Sermon on April 15 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Mark 1:29-34
If the Lord heals (at least thirty times in the gospels), why are there many who are not healed from disease immediately?
1. HEALING IS ALWAYS GOD’S CHOICE, NOT OURS!
- If miracles are the goal of your faith you will miss Jesus (v29,33)
There is healing in the atonement. For some (Simon’s mother-in-law) it is immediate and temporary. For all who are in Christ it is eternal and permanent.
- Any miracle points to Jesus, every-time (v34)
This miracle is like an electronic billboard: the Jesus who demands your commitment is the Lord of the universe.
A small Messiah brings liberation from physical oppression and disease only – but Jesus is much bigger.
2. HEALING MAY ALWAYS BE REQUESTED, NEVER DEMANDED!
- Bring it to Jesus … (v30)
When afflicted in any way, lean from the disciples and tell Jesus about it.
‘How good it is to have a theology in which there is no tension between using the best medicine possible and looking directly to the Lord for the answer to prayer’.
(Francis Schaeffer, when treated for cancer in hospital)
- … knowing ‘No’ may mean ‘better’
When Jesus delayed his trip to Bethany knowing Lazarus would worsen, it was for the better (Luke 11:6)
‘He knows how it feels to us when prayers seem to go unanswered … when pain or illness lingers … when days pass with no word from a loved one … when the pregnancy test keeps coming up negative … when we’re stuck in a dreary, going-nowhere place in life. If it feels like “a long time” to us, we can count on it feeling that way to Jesus too.’
(Joni Eareckson-Tada: ‘Waiting for Healing’)
3. HEALING IS ALWAYS A LINE IN THE FULL PAINTING!
- Live expectantly, not foolishly (v31)
True faith is not expecting the future now, but trusting Jesus for the full canvas (2 Cor. 4:16-17)
- Serve joyfully, whatever He dishes up
What use is it to have all the health in this world – yet to live and die without the true healing of Jesus?
‘..Instead, God said look at me and all I have done. I took comfort in the cross of my Saviour, the pain he went through with all my sins and the sins of the world on his shoulder. I took comfort in the Holy Spirit who spoke to me, and I clearly recall Him saying ‘I am not finished with you yet’. God has blessed me abundantly with more I could imagine or ask for.’
(My friend, John Mackenzie: ‘Remembering The Valley’.)
Remember! God can do more than we could ask or imagine. Be quick to run to Him and to serve Him whatever He gives.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
1. What examples of miraculous healing have you seen or experienced?
2. What is ‘therapeutic’ Christianity? Can emphasis on physical deliverance (from illness and disease) distract Christians from the message of the gospel?
3. Read 2 Cor. 12. Is it always God’s will that we be healed? If not, should we panic about our faith or God’s ability to use this? Answer from Paul’s example
4. Spend some time in prayer for those whom you know need a touch from Jesus. Pray for God to make His power known through either healing or endurance
Photo credit FreeImages.com/Bob Smith