“I will come and heal him.” (Matt.8:7). Six of the most powerful, revealing words in the entire text of the New Testament: These 6 simple words of Jesus Christ to the Roman centurion reveal, not only His willingness to heal a sick man, but His absolute eagerness to do so. How so many people today can seriously question whether it is God’s will to heal them is a total mystery to me.
Not only does God promise outright to heal the diseases of His people, and not only does He declare through Isaiah and Peter that the stripes and beatings of Jesus just prior to His crucifixion wrought our healing, but He sent us the Son Jesus for the express purpose of showing us His perfect will in all things. The Word of God says repeatedly that Jesus Christ is the only exact image and representation of God. He’s the only person who is capable of showing us what the Father – as well as the entire Godhead – is like. The entire first chapter of the Gospel of John, along with the first chapter of Hebrews, along with multiple statements by Jesus Himself throughout the Gospel accounts, make it undeniably clear that when we have seen and heard Jesus, we have seen and heard the Father.
So a simple study of Jesus and His response to sick people is more than enough to convince us that God’s will is always healing. We are told repeatedly of huge crowds that followed Jesus and sought Him for healing, with the result that “He healed them all.” We also see that not one person ever came to Jesus requesting healing without receiving that healing. Jesus even healed some who did not approach Him and make a request, but the all-important point is that not one person who took the initiative and came to Him in search of healing was ever turned away. He never said, “No.” He never said, “Wait.” He never said, “I’m trying to teach you something.” He never said, “You must suffer for God’s glory.” In fact, He never even said, “You’ll have to take this medicine or have an operation.” He just healed them – free of charge – no strings attached.
I’d like to take the time in this article to look at three different episodes of that healing ministry of Jesus Christ and look at just exactly what the Word is telling us about God’s willingness to heal us. For, you see, God is not just willing. He is eager. He is yearning to heal us with such a passion that in our first example, Jesus couldn’t even wait until the centurion asked Him to heal his servant.
Jesus has just returned to the city of Capernaum. This centurion, hearing that He is back, and knowing that He has been setting people free from disease and demonic oppression of all kinds, decides to act on the truth that he knows and approach this man with healing power and obvious authority over demons and disease. But notice how this conversation plays out. All the centurion has time to say is that he has a servant boy at home in very serious physical condition. He evidently plans to ask Jesus for help of some kind, but Jesus doesn’t wait for him to do so. As soon as the words are out of the centurion’s mouth, Jesus immediately says, “I will come and heal him.”
Wow! Think of it! Dear sick one – you who are in need of healing for your body or your mind – please do not labor under the burden of wondering if it is God’s will to heal you! Can you not see that Jesus could hardly wait for the opportunity to heal? Do not let the teachings of man – or the traditions of denominations – bar your way as you seek your God for health and wholeness. Do not let the lies of the enemy or any man’s opinion or experience outside of God’s Word have any effect on what you believe to receive from Jesus Christ. Don’t make the mistake of looking at someone else’s words – when they do not agree with those of Jesus Christ. And don’t make the mistake of looking at someone else’s experiences if they don’t line up with the people in the Bible accounts who sought and received healing every time.
Now, this centurion didn’t even feel the need to have Jesus travel to his home and lay hands on the boy. Being a man of authority and knowing the power in commanding those under his authority, he readily replies that he needs only a word from Jesus for the healing to be accomplished. He recognizes that Jesus Christ has God-given authority over sickness and disease of every kind – even that caused by the activity of evil spirits. So he readily accepts that one word of command is all that’s necessary to control those elements under Jesus’ authority. And he gets exactly what he says. Not only that, but he is honored by Jesus as the only person Jesus has met on this earth with such a high level of faith.
But let me quickly bring you back to the main point of this article: Jesus was so eager to heal that He “jumped the gun,” so to speak, and invited Himself to go and heal the centurion’s servant before being officially asked to do so.
The second episode of such behavior that I want to address concerns the blind beggar Bartimaeus. The story is told in 3 of the 4 Gospel accounts, and we will look at the passage in Mark 10:46-52:
“And … as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, ‘Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal. … And Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, … and he, casting away his garment, rose and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?’ The blind man said unto Him, ‘Lord, that I might receive my sight.’ And Jesus said unto him, ‘Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.’ And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Two things in this passage stand out to me above all else. When Bartimaeus cried out for mercy, and was willing to continue to press in with his faith in spite of the crowd of people who tried to suppress him, Jesus Christ stopped still in his tracks. Here He is, traveling from Jericho, on his way to Jerusalem to be betrayed and turned over to the authorities to be crucified. That fact alone would be enough to cause most men to be so pre-occupied with the seriousness of their own situation that they would totally ignore a man who is just another beggar. But, no, Jesus hears the heart-cry of faith – calling out to Him for mercy – and He stops short – thus requiring a whole multitude following Him to stop in the middle of the road as well and just wait there until this blind beggar slowly makes his way to Jesus.
