As we look at the Red Letters today, I want to stick with this story we have been talking about all week. Today I want to observe two interesting facets in Jesus’ healing ministry.
"But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”--then He said to the paralytic--“Rise, take up your bed, and go home.” ~ Matthew 9:6
So, I want to be more like Jesus, in the way I do everything. Don’t you?
Have you ever noticed that Jesus never prayed for the sick? He did not pray and ask God to do something. In fact Jesus tells us specifically how He does what He does.
Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. ~ John 5:19 (NKJV)
So, according to Jesus, rather than pray for God to heal this sick man, Jesus looks at what the Father is doing, and acts as the hands of God on earth to bring about what the Father is doing in heaven.
Don’t get me wrong here, I do think we need to pray, but perhaps the prayer we should be praying is “Lord, help me see what you are doing right here and right now.” [Tweet this] Of course then we might find ourselves making mud out of our spit, or writing in the dirt, or even declaring that someone’s sins are forgiven.
The second observation I want to make is that He often adds a call to action to His ministry.
I know when someone comes to me for prayer, there are times when I ask God to do something in their life, and I walk away hopeful.
Jesus expected and inspected. He ministered in whatever way He saw the Father ministering, and then checked it out with a call to action.
Rise, take up your bed, and go home.
One time in our home group, during a time of prayer we prayed for the shoulder of one of our members. We laid our hands on her, and then we just went on with the meeting. Later that evening she was talking and pointed up in the air for some reason, I don’t remember that part, but what I will never forget is the look on her face when she realized all the pain in her shoulder was gone.
We laughed and rejoiced, but I realized that we should have inspected right away to see what the Lord had done, so we could have given Him the glory due Him sooner.
When you pray for someone to be healed, I encourage you to ask them to do what they could not do before.
There is an account in Jesus ministry where He ministered to a man who was blind, and when He asked Him if He could see, the once blind man said:
I see men, for I am seeing them like trees, walking about. ~ Mark 8:24
Then check out what happens next:
Then again He (Jesus) laid His hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly. ~ Mark 8:25
The Son of God, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells, needed to touch this man twice in order to fully heal him.
If He (Jesus) had prayed or ministered once and walked away, the man would have been better off than before, but still impaired. Jesus stuck with Him and saw it through.
So perhaps, though I only promised two observations, we have a bonus observation before us.
- See what the Father is doing. Let your prayer be, for your own sight, and partnership with the Father’s hand.
- Check for results
- Don’t just move on, if your first attempt at ministry is unsuccessful or does not bring the results you were looking for.
One last caveat, if in the end your ministry does not change the circumstance, realize there are many factors at play, way more than we can understand. Be sure the person you are praying for has been loved, and is not left feeling condemned or worse off than you found them. Does that make sense?
See you again soon.
By the way, if you missed the first hand account of this day in Jesus life, you should check out "Arise, Take up your bed and walk"