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19. Good News for the Sick

C. Jesus' Disciples Heal in the Name of Jesus

But what about Jesus' ministry of healing? When Jesus ascended into heaven, did His ministry of healing cease? No doubt, Peter and other chosen disciples vividly remembered how Jesus had sent them out to help the people: “When Jesus had called the Twelve (disciples) together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1,2) “They went out and preached that people should repent.” (Mark 6:13)

Yes, Jesus empowered and instructed His disciples to heal the sick. He did not withdraw this gift when He returned to heaven. Ever since Jesus had commissioned His disciples to be witnesses for Him throughout the world, His disciples have recalled the needs of the sick also. Let the following example suffice as an indication:

“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” (Acts 3:1-10)

“ ‘In the name of Jesus Christ (Messiah) of Nazareth, walk!’ ” Peter underlined this as a part of his message to the crowd who witnessed this healing: “ ‘By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.’ ” (Acts 3:16)

It is thus clear from the Holy Bible that God wanted His people to continue the healing ministry of Jesus on earth through His Holy Spirit and in the Name of Jesus. The New Testament reports several incidents in which Jesus' special disciples, called apostles (such as Peter and John), performed miracles in the Name of Jesus. Others also who were not apostles, such as Philip and Stephen, did miracles. About Stephen Luke reports: “Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.” (Acts 6:8)

This is not to say, however, that all Jesus' disciples had the gift of healing. According to the Holy Bible the gifts of God's Holy Spirit, including the gift of healing, are many and He has apportioned these gifts among His disciples according to His gracious will (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). It is assumed that those of future generations endowed by God's Holy Spirit with this gift are to perpetuate this ministry of healing in Jesus' Name until Jesus returns. In no way should the Church ignore, withdraw or squander this prestigious inheritance and this precious service which God has graciously bequeathed it. So God expects His Church to share it. Praise God for this great privilege!

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