The Church today sees healing primarily as a blessing from the Father for the followers of His Son Jesus Christ. While Jesus called it the “children’s bread,” there may be some misunderstanding of who these “children” actually are.
Matthew 15:22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
Whom did Jesus mean by “the children?” He was referring to “the lost sheep of Israel” to whom He was sent. These were not born-again believers but lost sheep whom He came to find. Healing was for the lost whom He came to save.
Today with the Lord’s command to go into all the world to preach the gospel, “the lost sheep of Israel” would include the lost Gentiles as well.
Of course, healing is for born-again believers as well. The gift of healing is given by the Holy Spirit to minister healing to those in the body of Christ. However, there is definite imbalance in the thinking of the Church, an over-emphasis on healing for believers to the near exclusion of the primary function of healing which is to draw the lost to Jesus Christ.
John 20:30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John 14:11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
Luke 9:2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Jesus came to save the lost, not simply to heal the sick. He healed the sick not simply because of His compassion for them, but as proof that He was the Son of God, the Savior who was the only way to the Father.
The Church sees “healing services” exclusively as events where believers go to receive the blessing of healing from the Lord. This robs miraculous healing of its primary intent and power—as a sign to the lost that Jesus has authority to forgive sin and save from condemnation in hell.
Mark 2:9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralytic, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
It’s time for the Church to see miraculous healing as Scripture teaches it—a powerful weapon with which we can complete the Great Commission, preaching the gospel to every creature and discipling all nations before Christ returns. It’s time for the Church to re-examine its selfish “bless me” emphasis with regard to miraculous healing. Of course sick believers rightfully desire to be healed. But should this take away from the rightful emphasis on reaching the lost? Which has the higher priority in God’s sight?
Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation…17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; …they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
The Lord confirmed the truth of the gospel to the lost through the miraculous signs performed by the believers as they laid hands on the sick. And He does the same things today. We have seen it with our own eyes.