Jesus Heals and Casts Out Demons

We often face hardship in this world including sickness, and yes… demon possession, though many today reject that concept. However, scripture is clear… it differentiates between Jesus’ healing of sickness and His casting out of demons. Jesus demonstrates His power through a series of miracles in Matthew 8:1-17.

Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[a] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer[b] came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant[c] lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.

14 When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. 15 But when Jesus touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him.

16 That evening many demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. 17 This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said,

“He took our sicknesses
    and removed our diseases.”[d]

Jesus makes no promise of healing everyone physically in this world. We live in a fallen world based on our own sin nature. Sometimes it may even serve God’s bigger plan to allow sickness or death in some circumstances for the furthering of His kingdom. God allowed Satan to torment Job, a faithful servant of God’s,  with physical illness and pain… not to mention a long list of other suffering.

In most of the examples above… people who had demons or were ill sought out Jesus. They came to him humbly and in faith that He could and would heal them. It is clear that neither illness nor demons are a difficult problem for Jesus to solve.

Unfortunately quite a few pastors twist this scripture and others like it. They would have you believe if you come to Jesus with faith you are guaranteed a healing and if you are not healed then you failed in your faith. Though a lack of faith may certainly block you from receiving healing from Jesus, the fact that you were not healed does not always mean you did not have enough faith or that God did not hear your prayers. Sometimes He wants us to glorify Him even in our illness or suffering. Sometimes it is just a result of a fallen world and He has chosen not to intervene to provide healing. We may never know why He chooses not to intervene at times, but we are to trust God as His followers.

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