This is the second post on receiving healing from Jesus. In the first post on this subject, I discussed the characters we see involved in the healing process found in James 5:14 – 15. In this post I will discuss the responsibilities of each of those characters.
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. James 5:14 – 15
As we can see, there are three parties involved here.
Each of these parties has a responsibility in the healing process.
The responsibility of the sick person is to call for the Elders of the church. That could happen in a variety of ways. An appointment could be made to receiver healing prayer at their local church. A special request for prayer could be made during a gathering of God’s people. The sick individual could also attend a special service where healing prayer is being offered. However it happens, it is the responsibility of the sick individual to make the need known.
While this is incredibly simple, it is also very important. I had an individual upset with me one time because I hadn’t visited them in the hospital. First of all, I didn’t know they were in the hospital. Second, they didn’t want anyone to know they were in the hospital, so they didn’t tell anyone. Would someone please tell me how I was supposed to know they were in the hospital and visit them? I try to stay spiritual attuned, but I’m not that sharp!
The Elders have three basic responsibilities:
- Respond to the call for prayer.
- Pray over the sick.
- Anoint them with oil in the Name of the Lord.
Answering the call is simple enough, and the prayer of faith will be discussed in the next post. So let’s talk about anointing with oil.
The first mention of anointing with oil that we see in the New Testament is found in Mark 6:13. Referring to Jesus’ disciples it says,
And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
While olive oil was certainly used for medicinal purposes in that era, that is not what is being referred to here. This application of oil was for the purpose of administering God’s healing power. My question is, where did the disciples learn to anoint the sick for healing? Since they were disciples of Jesus, my guess is that they learned it from Him. While there is no record that Jesus ever anointed anyone with oil for healing, there is also nothing that says He never used this method in dealing with the infirmed. It is highly unlikely the disciples came up with this on their own.
Also, what is the significance of anointing the sick with oil? We are never actually told. I have heard several different explanations through they years, but they were merely guess work. The fact we are told to anoint the sick indicates that it holds some sort of significance with the Lord. That is reason enough for us to obey.
According to the passage in James, the Lord’s responsibility is to respond to the Elder’s prayer of faith and raise up the one who is sick. That is sort of a given because that is what we are asking Him to do. But why does the passage include the forgiveness of sins?
While not all sickness is the result of sin, sin can certainly be a root cause. Notice what the psalmist says in Psalm 107:17 – 18.
Some were fools through their sinful ways,
and because of their iniquities suffered affliction;
they loathed any kind of food,
and they drew near to the gates of death.
The people spoken of here were physically afflicted because of their sinful ways. Their affliction was so bad they could not eat, and even came close to dying. Fortunately, the Lord had mercy on them when they cried out to Him in their misery.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction. Psalm 107:19 – 20
The Lord desires to heal us inside and out. If sin is in any way at the root of our affliction, it would be His desire to deal with it so it would not be a further hindrance.
When All the Characters are in Place
When all the characters found in James 5:14 – 15 are in place, we are positioned for a miracle. So let the sick call for the Elders. Let the Elders come and pray over the sick, anointing them with oil in the Name of the Lord. Let us open the way for the King to respond with His healing mercies. This is one of the joys of living in the Reign.
If you are interested in learning more about this subject, you might consider purchasing my book titled Divine Healing Simplified. You can purchase it from the following outlets:
“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.”