The King has Come

The King

When Jesus was born, there were shepherds on the surrounding hills of this region. As they were watching over their flocks, an angel from the Lord appeared to them with a message, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (). Shortly after this a host of angels appeared in the sky saying, “glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” (). That was an impressive scene. But why did this happen? The answer is, the King came into the world.

In simple yet profound words the apostle Paul wrote: “the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (). I am struck by those four fascinating words concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, He: “came into the world.” This is a reference to the greatest mission to ever be accomplished in the history of the universe. Let us consider what took place as the eternal Son of God, the second member of the Holy Trinity “came into the world.

Incarnation
The word ‘incarnation‘ refers to that event in which the Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself a human nature. Jesus Christ who existed in all eternity (), “became flesh and dwelt among us” (). This event happened at the right moment of God’s prophetic timetable (). The means in which He came into the world was through the virgin conception ().

In this act, Christ Jesus (who is God), became man – and yet remained God. He had set aside the complete independent use of His Divine attributes in a way that He remained God, but it was veiled in His humanity (). Why was this done? Christ took on human flesh, so that He might take upon Himself human sin. In the words of Thomas Watson, “He took our flesh that he might take our sins, and so appease God’s wrath.” It was necessary that the Lord Jesus Christ had to become a man in-order to represent fallen mankind. If He weren’t a man He wouldn’t be able to die as a substitute for His people – the very ones He came to save. His entrance into the world was without sin (), a perfect baby who came by means of a miraculous entry.

Earthly Life
The second phase we will consider of His coming into the world is His ‘earthly life‘. At the divinely appointed time the Lord Jesus Christ commenced His public ministry at the age of thirty (). The Lord Jesus Christ experienced intense temptation from Satan ( and ), yet despite this reality, He never sinned nor was He ever inclined to (). In the four gospels we are exposed to the precious and life changing words that flowed from His lips. During His ministry He preached and taught “as one who had authority” (). In His preaching He demanded repentance
(), and offered forgiveness of sins (). He performed many signs and wonders, which served the purpose of authenticating and affirming that He was who He said He was. His miracles pointed to the reality that He is the eternal Son of God. His life was an open book for all to see who He was. There were no failings, no secret sins, no scandals, no lies, no let downs, and no pride. He lived a life where it could be said that He was “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners” (). He lived a perfect life, something that no other man has ever done. Think about it, He could enter the most sinful and tempting situation, and He would not sin. He needed to live a perfect life in-order to be a perfect sacrifice.

Death
The final phase of Christ Jesus coming in the world for us to consider is His ‘death‘. He knew that this is why He came. At the appointed time in His ministry, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” ( NKJV). It is there where He will be tried by sinners, and will ultimately face something fiercer – the very wrath of God! The time comes when He is tried and arrested. In the process of His trial, many abused and mocked Him (). After further trial He was scourged with a whip that consisted of bones and metal that tore His very flesh from His back and was then sentenced to crucifixion
(). Yet in the midst of this horror, the Scripture says that He was not ashamed (). He is finally nailed to a wooden cross and publically ridiculed and shamed. Yet despite all of this, He maintains His commitment to His task. In the midst of ridicule He utters the words, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (). After He had received the full outpouring of God’s wrath and drunk from this cup of suffering to the final dreg, He declared, “it is finished!”And bowed His head and gave up His spirit”
().

What is it that took tplace on the cross? Beyond the physical sufferings from sinful man, poured on Him was the very wrath of God. Why? He was at the cross as a substitute for His people (). Though He was tried and murdered by man, Christ laid down His own life willingly in accordance with God’s will (a). He took upon Himself all the sins of His people
() as their substitute (). After His death, the Lord Jesus Christ was buried and three days later He rose from the dead () signifying the declaration of the Father that the penalty was paid and provided a pattern for the believer’s future bodily resurrection.

