Blog #2: THE HEALING POWER OF JESUS’ WORDS
John I. Penn, D.Min.
January 10, 2022
It is noteworthy that Mark begins his account of Jesus’ public kingdom work with the healing of a man possessed by an unclean spirit. It is also significant that this healing occurred in the synagogue on the sabbath. Healing by exorcism was a central part of the ministry of Jesus, according to Mark’s gospel. Healing by exorcism was calculated and essential to God’s kingdom in several ways.
Mark’s gospel shows that exorcism is central to the kingdom work of God. Healing defined Jesus’ divine mission as the Messiah of God. Second, healing is a sign that the kingdom of God had broken into human history. Third, the exorcisms show the continuous conflict between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Fourth, Mark interprets healing and salvation as being inseparable. Biblically and theologically, they represent the two sides of the same coin. Fifth, the healing miracles demonstrate that Satan’s evil kingdom is no match for the kingdom of God. Sixth, Mark also emphasizes that healing would not only be central to the kingdom work of Jesus, but also for the church, the body of Christ. Finally, the gospel of Mark demonstrates that Jesus healed the whole person. It is essential to understand that Jesus treated exorcism as more of a cure than a punishment.1
Most importantly, exorcism points us to an age-old conflict between God and Satan that goes back to the creation story and the fall of humanity. When the serpent questioned God’s sovereignty and tempted Eve to disobey God’s warning, which she did, sin was introduced into God’s good creation. Sin has caused all of creation to fall from the perfect order in which God had created it. God sent Jesus, the seed of the woman, to restore God’s ultimate intent for creation.
Therefore Jesus “first public act” of exorcism (healing) looked back to the fall of humanity and looked forward to the cross, when God’s perfect order of creation would be restored, which looks toward a glorious future. It is important to remember that initially, creation was void of sin, sickness, and death. In the new divine order of creation, all sin, sickness, and spiritual death will be prohibited.
The apostle Paul foresaw a future where all human brokenness, including creation would be restored to a magnificent future:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. (Rom. 8:19-24 NRSV.)
Without understanding this biblical interpretation, healing will always have a secondary role in the life, mission, and ministry of the church, which is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave healing a prominent place and role in the kingdom work of God. Healing Moment One in my book gives a convincing reason why!
(Five reasons why healing prayer works is a five-part series that you can read each week on my blog. They were designed to help Christians better understand the nature, scope, and value of spiritual and physical healing within the life and ministry of the Christian church. Second, to realize that Jesus and the early church gave healing a central place in the kingdom work of God, in both the church and world. You may use and share this material freely, as long as you give the proper credits to the author). Go to my blog to read the other four reasons healing prayer works. Go to: https://www.my-book-store.com/ to read all of my blogs!
Everyone who registers on my website (below) or purchases Miracles of Healing in the Gospel of Mark will receive a 20% discount on both the book and the Leader's Guide. Used the CODE: Guide.
Until next week, Happy New Year! Next week, I will provide an excerpt from Healing Moment One, THE HEALING POWER OF JESUS' WORDS. To buy my books, go to: https://www.my-book-store.com/.