You’ve seen the TV programs and you’ve heard the miracle stories, people claiming to be healed by God. Is it true? Does God really heal people today or is this just a bunch of hype and positive thinking?
Faith healers, healing services, and miracle crusades all trace their roots back to the New Testament when Jesus and the Apostles were healing people as part of their ministries. A simple reading through the four Gospels and the Book of Acts reveal that God did, in fact, heal people in miraculous ways. Blind men could see, crippled people could walk, and lepers were cleansed. But does this happen today? Is this something we should expect God to do? I suppose the best answer is Yes and No. Here’s why…
Yes – God Can Do Whatever He Wants
Ephesians 3:20-21 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
God is not limited by our understanding or perspective in a given situation. When we feel limited by our circumstances, God can work in ways that will surprise us. This is why we are called to trust God beyond our understanding. So there is nothing unbiblical or wrong with praying for a physical, emotional, or spiritual healing. God has the ability and power to perform miracles!
He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants. But remember, God will often surprise you! The Apostle Paul prayed for a physical healing and God chose to give him the strength and perspective to endure the pain rather than remove it (c.f. 2 Cor. 12:7-10). So when it comes to asking God for a healing, ask away but don’t limit your perspective on how He might decide to answer. He will surprise you!
No – God Stopped Ministry-Based Healing
Acts 2:22- … Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.
When you read through the New Testament, you quickly recognize that Jesus became famous because for His healing ministry. People would travel for miles to have an encounter with the miracle worker (c.f. Mat. 4:23-25). It is also important to note that the majority of people Jesus healed were non-Christians who really didn’t know Him. This is because Jesus’ healing ministry was meant to validate His message, not to eradicate sickness in people’s lives. In other words, why should I believe Jesus when He says He is God’s only son? Anyone can say that. But when He makes a blind man see, that changes everything. The ministry of healing throughout the New Testament was a validating ministry. It validated the message of the Gospel, the Apostles, and canonization of scripture.
So today when people claim to have the gift of healing that call people to have “enough” faith in order to be healed, this is not a New Testament model. The gift of healing was a validation ministry. Today we have the New Testament and words of Jesus to point to for validation. If God were truly going to continue this type of healing ministry today, it would be within the context of unreached people groups and non-Christians who don’t have the word of God, not at miracles crusades or faith rallies.
I recognize there may be differing views on this topic, but remember the goal as we dialog is to always come back to God’s word for insight and guidance.
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