For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2 KJV
God is a Good Father. The Scriptures testify to this. The life of Christ Jesus confirms this. His great Grace reveals this.
One of the most beautiful and loving aspects of His Goodness is His willingness to heal sickness, disease, and infirmities. He so longs to bring healing and wholeness that He doesn't just will it, He actually purchased our healing in the redemptive work of Christ Jesus. Healing is in the Finished Work of Christ.
Many believers and ministers would readily agree. God's will is healing. Where there exists a division is how this healing is received.
As we revisit a familiar passage concerning divine healing I want to point out something the Lord revealed to me about Healing, Jesus, and you. Let's look again at the 13th chapter of Luke's Gospel.
10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. 12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. Luke 13:10-13 NKJV
Such Goodness and Grace. Jesus saw the woman afflicted and brought healing. This is God's perfect will in operation. God was glorified not because she was sick but because she was healed and whole and now free from her infirmity.
Unlike the modern preachers who teach and proclaim God only desires our holiness and not happiness, Jesus demonstrated God's will was otherwise. Notice the woman with the infirmity didn't reason this was God's best for her. Notice she didn't reason God is sovereign and He must have wanted her afflicted for instruction's sake. Note she didn't reason that her best life isn't now but when she's in Heaven. No to all of man's traditions, she saw the mercy, Love, and Goodness of God in present power and demonstration and freely received, and you can too.
Now the religious leaders here weren't angry about God's healing power. They weren't in denial of God's willingness to heal. They weren't preaching like the modern ministers who believe suffering and despair are all we can expect in this life. No none of these things upset them. What did?
14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? 16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” Luke 13:14-16 NKJV
Jesus' healing on the Sabbath really upset these leaders. Why? It cut cross-grain to their understanding of the Law. They believed God could heal, but apparently, there are certain stipulations. Then these leaders said something that the Lord really highlighted to me that I had not considered much.
These leaders respond to Jesus' healing with an admonition to heal only on non-Sabbath days. Why? Look at what they said again. There are six days when men should work, come on those days, and find healing. Never mind they couldn't tap into God's healing power for 18 years and bring help, but look closer at their words.
They speak of six days and work. What is the significance of this? Six is the number of man. Work means to toil. The Holy Spirit was so perfect in including this discourse for it shows how some religious men see healing.
This is what the Spirit highlighted to me. You see it isn't enough to just believe God is Good and healing is made available. It's vital to know and understand how we receive this healing.
These leaders relegated healing to workdays only. This means they saw healing as some form of work. If we really define work we can see how the religious tradition of man has disqualified so many from receiving healing.
To work means to labor to attain something. If we are laboring to attain something then that which we are working for is not a gift. We don't attain a gift, we freely receive a gift. Religion sees healing as a work to attain, Jesus sees healing as a gift, and a gift can't be attained but only received. Healing is a gift we receive not a work achieved.
Think of it, work is about a wage earned not a gift received. If you are basing receiving healing upon anything but what Jesus did then you are attempting to earn what is only freely received. If you're laboring, or working, or performing then you aren't freely receiving.
Jesus became a curse for us when He hung on that tree. He bore the curse of sickness and disease. Because He became a curse we are redeemed from the curse. That's the only way we are redeemed from sickness. Not by our performance, not by our works, not by our doing, it's only by freely receiving this gift of perfect redemption will we experience healing.
Preachers today will agree God heals willingly. Yet they still see healing as a work achieved. They will say if you're unfaithful, unloving, unforgiving, acting unrighteous then you can't be healed. They see redemption as a reward for good behavior. They see redemption as a work attained. This is simply the religious traditions of men. You can receive because Jesus was made a curse and because He bore your sickness and disease. He doesn't require your goodness or perfect performance, He just asks you to believe.
In summation, healing is a work of Grace and redemption and has nothing to do with man's goodness or faithfulness. Healing is not a work that needs to be labored for to be attained. Healing is a gift to be received. Jesus became a curse to redeem us from the curse. We experience this redemption not by our works but by His work alone. He is worthy of all our praise and adoration. Thanks be to God for His Goodness and Grace.