Summary: Jesus is more concerned about our spiritual healing than our physical healing.
We just watched a video from Beamer Films titled “How should we then pray?” We heard a young man’s anguish over unanswered prayers. And we have all been to that point. It seems that God is not listening or He simply does not care.
We all have our favorite verses about healing. Here is a few of mine. “Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
“Since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.”
“If you are sick, you should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick.”
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power.”
“You have not because you ask not.”
“By his wounds we are healed.”
I have heard it taught that God is bound by his word. Therefore, God becomes a vending machine. Insert my favorite scripture, pull the knob, and God is forced to answer my request.
I have heard it taught that there is such power in the name of Jesus that, like a magic word, you pray in his name and you get it.
But when the magic formula fails us, we question God and our faith.
As you know, I have been struggling with a bulging disc in my back for three and a half weeks. I have lain awake at night confessing my sins and praying for relief so that I might sleep longer than two to three hours. And although I am feeling better, I realize a lot of the relief is coming from the medication and physical therapy.
I have had prayers lifted heavenward. I have been anointed with oil. I have asked but I have not received. I have quoted “by his wounds I am healed” but I still hurt.
The Bible says, “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power.” Maybe you guys are the problem. Maybe you have not been earnest in your payers for me or maybe you are not righteous. Maybe when you anointed me with oil you did not have faith it would work. I know better then that. I wanted you to see how sometimes taking scripture out of context can corrupt the Word of God. Sometimes we push for promises that God never made. So what do we do with these verses? How do they apply to us?
Let us look at our next character. Jesus has begun his ministry. He has cast out demons and healed many people including a man with leprosy. After several days, Jesus returns to Capernaum. Mark 2:2-4 “Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room, even outside the door. While he was preaching God’s word to them, four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. They could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, so they dug a hole through the roof above his head. Then they lowered the man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus.”
Jesus is holding in church in someone’s house. He is the guest speaker and He is preaching the Word. We have the Word made flesh preaching the written word. Revival has broken out. It is standing room only. In the midst of this five people show up, four men carrying one man who cannot walk. They have not come to hear the message. They have come to see a miracle. They have heard of the Healer and now they want to see him.
But they cannot even get close to the door. How many of us would have left? How many of us would have said “Oh well. We tried”? However, these four would not turn back.
Imagine their struggle to get their friend on the rooftop. Imagine his fear of being dropped. But they got him up there. And then they tore a hole in someone’s roof.
What if you were the homeowner seeing parts of your roof being lifted off? What would your thoughts have been? Who are these guys? Who is going to fix this? I remember going to a church where new carpet had been lain. A few Sundays later, we had visitors that must have lived on a dirt road and they tracked mud onto the carpet. Quite a few people were upset over needing to get the carpet cleaned and suggested if they returned to ask them to remove their shoes. I can only imagine the horror in that church if someone had removed part of the roof to get to Jesus.
So Jesus is delivering the message when clay and hay begin to fall into the room. Suddenly like a spider coming down from the ceiling, a mat is lowered with a crippled man on it. I can see Jesus looking up at four anxious faces watching to see his reaction. What He saw though was faith.