Summary: I have prayed for a sick lady who had cancer, and she died. In fact more than one person I have prayed for has died and not been healed. Do you want someone like me to pray for you? Why weren't they healed?
Part 7 - Matthew 8:17 -I PRAYED FOR HIM, LORD, AND HE DIED! WHY?
I have prayed for a sick lady who had cancer, and she died. In fact more than one person I have prayed for has died and not been healed. Do you want someone like me to pray for you? Why weren't they healed? Not enough faith? I prayed for a wonderful Pastor who had cancer who was involved in doing the most amazing things for God. He had enough faith for both of us, and we really thought he would be healed. He was not healed and died soon after. He had a wife and children. I can't imagine watching your Husband and your Father die slowly and all you could do was to pray, and later to grieve his loss. It didn't seem like anything particularly good came from his death from a human point of view.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I have seen some of the most amazing healings and God has even used me to pray. But why doesn't God choose to heal ALL who come to Him? I'm not talking about non-Christians who have rejected Him. I mean those who love Him and yet die of cancer. And not only the big diseases. Why aren't we healed of the common cold? It seems everyone I know spends about fortnight getting over it no matter how hard I pray?
The POSB commentary says "Disease- Sickness- Corruption: the ultimate cause of corruption is sin and evil in the world (Genesis 2:15-3:7). An imperfect and corruptible world produces the seed of imperfection and incompleteness. It produces the seed of aging and deterioration until finally all waste away. Imperfection, sin, and disease are just the way of a world that is imperfect. The seed of corruption eats away until all become diseased and sick and ready for the grave."
After Peter's Mother-in-law was healed by Jesus, Matthew 8:16-17 (NLT) says that "That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, AND HE HEALED ALL THE SICK. This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, "He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.""
So I notice that casting out demons and healing ALL the sick was to fulfil a prophecy in Isaiah about how Jesus "...took our sicknesses and removed our diseases."" (Matthew 8:17).
This passage is always used to speak of the Cross, and how when Jesus died, He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases. But do you notice something? Matthew said this about Jesus WHEN HE WAS STILL ALIVE! He said this passage had to do with Jesus' healing ministry BEFORE THE CROSS. Now was Matthew just looking back and saying this was retro-active healing?
Matthew wrote His gospel after the Cross and so is he just making a comment about the Cross? No! It doesn't appear that way to me. Does it to you? JESUS IS STILL ALIVE IN THIS PASSAGE. He heals people and casts out demons and then Matthew says that these acts of healing were to fulfil Isaiah's prophecy - while He was still alive. HE LITERALLY TOOK OUR SICKNESSES UPON HIMSELF AS HE HEALED PEOPLE. He also forgave sin before He bore the consequences and curse of our sin on the Cross. Was it just that each sin He forgave and each sickness He healed was like a downpayment and the rest was paid at the Cross?
Isaiah 53:4 (NASB) says, "Surely our griefs (another translation is "OUR SICKNESSES") He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted." It certainly appears that this passage that Matthew quotes in relation to Jesus' healing ministry refers to the Cross. How do I explain this?
Of course Jesus in His deity (He was God) is not subject to time. Was He applying what would happen in the future to heal someone in the present? Possibly, but this seems to me to be reading into this passage that isn't there. No matter how I look at it, Matthew applies the prophecy from Isaiah to Jesus and His healing ministry WHILE HE WAS STILL ON EARTH AND BEFORE THE CROSS.
Now I believe with all my heart that Jesus bore the consequences of both my sin and the curse of sin on the Cross. That means that physical healing and victory over death itself are guaranteed by Christ's work on the Cross. And I realise that these will NOT BE FULLY REALISED until the very end. So I see evidence of Jesus healing in the world today. And I see that He chooses not to heal everyone for some unknown reason to me. All I can do is trust that He knows what He is doing. He is God, afterall.