Yes!"
In Mark 6:7-13, we read that Jesus sent the twelve out in pairs on a kind of on-the-job training mission for the work they would be doing after His departure. Before they went, He gave them very specific instructions. The results of their work is recorded in verse 13...
"They drove out many demons and anointed
many sick people with oil and healed them."
Before addressing the question of why the oil in the above passage, we need to first be clear about the healing performed. The Greek word used for "healed" in verse 13 is therapeuo, pronounced "ther-ap-yoo'-o," from which the English word "therapy" is derived. It literally means "to wait upon menially" (to serve), to "restore to health."
So there be no question, therapeuo denotes healing occurred over time. There is no indication the healings were in any way out of the ordinary or instantaneous. If the healings were instantaneous, the Koine Greek word, iaomai, as used in Luke 8:47 would have been used.
So we must (by using the rule of language) deduce the healings of Mark 6:13 occurred normally over a period of time. Were these healings divine? Yes! Were they miraculous? Yes! Why? Because all healing is spiritually rooted.
What makes the healings reported in Mark 6:13 all the more curious is the healing modality employed by the twelve disciples. They anointed (applied with their hands) the sick with healing oil. The reason the oil is so interesting, so unexpected, is that there is no previous passage that indicates the need or requirement to use oil in the disciples ministry. The reader is suddenly left with the appearance of these oils.
Without a previous text to explain the use of oil, the following questions are raised:
1. By whose authority were they using healing oil?
2. From where did the oil come?
3. Why were the disciples using healing oil in their ministry?
4. What are the implications for us today?
The answer to these important questions and others are answered in a free ebook entitled, Essential Oils and Healing From a Christian Perspective. The ebook is bible-based and non-denominational. To download a free copy, click on http://godshealingword.org/free_ebook.html
Jim Lynn is a minister in the church of Christ and author of the book, The Miracle of Healing In Your Church Today. For more information visit http://godshealingword.org
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