In Restoring the Ministry of Jesus I named healing as one of the four things that Jesus did on a regular basis. When you read the gospels, you can’t get around the fact that Jesus often healed the sick. This was a normal part of His ministry.
Jesus also passed this healing ministry on to His followers: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
The book of Acts shows that the healing ministry of Jesus continued on with the early church. Supernatural healings were common, and people were even raised from the dead. But somewhere along the way, the church began to neglect this ministry and it began to fade. This was not God’s design. The healing ministry of Jesus was never meant to stop.
The below passage from Matthew’s gospel illustrates how important healing is to Jesus:
“Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”
The disciples had been given the authority and power to heal, but they failed to cure the boy. Jesus was not happy about this. After his stunning rebuke, He healed the boy by casting a demon out of him. Like the disciples, we have been given authority to heal, but we are not exercising that authority.
Jesus is not OK with the inability of His disciples to heal the sick; we must see the healing ministry of Jesus restored. There are many believers and churches that are pursuing this and seeing God breakthrough with healing, signs, and wonders. But many more are ignoring or even resisting the ministry of healing.
We must no longer make excuses for our powerlessness or use theology to explain why more healings are not happening. Healing is important to Jesus; it must become important to the church.
Our lack of power in healing has many negative consequences. When healing is neglected, the kingdom is not advancing as it should be. The ministry of healing is connected with the message of the kingdom throughout the New Testament. And sometimes whole cities turned to God because of a miraculous healing (see Acts 9:32-35).
Another consequence is that our lack of power to heal has created a void that is being filled with counterfeits. Even believers are resorting to methods of healing that have their root in the occult or new age movement. Out of ignorance or desperation they try whatever might work, not realizing there could be a spiritual danger.
When healing ministry is neglected, people remain in sickness who should be healed. The boy that Jesus healed in the above passage would have remained in suffering if left to the disciples. Today, Jesus is not physically present to step in and save the day. He has given us the authority of His name and the power of the Holy Spirit, and we must follow His example and heal the sick.
This issue can no longer be swept under the rug and ignored. We must restore the healing ministry of Jesus!