Do you agree that the words, “came into the world” are indeed amazing? They are amazing because the King came into the world to save sinners.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

4:1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”

And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
to guard you,’

11 and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

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29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.

But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

How the Modern “Gift” of Healing Undervalues the Biblical Gift of Healing – Part 2

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As stated in the previous post, the Gospel of John contains seven selected signs. These signs were designed to prove that Jesus is the Son of God. Though they had physical benefits for the recipient, each of them contained a spiritual lesson. Four of the seven signs in John were healings (). Let us now consider these four acts of healing (two in this post and two in the next) and see why each sign is significant. In the next post, in addition to looking at the final two acts of healing, we will provide some important principles with regard to modern “faith healers” and why their erronous acts undermine the biblical gift .

THE HEALING OF THE OFFICIAL’S SON ()
In this brief passage we read about the miracle Jesus performed by healing an official’s son. In this story all appeared to be beyond hope, yet Jesus does what no other person could do, He restored this child to full health. This event began with a desperate situation () in which the man travelled at least half a day’s journey to ask Jesus for help. Jesus then gives an unexpected answer, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” (). Interestingly, the word “you” (which appears twice in this verse) is actually plural. Here Jesus is providing a public lesson to all who are listening on what true saving faith is. The official repeats his request for Jesus to come before it is too late.

This brings the reader to the display of the supernatural (). Jesus responds simply by saying, “Go; your son will live” (4:50a). Why didn’t Jesus go on the journey with Him and heal the man’s son like the healing of Jairus’ daughter ()? The reason is because He is giving a lesson on what saving faith is. Saving faith must take the Lord at His word without the need for signs and wonders. After Jesus said this, we are told, “the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way” (b).

Due to reasons unknown to us, he was unable to leave until the following day. As he set off on his journey some of his slaves meet him and shared the exciting news that his son is recovering. He asked them at what hour did this happen? They answered him “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him” (4:52). At that moment he knew that this occurred right when Jesus spoke the words “Your son will live“. The response is amazing – “And he himself believed, and all his household” (4:53b). That was not a shallow superficial belief; it was genuine saving faith. I don’t know how many were in his household, but by God’s grace they all believed.

Finally, we see in this passage the declaration of the sign, “This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee” (). Remember that the signs performed by Jesus are intended to point to a greater reality than the miracle itself. What does this amazing sign point to? It declares two realities: like this ill boy, humanity has a problem. The problem that all people share is spiritual one. We are all separated from Christ due to our sin. However, there is no barrier too big for a sinner to receive salvation. Why? Secondly, Jesus Christ has made a provision in which lost sinners can find eternal life. Our separation is not too far for Him to intervene in our lives. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you have come from. The Lord Jesus Christ can save you from all your sins. That is the lesson of this miraculous healing.

THE HEALING OF THE LAME MAN ()
John records that near the Jewish temple were shelters in which there was “a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed” (). Here is a group of people who for various reasons have disabilities and they are all waiting by this pool for the hope of a miracle. Sadly, I often hear of people who are in conditions like this and false religions and false teachers make them false promises and don’t deliver. That is devastating and deceptive!

The focus in moves from this group of invalids to a particular individual. We learn that he “had been an invalid for thirty-eight years” (). For almost four decades this man had experienced the debilitating disadvantage of not being mobile. I can only imagine how limited his opportunities in life were. The fact that for all these years that no one was there to help him (cf. ) also indicates that he was a lonely man.

This is what leads us to the miraculous compassionate act. We are told, “When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?'” (). This is truly amazing. The fact that Jesus “knew that he had already been there a long time” is a reminder that He is the Sovereign Saviour. This man has been in this condition since before Jesus was born, however, because He is the eternal Son of God He has this thorough knowledge. He asked the lame man a simple and direct question, “Do you want to be healed?” The assumed reply would be “yes!” But this man goes on to share his helpless situation,

Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me” ().

