“And Jesus answered and said, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.'” Mark 7:27.
“And it came to pass on a certain day, as Jesus was teaching,…that there were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: AND THE POWER OF THE LORD WAS PRESENT TO HEAL THEM.” – Luke 5:17.
The well known story of the Gentile Syrian-Phoenician woman occurs in the Gospel accounts of Matthew and Mark.
In this story, this Gentile woman knows that Jesus is a special personage and has a special gift in which her daughter, grievously vexed with an evil spirit, can be healed. Jesus remonstrates with her however, that such healing is for those who it is intended for: “the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” …and not strangers. Her answer is a classic, self-effacing one and one that merits her praise as a great faith in which Jesus heals her daughter by only… his word…
The Jewish people up to that time, had a special calling and dispensation with God as a result of their covenant relationship with God. They had a covenant of healing in addition. God had promised if they were obedient that, “If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you” (Exodus 15:26).
Later in their journey in the Wilderness, neither did the children of Israel have their clothes wear out, nor their sandals.
Throughout the Old Testament record, we find numerable instances of healing administered by or received by Patriarchs, Prophets, Kings, and other Jewish persons of record.
However, with the New Covenant or New Testament now in effect, who are the children of God?
Who gets the “healing” bread today?
COMMISSIONING THE TWELVE,… THE SEVENTY
In the Gospel account of Luke 9, we find that Jesus empowered or commissioned his twelve disciples. Jesus called them together and gave them power to cure diseases, and authority over evil spirits, who have contributed to the state of human misery. The disciple’s role was to one, to preach the Gospel or Good News of the approaching Kingdom of God, and two, to heal the sick in anticipation of the absence of sin, death, and disease that this Kingdom represents.
When Jesus commissioned many more disciples, called the Seventy in Luke 10, Jesus reversed the order: the disciples were to, one, heal the sick, and secondly, to preach that the Kingdom of God is approaching nigh unto the hearers. Obviously, the works of healing pre-empted the effect of the preaching in this order.
The Disciples in Luke 9, returned from their preaching sorties and told Jesus everything that they had done, as recorded in Luke 9:10. There were no stories of failure or frustration as the Disciples performed that which they were told to do.
The disciples in Luke 10, also returned to Jesus, with a great joy, reporting that even the evil spirits were subject unto them through the name or authority of Christ. This kind of went like this with these disciples: “In the name and authority of Jesus of Nazareth, I take authority over this sickness, affliction, ailment, malady or specific disorder,” et cetera. In the case of evil spirits, the disciples went by a similar formula in binding and casting out the Devils, emphasizing their subjugation to Jesus.
Jesus told these disciples though, not to rejoice only because they had authority over evil spirits, but to rather rejoice because “your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
Well, that sounds like they are the children of God to me… Their names are already in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 13:8).
And those that heard them, and believed in their message, received the blessing of healing and deliverance… which is the “children’s bread” that Jesus referred to.
In other words, if someone has received a blessing of healing, or deliverance, as the Syrian-Phoenician woman did, or bodily touch in which healing virtue was imparted to them… well, rejoice! You have received the “children’s bread.” Your name could very well be written in “heaven” too.
Then again, it is all about faith.
Perhaps, the same type of faith that the Syrian-Phoenician woman had. Or, the same faith recorded elsewhere in the Bible that can be appropriated for healing and deliverance.
HEALING: PART OF THE COVENANT BY FAITH…
As part of the Abrahamic Covenant, those who believe in God and what God told Abraham and by extension of that faith, are “children of Abraham” as Paul taught the Galatians in his letter to them, they too, can experience not only salvation by faith… but also experience “healing” by faith.
Indeed, Abraham was a faith healer… God healed a person by name of Abimelech and his whole house or family, as a result of the prayer of faith by Abraham. (Genesis 20:17).
By extrapolation then, people of faith in God can receive healing.
We see this in the other scripture text that I provided above, in Luke 5:17.
Jesus had already done several healings, deliverances, and even miracles among the people. He was teaching and preaching in a large home in Capernaum. The house was filled to capacity and then some. A man who had palsy and was bedridden, was being carried by friends, wanted to see Jesus about his affliction. They could not get inside because of the crowds. Back in that day, and still in Palestine, you can climb onto the roof as they are flat. Indeed, many folks lived on their roofs during warm weather or when entertaining at night. The friends of this man with palsy, would not be deterred… they were determined… they undid the tiles of the roof, probably like terra cotta tiles.
