We know that the Lord does heal the sick, and that in Scripture He generally used his disciples to minister the healing. “Conventional wisdom” and just common sense would seem to tell us that we ourselves would need to be in good health before we could be vessels of healing to others. We all desire good health. But does Scripture teach that the Lord cannot use the sick to minister healing to other sick people?
To answer this question, let us focus on Elisha. He performed awesome miracles after receiving a double portion of the spirit of the mighty prophet Elijah. However, it’s not commonly known that he himself died of an illness.
2 Kings 13:14 Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die…
We could reasonably assume that Elisha did not want to die, but asked the Lord to heal him. Even if this were not the case, it is clear that it was not the Lord’s will to heal his servant, but to take home to heaven this man of faith and authority. Sometimes God’s will is not to heal.
2 Kings 13:20-21 So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, behold, a marauding band was seen and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.
Elisha was so anointed with power when he was alive that even contact with his bones by a corpse after his death brought the dead man back to life. Yet he himself died of an illness. How can we explain this paradox?
The Lord performs miracles of healing through His servants for the primary purpose of bringing glory to His name and drawing sinners to saving faith in Him. But believers are already saved and thus do not absolutely need to witness miracles of healing in their own bodies.
From the different perspective of the believers’ authority over disease and demons in the context of proclaiming the kingdom of God, that authority along with mountain-moving faith resides in the spirit of the believer. In contrast, disease resides separately in our physical bodies. Thus there is no necessary relationship between a believers’ authority in Christ to heal the sick and his own physical health.
We can conclude therefore that an infirm believer who has not been healed by the Lord should not feel somehow unqualified to minister healing to others.
Having said all this, however, “I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.” (3 John 1:2)