There are many people in this world who are hurting. There are diseases, health problems, and disabilities that are beyond the power of medicine or lifestyle to heal. People everywhere are asking,
"Why?" Why disease and illness; why accidents and disasters; why pain and suffering? Who is responsible? And is there any hope for those who are hurting?
The Origin of Disease
God is love. Before the entrance of evil there was peace and joy throughout the universe.
Lucifer, "the light bearer," the attendant of God's throne, by transgression became Satan, "the adversary" of God. Before his fall, Lucifer was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled.
Not content with his position, he ventured to covet homage [worship] due alone to the Creator. Under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings. Such efforts as only infinite love and wisdom could devise were made to convince him of his error. But as his dissatisfaction was proved to be without cause, pride forbade him to submit. He fully committed himself in the great controversy against his Maker. He claimed that it was his own object to improve upon the statutes of Jehovah. Therefore God permitted him to demonstrate the nature of his claims, to show the working out of his proposed changes in the divine law. For the good of the entire universe through cease less ages, he [was allowed to] more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light.
Man created innocent and holy
After the earth with its teeming animal and vegetable life had been called into existence, man, the crowning work of the Creator, and the one for whom the beautiful earth had been fitted up, was brought upon the stage of action. He was of lofty stature and perfect symmetry. His countenance glowed with the light of life and joy.
Though created innocent and holy, our first parents were not placed beyond the possibility of wrongdoing. God gave them the power of choice.the power to yield or to withhold obedience. Adam and Eve were permitted to eat of all the trees in their Eden home, save one. "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it:" (Gen. 2:16, 17).
Satan attacked using temptation
While God was seeking man's good, Satan was seeking his ruin. He commenced his work with Eve, to cause her to disobey. She put forth her hand, took of the fruit, and ate. Adam, through his love for Eve, disobeyed the command of God, and fell with her.
"Your eyes shall be opened," the enemy had said; "ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:5). Their eyes were indeed opened; but how sad the opening! The knowledge of evil, the curse of sin, was all that the transgressors gained.
Satan is the originator of disease; He exults to see the human family plunging themselves deeper and deeper, into suffering and misery.
Jesus Christ came to this world as the unwearied servant of man's necessity. He "took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses," that He might minister to every need of humanity. Matt. 8:17. The burden of disease, wretchedness, and sin He came to remove. It was His mission to bring to men complete restoration; He came to give them health and peace and perfection of character.
Jesus healed or helped all
None who came to Him went away unhelped. From Him flowed a stream of healing power, and in body and mind and soul men were made whole. In every city, every town, every village, through which He passed, He laid His hands upon the afflicted ones and healed them. Wherever there were hearts ready to receive His message, He comforted them with the assurance of their heavenly Father's love.
His compassion knew no limit. Christ recognized no distinction of nationality or rank or creed. His gift of mercy and love is as unconfined as the air, the light, or the showers of rain that refresh the earth.
Wherever He went, the tidings of His mercy preceded Him. Where He had passed, the objects of His compassion were rejoicing in health and using their newfound powers. His voice was the first sound that many had ever heard, His name the first word they had ever spoken, His face the first they had ever looked upon. Why should they not love Jesus and sound His praise? As He passed through the towns and cities He was like a vital current, diffusing life and joy.
A poor "incurable" is healed
"If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole" (Matt. 9:21). It was a poor woman who spoke these words.a woman who for twelve years had suffered from a disease that made her life a burden. She had spent all her means upon physicians and remedies, only to be pronounced incurable. But as she heard of the Great Healer, her hopes revived.
In making His way through the multitude, the Savior came near to where the afflicted woman was standing. Again and again she had tried in vain to get near Him. Fearful of losing her one chance for relief, she pressed forward, saying to herself, "If I may but touch His garment. I shall be whole."
As He was passing, she reached forward and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment. That moment she knew that she was healed. In that one touch was concentrated the faith of her life, and instantly her pain and feebleness disappeared.
Suddenly Jesus stopped, and looking round He asked, "Who touched Me?"
Looking at Him in amazement, Peter answered, "Master the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou. Who touched Me?" (Luke 8:45).
Christ did not ask the question for His own information. He wished to inspire the afflicted with hope. He wished to show that it was faith which had brought the healing power.
A sinner is physically and spiritually healed
Many of those who came to Christ for help had brought disease upon themselves, yet He did not refuse to heal them. Among these was the paralytic at Capernaum. This paralytic had lost all hope of recovery. His disease was the result of a sinful life, and his sufferings were embittered by remorse. In vain he had appealed to the Pharisees and doctors for relief; they pronounced him incurable, they denounced him as a sinner and declared that he would die under the wrath of God.
The palsied man had sunk into despair. Then he heard of the works of Jesus. Others, as sinful and helpless as he, had been healed, and he was encouraged to believe that he, too, might be cured if he could be carried to the Savior. But hope fell as he remembered the cause of his malady, yet he could not cast away the possibility of healing.
His great desire was relief from the burden of sin. He longed to see Jesus and receive the assurance of forgiveness and peace with heaven. Then he would be content to live or to die, according to God's will.
Again and again the bearers of the paralytic tried to push their way through the crowd, but in vain. The sick man looked about him in unutterable anguish. How could he relinquish hope when the longed-for help was so near? At his suggestion his friends bore him to the top of the house and, breaking up the roof, let him down at the feet of Jesus.
Faith becomes conviction
Jesus had watched the first glimmer of faith grow into a conviction that He was the sinner's only helper, and had seen it grow stronger with every effort to come into His presence. It was Christ who had drawn the sufferer to Himself, Now, in words that fell like music on the listener's ear, the Savior said, "Son, he of good cheer: thy sins be forgiven thee" (Matt. 9:2).
Hope takes the place of despair, and joy of oppressive gloom. The man's physical pain is gone, and his whole being is transformed. Making no further request, he lay in peaceful silence, too happy for words.
But the Pharisees, fearful of losing their influence with the multitude, said in their hearts. "He blasphemeth: who can forgive sins but One, even God?" (Mark 2:7, R.V.).
Fixing His glance upon them, beneath which they cowered and drew back, Jesus said, "Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins," He said, turning to the paralytic, "Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house" (Matthew 9:4-6).
Then he who had been borne on a litter to Jesus rose to his feet with the elasticity and strength of youth. And immediately he "took up the bed, and went forth before them all" (Mark 2:12).
The paralytic found in Christ healing for both the soul and the body. He needed health of soul before he could appreciate health of body. Before the physical malady could be healed, Christ must bring relief to the mind, and cleanse the soul from sin.
Copyright © 2000 Family Heritage Books used by permission by Project Restore, Inc. at www.projectrestore.com
Created: 12/31/01 Updated: 5/17/04