Summary: We need to commit as a church to creating an environment that fosters spiritual, emotional and physical healing. We need to do this for the glory of God and for those who are wounded and in need of God’s healing touch.
A Church that Heals
Present the service project for the Salvation Army to the church prior to the message.
Thesis: We need to commit as a church to creating an environment that fosters spiritual, emotional and physical healing. We need to do this for the glory of God and for those who are wounded and in need of God’s healing touch.
1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
8Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”
11But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’”
12So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”
13The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” 18For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Doug Murren wrote the book Churches That Heal and it revealed to me the necessity an importance of being a church that heals and restores people’s lives. Murren states, “Churches should heal because people need healing” (2). Such a simple statement but so filled with deep spiritual truth. The church needs to get to work and focus on its divine purpose which is to assist in helping people to heal by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Doug shared his vision on why he wanted to write a book about this subject. He opens his book in the introduction with this thought:
Why should churches be places of healing? That’s the question I got from several doctors when I mentioned the title of this book to them. We have modern medicine. We have great scientific understanding. We have new breakthroughs occurring nearly every day. Why in the world would churches want to get into the act (1)?
Have you ever thought about this question? Why would a church want to be in the healing field? Why not just go through the ritualistic act of traditional religion and never let it impact you or someone else. It’s less work and less painful. Do you realize how hard it is to help people progress through the healing process? They will scream in pain and you will have to listen to it. They will moan and groan and complain about all the pain and you will have to continue to treat them with compassion! They will get mad and angry because they are tired of suffering through the pain and then they will take it out on you. They will lose proper body functions and wet themselves and create a mess that you will have to clean up. Some will continue to do bad things to their bodies and expect you to fix them with a power pill. You will have to learn to deal with death because not everyone will be healed. You will have to deal with the loss of ones you learned to love. People will even die in your arms and you will not be able to do anything but pray for them. Why in the world would the church want to get involved in this difficult heart wrenching process?
May be because some people do get healed and do get better? May be because your labor of love does bring rich and great eternal rewards? May be because it’s what God wants you to do? May be because you will be blessed in the process of helping others heal. May be you have realized that a church which does not heal is really missing their divine mission on earth?