Summary: A teaching sermon relating to healing in the Christian context.
When you hear the word healing in connection to Christian circles, what comes to mind?
Do you feel comforted?
Or do you feel a bit uneasy?
Perhaps you are a bit weary?
Maybe you think about a specific type of healing.
Throughout the history of Christianity healing has always been part of the Christian life.
In fact Jesus tells us in the Gospels on numerous times to Go and proclaim His God news and heal the sick.
And in today’s Gospel reading and in a number of other places in scripture we see Jesus and his disciples involved in healing.
Unfortunately, though some people have been turned off Christian healing.
One reason I suspect is that they are worried they can’t explain it.
They can’t explain sometimes how someone is healed.
Or they can’t explain why some people are healed and others aren’t.
This is one of the mysteries of God,
although hopefully today we can gain some insights into why God may heal some people and not others.
But remember there are many things about God we do not know.
Also another major reason is that we are uncomfortable with some people who claim to be Christians and provide healing.
A colleague Lutheran pastor, who believes that healing is part of the ministry of the church, shared with me that at times he is also weary of people claiming to be healers.
He shared with me his experience in a smallish country town, where most of the churches decided to get together for an event, to show their diversity and their unity.
They decided to end the week with an event, a worship celebration of some kind.
Touring around the area there happened to be a traveling healing evangelist.
They decided to book him as their guest preacher for the weekend.
However when some promotional material and some banners arrived some of the church leaders were disappointed.
You see most of the promotion read something along the lines of ‘Come and be healed by Bill Jones (name changed)’
Can you see the problem?
The emphasis was not on Jesus or God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit providing the healing, but on a particular person.
This brings me to a very important point regarding healing.
All healing should be attributed to God, to Jesus.
We should always highlight and remember that all healing takes place so as to glorify God.
And this includes healing that seems to be miracalous and healing that takes place through a hospital.
As I mentioned earlier healing has always been part of the Christian church.
And three recent stories related to healing I would like to share with you today.
One I am quite familiar with.
The other two have been relayed to me by other pastors.
The first is about a gentleman called Tom.
Around 8 months ago, in June Tom was diagnosed with cancer.
And a fairly aggressive form of cancer.
In late November Tom was sent home by the hospital to die.
In fact by now Tom should have been dead.
He was given a hospital bed and regular visits by nurses and other palliative care was arranged.
And he was told he would die the next time he had a major bleed.
At the time of him being diagnosed with cancer Tom was not a Christian.
In fact he was adamant that he could not believe.
If there was a line showing how far Tom was away from God...
If God was here…
Tom was over there (pointing to something around 3 metres away).
And his wife…well she was even further away.
Probably five blocks away.
Fortunately though God had placed someone in Tom’s life who was a Christian and who believed that God could do everything.
We will call this person Bill (not his real name but used because he is a member of one of our congregations and does not want to be identified).
Bill would visit Tom regularly.
As a mate who had known Tom for some time, Bill would drop into see Tom and see how he was going.
He would occasionally and casually talk about Jesus and the future God has prepared everyone who believes.
Tom’s wife didn’t want to hear anything about God and would often leave the house or say they needed to talk in a separate room, because of her attitude to God.
And occasionally Bill would always ask Tom, do you mind if I pray for you?
Tom’s response was I don’t think it will work but you can give it a go.
Now some interesting things have occurred.
At a recent visit to his doctor,
The doctor was scratching his head saying “I can’t work at what has happened but your cancer seems to have reduced.”