Evangelist David Hernandez reflects on the Spirit’s ministry of healing and the classic work by Francis Macnutt.
Recently, I was at a crusade in a certain country where we saw many extraordinary things take place. Through the sound system in those nights, the gospel was preached to thousands. Then we began to pray for the sick and many people would come up to testify. I came to realize one detail. The people that were testifying weren’t Christians, or at least weren’t Christians when they came to the event. The majority were Hindus! People who hadn’t believed in Christ before are now getting healed and giving their lives to Jesus. Especially this one Hindu woman that caught my attention, who testified that God had opened her deaf ears. I thank God for these miracles happening all around us.
However, this sparked my interest in the topic of healing. I came to realize that it was topic I knew little about. So how do you learn about a topic? You read. This book about healing is written by a former Catholic priest who became involved in the Charismatic Renewal through the ministry of Agnes Sanford. He became disheartened by traditional church teaching of sickness and suffering that claims that all pain is part of God’s redemptive plan. After this, he himself became interested in the ministry of healing. Through his years of experience, he came to learn much about this controversial teaching that was spreading like wildfire during the Charismatic Renewal. With the help of others, he learns enough to be able to write about this subject.
He first points out that it seems to be God’s general will to heal the sick. I must say that when the Bible talks about sickness, it has absolutely nothing good to say about it. God’s general concern is for our well-being since he is a loving God. It is not simply God granting wishes every now and then, but him revealing his character towards us as our healer. Since Jesus healed, this is the revelation of God’s character towards sickness and disease.
He talks about the traditional teaching of sickness and suffering and points out that the more traditional teaching (that of the early church to the 3rd century) was actually one of healing. Many Catholics, and even Protestants, have been stuck with the teaching that all sickness and suffering are something from God. Slowly, as we look at the Scriptures and the present day ministry of the Holy Spirit, we see that is not the case.
Not only is healing something of the physical body, but also of our soul, mind and emotions. He separates the different types of healing that he has encountered from inner healing to forgiveness. He also talks a little about the controversial deliverance ministry. These types of healings could all be intertwined or the healing of one could resulting in the healing of another. Basically, God wants to heal all our being, not just our bodies.
“In short, Jesus did not heal to prove he was God; Jesus healed because he was God.” –Francis Macnutt
Healing is a difficult subject where not every question can be answered, but this take on it is an interesting one from an interesting perspective that we should pay attention too.