Herald Journal Columns
Sept. 5, 2005, Herald Journal
Pastor's Column

The God of yesterday still heals today

By Pastor Robert Ramphal, Oster First Covenant Church, Waverly

In the Gospel of Mark, chapter six, verses 53 to 56, we read, “ Jesus and his disciples crossed the lake and brought the boat to shore near the town of Gennesaret. As soon as they got out of the boat, the people recognized Jesus.

“So they ran all over that part of the country to bring their sick people to him on mats. They brought them each time they heard where he was. In every village or farm or marketplace where Jesus went, the people brought their sick to him. They begged him to let them just touch his clothes, and everyone who did was healed.”

In the Old and New Testaments, olive oil was used for healing. When the Good Samaritan helped the man who had been robbed and injured on his way from Jerusalem to Jericho, he poured oil on the man’s wound and gave him some wine.

There are some medical values in the use of oil for divine healing. The Christians in the first church were instructed to anoint sick people with oil and pray for them. It was also thought that the anointing with oil was a means of consecrating and putting sick people into God’s care.

When Jesus came on the scene, he was constantly surrounded by people who were needy and sick and he helped all those who came. Throughout the Gospel and the Epistles, we can read case after case of healing, including paralysis, leprosy, blindness, birth defects, internal bleedings, psoriasis, deafness, people becoming mute, some being demon-possessed, sick with a fever, lameness, convulsions, and a few that were dead and were raised back to life.

When we read about all these healings that were performed by Jesus, we should be very encouraged. The Holy Scriptures said that the people around Jesus witnessed the healings over and over again, and were so moved by his compassion that they followed him wherever he went.

There were no television, radio, newspaper, loud speakers, or Internet to get the word around. However, the people received the message by word of mouth and this system was tremendously effective.

They came in the thousands and were never disappointed by what they saw or heard. They truly believed in him and many became followers of him. Jesus was not entertaining the people with charm and wit. He was always saying what was right and true and holy.

Now, if the people in Jesus’ time followed, believed, and accepted his message and healing, why would it be any different today? What Jesus did with his followers was to instruct them how to do the same things he was doing. He gave them the power to continue the ministry of salvation and healing. In fact, he even told his disciples that greater things than what he did, they would do.

The church became the institution through which God’s mercy, healing, salvation, and love can be carried out. Since the church is gifted by this endowment from Jesus, then the power to heal is still there. The church is everywhere and is not confined to a structural building, but wherever God’s people are gathered to worship and pray.

Now, if you are sick, physically or mentally, and you are having a difficult time, God is asking you to seek out His church to help you.

God does not want to see His people sick, helpless, and depressed. God calls us to wholeness and He is always concerned about us.

He uses doctors and nurses and many others in the medical field to perform healing. God is not saying to avoid hospitals and doctors, but when nothing seems to work, God’s church is also waiting and willing to pray for you.

God has been healing many people all over the world in His churches in this 21st century, just like He did in the 1st century church. God knows we all need healing, and because we are His children, He would not deprive us of it.

Of course, we cannot manipulate God. God will heal us, but we must remember He will do it in His own time and in His own way. He knows our needs even before we ask, but we still must ask and implore Him.

We must believe that God is able, and even though we should not be surprised, we would be surprised what He can do with our lives.

In conclusion, this is not some kind of mind-over-matter philosophy, and a pep talk about how God cares for us to make us feel good. This is true reality and the power of a caring, loving, and living God, who wants the best for His people.

If you feel down and out, I strongly recommend you go to God’s church, have them pray for you just as they did in Jesus’ time, and I am sure you will be blessed, indeed.

Remember, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will do for you what He has done for others in the past. God bless you.

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