HOW TO MINISTER EFFECTIVELY #5
Recovery of Sight to the Blind
Luke 4:18 (MEV) “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind...”
A. Luke 4:18 was the job description of Jesus Christ. Now we are His hands and His feet. This is our job description too!
B. I believe that Jesus can still bring recovery of sight to the blind. But to me, this also speaks of the broader subject of healing for the physical body.
C. This passage is a prophetic picture of Jesus—the suffering Servant. It gives us a picture of what took place on the cross.
D. The New Testament clearly confirms that this Servant refers to Jesus Himself (Matthew 8:17; Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37; John 12:38; 1 Peter 2:21-25).
Example: The devil has done his best to keep people blinded to the reality of Jesus in this passage.
Many Jewish people are not familiar with Isaiah 53 because is in not included in the weekly reading of the Old Testament in the synagogues. Not every passage from the writings of the prophets is read so it cannot be said with certainty that Isaiah 53 was intentionally left out. But it does seem unusual to end one week of readings at Isaiah 52:12 and then pick up the next week at chapter 54. They skip over the entire passage regarding Jesus—the suffering Servant.
One Jewish man let his curiosity take over. He went to a library where they had the entire Bible available. He studied Isaiah 53, saw Jesus as the Messiah through that predictive passage and received Christ as His Savior. (See Isaiah 53 Explained, pg. 12 & 159, Mitch Glaser.)
E. Isaiah 53 talks about...
Vs. 1-3 The life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Vs. 4-9 His death.
Vs. 10-12 And His resurrection.
F. This is clearly confirmed in Acts 8:27-35 as well. The Lord sent Philip into the desert to minister to one hungry heart. There was an Ethiopian eunuch in a chariot. He was reading Isaiah 53:7, 8. This man invited Philip to come up and sit with him. The eunuch was confused as to what he was reading.
Acts 8:34, 35 (MEV) “The eunuch said to Philip, ‘I ask you, of whom does the prophet (Isaiah) speak, of himself or of someone else?’ Then Philip spoke, beginning with the same Scripture (Isaiah 58), and preached Jesus to him.”
G. Philip preached Jesus and the cross from Isaiah 53. Warren Wiersbe said that Isaiah 53 is quoted or alluded to in the New Testament more frequently than any
other Old Testament chapter. It is quoted in the New Testament over 40 times.
H. Isaiah 53 shows us what Jesus did for mankind on the cross.
I. We want to examine this passage in order to see whether healing is in the atonement. In other words, was it provided for all through the cross of Calvary?
GRIEFS AND SORROWS
A. We cannot base what we believe on our experience alone. (Everyone has a different experience.) We must base it on the authority of the Scripture itself!
Isaiah 53:3, 4 (MEV) “He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”
B. These verses are not mistranslated but they are poorly translated. Notice the words “grief” and “sorrows.”
Vs. 3, 4 “grief” - (SC 2483: choliy) disease; sickness
C. This word is translated “disease” or “sickness” in Deuteronomy 7:15; 28:59, 61; 1 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 1:2; 8:8; 2 Chronicles 16:12; 21:15, etc. (See Finis Dake & F.F. Bosworth).
Vs. 3, 4 “sorrows” - (SC 4341: makob) pain; sorrow
D. This word is translated “pain” in Job 14:22; 33:19, etc.
Vs. 3, 4 (Young’s Literal) “...a man of pains, and acquainted with sickness. ...Surely our sicknesses He hath borne, and our pains He hath carried them.”
Vs. 4 (NASB) “However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, and our pains that He carried...”
Vs. 4 (NHEB) “Surely He bore our diseases, and took our pains...”
Example: “Surely...” - Kenneth Copeland walked around simply saying “surely.”
Vs. 3, 4a (Amp) “He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness. ...Surely He has borne our griefs—sickness, weakness and distress—and carried our sorrows and pain [of punishment].”
Vs. 4b (Amp) “We ignorantly considered Him stricken, smitten and afflicted by God.”
E. God wasn’t judging Jesus for doing something wrong. God didn’t strike Jesus, sin did. Jesus didn’t die because of what HE had done but because of what WE have done. Notice the words “we” and “our” in verses 4-6.
F. To make things even clearer regarding healing in the atonement, let’s see how this passage is translated in the New Testament—in the gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 8:16, 17 (MEV) When the evening came, they brought to Him (Jesus) many who were possessed with demons. And He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed ALL who were sick, to fulfill what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet,
‘He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.’”
G. This is a quote from Isaiah 53:4. Our English translations of Isaiah 53:4 often say, “He has borne our grief and carried our sorrows.” But Matthew, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, interpreted the passage properly and he says Jesus “took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”
H. Even though Jesus had not yet died, we see here in Matthew 8 an anticipation of His death and its benefits to those who believe His report—His prophetic Word!
Isaiah 53:4 “borne” - (SC 5375: nasa) to take; lift; carry away
I. If Jesus took and bore our sicknesses, then we don’t have to take them and we don’t have to bare them!
Vs. 5 (MEV) “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”
J. According to this verse, there are three benefits made available to us through the cross of Christ:
1. Forgiveness. “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities” (vs. 5a).
2. Peace. “...The chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him” (vs. 5b Amp).
3. Healing. “...and by His stripes we are healed” (vs. 5c).
BY HIS STRIPES YOU WERE HEALED
1 Peter 2:24, 25 (MEV) “He Himself (Jesus) bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. ‘By His wounds you were healed.’ For you were as sheep going astray, but now have been returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
A. Notice the phrase, “by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray.” This is a quote from Isaiah 53:5, 6.
• Isaiah looking ahead to the cross said, “by His stripes we ARE healed.”