The second thing that stands out is the fact that when the beggar finally comes face-to-face with Jesus, the Lord asks him what he wants. That question was like handing the man a blank check. In our modern-day vernacular, He said, “Now, what can I do for you today, Bartimaeus?”
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus, although he knew the man was blind, did not just automatically assume that all he wanted was the ability to see. Instead, He deliberately gives this man the opportunity to get anything he needs from Jesus. How willing He is to bless us! How eagerly He takes advantage of the opportunity to give us whatever we need! I just assume that Bartimaeus figured that if he could re-gain his sight, he would be able to work and make a living, and provide for himself and perhaps his family as well. So he asks for just one gift. But notice that in this case – exactly as in the case of the centurion – the person making the request receives exactly what he asks for. The centurion wanted healing for his servant, but he wanted it to come by the spoken word of Jesus. That’s exactly what he got. Bartimaeus, who could have asked for any number of provisions for his life, asked for two healthy eyes, and he received exactly that. In both cases, we see absolutely no hesitation on Jesus’ part. He doesn’t have to think it over. He doesn’t have to consider whether the person making the request is “worthy.” He doesn’t have to go away and fast and pray for three days to find out if it’s the Father’s will to heal them. But, instantly, He responds by giving each of them exactly what he asks for. And the Word tells us clearly and repeatedly that the Lord is no respector of persons.
But now let’s look at the third event that I’d like to share. This particular experience goes to another level entirely, when it comes to showing us just how eager God is to heal His people.
“Now a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse, after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him, and touched His cloak. For she was saying, ‘If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.’ And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My garments?’ … The woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’” (Mark 5:25-34).
Dear Reader, let the picture of this event sink down deep into your spirit. See the brilliance of it as it outshines any other Scripture in expressing the finality of God’s decision to heal His people. Examine the story closely, you who are still fearful that God may not be willing to heal you.
This little woman had heard of Jesus. No doubt, she had heard many tell of His compassion, His wisdom, and His miracles. She may have even heard Him speak with her own ears, although that is doubtful, since she was considered unclean in her diseased state and probably would not have broken the law to involve herself in public gatherings, except in this desperate hour. But she makes it clear by words from her own mouth that she has heard enough to know that this man is a healer. He has healing in His nature; He is so saturated with healing virtue that it even flows through His garments. She also knows, as a member of the Israelite nation, that her covenant with Jehovah included the promise that He will be the doctor and the healer for His people. She recognizes Jesus as one of the prophets of Jehovah who has the anointing to carry out that promise, and she makes up her mind that she is going to have her share. So she presses through the crowd, lays hold of Jesus’ clothes, and receives complete healing. (Notice – again – that she receives exactly what she has said out of her own mouth: healing resulting from just touching His garments.)
Did she askJesus to heal her? NO. Did she ask if it was His will for her to be well? NO. Dear Reader, do you see? Not only did this little woman not ask Jesus to heal her; she did not even get His permission to take healing virtue from Him. Jesus Himself didn’t know that anything was happening until He felt that healing power flow out of Him. Even then He didn’t know who had received. He had to ask.
“How could that happen?” you may ask. Well, God’s nature is healing, and He sent Jesus to manifest His nature in the flesh. That woman saw that healing nature of God, accepted Jesus as the appointed vessel to dispense it, operated on her God-given covenant rights, and took her share, without asking. No need to ask. No need to get permission. God had promised, and then sent the fulfillment of the promise. His decision was already made. He had come to set His people free from sin and deliver them from the curse. And when a heart full of faith connects with the forever-settled Word of God, it’s like striking a match against a hard surface: the result is inevitable.
How eager is He to heal? Eager enough to instill the healing power into a vessel of human flesh and openly offer it to any and all who will believe enough to take it.
The great Creator of the universe, the One who made our bodies, yearns to touch us with His life and his creative power day after day after day. Wherever we have a need in our bodies or minds – wherever the curse of the broken law has broken down the health and wholeness that we should have – God wants to touch us in that very place. Go back and re-read these passages of scripture until they create the faith in you – until you know that you believe. Then hear Him say to you, “What would you have me do for you today?” Hear Him say, “I will come and heal you.” Hear Him say, “Your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”