What happens when you can’t pray for your own healing? In my last post we talked about people in the Gospels who asked Jesus to heal them. Jesus did heal them and commended them for their faith. I believe that Jesus was commending their faith not only because they believed Jesus could heal them, but also because they had faith in Jesus Himself (See theologetics.com, “Your Faith Has Saved You”).
2. Did people have to “come to Jesus” to be healed? What about now?
In the previous post, we already discussed the paralytic and his friends coming down through the roof of a house to see Jesus (See Mark 2:1-12 and Luke 5:17-26). I believe Jesus saw the faith of the friends and also the paralytic himself. How else could Jesus say to the young man, “Son, your sins are forgiven” (Mark 2:5b; also Luke 5:35)?
In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, we read about Jesus praising a Roman Centurion (a foreigner not of the Hebrew religion ) for his faith in Jesus to heal his servant who was at his house “paralyzed and in terrible suffering”. The Centurion said to Jesus, “Lord, I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Jesus said to all who were following Him, “’I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith’…Then Jesus said to the Centurion, ‘Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that very hour” (See Matthew 8:5-13). The servant was in no shape to go to Jesus himself, so his loving master went in his place. Jesus did not see a “bossy” kind of faith that commanded Jesus to heal his servant. He must have seen other Roman soldiers who arrogantly misused their authority and lorded it over the people in their charge. Most of the Pharisees and Sadducees and teachers of the law were also high-and-mighty in their misuse of authority. But this Roman Centurion had a humble faith. He knew he was a sinner and he knew who Jesus was. That is what Jesus praised him for. I believe Jesus was also extremely moved by the Centurion’s love for his servant, whom he treated as family (Also see Luke 7:1-10). As friends and family members, we have the honor to pray for those we love who may not be able to pray for themselves, for whatever reason. Those who are questioning God do not need a lecture. What they need is our tangible and emotional support and our ceaseless prayers.
In another place in the Gospels, Jesus answers a father’s plea to save his daughter from death (Mark 5:21-43): “Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there [where Jesus was]. Seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet and pleaded earnestly with Him, ‘My daughter is dying. Please come and put Your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’ So Jesus went with him…While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus…[and said] ‘Your daughter is dead’…Jesus said, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’” When Jesus got to Jairus’ house, “He took [the father’s child] by the hand and said to her ‘Tailitha koum!’ (which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’) Immediately the girl stood up and walked around…[Jesus] told [the parents] to give her something to eat.”
Again, we see a man of authority, this time a Hebrew synagogue ruler, come to Jesus in all humility, frightened that his daughter may die. Like the Centurion’s servant, she was in no condition to go to Jesus herself, so Jesus came to her. Jesus said to her father, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Jesus did not rebuke him for being afraid. Isn’t it a natural response to be afraid of losing someone you love? Instead, Jesus encouraged his faith to believe in Him. At the end of the day, Jairus and his wife had a hungry daughter to feed (Also see Luke 8:40-53). In today’s world there are many things that frightened us. Sometimes, even our friends add to our anxiety. Even when they tell us the truth, as Job’s friends did, it’s at the wrong time. It is in those times, Jesus says to us, “Don’t be afraid; just believe [in Me].” Jesus will get us through our most difficult times. I know this is true from my own personal experiences with a physical disability and emotional anxiety.
The love between a mother and daughter is one of the strongest bonds on earth. I know this by how much my mother loved me and how much I love and miss my mom who passed away four years ago. I saw my mother fight for me, with all her strength, to get an education. Despite my cerebral palsy with its physical limitations, my mother knew I had a keen mind. It is because of her and her prayers that I did get an education. Not only did I graduate from high school, I went on to three colleges and earned a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. All this because of God’s grace and my mother’s love for me, her eldest daughter.
We see this same kind of courageous love in the Gospel account of “The Faith of the Canaanite Woman”, in Matthew 15:21-28. We also read another account of a father’s unconditional love for his disabled child, in Matthew 17:14-21 and Mark 8:14-32. This reminds me of my own father who loved me and cared for me, not as his “disabled daughter”, but as his “dear daughter”. I also love my father and miss him from the day he passed away in 2003 to the present day. I will always be thankful to the Lord for my parents who loved me to the end.
We will look at these two Gospel accounts illustrating a mother’s courageous love for her daughter and a father’s unconditional love for his son next time.
The Peace of Christ Be With You!