Lutheran Church Extension Fund

Are you redeemed or healed (or both)?

Monthly theme: Daily Healing

Reading time; two minutes

It’s perhaps deliberately ambiguous: saved or healed?

In Acts 4, the disciples healed a lame man, then proclaimed that there is no other name under heaven by which we are saved. But it’s the same word: sodzo.

Kittel’s Dictionary suggests that the use of the word is “perhaps deliberately ambiguous.”

By the grace of God, we’ve been saved, redeemed, rescued from sin and death. And what was seemingly irreparably broken has been mended. Restored. Healed.

Lutherans are great on redemption, but hesitant to use the biblical expression, “healing.” But Jesus wasn’t.

A paralyzed man was lowered through the roof by friends. What will Jesus do? Heal his brokenness? Save him from his sin?

Well, which is easier? For Jesus, it’s both!

I think we’d all agree that much of what is presented as “Christian healing” is not really healing and is hardly Christian. But I think we’d also agree that the healing work of Jesus continues today.

Those of us in healing ministry, the proclamation of the gospel, have seen it over and over again. The grace of God heals, blesses, restores.

Sometimes God intervenes in physical maladies in ways beyond our imagination (and the explanations of the medical community!) What a wonderful gift, purely from the hand of a gracious Father. Sometimes God heals bodies.

Where the Spirit of the Lord moves human hearts to repentance and faith, Jesus always forgives, heals, restores.

And those of us in ministry are no less in need of the Lord’s touch of grace, every day, than anyone else.

Every time we hear with faith the words of absolution, from the Word of promise or from the mouth of the Pastor, God works His healing grace in us.

Every time we return to the waters of baptism, God’s promise of abiding grace for wandering sheep, God works His healing grace in us.

Every time we call out in desperation, “Lord, have mercy,” God hears and works His healing grace in us.

The word “healing” has been weighed down with all kinds of baggage from it’s misuse. It conjures up images of charlatans and spiritual manipulation and abuse.

Maybe it’s time we restored healing to it’s rightful place: the gospel of grace in Jesus.

God is at work redeeming fallen creation and fallen humanity. There are many words to describe it. Healing is one of them.

When understood properly as the gracious work of God that will finally be culminated in the new creation, it can be a wonderfully refreshing gospel metaphor for us today as we journey still by faith.

This month we’ll try to unpack the term in a way that might bring to us all the renewal of God’s good gifts of peace and hope.

And in a way that will help us to sing, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:2-3).

Thanks for reading.