rss

CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Miracles of Healing

Miracles of Healing

Miracle of Healing

Matt. 8:13

“And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”

From the consideration of the nature and use of our Blessed Lord’s miracles in general, and the example of that first great miracle of turning water into wine, we now come to speak of those which have a more particular character. And the Gospel to-day brings before us two of these, the cleansing of the leper and the recovering of the centurion’s servant, both belonging to the same class: that of the healing of disease.

In order to understand the bearing of these on Christian doctrine, let us first enquire, what disease is: what place it holds with reference to the office and work of the Redeemer. That it does hold some important place, is evident, from the great number of His wonderful works which had respect to the healing and removing of it. Disease, then, is simply the beginning of death. It is, in its various forms, that part of the dark procession of miseries consequent on sin, which ushers in the dread executioner of the primitive sentence, “Thou shalt surely die.” So that He who came to abolish death, and to bring life and immortality to light through the Gospel, might well be expected, among his wonderful works performed in confirmation of this his mission, to heal diseases. For He would thus be shewing the great restoration which He came to effect in our whole nature: the health, and life, and vigor, which accompany His presence, and His touch, and His word. And He was not content with healing every sickness and disease among the people: He even exerted his power over the king of terrors himself, and His voice was heard by the spirit of man in the realms of the departed, and He was obeyed.

All these miracles form one great class, and that by far the largest, of those which our Lord wrought on earth. And the lessons taught by them are manifold.

There is first the plain fact, that the Son of man came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. How familiar this is on our tongues, but how little do we really think of it in our secret hearts! Many are the works related of him: why should by far the greater number of them be miracles of healing? Was there nothing more important to do in the world? One of the bitterest enemies of Christianity in ancient times, Julian the apostate, denied that our Lord ever did any really wonderful works: “He only cured a few sick people in villages like Bethsaida and Bethany.” Why, if our Lord had been pleased, He could have done works which would have struck with terror every caviler at His Gospel. But He mainly confined himself to these, wrought on obscure persons, and in obscure places, because He wanted, not to be glorified of men, but to teach and bless and console His people to the end of time. And when we see Him thus laying out the precious days of his ministry, and inspiring his Evangelists to write these accounts of his works of healing, and providentially preserving the books in which they are related down to these latter days, we ought to feel thankfully convinced that He came, and wrought his works, and had his Gospels written, to help us, to heal us, to make us sound and happy, and to prolong and cheer our lives, not to bring misery and fear and weakness of purpose and terror of death among us, as some would have us believe. What a comfort, my brethren, this might be to us, if we would but think ever of Him thus; as of one waiting to heal and to bless! How would pain be lightened and sickness patiently borne and death lose its terrors, if we always saw His hand stretched forth to heal us, His form standing by the sick bed, or walking on the waves of affliction, and saying to us “It is I, be not afraid!”

It may however be said, But He does not do this now: we are left to bear our pains and troubles without Him. Not indeed without Him, for He is ever thinking of every one of us: but in part, the remark is most true. He did not come into our world to work miracles, to heal diseases, or to raise the dead. There were thousands of sick in Judæa and Galilee during His ministry, who never saw His face nor partook of His healing power: of all that died in those three years, He raised but three, that we are told of. He came into the world to do that far greater work of which these were but the signs and tokens;—to put out and abolish forever the great disease of our nature;—to take away the sin of the world. And this He has done once for all, and is ever applying the blessed fruits of His work to the members of His Church. It was to shew you His gracious mind in doing this, not to lead you to expect bodily healing or raising from the dead, or to murmur, because such blessings are now withdrawn, that I dwelt on the consolation which these His miracles may afford us.

Another lesson which His wonderful works teach us, and which we deeply need, is, the importance of these our bodies, in the great process of Redemption. It is a very common mistake to imagine that the saving of the soul is to be the great object of religion. Nay, religion itself is called the interest of the soul: and by many Christians the body is as little regarded as having any share in it, as if it were to be left behind in the grave, and a blessed eternity would be passed without it. Yet nothing can be more contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture, than such a way of viewing the subject. In Scripture Christ is called the Savior, not of the soul, but of the body: that for which St. Paul tells us the whole Church of God is waiting, is, the redemption of the body: when the same Apostle has finished the great argument concerning salvation by grace through faith in the Epistle to the Romans, he beseeches us by the mercies of God to yield, not our souls, but our bodies, a living sacrifice to God: when he warns the Corinthians against sins of uncleanness, he says, “Know ye not that,” not your souls, but “your bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost?” And the one distinctive doctrine of Christianity, by which it was different from every other religion in the world, was, not the future life of the soul: this was known to Jew and to heathen long before: but it was, the resurrection of the body: that all men should come out of their graves with their bodies; and that the entire man, body, soul, and spirit, should live for ever in bliss, or endure for ever in woe, without separation or diminution.

