Jesus the Healer
Thistletown Baptist Church
November 2, 2008
Matthew 8:14-17 (ESV)
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And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever.  He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him.  That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.  This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
Six times a year we pray for the healing of the sick. We do this as one of two ways in which we are seeking to obey James 5:14f. The other way would be for anyone desiring special prayer to call Don or Pedro or me and request that we visit you to pray. We do it because we care. We do it because we are asked … . We do this because it is not a waste of time to do it.
Every Prayer for healing service is followed by a sermon and an observance of the Lord’s Supper. This is a combination of all the elements of NT corporate worship – prayer, the Word of God, the breaking of bread, all with a focus on the salvation that is given to us through the life, death, resurrection and intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ. So this morning I want to spend some time considering some things out of the Scriptures regarding healing and show you the chief way in which that is connected to the Lord’s Supper.
In this room there is cancer, arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart trouble, kidney trouble, thyroid trouble, joint pain, head pain, back pain, muscle pain. There is sickness in here due to bad eating habits, heavy drinking, heredity, emotional distress, inability to cope with stress … . How many pills were taken this morning by the people in this room?
II The Results of Sin in the World
1.The results of the fall include that great quartet – sorrow, sickness, pain and death. This is
the plain teaching of Scripture. There is sorrow in the world because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent passing on of all the consequences of the fall to the whole of humanity. There is sickness in the world because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent passing on of all the consequences of the fall to the whole of humanity. There is pain in the world because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent passing on of all the consequences of the fall to the whole of humanity and there is death in the world because of the fall of Adam and Eve and the consequent passing on of all the consequences of the fall to the whole of humanity. If sin had not entered the world, sorrow, sickness, pain and death would not have entered into the world. These things are with us because of sin being in the world.
a.Sorrow, Sickness, Pain- They are all with us because sin is part of our make
up. They are with us because sin entered the world.
Genesis 3:16-17 To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”  And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
Death – We see it demonstrated to us very dramatically in Genesis 5.
Genesis 5:5Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:8Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:11Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:14Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:20Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:27 Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.
Genesis 5:31 Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.
For as old as these patriarchs of the human race lived to be, they all died. And their death was guaranteed the day Adam and Eve ate the fruit.
The writer to the Hebrews puts it more bluntly -Hebrews 9:27-28 – And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Now it needs to be pointed out that physical death is not the only result of the fall. There is a second death that is eternal separation from God. It is normally referred to as hell and it is conscious, and it is horrifying and it is forever. It, too is reserved for some because of sin and because that did not have the benefits of the life, death, resurrection … applied to them through faith in Jesus Christ.
So – this – sorrow, sickness, pain and death (physical and spiritual) are all with us because of sin.
The fall had cataclysmic consequences. It messed up everything that God had made. When He finished creation, God pronounced everything He made – very good. But the fall into sin by man changed everything.
See Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
Romans 8:20-22 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
III The Solution – Jesus Christ
1. Jesus came into the world to deal with the problem of sin and all its consequences. And
everyone of those consequences is dealt with finally and decisively by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are gong to one day live on a new earth with no death – no death of animals, no death of humans. No back breaking toil. No child birth that causes pain. Everything will be back the way it was meant to be in the very beginning. See Rev. 2:7, 7:17, Rev 21:4. See also I Cor. 15:16-26, John 3:16; 10:10, 28; 11:24-26, 17:2
2. Healing is a part of the atonement
a. So then. Is healing a part of the work of Christ on the cross? Of course!! Jesus
doesn’t come and do things in half measures. He didn’t come to save people and then have them live forever with Him with the same sicknesses, pain and sorrow that they had before. Dear Christian, you are not going to live forever with the arthritis, the asthma, the high blood pressure … . Not at all. All that is part of the fall. And when Jesus Christ returns He is going to finally destroy all that the fall brought into being. All because of His death and resurrection.
b. But dear ones note this. He has not done it all yet. Two men, that we are told of,
who left this earth without ever having died – Enoch and Elijah. And they are the exception, not he rule. Everybody else dies. The eternal consequences of the fall have been done away with. The temporal ones – well, not yet. We still die, we still experience sorrow. We still are called to endure pain and we still get sick. The cross was not meant to put away those things – yet. If in this life only we have hope we are of all people the most pathetic. (I Cor. 15:19)
John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
See Rev. 21:1-4 (ESV)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  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.”
This promise/prophecy is given to us so that we will know that there is a day coming when all those consequences of the fall will be over. But it is sure that they are not over yet. Pain is not yet a former thing. Death and crying and sorrow and illness are not yet former things. They are very much present things.
Does that mean that God never heals people? Of course not!!
c. Note the prophecy that Matthew tells us is fulfilled here when Jesus heals these people. Isaiah 53.
d. Healing is part of the atonement because sickness is in the world because of sin.
IV Matthew 8:16 -17
1.Sickness is not always the work of demons – I mention this because there are likely some
here who believe that sickness is always the work of demons. Jesus healed the sick and cast out those who were afflicted by demons.
a.There are those who try to make the Bible look like an ancient book of
superstitions and unscientific folklore that can now be proven to be nonsense. One of the accusations against the Bible has to do with the healing ministry of Jesus. It is said that what the Bible calls demon possession we now know to be mental illness or epilepsy or some other biological/electrical/… problem. See Matthew 4:23-24 and Matthew 17:16f.
b.Sometimes sickness is a discipline from God – Hebrews 12:5-8
c.Sometimes sickness is just a test from God – Paul in II Cor. 12
d.At least once in the Scriptures the trials are part of a drama orchestrated by God to demonstrate to the devil that God keeps His own. – Job
e.Sometimes sickness is just the natural consequences of bad choices –
i.You drank too much and now …
ii.You were an addict of some kind and your body now shows the ravages of that abuse
iii.You slept around and now you have an STD of some kind.
