Acts 5:14-16 – “And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.”
Immediately after Ananias and Sapphira were struck down dead for deceiving the church, the Lord continued to work miraculously in the church by healing people both physically and spiritually. This was God’s desire! It was God’s desire to see people healed both physically and spiritually. If we as a church, as a people of God, are being faithful to our calling, we focus our attention on preaching the spiritually-healing truth of the gospel. We share Christ so that people will be redeemed and spiritually healed. That being said; isn’t it interesting that so much attention in Scripture is also given to people’s physical healing as well?
Consider all the examples in Scripture where people’s physical healing is emphasized. Jesus’ ministry wasn’t just announcing the kingdom of God by calling people to repentance. It also included offering physical healing. In Matthew 10, Jesus sent the disciples out on a practice run, and their energy and focus were given not just on announcing the kingdom, but on healing people of their diseases. Consider the early church in Acts: Peter healed the lame beggar who was lame since birth. Then in Acts 5, God was working in the apostles to the extent that people were so confident that they would be healed by Peter, that all they needed to do was be under the actual shadow of Peter.
Then you read this in James 5:13-15: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 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.”
Physical healing is not ultimate. Physical healing throughout Scripture is given both for God’s glory, but also so that spiritual healing will follow. Isaiah 53 says that by the Messiah’s (Jesus) stripes, we are healed. This doesn’t mean that physical healing is guaranteed on this earth for those who are spiritually healed. But, beautifully, physical healing is guaranteed in the life to come for those who are spiritually healed. As we are ushered into eternity with Christ, our diseases, sicknesses, and physical limitations are forever healed.
With all of this being said, God does desire for us to have faith that he not only can heal, but that he does heal. How many examples of medical professionals caring for someone’s physical health have we credited to the doctors and not God for being the one who ultimately healed? How many times have we simply taken our physical sicknesses to doctors and not even thought to pray? Medical professionals are God’s gift to us that he uses to bring healing to people. Sometimes he dramatically heals with no human intervention. Sometimes he uses us for this purpose. Be reminded today that God cares for you in your times of sickness! God cares for you in your lowest moments. God has called us to be people who pray for many things. May we be a people who pray for God’s physical healing on us when we are sick.