Our modern religion is become far too spiritual—far too much a matter of thought, and opinion, and inward feelings and experiences, and this has led men to unite it so little with their common lives, and make it a matter of such convenient secrecy and mystery, that they may do and say just what they please in the body, without their religious profession being affected by it. And another result of this so-called spiritual view of religion is, that in treating of the heathen abroad, or the far worse heathen at home, those who hold it will almost forbid, or at any rate depreciate, the attempt to better their bodily state by civilization, by sanitary improvements, by elevating arts and kindlier habits; and tell us we must care for their souls first, if not only. To all such views I conceive our blessed Lord’s own practice is our best as it is our most decisive answer. He preached the Gospel of the kingdom: but while He did it, He went about doing good:—healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, making the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, restoring the withered limb, and the uprightness of the bowed-down frame. These were the ways in which He prepared men for His Gospel, and in which He has taught us to prepare them: not by putting it in contrast to all our blessings, but by making it the crown and topstone to all our blessings: not by giving out that health, and spirits, and the use of our senses, and the information of our minds, and the decencies and courtesies of life, are all bad, and religion only is good; but by ourselves feeling, and telling others, that all these are good, very good,—rich gifts of our merciful Father,—but that faith in Christ, obedience to Christ, is better than all of them, best of all of them;—and Christ Himself the gift of gifts,—God’s unspeakable gift.

The next remark which I have to make on this class of our Lord’s works will of necessity introduce us to the particular character and features of the former of those related in our Gospel to-day. The remark is, on the typical import of these healing miracles, as pointing to the Lord’s power over the diseases of our souls and spirits: and the miracle which best illustrates this is the cleansing of the leper, with which our gospel begins. It can be no new thing to you to hear, that this disease of leprosy was chosen for notice in the ancient law, and a special set of enactments made concerning it, not for any sanitary reasons, but purely because it was taken as a type of man’s great disease of sin. Although one of the most loathsome and terrible of bodily plagues, it was not contagious:—there was no fear of its spreading from man to man. This would be plain, by merely observing that in cases when it could not be helped, the leper was employed in high offices: in cases which were perfectly hopeless, he was, even by the law, relieved from many of the restrictions laid on his fellow-sufferers, and was allowed to mingle in the haunts of men. The whole treatment of the leper, his separation, the multitude of precautions taken concerning his examination and his cleansing, appear to have been imposed by the law to set forth the impurity and loathsomeness in God’s sight, and the difficulty of removal, of the deeper and more fatal spiritual disease of man. It was fitting then that the Lord should exercise His power of healing prominently on the leper, and should leave us an express record of his grace and power in dealing with this disease. It was just as He had ended that great discourse known to us as the Sermon on the Mount,—that discourse in which He describes himself as come not to destroy the law but to fulfil it. Having exhibited this character in his teaching, He descended from the mountain, great multitudes following him. As He was entering a certain city a man met him full of leprosy. With a wonderful simplicity combined with strength of faith, falling down before him he cried, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” We may observe that long before this Jesus had made circuits in Galilee, teaching and healing. So that it was no new thing that the leper was announcing;—no new thing that the Lord did. But this Evangelist, who loves to set forth the kingly office and majesty of Christ, was directed to put this miracle in the very forefront of those recorded by him, doubtless because it was so direct an appeal to our Lord’s will and power, and because that appeal was so plainly and undoubtingly answered by Him. For He does not say, “Go pray to God who alone can heal thee:” He does not reply, as Joseph did, “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace:” nor as Peter did to Cornelius, “Stand up, for I also am a man:” but He at once claimed and proved what the leper asserted him to possess, by the open and immediate exercise of it. He put forth his hand, and touched him: thus Himself by imputation partaking of our uncleannesses,—for whosoever touched a leper became himself unclean. Moreover He said “I will: be thou clean.”

