Salvation for the Body (1 of 6): Healing as Part of the Mission | Daniel J. Koren's
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Salvation for the Body (1 of 6): Healing as Part of the Mission

Posted by danieljkoren on February 25, 2011 in Viewpoints |

And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.  And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.  And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Mark 1:40-44)

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He healed people as part of His mission.  Some have suggested that the Lord worked miracles as a means to garner attention and publicity.  However, careful analysis of His time in first century Israel reveals that simple compassion drove Him to deliver those who had come under the bondage of sickness and disease.  Healing is part of the covenant promise prior to Christ, during His ministry, and even into modern times.

Healing as Part of the Mission

The opening story of Jesus, in Matthew’s narrative, tells us He went through the region “teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”[1] While few scholars would raise question about the fact that Jesus mission including preaching and teaching, we also see that He brought healing as part of His modus operandi.  Almost word for word, other passages reinforce these three components of the Lord’s ministry.[2] The gospels are strewn with stories about droves of people coming to Jesus “to hear him, and to be healed.”[3] The miraculous was more than a part-time enterprise, for this passage continues to clarify, that He “healed them all.”[4]

Heil says that the teachings of Jesus and His healings were mutually related.[5] Thomas points out that “not only are healing and preaching a part of the gospel proclamation, but also on more than one occasion healing results in preaching. In other words, the ministry of healing as part of gospel proclamation generates additional gospel proclamation in the form of preaching and perhaps additional healing activity”.[6] Hamm links the idea of healing with the restoration of the spirit as well as the body, and both of these works coming by the power of the Name.[7]

Although Jesus’ miraculous power surprised and offended the religious leaders, it shouldn’t have.  Brown says “To the ancient Near Eastern—and biblical!—mind, it was impossible to countenance a major god/God who did not heal.[8] God instituted healing as one of the covenant promises under Moses.[9] Beyond that, the Isaiah prophecies tell of the restoration work of the Savior: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”[10] The Evangelist knew this passage applied to Jesus and enhanced the underlying meanings of grief and sorrow by pointing them directly to physical ailments, saying He “healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’”[11]

The disciples carried forth the word and power of Jesus:

In Matthew 10:1, Jesus calls his twelve disciples and gives them authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. He then tells them to go and preach, “The kingdom of heaven is near” (10:7). Following immediately on this command are the words, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (10:8). While the missionary activity of the twelve is not described within the narrative itself, the implication from v. 5 is that not only were they sent, but also that they indeed did go, proclaiming the gospel in word and deed.[12]

__________________
This was only page one of six. Click on the next topic or peruse them as you please. I wrote this paper during my graduate studies at UGST.

Healing as Part of the mission

Modern Views of Jesus’ Mission

Where Does Illness Come From?

Is Sickness Good?

Why did Jesus Heal?

The Compassion Motive

Healing after Christ

Applying the Promise


[1] Matthew 4:23, All scripture quotations from King James Version unless otherwise noted.

[2] Matthew 9:35; 11:1-6; Mark 1:32-39; Luke 4:40-44

[3] Luke 6:17-18

[4] Luke 6:19

[5] John Paul Heil. “Significant aspects of the healing miracles in Matthew.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41.2 (Apr. 1979): 278-79.

[6] John Christopher Thomas. “The spirit, healing and mission: an overview of the biblical canon.” International Review of Mission 93.370-371 (July 2004): 429.

[7] Dennis Hamm. “Acts 3:12-26 : Peter’s speech and the healing of the man born lame.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 11.3 (Fall 1984): 205.

[8] Michael L. Brown.  Israel’s Divine Healer.  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 53.

[9] Deuteronomy 7:14-15 “Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.  And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.”

[10] Isaiah 53:4-5

[11] Matthew 8:16-17, New King James Version.

[12] Thomas, 427.

I hope to meet you in person soon. 

 

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And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.  And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.  And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (Mark 1:40-44)

During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He healed people as part of His mission.  Some have suggested that the Lord worked miracles as a means to garner attention and publicity.  However, careful analysis of His time in first century Israel reveals that simple compassion drove Him to deliver those who had come under the bondage of sickness and disease.  Healing is part of the covenant promise prior to Christ, during His ministry, and even into modern times.

Healing as Part of the Mission

The opening story of Jesus, in Matthew’s narrative, tells us He went through the region “teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”[1] While few scholars would raise question about the fact that Jesus mission including preaching and teaching, we also see that He brought healing as part of His modus operandi.  Almost word for word, other passages reinforce these three components of the Lord’s ministry.[2] The gospels are strewn with stories about droves of people coming to Jesus “to hear him, and to be healed.”[3] The miraculous was more than a part-time enterprise, for this passage continues to clarify, that He “healed them all.”[4]

Heil says that the teachings of Jesus and His healings were mutually related.[5] Thomas points out that “not only are healing and preaching a part of the gospel proclamation, but also on more than one occasion healing results in preaching. In other words, the ministry of healing as part of gospel proclamation generates additional gospel proclamation in the form of preaching and perhaps additional healing activity”.[6] Hamm links the idea of healing with the restoration of the spirit as well as the body, and both of these works coming by the power of the Name.[7]

Although Jesus’ miraculous power surprised and offended the religious leaders, it shouldn’t have.  Brown says “To the ancient Near Eastern—and biblical!—mind, it was impossible to countenance a major god/God who did not heal.[8] God instituted healing as one of the covenant promises under Moses.[9] Beyond that, the Isaiah prophecies tell of the restoration work of the Savior: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”[10] The Evangelist knew this passage applied to Jesus and enhanced the underlying meanings of grief and sorrow by pointing them directly to physical ailments, saying He “healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’”[11]

The disciples carried forth the word and power of Jesus:

In Matthew 10:1, Jesus calls his twelve disciples and gives them authority to cast out unclean spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. He then tells them to go and preach, “The kingdom of heaven is near” (10:7). Following immediately on this command are the words, “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons” (10:8). While the missionary activity of the twelve is not described within the narrative itself, the implication from v. 5 is that not only were they sent, but also that they indeed did go, proclaiming the gospel in word and deed.[12]


[1] Matthew 4:23, All scripture quotations from King James Version unless otherwise noted.

[2] Matthew 9:35; 11:1-6; Mark 1:32-39; Luke 4:40-44

[3] Luke 6:17-18

[4] Luke 6:19

[5] John Paul Heil. “Significant aspects of the healing miracles in Matthew.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 41.2 (Apr. 1979): 278-79.

[6] John Christopher Thomas. “The spirit, healing and mission: an overview of the biblical canon.” International Review of Mission 93.370-371 (July 2004): 429.

[7] Dennis Hamm. “Acts 3:12-26 : Peter’s speech and the healing of the man born lame.” Perspectives in Religious Studies 11.3 (Fall 1984): 205.

[8] Michael L. Brown.  Israel’s Divine Healer.  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 53.

[9] Deuteronomy 7:14-15 “Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle.  And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.”

[10] Isaiah 53:4-5

[11] Matthew 8:16-17, New King James Version.

[12] Thomas, 427.

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