“If you diligently heed the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the LORD who heals you.” (Exodus 15:26)
Before taking a trip overseas we need to make preparations. Among these, the questions must be considered: “If I need medical intervention on my trip, how will I get it? Do I have the sufficient insurance to cover the cost?” But now, consider the Israelites on their great journey from Egypt to Canaan. There were no hospitals, trained medical professionals, or emergency services. Israel had to rely on its own resources and on God.
People often forget to make preparations for a trip, but never God! We read nothing in the Bible that the Israelites even considered the need of a doctor before leaving on their journey. In the context of our text, they were faced with the need of water. They had found water, but it was not drinkable, and now they were in trouble! They murmured and complained, and then God “healed” the water, so they could all drink their fill. At this time, God gave them His promise: “I am the LORD who heals you.”
God’s Plan of Salvation and the Healing of Our Bodies
Is divine healing of our bodies a part of the Plan of Salvation? God had redeemed His people from the slavery of Egypt and right at the beginning of their journey, He promised to be their Healer. King David also had no doubt that God was his Healer. He wrote in Psalm 103:2-3: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases.” Other translations use the word “sicknesses” here.
When Isaiah saw the vision of the dying Messiah, he wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus and the apostles applied this prophecy to healing of the body. Yes, Jesus, in His ministry here on earth, went about and healed “all their sick.”
When Jesus stood up in the synagogue in Nazareth and read out of the Isaiah scroll: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19), the following occurred: “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21). It is obvious that the primary purpose of Jesus’ coming to earth was to save mankind from eternal damnation. However, according to Jesus’ words, the Acceptable Year of the Lord also includes divine healing of our bodies.
John the Baptist, when he was incarcerated in prison, began doubting his mission and sent messengers to Jesus to ask Him if He was truly the promised Messiah. In Matthew 11:4-5 we read Jesus’ answer: “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.’” What was the definite proof that Jesus was the fulfillment of the Plan of Salvation? Healing of the soul and the body!
When Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law of her fever, Matthew reports: “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘HE HIMSELF TOOK OUR INFIRMITIES AND BORE OUR SICKNESSES’” (Matthew 8:16-17). Clearly, the suffering and dying of the Lamb of God was also for sickness, infirmities, and diseases! Yes, there will be an ultimate salvation of the body in eternity, where no pain, suffering, or sickness will ever be, but until then we have the privilege of bringing all of our physical needs to the Great Physician, our Healer and Helper, Jesus! Praise God!
Healing of the Body on the Road of Salvation
We no longer have access to Jesus here on earth in the physical sense, for He is reigning at the right of the Father in Glory. Yet, for His children who continue their pilgrimage with Him on the Road of Salvation, He is accessible in the presence of the Holy Spirit at all times by prayer and faith. This also applies for the healing of our bodies. This element of the Plan of Salvation did not end with the ascension of Jesus or with the death of the apostles, as some claim. Divine Healing is available for God’s people at any time.
In the Book of James, we find the inspired method which the Lord provided for His children to access His power to heal. “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15). James uses very definite terms here: “the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord will raise him up.” In response to the prayer of faith, God will respond, be it immediately, progressively, or with a much better solution than we knew to ask for. In every case, access to the Great Physician remains a significant element of the Plan of Salvation. In faith, we can bring all of our needs and sicknesses to our Lord, trusting that He will undertake to fulfill His promise in the way that is best for us.
When Jesus gave His Great Commission, He included divine healing of the body as part of the gospel to be shared. “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover” (Mark 16:17-18). On the Road of Salvation, divine healing of our bodies is accessible to all!
We are reminded of the Israelites in the desert. Once again they had sinned against God, and God sent fiery, poisonous serpents among them. When they cried to Him, God commanded Moses to raise up a bronze serpent among them. Whoever looked to it in faith was healed (Numbers 21:4-9). Of course, this is a symbol of Jesus, who much later was raised up on a cross for our salvation from sin and for the healing of our bodies. Dear child of God, the great, almighty God wants to be your Savior and Healer! Trust Him, follow the requirements of His Word in faith, and He will reveal His work in your life also. “I am the LORD who heals you” … on the Road of Salvation.