My brethren, what an assertion of power, what an exertion of it is here! He will: of His own authority and of His own good pleasure He doeth that which is done. And the same mighty will which in our miracle last Sunday had silently and without expression changed the element of water into the juice of the grape, and had superseded the slow work of human manufacture and the ripening processes of time, now by a spoken word purified the tainted juices of the body, annihilated the loathsome traces of disease and decay, and recreated that frame which His power had originally made. “Immediately his leprosy departed from him.”

And, if we come to consider the miracle in its deeper import, O what is leprosy of the body, loathsome and fatal as it was, to the ruin and decay of man’s soul by sin? We hear indeed, that the wretched persons who were thus afflicted carried about with them a living death; that the body under its influence lost its sensation part by part, and dropped into decay and dissolution: but does not all this happen more dreadfully and more hopelessly to the victim of sin? When the heart hardens, the pure affections become polluted, the will enfeebled, the judgment impaired, personal freedom of action lost owing to the bondage of long prevalent evil habit, what is it but a leprosy of the soul,—the sign and the precursor of eternal death? Yet if out of this depth of misery the sinner turn to Him who healed the leper, not doubting, but receiving with simple faith His power and will to cleanse him, then has the Lord taught us by this miracle, that He can and will heal and cleanse: not indeed now by a touch, nor in a moment: this kind cometh not out thus: but as surely, as graciously, as completely: by the gradual means of grace, by His word and His ordinances, and the purifying influences of His blessed Spirit, renovating him as the flesh of a little child in the new life unto God.

Let us now turn to the lesson prominently taught us by the latter of these miracles, in our gospel of this day. I say nothing at present of the secondary instruction to be derived from the remarkable faith of the centurion, who was a Roman and a heathen: I am in these sermons more concerned with that which has respect to our Lord Himself, as testimony to us of the doctrines regarding His Sacred Person. Looking then at this only, our lesson is, the absolute command which He has over all diseases as His servants, going and coming at his bidding. The faithful centurion compares Him to the captain of a great army, having soldiers under him and at his beck. He himself knew something of this, being one whose position required him both to obey and to command. That obedience which he yielded to his tribune or his general, that obedience which his subordinates yielded to him, the same obedience the painful disease of his favorite servant, the same obedience all diseases, would yield to Christ. And this again is not treated as a fond and superstitious view of the matter: our Lord does not take him up and explain to him how the fact really stands by depreciating His own power or limiting it. But he turns and says to those around him, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.” And then to the centurion, “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” “And his servant was made whole,” we read, “in the selfsame hour.”

Now doubtless this narrative does not relate to us the same fact as that occurring at the end of John 4, and there stated to be our Lord’s second miracle after He was come from Judæa into Galilee: any one may become convinced of this by carefully reading and comparing the two. But it is remarkable, that the two, the healing of the nobleman’s son and this of the centurion’s servant, have one particular in common, lying at the very root of the character of the miracles. In both, the healing is wrought without any contact, without our Lord even being on the spot: in one, in the same town, but far from the centurion’s house: in the other, at the distance of Cana in Galilee from Capernaum, about twenty-five of our miles. In the cleansing of the leper, as in so many of His works of healing, He establishes a communication between Himself and the person healed,—“He put forth his hand, and touched him:” there is a lesson for us in that:—the life and health which come from union with Him. In this miracle, He speaks at a distance and the effect follows: and we may learn from that too: He is absolutely master of all:—near or far, present or apparently absent, on earth or in heaven, by his word or by his look or by his will, or entirely as He pleases, He can and He will cleanse and purify and save. It is that we may rest on Him, wait for Him, lie content in His hands, that these miracles, these signs of His power and love, are given us: that we may imitate the faith which He praised, and the earnestness of supplication to which He was pleased to yield: that we may bring all our diseases to Him, all our troubles, all our cares. “If thou wilt,” is no longer needed now: the manger at Bethlehem, the subjection at Nazareth, the temptation in the wilderness, the agony in Gethsemane, the cross on Calvary, the ascension from Bethany, all these declare “I will.” He triumphs to help us: He reigns, that we may reign with Him: He intercedes, that our faith may not fail. What more can invite us? What more can assure us?

Alford, H. (1862). Sermons on Christian Doctrine (pp. 97–107). London: Rivingtons. (Public Domain)

Matt. 8:13

“And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”

From the consideration of the nature and use of our Blessed Lord’s miracles in general, and the example of that first great miracle of turning water into wine, we now come to speak of those which have a more particular character. And the Gospel to-day brings before us two of these, the cleansing of the leper and the recovering of the centurion’s servant, both belonging to the same class: that of the healing of disease.

