EXCERPT #2: A SUMMARY OF THE SIXTEEN HEALING MOMENTS
MIRACLES OF HEALING IN THE GOSPEL OF MARK
John I. Penn, D.Min
January 16, 2022
Healing Moment One, "The Healing Power of Jesus' Words," clarifies that Satan and his demonic forces are no match for the power and authority of Jesus. Mark answered the question, "Why do bad things happen to good people." Jesus named Satan as the veiled evil behind the wrong things. Mark's gospel made it clear that the casting out of demons demonstrates that the kingdom of God has broken into human history.
Healing Moment Two, "God's Amazing Grace," proclaims that God provided Jesus with divine power and authority to cast out demons and to heal people with a variety of diseases, manifesting the presence of God at work in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus not only spoke for God but also acted for God. God gave Jesus the power and authority to heal all oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38). He conferred his authority to his followers to be witnesses to his resurrected presence in the world.
Healing Moment Three, "Jesus Identifies with Human Brokenness," reminds us that healing is in the atonement. According to the prophet Isaiah, Jesus took our sins and sickness in his own body as the perfect lamb of God, nailing them to the cross. This healing story reminds us that by touching the leper, Jesus identified the leper's humanity and brokenness. The healing miracles tell us of God’s providential care toward humankind.
Healing Moment Four, "The Healing Power of Forgiveness," emphasizes the importance of forgiveness. Jesus' healing of the paralytic man witnesses to the fact that God looks beyond our faults and sees our need for healing, wholeness, and salvation. Restoring our relationship with God and each other is one of the ways people may experience healing, personally and corporately.
Healing Moment Five, "Healing Is Always Lawful," reveals that it is always right to do good. Jesus told the Pharisees that doing good always supersedes human traditions. He admonished the religious leaders for their strict interpretation of the sabbath law. He reminded them that the sabbath was made for man and not the other way around.
Healing Moment Six, "Jesus Empowers His Disciples to Heal," reminds us that Jesus fully believed God would empower his followers to do the work of the kingdom, just as God had empowered Jesus. Jesus conferred his authority upon the disciples to continue his kingdom work in the church and the world.
Healing Moment Seven, "Jesus' Power Knows No Bounds," teaches that God is not a respecter of persons. God loves people unconditionally and desires their highest good. Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the entire world. God sent Jesus into the world so that all people would experience wholeness in every dimension of life and live with God for eternity.
Healing Moment Eight, "A Faith That Would Not Be Denied," points out that God rewards faith. God is not indifferent to the needs of humanity. There is nothing too small or too hard for Jesus to handle. We can bring our insufficiencies to the all-sufficient Christ. The healing stories remind us that nothing is too hard or impossible with God. Jesus not only healed everyone who was sick but often involved those he healed in their healing process. Jesus always looked for an opportunity to connect God's power with human needs.
Healing Moment Nine, "Jesus' Supreme Power over Death," highlights the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead and gives assurance that for those who are in Christ, not even death can separate them from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. As the parents faced the death of their daughter, Jesus spoke these comforting and powerful words: "Do not fear, only believe” (Mk. 5:36)
Healing Moment Ten, "Jesus' Disciples as God's Healers," affirms that the Christian life is shared in Christ. Jesus fully anticipated that the church would continue his kingdom work, both in the church and the world. He sent the gift of the Holy Spirit for that very purpose. Jesus gave the church a mandate to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Then he said, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Mt. 28:20 NRSV).
Healing Moment Eleven, "Healing Faith, Not Magic," makes the case that an unspiritual person cannot comprehend or accept spiritual matters. Even believers need the help or aid of the Holy Spirit to receive the things of God. Mark makes it clear that God responds to faith and not magic. Magic is manipulation that may give the appearance of confidence and leads to all kinds of confusion and dependence on self and not on God. God heals us because He loves us. God's love cannot be manipulated or earned. Healing is a means of grace. God heals because He loves humanity unconditionally. God desires and seeks our highest good.
Healing Moment Twelve, "Persistent Healing Faith," challenges us to have persistent and expectant faith. God rewards lively, expectant faith. The New Testament discourages unbelief or faithlessness. In the epistle of James, we are told that a person without faith will not receive anything from God. In the book of Hebrews, we read that it is impossible to please God without faith. The Syrophoenician woman displayed persistent faith. Jesus was so impressed with her strong, persevering faith that he healed her daughter without praying, touching, or being in the presence of her daughter. Mark's gospel emphasizes over and over that God rewards faith and does not respond to unbelief or faithlessness.
Healing Moment Thirteen, "God's Healing Grace Includes Everyone," makes it clear that the gospel of Jesus Christ is inclusive. God's love is universal. God loves humanity unconditionally. Jesus proved this by dying on a cross for the entire world's sins. Jesus healed all who turned to him to be healed, both Jews and Gentiles alike. Although he was the Jewish Messiah, he was also the world's savior. His mission was first to the Jews and through the Jews to spread the gospel of salvation to the world. Salvation is the ultimate healing. The fact that Gentiles were being healed is evident that Jesus Christ is the savior of the world.
Healing Moment Fourteen, "A Miracle That Required Two Attempts," demonstrates the power of unbelief. Mark told us that Jesus could only heal a few folks in Bethsaida because of the lack of faith. Some people may question why he did not heal there, but by examining themselves, they may conclude that their lifestyles are not pleasing to Jesus Christ. Seeking healing should suggest that people don't just want to be partially healed but to become whole.
Healing Moment Fifteen, "Prayer, Not Human Power, Overcomes Demons," speaks volumes that Jesus is our present help in the time of trouble. Jesus came to set the captives free. He has defeated all our enemies and has empowered us to set others free. Mark makes it clear that those who have put their faith and trust in God through Christ know they have the same power and authority to resist and defeat Satan's evil forces. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who strengthens us. We can face the future with confidence and peace.
The final Healing Moment is "Your Faith Has Made You Well." Because of the strong faith of blind Bartimaeus, Jesus told him, "Go; your faith has made you well"(Mk. 10:52 NRSV). Bartimaeus teaches us not to listen to the naysayers but to put our faith in the healing Christ, the Great Physician. He also teaches that we are not to allow our fears to cause us to give up when we face challenges and uncertainty. Bartimaeus challenges us to turn to a loving God who sacrificed His Son to reveal his love and care on behalf of humanity. God caused His Son to suffer pain and separation from his Father and die for sinners. This proves God's love and care for even the least of us.