Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene
Our new hospital is opening soon. The excitement in our community is growing each day. In light of the numerous feel good stories surrounding this achievement and the call to continue to persevere in lobbying for the completion of all that has been promised to our community, I felt called this week to write a column on healing.
Instead of writing an article dealing with the political aspects of healing in our community; I have been called by God to write an article on the Biblical aspects of healing.
In my last article, I challenged people of all faiths and philosophies to dig deep into their own Holy Books to seek the truth for themselves as to what they profess to believe in. I would invite you to do the same when it comes to developing your belief on the topic of healing.
My belief system when it comes to healing begins with the Bible, continues through a well-researched Christian belief doctrine; continues through my formal education and training in counseling and psychology; through almost 25 years of on-call emergency chaplaincy in various hospitals across Canada, and almost 30 years of pastoral ministry.
As I was preparing this article, I began with a simple hypothesis – “Is there anywhere in the Bible that records a healing when the candidate for healing neither believed in the power of God to heal or asked for the healing?”
Many of the people I asked could not think of a Bible passage that would answer this question in a “yes” form. Some amazing individuals, then worked with me to try and figure out the commonalities of the healings that were recorded and in doing so they discovered a possible answer to my question.
In both the Old Testament and New Testaments, the main reason for healing was to bring glory to God and allow those who did not believe in God to receive solid evidence as to His existence and power. This is especially important when it comes to the claim of Jesus’ followers that Jesus Christ is the Promised Messiah of the Old Testament. [Acts 2:22 – Part of Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost]
While looking for answers in the Old Testament, we noticed a trend. The individual who was seeking healing had to believe that the individual performing the healing had the authority to heal; the individual seeking healing had to believe that the God of the Israelites was able to heal any disease and would carry out the instructions given for healing.
The exceptions to these rules tended to involve the restoration of life to those who had died as they were unable to respond and so the request for healing was presented on their behalf.
Our experience in the New Testament was similar with the exception of the account of the healing of a Roman Centurion’s servant who was not present for the healing as he was to ill to come. This healing falls into the category of confirming that Jesus was the Messiah.
Another one had to do with the healing of the young daughter of Jairus, a religious leader. The news of her death came to Jairus before Jesus was able to see her in person. Jesus went to the room where she lay and brought her back from the dead.
The last one I will mention is the restoration of life of a man named Lazarus. This last one is often remembered as we quote, John 11:25,26 when Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”
Biblical healing is very real today. God can heal all our diseases in whatever form they may occur. We often place healing into camps: the church and the world. God uses medical technology and medical personnel to heal. The problem is that we often forget that it is God who gives us the wisdom to diagnose and treat illnesses as well as to invent the medicines and machines for helping us to heal.
I would encourage you to pray for our medical community that they would recognize how God has blessed them with the privilege of helping heal his people. Of course, the best medicine is a combination of the two – seeking the One who can heal and seeking healing from those He has entrusted in the medical community to do his will.
A very Biblical approach to healing!