What if…?

Matthew 10:7-8 (New International Version © 2010)

7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

If this is true and if we did this—what would happen to all our discussions of healthcare?

The other day on Facebook, someone posted a quip that Jesus gave away healthcare. He didn’t. He gave away healing.

What if we could too? What if we did too?

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9 thoughts on “What if…?

  1. If we run across somebody who’s blind, we pray for them and they see.

    If we run across somebody who’s crippled, we pray for them and they walk again.

    If we pray for somebody who died, they live again.

    The exact same stuff Jesus did when confronted with people who needed healing. He healed them. That’s what he commanded his disciples to do here. They obeyed and the dead were raised, the blind had their eyes opened, and so forth.

  2. So when you ask the question “What if we did it too?…” what do you imagine? What actual actions are involved in this idea of “giving away healing”?

    • Actually, John, he was quite clear, both in his teaching and in his practice:

      31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.

      32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

      33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

      Can you picture Jesus passing by “on the other side”?

      Can you picture the disciples, on a mission of healing and deliverance, passing by “on the other side”?

      Can you imagine a modern-day Christ-follower who is intent on (as one Tweeter of this post puts it) “doing as he is instructed in this passage–going “on the other side”?

      The answer is no.

      Whether you’re rescuing a victim of violence, bandaging his wounds, finding him lodging–or channeling God’s healing power through your prayers and touch (and remember how much touching Jesus did in the course of most of his healing ministry)–going “on the other side” is not a part of the picture.

      There are times when it’s not practical to go to where the person is and healing still prevails:

      Matthew 8:5-13 (New International Version)

      5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

      7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

      8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

      10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

      13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

      But the normative approach is to engage personally:

      Acts 3:6-7 (New International Version)

      6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” 7 Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.

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