The Healing Church

Cherian K Philip

23 January, 2023

Transcript of this message is also available in Malayalam and Tamil

Scripture Reference: Matthew, 9:35-38

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (NKJV)

Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them, seeing the need of the people. He saw the work that needs to be done, he saw the ‘harvest that’s plentiful’, as he saw them scattered across several towns and other places, where the sick needed  to be healed and he couldn’t be everywhere physically.

Scripture Reference: Matthew, 18, 10-14

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For[a] the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” (NKJV)

Jesus said that we must not despise the ones who are in need. He meant the least ones, the poor and the lost. He said that there are angels in heaven appointed for them. He compared them to the parable of the Lost Sheep and said that even if one sheep strays away from the flock and is lost, the shepherd will leave the rest of the 99 sheep in a safe place and then go looking for that one single lost sheep. Similarly, Jesus will come caring for even for that least of the least one on earth that needs help. 

Scripture Reference 2 Chronicles 16:9 (a)

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. The Lord’s heart and his eyes are always looking for the one in need.

John, 5:1-9

After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.” (NKJV)

There was in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate, a pool. It was the entrance gate for the sheep brought from the market for sacrifice. There was a pool there. Even they washed the sheep in the pool. Later it was called Bethesda, meaning ‘House of Mercy’ or House of Grace’. It was believed that when an angel of God came down and stirred the waters of the pool, the first one to get into the pool waters will be cleansed of all illness and diseases. Hence, there were a large number of them by the poolside waiting for the waters to be stirred by the angel wom God would send. They were not only llness and disability stricken, but they were also poor and could not afford to go to a physician either. 

The question to be asked is ‘Why did God has to send an angel to stir the waters?’

There were the priests, the temple attendants, the synagogue leaders and teachers and other men of capability around the Sheep Gate, who professed to be close with God but they could not heal through the waters of Bethesda. When any of them stirred the waters, it just stirred, no healing power came upon it. And, God had to send an angel to come and stir the water. The simple answer is that none of those high and mighty could save them. For, they were not only with illness and disability, but also were despised and discarded by this very same community. And not even one of those disease-stricken did approach these leaders of the church because they knew that they could not heal.

If the Church stops healing, then where will the poor and the invalid go for support? We have to realize our responsibility.

Scripture Reference John 10:10  

” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

The devil comes to steal kill and destroy. He does not fully steal or corrupt. He corrupts little  by little. First he attacks the part of our lives in small ways. That’s why we have short bouts of fever, colds, cough and other illnesses and diseases. He keeps us occupied with small intervals of diseases and illnesses to keep us away from our main purpose. The devil works like that. He steals our energy, efficiency, money little by little. But our God wants us to restore our health, give us healing and bring us back to full. ‘FULL’. He wants us to have everything good in full, as in the verse we read.

Scripture Reference Luke 13, 10-17

” Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, think of it, for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” (NKJV)

Those days there were so many regulations and restrictions imposed by the leaders in Society. Sabbath was one such. The teachers of the Law had regulations for everything to be done on the Sabbath. When Jesus healed the woman with an infirmity of a bent back on a Sabbath, the leaders of the synagogue and teachers of the Law were indignant. Which is why Jesus refers to the woman as the daughter of Abraham. He knew, quoting  the ‘father of faith’ is the best way to convince them about these questions they seek. 

Consider …

If Jesus were to come today, what will he be looking for? Will he look at the beautiful things and people around here? Or, will he search for those in dire spiritual and physical need? You may be sick in your body, your spirit, your emotions etc and yes, Jesus would address these issues in us. Jesus has not forgotten us. Have that spark of faith in you.

Scripture Reference: John, 5:5-10

“Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” (NKJV)

Invalid was the man for 38 years. It is a long time. If Jesus were to ask us if we want our infirmity to be healed, just as he asked the man at the pool, and that also, after 38 years of us bearing with the infirmity, what would have been our response? Would we have been so excited? Most of us would have said, after so much time has passed why ask for healing now? We would’ve adjusted to the sickness and the helpless condition and borne all the infirmity with or without complaints. But not this invalid man by the pool of Bethesda. Jesus saw his faith and said “Get up’1  And immediately he took up his mat and walked. The man still keep kept the mat. He was mat-conscious. After 38 years of keeping it with him, he it may become a part of hi, kind of. But when Jesus frees us of all, he sets free the inhibitions too! sort of We are not supposed to be hanging onto our past like that. We are supposed to leave the mat and move on. Jesus asked him and immediately he was healed. Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda only for that one man. He was compassionate for that one single soul. He cares. He heals. He will heal you. There is nothing impossible for Jesus to do. 

Scripture Reference 1 Peter 2:24

“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose [a]stripes you were healed.” (NKJV)

Jesus himself bore our sins. ‘Himself’ is a significant and powerful word. By his wounds we are healed. If Jesus has already bore our sins why are we still worried about the past?

Scripture Reference : Isaiah 43: 18-19

 “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness. And rivers in the desert.” (NKJV)

It is difficult for us to forget the past. former things. Let us follow Jesus and forget the former things and with the expectancy of a new day and the future let us move on. Forget the baggage that we came with, God is doing a new thing. He is making a way in the wilderness. And streams in the wasteland. Let us d new things in the New Year

Scripture Reference Isaiah, 61: 2,3

“To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, to [a]console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (NKJV)

A planting of the Lord for the display of his righteousness. Oaks of righteousness. He will restore his glory. In our healing he will do it,. God wants the Church to become the Bethesda, where the helpless will be healed.