In order to understand the bearing of these on Christian doctrine, let us first enquire, what disease is: what place it holds with reference to the office and work of the Redeemer. That it does hold some important place, is evident, from the great number of His wonderful works which had respect to the healing and removing of it. Disease, then, is simply the beginning of death. It is, in its various forms, that part of the dark procession of miseries consequent on sin, which ushers in the dread executioner of the primitive sentence, “Thou shalt surely die.” So that He who came to abolish death, and to bring life and immortality to light through the Gospel, might well be expected, among his wonderful works performed in confirmation of this his mission, to heal diseases. For He would thus be shewing the great restoration which He came to effect in our whole nature: the health, and life, and vigor, which accompany His presence, and His touch, and His word. And He was not content with healing every sickness and disease among the people: He even exerted his power over the king of terrors himself, and His voice was heard by the spirit of man in the realms of the departed, and He was obeyed.

All these miracles form one great class, and that by far the largest, of those which our Lord wrought on earth. And the lessons taught by them are manifold.

There is first the plain fact, that the Son of man came not to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. How familiar this is on our tongues, but how little do we really think of it in our secret hearts! Many are the works related of him: why should by far the greater number of them be miracles of healing? Was there nothing more important to do in the world? One of the bitterest enemies of Christianity in ancient times, Julian the apostate, denied that our Lord ever did any really wonderful works: “He only cured a few sick people in villages like Bethsaida and Bethany.” Why, if our Lord had been pleased, He could have done works which would have struck with terror every caviler at His Gospel. But He mainly confined himself to these, wrought on obscure persons, and in obscure places, because He wanted, not to be glorified of men, but to teach and bless and console His people to the end of time. And when we see Him thus laying out the precious days of his ministry, and inspiring his Evangelists to write these accounts of his works of healing, and providentially preserving the books in which they are related down to these latter days, we ought to feel thankfully convinced that He came, and wrought his works, and had his Gospels written, to help us, to heal us, to make us sound and happy, and to prolong and cheer our lives, not to bring misery and fear and weakness of purpose and terror of death among us, as some would have us believe. What a comfort, my brethren, this might be to us, if we would but think ever of Him thus; as of one waiting to heal and to bless! How would pain be lightened and sickness patiently borne and death lose its terrors, if we always saw His hand stretched forth to heal us, His form standing by the sick bed, or walking on the waves of affliction, and saying to us “It is I, be not afraid!”

It may however be said, But He does not do this now: we are left to bear our pains and troubles without Him. Not indeed without Him, for He is ever thinking of every one of us: but in part, the remark is most true. He did not come into our world to work miracles, to heal diseases, or to raise the dead. There were thousands of sick in Judæa and Galilee during His ministry, who never saw His face nor partook of His healing power: of all that died in those three years, He raised but three, that we are told of. He came into the world to do that far greater work of which these were but the signs and tokens;—to put out and abolish forever the great disease of our nature;—to take away the sin of the world. And this He has done once for all, and is ever applying the blessed fruits of His work to the members of His Church. It was to shew you His gracious mind in doing this, not to lead you to expect bodily healing or raising from the dead, or to murmur, because such blessings are now withdrawn, that I dwelt on the consolation which these His miracles may afford us.

Another lesson which His wonderful works teach us, and which we deeply need, is, the importance of these our bodies, in the great process of Redemption. It is a very common mistake to imagine that the saving of the soul is to be the great object of religion. Nay, religion itself is called the interest of the soul: and by many Christians the body is as little regarded as having any share in it, as if it were to be left behind in the grave, and a blessed eternity would be passed without it. Yet nothing can be more contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture, than such a way of viewing the subject. In Scripture Christ is called the Savior, not of the soul, but of the body: that for which St. Paul tells us the whole Church of God is waiting, is, the redemption of the body: when the same Apostle has finished the great argument concerning salvation by grace through faith in the Epistle to the Romans, he beseeches us by the mercies of God to yield, not our souls, but our bodies, a living sacrifice to God: when he warns the Corinthians against sins of uncleanness, he says, “Know ye not that,” not your souls, but “your bodies are temples of the Holy Ghost?” And the one distinctive doctrine of Christianity, by which it was different from every other religion in the world, was, not the future life of the soul: this was known to Jew and to heathen long before: but it was, the resurrection of the body: that all men should come out of their graves with their bodies; and that the entire man, body, soul, and spirit, should live for ever in bliss, or endure for ever in woe, without separation or diminution.

