INTRODUCTION – The healthcare debate is dominating the news these days – especially the public option. I want to talk to you this morning about another option that is rarely if ever discussed on the news. And that is the kingdom of God option.
“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Matt. 3:2 – John the Baptist
“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” Matt. 4:17 – Jesus Christ
“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.” Matt. 4:23
By this time, some of His followers were wondering how they could enter and experience this kingdom; so Jesus rather abruptly stopped His fast growing public ministry and took them all up on a mountain and began to explain to them what kind of characteristics and relationships were necessary for them to enter and experience and even be used to expand this glorious kingdom (He called this standard of character and relationships – “righteousness”). Starts in ch. 5
In ch. 6, the crucial role of prayer in experiencing and expanding this kingdom – “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth (in the now) (in my circumstances and relationships) as it is in heaven.”
One thing we know for sure about the kingdom of heaven is there is no sickness in heaven.
Three ways that Jesus Christ continues to heal today.
I. Sick folk can and should cry out to Jesus directly – vs. 1-4 A. Never think He doesn’t have time for your sickness, disease or injury. vs. 1,2 “Large crowds”
B. Never think that He doesn’t need or want to heal our bodies anymore. “I am willing”! Reasons why some say healing not for today: 1. We have the Bible now; Yes and it says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. Heb. 13:8.
2. We have doctors and hospitals now. please note the error of King Asa in II Chron. 16:12, “In the 39 year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he di not seek the Lord, but the Physicians. So Asa slept with his fathers, having died in the 41st year of his reign”.
3. Sickness is part of our suffering or necessary thorn in the flesh. “Why Prayer Could be Good Medicine” parade magazine article
C. Never think that your disease or sickness is too far gone or too entrenched. Leprosy the dreaded disease of Jesus’s day – up to this point no Israelite had ever been healed of leprosy except Moses’s sister Miriam. Leprosy had the same emotional and psychological effect on people that cancer or aids has today.
(Have everyone stop and pray to Jesus the willing and caring and all powerful Healer for themselves for healing.)
II. Friends of sick folk can and should stand in the gap for them – vs. 5-13 a most unlikely intercessor
A. Centurion = the Roman commander of 100 soldiers
B. His servant – physically paralyzed; emotionally terrified
C. The refreshing faith of the non religious – John Wimber was like this D. Jesus responds especially to genuine faith
E. My daily prayer focus’s
(Have everyone stop and pray for others you know who need healing.)
III. Sometimes Jesus initiates without anyone asking Him. Today He does that primarily through us as we see with His eyes. We are His eyes and hands and mouth you know. vs. 14-17 A. Starts with seeing – Jesus wants to enter the homes of the sick through your eyes nd touch them with your hands.
B. Sometimes requires touching. (Sometimes not). When men pray for women – touch needs to be discreet – even with this older woman , He just touched her hand.
C. Isa. 53:3,4 confusion – – various versions?
D. Then initiating and taking a risk. Jesus Christ – the Healer wants to invade the homes and businesses and public places in this Coastal Region with His healing hands. He does that through us.
(Pray for eyes to be opened and fear of man to be broken.)
CONCLUSION – Health care debate — We do need a health care overhaul, but it will never ultimately come through the kingdom of darkness/this earthly kingdom.
Next weeks and months – lots of healing action in gospel of Matthew