God's Divine Healing: A Means of Redemption, Part NineThursday, October 06, 2005
Transitioning from the ministry of Jesus to that of the Apostles, we only have to turn three chapters into Acts before we find redemption through healing already taking place. It is no wonder since the work of Jesus’ would be reflected and continued through the work of His apostles. After all, Jesus did tell His disciples that they would do greater works than the ones He had done after He had departed.
In Acts 3 we find another lost sheep of Israel who had been lame since birth. Peter and John met him on the way to the temple. He only wanted money from them. But Peter “fixed his gaze upon him and said, ‘Look at us!...I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene – walk!’” What an incredible sight for others to behold who had seen this man sitting there day after day, week after week, and month after month, year after year, for possibly two, three, four, or even five decades!
“And with a leap, he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they took note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms…” (v. 8).
Case proven. Redemption came to this man and many others because of divine healing.
A few chapters later, in Acts 9 after Saul’s conversion, Peter traveled to the area of Lyddia visiting the saints who lived there (v. 32). Upon arriving there was “a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed” (v. 33). Then Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; arise and make your bed” (v. 34). What were the results? “And all who lived at Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord” (v. 35). Amazing once more! The residents of two entire villages redeemed from sin, turned to the Lord because of one man’s healing. But it didn’t stop there.
Some time later in another town called Joppa “there was a certain disciple named Tabitha…this woman was abounding with deeds and kindness and charity, which she continually did” (v. 36). But when she fell sick and died, Peter arrived and “knelt down and prayed, and turning aside to the body, he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up” (v. 40). Now previously I have only given reports of unbelievers who were healed. Why do I report this incident of a believer being healed? Because the divine healing of a believer here resulted in the redemption of unbelievers from sin. According to verse 42, “it became known all over Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.”
So we've covered examples spanning from OT to NT, from the prophetic era to the new testament church era. And the pattern has been the same throughout...much, if not most of the divine healing that took place was a means of grace, redeeming many lost people, Jew and Gentile alike, and bringing many into the kingdom of God. Has anything changed? The next post will be the last (and lengthiest) of this series, and in it I will attempt to draw some biblical-theological conclusions for the present-day.