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January 22, 2009

Why do we want people to be healed? I believe that God still heals people miraculously today. I know first hand of people who have the medical evidence to prove it.

But still, why do we want to see a loved one healed? I ask because many times people turn to scripture and say that ones faith is the key. While I agree we must have faith I think the first question is why we want to see someone healed. You see true faith, a trust in God, takes into account that we want God’s will to be done.

John records the healing of Lazarus in John 11 but notice that Jesus said his illness was for “the glory of God so that the Son of God might be glorified through it.” The healing wasn’t for the one healed or even the family, it was to show that Jesus was the Son of God.

When John the Baptist was in prison he wanted to make sure Jesus was truly the Messiah. Jesus assures him that the miracles are to prove that he truly is the King. The purpose of the miracles was to show His identity. Don’t miss that John the Baptist could have been removed from prison, the book of Acts testifies to this.

There are many times when Jesus commends people for their faith. What is often missed is that those surrounding Him doubted whether or not He was the Chosen One. In Matthew 8:5-14 Jesus commends the faith of a centurion. The centurion goes so far as to tell Jesus he doesn’t even need to come to his home because of Christ’s authority.

What can be missed is the centurion’s faith is in who Christ is, the ultimate authority, not in what Christ can do, heal. What is missed is that Jesus uses this moment to rebuke the children of Abraham for their lack of belief. Not belief that He could heal but belief that he was the Messiah. This is important because when we don’t view healing this way we to often desire healing for selfish reasons. We end up with faith that Jesus can heal instead of faith that Jesus is the Messiah. Whether you know it or not there is a difference.

Think about the number of times those who are healed end up in front of the authorities. Do we forget that they told Jesus he shouldn’t heal on the Sabbath? Those healings served a purpose much larger than not losing a loved one and much greater than proving ones faith.

What seems missed is that this world is not our home. Paul said, “to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). He considered death better than life. If someone has their faith in Jesus wouldn’t it be better for them to go if their healing would not lead anyone to acknowledge Jesus as Lord?

Unfortunately I have watched people doubt their faith and God because he didn’t answer their prayer as they desired. The first question after that is not whether or not we believe but whether or not someone would come to saving faith because of it.

In my own life I know of no story of healing that wasn’t connected with someone coming to saving faith. I also know many stories of others dying young with people giving their life to Christ. In each scenario the final goal was seeing people in heaven with our Lord and Savior.

Let us never forget this as we pray and expect healing.

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