Jesus Heals the Hurting
The world in which we live is filled with heartache and pain. This is part of the corruption experienced by humanity due to the problem of sin (Gen 3). Things in this world are not as they were initially created to be, and we know things need to be made right. Our bodies ache and our emotions are torn; we fight both physical and mental battles and sometimes wonder when this will end. We ask, with Paul, “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:4). We all feel the sting of sin and living in a body of death.
Paul’s question, though, is not without an answer or hope, and he immediately exclaims, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (v. 25). Jesus is the answer to this hurting world, the only One who can deliver us from sin, death, pain, and suffering. He is the great Healer in every way.
When we ask why Jesus came into this world, we might find various ways to answer this question. He came to die for sin (1 John 2:1). He came to serve and give HIs life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:44-45). He came to point the way back to the Father (John 14:6). He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came to give the abundant life (John 10:10). He came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). He came to defeat death through the resurrection (Heb 2:14; 1 Cor 15). All of this and more can describe the reason for the incarnation of the Son of God.
The focus here is that Jesus was born into this world to heal the hurting, and we all need this. While He heals through the forgiveness of sins, there is more to consider. We need forgiveness, but we also need comfort and peace from the anxieties, hardships, and suffering that this world holds. Think of how Paul begins his second epistle to the Corinthians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor 1:3-4).
Jesus came to provide the path back to the comfort that can only come from the Lord. When He began His public ministry in Nazareth, Jesus quoted from Isaiah’s messianic passage (Luke 4:16-18; Isa 61:1-2):
“He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed…”
Jesus then uses the analogy of a physician, and the events that followed included healings. While the healings have implications for forgiveness (spiritual healing), they also pointed to the fact that all healing ultimately comes from God. Salvation is bigger than forgiveness of sins alone. It is, finally, deliverance from all the turmoils and trials of this world. It is deliverance both physically and spiritually, for in the end, because of what Jesus did, we may attain to the resurrection of life.
Paul yearned for the resurrection. He counted all things but rubbish “because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” He suffered the loss of all things so that he may be found in Him. Why? “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Phil 3:8-11).
Jesus brings us levels of healing and comfort now, but final healing and comfort comes in the resurrection. We aren’t there yet, but this is our living hope (1 Pet 1:3-5). This is the full victory for which we long: “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor 15:57). This is why we can be comforted and find healing when we lose loved ones in the Lord. Though we sorrow and grieve, it is not as others “who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13). Jesus will come yet again and bring with Him the saints who have gone on before. Encouragement and comfort comes from knowing this (1 Thess 4:18). We can share in the peace that passes understanding (Phil 4:6-7).
Then, as we experience the final consummation of all things in the new heavens and new earth, we will know healing in its fullest sense: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:1-4).
Jesus came to heal the hurting, and that hurt may run deep. But there is nothing so beyond repair that the Lord cannot touch it. Let us fear the Lord, then, that “the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings” (Mal 4:2).
Come, Lord Jesus!