What did Jesus think about sickness, disease, and healing? How can we think like him?
I’m pastor Doug Sewell. Welcome to the Beyond Six Verses podcast. This is part three of a series thinking like Jesus about healing.
Jesus knew healing gives glory to God. We need to see healing that way.
In Mark chapter two:
A few days later when Jesus again entered Capernaum that people heard he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came bringing to him a paralyzed man carried by the four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and lowered the mat, the man was lying on.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, son, your sins are forgiven. Now, some teachers of the law were sitting there thinking to themselves, why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming who can forgive sins but God alone?
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, why are you thinking these things? Which is easier to say to the paralyzed man. Your sins are forgiven or to say, get up, take your bed and walk. But I want you to know that the son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the man, I tell you, get up. Take your bed and mat and go home. He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all this amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, we have never seen anything like this.
Saying someone is forgiven, appears intangible to the observer. You can’t see that anything happened. But telling someone to get up and walk and they’d get up and walk. Demonstrated the authority is there to forgive and to heal.
The word praise in that last verse is glorified in the King James. In the Greek, the word is doxazo – to render his team glorious, to glorify full of glory, honor, magnify. So what gave glory to God in this situation? Healing.
There are two places in scripture where some read the Bible as saying God gets glory from sickness. I want to look at them.
Now, the first is in John nine:
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, rabbi, who sinned? This man or his parents that he was born blind?
Neither this man nor his parents sinned said, Jesus, but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him as long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
This is a case where how you punctuate a sentence can affect the reading and interpretation. The Greek didn’t have punctuation, so it’s at the translator’s discretion to insert commas and periods. If you read this as punctuated in some translations, you would say he got sick so God’s works would be displayed.
But what if you read it this way instead? Neither this man nor his parents sinned, comma, but this happened, period. So that the works of God might be displayed in him, comma, I must do the works of him who sent me, period.
First John three eight says that Jesus was revealed to destroy the devil’s works. Blindness is one of the devil’s works depriving people of vision, pleasure, income, and capabilities.
Healing a man born blind from birth was also one of the four Messianic miracles – a tradition that says the Jewish people expected the Messiah to perform four specific miracles. This is one of the reasons why if you read the rest of John chapter 9, they put this man out of the synagogue.
Jesus knew God got glory out of healing this blindness. Where’s another case like this? Raising Lazarus in John 11:
Now, a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, Lord, the one you love is sick. When he heard this, Jesus said, this sickness will not end in death. No is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it. Now, Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, let us go back to Judea.
The first thing Jesus said here was this sickness will not end in death. Then he connected God’s glory with the sickness not ending in death. That is, he connected God’s glory with healing and resurrection.
Yes, Lazarus did die, and Jesus took his time getting there intentionally. Jesus raised him up because Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Incidentally, raising a person from the dead more than three days after they pass was the fourth and final Messianic miracle I spoke of.
Raising Lazarus was such an outstanding miracle that the chief priests and Pharisees called the Sanhedrin together to discuss it. They decided to kill Jesus – see John 11:53 – and also to kill Lazarus, John 12:9-10, because he stood as living proof that Jesus was the Messiah.
When we believe God gets glory when people get healed, we’re thinking like Jesus about healing.
Are you wondering what the other two Messianic miracles are? Come back next week for the next episode of the Beyond Six Verses podcast. I’m Pastor Doug Sewell. Thank you for listening.
(Transcript provided by descript.com)