Photo Credit: chanlsrfer via Compfight cc
In last week’s post I discussed the fact that chaos dominates our world. Because that is true, our world is broken. It is sick on every level imaginable. Relationships of all kinds are in a state of decline and decay. Just look at what is going on in relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, governments and citizens. Disease continues to run rampant (Ebola, anyone?). Crime and poverty seem to be beyond resolve regardless what laws or programs we put in place. Economies are unstable, causing a general sense of unrest. And the list goes on…and on…and on… Jesus Christ came as Healer and brought something to the table that makes a real difference in the midst of all the pain.
Jesus the Healer
Acts 10:38 always comes to mind when I think of Jesus as Healer.
“And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” NLT
The healing Jesus brought was not limited to physical ailments, although He certainly healed those. He also released people from their bondages to demons. He released people from the oppression of religious traditions. He healed people from their feelings of isolation. He freed people from any sense that God had forgotten about them. I’m sure everyone’s spirits were lifted just by Him walking into town. Just His presence amoung the people brought a sense of healing.
All of this is because Jesus brought with Him the sense of shalom. While the western mind normally thinks of shalom merely being the Hebrew word for peace, it is so much more than that. Shalom usually refers to a state of affairs in which there is well-being and wholeness. It is a large and encompassing word that indicates that things are the way they ought to be. That was what Jesus brought to the table. Every time He restored a person on any level He brought things back to the way they were supposed to be.
We notice from Acts 10:38 that Jesus brought healing by the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This should speak to us because the same Holy Spirit has been sent into our lives. Remember what Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 6:19?
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? NRSV
Everywhere we go we carry the Presence of the Holy Spirit within us. What can we expect to be manifested through our lives when the Holy Spirit is in control?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22 – 23 NLT
Every word Paul used to describe the fruit of the Spirit is the exact opposite of the hard-hearted, mean-spirited, tight-fisted, lusting, grasping, angry spirit manifested in the lives of those dominated by the world system and the devil. This is the image of Christ put on display so others can see what God intended man to be from the beginning. This is man restored to what he ought to be. Because of the different attitude in our lives, we should bring healing to the atmosphere just by showing up! That’s part of bringing healing to a hurting world.
The Authority to Ask
Besides the Presence of God’s Holy Spirit in our lives, we have also been authorized to petition the King to release the resources of His Kingdom to meet the needs of a sick society. Look again at what the Lord Jesus said in John 16:23 – 24.
“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” ESV
If this means anything, it means the moment we enter a situation the equation changes. That which was previously impossible suddenly comes into the realm of possibility. As citizens of the Kingdom of God, our lives are an intersecting point between Heaven and earth. We might be amazed at how much of Heaven could be released into the aches and pains of the hurting world around us if we would just learn to ask as representatives of the King.
A Healing Lifestyle
This is the normal Christian life. This is at least part of what it means to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13 – 16). Everywhere we go we should be raising others up by the Presence of God’s Spirit and our authority to petition the King. Our world needs healers. Are you one? Are you willing to be? Bringing shalom to a sighing, dying, crying world is the natural by-product of living in the Reign.