Jesus heals the leper

kristie Discipleship, Love

Many of my favorite passages in the Bible are accounts of people being healed and scriptures on healing.  Maybe this is because I am a physician, or maybe I became a physician because I was so compelled by stories of healing.  I love hearing testimonies of miraculous healings, and even more so, seeing them personally. Why? Is it seeing the power of God in a truly tangible way?  Is it somehow more miraculous to me because I know the science behind the disease? Honestly, I believe it is when I read, hear, or see a testimony of healing I feel the love and compassion of God in a powerful way.  Recently in my personal prayer time God has been speaking to me about the depths of His love for us not just corporately, but as individuals.

About 15 years ago I was going through the book of Mark with the youth group I was helping to lead.  Although I had heard it before, this time the account of Jesus healing the man with leprosy touched me in a way that left me changed forever. It was not just the account of healing. There are numerous accounts of people being healed of leprosy and other diseases in the Bible.  It was the three words “moved with compassion” that sparked something inside of me that has been burning ever since.

Mark 1: 40-44 NLT   A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”  Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.  Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning:  “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

In Bible times people with leprosy were forced to live outside of the community in leper colonies until they either died or were healed.  They were considered unclean. Healthy people were not allowed to touch them. Lepers had to stay 6 feet away from any healthy person, even their own family. To prevent accidental contamination of a clean person, whenever a leper went into town they had to shout “ unclean”.  It was thought that leprosy was caused by sin in the person’s life. In Bible times leprosy was so much more than just physical disease. It destroyed people’s lives physically, financially, socially and spiritually. It was a disease associated with shame and condemnation.  Jesus could have chosen to just speak and this man would have been healed physically. He would have still been able to show himself to the priest and been declared clean which would allow him to begin his life over again. Jesus, however, didn’t just speak healing. He touched this man who was still unclean.  For someone who was ostracized, living as an outcast, being forced to shout his shame every time someone better than him walked by, that touch was more than just physical contact. That touch revealed the heart of God. That touch restored to him something that was taken when he first became ill. I believe that one touch brought a restoration to the life of that man that went beyond just the physical.  For someone starved for loving contact that touch declared: I see you right where you are and I chose to love you. To me, you are no longer an outcast. I am not ashamed of you, or to be seen with you. You matter to Me. You are accepted. This is God’s heart, compassion and love poured out.

God WANTS to heal because He loves us. He loves those who are far from Him.  Who as a parent when their child is sick or in pain does not wish that they could take that away?  As a physician I heard parents say countless times that they wished they could take their child’s sickness or pain.  There are numerous scriptures on God’s desire to heal us. Psalm 84:11 says “No good thing does He withhold”. If we have a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us shouldn’t we also believe that He loves us enough to want to heal us?  More than 700 years before Jesus was beaten and died on the cross, God declared through the prophet Isaiah that “by His stripes we are healed”. God’s love made provision for our healing through the wounds of Jesus. I am going to say it again; God WANTS to heal you because He loves you.

A true revelation of the vast love God has for us as individuals opens the door not just to receive physical healing but complete restoration. His compassion and love for us moves Him to bring complete restoration to us physically, socially, financially, emotionally and spiritually.  He wants to restore everything the enemy has taken from us. His love will cast out fear and doubt. He will bring peace, healing, provision, clarity and wisdom into any situation that we allow Him into. Healing from God is so much more than just physical healing. It is meant to be shalom.  “The ancient Hebrew concept of peace, rooted in the word ‘shalom,’ meant wholeness, completeness, soundness, health, safety and prosperity, carrying with it the implication of permanence.” (Susan Perlman  What is Shalom: the True Meaning)

When we begin to understand the heart of the Father for us it becomes easier to understand that healing is the outcome of compassion. It flows out of a place of love.  God is faithful to His word. There is more than just physical healing available in the Kingdom of God. When we partner with a loving Heavenly Father, and allow His love and compassion to flow through us I believe that the natural outcome is a supernatural life.  A display of supernatural power through love is mighty to change, to restore, and to bring healing to every broken place. When we don’t see the expected outcome it is not that God’s love is not there, or He cannot heal. We do not see the end from the beginning. Sometimes healing is instantaneous sometimes it takes place over time.  Sometimes it takes multiple times of prayer. The truth that God’s love is real, and His desire to heal is not changed by an unanticipated outcome. Continue to operate in love.

1 John 4:7-11 TPT Those who are loved by God, let his love continually pour from you to one another, because God is love. Everyone who loves is fathered by God and experiences an intimate knowledge of him. The one who doesn’t love has yet to know God, for God is love. The light of God’s love shined within us when he sent his matchless Son into the world so that we might live through him. This is love: He loved us long before we loved him. It was his love, not ours. He proved it by sending his Son to be the pleasing sacrificial offering to take away our sins.  Delightfully loved ones, if he loved us with such tremendous love, then “loving one another” should be our way of life!