Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Healing According to God's Purpose
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Mark 1:40-42

Notice the man's faith: "If You will, You can do it." God had revealed to him Christ's power to do this. He was confident that Christ had the power to do what he asked Him to do. The only question that remained was, "Is he willing to do it?" which is why he worded his request as he did. "If You will, I have the confidence that You can do it." Christ found this appeal within His will and the will of God. Jesus reached out and touched him.

There was a great deal in that act. The very act of reaching out and touching the man indicated that his request would be fulfilled because the law that He gave to the Israelites in the Old Testament forbade a person from touching a leper (Leviticus 5:3). In a sense, His act violated the very law that He gave to Israel, but His mind was made up He to do it to perform an act of mercy and deliverance. That quickly, He reacted to the man's appeal. At this juncture, the important fact is that the man clearly believed that Jesus Christ had the power to heal him.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith and Prayer

John 5:1-2

John writes, "[T]here is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches." Bethesda means "house of pity or mercy." Locals believed that the pool could restore health to the sick and infirm. The pool had five porches like covered verandas, open on one side but protected from the sun and rain overhead. The community kindly provided these porches to protect from the elements the invalids who waited for someone to help them to the pool.

In Scripture, the number five often represents grace, and it is grace that was given at Bethesda. Certainly, the grace and mercy of God provides the Lamb of God for our spiritual healing (John 1:29). The Sheep Gate is where sheep were gathered, so perhaps Christ, the Lamb of God, chose this location to aid in identifying Himself to the people.

Christ chose to intervene for this one man, but why him and no one else? More revealing, perhaps, is why He healed any of them. They were all sinners; none of them deserved to be healed. Whenever God chooses to heal someone, it is an act of compassion and grace, but it must also fit into His purpose and time frame. God hated Esau but loved Jacob (Romans 9:13; Malachi 1:2-3). Both were sinners, but God chose only one to accomplish a specific purpose. Jesus chose the crippled man to glorify God and in a small way advance His plan of salvation for all mankind.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Cripple by a Pool (Part One)


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