‘Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”’ Mark 3.4
We have been looking at the story of Jesus healing a man with a shrivelled hand, and these words from that account say something amazing about the healing ministry of Jesus and how he viewed it.
It is so easy to regard the ministry of healing as a 'bolt-on'; an additional extra to our faith that we can take on board if we wish. However, in this verse Jesus tells us something quite staggering about this ministry. He speaks about it in terms of giving life, even to the extent that to withhold it is tantamount to killing. This is how important healing is to Jesus and the terms in which he sees it.
Given this, how do we regard our sicknesses? Too often we tolerate them and at times even welcome them as a means of God purifying us, but this doesn't seem to be the way that Jesus viewed sickness. In the Gospel stories of Jesus healing the sick, he never appeared to think in terms of ill health having a purifying effect on people; he saw sickness as something from which people could be healed.
If you are sick - in body, mind or spirit - it is OK to call out to God for healing. It is not selfish because you are seeing the vision God has for you. Pray for yourself, find others to pray for you, and pursue Jesus’ vision for your life.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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