Tuesday: Jesus Said So!

Easter Week Devotion by Barbara Baker

Good morning! Today our Lord is teaching us in Matthew 4:23-24:

“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.”

Matthew 4:23-24

These verses are right after the famous “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” verses, early in Jesus’ ministry. He started teaching in Galilee, His home turf, then moved north fifty or sixty miles to Syria. Crowds, throngs of those hungry for more than the Law, followed Him and told others who soon came for physical and spiritual healing.

The New Testament accounts of our Lord healing the sick, lame, and deranged are a major component of the Gospels, so blessing the diseased and weary was an important part of Jesus’ time among mankind. He laid hands on lepers, and they were totally cleansed of their sores and their shame. He spoke and demons fled those who were mentally ill and possessed. Our sweet Lord even used spit and mud to restore sight to the blind. He didn’t heal people to draw attention to His ministry. He humbly spoke to lift the dead—physically and spiritually decaying—because He came to bring redemption to all mankind.

In Mark 16:17-18, we are commissioned to follow Jesus’ examples of healing: “In my Name they will cast out demons […] they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” Somehow throughout my scattered upbringing, I missed this message. I knew Jesus and asked Him into my heart. I prayed and tried to read the Bible, but this powerful part about healing was missing. I was in my early thirties when a close friend talked me into visiting a different church than our usual mainstream congregation. These blue-jean-clad preachers of the Jesus Movement taught me to lay hands on the sick and pray for healing. Jesus Said So!

I later became a foster parent. Once, the county brought me a two-year-old boy who had been beaten severely and had total left-side paralysis. He came with a thick notebook of hospital planned treatment—a life plan for the disabled. I was new to divine healing and in my wide-eyes and new found enthusiasm, believed that Holy Spirit could do exactly what Jesus said: “lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”

So, every night, when I tucked this little guy into bed, I laid hands on Him, prayed, and believed for His body to be restored. In five days, he walked, had no signs of paralysis, and was a normal two-year-old looking for mischief. The doctors at the major hospital that sent him with the treatment plan said that sometimes the only explanation is to say that miracles still happen. God is our Healer!

Over the last forty plus years, I have laid hands on untold numbers of people, prayed for healing, deliverance, peace, and restoration. Sometimes God says “yes” and we see divine healing. Sometimes our Lord says “not yet” and we don’t understand why, but continue to pray. Nonetheless, it is within our power and calling to believe that we can hold our dear ones close to us and cry out to the God of the Universe for freedom from pain, addictions, degenerative diseases, and a long list of things that aren’t of God. As children of God, filled with Holy Spirit, we can do this and more. Jesus said so!

Jesus loves you! Me, too!