Yet, Jesus kept on preaching and the tiles kept coming off until finally, the man’s friends were able to lower him into the midst of the meeting.
Luke then makes a curious statement. It does not occur elsewhere in the Gospels. Luke obviously got it from some firsthand account of this healing from someone who was there… as Luke was not. Luke wrote, “and the power of the Lord was present to heal…”
Well, the rest is history.
There is healing power today. Many do not think so. The world is full of such people. The popular church too, is full of such people.
They are filled with unbelief.
However, let these people get into big trouble… and guess where they will turn to when they get unbelievably desperate?
Yeah, they get God out… like some spare tire from the trunk of their car. The evangelist Charles Finney noted that “sinners” always know, in their extreme moment of desperation, who to go to!
This is not the kind of faith that honors God though.
I have received healing several times. I have received deliverance several times.
I remember one time, when I was a little boy, that I had some kind of rash spreading all over my body as a result of visiting a home far, far in the wilds of the Ozarks. It itched terribly. I have had poison ivy and poison oak later in life, and it wasn’t that. It was bad, believe me. I was traveling back with my family in the car. I was in agony. My mother looked over from the front seat and examined me. She was aghast. She did what she did though in such situations as she was a Pentecostal type believer.
She laid hands on me and the affliction, and prayed.
Just like Abraham.
And… wel-la… just like that, like a snap of the fingers… my affliction stopped… on a dime. I am not sure if this was a healing. It was more like a miracle. One moment, you are a little boy in agony… the next, you are fine, sitting up, and the rash is disappearing along with its incredible discomfort.
I used to have a spirit of man-fear. I was about nineteen years old.
A lot of people do. They are easily intimidated by others. They are afraid about how others think. This type of spiritual affliction can affect your confidence terribly. It is a very tormenting spirit. The Bible tells us that fear has torment… well, I can confirm that.
I got tired of it. I had been praying about it. Then one day, I decided to do something about it. I received a conviction of faith in regard to it.
I was attending a black church in Reno, Nevada. They were having testimony time as common in that era. I got up and testified that God was healing me and delivering me…. right then and there… from this spirit of fear. I used specifically the promise from Psalms 107:2, 19 and 20. I started to weep, and to shake. It was a very moving experience.
I never had this fear again. I will never will. I have been delivered from it.
I could go on with other instances, but everyone who has been called of God could recount such experiences. It is just part of receiving the “children’s bread.”
Although I have been a recipient of healing, and at sundry times, I received a healing touch, it has never been consistent. I certainly believe in the gifts of the Spirit though. When Paul taught the Corinthian church about spiritual gifts, he taught that there were “gifts of healing by the same Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:9b).
I started to pray for these gifts, or at least a gift, of healing. To be honest with you, I wanted it for myself. After all, the Bible teaches that the “husbandman, or vinedresser, must be first partaker of the fruits.”
I had been praying about this for some time, in fact, years, depending on the urgency that I felt or the leading to do so. I had not received anything of substance.
Then not long ago, I started getting a conviction of faith about healing. I started to pray in a certain manner. Let me explain this some.
Many years ago, I was in a desperate financial situation. I sure needed financial deliverance. God showed me to pray in a certain manner. A lot of people would not do this. I never heard or read of many people who did, and I have done extensive study on God’s people throughout the Bible and the annals of church history. It was really pretty simple. As a result of this obedience, I kept persevering in prayer. Then one day, I “prayed through” about my dilemma. The certain mode of prayer that God showed me gave me my answer. In a short time, God answered my request and abundantly.
Something similar happened along the lines of seeking a healing gift. I started to pray in a certain manner. In this manner, I started to tap into something living, and something real: it was healing virtue. Jesus referred to this in Luke 8:46. I started to experience healing in an area in which I never had any success praying about before.
Well, I am excited about it. It is a unique and wonderful experience to have God’s healing and know for a certainty that it is available.
The journey of faith is always singular and distinct. I like what Corrie Ten Boom said about it. She said, ” a life of faith leads us on paths that can make us dizzy.”
The best thing about a life of faith, is that our names are in the Book of Life. One of the next best things, is have some of the
You can have it too.
Thanks for reading.
Copyrighted. Joseph Spickard, 2014. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this intellectual property without prior permission from the author is prohibited.