SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
July 13, 2008
Wholeness and Healing Are Still Available through Christ
Key Verse: And he [Jesus] cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. – Mark 1:34
The kind doctor told my friend that his wife was dying. “Tell the children to come immediately if they want to see their mother before she dies,” the doctor said.
Within hours all the children had
come to their mother’s bedside in
Twenty-five years later the mother is still enjoying good health. Her husband and her children are convinced that Jesus healed her in answer to their prayers. I share their conviction. I believe Jesus still heals the sick in answer to prayers of faith.
Why are some sick persons healed while others are not healed? I do not know. I prayed earnestly for my own son to be healed but he died. That experience almost robbed me of my willingness to pray for the healing of the sick. But a friend helped me believe that God hurt with me in the death of my son.
That changed my view of the character of God. Though it was difficult to do, I had to embrace the reality that God could have healed our son but allowed him to die. To this day I still do not understand why. However, God is God. He is not accountable to me; I am accountable to him, even when I do not understand his ways. He does not owe me an explanation for his actions.
Since the death of our first son my wife and I have prayed for our other four sons daily, but also in many times of crisis. One son was stricken with an illness that might easily have killed him. The doctor was not sure he would make it through the night. But many people joined us in praying for his healing. The next morning our son was amazingly well. The doctor gave the glory to God for the boy’s healing.
The ministry of Jesus was three-fold: preaching, teaching, and healing. The gospels affirm repeatedly the power of Jesus to heal the sick. He healed sick persons because he had compassion for them, not merely to prove he was the Messiah. The healing miracles of Jesus convince us that he has authority over every disease. He had in the First Century and he has it now.
That Jesus healed the sick proves
that sickness is not the will of God but the result of sin in the world. If God
“made people sick,” as some people believe, then Jesus would have been undoing
the will of his Father by healing people. Actually his healing demonstrated the
love of God. In the
Jesus healed people spiritually as well as physically. He did both when he “cast out many demons,” Demonic illness rendered people sick in body and soul. When Jesus delivered people from demon possession he freed them to live in health and wholeness.
Are there demons today? I have not seen one but I have seen human behavior for which demons are the logical explanation. Perhaps the demons of our modern world are our addictions – to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, sex, food, gambling, etc.
Other demons that sometimes control and ruin our lives are jealousy, hatred, resentment, and revenge. From these demonic forces our wisest counselors and our finest rehab centers seem powerless to set the addicts free.
On the other hand Jesus is still
able to cast out our demons and restore our sanity – when by faith we turn to
him. Take Jim, for example. Chip Ingram
tells us that Jim lived in
Jim found a church that helped him grow as a disciple, and then gave him a chance to work with other addicts. In time he developed a Celebrate Recovery ministry in his church. Dozens of addicts have gotten on the road to recovery because one day Jesus healed Jim of his addictions. Jesus did an “extreme makeover” of Jim’s life, restoring his health, showing him the purpose of his life, and giving him hope for the future.
We who are Jesus’ disciples have good news for our sick, hurting, and demonized family and friends. Our Lord still hears and answers prayers of faith. Wholeness and healing are still available through Jesus our Healer. Listen. You can hear him say, “Come unto me.”
(Contact Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org)