After hearing this it is clear that he didn’t expect or believe Jesus to be able to heal him. This man had been living with the hope that when the water was stirred up he would be healed. However, because he had no one to help him he never made it to the water. Living with the hope for all those years that he would be healed yet here he is revealing to Jesus is complete inability. This is an amazing picture of those who look to things like church attendance, prayer time, Scripture reading, and participation in church events as a means to obtain salvation. As importance as all those things are, they do not save anybody.

I’m sure he wasn’t expecting what happens next. Perhaps he thought that Jesus might help get him into the water the next time it stirs. Jesus says, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk” (5:8). Those are the words of Divine authority. By means of His power He was able to command this man who had been lame for 38 years to stand up and walk. Understand what is involved here. Due to his condition, the muscles in this man’s legs have wasted away. If it were possible for medical treatment he would need to build up strength in his legs. But Jesus simply commands, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk“. We are told that “at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked” (). This was a miracle. Significantly, John points out that when this miracle occurred. He writes, “Now that day was the Sabbath” (5:9b).

Sadly, this compassionate act was followed by a controversial aftermath (). When these leaders saw the man walking along with his bed, they said, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed” (). The law they had in mind was a man made tradition added to the Mosaic Law.

It is interesting how this man responds to this rebuke, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk’” (). He shifts the blame to “that man“. Curious as to whom this man was, they wanted to know who said this (). The man pleaded ignorant, as he didn’t even take notice of who it was due to the large crowds ().

Sometime after, by Divine appointment Jesus found this man and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” (). In the act of healing Jesus demonstrated that the impotence of external religion and the omnipotence of God. Jesus reminded this man of his new physical condition (“See, you are well!“). Then he issues a call to repentance by saying, “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you“. This means that after the healing the man was not a follower of Christ. Some are troubled by the statement, “that nothing worse may happen to you” thinking that this means all sickness is the result of personal sin. That can’t be true because when the disciples inquired about the cause of the blind man’s condition, Jesus made it clear that no human’s sin was responsible for his condition (). However, in the case of this man, certain sicknesses do come as a result of sin. The point here is that if he doesn’t repent, he will receive an outcome worse than being lame for 38 years – he will receive eternal punishment. What Jesus says in is very serious. J C Ryle says it like this, “a sick bed is a sorrowful place, but hell is much worse”.

It is interesting how this man responds. We are told, “The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him” (). This man was ignorant of who Jesus was (), and even when he knew what He could do and called for repentance he displayed ingratitude towards what Jesus has done (). This is a picture of Israel and particularly the religious leaders at that time. John told us in the prologue, “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him” (). This man’s response is a picture of external religion. This section concludes, “And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath” (). Why did Jesus choose to do this miracle on the Sabbath? Surely He could have done it any other day of the week. The man didn’t even ask for it. Jesus chose to do this miracle on the Sabbath so as to expose the impotence and hopelessness of man-made religion and to demonstrate that He alone has the power to save. That is the significance of this healing.

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

John 5:1-16

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

John 9:1-12

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.”

48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.

41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way.

54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?”

The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.”

And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.”

11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’

12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”

13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.”

And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him.

11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place.

15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.

16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

How the Modern “Gift” of Healing Undervalues the Biblical Gift of Healing – Part 1

Faith Healer

The idea of being healed of bodily affliction is certainly very attractive. The debilitating effects of sickness and disease can truly be difficult and very sad for many. There are many self-styled individuals roaming around today making the claim that they are “faith healers”. For example, I just read of a man who will be touring a number of churches in Melbourne. He comes with the claim of being able to heal people. What are we to make of such claims? It is my conclusion that these self-styled “faith healers” are simply undervaluing the biblical gift of healing. Furthermore, they are guilty of offending the purity and power of the Holy Spirit. In the midst of all their claims to be displaying the power of the Holy Spirit, they are actually performing things that undermine and undervalue the true power of the Holy Spirit. 