• Peter looking back at the cross said, “by whose stripes you WERE healed.”
B. These “stripes” refer to the scourging Jesus received prior to the crucifixion.
C. A truth is established in the mouth of two or three witnesses (2 Corinthians 12:1). We have looked at three key passages to establish God’s plan for healing of the physical body (Isaiah 53:3-5; Matthew 8:16, 17; 1 Peter 2:24)!
D. The word “were” in verse 24 is past tense. When WERE you healed? At the cross. In the mind of God, healing was made available through the cross of Christ.
E. Kenneth Copeland said, “You are not the sick trying to get healed. You are the healed and the devil is trying to rob your health.”
Example: Kenneth Hagin said that early on in his ministry he preached prosperity because he saw it in the Word of God. Even when he was struggling and his car had four bald tires, he preached provision because the Scriptures teach that God supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory. In the same way, I am preaching healing even as I am standing for my own physical healing. Why? Because I see it in the Word of God. Jesus paid the price for my wholeness!
F. Settle it in your heart, according to the Scriptures, that Jesus paid the price for the forgiveness of your sins and for the your healing of your body.
G. Kathryn Kuhlman began to see that God is still a miracle worker. She once said,
“I knew that if I lived and died and never saw a single healing miracle like the apostles experienced in the book of Acts it would not change God’s Word. ...God said it. He made provision for it in our redemption at Calvary. And whether I ever saw it with my earthly eyes did not change the fact that it was so” (Flame Burning, pg. 107, Ron McIntosh).
H. Divine healing isn’t true because people healed; people get healed because divine healing is true.
WHAT ABOUT DOCTORS AND MEDICINE?
A. There are two main levels of healing:
(1) Divine healing.
A. Adam walked in divine health prior to the fall. At times, Israel walked in divine health. There was not one feeble among their tribes (Psalm 105:37b).
B. Jesus walked in this realm during His earthly ministry. John G. Lake did so at times as well. Most of us are not at that level but we’ve been healed supernaturally. C. This is healing through divine means—through the power of God. Many of us have experienced that in our lives.
(2) Healing through natural means.
A. This is healing through natural means—through doctors, medicine, etc.
B. All health and healing are from God. Satan wants no one well.
Example: Oral Roberts University has praying/healing hands in front of their school. They are made out of bronze and are 60 feet high, weighing 30 tons. The two hands symbolize the hand of God and the hand of man working together to bring healing to hurting humanity.
B. Many Christians have taken one of two unbalanced views concerning medicine:
(1) One extreme view it that medicine is not from God.
A. Some Charismatic ministers have taught that the use of medicine, doctors and drugs of any kind was a sign of faithlessness.
B. I am so grateful for doctors and the medical community. I am also grateful for various medications that help those who are suffering.
C. God cannot be against doctors. Luke traveled with the apostle Paul for years and wrote two New Testament books—the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Luke was a physician. Colossians 4:14 (NLT) says, “Luke, the beloved doctor [NKJV: ‘physician’], sends his greetings.”
D. In his writings, Luke emphasized Jesus’ compassion for hurting people. His medical knowledge is apparent from his writings.
• Matthew said that Peter’s mother-in-law had a fever (Matthew 8:14). Luke called it “a high fever” (Luke 4:38). A doctor would know that.
• Mark spoke of Jesus healing a man with a withered hand (Mark 3:1). Luke recognized that it was his “right hand” (Luke 6:6). That would be something a doctor would take note of.
(2) Another view is to put all of your faith in doctors and medicine without even praying about your situation.
A. If you haven’t seen the manifestation to your healing and you need medicine, by all means take it but keep your confession up. Keep taking God’s medicine as well.
B. Going to the doctor is no guarantee of success (Mark 5:26). But through our prayers, God can direct us to the right doctors who will give us the right diagnosis to bring about healing and health.
• Don’t be condemned or walk in guilt if you need to go to a doctor or take medicine. This may be part of God’s provision for you.
• Walk by faith through the process and trust the Lord that there will be no complications and that the healing time will be sped up.
• Pray that the Great Physician (Jesus) will guide the minds and hands of the doctors that are assisting you. My prayer is, “God, may the doctors do only what is needed—nothing more, nothing less and nothing else.”
2 Chronicles 16:12, 13 (NLT) “In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Yet even with the severity of his disease, he did not seek the Lord’s help but turned only to his physicians. So he died in the forty-first year of his reign.”
C. “Asa did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, as his ancestor David had done” (1 Kings 15:11 NLT). Though a godly king, Asa failed to seek the Lord as he should at the end of his life.
D. The Bible is not teaching that it is wrong to go to a doctor. It is teaching that we should always go to the Great Physician first and seek His counsel and direction.
E. Asa did not humble himself before the Lord. He went ONLY to the doctors for assistance. The end result was that he never recovered from this serious disease.
F. I have much greater empathy for those who are struggling physically. This has been a huge battle for me. But I will NEVER STOP fighting the good fight of faith. Because it is only a good fight when you W-I-N—WIN!
G. In the West, we are often trained in schools of doubt, rather than schools of faith. I still believe that all things are possible with God and we are not satisfied with anything less! MFM