Our modern religion is become far too spiritual—far too much a matter of thought, and opinion, and inward feelings and experiences, and this has led men to unite it so little with their common lives, and make it a matter of such convenient secrecy and mystery, that they may do and say just what they please in the body, without their religious profession being affected by it. And another result of this so-called spiritual view of religion is, that in treating of the heathen abroad, or the far worse heathen at home, those who hold it will almost forbid, or at any rate depreciate, the attempt to better their bodily state by civilization, by sanitary improvements, by elevating arts and kindlier habits; and tell us we must care for their souls first, if not only. To all such views I conceive our blessed Lord’s own practice is our best as it is our most decisive answer. He preached the Gospel of the kingdom: but while He did it, He went about doing good:—healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, making the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, restoring the withered limb, and the uprightness of the bowed-down frame. These were the ways in which He prepared men for His Gospel, and in which He has taught us to prepare them: not by putting it in contrast to all our blessings, but by making it the crown and topstone to all our blessings: not by giving out that health, and spirits, and the use of our senses, and the information of our minds, and the decencies and courtesies of life, are all bad, and religion only is good; but by ourselves feeling, and telling others, that all these are good, very good,—rich gifts of our merciful Father,—but that faith in Christ, obedience to Christ, is better than all of them, best of all of them;—and Christ Himself the gift of gifts,—God’s unspeakable gift.

The next remark which I have to make on this class of our Lord’s works will of necessity introduce us to the particular character and features of the former of those related in our Gospel to-day. The remark is, on the typical import of these healing miracles, as pointing to the Lord’s power over the diseases of our souls and spirits: and the miracle which best illustrates this is the cleansing of the leper, with which our gospel begins. It can be no new thing to you to hear, that this disease of leprosy was chosen for notice in the ancient law, and a special set of enactments made concerning it, not for any sanitary reasons, but purely because it was taken as a type of man’s great disease of sin. Although one of the most loathsome and terrible of bodily plagues, it was not contagious:—there was no fear of its spreading from man to man. This would be plain, by merely observing that in cases when it could not be helped, the leper was employed in high offices: in cases which were perfectly hopeless, he was, even by the law, relieved from many of the restrictions laid on his fellow-sufferers, and was allowed to mingle in the haunts of men. The whole treatment of the leper, his separation, the multitude of precautions taken concerning his examination and his cleansing, appear to have been imposed by the law to set forth the impurity and loathsomeness in God’s sight, and the difficulty of removal, of the deeper and more fatal spiritual disease of man. It was fitting then that the Lord should exercise His power of healing prominently on the leper, and should leave us an express record of his grace and power in dealing with this disease. It was just as He had ended that great discourse known to us as the Sermon on the Mount,—that discourse in which He describes himself as come not to destroy the law but to fulfil it. Having exhibited this character in his teaching, He descended from the mountain, great multitudes following him. As He was entering a certain city a man met him full of leprosy. With a wonderful simplicity combined with strength of faith, falling down before him he cried, “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” We may observe that long before this Jesus had made circuits in Galilee, teaching and healing. So that it was no new thing that the leper was announcing;—no new thing that the Lord did. But this Evangelist, who loves to set forth the kingly office and majesty of Christ, was directed to put this miracle in the very forefront of those recorded by him, doubtless because it was so direct an appeal to our Lord’s will and power, and because that appeal was so plainly and undoubtingly answered by Him. For He does not say, “Go pray to God who alone can heal thee:” He does not reply, as Joseph did, “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace:” nor as Peter did to Cornelius, “Stand up, for I also am a man:” but He at once claimed and proved what the leper asserted him to possess, by the open and immediate exercise of it. He put forth his hand, and touched him: thus Himself by imputation partaking of our uncleannesses,—for whosoever touched a leper became himself unclean. Moreover He said “I will: be thou clean.”

My brethren, what an assertion of power, what an exertion of it is here! He will: of His own authority and of His own good pleasure He doeth that which is done. And the same mighty will which in our miracle last Sunday had silently and without expression changed the element of water into the juice of the grape, and had superseded the slow work of human manufacture and the ripening processes of time, now by a spoken word purified the tainted juices of the body, annihilated the loathsome traces of disease and decay, and recreated that frame which His power had originally made. “Immediately his leprosy departed from him.”