THE GIFT OF HEALING
At this point, I think it would be helpful to talk about the meaning and nature of the gift of healing. There are many who go around today claiming to have this gift and they make promises of being able to heal people. Is such a claim valid? In-order to answer that question, it is best to go back to the Scriptures and examine the real deal and then place the modern claims next to it. The Bible contains many examples of miraculous healing. It is seen in practice by some of the Old Testament prophets, by Jesus, and by the apostles. When one examines all the data, it becomes clear that there were certain common characteristics that all of these examples share.

Biblical Healing was Immediate
When healing took place in the examples provided by Scripture, the healing of the individual was immediate (; ; ; ). The individuals did not have to recover or recuperate. The powerful nature of biblical examples of healing was that it was immediate.

Biblical Healing was Exceptional
The second important characteristic of healing as found in Scripture was that it was exceptional. That is to say, you don’t read of the healing of things like back pain, headaches, stress and other like things. No, the examples in Scripture were truly exceptional. You have the dead being raised from the dead, paralytics being healed, withered hands restored, sight to the blind, just to state some examples.

Biblical Healing was Entire
A third characteristic was that biblical healing was entire. That is to say, when biblical healings took place, they actually brought healing in entirety. If sight was granted, the individual could see. If a paralytic was healed he could actually walk. It was not a slight healing it was an entire healing, and this is what made so many people marvel.

Without a doubt, the greatest Biblical demonstration of the ability to heal was none other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ. The healing ministry of Jesus Christ is unparalleled in all of history. The methods He used to heal were not always the same as He employed a variety of approaches. He healed by touch (; ), speech (; ; ), through His garment (; ), by His saliva () and with clay (). One thing becomes clear when you read the gospel accounts – all His miracles were undeniable. This is demonstrated by the acceptance of these miracles, even by His enemies (). Furthermore, many “faith healers” today claim that if people are not being healed it is because they don’t have enough faith. Really, that is a convenient excuse for their lack of “gifting”. When Jesus healed, some of those individuals were not even believers (; ; ). Furthermore, when He raised the dead to life, that individual certainly was unable to employ faith.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HEALING
The miracles performed by the Lord Jesus Christ were truly amazing and reveal so much about who He is. If you were to take time an examine each of the miracles recorded in Scripture, no doubt you would be amazed by what is actually happening. Imagine if you were present when they were performed. I would have loved to see the face of the man born blind when Jesus gave him sight. Or to shake the hand of the man who had a withered hand. Each of these would have had an amazing sense of thrill and excitement when they occurred. As amazing as they were, we need to remember that these acts of healing were actually signs. As signs, they were intended to point to a greater reality. By way of example, in the Gospel according to John there seven selected signs. The signs Jesus performed were not designed to bring attention to the miracle itself; rather they proved that Jesus is the Son of God by confirming His claims to be true. Each sign provides us with an understanding of what Jesus Christ can do spiritually for fallen humanity. Of those seven signs, four of them include healing (). What were there ultimate purpose? In his purpose statement John writes, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” ().

The Scripture sets the standard for the Divine gift of healing, however the modern counterfeits of today simply undervalue this gift.

In part 2 of this post series, I will consider the significance of the four healing miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ as seen in the Gospel of John.

13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.

And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.

Acts 14:8-10

Now at Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet. He was crippled from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul speaking. And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking.

Acts 14:19-20

19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples gathered about him, he rose up and entered the city, and on the next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.

Acts 20:9-12

And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. 10 But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, “Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.” 11 And when Paul had gone up and had broken bread and eaten, he conversed with them a long while, until daybreak, and so departed. 12 And they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.

15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.

Matthew 20:34

34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.

But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home.

52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.

20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.

Matthew 14:36

36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.

44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.

22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see men, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”

18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

24 So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

8:1 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance 13 and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14 When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath.

43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

John 5:1-16

5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.

Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath.

John 9:1-12

9:1 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

John 11:38-44

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

30 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.