These things are all evidence of what sin does to us. And just as it is true that coming to Jesus does not mean you won’t die, so it also does not mean you won’t get sick, suffer from the sins of the past. Coming to Jesus does not mean you won’t have pain and sorrow. There is still sin in this world and the pain and sorrow and death that sin brings into the world still effect all the children of God.
f.Sometimes it is genetic
i.How many diseases are inherited? How many are because of one gene not doing what it is supposed to?
g.Sometimes it is environmental
i.All the asthma in Toronto … – this could be seen as the sins of others…
h.Sometimes it is because of the actions of others
i.A drunk driver and now someone is crippled
2.There is no question that when Jesus healed people He was fulfilling the prophecy of
Isaiah that the Messiah would “take our illnesses and bear our diseases”.
a.Have you ever asked these people who were healed that day by Jesus what that
was like? Why not? Because they are dead. Jesus died for them to give them victory over death and they are dead. How come? Because the final victory is not yet.
The question is not “is healing in the atonement?” Of course healing of all diseases is in the atonement. The final solution for death is in the atonement. The question is “When will the sickness, sin and death be finally gone?” And the Bible is very clear about that – Rev. 21:4.
b.Dear Christian – do you still sin? Does that mean that Jesus has not dealt with
every sin and paid its price? Do you still get sick? Does that mean Jesus has not dealt with sickness or that your faith is faulty?… Do you ever have pain? Does that mean that the death of Jesus Christ has not dealt with pain or that your faith is faulty? Dear ones know this – Your faith is faulty. And if it takes faultless faith in order to be healed then you will never be healed. But if it take faultless faith to be healed wouldn’t that also mean that it takes faultless faith to be pain free, and to be free from sorrow and to have our sins forgiven?
c.God still heals the sick
i.When God heals He heals for the praise of His own glory.
ii.When God does not heal He does so for the praise of His own glory.
(1)When someone does not get healed we do not conclude that the
devil has gotten the upper hand. The devil cannot get the upper hand over God – ever. Dear ones listen – when you get healed it is to make Ephesians 3:10 come true. When you do ot get healed it is to make Ephesians 3:10 come true.
iii.Dear ones the purpose of your sickness is the glory of God. The purpose of your healing is the glory of God. How you handle being healed is to bring glory to God. How you handle not being healed is to bring glory to God. Hear Paul in Phil. 4:11ff (note Heb. 13:5), II Cor. 12:9-10,
3.”He healed all who were sick.” Is this always true? Was It always true when Jesus was
here? Did He never leave anyone not healed? See John 5 – the pool of Bethesda.
a.See also Philip. 2:27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
God healed Epaphroditus. Perhaps through Paul’s prayers. Perhaps some other way. But a real mercy from God.
b.2 Tim. 4:202 Tim. 4:20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at
Miletus. Why didn’t Paul just heal Trophimus and continue to bring him with him?
c.1 Tim. 5:23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) Why didn’t Timothy get healed? Why doesn’t Paul tell
Timothy to repent of his sin so that he will be healthy? Why doesn’t Paul tell him to have the elders lay hands on him so that the prayer of faith will save him from his frequent ailments?
d.II Cor. 12:9 – and it needs to be pointed out here that the reason Paul had his thorn
in the flesh was because of the great things that God had allowed him to participate in. What do you think was the state of Paul’s faith? Was it strong?
V The Lord’s Supper
1.Now then dear ones, this morning we who are believers here are going to observe the
Lord’s Supper. We are going to celebrate that Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from sin. We are going to remember that what it took to get us off the road to hell and on the road to heaven was nothing less than the death and resurrection of the eternal Son of God.
a.Some of you are going to pick up the bread and the cup with hands that can barely
lift more than a piece of bread anymore. This ordinance/sacrament will be joyfully taken by those who look forward to the day when they shall mount up with wings as eagles, run and not grow weary walk and not faint. And you know what? One day you will. Because Jesus Christ has promised to save you and salvation from sin means salvation from all its consequences.
b.Our sicknesses, troubles, pains etc. are reminders to us of what our sins deserve.
c.The Lord’s Supper tells us that what it takes for the consequences of sin to be
overcome is the death of Christ. All the pain and sorrow in the world is here because of sin and its only solution is Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection.
d.Here at the Table we are reminded that the penalty for our sins is paid by Christ
and the only way we will escape the just punishment for our sin is if we are united to Christ.
One day dear ones. One day we will be sinless. One day we will be pain free. One day all our sorrows will be a thing of the past. But not yet. But Jesus has guaranteed it. Jesus has taken care of sin and all that sin puts into this world. Look up dear ones. Look ahead.
Romans 8:23-24 (ESV)
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
1 Cor. 15:50-58 (ESV)
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 John 3:1-3 (ESV)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we will be like him, because we shall see him as he is.  And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.