In a previous post I wrote about the key to immortality, referring to the time when all of God’s people will experience resurrection from death. Did you know there is a way we can experience a foretaste of that resurrection today? Read on to find out how…
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17
Jesus burst on the scene of history proclaiming the Good News that God’s Reign was breaking in upon His hearers. All that had been prophesied by Isaiah, Daniel, and many others was now close enough for them to experience. It was, quite literally, “at hand”. But that message cannot simply be left hanging in the air. If God’s Reign had come near, something would have to happen to verify it.
So how did Jesus demonstrate the truth of His message? Matthew 4:23 – 24 tells us.
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people. So his fame spread throughout all Syria, and they brought him all the sick, those afflicted with various diseases and pains, those oppressed by demons, epileptics, and paralytics, and he healed them.
Jesus demonstrated the nearness of God’s Reign by healing the sick and driving out demons. The power and authority of God was put on display through the alleviation of human suffering, and by relegating God’s enemies to a place of defeat. And please note that this was done in connection with the proclamation of God’s Kingdom. This same connection is made in other places as well.
And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. Matthew 9:35
When the crowds learned it, they followed him, and he welcomed them and spoke to them of the kingdom of God and cured those who had need of healing. Luke 9:11
Jesus also commanded the Twelve to minister in the same way.
“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” Matthew 10:7 – 8
And also the Seventy.
“Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” Luke 10:8-9
Again, note the connection between the proclamation and the demonstration.
A Preview of Coming Attractions
John the Revelator gives us a look at what it will be like when the Kingdom of God has come in fullness.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4
The healing of the sick is a foretaste of what life will be like when God is charge. The writer to the Hebrews referred to those who had experienced God’s power as those who had “tasted the powers of the age to come.” Like the preview of a movie about to be released, it heightens our expectations of what is yet to to be seen. This is why the Lord Jesus combined healing with the proclamation of the Kingdom. He was giving them a glimpse of the glories yet to be revealed. The healings He performed pointed forward to the day when resurrection will eradicate pain and suffering forever.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Here’s What’s Coming
There will be several posts written on divine healing over the next little while. I want to discuss how it works and the place that faith holds in the process. Jesus still heals the sick today (go here to read the testimony of my daughter-in-law). I hope these posts will help you encounter the power of living in the Reign.
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”