Why Is Healing So Essential?Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
In Luke 9:1-11, we see a repeating thematic pattern. In verse 2, Jesus sent out his disciples “to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” Then, in verse 6, Luke notes that the disciples were “preaching the Good News and healing the sick.” Finally, in verse 11, we read that Jesus welcomed the crowds “and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.”
Why, we might wonder, was healing so essential in the ministry of Jesus and his followers?
For one thing, healing was a means to get people’s attention and interest. In a time when the practice of medicine was primitive, long before antibiotics and other therapeutic drugs, sick people often suffered without relief. Thus, when they heard that a healer was in the area, they would flock to that person in the hope of being made well. People may not have been initially interested in the message of Jesus, but they were surely drawn to his restorative power.
Moreover, healing was an expression of the love of God. By making people whole, Jesus demonstrated in a tangible way that God cared for them.
Healing also provided a vivid illustration of the presence of the kingdom of God. As Jesus and his disciples proclaimed that the reign of God had come near, healing served as proof that their proclamation was true. As they preached that the power of God was at hand, they healed people by that very power. Thus, healing both illustrated the core of the good news and offered persuasive evidence for the truth of that good news.
Today, those of us who follow Jesus continue his ministry. Thus, we are called both to announce the good news and to be channels of God’s healing. This happens in a variety of ways. Believing that God can heal in miraculous ways, we pray for the sick. We also act as agents of relational and emotional healing through our acts of love and kindness. Christians who serve in health professions can also be used by God to bring wholeness to sick and broken people. In these and many other ways, we both speak and enact the Gospel so that people might be drawn to the Lord.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what ways have you experienced God’s healing power, either as a recipient or as a channel of that power for others? Are there areas of your life in which you need more of God’s healing? Are there places or relationships in which God might use you as an agent of healing for others?
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, how I thank you for the fullness of your ministry. What you proclaimed, you also enacted. What you said, you did. We see this especially in the way you healed bodies, souls, and relationships.
Thank you, Lord, for the many ways you have healed me. Yet, as I consider my life, I think of ways I am still wounded and broken. So I ask for your healing work to continue. May I be open to all that you would do in me. . . .
And through me. May I be a channel of your good news and healing power. May my words and deeds reflect your grace and glory.
Today, Lord, I’m reminded to pray specifically for those who are in the healing professions, that you might use them as vehicles of your healing grace. Encourage them. Give them wisdom. Fill them with compassion. May they show forth your grace in their professional lives, so that you might be glorified and your kingdom extended.
All praise be to you, O God, our healer. Amen.