So I guess it is only fair for me to admit my biases up front when it comes to “healing.” My Theological Assumption: I would like to clearly state that I do believe that God does choose to heal and even miraculously heal certain people at certain times. My Cultural Assumption: I would also like to state that I believe that many Americans neglect a healthy understanding of the miraculous and supernatural because of an over dependence on a skeptical mind (how arrogant to assume that all cultures that hold to a supernatural world are living in ignorance). My Experiential Assumption: I have several friends who despite great prayers and great faith have never experience a divine healing miraculous or otherwise. They were asked to stand up out of their chairs or extend forth their lame hands all to no avail. Many were accused of not having enough faith.
3 Questions About Healing and the Kingdom
So all of this arises out of the need to get something right in my mind. A few times now I have been in a situation where a group of folks will get together with the idea to share Christ with the lost world and a brother of mine will stand up and start talking about healing. Usually when this happens they direct my attention to Isaiah 53:5 (By his stripes we are healed) gloss over the whole sacrifice part of the passage and ask if anyone wants to be healed. The gospel seems to be diminished or passed over by the desire to display a powerful sign of healing.
I understand that while in the midst of preaching the kingdom Jesus healed people. In many instances healing and preaching the kingdom were hand in hand and almost inseparable (Matt 4:23, 9:35, 10:7-8, Luke 9:11 and especially Luke 10:9). Jesus demonstrates that the kingdom is coming by healing and showing us what the kingdom will be like (there will be no sickness or death). This proves not only to authenticate his message, but help us to visualize what it would look like to live under the rule and reign of such a benevolent king.
Yet at the heart of what I generally observe when I hear healing preached is not an announcing of the Kingdom of God, but a statement that God wants you healthy and wealthy. Then some take it so far as to say that if you lack health or wealth you have no faith. I often wonder if such people have searched the scriptures enough to develop and understand a theology of suffering.
So here are my questions…
. . . . . . . . .
- Is there a connection between healing and the kingdom of God?
- Does your theology of healing allow for a theology of suffering? If so how?
- Does miraculous healing still happen today?