When Jesus gathered his closest followers together, He revealed many amazing truths about the kingdom of God. One of these relates to healing in a particularly interesting way. “And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.” (Luke 9:1-2, NAS)
In the next chapter, as Jesus sends out the 70 to witness, He repeats this principle by saying, “Whatever city you enter and they receive you, eat what is set before you; and heal those in it who are sick, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.'” (Luke 10:8-9, NAS)
Do you see the coupling here? Proclaim the kingdom of God and perform healing; heal those in the city and announce His kingdom. We know that by the time Christ went to the cross and was resurrected from the grave, every person in the world had not been healed, although many had. Jesus came to bring a deposit of what the kingdom of God is ultimately going to look like. It’s as if He was saying, “You want a glimpse of the kingdom? Watch this!”
There is complete wholeness when we see Christ face-to-face and His kingdom comes for eternity. We will know perfect healing when the fullness of His kingdom comes in all its bright array and glory. Every eye will see and every tongue confess that He is Lord. Until that time, the kingdom mentality brings considerable healing and wholeness as we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Before Jesus departed, He gave people a taste of His kingdom and commanded all of His followers to do the same.
When Jesus was speaking in parables to explain His kingdom, he said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” (Matthew 13:11-12, NAS)
In other words, as much as you want to receive of the kingdom you can. He will teach you and reveal it to you through His word. But if you don’t want to hear it and don’t receive it, you’re going to lose what you have. So there’s that continuous yearning for God to teach us.
Then Jesus goes on to further emphasize His point:
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them.'” (Matthew 13:13-15, NAS)
That word for understanding in the original Greek language is a word that connotes putting puzzle pieces together. When we approach God with a soft and tender heart and we are really willing to see God’s kingdom through every painful and difficult circumstance, He will give us the understanding to put the puzzling pieces together and hear His heart. Then He promises to heal us.
It is important to understand that this healing is spiritual wholeness. It goes far beyond the physical. Jesus performed incredible miracles and healed people, but He often said, “Don’t tell anybody.” Why would He say such a thing? The same reason as when he fed the 5,000 and people immediately looked to God as a fast-food service! Without a total understanding of His wholeness and the “living bread,” we miss the point.
Jesus may heal a crooked arm, but the more important healing takes place in crooked lives. It’s too easy to misunderstand healing and miss His kingdom. There is certainly nothing wrong with asking God to heal us, but a lot of people have a healthy body and a sick soul because they’ve never been made whole.
In the coming kingdom, where the enemy is no more and all the former things are passed away, there will be complete healing and wholeness. But on this earth, even a healed body will eventually die. We must not settle for physical healing and overlook God’s intended spiritual wholeness. This is the real healing God desires as He reveals His kingdom here on earth.
Adapted from James and Betty Robison’s teaching with Beth Moore entitled, “God’s Kingdom In You.” Hear them discuss healing and wholeness this Thursday on LIFE Today. Edited by Randy Robison.