That single truth is an indictment of where Christianity is, in general, today. No! I do not think it means that every preacher in the world should be praying for the sick with every single sermon he preaches. But it does mean praying for the sick whenever the sick are present and seeking healing. And in Britain today, there is every indication that praying for sick people when they are present, will almost definitely mean praying for the sick alongside every sermon. It also logically infers that by the biblical criteria, if a man or woman claims to be called to ministry, the whole idea of healing the sick is wrapped up solidly in the Heavenly Magna Carta of that call. The entire world is sick in body, soul and spirit, and Jesus Christ is the answer to all those fundamental issues of life.
When I first shared this revelation with my wife, she asked me two questions immediately. “Does that mean that those that don’t exercise a ministry of healing are NOT called?” I stayed silent. Her second question was: “Or does it mean they are called but disobedient?” My answer was, that as faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, it mostly suggests that the statement at the top of the page would be radical “breaking news” to many preachers and ministers in the world. Yes, there are some preachers currently, to whom the teaching of Christ, healing sick and diseased people today, would be new and radical. My statement above leads to my declaration that if any reader of this page is called to preach, I feel absolutely confident in stating that, on biblical grounds, you are also called to pray for the sick and see them healed. Refute me, biblically, if you can!
My declaration is based on several passages of the Bible.
- Matthew 10:1 – 8:
“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. … Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message:‘ The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”
Could it be plainer? Preaching and healing are conjoined twins in the mind of Christ it would seem. What is the point of declaring, “The kingdom of God has come,” if that kingdom cannot me manifested in their lives?
- Mark 6: 7 – 13.
“Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. … They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them”.
Note that even though Mark does not recite Jesus commissioning the twelve to heal the sick, he still records that they emulated the Saviour and did so.
- Luke 10: 1 – 17.
Far beyond the twelve, Jesus addressed 72; “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. … Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ … The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
Christ sent the 72 over and above the twelve. This tells us that in the days of His flesh, there was a certain point of time when there were 84 men, visiting the villages in Israel (or Judea as it was called in Christ’s day) in 42 couples, preaching and healing the sick, casting out demons and…. if they did not raise the dead, we know He had given them authority to do that very thing. They came back, surprised that even the demons were subject to them, so that also must have been part of their commission. It should be added as a “by the way” that they were not to stay where they were not wanted. This is an important statement for those who claim that only the first twelve disciples/Apostles were commissioned to heal the sick.