And, if we come to consider the miracle in its deeper import, O what is leprosy of the body, loathsome and fatal as it was, to the ruin and decay of man’s soul by sin? We hear indeed, that the wretched persons who were thus afflicted carried about with them a living death; that the body under its influence lost its sensation part by part, and dropped into decay and dissolution: but does not all this happen more dreadfully and more hopelessly to the victim of sin? When the heart hardens, the pure affections become polluted, the will enfeebled, the judgment impaired, personal freedom of action lost owing to the bondage of long prevalent evil habit, what is it but a leprosy of the soul,—the sign and the precursor of eternal death? Yet if out of this depth of misery the sinner turn to Him who healed the leper, not doubting, but receiving with simple faith His power and will to cleanse him, then has the Lord taught us by this miracle, that He can and will heal and cleanse: not indeed now by a touch, nor in a moment: this kind cometh not out thus: but as surely, as graciously, as completely: by the gradual means of grace, by His word and His ordinances, and the purifying influences of His blessed Spirit, renovating him as the flesh of a little child in the new life unto God.

Let us now turn to the lesson prominently taught us by the latter of these miracles, in our gospel of this day. I say nothing at present of the secondary instruction to be derived from the remarkable faith of the centurion, who was a Roman and a heathen: I am in these sermons more concerned with that which has respect to our Lord Himself, as testimony to us of the doctrines regarding His Sacred Person. Looking then at this only, our lesson is, the absolute command which He has over all diseases as His servants, going and coming at his bidding. The faithful centurion compares Him to the captain of a great army, having soldiers under him and at his beck. He himself knew something of this, being one whose position required him both to obey and to command. That obedience which he yielded to his tribune or his general, that obedience which his subordinates yielded to him, the same obedience the painful disease of his favorite servant, the same obedience all diseases, would yield to Christ. And this again is not treated as a fond and superstitious view of the matter: our Lord does not take him up and explain to him how the fact really stands by depreciating His own power or limiting it. But he turns and says to those around him, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.” And then to the centurion, “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.” “And his servant was made whole,” we read, “in the selfsame hour.”

Now doubtless this narrative does not relate to us the same fact as that occurring at the end of John 4, and there stated to be our Lord’s second miracle after He was come from Judæa into Galilee: any one may become convinced of this by carefully reading and comparing the two. But it is remarkable, that the two, the healing of the nobleman’s son and this of the centurion’s servant, have one particular in common, lying at the very root of the character of the miracles. In both, the healing is wrought without any contact, without our Lord even being on the spot: in one, in the same town, but far from the centurion’s house: in the other, at the distance of Cana in Galilee from Capernaum, about twenty-five of our miles. In the cleansing of the leper, as in so many of His works of healing, He establishes a communication between Himself and the person healed,—“He put forth his hand, and touched him:” there is a lesson for us in that:—the life and health which come from union with Him. In this miracle, He speaks at a distance and the effect follows: and we may learn from that too: He is absolutely master of all:—near or far, present or apparently absent, on earth or in heaven, by his word or by his look or by his will, or entirely as He pleases, He can and He will cleanse and purify and save. It is that we may rest on Him, wait for Him, lie content in His hands, that these miracles, these signs of His power and love, are given us: that we may imitate the faith which He praised, and the earnestness of supplication to which He was pleased to yield: that we may bring all our diseases to Him, all our troubles, all our cares. “If thou wilt,” is no longer needed now: the manger at Bethlehem, the subjection at Nazareth, the temptation in the wilderness, the agony in Gethsemane, the cross on Calvary, the ascension from Bethany, all these declare “I will.” He triumphs to help us: He reigns, that we may reign with Him: He intercedes, that our faith may not fail. What more can invite us? What more can assure us?

Alford, H. (1862). Sermons on Christian Doctrine (pp. 97–107). London: Rivingtons. (Public Domain)

 


Christian Military Fellowship

An Indigenous Ministry • Discipleship • Prayer • Community • Support
Encouraging Men and Women in the United States Armed Forces, and their families, to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Contact Us

  • Address:
    PO Box 1207, Englewood, CO 80150-1207

  • Phone: (800) 798-7875

  • Email: Office@cmfhq.org

Webmaster

Book Offers